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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Plague of Hats posted:

This problem contributes to it being a little hard to really see what you're supposed to be doing with mummies other than "wake up, get Relic, go back to sleep, maybe fight a nega-mummy somewhere in there." The splat spreads in particular, that should be solid, clear archetypes that new players can grab onto and fly away with, are just dense blocks of text drowning in metaphor.

Part of the problem is that one of the things the game absolutely wants you to do, although it doesn't actually say so, is actively work towards no longer being a mummy. Arisen don't have an arc outside of that that's really sustainable.

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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



FMguru posted:

I imagine a lot of pornomancers get into the field because it seems so appealing on the surface: have crazy sex all the time and get magical reality-warping powers? Sign me up! It's only once they're in that the emotional downside becomes clear and by then it's too late: they're hooked on the power and obsessed with the practice.

Well, a lot of them also become pornomancers because if you watch the Naked Goddess tape you automatically convert to the religion/cult/whatever it is. Some people just fall deeper into the well than others.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


FMguru posted:

The difference between pornomancers and porn stars is that porn stars can walk off the set and have a full-spectrum emotional life: go on dates, have passionate affairs, fall in love, and all that. Pornomancers can't. It's all about the endless pursuit of rote, formulaic, joyless sex and they can never form an emotional connection to anyone lest they lose all their power.

I imagine a lot of pornomancers get into the field because it seems so appealing on the surface: have crazy sex all the time and get magical reality-warping powers? Sign me up! It's only once they're in that the emotional downside becomes clear and by then it's too late: they're hooked on the power and obsessed with the practice.

Sounds a bit like actual nymphomania where sex isn't necessarily for pleasure, but just to fill that itch and ease the anxiety from not doing it.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Plague of Hats posted:

I'm not LO but I can play one on TV: The core book is probably the worst-written of the line. It is jam-packed with foggy marshes of text columns that could say the same thing in just a handful of paragraphs. Lots of information is split up very poorly across the book. Go here to learn that you can use Sekhem to detect Relics, oh, but wait, go here to actually read the rules about it, oh and then later here are some special exceptions in some other loving part of the book.

A lot of rules, as I think Plague has said, are massively fiddly too. Like, most of mummies' passive Affinity powers are literally bullet point lists of several different things the Affinity does for you, and they're often not short bullet points. Character creation actually kind of manages to reproduce the BP/XP problem from Exalted, in that starting with chargen dots plus normal XP to spend is not an optional rule for more experienced characters but a universal thing, and there are certain trait minimums you have to leave chargen with, but you're not just given them, you have to figure out how to distribute your chargen dots and XP to meet them, and your five Pillar traits (oWoD style both-MP-and-power-trait, sort of like extra Willpower ratings for mummy magic) have special rules on how low you can start them with and how high you can raise them relative to each other and aaaaaaaghh. It's a trend that suffuses the corebook and the gameline in general.

My favorite frustration about the editorial layout of Mummy: the Curse is that the Decree splat splashes, you know, where it has the name of the character type in big letters at the top and a couple summarizing pages? They don't have the name of the Decree at the top. Each Decree is named after a totemic animal, so Falcon-Headed, Serpent-Headed, etc., and instead of names you can read at a glance, they just have a small picture of a bust of the animal in the middle of the top of the page.

It's frustrating, because it does some cool conceptual stuff with the "power stat" structure of nWoD, and I'm into the shadow prehistory of the Nameless Empire, but all this poo poo can easily get in the way.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

CommissarMega posted:

Depends really; from what the Ask a Pornographer thread in A/T says, some are like that- it's a joyless job, but for others, it's the greatest job ever. Depends on your mindset, I suppose.

It's also kind of a job requirement for still-working porn stars to talk up the industry in public, especially the women. Which isn't to say that all pro-porn discussions are invalid, certainly not, but you can't expect great candor from public personas.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Mortal Remains

The Faithful of Shulpae claim that as long as there have be humans, there have been gods to worship, and as long as there have been gods, they have been the followers of those gods. The first time gods took on a humanoid form and walked the earth, the Faithful were there to Feast. Their rites are passed on secretly, by verbal tradition, and there are few written records. Shulpae, the god they take their name from, is barely a historical curiosity. If they were not forced to do so, they would leave no trace of themselves whatsoever. But they exist, hunting and collected embodied gods for their Feasts. They don't think of it is abominable or profane, or even cannibalism. Humans do cannibalism to each other. They eat gods, devouring sacred flesh to unite with their deities in apotheosis. It is a holy act, no different than taking the Eucharist. Their rituals are worship, and as proof, they gain the power of the gods they commune with and consume.

The Faithful do not believe themselves to be hunting mummies or other long-lived monsters, like vampires or Prometheans. Their traditions are largely handed down along family lines, though once in aw hiel, a stranger stumbles onto their private rituals and doesn't flee in terror. They will often be welcomed to join the Feast, out of a belief that these people are drawn by fate, much as the Faithful are drawn to the gods who walk among them, unaware of their true natures. They may not understand mummies on a practical level, but they're very good at spotting them by the activity that inevitably surrounds them. In all likelihood, most mummies that meet them do not remember them at all from one life to the next - if they did, the Faithful would be hunted down to the last man. The Faithful do, however, have an intimate knowledge of what mummies can do, because they steal those powers by devouring their mummy-gods. Capturing a mummy requires understanding it, as well as, often, hitting with a truck or other large, blunt object until it stops moving. Once you manage that, it's a top priority to get the body to the local temple for the Feast - you want to chow down before the critter gets up again.

The Keepers are those of the Faithful who maintain the temples, and so they often have a lot of power within the conspiracy. They watch over the 'slumbering' gods between Feasts, maintain a calendar of Feasting and decide who gets to eat. They also often take small, personal Feasts in cases when the gods seem to be waking too quickly. The ?Keepers are a secret weapon against any that would try to destroy the temples - no one expects an old woman with a broom to have such immense divine power. The Guides, on the other hand, are recruiters. They are charming, friendly and watch for their gods and prospective members among mortals. They rarely explain what the Feast entails to new recruits - it's better that way. The Celebrants are those who partake most often, because it is their duty to risk life and limb to bring the gods to the temple. They are not all that great at the job, but any of them that dies in the line of duty is recorded forever to be remembered by generatons to come, and those who take the greatest risks eat first at the Feast.

Status in the Faithful of Shulpae is tied to how much you contribute to a Feast, and how often you partake of them. It grants access to the gods and the temples in which they are so messily worshipped. At one dot, you are an initiate, able to learn the Anthropophagy merit. At 3 dots, you are given a temple to watch over, in which gods are consumed. You get two dots to divide up as you like on Safehouse merits. At five dots, you have partaken of enough divine flesh that you manifest strange powers all your own, gaining four dots to spend on any supernatural merits you want.

Stereotypes posted:

The Lucifuge: Could you imagine being the child of a god and regard your lineage with shame? Oh, who cares about the politics and ethics of the god who spawned you! What matters is your closeness to the divine!
Malleus Maleficarum: They eat the flesh of pagan gods and think it's the only way to worship; they drink blood and would call what we do savage. Perhaps that is because they've never seen their god's face, and we know our god by name, and intimately.
The Cheiron Group: Make no mistake, what they do is blasphemy. You could argue the similarity of their actions to ours, and find yourself out on the street without a temple to call your own. If you see these butchers, kill them without mercy. Take any god they have captured back to safety.

The Anthropophagy endowment is...well, it is the mystic ability to absorb the immortality and abilities of the monsters that you eat. You must eat pounds of flesh - raw flesh - equal to the power (in dots) of whatever ability you want to acquire, and you have to eat it all at once. The creature need not be dead yet when you eat, though it often is. More than one person can feed off a body, but each power can only go to one person, and there needs to be enough meat for everyone. Damage to the body can reduce how many pounds of flesh are edible. And for every pound over your Stamina, you take damage, because the human body wasn't meant to process that much raw flesh. You may at any time reflexively abandon any power you have, and you can have up to (Anthropophagy) dots of powers, divided as you like, plus Revivify dots equal to your Anthropophagy, which slows your aging. Note that killing and eating people is not good for your sanity at all.

And this is what I meant when I said the Mummy developer didn't like people on his turf. Once this came out, he made a point of saying it totally wouldn't work and that's not how Mummies work at all and you can't eat them to gain their power even if you are a mystical cult of monster-eaters, and this was important.

Anyway, we also get Doctor Jess Jones, a rather potent mummy who is genderfluid and remembers having been a servant to Egyptian nobility before their death. Jess collects artifacts and history in order to try to remember their history. There is not much else to say about Jess other than that Jess is a decent person.

Next time: THEY LIVE AMONG US

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005
The Biden administration is actively fighting to withhold COVID vaccinations from our child concentration camps and pointing out that somebody used the word "democrat" as an adjective will not make that fact go away

RE: Alignments in Nightspawn/Nightbane, I remember the codes of conduct being weirdly restrictive on behavior even for alignment systems. Like, I was trying to create my character as an ambivalent pothead teenager; mostly just uninterested and selfish but not Disney Evil or anything. The GM and I basically went back-and-forth before mostly giving up on where that'd place me.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Xelkelvos posted:

Sounds a bit like actual nymphomania where sex isn't necessarily for pleasure, but just to fill that itch and ease the anxiety from not doing it.

Basically. A very large segment of adepts could be defined as addictions/compulsive behaviors turned into magic:

Bibliomancy= a very specific form of hoarding
Dipsomancy= obvious
Entropomancy= adrenaline junkie.
Epideromancy= cutting
Narco-alchemist= also obvious
Personamancer= compulsive lying
Plutomancy= addiction to money/wealth.
Pornomancy= sex addiction
Videomancer= TV addiction.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

AmiYumi posted:

RE: Alignments in Nightspawn/Nightbane, I remember the codes of conduct being weirdly restrictive on behavior even for alignment systems. Like, I was trying to create my character as an ambivalent pothead teenager; mostly just uninterested and selfish but not Disney Evil or anything. The GM and I basically went back-and-forth before mostly giving up on where that'd place me.

They are fairly restrictive in that way, but I find most prescriptive morality systems in games to be pretty unrealistic/restrictive--Humanity et alles. Even with that, Palladium tries to have three differently-shaded types of 'evil' and then just heads straight to Diabolic/sadist/loves to torture and kill on 90% of their villains, giving them no nuance at all.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


oriongates posted:

Basically. A very large segment of adepts could be defined as addictions/compulsive behaviors turned into magic:

Obsessions, even.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





LatwPIAT posted:

I'm guessing they're taking "anarchist" to mean "disregard for the implicit rules of society" rather than "believing that society without government is both possible and desirable" - the former being a stereotype of the latter.
Yeah it seems clear to be the former. I imagine a political anarchist could be Good quite easily; these are more about personal ethics and interface with 'the greater environment of society' than an entire personality valence opposed specifically to modern state authority.

AmiYumi posted:

RE: Alignments in Nightspawn/Nightbane, I remember the codes of conduct being weirdly restrictive on behavior even for alignment systems. Like, I was trying to create my character as an ambivalent pothead teenager; mostly just uninterested and selfish but not Disney Evil or anything. The GM and I basically went back-and-forth before mostly giving up on where that'd place me.
I think Simbieda or whoever wrote that chunk had the insight that alignment should actually directly affect how your character interacts with the game world, which is why so many of the stated 'tenets' are about things that will specifically probably come up in an adventure - "Will you torture a captive?" "Will you HELP the cop, IGNORE the cop, BERATE the cop or SHOOT the cop?". However, as a result it gets real rigid, because it is in fact tailored to behavior in an adventure-module scenario.

I have no idea how deep your investment in the character being "ambivalent" was, but it sounds like either unprincipled or anarchist would've made sense, depending basically on personal taste. Whatever you'd like.



Nessus fucked around with this message at 20:14 on Jun 18, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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2014-2018



Mortal Remains

Demons live among us. They do everything we do - and they lie. They lie a lot. Everything about a demon is a lie. Their identities are stolen, their histories fake, the displays of their emotions all a facade, all pre-calculated. They are exactly what you think they are - intruders, bargain-makers, fallen angels who take over weak souls. But there's more than that. Demons are infiltrators, hiding in stolen bodies, wearing stolen lives, possessing entire structures. Anyone you know could be a demon.

