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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I'm not super plugged-in to the overall RPG community, this thread and listening to System Mastery being about the extent of my online RPG involvement, but from the 5e campaign I've been running I really don't get where the spellcaster supremacy resentment comes from. We've been running 3rd- to 5th-level adventures and I have yet to see a spellcaster totally chump the melee characters. I'm sure that will break down at higher levels, but I've yet to play a game that used linear advancement where high-level play wasn't off-kilter.

While the base rulebook doesn't include Warlords or Avengers, the 5e system's apparent simplicity has led to a pretty enormous amount of homebrew classes that fit the vacant slots from 4e very nicely. I loved 4e and had an excellent time with it, but creating a whole new class always felt daunting to me since the sheer number of powers that had to be created and their CCG level of mechanical functionality felt like an awful lot of work. 5e, to me, is less of a big meaty set of rules that work really well like 4th and more of a D&D toolbox. It's easy to start with, easy to modify, and since the concept of the DM deciding whether to use optional rules or not is presented very clearly in the PHB it eases new players into the idea of RAW being a jumping off point rather than a holy canon.

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oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




In actual practice, most of the "spellcaster supremacy" stuff is kind of BS. There are real, actual issues with game balance but a big chunk of the problems come from the fact that a class that has the most options (in this case hundreds of spells on top of feats) has the most potential to be "broken" by virtue of finding certain spells, feats and/or magic items that were poorly thought out to begin with or have unexpected synergy. In addition, a lot of it assumes a GM who has absolutely no judgement (claims based on a "15 minute adventuring day" for instance) or extremely artificial situations.

When you actual play the game it really just comes down to the player, not the class. For example, in a game I run one player particularly likes to play monks (widely considered one of the "worst" classes of 3.5), yet he is by far the most effective character because the player is proactive, intelligent and good at thinking strategically both in and out of combat...while the guys who play the wizards, artificers and clerics are more or less goofballs who are just in it for the fun and get dragged along in the wake of the monk or other more active characters. Ironically, when the monk player did choose to play a wizard in one game he actually was often less effective because he found it difficult to keep track of all the different spells he had available and judge which worked best for what situation...he found it easier to think "I am a ninja...what would a ninja do in this situation" and then do it rather than think, "I've got X different spells which of these works best in this particular situation right now".

Now, if you've got a player whose looking to wring as much power out of a class as possible, or just to "break" the game, then classes like the wizard, cleric, etc. provide more options to do so and are thus ideal choices...but for most groups its not nearly as big a deal as you might think to hear people on the internet complain about it (in general, a good rule of thumb for life).

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Ah, yes, I remember playing 3e. For years. I had it down to a science. When someone announced a new campaign, I immediately went to the forums to research character builds. After 10-20 hours of research, I could make a martial character that was almost as effective as the wizard, being played by the guy who didn't know the rules well and just picked wizard because he liked fireballs and skeleton minions.

You have it backwards. Often D&D is balanced if you assume that fighters fight, rogues sneak, wizards blast, and clerics heal. It's in practice where balance goes sideways, often without anyone intending it.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





orionsgate you really really don't understand the rules of 3.5 dungeons and dragons do you?

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

When you're talking about problems with game mechanics the "it doesn't happen at my table" argument doesn't really matter. Just because you don't have people taking advantage of the overwhelmingly good poo poo doesn't mean it isn't there.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Through the Breach: Fatemaster's Almanac

So, a selection of things from the Bestiary. From the Commoners section, there are stats for workers, alchemists and lawyers (who can negotiate you into not attacking them unless they aggress at you), but also children. A Child can't deal much damage, ever, but also requires you to pass a TN 10 Willpower challenge to do anything harmful to them at all, every time you try. Kicking children isn't easy! Gunfighters are notable for being more accurate when they decide to just rain down bullets instead of aiming. Vapid Socialites take damage after punching you because their punch has the thumb inside the fist. Imposing Socialites, however, prefer pistols and are good at them.

The Guild section is larger - it covers the main Guild Guard, their pet dogs and attack birds, their various kinds of death robot, one of which is a goddamn bear trap on tentacles...and also robotic dogs. These are Hunters, made with advanced sensory devices to track convicts. They're not very big, but because they have no soul and can't feel fear, they're really good at fighting Neverborn and undead. They are also really stealthy and have harpoon guns so they can catch people. There's stats for the Death Marshals and their Bag Men - while actual Death Marshals fight resurrectionists, the Bag Men dig up dead bodies, chop off their heads and retrieve them for incineration to keep them from being raised as zombies. The Witch Hunters are also statted up - interrogators, witchlings, witchling handlers who teach the poor, crazy ex-mages to hunt other wizards, and more - stats for convicts enslaved by the Guild, mercenaries, wandering ronin swordsmen.


