Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Comrade Koba posted:

"gently caress you, you're playing a middle-aged human shitfarmer or you're not playing at all. Make a DC20 Fortitude save to check if you die of dysentery before the session starts." :smuggo:
Has anybody done WFRP 2e?


Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten

Kavak posted:

I don't think wish-fulfillment actually means anything when he says it. It's like communist, socialist, and fascist to rightists- they're all substitutes for "bad thing".

I'm pretty sure "wish-fulfillment" is a code for "narrative control". They're mad about PCs not having to take their hosing.

Feb 13, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

Has anybody done WFRP 2e?

No, but I have absolutely all the books for it and again, could do that if there's interest, I think.

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011

Halloween Jack posted:

Has anybody done WFRP 2e?

Ratcatcher best class all years

Feb 13, 2012

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

Forums Terrorist posted:

Ratcatcher best class all years

Weirdly, I've played a lot of that game and no-one has ever been a Ratcatcher. When I played as a Black Skaven, though, I got my poo poo wrecked by a dwarven ratcatcher underneath Nuln, though. I was this huge shitkicker rat in mail armor and this dwarf and his loving corgi ran me off and almost killed me.

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011

Well, he was a Ratcatcher...

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Halloween Jack posted:

Has anybody done WFRP 2e?

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: we were being murderhobos before it was cool.

Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten
So I just discovered, thanks to the World of Warships thread and Wikipedia, that there's an official Kantai Collection Tabletop RPG. Is anyone brave enough (and fluent in Japanese enough) to review that?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

Soulstones are generally not particularly largegems, and most are poor quality at best, fit only to become jewelery. They hold only faint magical charge and when used, they burn out forever and become inert if pretty rocks. They are often ground into a powder to ship to Earth to fuel magic, and also for sale to some governments and universities. Larger or higher quality soulstones, though, are not totally expended when used. They do not hold infinite charge, but will rebuild their reserve over time. Once depleted, though, the magic they power will fail and must be reapplied. For this reason, it's vital that if you want permanence, you use a big enough and high enough quality soulstone - it has to recharge faster than you drain it. Low quality stones are still useful, though, and can be recharged in several ways. In the hands of someone skilled (or particularly vile) they can still be used for enchantment, not just empowering spells.

Swimming is also half your Walk, and it's assumed any character can stay afloat indefinitely in calm waters. Moving quickly is a (2) Use Skill action that moves you at Walk + Athletics, but no roll is needed. Tougher water conditions require Athletics checks, though. Pushing, shoving, dragging orp ulling all functions as a push movement, and most movement penalties do not apply to pushes. You just move the distance of the push, and you don't trigger disengaging strikes. Flight allows you to bypass terrain and other characters without penalty, but you still get disengaging strikes if you don't have the altitude to be out of range. Falling at least three yards triggers fall damage, with it hurting more for every additional two yards fallen. Falling is also special - normally, when you draw the Black Joker on a damage check, you take no damage, no matter what. If you fall from a height that would normally kill you instantly even on a minimum damage check, though, all the Joker means is you survived and land with 0 Wounds left and probably a lot of lasting injuries.

Soulstones have both a size rating and a quality rating, which range from 0 to 5. A size 0 soulstone is dust, a size 5 is about the size of a bowling ball. A quality 0 soulstone looks more like rock, while 5 is practically clear and only slightly colored. They can come in just about any shape, especially when altered by a magically skilled jeweler. You add the size and quality together to determine its Lade, and higher Lade means higher value...though practically no one's ever actually seen any Lade above 7. Lade 3 is already exceptionally valuable - enough to set you up for life, if you survive long enough to find a buyer that won't just kill you for it.

A lade 0 stone - ie, a handful of soulstone dust able to power a pneumatic limb for a month or three - is worth 10 scrip. A Lade 1 stone? That's worth a thousand. Lade 2? 5000 scrip. 3? 20,000. This poo poo is exceptionally valuable, and the better the stone is, the faster it regains charge. A Lade 0 stone never does, while Lade 1 regains about one charge each year naturally, while a Lade 2 is double that, and Lade 3 is once a month. It just gets better from there, and higher lade also means more maximum charges. Beyond natural seepage, there's two ways to repower a soulstone.

First, you can use the Harness Soulstone skill to channel magical energies through your own body and into the soulstone. It's a TN of 10 + Lade, and if you succeed, the stone gains (your Charm) charges, and you take (Lade) wounds immediately. The second method is siphoning. If a soulstone is placed within (Size) yards of someone when they die, and the stone's Quality exceeds their Tenacity, the soulstone will completely fill. To the brim. Murder makes their power grow.

The Harness Soulstone skill can also be used to tap into the charges in a soulstone, as long as its lade is equal to or lower than your Charm + Harness Soulstone. You can expend a charge to gain a bonus to any single duel, as long as the soulstone is on your person. If you use this defensively and still get hit, the damage flip gets a penalty. You can only spend one charge per duel this way. You can also expend a soulstone charge to add any one Suit of your choice to a duel, usable only for Triggers. You can only spend one charge per duel this way. Last, you can maintain a spell by trying its magic to the soulstone. At the end of the spell's duration, it will automatically recast itself on the same target, with the same result as your casting. Each time it does this, one charge is expended. If the stone's Seep recharges it faster than it spends charges, the spell is effectively permanent until the stone is somehow drained. This can only be done to spells that target a willing target, an object or a location.

Soulstone dust, regardless of its quality, can never be recharged. Instead, it can be used to provide one charge of power, and then is destroyed. Higher quality just means you need less dust to get the charge, so it can be stored more compactly.

Anyway, Grimoires. A Grimoire is a term to refer to anything that records magic. It could be a mystical tome, but that's hardly the only way. It might be a looseleaf folder of poems and papers of a madman. It could be a set of scrolls or coded writings. It could be a bunch of stones carved with strange glyphs. It could be an intricate tattoo, or a deck of cards marked with ink visible only through certain lenses. It could be a preserved and enchanted severed head that recites spell formulas on command. It could even be scrawlings in blood on a wall that never seem to fade, no matter how often they're washed away. There are countless Grimoires in Malifaux, and some believe that they are even created by the subconscious of magically apt people in a burst of uncontrolled power, though few sane people accept that. Grimoires are rarely purchased or sold - they are sometimes given as gifts to apprentices, but most commonly they are found, as if the magic called to people. Indeed, each Grimoire seems to have some kind strange desire to be used and will turn up in the strangest of places.

A Grimoire becomes obsolete once you master all the Magia and Immutos within it, but until you do, you can only use the ones you've mastered or which are in the Grimoire you are currently accessing. You may only access one at a time. You needn't have it on your person to do so - you just have to declare that it's the one you're studying, and must spend a reasnable amount of time memorizing its mysteries and studying it. To do that you do need physical access to it, but the time spent studying is generally best handwaved between sessions. The GM can allow you to change Grimoires mid-session, but it takes a narratively appropriate amount of time.

You essentially create spells on the fly from the Magia and Immuto you have access to. A spell consists of one Magia and as many Immuto as you feel like trying to apply. The Magia determines what the spell does, and the Immutos modify it. Together, they create the final spell action, which is handled as any other. To cast a spell, you must have a Magical Theory, or else all your Magical skills are purely academic in nature. Once you have one and a Grimoire, you can cast spells. Bam. However, you can only use one Grimoire at a time, and you're limited to what's in it and anything you've Mastered.

There's one exception: Manifested Powers. These are much more regimented than spells, but are created in the same way. However, once you define what Magia and Immutos are involved, it never changes, ever. You gain a Manifested Power as a possible reward for resolving or denying a step in your Destiny. They never change, but you can use them at any time, without training - it's innate to you, just something you can do. Entirely natural. This just happens in Malifaux. There are no restrictions on what they can do, but the GM must approve them, and they should be personal and reflect the character who manifests them. They can use any Aspect and Skill combination the GM feels is appropriate, rather than the ones the Magia would normally use, and may use whatever Suit is appropriate rather than the one the Magia would normally use.

Sorcery creates temporary effects, generally designed for obvious combat uses. This is the home of most elemental effects, though 'elemental' can describe a variety of things besides the classical elements.
Elemental Engulf runs on Tenacity, has a base cost of 1 AP and a TN of 5 Tomes. It is resisted by Willpower and shoots out a blast of elemental magic. It requires an Elemental Immuto and deals 1/2/3 damage. Basically, you make the target suddenly get surrounded by elemental energy.
Elemental Projectile is similar, but runs on Intellect, has TN 3 Tomes and is resisted by Defense. This one literally shoots a blast of elemental magical power at the target.
Elemental Strike is identical to Elemental Projectile, save that it is a melee weapon, not a ranged one - you punch or hit someone with something enfused with elemental power.
Telekinetic Movement lets you telekinetically move stuff with Tenacity. 1 AP, TN 7 Masks, resisted by Willpower. You can move an object as if it were being lifted and carried by someone with Might equal to your Tenacity and Speed equal to your Cunning. Inanimate objects can't resist, but if they are held by a person, that person can resist. You may maintain the spell from turn to turn to keep moving the object without recasting it, but you can't cast any other spell while you maintain this one. Moving the object is a (1) AP action, as if you were casting the spell again. You may make attacks with the object, using whatever skill would be appropriate, such as Melee for a sword, but replacing the relevant Aspect with Intellect.
Telekinetic Push runs on Intellect, is AP 1, TN 7 Masks and resisted by Defense. You shoot a force wave at someone, pushing them (Tenacity) yards directly away from you.
Sleep runs on Tenacity, is AP 2, TN 10 Masks. If the target is Living, they must make a TN 10 Unconsciousness challenge, with the TN raised by 2 for every Margin of Success while casting. This spell does not work on non-Living targets, normally. (Note that because this is not resisted normally, most powerful NPCs will not be vulnerable to it at all unless you get real lucky.)
Wrench runs on Tenacity, is AP 2, TN 10 Tomes. It is not resisted normally. You reach inside your target and grab their internal organs with telekinesis, then twist. This normally works only on Living targets, who must make a TN 10 Toughness + Resilience Challenge, with the TN raised by 2 for each Margin of Success when casting. If they fail, they suffer a Moderate Critical Effect.

Enchanting is all about augmenting a target somehow, and its spells almost always enhance their target in some way.
Animate Construct runs on Charm, is AP 1 and TN 10 Tomes. You imbue a construct's body with life for an hour. At the end of the spell, it returns to its inanimate form and may be later reanimated. You can only control one Construct at a time.
Animate Limb runs on Charm, is AP 2 and TN 10 Tomes. You imnbue an artificial limb with life for (Charm + Enchanting) weeks, or less if you feel like it. It is under the control of the person attached to it, not you. The limb must have been built to perform as a limb, but need not be shaped in the form of a natural limb. If you are reanimating a non-Pneumatic limb, such as a stitched-together arm of dead flesh, the TN requires Crows instead of Tomes.
Heal runs on Cunning, is AP 1 and TN 7 Rams. It is resisted by Willpower, if someone chooses to resist. It requires a Living target. They heal 1/2/3 damage. Each time someone is targeted by this spell within an hour, the TN is increased by either 3 or an additional Rams, caster's choice. If this spell fails to heal someone, they cannot receive magical healing from this Magia until the next sunrise.
Mend Critical runs on Cunning, is AP 0-2 (0 for Weak or non-Critical conditions, 1 for Moderate, 2 for Severe Critical Effects), TN 10 Rams and reissted by Willpower if someone chooses to resist. You remove a single condition from the target, as long as it's a Critical condition or was placed by a non-magical effect.
Physical Enhancement runs on Charm, is AP 1 and TN 7 Rams. It is reissted by Defense, if someone chooses to resist. The target gets the Physically Enhanced +1 condition.
Physicallly Enhanced +X: The target adds X to their Physical Aspects, to a maximum of 3.
Elemental Weapon runs on Cunning, is AP 2 and TN 8 Tomes. This requires an Elemental Immuto, and gives the targeted weapon the effects of the Immuto, as if the weapon were itself a Magia. This lasts one minute. The wielder can choose to resist, and if they do, the spell fails automatically. This can be cast directly on a person, in which case it enchants their unarmed attacks. They suffer no ill effects from this, even though you may have just caused their hands to be on fire.
Shapeshift runs on Cunning, is AP 1 and has a special TN. It is resisted by Willpower, tehcnically, but you will never resist it. You trn your body into that of a Beast for 1 turn, gaining the Beast characteristic and all of the Beast's physical qualities, such as fangs or ability to fly. The TN is 10 Tomes, plus the difference between the Beast's highest Physical Aspect and your lower Physical Aspect - so if you havE Speed -2 and you want to turn into a Bear (with Might 4), you would have a TN of 16 Tomes (10 plus the difference of 6).

Construct creation is handled here in this sidebar.

Next time: Necromancy, Prestidigitation and Immuto

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy
Wizards Presents: Races and Classes

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


Class Role - Logan Bonner


The rogue is the prime example of a striker. Capable of delivering more damage to a single target than many other characters, a rogue has to spend some effort setting up such a boost. By skillful maneuvering, the help of allies, and the occasional dirty trick, a rogue sets up devastating attacks. In exchange for high damage, a striker ends up frail compared to a defender.

The rest of the section talks about how hiding in shadows, jumping over enemies and scaling walls are all tricks that the Rogue uses to set-up their attacks, and they can do these things because they can use their skills more effectively than other classes, and that the skill system for 4th Edition itself has been revamped.

Sneak Attack is also touted as a source of a Rogue's damage, and it's been made easier to use and more widely applicable. Both the skill revamp and the Sneak Attack changes will be talked about further in.

The last source of a Rogue's bighuge damage is supposed to be their "follow-up attacks", which are tacked onto the end of successful normal attacks to make for flashy results and also good numbers output.

Sneak Attack - Mike Mearls


In the beginning thieves had the backstab ability, and it was good. A +4 bonus on attacks and double damage were great back in the day, but they came with a catch. It was really, really hard to actually complete a backstab. The rules were vague about how they worked, and most DMs shied away from allowing thieves to use this ability on a routine basis.

When D&D 3E arrived on the scene, gamers who loved rogues had reason to celebrate. Sneak attack, while perhaps not as swingy as backstab, was clearly implemented and easy to use. Those extra d6s of damage were great. At least, they were great when the rogue got to use them. Entire categories of creatures, most notably undead and constructs, were immune to sneak attack. Without the offensive boost provided by this ability, rogues were severely crippled.

For D&D 4E, we’ve made sneak attack more flexible while retaining its basic mechanic. You can now use sneak attack whenever you have combat advantage, a combat modifier gained whenever an opponent’s defenses have been compromised. Flanking a foe gives you combat advantage, as do some special abilities. More important, immunity to sneak attack has been scaled back to almost nothing. Almost every creature a rogue now faces has the requisite vulnerable spots needed for a sneak attack to take place. While a construct might lack internal organs, you can still smash its knee or find a weak point in its construction to deal a fistful of extra d6s in damage.

This change reflects one of the important philosophies behind D&D 4E. Some abilities are so key to a character’s class that they should rarely, if ever, face a blanket immunity. Monsters that shut down one character are more likely to make the game dull for a few characters, or force the spotlight on to a sole player character, rather than create interesting situations for the entire party. The rogue relies on sneak attack for his or her offensive abilities, so we’re much better off making it a reliable tool

As a rule, immunities are almost completely gone from D&D 4E. In their place we have damage thresholds to reflect resistances and invulnerability. A fire elemental might ignore a wizard’s fireball, but an elder red dragon can still blast it into oblivion with its breath weapon.

In the design of D&D 4E, the team sought to create a game where a reasonable Dungeon Master could create a reasonable challenge for everyone at the table. A DM must make a conscious decision to shut down a PC or close off a set of options. For this reason, sneak attack now functions against a wide variety of monsters.