Hunters know lesser demons, often by diminutives names. Imps, familiars, whisperers. They rarely have bodies of their own. They might wear mortal vessels or be imps with teeth of grinding gears. They can be found in lore, but are often overlooked. They all share one trait: they feed on vice. They want you to indulge your vice, insofar as the word 'want' really applies. Voyeurs do want it. Voyeurs are a type of demon that attaches itself to a human soul, to enjoy the thrills of the victim's mind as it destroys itself. They rarely force their hosts to do anything - they just suggest. Voyeurs lack any physical form, but some can see them as strange mechanisms lurking in the hearts or brains of their victims. They suggest, and suggest, and suggest, slowly and steadily, until at least the victim snaps and gives into their vice. Or the demon's. Or both at once. That feeds the demon. They can corrupt mortals who are innocent of any vice the demon shares, but they more often select victims who already share some of their predilections or are in a place to fulfill them.

Imps, on the other hand, are invisible lurkers in physical form. They seem to have been created to do one thing - one specific change - but somehow got disconnected from whatever spawned them, and now try to perform that task over and over. They don't really have desires so much as routines. They stalk victims, pushing them at their most vulnerable moments. Sometimes they obsess over a specific person, but their behavior isn't really emotional. They're just...stuck in a rut, really. They don't need to do what they do - they just do it. It's just what they do. They can possess people, but usually don't. This is because they do not desire to commit acts, but rather to incite them. They don't feed on cowardice - they feed on inciting fear. They don't feed on arrogance, but on causing hubris. The net effect is similar, but their influence is generally physical rather than mental. Their physical forms are appropriate to the vice they cause - a demon that causes lust might be a little black book, one that causes terror might be a black-eyed child with limbs that bend wrong and occasionally reveal internal pistons. They push, rather than tempting, and they aren't really deep cover infiltrators. They just show up, fulfill their imperative and leave again.

Devourers, on the gripping hand, want it all. They want the thrill of living, the thrill of being in a mortal body. They appear, to metaphysical senses, as a kind of phospherescent circuit lattice beneath the host's skin and a golden fire in their eyes. They don't push or tempt - they just take over and act. They are blunt instruments, often deadly ones. Outside a host, they often appear as a black mist which enters the host's body and takes it over like a puppeteer. All devourers have one goal: feel. Eat, drink, feel. They are gluttons, impulsively doing terrible things to savor the sensations. They perform crimes of strange passions, but also tend to odd ritualistic behaviors indicating some original purpose they have not quite abandoned. Devourers, each and every one, can consume human flesh and blood to empower and heal themselves. They are, at least, relatively easy to remove. No ritual - just mortify the flesh. They enjoy pain, certainly, but overloading them will drive them into ecstasy, making them unable to contain themselves in the host. They flow forth in their native form, rarely able to pull themselves together to possess another host soon. The host you beat up will be unconscious and dying, sure, but they can be stabilized.

As for greater demons? They're the ones who steal identities. They don't possess bodies here and there - they offer you a bargain and take your life when the catch comes in. They're everywhere, with strange agendas. Sometimes, they claim to be working for the greater good. They rarely, however, care about who gets in the way. They are near-perfect liars, but their stories do have common threads. The human world serves the will of the demiurge, a machine that has made Earth part of its mechanism. Many mortals serve it without ever realizing. Demons served knowingly, exulting in their divine purpose. Some say they moved among humans, carrying them closer to an apotheosis of smoke and steel. Others say the great work is over now - the world is a prison, flesh a cage to trap mortals. They want to find a Hell free of their god's influence. But if service was so glorious, why did they forsake it? Some speak of war for liberty, others of quiet falls, where they learned to appreciate the world beyond its expression of the demiurge's purpose, to love humanity for its own sake.

When asked about Hell, demons generally laugh. Hell is a place to rule. Hell may even be Earth. Hell, say the Catholics, is alienation from God - and what better thing could there be, ask the demons? They're not at war with Heaven, if you ask...and if they're willing to talk, which is rare. They may have legends of some mass insurrection in the past, but it was long ago, if it ever happened at all. Rather, demons are reality terrorists, trying to decipher and destroy the demiurge's works for a greater tomorrow. They will do anything to harm the demiurge and they want your help. Still, demons are strange when they don't need humans. They tear down institutions and build their own, and just seem to enjoy the profits. Maybe they don't want to change the world. Maybe there is no insurgency. Maybe this is Hell.

Demons are dealmakers. They can offer you anything, for part of your soul. They don't actually care about your soul, mind you. It's just the key to your identity, which is what they actually want. They covet the things that make you a person. At the easiest level, it seems harmless. Transactional, even. You want a promotion, and they'll give it to you. All they want is an old college friend. You haven't even spoken to them in years, you're only aware of them vaguely posting Tea Party rhetoric on Facebook. So you accept. But it's not enough - you're not happy, you still can't afford the life your family deserves. Not on your income, not with twins on the way. So the demon offers you more wealth. All it wants is your ex-girlfriend. She was an addict, anyway. You're better off without her, right? But when that's not enough, when the money hasn't given you any peace of mind at all...that's when the demon offers you the best deal. Oblivion. No suicide, no Hell, they promise. They'll take your soul away, that's all, keep it safe and sound and not harm it at all. And all you have to do is life your life better, with the demon behind you every step of the way. They'll give you everything you ever wanted, one last chance at happiness - and then a nice, clean break. And the best part? The worst part? It's true. Every word is true. They want a mortal life, and once they have it, they'll treat it like it was made of gold. Loved ones will be cared for. If the demon loves them less, they'll never know. If the demon is angry, they'll never show it. A real father might get depressed, but a demon never will. They'll keep up every obligation. They have to. It's part of the contract. So why don't you just sign, you sad motherfucker?

There are several kinds of greater demon. The Cryptics seem the least dangerous - they hunt for secrets, they study the world and its workings much as some hunters do. They want to know why strange things happen, and might even help you stop bad things. They'll negotiate with you for secrets, and they won't even bother forcing a soul pact on you - just a mundane deal. Be careful, though. They hate nothing more than leaving something undiscovered. Everything, everyone, for them, are tools. Libertines, on the other hand, want to have fun with the world. They're most likely to make minor pacts, stealing the nice and entertaining parts of lives for themselves. They run the secret clubs, control the secret orgy cults, start the new religions. If the mortal world must be a prison, why not remake it right under God's nose? They might be interested in helping a hunter - perhaps too interested. They tend to be wealthy and very helpful, if they think you'll be fun or rewarding...but they're dangerous, because their goal is just, well, fun. You might disrupt their operations, or those of the demiruge. They don't want that - they want to coopt God's operations, corrupt them. And any mortal that catches their eye, of course. And Demolishers? They're your most obvious ally, because what they want is to tear down the demiurge. They hate the status quo of reality, and they like violent hunters as allies. They're willing to use their magic to aid you, and they're exceptional at fighting and turning power against your foes. But they don't stop, ever. Reality is their enemy. They can make good arguments about why, and will offer you power to help them. They can give you what you need. But the price is high. How high is too high? What won't you do to change the world?

Once in a while, demons will show their true forms. Sometimes they're what you expect - a red-skinned thing out of a medieval painting. Other times, they're strange biomechanical horrors. Whatever the case, they are things that should not be, but they claim their forms were given to them by God. They can, at will, enter this Apocalyptic Form and gain access to many new powers until they revert back to their human disguises. All greater demons are also perfect liars. You can never tell when a demon is lying, not unless it wants you to or you catch it in an outright contradiction of fact. None of its tells will betray it, and it has complete control over all emotional expressions. They may or not possess true emotion. They do have perfect memories - anything they have ever seen, heard or done, they remember. Every detail. They can speak any living language, and often several dead ones. They seem to have unnaturally good luck, always getting what they need when they need it or keeping you from getting what you want.

The greatest lie a demon has is its Cover, the stolen life it wears like a cloak. It's more than physical - it comes with relationships. They don't wreck marriages - they steal them outright, and everyone remembers it like they always had it. When a demon bargains for a soul, this is what they're taking. Your life, not just your body. They can even use this power to produce items that fit the person they appear to be - a cop could just pull out a badge and gun, for example. They can also counter attempts to reveal them as anything but human. Some demons have only Partial Cover, however. They can take parts of your life, but not the whole of it. Anyone beyond immediate relationships can notice discrepancies in the story, though if the demon is aware it can paper over those with magic. But that means it has to be aware of it. And there's always one fiendish flaw, one bit of supernatural evidence that the demon can't hide. Maybe they have a glowing glyph tattoo that shows through any clothing. Maybe they drink battery acid and need it as if it were food. Maybe they can't shake hands except with their left. Maybe they speak in rhyme or cause static on TVs around them.

Some demons aren't people. They aren't one face - they're many. They don't live an apartment - they're the building. They don't corrupt a stockbroker - they're the brokerage. These are institutional demons. You can't kill them, but you can diminish their influence. They don't possess, but they mastermind grand processes. Their nature is an enigma. They may be fallen creatures that oppose the demiurge, like greater demons, or perhaps they're broken processes of creation. Some work to preserve the status quo, while others seem to be changing things. However, no matter what, they are making the world just a little bit worse, every time they succeed. They care only about their own survival, at any cost. Like greater demons, they have purposes. The Cryptics gather intelligence, tracking people and what they do, exploiting that information for strange purposes. Libertines exploit entertainment - movie studios, casinos, liqour stores - to manipulate society for some reason. And demolishers? They are institutions that crush society. They may seem useful, but their only true goal is to oppress and destroy.

Institutional demons are both the establishment and the fear of it. They are more like spirits than people, but often have immense influence over actual people. They are wrapped in layers of Cover, allowing them to give human agents some of the benefits greater demons can call on. The agents rarely notice they're being helped - they just assume they had what they needed all along, or always knew the person they had to talk to. They can't make pacts for themselves, but can make pacts to grant parts of your life to their human agents instead, though it often causes those agents to suffer identity crises.

Good news? Institutional demons aren't wholly spiritual. All of them require some sort of physical infrastructure that serves as both evidence of their existence and a body you can use powers on. Maybe there's a vast network of arcane sigils under the office carpet. Maybe the factor has entirely superfluous assembly lines that constantly make and unmake puzzle boxes. Maybe there's a clock in the maintenance door under the bridge that counts down to the next accident on the bridge. Maybe the restaurant's freezer won't open and is locked with a combination lock covered in arcane and unreadable glyphs. Maybe a mirror in the bathroom reflects the faces of those you've wronged instead of yours.

Sometimes, demons leave witnesses behind. Sometimes they stumble onto the proof of the institutional demon, or they survive the predations of a Voyeur, or they witness a manifestation of the demiurge itself. Some of those witnesses become Witnesses, granting them an uncanny intuition into the grand design, an ability to see the manipulations all around them. Further, the Witness suffers. Maybe they can't stop having visions. Maybe they have constant stigmata. Maybe they have some psychic power they can't really hide. They rarely have control over their insights without training, and often their psyche is fractured. They might worship a demon or the demiurge, or they might be compelled to seek the truth. They are very valuable allies, able to sense when greater or institutional demons are about when you can't find any proof. They commonly have supernatural powers of some kind.

Next time: Youtube reacts to demons.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


The Mortal Remains take on Demon is really interesting because it kind of conflates them and the God-Machine into one thing for hunters to go up against, especially with Institutional demons.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

The eating the dead thing is interesting in the context of mummies, because for a while in Europe (at least into Shakespeare's time) eating mummy was a particularly shady occult thing- tiny bits of the bodies were mixed into various elixirs and were believed to have beneficial properties.

There was even a paint, mummy brown.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Maxwell Lord posted:

The eating the dead thing is interesting in the context of mummies, because for a while in Europe (at least into Shakespeare's time) eating mummy was a particularly shady occult thing- tiny bits of the bodies were mixed into various elixirs and were believed to have beneficial properties.

There was even a paint, mummy brown.

And suddenly I understand the existence of Mummy Elixirs in Romancing SaGa.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Maxwell Lord posted:

The eating the dead thing is interesting in the context of mummies, because for a while in Europe (at least into Shakespeare's time) eating mummy was a particularly shady occult thing- tiny bits of the bodies were mixed into various elixirs and were believed to have beneficial properties.
If I recall correctly, that poo poo lasted into the Victorian era. Of course, the Victorians were insanely obsessed with mummies in general, which is how we ended up getting the eternal association between mummies and Gothic horror.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



So I love the Faithful of Shulpae mostly because I am a sucker for EVIL AS poo poo groups like that 'cuz c'mon seriously you're eating beings alive to give yourself superpowers. The Promethean Brotherhood may be ritually sacrificing mages, yes, but they're not eating them.