Look at that fucker.

There's also some thingsz - the Rat Catchers, who spread disease just as badly as the rats they hunt. The Stolen, people infected by the power of Hamelin the Plagued, warped and twisted into disease-ridden servants of their strange master. Abominations - basically, a type of rogue robot-undeadh ybrid which can combine themselves into larger, more terrifying engines of death. Various kinds of Neverborn, ranging from tiny blood-drinking Terror Tots and their mature form, the demonic Nephilim, to Stitched Togethers, which totally aren't Oogie Boogie. The Stitched are a type of Neverborn known as Nightmares, basically a type of monster given physical form by the dreams of a particularly strange psychic child known as the Dreamer. They can't be permanently killed, because they're really just psychic constructs, rather than actual sacks full of dead flesh, and they have an innate sense for the fears of those around them. They like to gamble with lives, and will honor their gambles if they lose...but they rarely lose by their own rules.


Totally not Oogie Boogie.

We get various kinds of zombie, including Rotten Belles (the undead prostitutes raised by Seamus, the Red Chapel Killer), Punk Zombies (zombies with weird, punk-ish hair that are often quite skilled with a blade) and normal zombies. We also get Gremlins! Gremlins are, uh, they're basically two-foot-tall hillbillies with green skin, no noses and a love of pigs. Pigs being defined as giant-rear end death hogs that will eat anything. Occasionally, they will taxidermy one while it's still alive, stuff it full of dynamite and point it at their enemies. (They're called Stuffed Piglets.) They live near Solurids - basically, a race of strange fish-men ruled over by hive queens, which can turn you into a fish-man if they kill you.


I like Gremlins.

If you want more details, I suggest you check the book out yourself! But now, we get Advanced Pursuits. They have only five steps, not ten, and earning one is important and difficult. Often they have stringent requirements, and the power of the talents they give access to is often higher than that of normal talents. However, often it's not very fast to advance, requiring some action before you can get the next rank. Not always, though.

The first advanced Pursuit is Death Marshal, the elite Guild undead hunters. They don't take just anyone, and they are all trained by other Death Marshals - usually the experienced Jacquiline Jac. All training is at night, dusk to midnight, for at least a month. After that, you can do whatever you like as long as you answer Death Marshal summons to patrol twice a week. Rogue Death Marshals are a serious threat, and while none have ever been documented, it's likely Lady Justice herself would become involved. Every Death Marshal is required to leave a single drop of blood with The Judge, though it's unclear why. To become one, you must slay at least one undead in the presence of a Guild officer who will recommend you to the Marshals. Further, it has to be a significant undead, not a zombie - or a lot of zombies. Alternately, you might claim a bounty on a notable Resurrectionist. On top of that, you may not have any Magic Theory talent other than Thalarian Doctrine.

As they advance, they get:
    1. Peacebringer: You get a custom issue Peacebringer Pistol (remember, the giant-rear end handguns with giant-rear end bayonets), which you can get a replacement for if you somehow lose it. Frequent loss, though, might be cause for disciplinary action.
    2. Coffin: You construct the coffin you will one day be buried in. This is a focus for your spellcasting, prevents you from ever being raised as a zombie and gives you the Hard to Wound talent if you don't already have it. You may carry the coffin as if it weighed only ten pounds, but its actual weight does not change.
    3. Special Dispensation: You replace your Magic Theory talent with a special version. You always have access to the Undead Genus Immuto, and may not have Sorcery or Prestidigitation above 3, but can raise Necromancy freely. Your eyes may appear sunken, you may lose hair and you may bcome pallid. Or you might exist in a state of constant remorse and barely contained rage. Either way, you get a penalty to all non-Intimidate Social duels.
    4. Pine Bos: Your coffin now grants you a Manifested Power while you carrying it, allowing you to trap someone in the box and remove them from the Dramatic Time. AT the start of your turn, you must pass an opposed Willpower challenge or they will be freed next to you. They will also be freed the next time you use Pine Box or when you die.
    5. Flaming Head/Flames of the Pit: You learn how to make even mindless zombies feel fear. When you use this, your head and flesh burn with phantom flame, and your face becomes a skull. You can use this once per day, for ten minutes. Undead must pass a TN 12 Horror duel to attack you or end a movement within 2 yards of you. You can take a Wound when the effect ends to extend it another ten minutes.


She beats people to death with coffins and is also Ghost Rider.

Next time: Freikorpsmenn, Steamfitters, Grave Servants and Torakage.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

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

Lipstick Apathy

* The Sleep spell can end a low-level encounter right then and there. The supposed trade-off is that the Wizard can only do it once, but "the Fighter can fight all day." This doesn't quite end up working out the way it should in practice because once a Fighter runs out of HP, he's done for the day. Further, the game assumes a certain number of encounters per day, and each encounter drains the party's resources, and both HP and spell slots are considered party resources. So the Fighter really isn't "fighting all day" because the one resource that he needs before he gets tapped out is included in the game's basic assumption of what gets consumed over time.

