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Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

Notably, mechanomancers are the only adept who have multiple ways to get a major charge and are the only one who can produce a "renewable" major charge (the sanity sacrifice option, although honestly that one isn't nearly as harsh as the others to begin with so I'd probably disallow it in my games).

Huh? The memory sacrifice is what makes Mechanomancers more than just a whacky steampunk school. You need to give up a part of YOURSELF to make your creatures. Is building your cool robot worth the memory of your wife's love?

Also you need to play this song when making a Mechanomancer: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JaLjwSpZ6Cs

The Narcos and Hunter's Acended Ones feel very similar, though the later are your typical WoD globe-trotting conspiracy.

SPOILER: Pornomancers have the least fun of all!

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Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Mechanomancer is interesting, since you aren't going to be particularly crazy or antisocial but will probably get whacked by the wizard mafia.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

I remember the UA mailing list discussions that formed the basis of Narco-alchemy mostly revolving around "So did Keith Richards find the elixir vitae and become immortal, or did he gently caress it up and become some sort of drug-lich?"

(Drug lich. The answer is drug lich.)

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Count Chocula posted:

Huh? The memory sacrifice is what makes Mechanomancers more than just a whacky steampunk school. You need to give up a part of YOURSELF to make your creatures. Is building your cool robot worth the memory of your wife's love?


I'm more referring to the mechanical effects of the sanity loss vs the Mind/Soul loss or the effort of finding and obtaining an appropriate historical artifact.

The memory aspect itself is totally fine, but I'd rather represent it as a loss of Mind/Soul rather than simply a Hardened and Failed notch. Those can be removed with a few months of therapy and (like the epideromancer's Major charges) I feel like if you're giving up a part of yourself for your charges it should be permanent.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




unseenlibrarian posted:

(Drug lich. The answer is drug lich.)

The answer is always drug lich. As it should be.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I'm more curious about how Nick Cave is still alive after all the drugs and, if his biography is accurate, car-surfing. That book (that focused on the early days of The Birthday Party and The Boys Next Door) also claims that he and Mick Harvey were so hosed up on drugs they spent a week speaking in a private language only they could understand, which would be a cool spell for either Narcos or Acending Ones. Make it so that even wizards can't understand it, only the people who take the drug.

Can you use Shane McGowan's original teeth for some kind of Dipsomancy charge?

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 10:46 on Jun 10, 2015

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Count Chocula posted:

I'm more curious about how Nick Cave is still alive after all the drugs and, if his biography is accurate, car-surfing. That book (that focused on the early days of The Birthday Party) also claims that he and Mick Harvey were so hosed up on drugs they spent a week speaking in a private language only they could understand, which would be a cool spell for either Narcos or Acending Ones. Make it so that even wizards can't understand it, only the people who take the drug.

That's great. Sort of a magical version of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o-apE9pHrI

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


oriongates posted:

I'm more referring to the mechanical effects of the sanity loss vs the Mind/Soul loss or the effort of finding and obtaining an appropriate historical artifact.

The memory aspect itself is totally fine, but I'd rather represent it as a loss of Mind/Soul rather than simply a Hardened and Failed notch. Those can be removed with a few months of therapy and (like the epideromancer's Major charges) I feel like if you're giving up a part of yourself for your charges it should be permanent.

Magick keys off Soul, and Mechanomancers probably need to be smart too, so they'd be handicapping themselves every time they build something big. I'd rather they be tempted to let the power corrupt them. And losing the memories is still a huge penalty in RP terms. I think Sanity notches are a good way to represent the changes in your personality that would cause.
I mean a Dipso can go to rehab and an Epidero's scars will heal but they're still hosed up.

Do Adepts have to know they're adepts? Or could Nick Cave think he's getting power from all his pretentious occult poo poo but it really comes from being a gently caress-up? I feel like this could be a fun basis for a character.
I also feel like I could make a case for Nick Cave being every single Adept, but that would just be creepy.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 10:55 on Jun 10, 2015

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

Do Adepts have to know they're adepts? Or could Nick Cave think he's getting power from all his pretentious occult poo poo but it really comes from being a gently caress-up? I feel like this could be a fun basis for a character.

Adepts do - their paradox must be the lens through which they see the world. It's almost literally impossible for an adept to conceive of another path to magickal power working - their specific paradox is the one and only way the world works for them.

Avatars on the other hand don't have to be aware they're channeling a path, and I could easily see an Avatar path for the Privileged gently caress-Up.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Flavivirus posted:

Adepts do - their paradox must be the lens through which they see the world. It's almost literally impossible for an adept to conceive of another path to magickal power working - their specific paradox is the one and only way the world works for them.

Avatars on the other hand don't have to be aware they're channeling a path, and I could easily see an Avatar path for the Privileged gently caress-Up.

I just think with common paradoxes like the ones powering Dipso, Entropo and Epideromancy you can gain and use Minor charges without knowing its magick. Things just work out if you're drunk, and you're always drunk. The adrenaline rush you get from surfing trains makes you invincible. Eventually someone else will notice and let you know what's going on and initiate you.

So what I'm saying is, UA encourages self-destruction. :devil:

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 11:14 on Jun 10, 2015

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

I just think with common paradoxes like the ones powering Dipso, Entropo and Epideromancy you can gain and use Minor charges without knowing its magick. Things just work out if you're drunk, and you're always drunk. The adrenaline rush you get from surfing trains makes you invincible. Eventually someone else will notice and let you know what's going on and initiate you.

So what I'm saying is, UA encourages self-destruction. :devil:

So long as you already had the mindset that the world *only makes sense when drunk* - likely from hitting 5 failed notches in a guage - then sure, you can be a self-taught adept without realising what it is you're doing. Once you were aware you were doing Magick though I don't think you'd be able to think that anything other than your particular paradox is responsible.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




An adept could probably believe that they aren't doing magic...that is they don't think what they do is magick or even supernatural...its just the way the world works and for some reason none of these other people have figured it out. It's something anyone can do, they're just the only one who seems to get the "trick"

In fact, I'd say quite a lot of adepts don't see what they do as magical...that implies its different or weird when they think that it's just the way things should be.

But, that said, I don't think you can just stumble into being an adept the way you can into Avatar-hood. Becoming an adept is like having a religious revelation and when you consider the stuff they have to do to themselves to become an Adept (racking up really severe Self damage) I don't think it can be done by accident...at some point you realize you're changing, moving to something different even if you don't know what. You've got to choose to push on through despite the horrible things you're doing.

Adepts literally reforge themselves from the ashes of their past. It's not the sort of thing that crops up by accident.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Wizards Presents: Races and Classes

This book was released by Wizards of the Coast in December 2007 to serve as the first preview of D&D 4th Edition. It was later followed by Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters in January 2008.

I wanted to do a read-through of this book because it presents some of the design decisions that went into 4th Edition, specifically as far as how it was still very much based on learnings from 3rd Edition, and not WOTC trying to reinvent the wheel, as it were. I'll be taking excerpts and quotes straight from the book, to let the authors' words speak for themselves.