Also because I like the idea of them eating vampires and Prometheans because A: vampire blood is a narcotic so these guys are becoming vampire blood crack fiends in the process of noshing on dead flesh and B: a Promethean is meat sewn together full of chemicals, Azoth, what-have-you and vitriol and you might as well be gorging yourself on the biohazard dumpster behind the chemical plant. Like there is no way any of this is a good idea in the slightest but they're fuckin' crazy enough to do it!

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 don't know if you could call the Shulpae 'evil'. Ritual cannibalism has long been a part of human history. Have you read Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun? There's a great description of a rite where you eat somebody and gain their memories. I know it's sci-fi but these guys aren't worse than the rest of the nWoD.

I can't tell if I want to play a cannibal who feasts on the flesh of Gods or a Futurist demon serving some unknown demigod more but they're both brilliant. Institutional Demons are perfect, like the evil corporation aliens from Grant Morrison or the old Autons from Doctor Who, who infiltrated a company and built bodies of plastic.

I also love how Unknown Armies and nWoD both have demons who aren't misunderstood monsters. They'll possess you and gently caress your up to live out their passions and obsessions.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 00:49 on Jun 19, 2015

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The actual eating may or may not be evil, but everything they do to make the catering satisfying probably is.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



The act of cannibalism isn't inherently evil. It's just when you start adding certain things onto that, like "beating an entity into submission, tying it down and ritualistically eating it regardless of if it's alive or dead to gain its power for yourself" that makes it look kinda evil. Some of the starter character ideas stem from cannibalism being an act of survival (an archeologist trapped in a tomb with no immediate way out, a starving street kid who is being menaced with a cane) but they're still engaging in it after the fact for personal gain. Blood bathing and body-snatching in the Immortals book isn't inherently evil either but it's, mechanically, a lot easier to gut someone alive and roll around in the blood than it is to get pints from willing donors (that and blood bathers often start at 1 or 2 on the Karma meter). Mechanically, evil pays a lot better than good does.

Also yeah I guess it really isn't cannibalism. Eating sapient beings isn't inherently evil, etc. etc.

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


According to the author of a new book on it, it's not even illegal in the USA. Which would make a fun twist if Valkyrie or VASCU bring them in.

Do the vampires have their own Ashwood Abbey or cannibal cult equivalent? The secret vampire restaurants were one of the only good things about the later Dark Tower books.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Count Chocula posted:

According to the author of a new book on it, it's not even illegal in the USA. Which would make a fun twist if Valkyrie or VASCU bring them in.

Do the vampires have their own Ashwood Abbey or cannibal cult equivalent? The secret vampire restaurants were one of the only good things about the later Dark Tower books.
The Noctuku are a bloodline of the Nosferatu, which are the butt-ugly vampires. Noctuku are an urban legend in most cities and a very real problem in others because their blood curse is that blood alone doesn't sustain them, they need to eat meat of their prey. And their preferred prey are vampires. And like most vampires, Noctuku can't actually digest anything they eat. So to feed, they capture other vampires alive or in Final Death and devour them while gulping down their blood, only to have to vomit it back up later.

They, uh, they are not vampires you want to gently caress with or cross.

http://wiki.mindseyesociety.org/index.php/Noctuku

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

When I kill you with a motor-car, you should have the common decency to stay dead, you horrid little object




pkfan2004 posted:

The act of cannibalism isn't inherently evil. It's just when you start adding certain things onto that, like "beating an entity into submission, tying it down and ritualistically eating it regardless of if it's alive or dead to gain its power for yourself" that makes it look kinda evil. Some of the starter character ideas stem from cannibalism being an act of survival (an archeologist trapped in a tomb with no immediate way out, a starving street kid who is being menaced with a cane) but they're still engaging in it after the fact for personal gain. Blood bathing and body-snatching in the Immortals book isn't inherently evil either but it's, mechanically, a lot easier to gut someone alive and roll around in the blood than it is to get pints from willing donors (that and blood bathers often start at 1 or 2 on the Karma meter). Mechanically, evil pays a lot better than good does.

Also yeah I guess it really isn't cannibalism. Eating sapient beings isn't inherently evil, etc. etc.

Evil or not, just don't eat the brain. Prion diseases are Not Fun™.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Unknown Armies, part 14: Avatars, pt 2



quote:

Brendan Behan’s pint glass sits behind the bar in a Dublin pub. Any who drink from it have words flow from them, but at what price?

The Fool


Who needs hands when you have this much style?

Avatars are always so easy to explain...that's the point after all. They're not weirdos like the adepts, they represent iconic images that most people can understand by their title alone. In this case, the Fool. They are your lovable morons and feckless blunderers. They are the Homer Simpsons of the magickal world. The upside is their incredible luck and tendency to survive the disasters they themselves cause. Although they're somewhat similar to the Entropomancer they're less likely to seek out danger and chaos so much as they are likely to stumble into it by accident.

Taboo: First and foremost Fools are, at best, everymen. Having a Mind score higher than 50% breaks taboo. This mostly would probably happen as the result of some kind of temporary magickal "boost" but I suppose if a Fool ever bought up his Mind score above that level his avatar powers would simply gradually fade away as his skill keeps dropping. Likewise, the Fool must be gullible and trusting. You must take people at face value, walk into ambushes etc. Now, obvious indications of dishonesty and danger (dealing with someone who tried to cheat you the last 5 times is certainly cause for concern) aren't a problem but you've definitely got to have your "skepticism" dial turned down several notches.

This probably makes it very difficult for someone to channel the Fool dishonestly...but it's an amusing thought, imagining someone who takes all sorts of bad deals and walks into danger knowing its a bad idea. Of course that's often the very situation the player of a Fool Avatar will find themselves in.

Suspected Avatars Some believe Christopher Columbus stumbling into the New World by mistake indicates he may have been an Avatar, or Peter The Hermit who led the disastrous "pauper crusaders". Many politicians are possible Fool Avatars (Reagan and Clinton are both suspected but if the book was printed today I'm sure George W. would have received a mention).

Fool Channels

1-50% You can make an Avatar check to locate some common item that would reasonably be found nearby. Need change for a meter? there's a quarter over there. Need something heavy, there's a random half-a-brick. Are you in a garage and need a wrench, one is sitting right next to you. So long as an object could plausibly be found it will be near at hand. This doesn't allow you to get items of exceptional value even if they would plausibly be in the location, just because you're at a bank doesn't mean someone "just happened" to drop a 100 dollar bill behind that potted plant.

51-70% Whenever you take damage you can make an Avatar roll to redirect the damage to someone else of the GM's choosing. As a result you lose your next action (suffering a pratfall or distraction that just happened to get you out of danger), although you can choose to accept the damage and act normally. Still, don't try and get into a one-on-one fight with a high level Fool or he will start Jackie-Chan-ing you to death.

71-90% You can be in the right place at the right time. This is identical to a Pornomancer Significant effect called Synchronicity which I don't believe I posted so I'll summarize here. Basically you can make your Avatar roll and just start walking and the GM will arrange it so that you arrive at wherever you are "supposed" to be. This isn't exactly fate, it's more about arriving in a situation that will be helpful to you or your cause at this time. If a friend of yours got kidnapped Synchronicty may take you right to the warehouse they're being kept..but it could also lead you to where a group of your enemies are plotting to ambush you and your friends in a couple of weeks...or take you entirely out of town if something really bad is about to go down.

91+% Any attempts to harm you suffer a -30% shift automatically (requiring no roll or sacrifice on your end). If you want you can sacrifice your next action to forgo the -30% and make an Avatar check, reducing their skill by the number in the 1's place (so effectively exchanging a -30% for a -(1d10x10)%)...frankly I'd just stick with the -30%. The higher average doesn't seem worth sacrificing an action.

quote:

Dolphins evolved from humans millions of years ago.

The Masterless Man


The Masterless Man can be summed up in two words: "Basically Shane"

Although the Masterless Man resembles a "male" version of the Flying Woman there are some important distinctions. Both are independent and answer to no higher authority other than their own personal ethics. However, the Masterless Man is, by his nature, completely rootless. Although the Flying Woman may come into conflict with society the Masterless Man has no place in it at all. Although they may be seeking a "true calling" or a place to call home they can never find it (at least not without forsaking the Archetype). Although not strictly necessary, the Masterless Man generally represents the fear and attraction of an extremely dangerous man who answers to no-one but himself. While the Flying Woman is often rejected for who they are the Masterless Man is generally rejected for what they can do.

The Masterless Man is rare in modern society but incredibly popular in pop culture: Rambo, Jason Bourne, Mal Renolds, etc, etc. Historical versions of the archetype were the western gunslinger and the Japanese ronin and European knight errant are probably the origin of the Archetype. Only men can channel the Masterless Man.

Taboo: Like the Flying Woman the Masterless Man's ultimate loyalty is only to himself. He may work for others, but only temporarily and only on his own terms. He may also put down permanent roots...owning any property that can't be easily be packed up and moved violates taboo (so you can rent an apartment, even put some stuff in there...but only enough that you can't easily leave town at a moment's notice).

Suspected Avatars: Davey Crocket was almost certainly an Avatar, along with many other notable frontiersmen and historical "cowboys".

Masterless Man Channels

1-50% Masterless Men are tough]. Once every 28 days you can make an Avatar skill roll in order to gain bonus Wound Points equal to your Avatar skill. This can functionally heal you if you're already injured and it can even take you over your normal maximum. However, any points over your maximum cannot be healed and are gone if lost due to injury. Otherwise they stick around until you next decide to use this channel.

51-70% If you try and attack someone and roll a failure that is still below your Avatar skill you can immediately re-roll. This can only be done once per round (so only one re-roll if you're making multiple attacks and you can't try and re-roll a second time).

71-90% Terminator Mode. If you are killed you can keep going by making an Avatar skill check at the start of every round. You won't die until combat ends or you fail the roll. This doesn't help outside of combat and your death is inevitable once you've been killed...you can keep fighting but there's no saving you.

91+ Whenever you're hit by an attack that rolled under your Avatar skill the damage inflicts only the sum of the dice. This means firearms inflict hand-to-hand damage and weapons don't get any bonus. In the rare cases where the sum of the dice would inflict more damage (such as rolling a 10 on shooting which inflicts 10 damage as a gun but 11 damage as the sum) then you take the lesser amount.

quote:

Many esoteric economists (okay, about four esoteric economists) see the contests of the “robber barons” in 19th-century America as an occult contest to become the strongest Merchant.

The Merchant



Here's a tip for all you would-be dukes who might end up playing in a game of Unknown Armies, especially at Global or Cosmic level...

Don't. gently caress. With. A. Merchant.

Ever

Seriously.

If you think someone's a Merchant, especially if you think they have a skill of at least 50% or higher...do not screw around with them. Make a fair bargain. Keep your end of it and if they decide to alter the deal just pray that they do not alter it any further. You'll see why in a moment.

Ahem, anyway. The Merchant is another easily summed up Archetype. They embody the salesman and the deal-maker. They're often "in business" themselves but just as often they serve as a middle-man, negotiator and facilitator.

Taboos The Merchant must always come out on top in a bargain. A fair deal is fine, one that favors you is even better...but get cheated or swindled and you'll break taboo. The merchant can also never give anything away for free. "Thing" is the keyword, they can freely offer their time, affection, advice, services but cannot give away their money or goods without something in compensation. The bargain must be fair (so a merchant cannot give away 2000 dollars for a piece of gum) or you're breaking taboo anyway. Keep in mind that investments, loans and "gifts" intended as part of a negotiation to make someone more likely to deal are all fine.

Nasty thought...Merchant Avatars with children better have a significant other with a job who can do the shopping...otherwise no dinner unless the kids can pay for it.

Suspected Avatars: Just about any major business mogul has been suspected of being a Merchant, especially in the vicious days of early American industrialism.