* Eventually the Sleep spell loses potency, but the Wizard will gain other spells to compensate. Fireballs for 8d6 damage are going to chump a lot of the encounters that you can throw at the party Wizard if and when they choose to use it, but even if we were to grant that perhaps a Fighter can put out as much damage as a Wizard can, you then start getting into the problem of the Wizard not even needing to deal damage. Hold Person or Stinking Cloud is effectively infinite damage to a target that can't act.

* The Knock spell treads on the Rogue's toes, and so on for every other "utility" spell that the Wizard has, exacerbated by the fact that 5e has incredibly relaxed spell selection for Wizards. At some point the buffs available to a Wizard start treading a Fighter's ability to fight, even.

* As you start hitting the higher levels, the Wizard is going to have access to more and more spells that have the potential to derail your campaign, or to circumvent the adventuring day/limited spell slots dynamic. If a Wizard can fly, that gives them the ability to bypass large amounts of "plot activity" that you might otherwise have laid in front of the party. If a Wizard can summon a magical tent in the middle of the dungeon, then the party can just sleep whenever they need to, giving the Wizard much better access to their encounter-ending spells since spell slots are now much less moment-to-moment valuable.

* If you start throwing up things to try to head off what the Wizard is doing in the previous point, you're just centering more and more of the adventure to be about them.

* The Wizard's spells interact with the game's mechanics on a level that the Fighter can't really come close to matching. Even if a spell has to pass through a saving throw and doesn't "just happen", the Fighter cannot inflict the sort of status effects that a spell can.

Just Dan Again posted:

While the base rulebook doesn't include Warlords or Avengers, the 5e system's apparent simplicity has led to a pretty enormous amount of homebrew classes that fit the vacant slots from 4e very nicely. I loved 4e and had an excellent time with it, but creating a whole new class always felt daunting to me since the sheer number of powers that had to be created and their CCG level of mechanical functionality felt like an awful lot of work. 5e, to me, is less of a big meaty set of rules that work really well like 4th and more of a D&D toolbox. It's easy to start with, easy to modify, and since the concept of the DM deciding whether to use optional rules or not is presented very clearly in the PHB it eases new players into the idea of RAW being a jumping off point rather than a holy canon.

Why did you feel that you needed to come up with an entirely new class in 4e? The only Power Source+Role combo that was not represented was Martial Controller, so every other character concept that you might want to capture is just a matter of "refluffing" your character's race, in-universe class depiction and in-universe power description.

I also don't really consider it a good thing that "the system is so light that it's easy to throw out some rules" because that assumes that there are going to be rules that need to be thrown out ... which by implication means that you're not going to want to run the game RAW, but if it's not supposed to be run RAW, then why wasn't RAW modified to not include the rules that were expected to be thrown out in the first place?

It was a strength of 4e that the rules could more or less handle any question you threw at it, and you could run it as-is and have a good game, because anything else assumes a level of System Mastery that's going to be painful for all involved while the DM hasn't gotten there yet.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Lynx Winters posted:

When you're talking about problems with game mechanics the "it doesn't happen at my table" argument doesn't really matter. Just because you don't have people taking advantage of the overwhelmingly good poo poo doesn't mean it isn't there.
Not only this, but it's not just a matter of balance between the PC classes. A lot of monsters will crush high-level fighters with their innate abilities.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Or how about the Druid, who can hulk out to give the fighter a run for his money and whose animal companion gives him a clear action economy advantage.

(Though I guess things would look better for the fighter if D&D didn't forget hirelings)

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

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




Just writing "Druid" on the sheet gets the party two fighters, extra fighters when you need them, plus spells. The very existence of the class in 3.5 takes the ridiculous assertion that the game is anywhere near balanced and sets it on fire.

The Aggressively Hegemonizing Ursine Swarm posted:

Consider the 8th level druid. Now, an 8th level druid can do many things, like cast spells or shapeshift, but they also get an animal companion. At 8th level, their animal companion is likely to be a brown bear. Now, a Brown Bear gets 3 attacks a round, is Large (he gets free attacks whenever anyone moves up to him), has a 27 strength, and can make grapple checks as a free action whenever it hits you. An 8th level fighter, for comparison, can only make 2 attacks a round, although he probably has better accuracy and AC and he should have more tricks to use than a bear.

But that's just one of the druid's abilities. The druid can also turn into a brown bear. So every time she wakes up in the morning, whatever else she does, an 8th level druid is, at minimum, 2 brown bears.