4th Edition Design Timeline - Rob Heinsoo

quote:

Design Work, Orcus I: June through September 2005
Team: James Wyatt, Andy Collins, and Rob Heinsoo.
Mission: Our instructions were to push the mechanics down interesting avenues, not to stick too close to the safe home base of D&D v.3.5. As an R&D department, we understood 3.5; our mission was to experiment with something new.
Outcome: We delivered a document that included eight classes we thought might appear in the first Player’s Handbook or other early supplements, powers for all the classes, monsters, and rules.

First Development Team: October 2005 through February 2006
Team: Robert Gutschera (lead), Mike Donais, Rich Baker, Mike Mearls, and Rob Heinsoo.
Mission: Determine whether the Orcus I design (as we named it) was headed in the right direction. Make recommendations for the next step.
Outcome: The first development team tore everything down and then rebuilt it. In the end, it recommended that we continue in the new direction Orcus I had established. This recommendation accompanied a rather difficult stunt accomplished in the middle of the development process: Baker, Donais, and Mearls translated current versions of the Orcus I mechanics into a last-minute revision of Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords. It was a natural fit, since Rich Baker had already been treating the Book of Nine Swords as a “powers for fighters” project. The effort required to splice the mechanics into 3rd Edition were a bit extreme, but the experiment was worth it.

So that confirms what I had heard previously, that the Tome of Battle was used as a test-bed of ideas that would ultimately be used as a basis for 4th Edition's AEDU model

quote:

One Development Week: Mid-April 2006
Team: Robert Gutschera, Mike Donais, Rich Baker, Mike Mearls, and Rob Heinsoo.
Mission: Recommend a way forward.
Outcome: In what I’d judge as the most productive week of the process to date, not that anyone would have guessed that beforehand, Mearls and Baker figured out what was going wrong with the design. We’d concentrated too much on the new approach without properly accounting for what 3.5 handled well. We’d provided player characters with constantly renewing powers, but hadn’t successfully parsed the necessary distinctions between powers that were always available and powers that had limited uses.

Flywheel Team: May 2006 to September 2006
Team: Rob Heinsoo (lead), Andy Collins, Mike Mearls,
David Noonan, and Jesse Decker.
Mission: Move closer to 3.5 by dealing properly with powers and resources that could be used at-will, once per encounter, or once per day.
Outcome: A playable draft that went over to the teams that would actually write the Player’s Handbook and the Monster Manual.

Right there, the development team acknowledges that they were actually moving too far away from 3.5, had to rein it in, and further flesh out the distinctions between At-Will, Encounter, and Daily powers

The Process of Re-Creation - Rob Heinsoo

quote:

The one-week ORCUS development team realized that Orcus II, as well as earlier drafts, had failed to properly account for attrition powers. Earlier designs had been working too hard on our newfangled renewable powers and hadn’t properly addressed D&D’s legacy of attrition-style powers, powers that went away after you used them once or twice.

So the Flywheel team’s main job was to nudge the eight player character classes away from the flamboyant precipices they’d occupied in Orcus II toward expressions that would look more familiar to players of 3rd Edition D&D.

There's that acknowledgement again of building off of 3rd Edition, and that a core mechanic to D&D's design is attrition.

The chapter goes on to mention that one of the core 8 classes supposed to be the Swashbuckler, but that was abandoned and its cooler powers given to the Rogue and Ranger instead, and then the PHB team created the Warlock instead.

Mike Mearls also gets a special mention as the guy behind the Barbarian and the Druid, which would later appear in the PHB 2.

Design Guideposts - Rob Heinsoo

Guidepost 1: Encourage Player Choice

This talks about how a character should have an interesting choice to make every time they advance in a level, an interesting choice to make concerning their actions with every round of combat, and an interesting choice to make about which and how much of their resources they'd like to spend in-between encounters

Guidepost 2: Provide Information to Help Players and DMs Choose Between Compelling Alternatives

The set of powers that every character class has should help them fill at least one valuable role in an adventuring party, and the players should be aware what those roles are so that the players are making a conscious choice when divvying up the classes between themselves. Likewise, the Monster Manual should contain monsters that similarly serve different roles.

This is also where it's decided that DMs should always let a player know when a monster is Bloodied, so that players don't have to guess how well they're doing, on top of having another property that abilities can key off of.

Notebook Anecdote - Andy Collins

quote:

Things That Would Make Me Happy

All classes effective at all levels. Game is fun and playable at all levels. Dungeon excursions last through many encounters. Game rewards tactical play; smart decisions are “right” (and vice versa). Defeat is meaningful but (usually) not final. Game’s expectations are clearer to players and DMs. Character classes provide compelling archetypes. PC team is a collection of interchangeable parts. All characters can participate meaningfully in all encounters.

In hindsight, we know that "fun and playable at all levels" can tend to break down past Paragon due to the sheer number of powers involved, but "all classes effective at all levels" is a compelling statement to make in the wake of the history between martials and casters.

Orcus Design Tenets - Bill Slaviscek

quote:

5. Three-dimensional Tactics.
We want to continue using miniatures in 5-foot squares. We want to design minis game (skirmish) to work with the RPG. More discussion on how this occurs to follow.
Operative term bolded. 3rd Edition was always meant to be used with miniatures in 5-foot squares (as if it wasn't enough that this was explicitly stated in the rulebooks themselves)

Email: What Is and What Could Be - Andy Collins

quote:

We must force ourselves, instead, to evaluate what the rules set aims to achieve with its various new elements and determine if we believe that a) its goals are appropriate, and b) it’s headed in the right direction to achieve those goals.

For example, whether Class A is better or worse than Class B, or whether the attrition mechanics hit the right balance, is largely immaterial at this stage of design.

What’s much more significant (using the latter example) is whether we think that the idea of reworking D&D’s traditional attrition mechanic to encourage longer-term adventures is a) a good goal that b) we can achieve by developing the concepts presented in the rules set. (That’s one example of a goal/concept from the rules set, mind you, but certainly not the only one.)

I'm almost certain that this mention of longer-term adventures (and again in Collins' Notebook Anecdote) is a reference to Healing Surges as the attritional mechanic and how it allows for parties to engage in many more combats per day than in previous editions.

Heroes in the World - Rob Heinsoo

quote:

3rd Edition had a sweet spot. Somewhere around 4th or 5th level, characters hit their stride, possessing fun abilities and a number of hit points that allow the player characters to stick around long enough to use them. Somewhere around 13th or 15th level, the sweet spot gets a bit sour for many classes. Skilled players frequently disagree with that assessment, but the truth is that many D&D campaigns more-or-less rise out of existence. As PCs pursue the most fun reward in the game—leveling up—they get closer and closer to the levels where the abilities of the strongest characters eclipse those of the weakest characters, where hard math and a multiplicity of choices push DMs into increasingly hard work to keep their games going.