Merchant Channels

1-50% You can manipulate someone's perception of value to get a better deal. This might allow you to inflate or deflate the perceived value of an object or let you warp their perception of what is valuable about the object (such as seeing a nickel as worth more than a dime because it is bigger). A normal success on your Avatar skill just gets you a great deal. A success that is also higher than the target's Mind stat allows you to convince them to accept deals that are blatantly stupid (trading a piece of wood whittled into a gun shape for their actual gun because it's "hand-crafted"). Keep in mind that this has to be in the context of a deal...if you've got nothing to offer in exchange it's pointless. It also doesn't force the subject to actually accept the deal...just to see it as a good bargain. This might require a Self check to resist in some situations (for instance if you're already looking for something similar to what the merchant is offering) but it won't force people to listen to you while in combat for instance.

51-70% At this point you can, with a successful Avatar roll, make Faustian Deals. Essentially you can facilitate the exchange (no giving, it must be an exchange of something) of things which are not normally tradable such as immaterial or spiritual exchanges or even material "goods" that can't normally change hands (such as youth, good looks or strength). Buying and selling souls is just the start. The only limit is that the bargain cannot involve magical or physical coercion (other forms of coercion such as blackmail are fine) and you must be up front about the terms. This includes your first Channel.

Remember why I said you do not want to mess with a Merchant? This is why. This is probably the single power with the greatest potential for abuse in Uknown Armies. With this power you can buy and sell stats, skills, even your sanity. The sky is literally the limit. Extremely powerful merchants can live indefinitely by purchasing years from the lives of others, their stats are likely to be sky high (imagine offering a homeless man 100$ dollars for 10 IQ points...now just keep repeating) and they'll be able to invest heavily in their Avatar skill since they can simply purchase skills from other people when needed. Now sure, you've got to have the resources to pay for these bargains...but the first channel is a great way to acquire capital. A Merchant can even act as a middle-man allowing two people to make a trade between one another and taking a cut for himself...so if you find a millionare who'd really like to live 10 more years and a dumb 20-something who really wants his student loans paid off you can make the deal happen for them and take your cut from both the cash and the time.

Obviously this is most abusable by NPC Merchants who've had years to accumulate mass quantities of skills and power...but even PC Merchants can get up to some shenanigans. Imagine a Merchant Avatar partnered with a Dipsomancer buddy. The Merchant buys the drinks and in exchange he gets every other charge the adept generates. Bam, minor charges literally on tap. Heck, help the same dipsomancer get a potent vessel and you're got significant charges flowing like beer...charges that the dipso would just lose in a few hours anyway. Use those charges to power ritual spells or if you're an adept you can use them for your own powers.

The Freak is scary but he's got nothing on his Merchant equivalent. Think twice about taking that hit on Donald Trump.

71-90% Everything after the second channel is more or less small fry, but just to add the cherry on top the Merchant can now summon demons and make bargains with it. This form of summoning is completely safe: the demon cannot attempt to possess you and you can dismiss it if no deal can be brokered. As per the second channel you can make deals for immaterial goods and even better, once the deal is made both sides are compelled to abide by it (this is important as demons would otherwise break any deal immediately). Those who know much about demons know that offering them your body temporarily is a great bargaining chip (and since the demon must abide by the deal you can even set hard limits on their behavior), making this a terrific source of knowledge skills and memories.

91+% Anytime anyone wants to harm you they must pay you. It doesn't matter how much but it must be in the form of currency and must be given or thrown to you before anyone may attack you (whether you accept the payment is irrelevant). Each payment (regardless how big or little) buys only a single attack. Throw the Merchant your wallet stuffed with hundreds and you can still only make a single attack...but toss pennies at him one at a time and you can make an attack for every coin. Making the payment takes an action so even a well-funded attacker must still sacrifice every other action.

Everyone who wants to hurt you instinctively knows that they must give you money to do so.

quote:

Is anyone reading these? I'm totally running out of rumors

Next we'll go over the Messenger, the Mother and the MVP

oriongates fucked around with this message at 11:08 on Jun 19, 2015

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I'm pretty nonplussed on the Masterless Man. His powers are just combat-based, and there's a lot more to Shane, Caine, and [eleventy Clint Eastwood characters] than that.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 17: Robots and Powered Armors of Phase World



“Although giant robots and power armor are not quite as common as they are on Rifts Earth” -- why not? Because space I guess. :shrug: -- “they play an important part of military operations of the Three Galaxies.” Given the overt anime-influence on Rifts in its art and development I am kind of amazed that they didn’t shove a whole list of Gundams in here. I mean that psychic power armor was phased out on the second model for being “inferior,” what’ve they got that’s better for killing zakus?!

See Rifts: Mercenaries for Naruni stuff that is also available sold separately in the Three Galaxies. The United Worlds of Warlock mass produces Mystic Power Armor from Rifts Core and I’m going to re-review that now. Let’s see: Can use Call Lightning for 6d6 and Fire Bolt for 4d6, each twice per round. I’m assuming the fire bolt is for when you have more than two attacks. It can cast Magic Net, Fly as the Eagle, Globe of Daylight, and Superhuman Speed and Strength at will. It only has 150 MDC though, which the Armor of Ithan spell and 100 PPE can fix back up. That’s cheaper than buying a new suit but really not a lot of MDC on the power armor scale. It can also Breathe Without Air, has Eyes of the Wolf and See Invisible, and has Impervious to Fire which IIRC is of somewhat limited utility but not bad to have. It can also cast Chameleon, which is probably handy for those times you need to sneak in power armor.


okay yes there are times

You can have all this for the low, low price of two million credits. Or 3800 PPE and 50,000 credits of clear quartz and a diamond “worth 20,000 credits.” Rifts doesn’t even have the Elemental Plane of Earth explanation for why gem prices are stable. Oh, and nine months of constant labor. That comes out to about 7,400 credits a day for a Techno-Wizard’s work--and here your parents said you were wasting your potential going into magic sword design. Oh, wait, the UWW sells it for 500K, a bargain. It’s not a bad suit but not very competitive damage and durability-wise with more robust sets, and not quick to produce. The ease of repair and lack of ammo costs make it handy if it survives a conflict, though 100 PPE is more than most human magic-classes will have readily available, and power armor pilot OCCs tend not to have much PPE at all. It’s nice that Carella remembered this exists but it rests at a weird juncture in the rules.

After that--and the whole Mystic Power Armor thing was a one-sentence offhand mention actually--we get to the real power armors. The first is the Silverhawk Attack Exoskeleton used by the CCW’s CAF. It is normally silver-colored to match the name but it has a stealth system that lets it blend in with surrounding terrain, or even ‘starry sky’ to go with space. The Silverhawk is used in combination with fighters to make combined assaults on larger vessels--if fighters and powered suits can take out capital ships, those capital ships are a pretty lovely investment. But it’s genre I guess, and these guys try to break through hulls and attack from the inside out. They even have a disruptor to get through force fields.


crotch first apparently

The ‘wings’ on the suit are just housing for missile launchers, they don’t affect flight. The main body has 420 MDC which is about on par with the psychic power armor but doesn’t split the totals into a force field. It’s much faster and the contragravity system apparently never runs out of juice until the reactor does, which is 20 years. The “Multi-rifle” weapon system has a Hi-laser setting that nobody will ever use that does 2d4x10, a particle beam cannon setting that does 3d6x10 (Boom gun damage, for those in the audience who might not know), can fire grenades that do damage by grenade type, and you can dual-fire both the cannon settings for 4d6x10+20 and this doesn’t even take two melee attacks to do. For comparison, a Cosmo-Knight can spend 100 PPE out of an average 300 at first level to do 5d6x10 for one round.

The suit can also fire missiles and they have little bitty ‘gravity guns’ that do 5d6 mounted on each wrist. The force field disrupter (sic) creates “a momentary hole that the character can step through”, which doesn’t explain how well it would work on a personal force field--it has a very short range but would still work. The stealth system causes all attacks to be at -1 to hit. There’s also a list of bonuses for “Silverhawk combat training” but there are no classes in the book that receive this by default--you’d have to take it as an extra skill and hope you were able to get the armor at some point. This is probably a good thing for balance but it isn’t explained as something you need to not give PCs immediately (and you might have Veritech pilots in the party depending on GM permissiveness) nor does it carry a huge warning label like the Cosmo-Knight does.

The first actual robot in the selection is the Battleram Attack Robot which is a ship-breacher plain and simple. Ships must carry a lot of marines to deal with these problems. This robot is 70 feet tall and can carry up to ten passengers, but still counts as a small target for ship weapons (apparently we get ship-to-ship combat later) and has 2,500 MDC + a 500 MDC force field. For weapons it has a gravity cannon that does 4d6x10, a 3d6x10 laser cannon, has one missile that can do “2d6x100 or 4d6x100” I guess depending on whether your loaders hate you, and several smaller missile launchers that come out to a lot of missiles altogether. There is again a combat training skill explained which nobody can use. This ship-breaching robot does not have a force-field disrupter.


the text assures me that this can fly

The PA-10 “Ground Pounder” is up next, and it is a non-flying support suit as the name suggests. 450 main body MDC and particle beam cannon that can do 2d4x10 MDC. Missiles in the shoulders (obviously, if there’re little round rivets in a Rifts design, they’re missile ports) and mortars on the back which do 4D6 to a 30ft radius. That big staring chest gun does 4d6 also.


comes with a free pair of robo-chucks

There’s some good guy equipment! Now for some bad guys! The Warlord Mk I Combat Suit is power armor made to fit the Kreeghor, who are already naturally MDC and faster and meaner than humans. Fortunately, this armor is generally only issued to elite squads. It has 400 MDC main body, an autocannon that can do 1d6x10+10, a particle beam cannon that does 2d4x10, missile launchers with fewer missiles than the Silverhawk, and forearm blades. This...is actually slightly less good than the good-guy elite armor. That’s unusual for Rifts. It’s comparable mind, and after you got through the armor you’d still have the pilot’s MDC to deal with (an average of 80) but at that point they wouldn’t be using the weapon systems and/or would be in space unaided.


to me it looks like some kind of hunchback combat chicken

There’s also the Warlord Mk II which is designed to fit humanoids and has 320 MDC in the main body. It has the same autocannon and missiles as the Mk I but no particle cannon, and some little head lasers because why not. That’s all the Empire power armor.

The Splugorth have the Transformable Robot Fighter which sure, yeah, you do need a robot that can change into a plane or something, it is required. But the robot transforms from this:


this looks like Breaux trying to imitate Ewell and it doesn’t quite work

To this:

somehow the little plasma utility knife makes it

Its class is robot-fighter-vehicle which sounds like exactly what the planning meeting guy tried to describe it as to a skeptical acquisitions committee. It flies faster in the...not-robot form. It has 450 main body MDC and twin pulse cannons that inflict 2d4x10, can be fired singly for half that if one is feeling sub-optimal. 16 missiles, a little head laser, and the forearm energy blade shown. It’s not bad but again does not outclass the good-guy weaponry which is unusual for Rifts. There’s also some notes and page numbers about things in Buy Rifts Atlantis you can use.

That’s all of the robots oddly. They’re running low on space at this point and we haven’t even touched ships. This is why the Sourcebook came out so fast. Next there’s cybernetic and other misc equipment, some tanks (really) and then space ships.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




oriongates posted:

51-70% At this point you can, with a successful Avatar roll, make Faustian Deals. Essentially you can facilitate the exchange (no giving, it must be an exchange of something) of things which are not normally tradable such as immaterial or spiritual exchanges or even material "goods" that can't normally change hands (such as youth, good looks or strength). Buying and selling souls is just the start. The only limit is that the bargain cannot involve magical or physical coercion (other forms of coercion such as blackmail are fine) and you must be up front about the terms. This includes your first Channel.

Remember why I said you do not want to mess with a Merchant? This is why. This is probably the single power with the greatest potential for abuse in Uknown Armies. With this power you can buy and sell stats, skills, even your sanity. The sky is literally the limit. Extremely powerful merchants can live indefinitely by purchasing years from the lives of others, their stats are likely to be sky high (imagine offering a homeless man 100$ dollars for 10 IQ points...now just keep repeating) and they'll be able to invest heavily in their Avatar skill since they can simply purchase skills from other people when needed.