Except one of those brown bears can cast spells. There's a feat in the PHB that lets you cast spells while wildshaped without any penalty at all. Oh, and any magic cast on the druid automatically affects its animal companion for free. Druids get many, many spells that benefit animals, so this is a useful power.

So a druid is like two bears, each of them capable of more attacks per round than a fighter, except both bears can fly (Air Walk), both of them have magically enhanced claws, and one of them is throwing lighting bolts and and turning the ground to spikes and summoning more bears.

That's caster supremacy. One guy gets a sword and armor, the other person is an aggressively hegemonizing ursine swarm.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

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

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Yeah, in 3.5 caster supremacy wasn't so much about Wizards as the multitude of classes which had spells and decent combat ability, rendering pure fighters largely redundant.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




For sure, when it comes to being a hitty dude, druid and cleric pull ahead pretty early and without a lot of digging or shenanigans. It can happen naturally very easily, which is why it's a problem even if your entire group doesn't care to exploit the system to death. "The druid wants to play Beorn? Welp, gently caress you, fighter." And still on top of that he can call hellfire down on his enemies if he wants.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Plague of Hats posted:

For sure, when it comes to being a hitty dude, druid and cleric pull ahead pretty early and without a lot of digging or shenanigans. It can happen naturally very easily, which is why it's a problem even if your entire group doesn't care to exploit the system to death. "The druid wants to play Beorn? Welp, gently caress you, fighter." And still on top of that he can call hellfire down on his enemies if he wants.

I had a 3.5e Cleric that could summon Spiritual Weapon, which can outrange the Ranger's bow since it's 100ft + 10ft per level, it could stay active for multiple rounds, attacks incorporeal enemies without penalty, allowed for multiple attacks whenever I was at close range since the whole spell is autonomous (or multiple attacks on it's own if your base attack allows for it), and I can change its targets with a Move action. You know drat well I kept multiple slots of that saved.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 02:31 on Jun 27, 2015

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



Halloween Jack posted:

Not only this, but it's not just a matter of balance between the PC classes. A lot of monsters will crush high-level fighters with their innate abilities.

Yeah, that's kind of where the really big stuff comes in even apart from just examples of, "a wizard can does all this crazy bullshit, a fighter rolls 1d12+14 twice a round." There's a million and a half spells and abilities that can be used on a Fighter or other non-magical class to render them helpless. And the only actual response those classes have to that is to equip themselves with specific, very expensive items that also happen to be magical well ahead of time. Whereas most of the casters are already better at making saving throws against any of those abilities and can select spells to mitigate or outright ignore those abilities on the fly or with minimum prep time.

In the end, how much that will actually affect the group is really kind of down to your DM not being a dick but it's still highly illustrative of the vast gulf in capability between caster and non-caster classes.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Like I love 3.5 and pathfinder, and even I tend to ban vanilla fighter and all the tier 1 casters.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


The Aggressively Hegemonizing Ursine Swarm posted:

Consider the 8th level druid. Now, an 8th level druid can do many things, like cast spells or shapeshift, but they also get an animal companion. At 8th level, their animal companion is likely to be a brown bear. Now, a Brown Bear gets 3 attacks a round, is Large (he gets free attacks whenever anyone moves up to him), has a 27 strength, and can make grapple checks as a free action whenever it hits you. An 8th level fighter, for comparison, can only make 2 attacks a round, although he probably has better accuracy and AC and he should have more tricks to use than a bear.

But that's just one of the druid's abilities. The druid can also turn into a brown bear. So every time she wakes up in the morning, whatever else she does, an 8th level druid is, at minimum, 2 brown bears.

Except one of those brown bears can cast spells. There's a feat in the PHB that lets you cast spells while wildshaped without any penalty at all. Oh, and any magic cast on the druid automatically affects its animal companion for free. Druids get many, many spells that benefit animals, so this is a useful power.

So a druid is like two bears, each of them capable of more attacks per round than a fighter, except both bears can fly (Air Walk), both of them have magically enhanced claws, and one of them is throwing lighting bolts and and turning the ground to spikes and summoning more bears.

That's caster supremacy. One guy gets a sword and armor, the other person is an aggressively hegemonizing ursine swarm.

Has there ever been an "Ursine Swarmlord" prestige class? I kinda want that.

Young Freud posted:

I had a 3.5e Cleric that could summon Spiritual Weapon, which can outrange the Ranger's bow since it's 100ft + 10ft per level, it could stay active for multiple rounds, attacks incorporeal enemies without penalty, allowed for multiple attacks whenever I was at close range since the whole spell is autonomous (or multiple attacks on it's own if your base attack allows for it), and I can change its targets with a Move action. You know drat well I kept multiple slots of that saved.