There's really not much more that can be said about this: they recognized that the use of Backstab/Sneak Attack had to be formalized and structured in such a way that it could be reliably used, they recognized that 3E's wealth of sneak attack-immune monsters was a bad idea, and they expanded it out to a general principle that monsters that are completely immune to a particular class' abilities is not fun, either.

What's New With the Rogue - Mike Mearls

The core concept of the Rogue is still being retained: light armor, light weapons, lots of skills, and extra damage if your enemy is unaware or otherwise occupied. They're also going to be adding powers that key off CHA for Rogues that want to work off the trickster/deceiver theme, and granting a bonus to trained skill checks if the Rogue has high INT.

The designers also recognized a slight shift in the Rogue's theme: on top of being a "skill monkey", the Rogue should be more like a swashbuckler. They're not as heavily armored as a Fighter, but they're still a threat because of how much damage they can put out, and put out quickly. Working with this concept gives the Rogue a clearer role in a fight, whereas previously it was less clear what they were actually supposed to do if the party didn't have any traps that needed disarming.


This design decision highlights one of the principles of D&D 4E design. In prior versions of the game, designers would sometimes use out-of-combat abilities to balance combat deficiencies. A rogue might have low AC and low hit points, but a lot of skills were supposed to balance that. True, the rogue had sneak attack, but moving into a flank also left him vulnerable to being flanked himself. Since D&D 4E moves from a model of “the party versus one monster” to “the party versus an equal number of monsters,” this problem became even worse.

To better balance the classes, the design team set aside noncombat functions and looked solely at what each class does in a fight. We then balanced their abilities across the board, while following a similar process for noncombat abilities. By cutting off any bleed in balance between those areas, we created characters that are on equal footing across every part of an adventure, rather than creating a situation where player characters are balanced only if you look at all the encounters as a whole.

Along with a clearer fighting archetype, D&D 4E strengthens the rogue’s core competencies both inside and outside of combat. Rogues are now the best skill users in the game. Not only do they get more skills than other classes, but they also have more options and abilities relating to those skills.

At this point I'm sort of wondering where this particular Mike Mearls went, because it really does not sound like this is the kind of guy that would end up making Essentials and then 5E.

Skills - Logan Bonner

Bonner begins with outlining the problems with 3rd Edition's skill system:
* You had to assign ranks to skills on every level-up, and that lead to a lot of fiddly book-keeping
* All the book-keeping isn't really worth the effort, because all you're doing is keeping up with the rising skill DCs
* There were 2 strategies to allocating skills: pick a few and dump all your points into them at every level-up to keep a few maxed, or dabble across a bunch of skills. Only the former was valid, because trying the latter approach would mean that you couldn't ever keep up with the rising skill DCs
* There were way too many skills. It's acknowledged here that part of the problem was that since PCs and NPCs had to be assembled with the same rules, they had to create skills that were never ever going to be used by PCs that actually behaved like fantasy swords-and-sorcery adventurers. Beyond the fact that Profession was useless to someone in a dungeon fighting all the time, there was a lot of frivolous skills or way too narrow skills: Use Rope, Appraise/Decipher Script/Forgery being three different skills, Sleight of Hand and Open Lock being 2 different skills, Listen and Spot being 2 different skills, Hide and Move Silenty being 2 different skills, etc etc


We greatly simplified the skill system to fix these problems. We stripped the list down and combined skills that were pointing in the same direction (Open Lock and Sleight of Hand appeal to the same character, so they’re now functions of a single skill). Knowledge (arcana), Spellcraft, and Read Magic have all been combined into a single Arcana skill.

As of this writing, we have cut the number of skills in half (while maintaining most of the functions). The Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition includes some of our experiments with skill simplification, most notably in the way it removes the need for constantly increasing skills.

Of all the classes, rogues are the most skill-focused (followed closely by rangers). Many classes have a few skills that are crucial to their functionality, but rogues get the widest swath of options.

Another major change to skills was the removal of several skill functions that we no longer believe should be default parts of skills. The prime example is using Tumble to avoid attacks of opportunity. To have a check (one that can even be made untrained) be able to bypass such a fundamental risk of the game is just too easy and ultimately not all that much fun. Now, skill functions like this are either unlocked by taking a feat or are incorporated into specific powers.

Another idea that’s been bandied about lately is converting some skills to passive “defense” values. Spot and Listen are good examples. Telling the players to roll Spot checks, first of all, tells them that something is up. Also, if you have everybody roll every time there’s something to see, there’s a high probability at least one party member will see it just due to a lucky roll. Skills like this might work better as passive values: Every player character could have a value equal to 10 + skill bonus. Then, when there’s something to see, the Dungeon Master can compare the DC to notice it to the player characters’ “take 10” numbers. So far in playtests, no one has batted an eye and it’s easier on the Dungeon Master—and on your d20.

I don't know when Monte Cook started talking about Passive Perception, but that right there is Passive Perception.

Sidebar: Sample power write-up from an early draft of the Player's Handbook


I’m Batman
You send a ranged attack against your foe to get its attention and lure it in your direction. Then, you spring from the shadows and deliver a devastating follow-up attack.

The Rabble Yammer in Terror
You deliver a stinging blow to an enemy who besets you. His allies shrink back from you, each unwilling to draw your ire next.

Go Ahead and Hit Me
Your daunting glare gives you an edge over foes who dare attack you.

Traps and Rogues - Mike Mearls

"Traps have always been a part of the D&D experience, but they’ve never really had a stable place in the game. D&D 4E changes that on a two [sic] levels."

Traps are now things that threaten the entire party. A spiked wall will crush the whole hallway. Opening floodgates will fill the whole room. Awakening skeletons will now cause combat for the group.

At the same time, since traps threaten the whole party, then the whole party must have the means to get avoid, mitigate or neutralize traps. A Fighter can bash the trap into breaking, or a Cleric can heal through damage, or the Wizard can zap its mechanism, and so on.


A rogue can still disarm the trap, but that is just one option among many. Furthermore, Trapfinding is now a feat. Rogues receive it for free, but anyone can become skilled in disabling traps.

This decision points to a larger trend in the game—challenge the party, not a single character. We don’t want one character handling everything in an encounter, and our new trap rules reflect this. After all, D&D is about an adventuring party, not a single character. Not even a cool one, such as the rogue.

Next up: The Warlocks

That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012


That sneak attack poo poo coming from Mearls is pretty galling.

Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
Seriously, what the hell happened to this Mearls? Was he just faking it in an elaborate scheme to get appointed leader of the game so he could quickly steer it back into the correct path, where Casters are God and Martials are meat, meant to gum up the gears of their enemies with their flesh until the casters can save the day.

That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012


Kurieg posted:

Seriously, what the hell happened to this Mearls? Was he just faking it in an elaborate scheme to get appointed leader of the game so he could quickly steer it back into the correct path, where Casters are God and Martials are meat, meant to gum up the gears of their enemies with their flesh until the casters can save the day.

It puts me in mind of Sean K. Reynolds, who was a developer and the Errata Guy for Pathfinder and would take steamy dumps on the heads of people who wanted effective knife-throwing builds for rogues. Then he jumps ship and Kickstarts some generic fantasy game, but he starts expressing shockingly goon-approved opinions about martial/caster balance. Now he's at Wizards as a loremaster or whatever for D&D, and now he's crapping on Paizo for "forcing" him to defend errata that the rest of the dev team overruled him on. So he either resents the errata that now seems to inform his new game's design, or he felt as the FAQ administrator he was "forced" to get into flame wars with customers.

May 5, 2011

Kurieg posted:

Seriously, what the hell happened to this Mearls? Was he just faking it in an elaborate scheme to get appointed leader of the game so he could quickly steer it back into the correct path, where Casters are God and Martials are meat, meant to gum up the gears of their enemies with their flesh until the casters can save the day.

I imagine that he was totally into 4E at first, but once it came out and he saw the negative reactions from all his grog buddies, he changed his tune later on because he doesn't want to lose his connection to that particular group of old, opinionated idiots. So it's like he helped make this thing and all his friends decided to poo poo on it, so he starts going "oh well I wasn't really all that involved and actually I think it should be more like this oh what do you know I'm in charge, see I'm gonna fix it guys well now I'm gonna tear it all down and build something new, just for you guys, the true fans, our long national nightmare is finally over" blah blah blah bullshit

Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm

I think Mike Mearls sells whatever he's supposed to sell.

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Hypocrisy posted:

I think Mike Mearls sells whatever he's supposed to sell.

I get that Mike Mearls is going to say whatever he needs to to puff up the edition of D&D that he's working on, but he's actually the guy in charge for 5E, so either the design of 5E came from above him and he just ran with it, or that was the best he could've done with the resources he had on hand, or he deliberately and of his own accord made 5E the way it was in contravention of what he wrote here.

Or perhaps he doesn't even think it's in opposition to his previous views?

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
There's some of that, but his own biases and limitations as a designer definitely creep in. Observe that under his direction, D&D reverted to being more like 3e, and disposed of the warlord.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

Necromancy is the art of life, death and the mind. It is very potent, if not really socially acceptable.
Beckon runs on Charm, is AP 2 and TN 10 Masks, resisted by Willpower. It lures someone near you, forcing them to move their Walk directly towards you and end the movement as close to you as possible.
Bury runs on Tenacity, is AP 1 and TN 10 Crows, resisted by Willpower. It traps a target outside reality, in a timeless bubble. They return to reality at the end of your turn, appearing safely within 1 yard of you, without sensing any time has passed.
Cadaver Mask runs on Charm, is AP 2 and TN 10 Masks. You remove the face of a corpse, taking on the corpse's appearance voice from life. You get two bonuses to all attempts to impersonate the person, and it lasts until the next sunrise or sunset.
Interrogate runs on Tenacity, is AP 1 and TN 12 Masks, resisted by Willpower. It only works on the living. You may telepathically ask a single yes-or-no question of the target, plus an additional question for each Margin of Success. You will get a truthful answer of yes, no, or I don't know from the target, to the best of their ability.
Mind Control runs on Charm, is AP 1 and TN 10 Masks, resisted by Willpower. You take momentary control of the target's mind and body, forcing them to take a 1 AP Action they could normally take. You may not force the target to sacrifice themself directly, but can make them act against their nature, such as by attacking their friends. You cannot mind control yourself.
Raise Undead runs on Charm, is AP 1 and TN 5 Crows. It works on corpses. The corpse becomes an undead that is under your control for 10 minutes. Its Tenacity becomes 3 and all Mental Aspects become -5. It loses the Living characteristic, if it had it, and gains the Undead characteristic. It loses any mental skills it had in life and halves all physical skill ratings, rounding up. You may also use this spell to take control of an uncontrolled and non-sentient undead creature for ten minutes. The new undead created by this spell may need repairs, but otherwise rise with half of their Wounds remaining. At the end of the spell, the undead becomes uncontrolled and usually violent.
Subsume Corpse runs on Tenacity, is AP 1 and TN 5 Crows. It works on corpses. The corpse is disintegrated utterly, and you heal 1/2/3 damage, plus an additional number of Wounds equal to the corpse's Resilience, if that was positive.
Terrifying Aura runs on Tenacity, is AP 1 and TN 12 Masks, resisted by Willpower. The target gains a potent terrifying aura for one minute. If a Living character ends movement within 1 yard of the target or attacks them, they must pass a TN 10 Horror Duel.

Rules for making better zombies.

Prestidigitation is the magic of illusion, space and location.
Divination runs on Cunning, is AP 2 and TN 10 Tomes. You enter a trance, throwing your senses to any location within a hundred yards. Your body goes limp and you can see and hear as if you stood at the target location, which must obey all normal spell targeting restrictions. The effect lasts an hour or until you will it to end. You can take no actions while in a divination trance.
Teleport runs on Intellect, is AP 1 and TN 10 Tomes, resisted by Willpower if someone chooses to resist. You send one target, which can be yourself or an object, anywhere safe within 30 yards. If an object is in someone's possession, they can resist the spell.
Conjuring runs on Cunning, is AP 2 and TN 10 Tomes. You summon an object previously prepared for summoning. It appears in your hands and must be something you can hold in both hands. Preparing an object is easy - you just touch it and mentally concentrate. You can have up to (Cunning) objects prepared, minimum 1. The object must be in a range of (Cunning) miles.
Invisibility runs on Cunning, is AP 2 and TN 7 Tomes. You touych someone, they become invisible for one round - and you can target yourself. This ends if they interacty with the world in a meaningful way, like by attacking, moving something or opening a door. Any attempts to spot them have 3 penalties if they rely on sight, as must attempts do. You can sitll be registered by other senses, but not magical sight-based senses, like seeing spirits. Any attacks made against an invisible character suffer 3 penalties, but if they succeed, the invisibility ends.
Parlor Tricks runs on Intellect, is AP 1 and TN 5 Masks. You can choose from the following list of effects, but they can never directly harm someone and if they are ever resisted they automatically fail. You can instantly clean and repair the target's clothes. You can make a short and simple sound, like a bell or a single word, audible to the entire room. You can whisper a short sentence that can only be heard by one person you can see. You can make a light object like a key dance around on a small area, like a tabletop. You can change the flavor of a food or drink. You can light a candle, lantern or other device meant to be lit that you can see. You can make a still and translucent image everyone in the room can see. You can summon a small orb of light, about as bright as a lantern, that moves about erratically or hovers near someone. You can open an unlocked door, window or container within sight that could be opened easily with one hand. You can cause soft music audible to the entire room.
Phantasm runs on Intellect, is AP 1 and TN 5 Masks. You create an animated illusion thgat appears real to observers for one minute. You declare all details of it, such as what it will do and what senses it affects, when you create it. It will not react to external stimulus unless directly controlled. The phantasm can be seen, heard or smelled, but not touched or tasted, though it has unharmed by things passing through it. As long as someone has no reason to doubt it, it automatically fools them. If they have reason to disbelieve, they must pass TN 10 Willpower duel to do so. Anyone who touches the illusion automatically disbelieves it. You may directly control the illusion's actions with a 1-AP action, causing it to act as you wish or even change its form within the bounds of the effect. You may banish any illusion you have created at any time without an action.

This brings us to Immuto! Immuto are effects that alter a base Magia, and not all Immuto will work with every Magia if they lack an appropriate effect - good luck adding a Fire Elemental Immuto to a Mind Control spell. When in doubt, the GM is the final arbiter, but creative use of Immuto is encouraged. Immuto also alter the TN of a spell they are applied to, and they come in four types: Augmentation, Alteration, Elemental and Genus.

Alteration Immuto alter the way a spell performs without increasing numeric values.
Alternate Resistance is TN +2, and it swaps whether a spell is resisted by Defense or Willpower.
Blast is TN +2 and may taken up to three times on a spell. It adds a blast to the severe damage effect the first time, to both severe and moderate the second, and two to severe and one to moderate the third time. These are added to whatever normal damage the Magia deals.
Combined Spell is TN +5 and combines the effects of two spells. You pick a second Magia and add its effects ot the spell. The second Magia must have a Base TN lower than or requal to the base TN of the primary Magia. They must be resisted the same way, if resisted. The Primary MAgia may only have Immuto that can apply to both Magia and the Magia must be different.
Delay is special. It causes the spell to be delayed a set time before going off. You take the actions to cast as normal, but nothing happens and no duels are made until the delay condition is met, when the spell resolves without spending any more of your AP. You may also choose to just not make the spell go off at all. For TN +2, you specify a number of turns up to 10 that the spell will be delayed, after which it takes effect. For TN +5, you instead define a situation where the spell will go off, such as a foe walking through a location or the speaking of a key word. Unless this is made permanent by Harness Soulstone, the effect will dissipate, unresolved, at the next sunrise or sunset. Such a situation must be an external event, not something you have control over, and must be something you can't absolutely predict - for example, if you set a spell to cast when a door is opened, it will just dissipate if you open the door yourself or have a friend do it in the knowledge that the spell will go off.
Ignore Caster is TN +2, and ensures that you will never take damage from the spell and are only subject to secondary effects - so, for example, if you hurl a giant fireball blast at your feet, it won't harm you but you may be in trouble if you set the building you're in on fire.
Focus Object reduces a spell's TN by requiring you to be holding or touching the focus object. The reduction is based on how portable and common the object is. Portability gives -0 TN for something you could fit in a small pocket, like a coin, -1 TN for something that would need a pouch or holster and can be held in one hand, like a gun or wand, -2 TN for something needing two hands, like a staff or rifle, and -3 TN for something effectively immobile, such as an engraved summoning circle or cauldron. Commonality gives -0 TN for something extremely common and worth less than 10 scrip, like a rope or pistol, -1 TN for something reasonably available, like a specific make or model of pistol or a wand carved from oak, -2 TN for something that must be specifically crafted by you, requiring at least 2 hours of work, but still replacable, like a special staff or customized pneumatic limb, and -3 TN for something that is just completely unique and impossible to replace.