And if you go around paying big money to regular homeless folks for ephemeral benefits, you'll be at huge risk of Waking the Tiger. Even if you're so tough the Sleepers can't touch you, it'll be bedlam when it goes public that Bill Gates or Donald Trump will never die. Granted, this doesn't really limit PCs much because in play terms it is a threat to end the campaign by GM ruling, but still.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


That's when you give a hobo a hundred bucks for his low profile.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Mortal Remains

Ashwood Abbey likes demons. The greater kind are interesting to hunt - they're the greatest game, in the sense of hunting people and in the sense of espionage. Taking them down means acting like them - infiltrating their lives to find the threads on the inside you have to pull to unravel them. That's fun! That's challenging! Plus, if you have a taste for theological horror, they can tell you all kinds of stuff. Lesser demons are also popular because Ashwood Abbey enjoys being possessed. It's a thrill, to let something take over your body and engage in some vice. It feels unlike anything else. Of course, there's a lot of rumors that demons have infiltrated the Abbey itself - the more libertine demons might enjoy it quite a bit, and the Abbey are just the kind of people to sell their souls for kicks.

The Long Night are vulnerable to demonic targeting. Greater demons are really good at pretending to be people you trust - and who do you trust more than your congregation? Sure, it's not intimate, but you trust your churchmates. And you trust your church - but churches make good covers for institutional demons, as well. Demons hide in plain sight, and the Long Night is not all that good at spotting the ones that aren't the more obvious kind, like most lesser demons. Some demons approach openly, though, seeking redemption. But you can't trust them. They lie - it's their nature. How can you ever be sure they're sincere in what they ask? And can a demon ever be redeemed?

The Loyalists of Thule actually work alongside Cryptic demons relatively often. They both seek out secrets, after all. It may be years before the Loyalists realize they're dealing with someone especially weird, but at that point they will start investigating. Same if they end up running into institutional demons - it takes them a while to notice, but they eventually do, and generally they'll be investigating long before they actually understand what's going on. They notice the inconsistencies and the strangeness but don't usually associate them with demons until far later. Demons, they know, must be destroyed and defeated. Even if they're useful. Perhaps especially if they're useful. The Loyalists are especially good at turning a demon's human life into a trap for it, using their own mortal interactions as snares. They know that demons will promise anything - and deliver. They know that demons are amazing con artists...but they can use that. They'll take what's offered. They'll take everything that's offered and use it, and prepare themselves. Once the demon makes the final offer, for the Loyalist's life? They'll take that, too, and the demon will find a trap waiting. The Loyalists are more than willing to turn their own lives into minefields if it'll take down a demon.

Network Zero, obviously, want to film a demon as it reveals its apocalyptic form. So far, no dice, but it will. Hell, there are possibles already. It's not that hard to pull off. The real question is, what will they do with it? Some want to keep it around and show people. Some want to make databases of demons - they have no special magic protecting their faces, and once they track down enough, they can reveal them all to the world. And others? They're terrified. They think demons are behind everything, behind all the takedowns of videos, the discrediting, everything.

Null Mysteriis know that sometimes, someone will undergo what they call 'aberrant psychology,' a sudedn change in personality and behavior accompanied by strange events. They don't like the phrase 'demonic possession.' Most of what they know about are lesser demons, as there is just such little evidence and information about greater and institutional demons. The Rationalists want lab conditions for testing and that's just not possible, really. They agree, yes, that something is up, but not on what, or even that it's all a single problem. That's actually fairly accurate - demons are highly individualistic. The Cataclysmicists have a more terrifying idea - they look at all the events the others gather and they see evidence of intention there. They believe this could be an invasion. There may be, in fact, some grand machine orchestrating events or opposing this wave of behavior. Some of these 'demons' seem to work in concert. Others don't. A war could be coming, and they don't even know what the sides are. They want to find out.

At the core of it, the Union just wants to guard their own patch, but demons are tough. How do you fight voices in someone's head? How do you deal with something that turns your people against you? When your neighbors aren't your neighbors any more...well, business has to be taken care of. But there's no easy answers. Especially when some of the stuff those demons say makes sense. The world really does often seem to be made to oppress people, and they say that's intentional. Makes it all seem like fighting that is a good idea...but that man in the flash suit, with the strange eyes, he's telling you for his own reasons and you know that. But still...he's told you a lot of the banks and agencies out there are themselves monsters, controlling the people inside them. And that's terrifying. It makes sense. Sometimes, weird poo poo happens to people when they get involved. It's hard to tell what side people are on. But these things need dealing with, no matter if their agents are people or strange machine angels. It doesn't matter if it's one machine or many, if any parts understand the whole. These things are thieves, and need fighting.

The Aegis Kai Doru use a different word than 'demiurge.' They use a name: God-Machine. Over 2000 years ago, you see, astronomers in Corinth found a wondrous device. Perhaps they were Aegis men. But whatever they were, they made a deal with the devil Machine. They made a device not just to predict the stars, but to control them. They learned the secrets of the heavens that they might once again become sorcerers. Eventually, the Aegis recognized the threat, but it was too late. The device was made, then loaded into a ship bound for an impregnable fortress. The Aegis hired pirates to ambush the ship between Crete and Pelopennese, intending to capture the mechanism and the scholars who made it, perhaps find value there. However, the captain of the ship sank it himself, though none can say truly why. But that is why the Aegis know the God-Machine, and they have recovered parts of the device over the course of the 20th century. They still aren't entirely sure what it would do, if activated. They are wary, because they suspect other artifacts are tied to it. They believe this God-Machine may be a link between the supernal and material worlds. They think the device might become a tool to fight witches with.

The Aegis possess the Heart of the Succubus (2 dots), an artifact given to a Witness by a demon in 1453. The Witness, an Orthodox priest in Constantinople, was alive when Sultan Mehmed II converted the Hagia Sophia to a mosque. The demon chose to take the priest's place in sacrificing himself to protect the church. As she lay dying, the demon asked the priest to cut out her heart, but what he found was a remarkable mechanism. The priest died only three years later, but he sold the heart to a trader, whose family buried it with him a few years after that. Rumors spread, and the Aegis retrieved the thing. It was in 1593 that they discovered its purpose, or at least a practical use for it. The Heart is a round, bronze object the size of a man's palm, resembling a modern compass quite well. It is incredibly intricate. Each time the needle shifts, gears start clicking, causing tiny figurines to move along the sides of the dial. The figures appear to be reenacting the punishment of sinners in Hell. The Heart can detect demons despite their Cover, though it takes skill to use, as the needle swings wildly while it's in use.

The Ascending Ones tend towards syncretism, and none of them can agree on what demons really are or how to deal with them. The Order of the Southern Temple aren't even certain they're demons - they rarely respond to true names and can't be summoned by medieval rites. They may follow pop cultural accounts of demonic activity, but they don't obey rules, and rules are what define the celestial hierarchy. They do, however, make bargains, and they do fit a sort of gnostic mythology that many Order members have other reasons to believe in, so perhaps they are worth learning from, as Solomon learned from the devil. The Knife of Solomon are certain demons aren't actual demons - but that doesn't matter, because they are enemies of God, for they served the demiurge, which is nothing but the physical enemy of pure spirit. Their very existence mocks the spiritual alchemy of the Ascended. The Jagged Crescent are more practical. They're on ground zero for a lot of demonic infiltrations, they've seen what demons can do. They also know that the demons have immensely long reach, that they can be anywhere and everywhere, and that to deal with them, they will need allies.

Occasionally, the corpses of greater demons or the mechanisms of institutional demons leave a thick sludge that smells of brimstone. The Ascending Ones use this to make Liar Pills (1 dot). Taken straight, it makes you relive your most horrific emotional reactions for 24 hours, leaving you utterly unrestrained to the point of violence. When the Ascending Ones combine it with alchemical reagents, though, they make little blue caplets give you the full and total control of your emotional responses that most demons have. You still feel emotions as normal, but you need not show anything you don't want to.

Cheiron has, rather to its surprise, found that another pharmaceutical company, Luminous Labs, is already working on the 'demon problem.' Any and all kinds of demon. Naturally, Cheiron tried to buy them out, but they turned out to be owned by the much larger Deva Corporation, which is more than affluent enough to laugh at any offers. So, Cheiron agents on demonic missions must both retrieve subjects and deny them to Luminous Labs...and Luminous tends to be armed with technology superior even to VALKYRIE. Cheiron can tentatively ID possession patterns of lesser and greater demons, and know that greater demons can take over human lives. (In fact, it's been done to Cheiron agents before. Oops.) Institutional demons and those greater demons who live a life for very long periods are outside their area of expertise, but they're getting better at finding them. Great demon identities are often incomplete, and Cheiron's been bringing in outside IT experts to help reveal them. Ideally, analysis of public records alone would be enough, but for now they're mostly just able to pick one out of a crowd of potential suspects. They're not totally sure what to do with them, though. Obviously, Apocalyptic Forms are the grail here, but stimulating those transformations is very difficult, as demonic psychology is nearly impossible to determine due to their control of emotional responses. They do their best with experiments, locking demons in facilities where they have limited freedom of action but are still within defined limits. The theory is, demons will recognize they're being spied on, but not by whom, and in their paranoia they will reveal what they fear, or will transform to escape. The facilities often resemble small resort towns, full ob observers. Very 'The Prisoner.' One of these 'open facilities' is on the French coastline and has several subjects under surveillence, all of whom as yet have not identified the others.



The Lucifuge, of course, know from demons. Odd, then, that they aren't always foes. Most Lucifuge recognize that the real threat is angels. They come from somewhere else, serve a higher power and have no clear purpose. No Lucifuge walks away from an angel unchanged, and not always alive, either. This is terrifying for them. The know more of angels and demons than anyone else, and record everything they learn. They know angels come in several types and suspect that some serve different gods or different aspects of God. They always seem to be in the world for a purpose or mission, never just to hang out. Angels also build. The Lucifuge have identified institutional demons in service to Heaven, if Heaven exists. Angels make them sometimes. The problem is, the Lucifuge isn't entirely sure they serve God - or that God is real. The Devil does not imply God. Greater demons often agree, claiming there is no God but the Machine, that angels are no allies to humanity. Some of the Lucifuge believe this God is, in fact, the Devil and their ultimate source. This demiurge hypothesis is hotly debated. Those who accept it claim that Hell is, in fact, Earth, and the eternal war is one to make a Heaven of Hell. For some the argument is largely academic - you do the job, you fight evil, regardless of what it looks like. It doesn't matter how it shines - it's still a creature of darkness. Others have a more complex view, believing that some demons can be redeemed. (Typically, these do not accept the demiurge hypothesis.) Greater demons often find this idea horrifying when first presented, but some grow to accept it, or even to believe that there is some greater God out there than the one they Fell from. Others accept that the Machine does some good and want to return to its service. And some believe they can redeem the demiurge itself. None can say if any demons have ever been redeemed this way - some vanish, yes, but none can say what happened to them. The redemption of the God-Machine is also debated among the Lucifuge that accept the demiurge hypothesis. You can't just get rid of it, but if you could somehow access its consciousness, you might be able to use it to fix the world. Others say that, assuming the demiurge hypothesis is so, and demons can be trusted...why hasn't the Lady of Milan announced it? Why owuld she conceal the God-Machine? Does she serve it and have them hunting its flaws and errors? Are they actually serving something evil?

Greater demons wrap themselves in lies, but the Lucifuge may call on their power to Rebuke Lies. When used, this forces a piece of equipment or evidence manufactured by Cover to appear wispy and ephemeral, or a person talking about a manufactured relationship finds their voice staticky. The evidence can be destroyed in a burst of smoke and flame, relationships can be forced to be forgotten for a time. This can even be used offensively - blow up a demonic cop's produced gun or body armor.

The Malleus know of many kinds of demon - lesser imps, greater demons, even institutional ones that perpetuate the Culture of Death. The Brotherhood of Saint Athanasius, of course, want to bomb 'em all, but it's not quite so simple. The world would never accept the Malleus if they knew about it, and compromise is sometimes required. Plus, the Malleus is only part of the Church. They don't drive policy. Pope Benedict slashed their budgets, viewing even the physical and spiritual threats of monsters less important than worldwide harmony. Pope Francis? Even worse. He says yes, hunt the monsters, but hunt the monsters that exploit the powerless. If demons fight you with banks and politics, you don't use fire and blades. You turn people against them. Rekindle faith as your weapon. If you must use violence, use it only on the violent. Subtle corruption is to be fought by unsubtle beneficence, showing people the love of God and His grace. And so, now, the Malleus finds itself fighting a new kind of war. The Pope wants them to destabilize Satan's works as well as fight him directly. This could actually be a good thing - the Church is quite good at being a financial and political braintrust more than a military one. The Malleus can subtly draw on those resources to root out demonic corruption, because, as Pope Francis says, if demons want souls, show people where souls truly belong.