Okay, so on top of acknowledging that the first couple of levels of 3rd Edition were not so good because you were so frail, there's also the note about how the increasing competency and capability of some classes at high-level allowed them to greatly outshine other classes, on top of making it more and more difficult for DMs to create interesting scenarios when these classes have the tools to dismantle a lot of potential obstacles.

The passage ends by explaining that it was a deliberate decision to turn monster creation in 4th Edition away from how 3rd Edition did it - no longer would you construct monsters using class levels and the same use as building PCs, because the PCs are supposed to be "center stage" and the monsters are only as important as their interactions (including combat situations) with the players.

Longswords and Lightsabers - Rodney Thompson

This passage talks about how the Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition was, alongside Tome of Battle, another testbed for the ideas that would eventually make it to 4th Edition's core design:

1. Give players options when designing their characters
2. Keep the combat round quick and easy to understand
3. Ability score increases should be handed out more often
4. No more assigning skill points
5. Instead of the defender making saving throws, the attacker would roll to beat a static defense score
6. No more ability damage
7. No more iterative attacks

Chris Perkins is mentioned by name as the main designer behind the Star Wars book and consulted with the 4th Edition developers on porting over these ideas from Star Wars to D&D.

Power Sources - Mike Mearls

quote:

Power sources have always been in D&D, but no one ever bothered to pay attention to them. From the earliest days of the game, it was clear that wizards (then called magic-users) tapped into a different source of magic than clerics. Later on, classes like the druid and illusionist seemed to tie into similar sources, but it was never completely clear. As the game expanded, psionics clearly staked out a completely different source of power.

4th Edition makes the move to create more vivid differences between the sources of magical power. It also creates a source of power for characters who don’t use magic, such as fighters and rogues. While these characters don’t cast spells, at epic levels they eventually gain the ability to perform superhuman feats. After all, some of the greatest heroes of myth and legend toppled buildings with their bare hands, wrestled gods, diverted rivers, and so on. The martial power source allows us to draw a clear line between a mighty hero and the average person in the world of D&D.

[...]

The exciting thing about power sources lies in the design options they open up. Divine and arcane magic are built to serve as independent magic systems, rather than as the core definitions of how magic works in D&D. This decision has a subtle but important impact on design. As noted above, it lets us avoid a kitchen sink approach to spell design. We no longer have to put every single imaginable spell effect into divine and arcane magic, relegating other forms of spellcasting to merely copying existing spells. We are also free to create bigger differences between classes without worrying about straining credibility. A class like the wu jen or the hexblade might use a completely new and different type of magic, allowing us to reinvent the ground rules rather than use what has come before. Since those classes clearly use magic in a different manner when compared to a wizard, we shelve them under a new power source, build a system of magic that works for their needs, and create spells tuned to them rather than simply use the 3E wizard/sorcerer spell list.

There's a lot packed into these three paragraphs.

Power sources were always a thing, they were just never formalized with such a term.

Martial classes needed their own 'power source' to give them the ability to pull off supernatural actions that are still not spells

Spells were the basic building block of every supernatural action (if not just actions, period) in previous editions of D&D, and the fact that there were only either Divine or Arcane spells meant that they all had to be classified into one or the other.

This also meant that without a formal system for creating or defining new power sources, every other class' powers in previous editions had to be based off of an existing spell.

Next up: Races

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


So did Mearls just forget what he wrote here or what when it came time for 5th?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Xelkelvos posted:

So did Mearls just forget what he wrote here or what when it came time for 5th?

More he ignored it and listened to the "fans".

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



Evil Mastermind posted:

More he ignored it and listened to the "fans".

Also, last I checked, got tired of fighting the designers on his own team who wholeheartedly believed Controllers should be better than the other archetypes simply because.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

It was Heinsoo that mentioned folks kept trying to buff the wizard and he had to fight them back down. Mearls...well. *Eyes the Essentials mage vs. all the Essentials Martials*

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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2014-2018



Spirit Slayers

As always, we open with Tactics. Splitting the pack, disarming things, ruining Loci, that kind of thing. We also get some new merits. Kin (3 dots) lets you be related to a werewolf or have recessive werewolf genetics. You get a bonus to dealing with werewolves and free Unseen Sense for them, plus resistance to Lunacy...but werewolves want to gently caress you for your genetics, and you get a penalty to dealing with normal humans, and mabye you'll turn into a werewolf some day. Great. Natural Medium (3 dots) allows you to peak to spirits, instinctively understanding their ancient language. You also get Unseen Sense for spirits, immunity to involuntary spiritual possession and, whenever you speak to spirits, they try to possess you. They can't, but they can cause you horrible, restless nightmares. And Null (4 dots), which makes you exude an anti-spiritual aura. Spirits go out of their way to avoid you, and just visiting a Locus will temporarily shut it down. Werewolves can sense you, but you're immune to spiritual possession and influence, as is everyone within ten yards. You get a bonus to intimidate spirits, and they have trouble materializing around you, even at a Locus. Werewolves have to spend twice as much Essence to do poo poo near you, too. However, you get a penalty to all non-Intimidation social rolls with werewolves or spirits, as does everyone near you.

Skipping over the equipment list (bear mace, wolfsbane, pit traps) and the new Profession (Outdoorsman), we come to Endowments. VALKYRIE has developed a few anti-werewolf weapons. There's the Frequency Pulse Emitter (2 dots), based around ultra-high frequency sounds, normally audible only to dogs. Turns out werewolves also hear them, and they're nicknamed Dog Whistles. They're basically a modified flashbang grenade that sounds an eardrum-rupturing pulse of high-frequency sound on a very short fuse, stunning any werewolf or canine nearby - or anything else that's rather animal-esque or has heightened hearing.

The Urban Response Behicle (5 dots), or URV, is a light armored vehicle disguised as a normal panel van. It has onboard computer and GPS, bullet-proof windows, RFID locks, military winch, run-flat tires and police search lights. It also has AC and an internal oxygen supply, plus it can be rigged to be air-tight pretty quickly, has an overcharged engine and a mini-generator with enough power to run all of it, plus any add-ons. It has concealed armor that makes it nearly invulnerable to small arms, and room for a driver, three passengers and a gunner. Standard package for the gun is a popup .50-cal machine gun, operated via the gunner's chair, which has a button that opens up the roof and lifts out the gun. It's swivel-mounted and has pedals to achieve a 180 degree field of fire, though that takes some extra training to use. It also has a casing catcher. You can optionally get a pintle-mounted Bleeder above the front passenger seat, operated by standing in that seat. You can also further enchance the thing with other add-ons - Etheric rounds for the machine gun, ETheric windows that function as Etheric goggles, an Equalizer Grenade Launcher on the machine gun, Gungnir Systems on whatever you want and a vehicle-mounted Mjolnir Cannon, which replaces the machine gun. Of course, using the guns will definitely attract attention. (All the extras cost more dots, but your team can pool up to ten dots on extras.)