Augmentation Immuto enhance a Magia's performance, usually by increasing numbers.
Additional Suit is TN -2, and adds a second required suit to the TN, of the caster's choice.
Alter Range is TN -2 to decrease range per step up a table (going from 'sight' to 'close melee' at the extremes) or +2 TN to increase range up the table. However, a melee Magia can never be made to go beyond Melee range, and a Ranged magia can never be made to go below minimum Ranged range.
Increase AP gives TN -3 per additional AP required to cast. However, you may not use this to make a spell require multiple turns to cast, and you can only use it during Dramatic Time.
Increased Damage gives TN +2 per step up the damage chart, which adds 1/1/1 damage each step.
Increased Duration gives TN +2 per step up the duration chart, which ranges from 1 turn to one year at the extremes. Any part of a spell with a set duration will be increased one step, while spells with a duration that lies between two steps are assumed to sit on the lower of the two steps.
Increased Pulse gives TN +2 each time it's applied, increasing any pulse range in the spell by 1 and the TN top resist the pulse by 1.
Increase Resistance gives TN +2 each time it's applied. Any duel made by characters affected by the spell, such as Horror Duels, has its TN increased by 1.
Increased Severity gives TN +1 each time it's applied and it increases the Severe - and only the Severe - value of any damage done by 1. This can also be used for Magia that do not have a set damage flip, but instead deal a set amount of damage, increasing that by 1 each time, but would be TN +2 each time instead of +1.
PUlse is TN +4, and causes a spell to affect every legal target within a yard of the initial target. If the main target is hit, every other character must pass a TN 10 duel using the same defense as the initial target or also be affected. If they would take damage, it is automatically Weak damage.
Reduce AP is TN +5 each time it is applied and reduces the AP cost of the spell by 1. No spell can go below 0 AP.
[u]Reduce Damage[/i] is TN -1 each time it's applied and it is -1/-1/-1 damage, to a minimum of 0/0/1.
Reduce Resistance is TN -2 each time it's applied, and it makes any resistance duel made by the target, such as Horror Duels, have TN -1.
Reduce Severity is TN -3. If a spell deals set damage instead of a damage flip, the spell now deals no damage, but all other effects remain the same, and targets that would suffer effects only if they suffered damage still suffer the effects of the Magia.
Selective Targeting is TN +4, and causes the spell to have no effect on anyone you do not wish to target.

Elemental Immuto add elemental effects to some spells. Normally, a spell may only have one Elemental Immuto placed on it.
Darkness is TN +4, and anyone suffering damage from a Darkness spell also gains the Blind condition for one turn. You may apply this multiple times, and each time increases the Blind duration by 1 turn.
Decay is TN +1. Any undead creature that would suffer damage from a Decay spell instead takes no damage and heals 1 damage instead. You may apply this multiple times, and each time increases the amount of damage undead heal by 1.
Electric is TN +3. Damage dealt by Electric spells ignores armor, and any Electric spell attack does not randomly determine a target when firing into melee.
Fire is TN +2. Any character that suffers damage from a Fire Spell also gains the Burning +1 condition. This can be taken multiple times, and each time increases the value of the Burning condition by 1.
Ice is TN +3. Any character that suffers damage from an Ice Spell gains the Slow condition. This can be taken up to twice, and if it is, the target is Paralyzed instead of Slow.
Natural is TN +2. Any character that suffers damage from a Natural spell gains the Rooted condition.
Rooted: This character can't take Walk or Charge actions. If they are pushed, remove Rooted and they suffer 3 damage.
Poison is TN +1. Any character that suffers damage from a Poison spell gains the Poison +1 condition. This may be taken multiple times, and each time it increases the value of the Poison by 1.
Spirit is TN +4. Spirit spells ignore armor and the Hard to Wound ability.
Terror is TN +1. Any character that suffers damage from a Terror spell must make a TN 6 Horror Duel. This may be taken multiple times, and each time it increases the TN of the Horror Duel by 1.

Genus Immuto either add legal targets to a spell or remove legal targets from it. The former is called Unleashing, the latter Chaining. A spell can only have one Genius Immuto applied to it. When a spell is Unleashed to include a Genus Immuto, the TN of the Immuto is added to the spell's TN. When Chained to app ly only to Genus Immuto, the TN is lowered by that value. Unleashing requires the GM's consent because sometimes it will result in spells that make no loving sense and cannot be creatively rationalized. If a spell is already limited to a specific target type, it can't be Chained to that target unless it can affect other targets, too.
Beast is TN 2, and affects targets with the Beast characteristic.
Construct is TN 2, and affects targets with the Construct characteristic.
Living is TN 1, and affects targets with the Living characteristic.
Location is TN 3 and affects a location within range. Any targets in the location that could normally resist the spell are assumed to automatically succeed in their Resistance duel.
Inanimate is TN 3 and affects only objects that can't move on their own volition.
Spirits is TN 2 and affects targets with the Spirit characteristic.
Undead is TN 2 and affects targets with the Undead characteristic.

Finally, we come to counter-spelling. Any character with the Counter-Spelling skill can sense when magic is in use or being used within (Tenacity) yards of them. They just know it's in use, though, and must succeed in a TN 10 Tenacity + Counter-Spelling duel to pinpoint the source. The TN goes up by 3 for each magical effect in the area, and you only know the location 1 magical effect per margin of success, starting fro mthe closest and moving outward.

A character is always able to substitute Counter-Spelling for Evade or Centering when determining Defense or Willpower respectively against spell actions. In addition, you can use your skills to shield allies in the same way, substituting your Counter-Spelling for their Evade or Centering against spells. However, while you do this you cannot protect yourself - you can only shield one target at a time, including yourself. Protecting a character with Magical Shielding is a 1-AP action to make the transference, and works as long as you can see the person you're protecting.

You may also use Counter-Spelling to end a spell before its duration would normally expire. This won't work against instant effects, like Elemental Projectile, but will work on anything that lasts a full round or more. Disenchanting an effect is a 0-AP action as long as you are aware of the effect. You make a Counter-Spelling + Tenacity challenge with a TN equal to the spell's TN. If successful, you reduce the duration one step along the duration table per margin of success. If that reduces it to below one turn, it is dispelled entirely. If a spell is kept going by a soulstone, it will automatically recast the spell if dispelled, and will do so with its original duration.

The End!

Next up, the Fatemaster's Guide!

Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben
Yes, his 5e comments suggest that he somehow got seriously burned.

And, oh god, I remember the 2e backstab. You had to be directly behind the opponent, in melee, and they had to have no idea you were there or that a fight was going on. This basically meant you hardly ever got it, and if you did get it and it didn't kill the enemy you were dead because you by definition had no support.

And on the Rogue topic..

Hackmaster, 9: Sneaking and Skilling

Hackmaster has 3 skill/stealth type character classes: the Rogue, the Thief, and the Assassin.

The Thief is the Rogue type from most games - focusing on stealth and fast movement. Like fighters, they advance Attack and Initiative, but not Speed - so they move just as fast but don't get to use their weapon more quickly. They also have a unique bonus which allows them to shift their initative dice. So, for example, if it's a regular encounter and you'd roll a d12 initiative, a thief can drop this to a d10 (remember that lower is better). While this sounds OK to start with, it has the problem that it's cancelled out by wearing armor - anything heavier than the lightest armors will negate the benefit at all but the highest levels - and doesn't always offer a benefit anyway.

And we have, oh look, Backstab. Any time the thief hits someone unaware of their presence with a dagger or knife, the dice roll "penetrates" (explodes) on one below the maximum as well. Which is better than it sounds given that the damage dice for these weapons are d4s, so they'll explode half the time. The thief also gets to do this if an opponent flees from combat with a thief, which is more concrete than the normal backstab rule, but still has the problem that it isn't going to happen all that much. Thieves also get a bonus to the frequency of a Near Perfect Defense (in other words, they can counter-attack when attacked more often) and can kill helpless foes in 3 seconds instead of 10.

You can probably guess the weapon and armor proficiencies and specialization rules - daggers, knives, light armor, lots of bonuses for upgrading these, no bonuses or small penalties for doing anything else. Let's get on to something more interesting: luck.

Every level, a thief gets Luck Points equal to their level plus 20. They aren't recovered until the thief levels up and they aren't carried over between levels. A luck point can increase or decrease the roll on the thief's saving throw by 1, subtract 5% from a skill roll (making it better, because skills are roll-under), or lower an opponent's attack or damage roll by 1. You can spend as many points as you like on a single roll. Notice that you can't use them to increase your own combat rolls, and the book states that this is because luck is supposed to represents your ability to get out of scrapes unharmed; this is presumably to avoid a situation where a thief character ends up depending on spending luck points to successfully attack and thus has a time limit for levelling enforced by their points running out.

Thieves also get Core Skills, a mechanic that's shared across all three of the skill-based classes. It's basically just the 4e/5e skill choices: your class gives you a set of core skills; each level, you pick some number of them (four in the case of a thief), and get a free purchase in those four. That's additional to the BP you get for leveling and the ability to raise your skills by spending them. There's also the risk of rolling low on that danged Mastery die, and there's some limitation on that: when raising the thief skills, your modifier to the mastery die is capped at a minimum of +3. While a clever idea, this does have the slight problem that it potentially allows a low-level thief to minimize the attributes a thief would traditionally have and suffer no penalty to his skills for doing so.

The Rogue is a con-man, essentially. Focused much more on Charisma and trickery than Dexterity and other badness. That said, they do get a lot of stuff from the Thief: they get the same bonus to initiative, a bonus to initiative dice (although it accrues more slowly than for the Thief), Backstab, and backstabbing of fleeing opponents. They also get luck points and core skills, although their core skills are different and they get 24 base luck points instead of 20. Unlike the thief, they don't get any weapon proficiencies and their weapon specializations are much more expensive (8 points each).

They get a few unique things as well. First of all, they can Influence people. This is pretty much exactly the 4e Diplomacy skill, but as a class ability. If the Rogue can do something - talking, dancing, playing music, etc - that might affect an audience's attention, the audience (one person can be an audience) makes a Mental save and if they fail, their reaction level can be moved in either direction. If you're already in a fight and blood has been spilled, you can't talk opponents out of fighting, but you can make them angrier. Honestly, this rule is a bit of a mess. There's no indication as to what the target number for the Mental save is - it doesn't work for it to be a skill roll result, because those are percentile and saving throws are d20. Also, reaction levels aren't actually in the main book - they're in the GMG, and they don't have nice names as they do in 4e. Also, once someone's fighting you, there's no mechanical description of any lower levels; angering them further doesn't actually do anything. Actually, hey, have the Reaction table:

18-: Strangers avoid the character and draw weapons to drive them array. Authority figures seek to arrest.
-13: Strangers avoid the character and prepare weapons but don't use them. Authority figures seek to stop, frisk and question.
-8: NPCs verbally abuse the PCs, but if confronted by force make a morale check to avoid running away.
-3: NPCs make a nasty comment and then ignore the PCs.
+2: NPCs politely excuse themselves.
+7: NPC politely listens and is inclined to help.
+12: NPC listens and offers guidance or help proactively.
+17: NPC becomes a friendly, casual acquaintance.
18+: NPC admires the PC and may become infatuated with them.

So, see, there's going to be a problem in the middle there. If the NPC is verbally abusing the rogue, he can make a use of his Influence ability to.. have them ignore him. Or if they're already ignoring them, Influence makes them excuse themselves. Oops. I suspect this wasn't properly developed, which is a shame.

Another weird mechanic is Knowledge. Here's how this is supposed to work: for any random topic, the Rogue can roll percentile against 3*their level, and if they roll under they know something about it. The GM then adds their level to 100, secretly rolls percentiles and subtracts, and the result read as a percentage is how correct/complete the information is. This ends up having the old problem if "a successful use can turn into a critical failure if the wrong information turns out to have negative consequences for everyone".

And finally, Rogues get.. spells! Oh yea, 5e barding it up in here.. well, ok, they're nowhere near that powerful. In fact, they're a bit rubbish. They don't get any spells until level 3 and then they get one spell level every two levels (remember that in HackMaster there are 20 spell levels and Mages get a spell level every level). They can only learn one spell each level, and they don't actually learn them automatically - they have to find them on adventures, which is problematic, because if you find a scroll on an adventure who are you going to give it to, the dabbler Rogue or the Mage? So the only way they'll get a spell is if the Mage already has it, which probably limits their utility a bit. Rogues cast like mages - including casting time and spell fatigue, which lasts longer for Rogues - but they don't have to study and can only cast a given spell once in 24 hours. The GM's guide has a whole section on how you can roll to see what happens if the rogue does cast a spell more than once in 24 hours, which usually means a wodge of physical damage, an epileptic fit, potential lost points of intelligence, and potential loss of that spell or all spells. So, let's face it, the player isn't going to do it. I have no idea why you'd ever even use this rules unless you don't have a Mage in the party.

Finally, the Assassin. As you'd expect, this is the combat-heavy rogue. They have the same advanced statistics - attack, initiative, and initiative die, although their initiative die advancement is the slowest of all - and they also advance weapon speed, much much more slowly than a fighter. They get fighter-style armor and shield proficiencies and discounted proficiency costs, and also get relatively cheap specializations at 5/6 points. They also get the Backstab, backstab fleeing, and rear strike abilities that everyone's had so far, and an even quicker coup-de-grace (2 seconds). And, they get Core Skills and the +3 minimum cap on the mastery die modifier.

They only have one special ability, but it's an interesting one: they're good at hitting to inflict maximum damage in a single blow. They deduct half their level rounded up from the opponent's TOP threshold. If the TOP save is missed by 5, the enemy is silenced as well as knocked down; at 10, they are unconscious instead of just stunned; and at 15, they are knocked to 0hp and bleeding out. The TOP threshold reduction is essentially a damage bonus which is only applied for TOP purposes, which is interesting as it becomes quite a significant bonus at higher levels.

Next time, we'll get to mop up a few more of the fighting-type classes, including the whole 2! Prestige classes that are in the game.

Nov 8, 2011

Halloween Jack posted:

There's some of that, but his own biases and limitations as a designer definitely creep in. Observe that under his direction, D&D reverted to being more like 3e, and disposed of the warlord.

Which is frankly the greatest crime because Warlords are awesome. Not even for the Lazylord or the shouting your hand back on, but for the various specs where you could just charge in and wreck poo poo while buffing all your allies. Really did feel like a proper Battle Commander.

Nov 4, 2007

zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 20: Weapons for ships, and then some ships

So here we get Spaceship weapon systems but not the ships themselves yet, or the combat rules for non-fighters. I’m going to kind of summarize these unless something jumps out because there are a lot of them in huge solid chunks of text.