Task Force: VALKYRIE is aware that some ENEs oppose a vast machine rooted in reality. Suspects they've captured say it's malevolent, but that's not necessarily so. The ENEs say the God-Machine is at fault for the sorry state of the world, but a lot of VALKYRIE agents see it differently. They prefer to believe the world is a fundamentally good place, where monsters might exist but hunters protect people. Sure, it sucks when people get hurt, but what matters is the USA is he;ping people. The ENEs are denying that good the establishment does. They commit acts of terrorism against anything and everything. They view the world itself as malignant. They must be stopped. VALKYRIE is also aware now of strange spiritual entities that can possess organizations - perhaps demons possessing terror cells. The possibilities are frightening, and the hardest part is convincing people it's happening.

Next time: Bitcoin vs Demons

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Wizards Presents: Races and Classes

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Clerics

He doesn’t necessarily hit you with his sword arm. He hits you with his faith.
—Andy Collins, March 2006


Class Role - Logan Bonner

The cleric is the archetypal leader. They use their divine magic to buff their allies and prevent them from dying. The different deities that a cleric would worship will grant them unique benefits, such as a preferred weapon or a defense bonus.

They are melee combatants, and their physical attacks are empowered by their divine magic. An individual cleric might choose to specialize in singling out enemies for death, or lowering an enemy's defenses, or increasing an ally's prowess.

Their main combat powers are in the form of battle prayers and spells. Effects that they're capable of include fire and light coming down from above, inducing an enemy to free, or preventing an ally from getting hurt.

quote:

All 4th Edition characters have some ability to heal themselves and all leaders can increase that healing. A cleric grants all allies near him an increase to their self-healing, and he can also cure their wounds by using healing words. A cleric doesn’t spend any of his other spells to use them, nor will he need to spend the lion’s share of his actions healing others.

Rituals allow a cleric to heal persistent conditions, create wards, and even bring people back from the dead. Many 3E spells have become rituals instead, allowing the cleric to fill his spell and battle prayer lists with proactive attacks and enhancements.

Just pretend I bolded the whole passage, because these are all key points in 4E's design:
1. Everyone can heal themselves
2. Leaders are "healers", but not just healers
3. Even when leaders are healing, healing isn't supposed to come at the expense of more "interesting" actions
4. Critical/powerful/epic/game-changing spells have been urned into rituals, so casters are still capable of them, but they're not taking up a caster's "spell slots"

Sidebar: Why we changed the Gods - Matt Sernett

quote:

We didn’t move forward in 4th Edition with that pantheon [from 3rd Edition, which was heavily based on the Greyhawk campaign setting] because its deities weren’t designed for the improved experience of D&D we were forming. Also, its ties to Greyhawk and its uses in 3E wouldn’t sync up with the new cosmology and mythology we’ve designed to be better for play. We struggled with what deities to put in the game for a long time, and many factors influenced our final decisions:

• We don’t want deities to be thought of as omniscient and all-powerful. Omniscience and omnipotence makes it difficult to use gods in adventure plots or have them interact with characters.

• We want epic characters to be capable of challenging gods and even of becoming gods.

• We wanted deities to be designed for play in the D&D world. Sure, it’s realistic in a sociological sense to have a deity of doorways or of agriculture, but it’s hard to figure out how a cleric who worships such a deity honors his god by going on adventures.

• We wanted fewer, better deities. In your campaign, you can have as many deities as you want, but in order to design classes, a cosmology, and products that work well together, we wanted a good set of deities that cover most players’ needs without that pantheon being too complex and cumbersome.

• We wanted deities to represent the new game and new vision for the D&D world.

For a long time we wanted to design a pantheon that was wholly new, but the harder we pushed it in that direction, the more it seemed like some of the deities of the 3E pantheon were a good fit for the game’s needs. Thus, the pantheon is a blending of old and new.

3E Clerics Rule! 4E Clerics are Better - Logan Bonner

quote:

It’s no secret that 3rd Edition clerics are really good. 4th Edition clerics are no longer better than other classes, but are more fun to play.

The huge difference between the two versions is that clerics no longer spend all their time healing and buffing. Moving a modest amount of self-healing into every class has really loosened up the reins on the cleric, as has putting healing in its own bin so it doesn’t overshadow offensive magic. We expect that, in an average encounter, a cleric will use one standard action to heal and will be using the rest of his actions for offense.

Bonner then goes on to explain how they had to chop down the 3E Cleric spell list. Everything that belonged in rituals, such as restoration, raise dead, cure x, and wards were all moved there, and lots of healing prayers were also removed or made into rituals.

This is also the first mention of "alignment no longer has a major mechanical effect", and that's another big pile of spells that can be done away with. Summoning spells were also removed, but were expected to come back in later books.

In exchange, the designers were able to play around with all sorts of new effects instead:

quote:

we wrote a ton of new cleric powers! We wanted persistent magical effects that the cleric could maintain over many rounds (such as spiritual weapon), big magical attacks (like flame strike), and short-term buffs. Most persistent effects sit in the battle prayers, so a cleric drops one in every fight, usually to keep an enemy under control. Big attacks can be found in battle prayers and in spells. They include big explody things like flame strike, supernatural weather (inspired by storm of vengeance), and spells that utterly crush a single opponent. Short-term buffs are much improved because we did away with the duration-tracking that was such a big part of cleric life in 3E. Most short-term buffs lasts until the end of the encounter. That’s it. It’s simple, it’s clear, and the effects are more powerful since the duration’s shorter.

So you might miss the 3E cleric if you just have to be a bit overpowered or were such an altruistic soul that you liked healing somebody every round, but we think most players will prefer the new cleric over the old.





Fighters

If you don’t choose a defender, the monsters will choose one for you.
—Richard Baker, November 2005


Class Role - Richard Baker

Fighters are the classic defenders. They get in front of the monsters and keep the monsters from attacking less resilient members of the party.

They have the most HP and can wear the heaviest armor. There are even certain feats that will allow a Fighter's DEX to be added to their AC even while wearing heavy armor, that only Fighters will have access to. Fighters also have the most self-healing, and only a Paladin is supposed to even come close to being as tanky.

quote:

The second quality a defender requires is an ability to keep the monsters focused on him. We called this “stickiness” around the office—once you get next to a fighter, it’s really hard to move away in order to go pound on the party wizard or cleric. Fighters are “sticky” because they gain serious bonuses on opportunity attacks, have the ability to follow enemies who shift away from them, and guard allies nearby through an ability called battlefield control. Once the fighter gets toe-to-toe with the monsters, it becomes very dangerous for the monsters to do anything other than battle the fighter . . . which is, of course, what the fighter excels at. Enemies ignore fighters at their peril!

Fighters have Power! - Richard Baker

quote:

In previous editions of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, the fighter has always been the character who didn’t have any spells or special class powers. Generally speaking, a player running a fighter character did the same thing every round: He took a swing at the bad guys. In 3rd Edition D&D more options became available through the use of various feat trees, but it was still true that the fighter offered none of the resource management or battle strategy of a spellcasting character. Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords introduced a new twist on the 30-year-old mechanics of the fighter class by describing fighterlike classes who used a variety of spectacular martial maneuvers. Using Tome of Battle you could play a fighter (well, a warblade) with the tactical challenge of choosing when and how to use dramatic maneuvers. The new DUNGEONS & DRAGONS 4th Edition game improves and expands this concept even more.

Baker then mentions the AED system for the first time:

At-wills are attacks that are simple, but the Fighters knows and can do all the time. The example given is a Defensive Strike that gives the Fighter an AC bonus whenever the Fighter hits.

This next passage settles a debate that AFAIK kept cropping up on the internet back in the day:

quote:

Per-encounter powers are special weapon tricks, surprise attacks, or advanced tactics that can only be used one time per fight. The fighter doesn’t “forget” a power once he uses it, nor does a power deplete any innate reserve of magical energy. He can’t use it again because it simply isn’t effective more than once per battle. If an enemy has already seen your dance of steel maneuver, he won’t be taken in by it a second time. Because you can use one of these powers once per battle, the challenge is to find the exact right moment to use each one for maximum effect

And finally per-day powers "represent a single act of incredible strength, endurance, and heroism; the fighter digs down deep and finds what he needs to make the ultimate effort." The example given is Great Surge that will let a Fighter deal a devastating attack while also tapping into their healing reserves simultaneously. If the interesting part of using an Encounter power is which round of the fight to use it in, the interesting part of a Daily power is deciding which of the battles within the day do you really need it.

Supporting Different Builds - Stephen Schubert

quote:

The fighter has always been one of the four iconic pillars of the D&D game (along with the cleric, wizard, and thief/rogue). As the game progressed, the fighter grew into an extremely customizable class, especially in 3rd Edition D&D, where a fighter’s feat choices could change the way he looked: was he a lightly armored, Spring Attacking, glaive wielder? A Power-Attacking, greatsword-swinging, damage dealer? An impregnable, Combat Expertise-using, sword and board AC junkie? Or maybe just a spiked chain trip monkey?

The new fighter still allows for such customizations within the role defined for the class. The class “builds” are supported through feats, class features, gear, and power selection, with each aspect of character creation adding its own flavor to the mix.

Schubert acknowledges that the main divide for Fighter builds tends to be between the sword-and-shield Fighter and the two-handed weapon Fighter.

For the former, there are feats and powers that improve a Fighter's AC and ability to defend their allies, but the designers didn't just want to give the Fighter nothing but defensive bonuses, so there are always powers that would allow the Fighter to quickly move around to battlefield, to get in the way of monsters before they reach the rest of the party, or to pursue and stop monsters that are trying to slip away.

For the latter, the Fighter will have access to "Power Attack-like abiltiies that give the options of dealing more damage with a less accurate swing", but also attacks that trigger when the Fighter's allies are attacked, effectively allowing this kind of Fighter to still defend their team by threatening the enemies with massive damage if the enemies try to attack someone else.

The powers system is supposed to be flexible enough to support multiple playstyles: if the game needed a build for a "dancing fencer" or a "two-weapon Fighter", it would just be a matter of adding appropriate powers and feats for it. Finally, the term "build" isn't supposed to be a strict choice. If a sword-and-shield Fighter wants to pick up powers to let them deal more damage, they can choose even those that were originally designed for the two-handed weapon Fighter.

Sidebar: Influence of Book of Nine Swords - Richard Baker

quote:

If you think you’ve seen the idea of per-encounter powers for fighters before, you’re right. Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords built a system of maneuvers for martial characters that presaged many of the nonspellcaster powers coming up in 4th Edition D&D.

At one point in our power design, we examined the idea of whether or not character powers could be constructed more or less like a card-game model. In other words, all the power choices available to you would be your “hand,” and when you used a power in a fight, you’d “discard” it. In fact, you might even have important “draw” or “refresh” mechanics to return discarded powers to your hand. One of the most aggressive ideas of this sort was the notion of a character who drew his hand randomly as the fight progressed. So, to test the acceptability of these changes to our audience, we adopted the classes in Book of Nine Swords to use an execute, discard, and refresh system for their maneuvers.

While the Nine Swords classes actually work fine with the system (even the crusader!), we eventually moved away from the idea of maneuvers refreshing in an encounter. We decided that we didn’t want to make the players play a game of managing their “hands” at the same time they were playing a game of defeating the monsters. But we learned a tremendous amount from watching D&D fans play with the rules in Book of Nine Swords. And heck, they were fun enough that most of our D&D games around the office saw plenty of Nine Swords characters enter the dungeon.

Next up: The Rogue

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Mr. Maltose posted:

That's when you give a hobo a hundred bucks for his low profile.

At which point the hobo loses it.. so suddenly becomes an incredibly well-known hobo, which will be pretty suspicious in itself. :)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


hyphz posted:

At which point the hobo loses it.. so suddenly becomes an incredibly well-known hobo, which will be pretty suspicious in itself. :)

Like that homeless Chinese guy who got photographed and suddenly became a famous model.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Well you don't buy all of it from a single hobo, obviously.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


MonsieurChoc posted:

All the Personas, really. Say what you will about the first two games's gameplay, they had great atmosphere and an interesting story.