The Malleus use the Miracle of Gadarene. You remember the story of Jesus and the Gadarene demon, right? You know, Jesus finds guy possessed by demons, he compels them to speak their names, they say they're Lgion, he puts them into a herd of pigs which jump off a cliff. Essentially, this is a variant of the Vade Retro Satana Benediction, save that it focuses on exorcising and binding spirits. It is also known as Cast into Swine, and to use it, you need to have some idea of the spirit's nature, plus an animal either metaphorically or literally opposite to that nature - a dove for violent spirits, say. You perform the exorcism with the animal nearby, and the spirit is forced and bound into the animal, whose nature keeps it in check and denies it the ability to control the animal. The Malleus typically then puts the animal in seclusion until they have a permanent solution, because if the animal dies, either naturally or by violence, the spirit is freed.

The Binding of Saint Amabilis draws on Amabilis of Riom, a cantor at a church in Clermont. He is the patron saint against demonic possession and wild beasts, and invoking his name weakens the demonic possession purportedly responsible for werewolves. Essentially, it binds down their regeneration by having you sing a wordless song of praise. It fills the hearts of your allies with peace, and is always beautiful even if you suck at singing. You can do nothing but sing and move around slowly, but as long as you do, the werewolves who can hear you lose all regenerative abilities and heal no faster than regular humans.

The Lucifuge have developed Familiar Betrayal - see, most werewolf packs bind a spirit to be a familiar to the entire pack, aiding them by lending them its strength. The Lucifuge turn these spirits against their masters. It works identically to Calling For the Pit, except you must know the pack familiar's name somehow. If you summon it, you may bind it to serve you as per the Familiar Castigation for six days. It must obey your wishes to the letter, even if that means fighting its pack. However, you must reinforce the binding with force of will each night at sunset. Unless the familiar does something to betray its new allegiance, the pack remains ignorant.

They also have the Mark of the Beast - you see, Lucifer's power is far greater than any of his children, and the Lucifuge can call on that strength. It's not pleasant, but they can transform themselves, painfully, into immense demons. No two look the same or have the same features, but it's always bestial and demonic, and each hunter keeps the same one whenever they use this power. While transformed, they get boosted physical attributes, which ignore normal maximums, and may heal wounds of any type by spending 1 WP per wound, and get Armor 2/0. They cause terror in mortal witnesses, similar to Lunacy, and cannot remain long in this form. Any damage they suffer that exceeds their normal capacity does not carry over when they return to their normal form, but instead inflicts those wounds on the next person or thing they see before they fall unconscious. Any damage you cause in demonic form is always lethal unless it would be aggravated normally. After you revert, even if you don't immediately get knocked out from damage, you are exhausted and will be penalized until you get eight hours of sleep, as well as lessened resistance to degenerative insanity.

The Ascending ones create the Vapors of Mercury (2 dots) via...well, mercury and some other esoteric ingredients. You inhale the vapors from a censor or modified inhaler. It transmutes your blood into a watery silver substances that burns any werewolves that touch it. Any time you suffer lethal damage, any werewolf within a yard take an equal amount of lethal damage from the blood spatter. However, the damage heals for them as if it were aggravated. (Effectively this makes it agg damage, but...for some reason it isn't?)

The Balm of Chronos (4 dots) is an ancient elixir developed by borrowing Greek ideas, named for Chronos, the personificaiton of time. It looks like a thick white paste and smells of oleander. Heroin is involved in the creation, and iti s rubbed on like a lotion. It sends you into a trance state that slows your perception of time, doubling your speed and defensive ability as well as enhancing your concentration for longterm tasks, but you can only use it so often in a day before it will make you crash and poison you.

The Aegis Kai Doru possess the Idol of Gevaudan (4 dots). See, between 1764 and 1767, the Beast of Gevaudan, an immense wolf, terrorized southern France. Supposedly it was responsible for over 300 attacks, with over 50 wounded and 120 dead. It eluded capture for years until King Louis XV's hunters finally put it down with silver bullets. It was said to be four feet at the shoulder and able to leap 30 feet. The Aegis, however, claim the Beast was the last of a werewolf pack of the area, and they helped a French local track the beast, giving him the silver needed to kill it. After it was dead, they searched its lair and found a crude stone idol of a giant wolf, surrounded by the heads of the Beast's victims. They took the idol and paid the local to never mention it or their involvement. You must splash werewolf blood on the Idol to activate it, which was something of a problem when it came to figuring out how to use it - they discovered msotly by accident. Once active, the Idol becomes warm to the touch and calls out to any werewolf that sees it. They become obsessed with owning it, and the creatures will literally fight to the death to claim it for themselves - and only themselves, fighting even other pack members. It remains active until the full moon after it tastes blood, plus another month for each head offered to it in tribute by a werewolf. In addition to this, any werewolf that succumbs to its call is locked into near-wolf form for as long as it is active. The Aegis hunters that have used it say the best way to do so is to activate it and toss it in the middle of a pack, then stand back and take out any survivors. The relic is unique and has a tiny GPS locator on it so you can track it if a werewolf runs off with it.

The Phylactery of Commius (5 dots) dates back to a Gaulish tribe, the Atrebates, who were beaten by the Roman Legions around 57 BCE. Commius was the Gaul that Julius Caesar put in charge of the tribe, but in 53 BCE, Caesar heard rumors of Commius conspiring against Rome, and his second in command, Titus Labienus, set up an ambush for Commius. Though wounded, Commius escaped and fled to Britain, where he led a rebellion and managed to become king of the Atrebates in Britain from 30 BCE to 20 BCE. It is commonly accepted that there were actually two kings named Commius - the Gallic and the British - since he'd have been elderly when he first took the throne, and it would've taken a miracle for him to survive both his wounds and the years. The Aegis, however, claim that Commius was one man and kept himself alive by this phylactery. It takes an immense expenditure of will to attune to the thing - a small box meant to hold sacred herbs and protective magical texts. It's just small enough to fit into a pocket and has no obvious way to open it. The Aegis has strict instructions to deal firmly with anyone that tries to open the thing anyway. It's just an old stone box with carvings...until you bind a spirit into it, which no spirit will willingly allow, so figure out a way to summon it. Once you've got that, you must name it three times by its true name and touch the phylactery to its materialized form, then daub the box with your blood. That traps the spirit inside the phylactery, and as long as it's near you, you age at half the normal rate and are immune to disease and poison. Any wounds you take are first dealt to the spirit, though if it dies you need a new one. Oh, and you speak the language of spirits. However, if the spirit is ever freed or the phylactery is destroyed, you suffer spiritual backlash and take 3 agg, plus the spirit will probably be seeking vengeance on you if it survived.