Point defense lasers for leetle things: between 3d6 and 3d6x10 MD depending on fanciness, cost between 50 and 500K. Range 2000 to 12,000 ft.

HI-Lasers: Light is 1d4x10-2d6x10, optional attached power plant adds 1 mill to the 4-8 million base cost. Range one to three miles. Medium is 1d4x100 to 2d6x100. Always a dedicated power plant to keep firing independently. 80 million credits. Heavy: 1d4x1000 to 4d6x1000. 180-220 million credits, range 100 miles in space. 16 in atmosphere. Christ, you can’t even orbital bombard with this thing.

Particle Beams: Shorter ranges, more powar. Slightly more dice on average, slightly shorter range, same comment about lack of orbital bombarding capability.

Phase Cannons: Must be manufactured by prometheans, do kind of lovely damage but ignore armor as noted previously. Strangely, the medium does 1d6x10 to creatures 10 ft or larger or force fields while the heavy does 6d6. Oops. Shittastic range, 2 miles on heavy.

Gravity Railguns: Are listed with a ‘maximum range’ after which I guess it’s just hard to be accurate or something? 16 miles. The ‘regular’ autocannon does 4d6x10 which is complete poo poo compared to the other weapon types, it’s mostly used on fighters for some reason?

just pretend he has a bubble helmet

Missiles: Again, use the missiles described in the Rifts core, but now they’re on spaceships. Additionally there is the cruise missile which is 2d6x100 for nuclear or 4d6x100 for anti-matter. This is kinda meh damage individually (on a ship scale) but I imagine capital ships have large volleys that we can spend several pages meticulously describing in each phase of their deployment.

Wizards get a Rift Projector Cannon option. Only the United Worlds of Warlock uses this. These guns make uncontrolled dimensional anomalies which gently caress up their enemy’s poo poo. Or would, if they didn’t have a .5% cumulative chance of backfiring and damaging their own ship every time they’re used. Range of ‘50 miles’ which is not great for a weapon that is inevitably going to fail. 1,000 PPE per shot, so get those human sacrifices lined up. Damage is ‘roll on a table’ that varies between 1d4x100 with no additional effects to 1d4x1000 with additional effects.

This is crap damage on the capital scale, what are the 60% likely additional effects? 10% no effect, otherwise things that vary from ‘temporary power failure’ for 1d4 rounds, taking out all weapon and propulsion systems (even the ones with those expensive power plants I guess) or creating a plasma cloud that does 1d4x100 per round and blocks all sensors, or a ley line storm inside the ship, monsters appearing on board, or a time jump: the ship reappears days later. Most of these are pretty nasty side effects. The cost of firing the gun is substantial however, and the cumulative failure chance (does it decrease with time? With maintance? Never?) makes it kinda dicey to use. Also, very expensive and heavy (200 tons).

We don’t have capital ship combat rules but all of these weapons require fighting practically on top of each other in space terms, long after the ships have detected each other coming. I get that having close-together space battles is all dramatic and stuff but still it’s kinda weird.

Force fields: Most ships have them for all kinds of good reasons. Military and large ships have six different field values because they can all power to front shields. The example shield has 6,000 total MDC which can be divided among six sectors of the ship--front, back, top, bottom, left, right. It says the power can be shifted around etc but not whether this takes an action to do--I am assuming yes but :iiam:

That’s it for weapons and sensors and shields I guess--nothing wrong with having that in a section except that they go on to list all of them again in every single ship writeup. :derp:

you can have your own flying box for just several million credits! call today!

Now some actual ships. Light fighters first: The Scorpion Class is meant to operate from a carrier like the Pack Master (sold separately). It has no forcefield and 550 main body MDC, so it can poof in a hurry though not from its own weapon which is one of those Gravity Autocannons mentioned before, listed separately, sigh. Also some missiles. The same missiles as everything else plus 2 of the cruise ones. +2 to dodge but only in space. This thing could shred the heck out of a Cosmo-Knight but would lose hard to the basic Empire fighter below, even with a +2 for being 'more maneuverable' in the weird little dogfight rules.

Proctor-class is another good-guy fighter, tuffer but less “fast” than the smaller one. 1450 main body and a 2400 MDC forcefield. I’m listing the total value here. They also have to say that it’s not possible to drive this ship on the ground. Thanks for wasting layout on that, Kev. Lasers, missiles, redundant gravity autocannon.

Now on to bad guy ships.

The Flying Fang interceptor is the basic enemy fighter. Supposedly resembles an ancient Kreeghor weapon called the “Fang” which is two animal horns on a central handle like a cut-rate batleth. The fighter is described as having enough firepower to take out a frigate...which sort of makes frigates a bad investment if so. They are default designed for Kreeghor with very rare exception, so human or other non-- pilots are at -2 and -15% to use them. That’s reasonable from a game perspective but it never mentions how the more human-shaped stuff in much of the galaxy might inconvenience the Kreeghor--an oversight I guess.

Numbers-wise the Fang has 480 main body MDC and 1200 in force field. The big lasers do 1d6x10 or 2d6x10 if you do a double blast, which you always should. These are the primary weapon systems on these guys and they do half what the autocannons on the good guy fighters do. Frigates must be made of space-grade cardboard. They also have autocannons that do 2d6x10 to ward off cosmo-knights and some missiles because everybody has those. These would eat Scorpions but be on slightly lesser footing to a Proctor.

Naruni Enterprises wouldn’t be complete without spaceship offerings in their catalog, so we get the Broadsword Delta-Wing Multi-Environment Fighter, available to any purchaser and apparently a favorite of the Free World Council.

do a barrel roll!

The main body on these has 550 MDC with 1200 total forcefield. They carry plasma weapons of course, and do 3d6x10. They also have twin rail guns that do 4d6x10 because why stick to lasers when you have all these nice bullets. And missiles; a lot of missiles, 64 mini missiles total. Fairly unremarkable in this list, but has a picture.

Also pictured: Star Ghost-Class Fighter from Phase World.

i am not sure what i’m looking at but i bet it requires a three-zone rng quest to get

These crystalline ships look weird and that’s deliberate. They glow and seem to shift and change under the eye--and while flying they turn into a space-ghost outline invisible ship, thus the ‘ghost’ moniker. They’re apparently very scary, being ghosts. :choco: These ships and larger frigate-class versions (not pictured) are the only ships known to rely entirely on Phase Technology. The prometheans haven’t made larger vessels because they haven’t seen the need for them yet. The Ghost fighters are scary because they can phase in and out in combat and do a series of short-term jumps that almost seem to be firing from multiple angles at once. Of course, the phase generator only has short term power, and you have to take a separate piloting skill for Star Ghosts that’s at -20%, just in case.

The main body has 440 MDC and they don’t bother with any of that forcefield nonsense. The only way to get one of these is buying them for 280 million credits. The student loans for Star Ghost school must be killer. Its primary weapon is a phase cannon that does a 30ft burst of 3d6 to all living targets, or 1d6x10 to force fields or targets bigger than a bread box, that being the intergalactic standard name for ‘10 feet’. That is poo poo damage--ignoring armor is fantastic for cases where you’re fighting humans but any normal fighting human class is going to have over 100 SDC from loading up on all the physical skills they can. If you aren’t fighting humans, you’re plinking off a tiny bit of MDC from something that probably has a fair bit--1d6x10 isn’t much for the starships presented. They also have two laser turrets that can do 3d6x10 which is more respectable. Then there’s the usual array of missiles.

The special phase fields work on a generator with 200 charges and each use of the phase powers drains one; drain them all and one hour of recharging is needed. The first use is a phase deflector field that divides damage from all attacks by ten, except magic, psionics and other phase weapons. While deflecting, the phase cannon and missiles can’t fire, only the lasers. The second use is “Ghost Mode” which just drags the ship out of phase completely, making it so invisible that even See the Invisible can’t find it. Its speed is reduced by 25% but it can still maneuver in “any direction, including up and down” :derp: and it can fly through physical objects, though not things that block normal phase travel. The deflector fields last 8 minutes per charge, which is 32 melee rounds and having to fight through even a quarter of that in Palladium combat is :suicide: so you probably won’t need that long. The phase field is 1 minute per charge.

The Star Ghost can also phase jump, a tactical teleport that counts as a melee attack, and gain +2 to dodge and initiative and +1 to strike. Each jump uses a charge. The bonuses there are frankly not worth losing melee attacks over generally, though you apparently only need to give up one to get the bonii for the full round.

So that is the super-special phase attack ship. It’s actually less likely that you would encounter magic/psi in space combat, given the ranges involved and the relative scarcity of magic, so the deflector field is pretty ace. Still, its damage is so bad that you'd be spending quite a long time trying to get through the forcefields of most of these ships. The Scorpion is the only one that's really vulnerable to a few hits on its squishy pilot.

Speaking of magic, the UWW get a ship, the Shadow Bolt Strike Ship. If you think this sounds like a title proudly emblazoned over the doodling on a kid’s trapper keeper, you are not wrong. It even looks kinda like that:

i know the teeth are a WWII reference that is wildly out of place, but they just make it look so happy to be a Batjet.

The Shadow Bolt is a techno-wizard spaceship, which is a cool idea. It apparently has a Bottled Demon weapon system. All of these ships are enchanted with Impervious to Energy so they get the cosmo-knight power without the fall from grace, and they have a ship-based Armor of Ithan spell. Their main body MDC is 400 which is the weakest yet, and their forcefield has 180 MDC 3/day which is substantially crappier than the variable fields of the other ships. Given that the space combat rules have really no mechanics for calculating positioning (and we are NOT using starfleet battles) the variable field is basically ‘one giant pool of MDC’ while this field is all-around, it has crappy value. It would have low value even if it were a modular pool, 180 versus 200 for the others. So already the magic version of a tech thing is crippled.

The main weapon is a Lightning Rod that does 1d6x10 MDC and half the range of the vastly-superior laser weapons of its enemies. It is also listed as needing its enchantment renewed every two months for 400 PPE and 20K credits. I know aircraft maintenance is time-consuming and expensive but this is the only time they mention it.

The “Bottled Demon” missile launcher is apparently controversial as the missiles are demons bound into missile form, and the bound demons can steer the missile until it is destroyed, (50 MDC) making rebound attacks until it hits. Striking or destroying the missile sends the demon back home. They require special launchers that won’t fit standard missile frames because magic. :shopkeeper: They’re +4 to hit and +5 to dodge. They get three attacks per round to hit, and if the target manages to get away the missile disappears. There’s a 3% chance that the demon will be released upon impact, either continuing the attack, fleeing, or turning on the UWW--no random table for that reaction. They inflict 3d4x10 MDC which is...okay. The ship only carries 16 of them.

They also have TK-Machineguns because that’s going to be useful. 6d6 MDC. They’re listed as anti-ship weapons which is hilarious.

So, the description and ideas here are alright, the demon-missiles are a cool idea, but as usual they tone down and hobble magical stuff to be inferior to technological stuff in fairly important ways. It has very little ammo on its good weapon, and very little armor to keep this expensive hand-crafted artisan ship alive.

A few bigger ships to come!

Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Hey look it's Raven Star! It's a bog-standard space heartbreaker with a few good ideas, sure. But what it really is is a treasure trove of the worst 90s art you ever did see.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
2e Backstab was so dangerous and useless that I think I got it off once or twice in the entire time I played a Thief.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Through the Breach: The Fatemaster's Almanac

The Fatemaster's Guide is mostly advice for GMs. It starts with the most important things, though: NPCs never make flips. Ever. Instead, they get a rank, which determines what all of their flips are considered to be. This can range from around 3 for the weakest foes to 11 or higher for the strongest. Any time they would need to make a flip, they automatically get their Rank. They can use PC talents when constructed, but because they have no hand to discard, they instead get a number of Card Points determined by their Rank. They can spend these 1 for 1 to count as discarded cards. Any time the main Fate Deck gets reshuffled, all NPCs get 1 card point, which has no maximum. The NPCs in the book have ranks assigned to them by default, but GMs can obviously raise or lower those ranks as they like.

Rank 0-2 is Negligible - a foe that's not really there to even be a speed bump, just to annoy people or be comic relief. The bat that flaps around your face, say. They aren't a threat in pretty much any situation, ever. They start with 0 Card Points. Rank 3-4 is a Peon, the lowest rank of any organization or group. They're not a threat except in really large numbers, but they get 1 Card Point. Rank 5-6 is a Minion, the most common enemy you'll run into. They're your default thugs for any group, and they also get 1 Card Point. Rank 7-8 is an Enforcer, the heavy hitters of a team. They often get special equipment or assets and also 2 Card Points. Above them, at 9-11, are the Henchmen, the shot-callers and underbosses. They are elites, often having unique and expensive tools. They get 3 Card Points. Above them, at rank 12-13, are the Masters. They are exceptionally powerful, have a lot of resources and are often leaders of groups. They get 3 card points. And above them at 14 or higher? Avatars and Tyrants, the most powerful creatures in the entire world and a challenge for even the most skilled PCs. They get 4 Card Points.

The game talks about the responsibilities of the GM - mostly, judging actions and when to call for a challenge flip. Any TN below 8 or so is almost certain to succeed and probably not worth checking for. 9 or higher, you almost certainly want to check, and 7-8 will want a check in stressful situations. Sometimes, a situation will modify a TN up or down by 1 to 3 points, depending on how good or bad things are - a broken tool might be +1 to +3 TN, depending on how vital it was, while a really good tool might give -2 TN.

Then it spends a lot of time on the social role of the GM - making sure the story keeps going, teaching people how to play the game, making sure everyone's keeping interested and entertained. It goes into a lot of detail on the social contract of the game - finding out whateveryone wants out of the game, trusting each other and setting ground rules on what is or isn't okay, as well as how many players can be absent before a game has to be called off, if there's any house rules and what kind of place you're going to be gaming in. It's all pretty normal stuff, and some stuff I wouldn't really think needed going over, but whatever, that's cool. It has advice on building adventures and so on, maintaing proper pacing, that kind of thing. It talks about how Manifested Powers should be cool and probably fill some gap in the party's capabilities that isn't already filled, and that if a PC wants a Grimoire and to learn magic, they should definitely be able to find one. The book also notes that while the GM should be trying to fulfill parts of the PC's FAtes (or giving them chances to deny them), sometimes it's best to reinterpret events to fit them rather than force it - it can be cooler all around.

I should note that a sizable portion of Malifaux lady art is like this. There's a lot of cool art, but a lot of cheesecake, too, and some of it isn't even in appropriately fancy dresses.

We now go back to IC narration of some setting secrets, provided to us by Jacob Dobbs, compiler of the Undercity Chronicle, which is half tabloid, half revelation of dark secrets. He talks about the factions of Malifaux, adding little new, save that the Guild Guard often prefer to track and trace suspicious people instead of just beating them up these days - they prefer to keep violence out of sight of the rich and powerful, after all. The Guild Guard are often also the most positive members of the Guild, trying to protect as much as enforce law. They can be terrible, and are certainly commanded by the cruel or amoral, but they are usually less bad than the men and women who make up the Guild agency by taking advantage of others. Dobbs also discusses common cons and thieves - the faux damsel in distress leading people to a mugging or the guy who makes off with purses and luggage. They're distressingly common. The Guild maintains orphanages and flophouses - but they're nowhere you'd ever want to live. They're terrible places, the orphanages like prisons and the flophouses horrible motels at best and criminal dens at worst. Better to avoid them.