You know, if you make this spell less ridiculous, it could work well as a passive class ability for martial characters, as a sort of more crunchy version of the Fray Die used by Exemplars & Eidolons (as well as Crawford's solo hero stuff). You'd basically become a bad enough fighter dude that you can fight with instinct and reflexes alone.

(Sure, that still puts them behind caster, but that doesn't change too much. If it were for me, fighters would be much closer to Dynasty Warriors.)

Doresh fucked around with this message at 09:18 on Jun 27, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Through the Breach: Fatemaster's Almanac



The Freikorpsmann is the cream of the crop, when it comes to mercenaries. Von Schill is so famous that several groups owe allegiance to him without actually being the literal Freikorps. He's fine as long as they report in regularly and pay their dues - a third of all earnings. Recruitment to the Freikorps itself, however, is highly regimented, and there's a dozen would-be Freikorpsmenn being tested at any given time. Once their training starts, they get assigned to a loose squad, run by a captain who meets with each member weekly and sends in reports to Von Schill. When duty calls, the captain will call for the squad to gather, and failing to respond to this summons or check in weekly can cause disciplinary action. All your jobs get screened through your captain to ensure you don't go up against another Freikorps team, but once you have permission, usually you can get away with not checking in until its done. You owe a third of any earnings to the company, to cover costs. However, you'll never need to look for work - the Freikorps keeps a list of open jobs. And you can charge higher than most others, because Freikorps means skill. To join, you have to pass Von Schill's tests, which in the past have included spending 24 hours standing at attention (which would be a succession of increasingly difficult Toughness duels), hitting a bottle on a moving cart while a Freikorpsmann shouts swears in your ear (a TN 15 Pistols check which can't use Focus) or listen to the whispers of a Freikorps Librarian for one full minute without weeping, a TN 10 Centering duel.

As they advance, they get:
    1. Powder Wars Training: You may take the (0) Reference the Field Guide action, discarding a card to add the suit of that card to all actions for the rest of your turn. On top of that action, they also get a Masks trigger on all Ranged Combat duels, allowing them to move up to 3 yards whenever the trigger is hit.
    2. Outfitting: You are issued standard Freikorps gear. This includes a Clockwork Pistol, Freikorps armor and a hunting knife. If these are lost or destroyed you can get replacements, but doing so too frequently will draw attention.(Freikorps clockwork weapons are exceptionally good at keeping a target from attacking you, and the armor's required for some other tricks. Plus it's Armor +1!)
    3. Survival Training: If you don't have them, you gain the Armor Training talent for free, to a maximum of 2 total times, and the Unimpeded talent for free. In addition, when wearing Freikorps armor you are immune to area damage, including blast damage.
    4. Endless Drills: You get a Skill Specialization in a suit of your choice for one of Alchemistry, Heavy Guns, History, Melee, Pistols, Long Arms, Athletics, Toughness, Track or Wilderness.
    5. Superior Outfitting: You get your choice of a Clockwork Rifle or Flammenwerfer for free and can purchase them for 17 Scrip each if you want more. (Yes, that's a flamethrower. It sets people on fire and ignores cover.)



Steamfitters are all members of the Miners and Steamfitters Union, and they are a special type of magewright led by President Ramos. Their abilities are not well known outside the Union, and deliberately hidden from the Guild. The Guild correctly believes they are capable of making and controlling pneumatic constructs, but incorrectly believe that all of them are Darlists. Ramos encourages that belief, but the Union understands the value of other magic. They'll protect practically any kind of spellcaster. Many find themselves serving the Union more often than they expected, but most are happy to do so, even if it means breaking the law. They are trained by each other, pairing up members who can teach each other new magic most of the time. Besides the standard Union dues and training duties, Steamfitters can also be called on to do less savory things as payment in advance for specialized training. For example, if you want some specific Grimoire, they might ask you to do a hard job. They still frown on necromancy - some dabble in it, but summoning the undead is a strict breach of Union charter and any member found doing so will be censured in the extreme, usually involving framing them for crimes and leaving them for the Guild. To become a Steamfitter, you must have a Magical Theory talent that isn't Thalarian Doctrine or the Whisper. You must have Sorcery or Enchanting at 3 or higher, and have either two Mastered Magia or an animated construct you personally built and can animate that is worth at least 50 scrip. Also, dues are 10 scrip a year. For life. After all, you're joining the Arcanists as well as the Union. You don't get to leave.