Harvesting werewolf and spirit parts aren't easy, but Cheiron's done it. Take the Ectocrine Gland (2 dots). When you kill a spirit or force it back to the spirit world, sometimes it leaves this gooey, semi-material stuff called ectoplasm. So do ghosts. Even though it dissipates fast and is near impossible to gather samples of, Cheiron's managed it. Their experiments mostly involved a quick-thinking agent and a syringe to scoop up ectoplasm, which the agent then injected himself with. After his release from the mental ward, he reported that he had been able to see incorporeal ghosts and spirits. Not long after, a different team reported that they'd detected trace ectoplasm in the blood of a victim of possession, so Cheiron kidnapped a spiritualist and ran a bunch of tests, finding that the spiritualist also had trace blood-ectoplasm, and in fact seemed to manufacture the stuff. They have, via trial and error, found a way to make a synthetic gland that will release ectoplasm into the body. With concentration, this lets the user see and communicate with incorporeal beings, but not touch them. Of course, you can only use it a few times a day, and the things you talk to don't have to talk back, and it doesn't grant you any understanding of the language of spirits. Also, while it's active, it's rather hard to focus on anything physical or tell it from the incorporeal. Plus, while it's active, you're easier to possess.

The Berserker Splice (3 dots) draws on the primal fury of werewolves. They seem to get mad easily, and it gives them strength. Cheiron has studied how, via dissection and vivisection, and noticed that one of the werewolves they studied had an enlarged medulla oblongata, which they then transplanted into a field agent. The results were spectacular - he attacked anyone he could see, killing 11 employees with his bare hands and teeth before being subdued. Tapes of the incident suggest he had increased strength and fortitude - he had to be shot nine times before he fell over. Despite this, the program was continued with only minor losses to the company - around 50 employees dead, total - to develop a stable transplant. Rather than directly transplating the medulla oblongata, small sections were carved off of the werewolf and spliced into the sensory and motor areas of the cerebral cortex. When stimulated by adrenaline, they become active and pump even more chemicals in, boosting strength and resilience. Whenever the user is in a dangerous situation, they get a strength bonus that increases as they get hurt, plus the Iron Stamina merit. However, they have a tendency to go berserk when they get too wounded by an attack, flying into killing rages or fleeing in terror. They are unable to tell friend from foe and, when suffering fight response, will attack whoever's closest for several turns before the splice shuts down and they collapse from exhaustion for a while.

So, Les Mysteres. They invite spirits into their body to fight werewolves, but they remain in control via what are commonly known as the Rites du Cheval. It takes training, disicpline and skill. Each spirit is a partner, and must be appeased by offerings. Part of your training is learning what works on what spirits. You can only learn Rites equal to or less than your Status, and Rites over 4 dots probably involve having to go train under a distant mentor. All of them need someone to teach you, at least. Also, any spirit with a Rank lower than your status will never attempt an unwilling possession of you, because you are spiritually marked, and even those of higher rank are penalized to do so. While you are ridden, you share your senses with the spirit, and their nature alters your senses a bit - a death spirit might cause you to see signs of decay and smell the scent of rot, for example. Your sense of touch is also deadened a bit, as the spirit hijacks it so it can experience it. While ridden, you suffer no wound penalties at all, but also get a penalty to Perception rolls unrelated to the nature of the possessing spirit. Appeasing these spirits can take many forms, but the more potent the spirit, the greater the sacrifice must be.

Skin of the Lion (one dot) summons a minor spirit into your body and particularly your flesh, hardening the skin to withstand the attacks of your enemies. Your skin color changes as a side affect, becoming a shade associated with the spirit. Brown for spirits of earth, green-blue for water, pale white of clenched knuckles for pain, etc. Often a snatch of complimentary song, pinching or slapping yourself and drumming will be enough to appease these spirits, and they give Armor 2/0 against close combat attacks, and rarely ranged ones.

Ephemeral Disguise (one dot) draws on the ability of spirits to hide from the eyes of men or take on familiar forms. You ask the spirits to share this power to hide you from sight, and feel as if you are losing your identity while you do. Appeasements often include a pungent or sour bit of food, dousing a flame or offering up a faceless doll. While active, you get a bonus to Stealth, occasionally even muddling security devices around you and making you blur on cameras.

The Elemental Rebuke (2 dots) targets elemental spirits, channeling wind, lightning or fire into your body and hurling their energy at your foes. The physical effect varies by the nature of the spirit - you might suck breath from their lungs or overload the electronic impulses of their brain to cause stroke. Minor spirits quickly expend their energy from such overt displays and major ones are very hard to contain, so rather than a continual ride, the spirits either burn out fast or bob in and out to avoid permanent harm to you. It is distracting and reduces your Perception rolls, every turn after you use it, but you need only pay the appeasement and cost to use this rite once per scene. Common appeasements including doing a shot of 100-proof liquor, eating a bit of the spirit's element or loudly enumerating the magnificent qualities of the element. When the rite is used, it lets you launch an elemental attack on your target, doing lethal damage to them and sometimes stunning them.

Light as a Feather (2 dots) calls on spirits of air and birds to grant weightlessness. They can't give you flight, but can let you jump further or fall from great heights safely, as well as making it harder to hurt you rather than just pushing you around. While ridden this way, you feel happy, even giddy, and laugh often. This can be rather disturbing. Common appeasements include wold dancing, offering the blood of birds or leaping off buildings of two or more stories. While ridden, you get a massive bonus to jumping and take very, very little damage from any fall, no matter how far, and occasionally are able to zoom around the battlefield.

The Hands of Raphael (3 dots) derive from vodoun ritual calling on the spirit of Raphael via the Loas rather than bothering such a busy angel himself. When ridden by that spirit, your face takes on an angelic cast that makes even ugly people seem beautiful. After the spirit leaves you, you will remember a feeling of warmth as you performed healing. Werewoles and demons cannot abide you, however, and will target you first in a fight while you're being ridden. Another variant is an Inuit method involving communing with tribal totems to restore health and lost parts of the soul. Appeasements to Raphael include recitation of the Lord's Prayer repeatedly, consuming fish gallbladder, or facing east and tossing an offering of gold or emerald into a natural body of water. Appeasement of Inuit totems involves chanting in the shamanic tongue and certain behaviors during the healing, like not speaking certain words or referring to specific items by certain names. Either way, this is a longterm ritual that can cure any disease - even cancer or ebola or magical sicknesses, though it's very hard - or heal wounds. The problem? Well, wounds will spontaneously appear on your body. The longer you take, the more damage you suffer, with the type dependent on how potent the healing you're trying to do is. Wounds taking from curing sickness cannot be healed except by passage of time, and yes, you can die from the wounds you take, but you can choose to stop at any time, even if that means failing to cure a disease.

Spiritual Guidance (3 dots) calls on a spirit to assist at a job - a war-spirit to guide in abttle, an information-spirit for research, a car-spirit for driving. This makes you an instant expert in the field, but you become obsessive about that field, gaining a penalty to any action not directly related to the nature of the spirit riding you. Appeasements often include painting representations of the activity on your body in white, offering up a symbolic representation of the activity or singing and making music of some kind about the activity. Once the spirit joins you, it remains for 24 hours or until you forcibly kick it out, and it grants any one skill the rote action quality. This is incredibly powerful.

Next time: More Riding.

Littlefinger
Oct 13, 2012


Call me skeptical, but considering how he nerfed martial versatility while not only kept wizards complex but pushed out subclass after subclass for them when he took over the line, I think Mearls was one of those wizard supremacists Heinsoo became frustrated with during the 4e design process.