There's a lot of detail bnut little of much real interest, except that the Guild Mortuary is run by a guy literally named Douglas McMourning. We get told that due to Gremlins shooting down a zeppelin in an attempt to set the city on fire, free-roaming zeppelins are currently banned in favor of zipline-guided 'aircars.' A Prussian inventor, Hubert Muller, is trying to resolve the zeppelin safety issue and has been testing his latest zeppelin, the Black Kaiser, by night, giving rise to stories of sky ghosts. He's planning a test flight beyond the city walls to prove the use of zeppelins. His secret? Light-weight armored hulls to prtoect the balloon and sealed compartments to prevent breaches or fires from taking the whole thing down. He has named these new kinds of zeppelin the Panzer-Zeppelins.

We do get one real secret shortly after: The Miners and Steamfitter's Union is funding Arcanists, because the main Arcanist organization is run by Dr. Ramos, President of the Union. Thus, the Arcanists have strong ties to the poor and the wild beasts of Malifaux, as they often end up hiding among them and the miners. Some of them have even made pacts with ancient beings, like the primal force of winter and ice known as December, gaining power but also being controlled and influenced by these ancient beings.

We get a look at the Ten Thunders - the first real explanation of them so far. They're a criminal empire, a sort of Asian Illuminati, based out of the Three Kingdoms and commanded by a mysterious Oyabun. They are firmly in control of the Little Kingdom district, and have infiltrators in practically every other faction. They favor Asian weaponry and martial arts, and most in areas they control treat them as the law, not the Guild. The Ten Thunders enforce justice on their people, at the cost of protection money and obedience. Typically they do it in ways that will increase their own power and influence. They also use a smaller, secret Breach controlled by the Three Kingdoms, out in the wilderness. (Technically it is a rumor, but it is a true one according to other Malifaux materials.) Their initiates are often heavily tattooed, as they receive a unique tatoo when they first join, and then have it embellished the longer and more storied their career becomes. These often get referred to as the Painted Men, as their tattoos will end up covering most of their bodies.

A depressing amount of Malifaux art is halter top ninjas. Lady Justice is one, though this isn't her. There's some really great art, and then there's this.

Now we get the names of some important people. Well, titles, sometimes. The Governor-General is a mystery - no one has ever really seen him closely, and no one knows his name. Some say he was a servant of an old cabal in London, sent to rule Malifaux as a sort of punishment - he was the only one brave enough to go, and trustworthy enough to send but not so much anyone would care if he died...and so he has ended up in charge of the most important city in two worlds. Of course, others say there is no Governor-General - he's just a front for the heads of the Guild departments to use, having died long ago. They are ruling in his name now, to keep more influential people from ebing sent. Others say the real power is the Governor-General's secretary, Lucius, but if that's so, he'd have to have once had power and Lucius would have had to secretly usurp it, which would be an immense plot.

The Ortegas are a family of Neverborn Hunters, led by the beautiful but very dangerous Perdita. She and her clan have killed more Neverborn than any other Guild agents, and have even drawn the attention of the notorious Lilith herself. They maintain a stronghold in the Badlands, Latigo, with extremely strong defenses. The clan is immense - cousins, brothers, sisters, adopted friends. It's possible that they are an army in and of themselves. Francisco, Perdita's older brother, is a determined and pitiless killer, and "Guapo" Ortega is a man named ironically, because he is covered in a web of scars caused by acidic Neverborn blood. He's a legendary pistoleer. The black sheep of the family is not spoken of: Manuel Ortega, the weakest of the clan and youngest of the original Ortega brothers. If he truly does exist, he was driven into the arms of the NEverborn in search of the wealth and power his family never let him have, and eventually, he even earned Lilith's favor. It's said that when an Ortega kills a Neverborn, they offer it the chance at a quick death if it will tell them where Manuel can be found, but so far, rumor says, no Neverborn has accepted.

Lady Justice is the most famous of the Death Marshals. She is blind, but it hasn't stopped her. She is seldom seen without The Judge, a skilled investigator and actual judge who serves as her eyes. They have slain many Resurrectionists, and Lady Justice's skill with a greatsword is legendary, as is her ability to resist necromantic magic. Some say that Lady Justice and The Judge are both suffering some necromantic plague, either from studying necromancy or from frequent contact with the undead. They say that behind her blindfold are nothing but rotted eye sockets, that her blindness is due to her disease. Others say The Judge's lower face has rotted away, that he has no lower jaw - and that is why no one has ever credibly reported they've heard him speak. Others believe that Lady Justice and the Judge are secretly married, but why that would be secret is rather a mystery.

Next time: Famous Criminals

Jan 7, 2015
The Escher is strong with this book. Oh well, as long as the text is fine. Certainly a neat idea to keep the randomness on the player's side.

Halloween Jack posted:

Has anybody done WFRP 2e?

Nope, but I hope this changes.

Forums Terrorist posted:

Ratcatcher best class all years

The best kind of urban ranger.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:57 on Jun 23, 2015

Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
So, this thread is all about obscure and/or unique RPGs, so I figured this would be the best place to post this. One of my friends has been working for years (like 15+) on his own rpg. Unlike a lot of heartbreakers out there, I'd say it's really good (of course I'm completely not objective here). It's been played a lot, leading to a ton of updates and changes to make the game better and more balanced mechanically. After years, my friend is finally trying to publish the game. Now, of course, this is super obscure, and to make matters even more awkward it's in french. To try and drum up some kind of interest, he made a Free RPG Day adventure, with the game's basic rules:

The game plays a lot like Final Fantasy Tactics. I myself used it to run a (really fun) game based on Tactics Ogre. Here's a rundown of how it plays:

- You've got 6 stats and a list of skills.
- You roll a number of D6s equal to the Stat, adding them all up, and 6s explode.
- You add the skill as a bonus to any dice, at any time during the roll, hopefully causing one dice to explode
- Battles take place on a square grid, with heights and features to make fights interesting.
- Move and Jump is determined by your class.
- There are 96 classes. Class change is the name of the game here. Examples include Geomancer, Valkyrie, Superhero (think Alkaiser from SaGa Frontier complete with the inability to use your powers without changing into your Hero costume), Dragon Tamer, and more.
- You've got equipment and ability slots, once again similar to a tactics rpg.
- There's two different kind of XP: normal xp you get at the end of the game that you can use to raise stats and skills, and "mentions" that you get from doing stuff in-game (example: tricking a npc will get you a "tricky", defeating him will give you and aggressive, etc. There are five types) and that you use to learn the different class abilities.
- There's a fairly huge fantasy world that the game takes place in, developed over the 15+ years the game has been in development. It's inspired from jrpgs and various mythologies (Norse kind among them), it's a flat world with a giant world tree in the middle. There's multiple empires fighting each other, three pantheons with different religions and followers (my favorite is the one that's pro-undead because dying is a loser's game), and plenty of space for adventures.
- There are multiple fantasy races, like Lizardmen, Fairies and Moon people.
- There are some further options for customization: families that give more abilities, tactics used in the mass battle system and super secret spells called Galdr.
- It's fairly hard to make a terrible character. If you do, as you get more abilities and skills you'll eventually catch up to the rest of the team and not feel like the classic DND fighter.

Anyway, I love the game, and I hope at least person who reads french checks it out. If this isn't the right place for this I can always delete my post.

Nov 4, 2007

zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Seems fine to me, I don't read French well but I downloaded it anyway.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Through the Breach: The Fatemaster's Almanac

So, wanted criminals. Albus Von Schtook came to Malifaux to study the sky; he hasn't seen it in over a year. He lives in the sewers, scrawling 'lessons' on the sewer walls in muck. He is insane, of ocurse, and a Resurrectionist. His monstrosities emerge from the sewers to collect scrap and bodies to fuel his underground university. His bounty varies between a thousand and two thousand scrip, depending on how recently one of these 'students' heads topside.

Lilith is the first and most feared of the Neverborn, and she has made sure the Guild knows her name and work. She leads a brood of Nephilim of all shapes and sizes, and she is a nightmare made flesh. It is unclear if she raids the city so often because she wants to drive humanity out or because she just enjoys it. Whatever the case, she always seems to figure out what her victims fear an kill them in a strangely poetic way - a man afraid of heights falls to his death, one afraid of spiders dies of thousands of bites, someone scared of her children is bludgeoned to death by a child's toe and strangled by tiny hands. Even those hunters who have faced her and lied speak of facing their own fears and secret phobias made real. The current bounty on Lilith's head is 4000 scrip.

The Mask Serpent is a strange criminal. No one has ever actually seen them, but they've been killing the masked lawyers that serve the Guild. The masks are meant to hide the lawyers' identities and avoid reprisal, as so many court cases are utter shams of justice where the accused could not possibly win. The Mask Serpent has been murdering the lawyers, generally by choking them with a length of chain, perhaps from a manacle, then splitting their tongue down the middle like a snake's.

Nikolai Posie is the former owner of the inn known as the Fox and Blossom. He's wanted for poisoning newcomers to Malifaux and storing their corpses, apparently for the use of some unknown benefactor. He is wanted alive for questioning - perhaps unique among all wanted criminals. He is nowhere to be found, apparently tipped off before the Death Marshals raided his inn. To date, his whereabouts remain unknown.

Pandora is one of those Neverborn who appears to be human, even pleasant, but she spreads despair wherever she goes, filling those around here with a deep sense of hopelessness. Many attribute hthe oppressive feel of Malifaux to her alone, though that is unlikely. It is said that she has started forming suicide clubs - groups that make a pact to end their lives together. Pandora nurtures ther hopelessness and has them seek out the likeminded, manipulating them utterly to convince those who would otherwise be entirely safe from suicide risks. The Guild has no likeness of Pandora, but maintain a price on her head: 3,000 scrip. So far, anyone attempting to claim it has been largely discredited and brought up on murder charges, which doesn't exactly help people want to capture her.

The highest bounty to date, 5,000 scrip, belongs to Seamus, the Red Chapel Killer. Over a hundred murders have been attributed to him, from children to high ranking officials to even Death Marshals. However, the truth is, he only targets prostitutes - any other murders blamed on him are either misattributed or are because they tried to stop him. He has a number of copycat killers, so catching him seems nearly impossible - perhaps he's even already been locked up, since there's been a dip in murders lately with his sense of drama. He is tall, thin and usually wears an immensely oversize top hat.

Som'er "Teeth" Jones is the only Gremlin wanted by name by the Guild. All Gremlins, of course, have a two scrip bounty, but Som'er has a 2000 scrip bounty. He is officially wanted for assaulting Union work sites and Guild affiliates, but the problem is proving you've gotten the real Som'er. Gremlins appear nearly identical to most humans (including the author, who claims at least one Guild official called him racist for saying so), but the Guild swears blind it can tell the difference between Gremlins.

There's two other major players listed. The first Doctor Ramos, president of the Miners and Steamfitters Union. He is a powerful man, and the workers love him, but what most do not know is that he is also tied into the Arcanists and the criminal networks that support them. It is probably only his position of power that keeps him safe from the Guild - well, that and never personally getting his hands dirty. He is the de factor leader of the Arcanists, and is very interested in the development of magic and magical science. Some say that he's actually years ahead of the Guild, and that all the stuff you see is only a taste of what's hidden in his lab. One rumor says he's building a kind of soulstone funnel that will draw in the energies of hundreds of soulstones at once, using a special aetheric lens to focus them. This would be able to boost the power someone's magic over a hundred times, turning even a weak mage into a god of sorcery. If that device does exist, the Guild is surely hunting it - and they'd be possibly the only worse hands for it than the Arcanists.

Misaki is an agent of the Ten Thunders, the one who paved the way for them to enter Malifaux. She is an excellent fighter and has killed many who underestimated her abilities. Some of the Guild believe her an even greater threat than the Oyabun - and perhaps rightly, as some say she is planning to take over the Ten Thunders - apparently, they believe the reason the Three Kingdoms recently closed their borders is due to some internal power struggle, and the current Oyabun is part of a different faction than Misaki, who has been promised greatness if she can take him out. Combine that with the rumors of the Three Kingdoms Breach in the wilds, and that could be ar eal problem for the Guild.

After this, we get advice on running games again, focusing on the themes of Malifaux and the different types of games you might run. The frontier, the alein nature of the world, ancient and forgotten knowledge, the power of magic and the fascist control of the Guild are all mentioned. The game suggests four different play styles - the PCs as criminals and renegades fighting the Guild or avoiding them, the PCs as scientists and explorers seeking knowledge or power, the PCs as agents of the Guild, enforcing law and order, or the PCs as traitors to humanity, teaming up with the native Neverborn in order to reclaim the world for its former masters. It also mentions that players might play as Neverborn, intelligent constructs or Gremlins. There are no special rules presented for doing so, so I'd assume that mechanically they would be identical to normal human PCs, at least for now.

Dear god, why would you try to make that sexy?

The game offers an optional rule: Drawing Fate. When it becomes clear that someone's Fate will be resolved during a session, the playeer may choose to Draw Fate, shuffling the main Fate Deck and looking at the bottom card, then showing it to the GM. Each card grants the player a positive effect, generally allowing them to automatically succeed at a certain type of action, and a negative effect, which the GM can call on to have them automatically fail or get into trouble by some type of action. Both the player and the GM may use this ability once during the session. Each card has a different effect.

The Black Joker, for example, can be used to turn a failure or disaster into something useful or profitable for the PC. However, the GM can use it to have some key part of a plan fail or suffer unforeseen complications. The Red Joker lets the PC escape certain death or find a way out when presented with a dead end. The GM can use it to have enemies seek out the character and sense their great destiny. The 11 of Rams can be used by the PC to find a lie hidden amidst truth. The GM can use it to have the PC see a lie where there is none. The 4 of Tomes can be used by the PC to protect an innocent and shield them from harm or psychological trauma. The GM can use it to have dependents or bystanders distract the PC. The 2 of Crows can be used by the PC to have a meaningful brush with death change the opinions of those around them or force their foes to step back and evaluate. The GM can use it to have the PC's plans become unraveled and have people believe them lost. The 9 of Masks can be used by the PCs to control a transformation within them, retaining vital parts of themselves despite any circumstances. The GM can use it to force the PC to change somehow, physically or emotionally.

The game then presents a bunch of adventure seeds - a lost railway station, say, or a gambler looking for help on a heist, or a necromancer stealing bodies from a funeral home. There is also some advice on building encounters, both combat and social, and advice on how to make a combat engaging to both PCs that aren't combat-focused and those that are. It notes that a combat being easier than planned is better than if it's harder - it's easier to fix by just boosting the Rank of a foe or two, or having more enemies show up. There are rules for converting characters to the Malifaux wargame if you felt like doing that, too. It notes, however, that the game is not designed to be balanced in that context - indeed, the game is actually designed to be slanted in the favor of the PCs, because if the PCs lost half the time, the game wouldn't last very well, but that's the balance needed for the actual wargame.

Next time: Monsters

Do you guys want a detailed look at the monsters or just a select few interesting or entertaining ones?

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
So several months after rereading Ettin's review of X-Crawl, I decided to check out the newer 2014 Pathfinder conversion, Maximum X-Crawl.

It definitely had changes beyond a straight conversion. Large portions of "alternate world history" with Drow Nazis and poo poo were excised out of the book to a brief 1-2 page history. The artwork's still black and white, but got an upgrade with more modern pieces and less weird robot-faces. Signature Strikes (formerly signature moves) can now be completed in 1 round instead of requiring actions spread across 3 rounds. The Greek-Roman pantheon now has Cleric domains, as well as a deity for each of the major fantasy races...and Wakan Tanka, who all Native Americans worship regardless of tribe as a singular monoculture. I don't know if that was in the original or not.

All in all, there are still quite a few grammar errors, but overall it seems a lot of stuff from the previous 3rd Edition version got cleaned up.