Also, while P5 isn't out yet, it did give me the idea of a Krew of Geist who "Steal from the Living to give to the Dead".

I'd say Persona would make for a nifty contemporary horror / secret supernatural society RPG. The main franchise is a bit more in your face with its demon invasion, though that makes for a very different take on Pokemon.

Persona: The Un-bear-ening. You have one X splat for each Arcana, and then you pick between human, android, dog and teddy.

occamsnailfile posted:


the text assures me that this can fly

I like to imagine that the two nobs on the forehead are the "eyes", and the visor the mouth. Also, this guy is pretty BattleTech-y. The Warlord Mk I Combat Suit could work too if you make it less spiky and more angular.

quote:


this looks like Breaux trying to imitate Ewell and it doesn’t quite work

Why does this have a duck face o_O ?

Stars Without Number

There's definitely a mecha missing in this picture

Now onwards to the stuff not found in the free version:

Chapter Twelve: Robots and Mechs

First up are robots!

Robots

True artifical intelligence arrived didn't come around until 2355, when mankind was requiring more blast processing for their Second Wave of space colonization. Turned out that for all their benefits, the sheer complexity of an AI mind made creating and educating them very espensive, and just copying them didn't really work out.
On top of them, it didn't take long for the first AIs to go rogue. Nobody is quite sure why this happens, but it can be assumed that it is either because of their mind evolving into something too alien to be understood, or plain old insanity. Neverthless, a rogue AI can be truly fearsome, as they are hard to destroy (more on that later) and can hack into stuff that is not even connected to them. The very first rogue AI - Draco - hijacked a warship, became a vigilante and created a sect.

To combat future rogue shenanigans, the year 2378 saw every AI getting "braked" to put a limit on their mental development and concentration. In exchange, the AIs essential got human rights, including a full citizenship and the option to pick their job freely (with a little extra tax towards their creators for the first 100 years or so).

AIs in SWN soon became very rich, but also very bored dudes. They eventually put their amassed resources into getting themselves armatures, robotic bodies that allowed them to explore the galaxy and live among the humans. Space restrictions caused their perceptive and cognitive abilities to be downgraded to something much closer to human level while inside an armature, but the AIs shrugged this off as either a necessary evil or interesting new experience.

This is also were some of the stranger abilities of AIs emerged, some that even the original creators didn't quite understand. The matrix core that formed their actual "body" was a quantum super computer capable of still working perfectly fine when broken apart. The AI just lived inside the biggest chunk and could always transfer between the parts.
Taking a cue from the D&D lich, AIs could just leave a matrix shard dubbed phylactery in a safe place and go on reckless adventures. Even the total annihilation of their armature and the matrix core inside would just them wake up inside their phylactery, which could always grow to full size.

The Scream and the ensuing Silence hit most AIs pretty hard. The sudden loss of power and maintenance caused many matrix cores to shut down, with the AI inside falling into a deep sleep of sorts. AIs who resided in their less power-hungry armatures could still operate, but they tended to find themselves getting dismantled by humans for spare parts, leaving their remaining core to collect dust.
Still, some managed to stay awake more or less constantly throughout the whole deal. Quite depressed fellows, but their knowledge from the olden days is worth a lot.

Now with interstellar trade finally in full swing again, AIs are starting to become active again. Some want power, others want to help humanity, and some just want to see how things look after all these centuries. Postech armatures are a lot clunkier than the old models, but they get the job done.

(And of course, there's always the possibility that an AIs brakes have failed in all those centuries, making them about as helpful as The Computer from Paranoia)

AI Character Creation

"My God!"

AI PCs are assumed to be inside an armature, as playing as a big-rear end super computer on an abandoned space station is a bit limited in adventuring options. They don't have access to psychic powers or the class abilitie of the Expert and Warrior, but they can quickly transfer their consciousness to another armature for a maximum of flexibility.

The way AI characters are created is basically a built-your-own-class system: The player buys the mental attributes, the progession for Attack Bonus, Saving Throws and Skill Points, as well as the starting skill packages. He then picks a starting armature, which determines the physical attributes, Armor Class and various other integrated abilities and equipment.
The limiting factor for all of this is Tolerance, the AIs ability to handle all that stuff. The above choices cost a certain amount of Tolerance (except for the worst options, which cost nothing), so if you make your AIs core abilities too good, it might not be able to "fit" inside a deathbot 3000, or really anything fancier than a standard armature. So look at the most expensive armature you'd like to have, and built the AI accordingly.
As the armature is really the only source of Tolerance that can change over time, the upper Tolerance limit is fixed and never increases as the AI levels up.

Speaking of leveling up, AIs require as much experience as a Warrior or Psychic. Their Hit Points are based on their level (aka their ability to keep their blown-up armature working) and the CON modifier of their current armature. They don't roll hit dice and instead gain fixed HP. Human PCs might therefore have more HP, but AIs will eclipse them later as their HP gain stays constant, while human eventually stop getting HD and have to contempt with a smaller fixed bonus and the chance to max out their HD through rerolls.

(Mmh, I think SWN characters really do add their Attribute modifier to every level, not just the ones they actually get a HD in. Still, SWN is pretty darn lethal, so that should help. Silly me.)

AIs really rock when it comes to skills. They treat everything as a class skill, and they don't need trainers as long as they can find a manual or something instead.
Not being organic, they are immune against various hazards and dangers. They only really have to worry about radiation and corrosive atmospheres. Biopsionics don't work on them, but all other psychic powers do, even Telepathy because of their human-like consciousness.

Though they have to undergo repairs to regain HP, AIs are pretty hard to kill. The matrix core easily survives having its armature destroyed by conventional means, and even if it is destroyed the AI has most like a phylactery stashed away were it will reawaken with all memories intact. It takes a month before the phylactery has grown enough to create a new phylactery though, so no storing tons of 1-Ups. Also, the AI isn't really aware if their phylactery gets destroyed or taken away.

Armatures range from the Scrap Walker, a shoddy thing made out of - you guessed it - scrap with AC 9 and physical attributes of 7 across the bord and go up to the Titan , a Pretech combat beast with AC 0, physical 18s across the board, bonus HP per level, flight capabilities and a sweet selection of built-in weapons (including a friggin' Anti-Vehicle Laser).
Starting AI can pick between the Standard (tech- and healbot), Echo (replicant), Nemesis (killbot) and Voyager (explorer) armature.

Expert Systems and Bots

Expert Systems were the ancestors of the true AI, and the only form of somewhat intelligent software that can be created with Postech. They have no sentience and fail at pretty much anything that doesn't fall within their programming (which can get quite messy if the expert system in question is a warbot).

Rules-wise, they are AIs without mental attributes and a predetermined progression. The cost do buy one depends on its HD and the armature they're in. Postech can't pull of expert systems with more than 4 HD, so anything more advanced is probably lurking in some kind of ruin.

Mechs

"Aaaaaaaaahhh..."

The rogue AI Draco involuntary revolutionized warfare with the quantum tap array it used to transfer himself onto a warship. A few tweaks here and there turned the array into one of the best ECM system known to man (like Minovsky Particles in Gundam). This caused spaceship combat to quickly turn into close-range slugfests with direct fire weapons, and naval vessels equipped with this new ECM were safe from intercontinental missile barrages.
Applying this technology to ground warfare proved more troublesome, as the ECM emitters require a minimum distance from each other, and couldn't be too close to the surface. Unsurprisingly, this is were mechs and their humanoid shape were conceived. These titans could pack quite a punch and were able to shield their fellow gravtank and infantry buddies.
Unfortunately, mechs became quite rare even before the Scream. Frontier worlds didn't have to worry about guided weapon systems that would require ECM, and their were ridiculously expensive compared to a gravtank armed to the teeth. Still, a few mechs still remain, and some worlds have the facilities to create more...

Mechs come in three sizes: Suits have no ECM and just serve as 3-meter-tall super infantry, Light mechs are up to 8 meters tall, and Heavy mechs go up to 13 meters. The hull sizes are further divided into one of three types: Shock for raw assault and firepower, Specialist for special roles, and the particularly rare Psimech made to take full advantage of a psychic pilot.

In game terms, mechs are vehicles with some extra rules. Suits subtract their armor from non-Gunnery weapons like normal vehicles, and their low HP is offset by the pilot being able to take the hit instead. Light and Heavy mechs are completely immune against non-Gunnery weapons, and even Gunnery-weapons are first reduced by their HP. Due to their human form and the mental interface used to pilot them, their can be piloted with the Exosuit skill instead of the Vehicle one, and most special abilities (like the Warrior's Veteran's Luck aka "1 free dodge per battle") work with them. Psychics with the Teleportation can even teleport their mech along the ride (provided it's a Psimech; anything else is hard to impossible).

An interesting rule involves ammo: It is not tracked individually, instead the pilot makes a Gunnery skill check for each gun to see whether it ran out of ammo. The check becomes harder with each combat until maintenance.

Unlike normal vehicles, mechs are constructed like a starship: Pick a hull and stuff it full with weapons and other systems. Shock mechs have the most Power and Hardpoints for their size, Specialists have the most Free Mass, and Psimechs have pretty little of everything because their psi-exclusive stuff is pretty light.

Mech Fittings

Quite a lot of utility stuff, be it better communication, cargo space or escape pods. Fans of anime mecha should definitely consider Antigrav Nodes (atmospheric flight), Grav Chutes (orbital entry) and Void Thrusters (zero-G flight).
Psimechs get quite a lot of fun toys here, like the Jump Coil (allows the teleportation of fellow mechs), the Kinesis Boost (temporal speed boost) and the Omen Tap (forces the target to reroll a successful hit roll or skill check). To counter those, there's the Neural Static Generator.

Also nice to have is the Fire Control Unit, split into multiple mechs with a slave unit getting intel from a master unit. The benefit of this is that the pilot can fire his mech's weapons one at a time (the default rules allow him to fire all weapons in one turn, but he has to declare targets before actually attacking, potentially wasting shots).

Mech Defenses

A couple modifiers to a mech's defensive abilities, with the fanciest being the Morphi Silhouette Damper that halves an enemy's effective range. Also useful are the MES Shunt Channels that grant Armor against Psi weaponry (which ignores normal armor).

Mech Weaponry

The weapons also feature Qualities similar to shapceships, with new ones including Cone (self-explanatory), Psi (ignores normal armor and allows the usage of psi-related weapon skills and attributes), Melee (also self-explanatory), Ammo (which is different from the spaceship version because individual shots are not tracked, instead using the abstract system above) and Slow (requires a check to see whether or not the weapon requires cooldown).

The list includes all the normal vehicle-grade Gunnery weapons, with heavier versions for most of them except for the still pretty sweet Vortex Cannon. New heavy-hitters include the Rail Cannon (4d12 damage with AP 45, but Slow and Ammo) and the Beam Lance (5d8 damage, AP 30).
The two most expensive weapons are psi-weapons, more specifically the Mindburner (4d10 damage in Cone area) and the awesomely-named invisible Finger of God (4d12 damage, but slow).

Apart from improvised weapons, the only melee weapons available are Cutter Plates (aka "just about any melee weapon") and the MES Knife (psi-powered beam sword). Damage depends on the mech's size (1d12 per size).

Overall good stuff. SWN robots have this interesting flavor of old reckless explorers (or former AI celebrity) re-awakening in a new world to discover, with flexible creation rules and a failsafe against TPKs. The mechs are also nice because I'm a sucker for mechs and the book finally allows some spaceship-level customization for ground vehicles. They are however pretty drat rare in the setting, though the vast scale of the SWN sandbox means there's probably at least one Gundam ripoff star system around.

Next Time: Societies - the other paid-exclusive.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:11 on Jun 19, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Mortal Remains

The problem, you understand, isn't vampires manipulating people or werewolves eating them. The problem is the system that allows these things to happen. The problem is the hierarchy we're born into, that we are expected to perpetuate. We must reform society by disrupting it. We must disrupt. That is the message of Utopia Now. Monsters are the symptom of a societal disease, a disease that has infected us to the core. We need a new order. The government as we know it - all of it - is outdated. New technology can free us from those restraints and build communities independent of traditional nation-states. Of course, the tech isn't all complete yet. Utopia Now has to develop it first. But they can salvage it from the festering wounds of our society.