Then again, he did make Iron Heroes. :shrug:

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


LornMarkus posted:

Also, last I checked, got tired of fighting the designers on his own team who wholeheartedly believed Controllers should be better than the other archetypes simply because.


unseenlibrarian posted:

It was Heinsoo that mentioned folks kept trying to buff the wizard and he had to fight them back down. Mearls...well. *Eyes the Essentials mage vs. all the Essentials Martials*

No, Mearls was definitely the one who made controllers super powerful. Why else would EVERY SINGLE Essentials book have either a new wizard subclass or additional mage schools? And just look at 5e and it's caster/martial disparity now that Mearls has absolutely no opposition. And the latest Unearthed Arcana which can roughly be summed up as "ha ha gently caress you martials for having hit points."

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



unseenlibrarian posted:

It was Heinsoo that mentioned folks kept trying to buff the wizard and he had to fight them back down. Mearls...well. *Eyes the Essentials mage vs. all the Essentials Martials*

Yup, my apologies. I only recalled that there was somebody on the team for whom that was the problem not their actual name.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

They also have the Mark of the Beast - you see, Lucifer's power is far greater than any of his children, and the Lucifuge can call on that strength. It's not pleasant, but they can transform themselves, painfully, into immense demons. No two look the same or have the same features, but it's always bestial and demonic, and each hunter keeps the same one whenever they use this power. While transformed, they get boosted physical attributes, which ignore normal maximums, and may heal wounds of any type by spending 1 WP per wound, and get Armor 2/0. They cause terror in mortal witnesses, similar to Lunacy, and cannot remain long in this form. Any damage they suffer that exceeds their normal capacity does not carry over when they return to their normal form, but instead inflicts those wounds on the next person or thing they see before they fall unconscious. Any damage you cause in demonic form is always lethal unless it would be aggravated normally. After you revert, even if you don't immediately get knocked out from damage, you are exhausted and will be penalized until you get eight hours of sleep, as well as lessened resistance to degenerative insanity.

And there's Dante's Devil Trigger!
Why does it take 4 Dots to get that Acended Ones salve that slows down your perception of time and increases your combat effectiveness? There's cheaper ways to do that, if my experiments with Dark Souls are any indication.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




LornMarkus posted:

Also, last I checked, got tired of fighting the designers on his own team who wholeheartedly believed Controllers should be better than the other archetypes simply because.
Not only is Mearls firmly in the Magic Uber Alles camp, I don't see how there could be anyone for him to "get tired of fighting." The dev team underwent a lot of changes during 4e's lifespan and towards the end it was Mearls, Schwalb, Crawford, Slavizcek, and some inexperienced guys with only a few titles to their names and little or no experience working outside the D&D/D20 umbrella. I don't see those any of guys fighting against Mearls in the name of Wizard Supremacy.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



"Look I know you have to keep the war spirit within you satisfied but can you please stop reciting poetry about World War I? It's incredibly distracting and creepy."
"Over the top! The wire's thin here, unbarbed, plain rusty coils, not staked and low enough."
"Where did she even manage to find a gas mask?"
"I have no idea but I'm not sitting next to her on the ride back."

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


unseenlibrarian posted:

It was Heinsoo that mentioned folks kept trying to buff the wizard and he had to fight them back down. Mearls...well. *Eyes the Essentials mage vs. all the Essentials Martials*
What was Tweet doing during that time period between 3E and when he was fired if he was in anyway involved with 4th edition I could see him throwing a fit?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


MadScientistWorking posted:

What was Tweet doing during that time period between 3E and when he was fired if he was in anyway involved with 4th edition I could see him throwing a fit?

Mearls didn't take over until essentials, which was fairly late in 4e's lifecycle. Before that martials and casters were on much more even footing, and power sources were really more thematic than anything else.

pkfan2004 posted:

"Where did she even manage to find a gas mask?"
Spirits can enact physical changes, eh?

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Jun 10, 2015

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Thanks, gradenko, this is cool. I remember leafing through these preview booklets in Barnes & Noble.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Cythereal posted:

Both takes are valid, in my opinion. Every Hunter group is presented as morally ambiguous so you can use them as whole-hearted good guys or malicious bad guys as your story prefers.

Except for Ashwood Abbey. They're sorta more tolerable if seriously cut back on the rape and torture but I seriously would like to see the pitch for a coven of Abbey hunters who fit the bill of 'Whole-hearted good guys'.

I actually had to have PKFan explain to me -why- the Les Mysteries are so dangerous because I've never read Werewolf. Aside from the 'You're breaking SPIRIT LAW and a Woof is going to come gently caress you to death' part of spirit-pacts, I mean.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Kurieg posted:

Mearls didn't take over until essentials, which was fairly late in 4e's lifecycle. Before that martials and casters were on much more even footing, and power sources were really more thematic than anything else.

Yeah but Im talking about the pushback from other designers into making the Wizard overpowered. I didn't realize Tweet was still working at WoTC during 4E development and well he's definitely an out and out grognard when it comes to that sort of thing.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

I don't think Tweet was working on D&D directly at that point- he was part of the 'minis' team from when they were still trying to do a D&D miniatures game.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Crasical posted:

Except for Ashwood Abbey. They're sorta more tolerable if seriously cut back on the rape and torture but I seriously would like to see the pitch for a coven of Abbey hunters who fit the bill of 'Whole-hearted good guys'.

I actually had to have PKFan explain to me -why- the Les Mysteries are so dangerous because I've never read Werewolf. Aside from the 'You're breaking SPIRIT LAW and a Woof is going to come gently caress you to death' part of spirit-pacts, I mean.

If you're doing a particularly light-hearted story, make a coven of Hunters who start out as the bored and rich, but learn that what they're doing (while still incredibly exciting) has real meaning and find a purpose in the Vigil. Sort of the Feng Shui/Thrill Seeking Action Hero path.

And definitely toss the rape and torture if you're going that route.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Spirit Slayers

The Clinging Leech (4 dots) calls on spirits like leech spirits or blood spirits - things that hunger for blood and life from the living. They might be seen as evil, but Les Mysteres know it's just their nature - their hunger is no more evil than the need for a pain spirit to cause pain or a joy spirit to cause happiness. However, while ridden by these spirits, they do suffer terrible hunger pangs that can never be silenced no matter what you eat. Common appeasements include eating large amounts of anything, spilling your own blood or sacrificing a living small animal. While ridden, you can leech health from those you grapple with, healing your own wounds and harming your foes. However, the spirit won't leave your body until you gorge yourself to near sickness on food and drink.