There is no mention of the :parrot::burger::spooky:DUNGUUN GANGSTAS:spooky::burger::parrot:

Looks like you did it, Ettin. You ran that thing so hard into the ground it now has a gravestone marking its location.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 06:27 on Jun 24, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Ultimately and belatedly, the whole Palladium alignment system is a big heartbreaky counterargument to the D&D alignment system, in that it provides relatively clear guidelines regarding what constitutes an alignment violation (but not what violating your alignment does), but also has the flashing middle fingers against neutral alignments. Which is weird, of course, because the subject of neutrality is never an actual subject, but instead is just a big response to the D&D alignment system, much like Kevin's rant against cross-species pollination in Conversion Book makes no sense unless you know about half-elves and half-orcs. This is, of course, because the The Palladium RPG was a proto-heartbreaker, and because he just copy-pastes poo poo for decades, that tiresome rant against neutrality echoes down the whole game line, even though nowadays it has rapidly diminishing relevance even in regards to D&D and its clones.

Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy
Wizards Presents: Races and Classes

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Part 6

The Warlock

I think you should only be able to get soul blast if you take the Pact of James Brown.
—Logan Bonner, March 2007

Class Role - Richard Baker


Warlocks are arcane characters. They learn their powers from magical entities they commune with through ancient rites. These may be dark, primal fey spirits, old as the earth itself; the restless shades of ancient warlocks and demipowers long dead; strange, magical intelligences associated with prominent stars; or infernal beings bound by ancient laws the warlock knows how to exploit.
In battle, warlocks are strikers. They are highly mobile and elusive adversaries who scour their enemies with potent blasts of eldritch power and harry them with a variety of potent curses. They deal high damage to one or two enemies at a time. Warlocks have few powers that attack multiple foes at once, but they excel in dealing with small groups of enemies.

Warlocks are not very durable, but they are quite good at avoiding attack by magically evading their enemies. They possess highly accurate and highly damaging short-range attacks and shift easily from ranged to melee combat.

The Warlock gains two new tools in 4th Edition: Pacts and Curses

Pacts describe who or what the Warlock had to bargain with gain their power: Fey, Infernal, Star or Vestige. The different Pacts offer different abilities: the Infernal Pact is more "control" focused with effects that trap or hinder enemies, while the Vestige Pact has more direct-damage through its Soul Blast power.

Each Pact has its own set of Curses. These represent the Warlock's Encounter powers. They cause high amounts of damage while also causing movement and action restrictions, and their Eldritch and Soul Blast attacks deal more damage to Cursed targets, and the Warlock will gain an additional follow-up effect when a Cursed target is killed.

Warlocks are described as specializing in weakening, slowing, immobilizing or otherwise "debuffing" enemies with Curses.

Warlocks Have Changed, Why? - Logan Bonner


The reason warlocks changed is simple: Their cool, unique thing isn’t unique anymore.

Since their resources don’t deplete over the course of the day, warlocks hold a special place in D&D 3E. In 4th Edition, any spellcaster can use a power every round without worrying about running out, so warlocks need something new to differentiate them.

The early changes from the 3E warlock to the 4E version included access to powerful sustainable curses that gave penalties to their enemies and picked up the binder’s vestiges as “hellpacts.” All this pointed them toward the same sort of maybe-this-guy-is-a-little-too-nasty-to-hang-out-with-our-party vibe that the 3E version has, but gave him some new tricks so he’s not playing in the wizard’s sandbox quite as much (duplicating spell effects and the like). It also brought forward some elements from other interesting, but less popular, 3E classes. Of course, the warlock kept eldritch blast, along with abilities that modify the blast.

These were good ideas, but they weren’t quite clicking in playtests. The pacts, like binder vestiges, didn’t have benefits that all pointed to a single theme or play style. Since we wanted to emphasize certain builds, these got narrowed and focused so when you take a pact, you really know what type of character you’re playing. They also aren’t just “hellpacts” anymore. You can make pacts with various powers, each of which has its own build focus and a strong hook for your backstory. Curses were, initially, imparting penalties and giving advantages to the warlock if he voluntarily ended the curse. Unfortunately, this usually meant that a warlock spent his turn invoking a curse, then watching the target die before he had a chance to do anything else. This was an easy problem to fix: We cranked the curses up. Now the curses themselves could put down a ton of damage and impose huge penalties on the target’s actions.

Why the Warlock? - Chris Sims

1. The target of the design team was to have at least 2 classes representing each power source. The Wizard was already the first Arcane class, so the Warlock would be the second.

2. The other target was representing the role. The Wizard is an Arcane Ranged Controller, and the Rogue is a Melee Martial Striker, and the Ranger is a Ranged Martial Striker, so the Warlock would be the Arcane Ranged Striker.

3. The Tieflings were the "dip your toes in evil" race, so the expectation was that they also needed a "dip your toes in evil" class, and the Warlock was a natural match.

4. The Warlock was apparently the most popular 3rd Edition class outside of the original PHB and Tome of Battle.

Warlock Evolution - Stephen Schubert

The design team built off of the experimentation with alternate magical systems that was done with 3rd Edition's Tome of Magic and Magic of Incarnum. The Binder's Pacts served as inspiration for what would eventually become Warlock Pacts, while the Shadowcaster's method of selecting Mysteries was an early model for the Powers system as far as being able to pick-and-choose.

Alignment - Logan Bonner


Alignment is one of those systems that’s been in flux for a while because everybody has a strong opinion about it. When one person’s saying “kill it entirely” and another is saying “keep it as it is,” you know there will be a lot of time and discussion about the topic. R&D is really just like a big gaming group: We all have our opinions about what alignment should be.

To tackle this issue, an elite team of special agents (Michele Carter, Bruce Cordell, Steve Schubert, and Bill Slavicsek) convened to figure out why people do and don’t like alignment as it has appeared in previous versions of the game. We wanted to keep the recognizable names of alignment, but we also had to recognize the failings the old systems had.

A major change to the system is the concept of unaligned characters. Most people just never choose sides, and never dedicate themselves to an ideal—they just do what they can to get by. Alignment is now a system you don’t have to play in if you don’t want to. Only characters with strong ideals will take up the cause of Good or Evil. This allows players more latitude. They can play a character who isn’t all that nice, but can still be in the same party as the bright and shining paladin and not have much difficulty. An “Evil-curious” character might be underhanded or bloodthirsty without crossing the line into evil.

We also wanted to emphasize the difference between personality and alignment. For a long time, people have used alignment as a guide to roleplaying, but that ends up being too restrictive and predictable. While alignment should influence your actions, it shouldn’t define your entire personality. A Good-aligned person can be surly, or even do something that’s not exactly “good” once in a while. This doesn’t mean the person isn’t trying to uphold the virtues of a good alignment—and the dedication to keep trying is what’s important about alignment.

Perhaps more important than any other change is the deemphasis of alignment. Instead of the overarching system of previous editions, alignment is now a much smaller part of the experience. Only a minority of people (and monsters) is aligned at all, and most spells and abilities that key off of alignment have been eliminated. For a player, choosing a Good alignment won’t make your character more susceptible to evil attacks. Dungeon Masters get the freedom to create storylines with intrigue and deception that can’t be derailed by a detect evil spell. Shades of gray can make a campaign deeper and ultimately more rewarding. PCs should decide for themselves whether they think someone is evil, not rely on spells to make their decisions for them.

That third and fourth paragraph is really aces and could serve as a good guide to alignment whenever it rears its head.

Cube Chatter - Logan Bonner

Sometimes these warlock powers get written up so horrifically that they sound like they should be freaking your allies out as well as your enemies.
— Rob Heinsoo, May 2007


I worked on the Player’s Handbook with Rich Baker and Dave Noonan (this was in the third stage of the process). We all sat within two cubes of one another, close enough to shout out whatever weird thing one of us had just come up with. Even though people in nearby cubes were working on different projects, they would occasionally hear one of these snippets about the Player’s Handbook. Usually, this was some oddball placeholder name Rich had written for a warlord power, but warlock powers were a common topic, too. I think our neighbors might have known more about the warlock than any other class, actually.

I wrote up the basic structure of the warlock and established the over-the-top descriptions and effect names the class would use (stuff like the curse of the bloodfang beast and iron chains of misery). The power-writing stage came after that, and Rich was in charge of taking the few powers already written and fleshing out the list (while incorporating changes the development team had made to the overall class structure).

Whenever Rich would write up a crazy power (and the warlock is master of crazy, mean powers), he would relay it across the cube walls to Dave and I, and thereby give everybody else nearby a dose of warlock joy.

Once or twice a day, Rich would say something like, “Okay, here’s a new one: hurl through hell. You banish a foe to the depths of the Nine Hells. During his journey he takes a bunch of damage. He returns prone in his former square, suffering from fear.” Everybody in earshot would have an evil chuckle (Dave’s is the most evil, by the way) and think about the reaction the hapless monster will have when that happens during a game.

Rich (and maybe all of us) really wrote his most entertaining stuff when he was getting punchy at the end of the day. The warlock is a great class to work on when you just need to cut loose and write the most insane powers possible, and he’ll likewise be more fun to play the more exhausting your day has been.

I can’t wait until people first get their hands on this class and say, “I can do what?” And the reactions of the other people at the table will be even better. You just might hear your party’s cleric saying, “I know I said we should punish these evildoers, but ouch!”

Next up: The Wizard

Sneak preview:


In the end, you are the most powerful adventurer in the group but only when you work with their allies as a team. A lone wizard faces death at the end of foe’s weapon, yet a wizard alone can call down powers that overshadow any other adventurer’s attacks. While some wizards sequester themselves in isolated towers, far from other folk, the mightiest wizards achieved their great deeds with the help of equally legendary warriors, clerics, and rogues. Sure, they might not provide the most intellectually stimulating campfire conversation, but they do have their uses.

Ah yes, there's the Mike Mearls we all know and love.

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

Unknown Armies, part 15: Avatars, pt 4


Aleister Crowley designed the Susan B. Anthony dollar, and elements of that design have been used in the new dollar coin.

The Mystic Hermaphrodite

The Mystic Hermaphrodite is a bit of an odd duck, to put it mildly. It's one of those archetypes that, if you attempted to describe it to anyone out of context, would probably make almost no sense. Which makes it kind of questionable as an iconic "archetype" along the same lines as the Mother, Warrior, Merchant or even the odder or newer ones like the Flying Woman or MVP. If you can't really understand it after having it explained to you can it really count as a universal symbol of the collective unconsciousness? Even its claim that it represents the Archetype of magick itself (as the embodiment of paradox) seems fishy since paradox-based magick is really the new kid on the block rather than some ancient truth (and the book seems to indicate the Hermaphrodite is not a modern Archetype).

But then, as I was writing this very entry everything snapped into place and crystallized before me. The revelation was this...the Mystic Hermaphrodite is the Archetype of being David Bowie.

Magic Dance!

I don't think there's a better way to describe the Mystic Hermaphrodite other than "basically David Bowie". Or Prince, or Freddie Mercury or whoever you like. The weird allure and mystique of clashing masculine and feminine identities combined with odd-ball behavior and strange charisma.

Taboos: Dedicating oneself fully to an ideal is taboo to the Mystic Hermaphrodite. They should be difficult to pin down and label and accepting being "pigeonholed" or committing to an extreme weakens your connection to the archetype. A diehard athiest would have trouble channeling the Hermaphrodite as would a devoted Christian, they are the agnostics and "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual" type. Of course, this is all about behavior, an Avatar can believe whatever they like but acting on those beliefs can get them in trouble. This actually makes the Hermaphrodite exceptionally difficult to channel since you must carefully monitor your own behavior to ensure that it doesn't get colored by your own loyalties and beliefs, often forcing them to act against their own desires to "balance the scales".

Suspected Avatars: If she existed, Pope Joan was an Avatar. Christine Jorgensen (the first person to surgically transition) is also listed as an avatar. Other possibilities are Ru Paul and Lady Chablis.

Mystic Hermaphrodite Channels

1-50% On a successful roll you can understand someone's gender identity. This is more than just who they want to sleep with, it also covers how they define themselves relative to their gender: are they "butch"? A wilting violet? etc. It notes this can be unpredictable because it can just as easily detect the persona the individual is currently "projecting" as opposed to how they behave day to day. A closeted gay man in front of his parents is not necessarily going to "read" the same as he would out on a date with a guy (although in all cases you will know that they are homosexual).

51-70%: You can sense when gain mystic charges in your area (one mile per full 10 skill points). A success means you detect the charge gain and a sense of direction and intensity (whether it was a major, minor or significant charge). A matched success gives you an idea of the school that generated the charge (or if it was generated via rituals). This seems powerful but then I actually consider the sort of world described in UA...the impression I get is that magick is relatively thick on the ground in UA (relatively speaking). After all, there's at least enough Cliomancers around to swarm any significant charging as a general rule the mystic population of any large city is going to be pretty high so this sense will likely "ding" fairly often. It's certainly going to give the Avatar a headache when the dipsomancers get off work and start pounding down charges. Still I suppose the suburbs are a more appropriate place for the MH.

71-90: Once per day with a successful Avatar roll you can switch your sex. A crit failure (00) traps you in between as an actual hermaphrodite, unable to change back (unless you were actually born a hermaphrodite) without other magick (such as epideromancy) or surgery. One reason why the Freak can do this more or less with impunity. If he screws up he can just spend some charges to swap back. This is a Rank 4 Self challenge (it would be Rank 7 for anyone else, but the MH is more prepared)

91+: Once per day you can charge up by messing around with your gender. Cross-dressing or otherwise symbolically messing with your gender role gets you a minor charge. Actual changing from male to female gets you a significant charge. You can use these charges for rituals or (if you're an adept) use them with your adept powers. You can also just squirt them out into the world to produce random unnatural phenomena.

This last channel is the reason why MH's are such powerful magick-users (the Freak especially). Remember, Adept laws do not apply to Avatars, so they are not bound by the Law of Transaction (hence they can use their third Channel to provide significant charges) nor are they limited by an Adept's taboo...that means that MH's can keep charges earned this way indefinitely and they can power up quite easily. Someone like the Freak can get 28-31 Significant charges per month, charges that he can use in his Epideromancy without having to wait days or weeks between charges to heal. Even if they aren't an adept they can make Authentic Thaumaturges look like chumps with the sheer quantity of charges they can produce.


The U.S. Patent Bureau hosts a special section for occult material, rituals, and mystic artifacts.

The Pilgrim

Pilgrims are, despite their name, not really religious. It's more about the journey and the destination than any particular reason why you're going. They share more in common with those who plunge into the wilderness or tackle unclimbable mountains than religious pilgrims. Whatever the reason they keep moving: they must always have a goal and must constantly be moving towards it. This makes it kind of a "make or break" Archetype for PCs. For a group that's relatively local, or has any goals other than the Pilgrim's it's completely unsuitable...but you could easily build an entire cabal around the Piligrim's quest: a pilgrim searching for proof of UFOs or Bigfoot is totally acceptable after all and everyone else can just jump in your mystery mobile.

Taboo: If you ever spend a game session without doing something to try and get you closer to your goal it counts as breaking taboo. Likewise, giving up or changing your goal is grounds for taboo breaking. However, so long as you do pick a new goal you just get docked some points and you can keep pursuing the path. This also means that if you want to be a powerful Pilgrim you have to pick goals that can be worked towards but not completed, because otherwise you'll start getting your Avatar rating dropped every time you complete a goal and change to a new one (like the Masterless Man, actually achieving your goal is a violation of taboo).

Suspected Avatars Neil Armstrong is definitely a possibility. Most famous explorers qualify (Lewis and Clark, Robert Falcon Scott, etc), whether or not they were successful.

Pilgrim Channels

1-50% Name a goal and a skill to achieve it. The skill effectively becomes a second obsession skill, letting you flip-flop (although you can't get cherries for combat) so long as you are in pursuit of your goal. This lasts until the goal is achieved at which point you can name a new goal and a new skill. To "set" a skill you have to make an Avatar roll and a failure means that you can't use that skill with that particular goal (although you can try again with a different appropriate skill). However, if you ever abandon the goal you can never use this channel with that particular skill again.