Utopia Now was founded by a Witness, William Horn, who saw the demonic forces controlling the ailing tech company he worked for. He discovered the existence of institutional demons and decided that he had to build a world free of them. He went back to school, getting a PhD and recruiting his fellow students to form a mobile app startup, found venture capitalists and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Now, Horn is a respected Pacific Heights billionaire. Charities seek him out, but Horn does not believe in charity. He thinks you must earn your place. His master plan involves the construction of a floating town off the California coastline, a network of boats that will become a city. This utopia will be built on self-governance and self-sufficiency. He will 3D-print the goods he requires...but the problem is, these communities can't be truly self-sufficient yet. Power has to come from somewhere, and medical infrastructure is another problem. That's where the other part of the plan comes in: find institutional demons, exorcise them and scavenge their infrastructure for the processors, reactors and other technomystical secrets they hold. He might even find a way to dismantle and use their odd conceptual powers. It'd be really handy to draw prosperity off a greed demon, after all...the point is, you take the parts of the old system you need and discard everything else. Disrupt everything. Utopia Now, his company, recruits only can-do achievers - not necessarily his fellow entrepreneurs and engineers, but people he wouldn't mind living in his new utopia. Self-starters.

Utopia Now prefers not to talk about enemies. They prefer bloodless terms - targets. Subjects. Things that let them ignore that they're killing living things. They do know what their targets are, however: institutional demons embedded in a sick society, the creatures that embody bureaucracy, welfare and the military-industrial complex. These demons use humans and theire sense of entitlement to gorge on sorrows, creating needs to fulfill. A real society won't need them. However, greater demons are a giant blind spot. They're enough like institutional demons that their goals aren't always easy to distinguish, but Utopia Now's detection protocols analyze trends on too high a level to usually pick them out. They know that lesser demons exist, repeating tasks forever, but since they're almost never useful for parts they're mostly ignored. Occasionally, Utopia Now will run across other parasites in the system - vampires, werewolves, fairies. They aren't the real problem, but Utopia Now is happy to take them out and see if they can be stripped for useful technology.

The Cure are the department that do the really dirty jobs. They make sure the parasites that the old system uses can't find their way into the new system. They're the most traditional hunters - occult scavengers and monster killers. The Operators do the footwork to track down institutional demons for Horn to dissect. They analyze financies, police blotters and news agencies to identify demons, then eliminate them with business acumen (to break the institutions) and exorcism (to get rid of the rest), then take apart the physical components and ship them back to Silicon Valley. The Incubators take charge of things there, examining the occult patterns institutional demons are built on to see if they can be rearranged in better ways. They take the reactor that runs on blood, say, and try to figure out if they can make it boot on artificial plasma.

Status in Utopia Now is equal parts being a true believer and delivering. In theory, you're expected to excel in your field. In practice, it's a startup, and strong will is just as useful for promotion as actual talent. One dot means you're a new hire - a specialist of some kind but without much experience. You get a free Specialty. At three dots, you're a rising star and get Horn or some other member as a two dot Mentor. At five dots, you bring something unique to the table and are given tools to act on threats. You get a four dot Retainer or four dots of Allies.

Stereotypes posted:

Ashwood Abbey: These guys know how to party, but they miss the point. You celebrate success when you accomplish something worthwhile or land a new investor, not just because you found some exotic monster to eat.
Loyalists of Thule: Everything we're fighting against. They set into motion the monstrous engines of the twentieth century. Whatever knowledge they might have, is it worth even speaking to the architects of the very past we want to erase?
The Cheiron Group: You hear about these suits sometimes. Big players in biotech, rumors that they're after the same targets as us. But they're not about changing things. They're about lining their own pockets with the existing system - the one we've sworn to tear down.
The Union: On the one hand, you've got to admire their gumptuon. They take matters into their own hands, and they get poo poo done. On the other hand, our ideological divide's right there in the name. "Union." We want a future where everyone works for honest dollars (or better yet, crypto-currency). The Union thinks the world owes them warmth and security.



The Knights of Saint Adrian are a blunt instrument. Demons are out there, consuming innocent souls, and there's not enough angels out there to stop them. The angels need to contract out to folks who can stand against the forces of Hell and beat them back. Casey Howard, their founder, was a skip tracer in the 90s. She was good at it, and built like a fire truck with the patience of a Zen monk, at home both chasing bail jumpers and doing paperwork. However, she got her arm broke in a surfing accident, didn't go to the doctor fast enough, and it healed wrong. She just couldn't use it the same any more. Her employers were understanding, keeping her on desk duty after that, but even her patience started to wear thing, day in and day out without kicking rear end. One day during lunch, a stranger in a bar offered her a chance. All he wanted was her memories of a friend she'd had after she left the Army. She turned him down - no way does bargaining your memories sound like a good idea. But what made it weird? AA week later she met another stranger in that bar. He wanted to know about the first guy, and she recognized the kinds of questions he asked. She wanted to know if the guy was a con man, maybe, or a thief. But no - no, it was simpler than that. The guy had been an enemy of God. The stranger wanted to know if Casey could track him down, and she agreed, but said someone else would have to do the fighting, thanks to her arm. And that's when the angel healed her, no strings attached.

The angel's made good. Eight years later, not only does Casey's arm work better than it ever has, but she has her own business. On paper, Howard Investigative Services hires out brain and muscle to bail bondsmen. On the road, though, they're the Knights of Saint Adrian, the patron of guards and soldiers. They do the Lord's work, hunting down the devil and earning a hefty commission for it. They're tough folkjs, thanks to the angelic tattoos they have. They're a close-knit band of bounty hunters facing God's fugitives.

Everyone gets the speech. The enemies are demons, fallen angels that scoop out the soul to possess a human life. They offer deals and bargains, but end of the day? They're monsters. Some start cults, some run companies, but they all corrupt people into the devil's work, whittling away at their souls. Now, the Knights aren't religious. Casey's Christian, sure, but that's not the point. The point is, by the end your first or second hunt, you will have seen something out of Hell, and you'll have iced it or taken it in. Capture or kill depends on the contract. Casey speaks to the client herself, and hands out the instructions, which are apt to be bizarre. Sometimes you drop a demon at a warehouse where a man in a lab coat with no pupils takes him. Sometimes you drop one at a cryonics facility, or the back of an abandoned church. You never know where you're going next or what your target will be pretending to be. It doesn't matter, though. You've seen the truth, and there's no way back from that.

The Dispatchers handle the logistics. They give out assignments and also provide services like actual bounty hunting jobs to use as cover. The Hounds handle most of the fieldwork, whether that means taking their way onto private property or shooting out with demons. Demons never go quiet, you understand. And the Deliverers? They take care of whatever esoteric handling requirements are needed to keep a captive demon captive, as well as the strange ways and places the client asks them to be handed over.

Status in the Knights is pretty informal. It represents how clued in you are at home office and how the hunt is going. At one dot, you're a new hire, doing the grunt work. But hey, you have access to the Ink merit. At three dots, you've taken down a few demons. You know what you're up against and have some contacts. You get two dots of Contacts. At five dots, you're Casey's core crew and have worked with her personally. She'll even use the client's name in front of you. You have a company card, letting you get 3 dots of Resources or a 3 dot Retainer, as long as you can justify your spending.

Stereotypes posted:

The Union: Say what you will about these guys, but they're regular folks like you and I. Most of them are just looking out for their own neighborhoods and they're just as happy to have some professionals lend a hand.
The Lucifuge: Sons of Satan? These things can have kids? Sign the paperwork and I'll get right on that.
Malleus Maleficarum: Makes sense that the Church proper would have a branch doing the same job as us. Funny how they spend most of their time chasing vampires, though.
Task Force: VALKYRIE: Likewise, of course the spooks know about the devil. The drat government never met a secret it didn't want to cover up.

Next time: Ink.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


The Knights are such a great conspiracy. Thematically I really like putting bounty hunters up against the espionage and concealment of nDemon, and just in general I like that they're a serious threat that doesn't know or care whether you're "that kind of demon" or not. It's a bit like Division Six but with serious teeth.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Utopia Now got all the stink of Libertarian Wonks and their 'filthy leeches go away' sand castle island dreams.

e: and I wish they would stop writing about Ashwood Abbey, it just gets worse and worse

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 23:27 on Jun 19, 2015

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Robindaybird posted:

Utopia Now got all the stink of Libertarian Wonks and their 'filthy leeches go away' sand castle island dreams.
And Ashwood Abbey keeps tumbling down the ranks of Most Obnoxious Compact.

Nea
Feb 28, 2014

Funny Little Guy Aficionado.

Okay. Can someone clarify for me what an Institutional Demon is, exactly? Is it just nDemon demons?

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



An institutional demon is...well, it's basically a God-Machine installation. It is a supernatural place or institution which controls the people within it to accomplish some end, often one that makes little sense but makes the world just a little bit worse.

Mortal Remains

Ink is what the angel who fixed Casey's arm used. It was a magic tattoo that healed her. It looks a little arcane, a little high tech, and the angel keeps coming back to outfit Saint Adrian hunters with new Ink. You get tattoos equal to your Ink dots, and you can raise Ink as high as you want, but overlapping tats look really tacky. While not in use, Ink resembles a normal tattoo, and actually fades faster than most. When active, they don't quite glow, but give the impression of bioluminescence by how they catch the light. So, what Ink is available?



Well, there's Bear Mace. It's on the flat of your palms and makes them glow faintly when it's active. Bear Mace is pretty nasty - see, when you have this tat, you can activate it to make your unarmed attacks deal terrible, crippling pain, enough to stun anyone you hit...but it only affects supernatural creatures, including people possessed by lesser demons. Sure, decking a guy isn't the subtlest monster test, but hey! It works. However, you can only use it (Ink dots) times per scene, due to the vast draw of angelic energy it requires, and it's not compatible with the Fist of Revelation.

Brother Road is a tattoo that lets you read the road, ask it questions. It's subtler than most Ink in that way. When activated, you can ask the road whether any person or creature you know has been that way recently, what unusual things have happened in the past 24 hours, who witnessed something they haven't told anybody about or who last died in the general area.

The Fist of Revelation is a tattoo that lets you remove magical disguises. (But only from greater demons.) With your fist. Whenever you hit with an unarmed attack, you can activate it to cause any greater demon you just hit to be immediately forced into their Apocalyptic Form and become unable to revert for a while. Plus, you knock them down! You can use it whenever you want, but can't combo it with Bear Mace.

King of the Road links you to your vehicle. The tattoo is always in the shape of the vehicle you're linked to, so you want something cool. You also have to pain the vehicle specially, but you can cover that with another paint job after. Once you have it set up? You will never lose that car. Doesn't matter what you do to it. Drive it into a lake? That's fine. Get it blown the gently caress up? Sure. Lose it somewhere? That's okay. No matter what, within 24 hours it will show up utterly unharmed in a parking area you visit. Always the exact same car - not a type of car, that one car, the one you linked yourself to. (Or truck, or bike. Whatever.)

The Lord Provides means you don't have to keep track of your bullets. You tattoo a specific model of gun on your body. When using any gun of that model, you have infinite ammunition. It's mundane ammo, you still have to reload, but you always have ammo.

LOVE/HATE is not the classiest tattoo. You get LOVE and HATE tattooed across your knuckles, after all. But when you shake hands with your right hand, you can sense whether someone is trustworthy. And your left hand deals lethal damage instead of bashing.

Pain Magnet is a tat that lets you be hurt for others. You can just pick a buddy and whenever they would get hurt, it gets dealt to you this scene. You must be in the same general area as them for it to work, generally close enough to be part of the same fight. How it looks when you get wounded this way varies with every hunter. And once you get hurt enough, it stops working.

Tough As The Last Guy helps you draw on the strength of your enemies. It takes the form of angelic script around the biceps and a mark on the back of the neck. After any fight in which you faced someone with higher Strength, Dexterity, Brawl, Firearms or Weaponry than you, you can activate it to store those dots for later - even if the dots were only gained temporarily by your enemy. At any later time, you can activate them, replacing your own skill or attribute with the stored dots for a scene. You can only store one attribute or skill at a time, and each storage only gets one use. So be careful with it.

After that, we just get some new powers and the rough and unskilled port of old Hunter stuff. So...that's Hunter.

The End.

I picked up a pair of interesting games at Origins. Are folks more interested in learning about Through the Breach, the Malifaux RPG of steampunk card games, or Hellas, a game that seems to use a Talislanta-based system to do ancient Greek myth in space.

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