Voodoo Doll (4 dots) is, you know, a horror movie staple. They're not actually very common in vodoun, and they don't always use an actual doll - the sangomas of West Africa prefer a monkey's paw, for example. Common appeasements to create these tools include burning an effigy of your victim, driving pins into your own body or wearing clothes owned by the target. You create a sympathetic connection to the target, requiring a bit of their blood, hair or other body part, or using their true name and a picture. After that, you shove a spirit into the doll and your body at once. If you use the doll for reinforcing positive aspects, you need a spirit of love, happiness or so on. For negative aspects or to cause harm, you want anger, pain and so on. The number and location of the pins in the doll tell the spirit what to do, with more pins in one place causing greater effects...except one. The most potent effect is just one pin in th eheart. The spirit is then released to go dleiver the blessing or curse, but you can't target yourself. A single pin in the extremity gives a minor blessing or curse to many skills for a few hours, or deals a single point of Bashing. Multiple pins in the extremities plus one in the head gives 8-again to any one task or makes 8s no longer successes on any one task, or deals one point of lethal damage. A single pin in the heart gives both blessings and also heals a wound or restores willpower, or gives both curses and drains a point of willpower or one agg. Also, curses will come back to bite you - at some point, you will have bad luck based on however many curses you cast.

Deny the Moon (5 dots) is a way to oppose the moon-spirit that, for no reason Les Mysteres can fathom, favors werewolves. You have to call on the spirits that are willing and strong enough to face the moon in order to hide werewolves from her sight, and while ridden by them, you feel dispassionate, unable to regain Willpower via Virtue or Vice. Appeasements include breaking a used hunting bow, sacrificing a dog or wolf, or mixing molten silver with mud. You must also beat drums covered in black velvet and pour rum on a fire. Once this is done, any time you witness a werewolf using one of their powers, you see a silvery tattoo glow on them, and you may reach out to erase the tattoo, negating the power and preventing the power from being used again. Of course, this does mean you have to touch the werewolf.

Wearing the Baron's Hat (5 dots) calls on the Loa Baron Samedi, most of the time. He stands at the crossroads of life and death, and he can be a smooth, humorous Loa or a wicked, wrathful one. It is his wrath that you call on here, and anyone ridden by the Baron cannot help being rude and cynical, getting a penalty to social rolls. The Siberian Nganasan shamans, however, get the same effect by calling on polar bear spirits (and the same penalty by acting like polar bears). Common appeasements include burning expensive cigars, drinking rum or digging up buried or interred skulls. While the Baron rides you, you get a big boost to Defense, Initiative and extra Health, plus any attacks you make are rolled twice, taking the better result. Of course, Baron Samedi is a very busy spirit, so trying to use this multiple times in the same period is penalized.

We then get some discussion of werewolves and their powers. They get five forms - man, near-man (big nasty Cro-Magnon-y person with super senses), bestial hybrid (wolfman monster), Near-Wolf (Giant-rear end wolf) and Wolf. They heal super fast in all forms, but take aggravated damage from silver weapons. They are prone to going mad with rage when hurt significantly and immediately going into bestial hybrid form to murder anyone nearby. They fuel their powers with spiritual Essence. There are other kinds of shapeshifter - the Skinchanger, who needs a physical token to transform and are significantly weaker than most other werewolves, and other shapeshifters that aren't wolves. Typically, non-wolf guys only have Bestial Hybrid and an animal form on top of the human one, but are otherwise identical, if rarely with the same spread of powers. Werewolves in their hybrid forms trigger Lunacy, a sort of primal fear response that penalizes the actions of those who see them, except for running the gently caress away. Their powers are generally highly specific - a werewolf who can turn off light sources, say, or can see through the windows of buildings as if they were eyes. We also get a general reprint of spirit rules, such as are found all over nWoD.

From there, it's essays on what werewolves are like. They are monsters of the wild, predators that stalk people and animals. It discusses werewolf symbolism and folklore, and why rage is so consistent to them. It also talks about the parallels between a werewolf pack's cooperative tactics and a hunter cell's. It discusses various rules werewolves play symbolically - as the intruder in a xenophic society, for example, or the incarnation of nature's wrath. It talks about the various ways werewolves can happen - infection, whether STD or curse or disease, say. Genetics, as with the Forsaken. Devil's bargain. Some werewolves might even be wolves that become human because of, say, a possessing ghost or a ritual gone wrong. It discusses what may happen to a werewolf's mind while transformed, and the methods by which folklore says werewolves can be killed. Silver, sure, but some say you need three drops of werewolf blood to cure them, or that wolfsbane repels and poisons them, or that a piece of pure iron will reveal a werewolf if thrown over their head. There are discussions of potential werewolf alliances, the hyperactive metabolism of werewolves and a rough look at Forsaken society and internal warfare, as well as a look at spirits and their connections to werewolves. Most spirits want to enter the physical world but many lack the ability and werewolves try to stop them when they can.

From there, it's back to Philly. Interesting stuff, and we get a new relic: The Box of the Treaty Elm (4 dots). Its location has been lost to time, but it dates back to an old treaty between hunters and werewolves. No one's sure hwich side took charge fo guarding it, but the rule was, no hunter would kill a werewolf or their kin except in defense of their own life, and no werewolf would harm a human unless they were adirect danger to the spiritual climate of Philadelphia and peaceful efforts had failed. The box is certainly still within the city, however, and what it does is make oaths sworn on it completely binding. All parties who want to make the oath choose a representative, and each must exert an effort of will and give a token representing their faction, something of importance, value and significance, and something that can fit in the box - about one foot by six inches by six inches. The pact is agreed to and the tokens are put in the box. Once they're all in there, each side swears while touching the box. The offerings then vanish and the oath is made binding. Anyone who betrays any part of the treaty causes everyone on their side to lose all Willpower and suffer a penalty when acting or defending against the other faction, provided that side did not break the oath. In addition, the oathbreaker goes insane.

(No, the peace between Hunter and Werewolf didn't actually last, both sides broke the Oath in the mid-30s.)

The End.

I will not talk about Block By Bloody Block much - it's a campaign setting/territory-grabbing game guide, with some new Tactics and poo poo. I'll note the interesting new Endowments, though.

The Biliary Tree of the Cynocephali (3 dots) is a Cheiron replacement of the bile system - liver, ducts, canals. Cheiron pretends it can only come from the extinct dog-headed cynocephali, but works just fine with the parts of any shapeshifter, and possibly some Ascended Ones. Anyone with the implant processes toxins exceptionally well, weakening any poison they consume to the point of, often, making them inert. Also, they get a resistance to disease. Any time they run into a new toxin or disease, their flesh becomes jaundiced for twelve hours, plus they need to take an expensive pill twice a day to avoid taking damage from intense bile upsurges in the esophagus.

So, next time: Compacts and Conspiracies.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


unseenlibrarian posted:

I don't think Tweet was working on D&D directly at that point- he was part of the 'minis' team from when they were still trying to do a D&D miniatures game.

Well at the time Tweet was fired, Wizards were king poo poo of controller hill, mostly because they were the only controller. But the strongest class (at that point) was probably the twin strike ranger. Later controllers, particularly the Invoker and Psion, were more powerful than the wizard in some areas, but the wizard was the most versatile, and every class maintained the AEUDs structure.