Note that this is different from a Pilgrim's big "G" Goal. Having a Pilgrim Goal like "Find Proof of Atlantis" does not prevent you from using this channel with the goal of "Kick the rear end of that dick who ran me off the road." Nor does completing and changing your channel goal hurt your Avatar rating.

51-70% With a successful Avatar roll you can travel cross-continentally in about a day. You start traveling and at some point things start to blur together and you end up at your destination, despite the distance. You can only do this alone and only once every 24 hours.

71-90% At this level you can use your dedication to force others to obey you. To do this lock eyes with someone and explain clearly and concisely what your goal is and why its important and make an Avatar roll. So long as your roll succeeds and makes it higher than the target's Mind or Soul (whichever is higher) the target will obey a simple command. The command can't be abhorrent or completely embarrassing/horrible (basically, nothing that would force a Stress check). Actively resisting requires a Self check equal to the 10's place on your roll. Amusingly, the command does not have to relate to your goal or its importance...

"I am on a cross-country trip because an insane wizard is trying to perform a ritual to turn everyone with a smartphone into a bloodthirsty ghoul. I'm going to stop him. Now, go get me a sandwich and thirty bags of M&Ms."

91+% With a successful Avatar roll you can use any door, window or road into a portal to any other door, window or road. Your appearance and disappearances always go unnoticed (although your presence may cause a commotion, they just won't see how you got in). You can do this as often as you like and can bring along multiple people (but must make a check for each of them) and you have to have a clear mental picture of the place (a photo looks fine so long as you've memorized it or have it with you at the time).

Alternatively you can use this to trap someone by causing all passages they take to lead back to one place, like making all doors they go through lead them back to any location you choose. Escape is possible by simply smashing down a wall or digging out but even after that any door will take them back. This fortunately lasts only a few hours because it's only resistible with anti-magick rituals or by being an adept (in which case the Avatar has to roll higher than the adept's skill). The only other requirement is that you have to be looking at the target.

This is probably one of the most powerful channels in-and-of-itself (the merchant channel requires a lot of time and contacts to build to full power and the Mystic Hermaphrodite requires knowing rituals or being an adept to use at full power). The ability to more or less teleport anywhere you have a photo of (or already know) is extremely strong and (at this point) very reliable. A politically-minded Avatar of the Pilgrim could do some scary poo poo by moving freely into places like the Oval Office (pictures of which are easily available).

...then again I'd bet there are some places that use fake photos of offices of heads of state for security purposes. Would be amusing for a would-be Avatar assassin to end up walking onto a set stage in Nevada when they think they're stepping into the Oval Office. Kidnapping is probably easier though, so long as your target is making a public appearance somewhere, travel into the crowd and use your whammy on [Politician Name Here] and the next time they step through a door they end up in your Pulp Fiction-esque sex dungeon.

Either way, by itself this power has probably some of the strongest utility when used creatively and really puts many of the other 4th channels to shame. But to be fair, the Pilgrim probably has by far the strictest Taboo of any Avatar (except maybe the MVP or Savage).


In Memphis, there’s a phantom Piggly Wiggly. It’s where the local ghosts buy their groceries.

So, ran a little short this time but it gives me three to end the Avatar chapter with next time: the Savage, The True King and the Warrior.

Oct 14, 2011
I always liked Order of the Stick's take on alignment - alignment isn't what you do, it's what you strive for. Good characters strive to be good, Lawful characters strive for order, Chaotic characters strive for freedom and Evil characters strive towards their own goals at the expense of all else (or the goals of their deity). They don't always succeed, and they will often make exceptions. People act contrary to their beliefs all the time. Anybody who hates the idea of sweatshops but buys cheap clothing because they can't afford anything more ethically produced, for example.

Nov 4, 2007

zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 21: Bigger Ships

So we’ve covered all the little plinky fighters. Now we’re going to deal with some larger vessels. Firstly we get troop tansports, which are included to sell more models ferry troops around in larger numbers. We start with the CAF Assault Shuttle which can carry two platoons of soldiers and ‘a dozen support vehicles’ or a company of soldiers or 300 cramped refugees. It is armed and armored well enough to challenge a frigate which--seems weird. Also they seem to be bigger on the inside than the outside. They’re listed at 70 ft high by 50 ft wide by 240 long.
One of the listed troop loadouts is

40 power-prmor soldiers (any)
30 soldiers in standard armor
2 Maniple IFVs
4 Shield-Bearer Missile Tanks (not included in this book)
6 Phalanx main battle tanks

The Phalanxes alone are 30’x40’ so you couldn’t even fit two of them side by side. You might be able to stack them but then you have 6 other vehicles to pack into less than half the remaining space, plus soldiers in bulky armor. It’s a minor point but really.

MDC-wise they have 2200 main body, no force field. The 4 lasers do 1d4x10 and can be left on automatic (+2 to strike!) though that doesn’t say how many attacks the computer gets. The twin particle beam cannons do 4d6x10 or 5d6 to a 50-ft diameter area. They have 128 mini-missiles and can fire 32 of them per round for about 1d6x10. They’re also sluggish to fly, and give a -2 to dodge and dodging takes a melee attack from ALL gunners on the ship as apparently the sudden motion jerks them out of position. Maybe invest in better seatbelts?

the ship seems to be afflicted with a severe care of turretitis

The Empire continues with its dramatic evil naming with the ”Rain of Death” Troop Transport painted gray-and-black and used to barrage a planet from orbit before dropping enemy soldiers to the attack. Since these serve the forces of evil, they have 3,700 MDC and 7,200 force field, making them substantially superior to their CAF counterpart. Supposedly this is offset by not being able to carry as many troops, only 60 soldiers (power armored or otherwise) or 8 tanks. 4d6x10 main gravity cannons, of which there are 4. 12 laser batteries do 1d4x10 and can be left on automatic. 12 mini-missile launchers that can fire 6 per round, 384 total missiles and 4 bomb/missile bays that can fire 16 missiles or 32 bombs per round. Sheesh. Oh, and the bombs have a ‘200 mile range’, which makes these the first weapons that can hit a planet’s surface from orbit. The “Rain of Death” :black101: shares the -2 to dodge/gunners lose attack penalty of the other shuttle but it can power through a few hits and annihilate a lot of opposition.

"Show me a place that is ready to receive the gift of the Eldar."

Now we’re into the actual frigate section. Apparently the Kreeghor used to like to build zillions of these which they would use to swarm enemies, but this got prohibitively expensive. Now they just have a lot of them.

The Scimitar (Wing Commander much?) light patrol ship serves the CAF. The main body has 5,000 MDC and a 6,000 point total forcefield, so not actually stronger than the Empire assault shuttle. The CAF may be at a disadvantage guys. Though if you reduce the ship to -1,000 MDC (I don’t know why you would, it shuts down at 0) it does 4d6x1000 to anything within 300 ft.

described as lithe and graceful

The main laser batteries do 2d6x100 separately or 4d6x100 fired together and can only fire twice per melee. The two main G cannons do 1d4x100 and use the gunner’s hand to hand attacks. 4 particle beam cannons, 8 mini-missile launchers, complement of 6 Scorpions, 10 Silverhawks and an infantry company sweating nervously. -2 to dodge attacks from closer than 3 miles, which is to say, all fighter attacks. Yeesh.

Berserker Class Warship is the evil equivalent of the Scimitar and is described as the ultra-tech version of a torpedo boat. They try to close in on capital ships and wreck their poo poo with a missile barrage--hey, an official acknowledgement of the obvious tactic! They rush the enemy with their forcefields concentrated in front, like you clearly should do in these rules. Their body is only 3,000 MDC with 6,000 total forcefield but as we’ve observed above, large ship weapons would not be able to crack that easily. Though, reading the weapon descriptions, their cruise missiles have an ‘over 1,000 mile range’ with an ‘optimum range’ of 1 to 3 miles and no mechanical definition of what ‘optimum’ means, do they get range penalties for firing farther? :iiam: Really no need to zerg rush when you can fire 20 4d6x100 missiles over 1K away. Oh, they also have 2 1d6x100 lasers and some mini missile batteries and no combat penalties.

"The laughing god's faithful have arrived."

That’s all the time we have for frigates in this book. Merchant and Transport Ships are next as they frantically run against page limits after wasting a lot of space throughout.

A Typical Runner Ship is now the official model/class name for this vessel, no take-backsies. It’s lightweight and stealthy to smuggle stuff. 2,000 MDC with 1,800 total force field. 3 2d6x10 laser turrets, 48 long range missiles (500 mile range), 100 tons of cargo space which can also be missiles.

"Vypers will bring quick death to the enemy."

A Typical Merchantman has 5,000 MDC, 7,200 in forcefield--this is more than the CAF Frigate just mentioned. It just doesn’t explode for as much damage if reduced to total cinders. Can carry up to 5,000 tons of cargo. I realize that what we actually need is a unit of volume, not weight, but weight is what you get. 4 laser batteries at 3d6x10, 96 medium (40 mile) missiles. Can be modified to carry more weapons depending on how much you are willing to spend and how much cargo space you are willing to lose. Though waaaaaay back where we were listing starship weapon systems, most of the small anti-fighter level guns took up 2 tons or less. We don’t have listings for separate installations of any larger weapon systems, perhaps that’s forbidden by space law.

"Shuriken Cannons, FIRE!"

That’s all of the ship stats in this book. The next section is some campaign ideas and a couple of adventure seeds, then XP tables and a huge number of different kinds of character sheets. Seriously it’s fun to have a sheet with your class’s default art on it and all but they wasted a lot of pages on that.

There’s one last note, like a couple sentences about larger ships. They have between ‘12,000 and 40,000 MDC’ and two to ten times as many weapons as smaller vessels, plus space fighters, power armor, shuttles, etc. For those keeping score, that’s equivalent MDC to the majority of gods from Pantheons, with more actual damage potential from all those weapons going off. The gods might be able to seriously disrupt a space fleet with size-changing and magic and such but they would not be a toe-to-toe match for what’s described here, which is at odds with Pantheons and parts of Phase World suggesting that gods can take on starships. Of course, they also said cosmo-knights could take on starships. Mostly it’s just more weird power creep.

Jan 7, 2015
I wonder if there's an AI capital ship that gained sentience and decided to become a god.

MonsieurChoc posted:

So, this thread is all about obscure and/or unique RPGs, so I figured this would be the best place to post this. One of my friends has been working for years (like 15+) on his own rpg. Unlike a lot of heartbreakers out there, I'd say it's really good (of course I'm completely not objective here). It's been played a lot, leading to a ton of updates and changes to make the game better and more balanced mechanically. After years, my friend is finally trying to publish the game. Now, of course, this is super obscure, and to make matters even more awkward it's in french. To try and drum up some kind of interest, he made a Free RPG Day adventure, with the game's basic rules:

I always sucked in French class, but I'm gonna try it anyways. The huge amount of classes reminds me of WFRP2e, though I don't think your friend has made a ratcatcher class.

Stars Without Number

I fear I've run out of stuff to write here...

So the free version SWN already has everything you need to roll up some worlds and their gimmicks, which can already include spiffy stuff like "Stone Age dome city whose inhabitants try desparately to keep the air filtering system working that prevents the local atmosphere from eating them alive" or "Middle Age world dominated by knights wearing old power armor". But what about the societies of those worlds? Where do they originally come from? How does their history look like? What problems do they face? What makes them stand out?

Well, the paid version lets you roll that up, too:

Chapter Thirteen: Societies

As everything else sandbox-related, this chapter exists to make the GM's life easier. There's no use wasting several evenings on flashing out the culture and backstory of a world that the players will ultimtely find uninteresting. The society creation process therefore puts an emphasize of offering conflict and adventuring potential.

The first step is obviously rolling up the reason the world got colonized in the first place (be it a big project from the Terran Mandate itself or a bunch of reckless settlers). This can be skipped if the world's tags make this already clear.

Next up is determining the initial settler's heritage and culture, as they tended to come from roughly the same Earth nation or ethnicity. Much has obviously changed in the up to 600ish years the colony has been around, but traces of a society's long-forgotten ancestors can still be found (even if just in the form of ruins).

The initial colonists of course require an initial government (self-explanatory) which most likely evolved into something different after the Scream, and a couple traits. These social traits are similar to alien lenses in that they summarize what was particularly important for the society in question.

Since humanity has a thing for conflict, those are rolled, too. Standard randomization includes one main conflict for the olden days, and one for the present day.

Where does she store her weapons? Does she have Holdout Cavity cyberware?

Example Society

I'll pick one of my favorite worlds from the example sector I rolled up, namely the desert banking world that managed to became a regional powerhouse without direct access to fusion power or FTL drives, all thanks to capitalism. I'll go full-on random here because why not.

A 1d20 roll tells us the reason for the world's colonization was Trade Hub, which fits very well. Seems the planet was always an important trading and banking outpost for neighboring systems, probably thanks to a good connection of spike drive routes.

For the initial culture, I take the most random route, a 1d8 roll to pick from one of the culture name tables later in the book. Let's see, a 1 is... Arabic. Mmh, this fits the desert theme pretty well. Since there's a name table for both people and places, let's name the world right now! The 1d100 tells us the world is called Muruni.

Initial Government type - a 1d12 roll - turns out to be Corporatism, meaning control over the planet was divided between various factions (most likely banks and trade corporations). A 1d6 roll or post-Scream government evolution tells us that one of the factions eventually became powerful enough to install an Autocracy.
Seeing how a technological collapse and hundreds of years of isolation from other worlds isn't too healthy for your interstellar economy, I assume those trade corporations were crushed by the Scream, leaving a clever bank that kept most of its assets on the planet itself to take over and rule with a golden fist, rebuilding the economy with some old-fashioned Islamic banking.

Now onto the traits. Two to three are recommended, so I'l roll 3 times, which gives us Self-loathing, Suspicious and Warlike. So they're suspicious, admire strength and fear that they have kinda failed, which makes sense for one of the few non-FTL worlds around. Note that focus and priority for these traits shift throughout the ages.

Now onto conflicts. The first one from the Golden Age comes up as Schism, probably the result of newcomers arriving at this former trade world.
Conflicts are further detailled with Details, Constraints and Changes. The necessary rolls tell us that the world's major religion became corrupt and decadent, with the sects splitting off uniting under the same authority (maybe they've been financed by the same bank?). The people of this world generally form communities based on their shared religion.

And with the Scream comes a new conflict. This time, it's Privation, a severe lack of at least one vital resource (water, I presume). Rolling up the details tells us that the world has a derth of fertile land (makes sense for a desert planet). Dangerous overpopulation is prevented with contraceptions and... infanticide o_O ?!
Err, anyhow, this conflict resulted in argicultural land being seen as something holy, so they most likely refrained from trying any fancy techniques that might damage the soil's fertility in the long run, at the likely cost of not using the land to its fullest.

Now there's one more bit of (optional) randomness to do, and that's to check what become of the banking autocracy during the 600 years of the Silence. A quick roll reveals it became a Theocracy in an effort to legitimize its rulership with religion. I would assume it is this holy bank that owns most if not all of the fertile land on the planet. Things probably don't look well for the former main religion not controlled by the bank.

Present day sees Muruni as a major force thanks to their banking know-how and mineral resources. The bank is probably busy maintaining a monopoly on imported spaceships, weapons, terraforming gear and other goodies, further keeping the populace depended on its goodwill. This most likely explains why the world is overall still on Technology Level 3 aka pre-Fusion tech. As a faction, the bank can buy TL4 goods on other worlds or build them with exclusive factory complexes (which might be one of their long-term goals). They can probalby afford quite a lot with the credits stored from the Golden Age.