Rather than a normal progression, however, you get choices. At each of the five Steps of the Steamfitter Pursuit, you can select a different Talent, and may select any of the listed talents at each step. You choose what you want and go learn it from another Steamfitter. Generally, the Union does its best to accomodate what you want to learn. Available Talents at each step are:
  • Bleeding Edge Tech: You get a small field disruptor looking like a broach or bracelet. You can turn it on as a (0) Action, and while it's active, all magic duels by anyone other than you within 3 yards are at a penalty.
  • Clockwork Limb: You get a clockwork limb. This is identical to a pneumatic limb, save that it contains a soulstone powerful enough to animate it indefinitely without needing to be refueled, and in addition, it will heal itself of 1 damage every minute and can never be destroyed by use as a Darlin Theories focus object, regardless of the TN of any spell channeled through it.
  • Construct Skill Efficiency: The GM chooses a skill. When you spend a Construct point to purchase that skill for a Construct you're building, it gains 2 points instead of 1.
  • Construct Prowess: The GM chooses a Physical Aspect. When building a Construct, the first point spent on the noted Aspect raises the Aspect to 0 or adds 2 points to the Aspect, your choice each time.
  • Mastered Immuto or Magia: You gain a Mastered Immuto or a Mastered Magia, which need not be in any of your GFrimoires, as you learn it directly from another Union member.
  • New Grimoire: You are given a new Grimoire rather than training. It contains 3 Magia and 3 Immuto of the GM's choice.



Sometimes, necromancy calls out to someone. Some of them go mad or are hunted by the DEath Marshals. Some become Death Marshals. And some thrive. These are the Grave Servants, called out to by the Quarantine Zones, masters and competitors. They are warped, tainted and amplified by the power around them. Some say that Malifaux is haunted by the Grave Spirit, which grants them some of its power. They are eclectic, but their growth follows a pattern. However, to grow in power, they must undertake increasingly large and potent necromantic deeds, which vary for each practitioner. To become a Grave Servant, you must raise at least a dozen corpses as zombies within a single year and must spend at least 3 months living in the Quarantine Zone. To gain each step on the Pursuit, you must also perform an increasing feat of necromantic prowess, the nature and details of which are between you and the GM, but which should be individualistic and require you to perform adventuring to do. Examples include murdering more potent necromancers, creating unique undead, raising hordes of zombies to attack the city vwith, creating sentient undead or killing Death Marshals of notable power.

As they advance, they get:
    1. Madness Unleashed: Choose one Mental Aspect. Any undead you create may subtract 5 from that aspect rather than lowering it to -5.
    2. Semblance of Life: The physical skills of zombies you create are not halved.
    3. Desecrated Flesh: All undead you create gain the Hard to Wound talent.
    4. Thankful Grave: You attract undead. If you have no undead under your control then you can spend a night in the quarantine zone to get an undead servant. Flip a card, which can't be cheated. For a Crows card, you get 3 mindless zombies. For a Masks, a Rotten Belle. For a Rams, a Punk Zombie. For a Tomes, 3 Canine Remains. And for a Joker, an Abomination or unique undead.
    5. A Life Once Lived: Your undead retain their memories, if not personalities. Any undead you create also keep their mental skills at half their original value, rounding up.



The Torakage are agents of the Ten Thunders, criminals who serve directly rather than as sleeper agents in other organizations. They are overseen by Misaki, leader of the Last Blossom clan. She trains them all herself, as each Torakage is meant to perform a specific task. They are trained in what are known as the Ten Weapons of Wxu-Shu as well as meditative techniques to control the body, making them excellent liars and infiltrators. All of them live dual lives, secretly serving the Ten Thunders as needed. They have no way to know each other's identities, for they train wearing masks, and are trained only sporadically. It's possible that even Misaki doesn't know who all the Torakage are. Their training is piecemeal and eclectic, so they have a widely varying skillset. To become one, you must somehow draw the attention of the Ten Thunders as a possible asset. You must show some divided loyalty and be in appropriate physical condition, but need not be Asian - they'll take any ethnicity. You must have Speed and Grace at 1 or higher, Resilience and Strength at -1 or higher, and either Charm or Intellect at 0 or higher. If you get picked, they'll give you a hooded robe and a location of a temporary dojo. You must attend intensive training for at least a week without anyone in your normal life being suspicious of you. Once that's complete, you will get additional training as you advance.

Torakage training is not linear. Rather, each step along the path gives you one of the five available talents. By thend, you will hve all five and be a master of the Ten Weapons of Wxu-Shu, but the order varies. The techniques were developed centuries ago and include only five actual weapons - the rest are techniques paired with the weapon. The weapons are generalities, at that: Blade, Chain, Hammer, Shuriken and Fist. You bring your own weapons to better be able to hide your Torakage life. The talents are:
  • The Crowding Blade: You get a Masks trigger on all Close Combat duels, allowing you to move behind your target if you damage them. Also, you impose a penalty on all Ranged Attack actions against you while you are within 3 yards of anyone else, friend or foe.
  • The Blossom Trail: All of your Close Combat and Thrown Weapon duels get a Crows trigger, allowing you to give the Poison +1 Condition after damaging a foe.
  • The Leaves Upon the Breeze: You can manufacture Shuriken thrown weapons, with a range of 8 yards and 1/2/3 damage. You can make them out of anything that can eb sharpened, making 5 per hour without tools or 10 per hour with a heat source and raw materials. Further, you get a Masks trigger on all Thrown Weapon duels, allowing you to move 3 yards after the action resolves.
  • The Wicked Chains: If you do not already have them, you get the Wicked and Rapid Fire talents.
  • The Lonesome Stone: You get a bonus to all Close Combat duels while no other friendly characters are within 3 yards.