Then Mearls got full creative control, Essentials came out, and the Wizard was the only controller again, and basically king poo poo of AEUD mountain. Martials no longer got at will attacks, or dalies, instead getting a bunch of stances and riders on their melee/ranged basic attack. The paladin and Warlock were turned into a sort-of martial, but at least had unique At-Wills and access to dalies. The Druid and Cleric variants were leader classes that made a single choice at first level that dictated almost every other choice in their career except for sometimes they got to pick which daily they got that level.

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Kurieg posted:


Spirits can enact physical changes, eh?



Got it in one.

They're usually either more subtle or more horrifying than that, though. Definitely more abstract, normally (in WOD: Spirits, there's a crazy anti-vaxxer Claimed by a medicine-spirit of some sort, and he looks a lot like a surgeon in work gear at a passing glance...then you look closer, and see the "mask" and "gloves" are actually part of his skin..).

Serf
May 5, 2011




Kurieg posted:

Well at the time Tweet was fired, Wizards were king poo poo of controller hill, mostly because they were the only controller. But the strongest class (at that point) was probably the twin strike ranger. Later controllers, particularly the Invoker and Psion, were more powerful than the wizard in some areas, but the wizard was the most versatile, and every class maintained the AEUDs structure.

Then Mearls got full creative control, Essentials came out, and the Wizard was the only controller again, and basically king poo poo of AEUD mountain. Martials no longer got at will attacks, or dalies, instead getting a bunch of stances and riders on their melee/ranged basic attack. The paladin and Warlock were turned into a sort-of martial, but at least had unique At-Wills and access to dalies. The Druid and Cleric variants were leader classes that made a single choice at first level that dictated almost every other choice in their career except for sometimes they got to pick which daily they got that level.

This pretty much sums up why, after buying Essentials, I looked it over and put it on the shelf never to be touched again. My Fighter player was curious one day, looked through it and tossed it at the trash can. He missed, but from then on the trash can was set atop Essentials and we never spoke of it again. I can't bear to throw it away as it is a book and I did buy it, but what a heaping pile of crap.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Kurieg posted:

Then Mearls got full creative control, Essentials came out, and the Wizard was the only controller again, and basically king poo poo of AEUD mountain. Martials no longer got at will attacks, or dalies, instead getting a bunch of stances and riders on their melee/ranged basic attack.

What a difference two years makes:

quote:

"If you look at the Fighter and the way he works in D&D Essentials, we removed the Daily powers to get more of a sense that 'fighters and wizards should look really different,' because that's how D&D originally approached it," Mearls said. "I remember playing the Wizard way back in Basic D&D, where you had one spell and you had four hit points, if you were lucky, and you needed the Fighter to protect you. That's a much different playing experience than when you are playing the Fighter, where you're in the front line, you're taking all the risks, you're charging into combat. The game you played was different. The way I like to design things - especially in RPGs - is all about that feeling, that when you approach the game, you're approaching it the way your character would. You're thinking like a Fighter; you're thinking like a Wizard."

Kobold eBooks
Mar 5, 2007

EVERY MORNING I WAKE UP AN OPEN PALM SLAM A CARTRIDGE IN THE SUPER FAMICOM. ITS E-ZEAO AND RIGHT THEN AND THERE I START DOING THE MOVES ALONGSIDE THE MAIN CHARACTER, CORPORAL FALCOM.

The more I hear and read about Mearls, the angrier I get at him for all my woes DMing 5e.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Serf posted:

This pretty much sums up why, after buying Essentials, I looked it over and put it on the shelf never to be touched again. My Fighter player was curious one day, looked through it and tossed it at the trash can. He missed, but from then on the trash can was set atop Essentials and we never spoke of it again. I can't bear to throw it away as it is a book and I did buy it, but what a heaping pile of crap.
The two things I liked that came out of Essentials was the Controller Ranger and the Hexblade. But the Hexblade became a poster boy for how they didn't give two shits about supporting the online character builder anymore. (The Hexblade's key power, that let his implement manifest a magical sword, was something that the builder really couldn't handle.)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Erebro posted:

Got it in one.

They're usually either more subtle or more horrifying than that, though. Definitely more abstract, normally (in WOD: Spirits, there's a crazy anti-vaxxer Claimed by a medicine-spirit of some sort, and he looks a lot like a surgeon in work gear at a passing glance...then you look closer, and see the "mask" and "gloves" are actually part of his skin..).

Oh no, I know all about claimed, I was just finishing your joke for you :shobon:

nWoD spirits are way more fun than oWoD spirits, because you can do things like have a car spirit that got separated from it's earthly body when it was destroyed, and survived by consuming animal spirits, turning into this horrible dog-cat with four doors and windows that you can see organs through.

bathroomrage posted:

The more I hear and read about Mearls, the angrier I get at him for all my woes DMing 5e.

The touchstone for most of the essentials books were "Wow, this sounds absolutely amazing, shame it sucks".

The druid leader variant, got a pet animal, and buffed people who were standing near it's animal companion, but got no actual enabling abilities, or ability to debuff their opponents, and was still limited by the S/Mo/Mi action economy so having a pet bear really didn't do much for them. They got some neat buff spells in their utilities, but they were better suited on other versions of the druid, or poached by other classes with feat cheese.

The Hexblade warlock was super flavorful, it made a pact with an otherworldly entity that allowed them to summon a sword made of pure magic that allowed them to do all sorts of things. At some point in the Hexblade's development it had a multiclass feat that allowed you to get access to Hexblade swords. Then WOTC realized that robbed of it's only unique feature it actually kind of sucked.. so the hexblade is now one of the few classes you can't hybrid or multiclass into.

The Vampire is, well, a vampire. What more can be said, it's also a completely terrible mess of a class where all of your decisions are made for you.

And now in 5e if your power source isn't Arcane you're the bog standard version of your class that you were in 3.5 and you will like it.

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hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Kurieg posted:

... and power sources were really more thematic than anything else.

This is where my biggest problem with 4e was - your class was pretty much entirely about your role in combat, rather than what you had learned to do. In 5e, being a fighter means that you're good with weapons - you might be a lightly armoured fighter who focuses on doing large amounts of damage with finesse weapons, or a heavily armoured fighter who focuses on hitting things in the face with two handed weapons, and making themselves enough of a threat to be worth focusing on, or even an archer who focuses on turning enemies into pincushions from distances outside of normal spellcasting range. Outside of combat, you could be good at many things - you could be from a Criminal background, making you the next best thing to a Rogue for dealing with locked doors and traps; your could be a Sage, and be really good at knowledge checks. With the right background, you could even be the face of the party. In 4e, being a fighter means that your job in combat is to stand there in heavy armour and be hit in the face, and your job outside of combat is to stand there and look mean or do the heavy lifting.

Please note, I'm not saying that 4e is a bad game - its primary focus was on providing a balanced, team based combat system in which all party members are equally important, and that is where it excelled. I've had a lot of fun with it, and I actually think that the feat based multi-classing was the best implementation of multi-classing I've seen in D&D. I'm just pointing out that the main thing that made the combat so well balanced (the rigid class structure) had drawbacks of its own.

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