And that's it for Muruni, Planet of Gold. You're free to come trading, but be careful what you do. They're always watching.

Next Time: The last 3 chapters of GM goodness.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011



The Mystic Hermaphrodite is a bit of an odd duck, to put it mildly. It's one of those archetypes that, if you attempted to describe it to anyone out of context, would probably make almost no sense. Which makes it kind of questionable as an iconic "archetype" along the same lines as the Mother, Warrior, Merchant or even the odder or newer ones like the Flying Woman or MVP.

I think the key here is the Mystic part. While it certainly resonates with changing gender roles and identities and David Bowie and Hedwig & The Angry Inch, the archtypical bit only makes sense in terms of old Hermetic Alchemy and pre-modern magic. Or at least that's how I know it from books and comics written by weird old Brits. There's probably a clash between that old version of it and the more modern glam/pop take, or at least a nice bit of tension.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 02:02 on Jun 25, 2015

Nov 4, 2007

zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 22: To Infinity, and Beyond!

The very last section of Phase World is devoted to some Campaign Ideas and a couple of adventure seeds. Rifts campaign and adventure materials are usually fairly anemic and also often extremely bad. Like having to fight a magic gently caress-you table in England, or ask it questions about carpentry, whichever. Or Africa, where the Biblical four horsemen appeared to completely ruin a continent whose residents and cultures were largely dismissed in a few paragraphs no noble savagery.

But this isn’t either of those, this is Phase World! Where we’ve had bullet points about several vaguely hominid cultures! Also it’s space adventure and a lot of that material really just writes itself. This section is credited to both CJ and KS which makes me look forward to some erratic tone.

Anyway, it starts off suggesting that the type of the campaign should influence what characters people play. Well, we’ve gone straight off the Rifts script right there. Suggesting that a cosmo-knight might not be suitable for a dirt-lugging colonization campaign, pff. Not unless there are some “hidden danger’s.” (sic) But it actually acknowledges the inherent balance and focus problems in Rifts, and looks at ways to organize the party, even if only to have a common goal. They list types of campaigns as follows:

Exploring the Unknown: My personal favorite thing in RPGs is exploring mysteries, but that requires a mystery worth exploring and it’s hard to get the setup and payoff right with those. Still, ‘let’s play Star Trek but with HI-Lasers’ sounds like a good campaign idea, you can use random planet/system generators from Traveller or something! Or maybe just play Traveller. I don’t even like Traveller but the suggested OCCs are like Colonists and Spacers and those are all lovely and boring. Still, a general exploration theme is not a bad one but it doesn’t give many suggestions for mandate (‘seek out new worlds but don’t gently caress with them’/’ready them for conquest’/’open new trade vistas’), it just says ‘go ‘splorin!’

The Freedom Fighter Campaign: The Transgalactic Empire is Evil and some Rebels are going to be needed. This is more straightforward, suggesting any number of adventurous classes as being suitable and mentioning the many ways one has to oppose an Empire--running blockades, sabotage, outright resistance, etc. It also suggests covert funding from the CCW and conflicting loyalties between the Free World Council and the CCW sponsors. It actually reads a bit like a potential Space-Vietnam thing with dueling superpowers not wanting to come right out and fight each other.

The Cosmic Campaign: This is a ‘high-powered’ campaign with lots of ‘action, travel and danger’. Okay, with you so far... “temporal raiders, cosmo-knights, True Atlanteans, zembahk and even superheroes!” Some of these things are not...high-powered. Like True Atlanteans. Zembahk...are those worms that the splugorth use as psionic weapons like in the staff on the cover of Atlantis. Exciting space action! The GM and players are encouraged to decide on some things ahead of time, like why did a brainworm, a tattoo freak, Silver Surfer and Dr. Doom walk into a bar? Why are they fighting evil? Because they are obviously fighting evil You can discuss these things ahead of time! It’s revolutionary! Phase World might be a good setup point for this, hint, hint. It suggests using very powerful enemies like splugorth or Mechanoids or gene-splicers or whatever though even a level one cosmo-knight is going to need to grind through their requisite amount of pirate scrub to buff their powers.

This type of campaign honestly sounds like ‘default’ mode for Rifts, as players who read the books with any detail or even just looked at the picture are going to want to play the cool, powerful classes.

The Phase World Campaign: This is a campaign focused on the Phase World setting itself. It’s more or less about bumming around the fragrant megalopolis, as residents, merchants, members of security forces--whatever really. Rifts happen and the city is a crazy kitchen sink-pressure cooker (your kitchen may be different than mine) and “Any type of adventure is possible!” Old enemies may return seeking revenge or hire bounty hunters to attack, monsters may menace the PCs, debt collectors may chase the party--no mention of helping family or building a business or whatever but pfff, that is not what Rifts people do. I have a soft spot for playing beleaguered public servants in weird settings so that might appeal to me, though it isn't mentioned as a suggestion within the text.

The Trader/Runner Campaign: Okay, maybe I spoke too soon. But seriously that thing about playing Traveller? Play Traveller.

The Merc Campaign: Already covered in Rifts: Mercenaries, repeated a bit here, with some reference to starships.

Colonization/Marooned Campaigns: This one’s a bit trickier because magic/travel powers can really void the premise in a hurry. But if you can control for that, it’s time for wacky Gilligan-in-Space-Adventures.

The Spy Campaign: I feel like this was already covered somewhat under ‘freedom fighter’ and Rifts doesn’t really do ‘stealth play’ that well. It suggests Sunaj Assassins as potential PCs. :allears:

i guess this is what happens when the eldar get into the mosquito business

Transdimensional Campaigns: For all that Rifts brags on its Megaverse a lot, the setting(s) are often very self-contained, with other dimensions being only sort of hinted at and a sort of handwavey assumption that you COULD go to another world if you wanted but there’s so much RIGHT HERE. There are at least two transdimensional playboy clubs described in Rifts books to date (The Olympians from Pantheons, the Fraternity of the Stars coming up shortly) so palling around with them is a possibility.

Rifts Earth and Phase World: Rifts Earth and Phase World are connected by several permanent gates. Splugorth and Naruni Enterprise are the big transdimensional entities that are aware of Rifts Earth which have a presence in this book but clearly the links are there and can only expand as long as Earth keeps pumping out that delicious ley line energy.

Other Palladium Settings: Nobody cares about the Palladium RPG, even the authors of this book. Wormwood is connected through a portal in Worldgate, a neutral city, but most Wormwood powers cease to function off Wormwood at best and actively cripple the user when they die at worst. You can go there, but then you’re playing a Wormwood game. The Mechanoids: Since they’re a spacefaring menace, they could be out there waiting and lurking. Robotech/Macross: You want to play your Valkyries in Rifts, you know you do. And you can! Heroes & Aliens Unlimited: Superheroes totally exist in setting it says, there’s a few other superpowereds like those unstatted Elite Guards of the Empire. Aliens...well, up to you if you want aliens in space.

So those are the general campaign ideas. It’s mostly kinda bland, generalized advice, but it has some minimal thought put into tone and direction, something previous Rifts entries have often lacked.

There’s also some adventure seedlets collectively called The Stick in Your Eye which is the name of a ship, a “common sight in the seedier ports of the Three Galaxies.” The Stick is a Runner ship that treats customs laws and such fairly creatively. It’s piloted by a crew who ‘only care about their freedom’ and the ship is owned cooperatively by each member, with varying levels of share. Contracts are put to a vote, then once a contract is taken the Captain is in charge. They have two overarching rules: No slavery, and no assassinations. Everything else is fair game.

The Captain is Bill Borshenko, a Runner who was born on a utopian world where crime and poverty were things of the past. Being one of those people who just can’t stay in the Culture, he was settling down to have lived a normal grumbly life of a privileged wealthy white dude when the mysterious “Ravagers” attacked and burned his planet. The Ravagers have not previously been mentioned and they’re giant aliens with planetoid-sized ships and somehow these giant aliens attacking and destroying a world went completely unnoticed by the larger CCW. They just enslaved the planet and nobody noticed, whup. Borshenko and others formed a resistance that somehow, somehow managed to communicate with the CCW who sent a fleet and destroyed the aliens. Good grief. I mean we haven’t really touched on communication speeds a lot, it mostly seems to be actual radio and ships have to physically carry messages but not having any emergency systems in place to shout for help is just dumb.

Anyway the former slaves were totally ungrateful and blamed Borshenko and his friends for getting their planet destroyed, they had all been happily enslaved just a few minutes ago! Nobody appreciates a good libertarian ubermensch like they should. :v: Borshenko tried his hand at the military but somehow didn’t get on with the discipline there, and with a dishonorable discharge, he joined a bunch of runners. His OCC is listed as ‘CAF Fleet Officer’ rather than Runner, mind, since he apparently stayed in the military long enough to amass the 50,000 XP needed for 8th level. He has absolutely impossible attributes--IQ 17, ME 14, MA 20, PS 17, PP 19, PE 17, PB 17, SPD 21. Seriously, that’s just dumb. He’s a normal human. He has 100 MDC body armor, a million credits in cash plus his ship, and some laser guns. He’s basically the blonde, blue-eyed space-hunk painted on the cover of a pulp rag.

Auntie is a machine people computer. She’s been crippled out of her normal shapeshifting body by some kinda crazy pirate juju and locked into a computer form. That ship is of course the Stick, and she is the resident AI. Sort of. She’s a 10th level Machine People RCC but she’s been altered a bit past where that has much meaning, basically read the Ship Who Sang.

if i were a space captain i would want a lizardman first mate, in fairness

Murray is the seljuk first mate. He’s a reformed criminal, though his crime was murdering a Transgalactic Empire agent. Of course, he killed the guy because he thought he was cheating at cards. C’est la vie. Anyway Borshenko was nice to Murray while they were in jail together, they busted out, and now he’s a 7th level Headhunter with 270 MDC. He’s Anarchist and has trouble with trust and friendship, likes long walks in the jungle full of screaming death monkeys.

“Bug” is the pilot and it’s a Vacuum Wasp. Bug’s fleet had been destroyed by the Kittanni, it was desperate, and the Stick was in a bad way too. They formed an alliance and now they fight commit crime.

Laurana is an ‘exotically beautiful alien’ because no species has females of any other kind. She’s a Temporal Warrior and she and Borshenko had a brief affair which was broken up by Auntie’s meddling but they’re still super attracted to each other and oh, sorry, she doesn’t have any other motivation or history. :barf: She’s 8th level, human, secretly despises violence which is why she got into the arms trade.

“Tiny Tim” is the promethean science officer. Get it, Prometheans are tall. He hired the Stick once to ship some artifacts for him, asked to join the crew afterwards, they accepted. Prometheans aren’t very interesting but they get very good attribute rolls and the science officer is breaking the mold by being tougher than the rest of the crew put together.

The Stick in Your Eye itself has 4,000 MDC with a 1200 total forcefield. It can carry 100 tons of cargo, and its main guns do 2d4x100, with 192 mini-missiles and 48 heavy missiles, and a stealth system. Reasonably good at its job in other words.

The story ideas are presented after all these statblocks. You could be stowaways for some reason, or Tiny Tim has to take his promethean adulthood test and they have to hire some extra help (the Test is so vague it could be anything, good luck with that chief) or Borshenko’s ship got sucked into a Rift and hello what’s this then. Good lord those are the weakest seeds ever, and they are very clearly crammed in to fit the end of the page before we can get to the XP tables.

And that’s it, that’s Phase World. The Stick in Your Eye is not very interesting and could have been cut. Phase World itself is perhaps a passable space adventure setting hobbled by trying to fit the Palladium RPG system onto it. I’m going to review the Phase World Sourcebook next and I hope it is slightly faster going, but I really have no memory of what it is in it. A lot of stats for bigger ships I think, plus some other equipment and more guns and such that they just couldn’t fit in the main book. And I’ll admit, trying to describe a whole trans-galactic setting in the size of a World Book is hard. That’s why Underseas was double-sized!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

theironjef posted:

Hey look it's Raven Star! It's a bog-standard space heartbreaker with a few good ideas, sure. But what it really is is a treasure trove of the worst 90s art you ever did see.

The whole humanity / cyberware mechanic is ripped wholesale from Cyberpunk. The R. Talsorian Game, that is, not the genre. Of course, in that it's a decent enough mechanic for a game that's trying to simulate the whole Gibsonian / A.D. Police notion that cyberware makes you into either a jerk or a serial killer or both, but also that its effects can't be predicted. One person gets an arm replaced and is fine, and the other suddenly starts strangling anything within metallic reach. Of course, the big issue that came along in Cyberpunk was that later on they wanted to have totally badass anime cyborgs, but couldn't with the existing rules, so they added rules for therapy that mitigated the worst of humanity loss if you had enough money to throw at the issue. That's right: the major cost of becoming a badass cyborg wasn't your cyborg parts (though those were still crazy expensive), but your psychiatrist bills.

Balancing that with magic is actually kind of a neat mechanic, but that could be just me saying that after like ten Rifts supplements full of soft discouragement of cybernetics even for some character types that aren't penalized. You end up having conversations with the game line that sound like: "An elven knight would never stoop to replacing their body with cold steel!" "Why not? I mean, it's not like they have any penalties other than the normal ones for becoming a cyborg." "... because elves don't do that! Shut up!"

occamsnailfile posted:

Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 22: To Infinity, and Beyond!

There’s also some adventure seedlets collectively called The Stick in Your Eye which is the name of a ship, a “common sight in the seedier ports of the Three Galaxies.” The Stick is a Runner ship that treats customs laws and such fairly creatively. It’s piloted by a crew who ‘only care about their freedom’ and the ship is owned cooperatively by each member, with varying levels of share. Contracts are put to a vote, then once a contract is taken the Captain is in charge. They have two overarching rules: No slavery, and no assassinations. Everything else is fair game.

I'm probably wrong, but the whole Stick in the Eye section makes it feel like it's some playtest group that was thrown into the end of the book. It just has that kind of pointless, back-patty feel to it. If it isn't a playtest group, it's those smug NPCs that show up to swagger around the the PCs to show how cool they could be. But Jerry decided to play a vacuum wasp and ruined the PC party for everybody with his thoraxian shenanigans. gently caress you, Jerry.

Also the whole Phase World review has now been preserved in M.D.C. materials on the Trad Games wiki for those looking to peruse it or any of our earlier reviews.

Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

The whole humanity / cyberware mechanic is ripped wholesale from Cyberpunk. The R. Talsorian Game, that is, not the genre. Of course, in that it's a decent enough mechanic for a game that's trying to simulate the whole Gibsonian / A.D. Police notion that cyberware makes you into either a jerk or a serial killer or both, but also that its effects can't be predicted. One person gets an arm replaced and is fine, and the other suddenly starts strangling anything within metallic reach. Of course, the big issue that came along in Cyberpunk was that later on they wanted to have totally badass anime cyborgs, but couldn't with the existing rules, so they added rules for therapy that mitigated the worst of humanity loss if you had enough money to throw at the issue. That's right: the major cost of becoming a badass cyborg wasn't your cyborg parts (though those were still crazy expensive), but your psychiatrist bills.

Oddly, my last Rifts character was a cyborg who suffered heavily from shellshock. We run a weird D10 homebrew of Rifts, so all the shellshock was just RP I was doing, but I thought it was a super fun way to play a partial conversion guy. He was first off the transport in a raid on a Fed of Magic outpost and had the left half of his body sizzled clear off in the first three seconds of his first military action. Then the Coalition strapped him with a work-rehabilitation cyborg frame (the gimmick was that the arm could, on the fly, turn into "anything you could buy at a hardware store") and washed him out of service. Fun times.


Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Huh, it looks like Obama finally got that major charge.

  • Locked thread