The End!

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




The problem with "Caster Supremacy" is that it comes in some many forms:

a) Equivalency supremacy: the MU can fight as well as the fighter, plus do magic as well. 3e Druids we're looking at you. Clerics too.

b) Defense supremacy: the MU can by magic make themselves immune to combat, but the fighter cannot by combat make himself immune to magic.

c) System abstraction supremacy: the MU has spells that in the rules text have certain effects, everyone else has skills that in the rules text have those same effects but require rolls. This is the most common problem with Rogues.

d) Narrative supremacy: at high level the MU can cast a spell to summon a mighty thunderstorm around the enemy fortress; the fighter can swing a sword really well.

e) Game experience supremacy: the MU player gets to pick and choose spells for every situation; the fighter player gets to basic attack every round.

Tulul
Oct 23, 2013


Non-casters are given the ability to engage with the mechanical systems of the game, while casters are given the ability to bypass the mechanical systems of the game.

Doresh posted:

Has there ever been an "Ursine Swarmlord" prestige class? I kinda want that.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Man, Through the Breach is sounding cooler and cooler the more I read about it :allears: How's the parent game like? I used to play 40K, but the massively high prices and rules revisions (combined with the fact that I'm a rubbish painter) got me out of the hobby. I like playing with plastic mans though, and from what I hear the minis scene is kind of cooling down near me, so I'm thinking of literally bringing something new to the table.

EDIT: Hit 'Submit' a little too early.

LaSquida
Nov 1, 2012

Just keep on walkin'.


CommissarMega posted:

Man, Through the Breach is sounding cooler and cooler the more I read about it :allears: How's the parent game like? I used to play 40K, but the massively high prices and rules revisions (combined with the fact that I'm a rubbish painter) got me out of the hobby. I like playing with plastic mans though, and from what I hear the minis scene is kind of cooling down near me, so I'm thinking of literally bringing something new to the table.

EDIT: Hit 'Submit' a little too early.

Generally a lot of fun, with an easy in point in the form of the crew boxes and the small version of the rulebook. The biggest problem the game has is Wyrd ' s reliance on Chinese manufacturers; occasionally things get delayed waaaaaay past their initial release date due to issues.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Unknown Armies, part 16: Avatars, pt 5



quote:

The Golden Gate Bridge is laced together with yards of scar tissue. Itís the only thing holding California together.

The Savage



Tarzan, Mowgli, your basic "raised by wolves" and/or "survivalist nutjob" kind of guy. The Savage is the Archetype that represents not only the absence of civilized society, but the active rejection of it. The Savage is as one with the birds and the beasts of the forest and field and maybe he might eat raw human flesh. Just sometimes. It's not a requirement.

Taboos: The Savage has two taboos. First, they must be simple and forthright. It's not so much that they can't lie as they can't lie well..successfully using a skill that manipulates language or emotion in a "devious" fashion is a taboo-breaker. Basically you can use your skills to clearly express things you feel passionately about but you can't use double-speak, manipulation or rhetoric. Just straightforward bald-faced lies won't necessarily break taboo...but you aren't likely to get away with them very well either.

The second taboo is that you can't have any skills above 30% that involve using, repairing or building machines without breaking taboo...this can actually be a bit of a danger: a critical success automatically increases a skill by 1%, which means if you're trying to game the Archetype by keeping several skills hovering right at the borderline there's the chance you'll accidentally learn too much and effectively wreck your Avatar status.

This is another one of those cases where the fact that taboos are the only measure of an Avatar kind of makes things a little hinky...30% is actually fairly high as far as Unknown Armies skills go...that's enough to know how to drive a car well (the default is 15%), use a computer, a smartphone and maybe even know a thing or two about mechanics or marksmanship. In fact you could own and use high-tech items every day without violating the Savage's taboo...heck I could potentially qualify as a Savage and I make every effort to never leave the city if I can help it. The Savage could make their living as an internet blogger and streaming "lets play" videos from their PS4. And unlike Avatars like The Mother, the Savage's powers are not exclusive to its role, being mostly combat/athletics buffs.

But, at the same time I will admit that the Savage's taboo is one of the more restrictive ones, especially since you've got to be careful not to just hover around that 30% mark thanks to that "+1" from critical successes. Ironically this means that the better a Savage is at using forbidden skills the more likely they are to try not to. A Savage with "Computer Hacker" at 20% might be happy to try and give cracking someone's laptop a shot...but once it's at 29% he's just two lucky rolls away from violating his taboo and he'll probably only try it in the most vital of situations.

Suspected Avatars: Many biblical hermits and wilderness prophets are considered as possible savages...and needless to say anyone living an actual tribal lifestyle is theoretically constantly channeling the savage but the book is thankfully thoughtful enough not to actually state that.

Savage Channels:

1-50% The savage is exceptionally strong and fast. This means whenever you are making a speed or body based skill and roll under your Savage skill you can add up to 10 points to your roll. Like the executioner this means that the skill is still a success even if the adjustment takes you above the skill rating. This only applies when using skills not related to machines (so firearms is out but knife fighting or archery aren't). Mainly this will be used to boost your Struggle skill.

51-70% You can now use your Savage skill in place of Climb, Swing From Vine, Run, Swim, Stealth, Tracking and Survival. If your Avatar skill is an obsession skill this then you can still flip-flop it when using this channel.

I've got to say I actually don't like how this works in practice. It runs into the whole "Avatars don't do things, they avoid doing things"...because these are all skills that it would be very appropriate for someone looking to channel the Savage to have and this channel renders any points you put into them completely irrelevant (unless they're higher than your Avatar skill in which case this channel provides nothing). Imagine someone trying to take up the mantle of the Savage...shouldn't someone like that be parkouring through the city, sneaking around the rooftops in their underwear and tracking their human prey through the alleys? Well, you better not because any points you put in the skills you need to actually live as your Archetype will be instantly wasted the moment your Avatar skill hits 51. It actually makes it harder to roleplay a character adopting the archetype because it disincentivizes you from actually learning the abilities you need to fill the role.

But as I pointed out you can just sit on the couch playing xbox until you hit 51%, so I suppose it all works out.

71-90% You can talk to the animals! With a successful Avatar roll you can command animals to follow your orders or ask them for information. Animals aren't too smart though so you don't get a lot of details from most questions and they can't do anything a well-trained dog couldn't. Still, pretty useful in many situations. There's a lot of houses you might be able to get in if you can talk the family dog into unlatching a window.

Bugs not included.

91+% All magick and firearm damage is reduced by 20 points if the roll is lower than your Avatar skill. This makes you immune to minor blasts (which max out at 20) and means you can generally take a hell of a lot of bullets before going down. A Savage/Epideromancer could be a scary combo.

quote:

The Hertfordshire Constabulary is the only police force in Britain not headed by a Mason.

The True King



This is the "fisher king" archetype...the king who is one with their kingdom (despite the name men and women can be Avatars).

Taboo: The True King's taboo is a bit more complicated than most. In order to become an Avatar of the True King you've got to have a Realm. A realm can be a place (The King of the Bronx), a group of people (the King of Hitchhikers) or a conceptual combination of both (King of the Slums, covering both the place and the inhabitants). The book is actually a bit contradictory here. It states that your Realm can be of any size but then later on we get a breakdown of the "Realm" rules where it states that your Land can only cover (Avatar Skill) miles radius and you can only have Followers equal to your Avatar skill as well. So really, you can't have a very big domain at all...which is probably a good thing (see below).

Your taboo is that you can never act against your Realm or allow outside forces to harm it. In practical terms this means that your Realm had better be pretty small...you can theoretically be "King of The Greenvale Apartments" and you can work to defend anyone in the apartments from being harmed or the building itself from being vandalized or condemned...but there's no practical way to respond to dangers on a global or even city-wide scale, at least without some sort of significant connections.

In exchange you can ask your Followers to face danger on behalf of you and the Realm (although suicide missions are only a last resort), but you still have to look out for them and make sure they've got what they need to do their job and stay as safe as possible.

Here's a hint, pick a place as your Realm, never go with just followers because if you ever completely lose your Realm your True King skill instantly drops to zero. It's relatively easy to ensure the Realm of "Beech Park" doesn't simply vanish but being King of a gang or cult is just asking for all your Followers to get ganked.

Suspected Avatars Arthur is kind of the ultimate symbol of the True King (which is ironic, because he is not the current Archetype). Just about any charismatic leader (royal or not) is seen as channeling the Archetype.

True King Channels

1-50% You can sense danger to your Realm with an Avatar skill check. You can also use this actively (rather than just getting "pinged") to call any Followers. This doesn't compel or provide any information, they just know there presence is desired.

51-70% While in your Realm or within sight of (Avatar/10, round down) followers you get +10% to all actions.

71-90% You can transfer injury between yourself and your followers and/or land. The rules get a little complicated:

-Your land has effective Wounds equal to you and you can swap points (healing you by draining it and vice versa) so long as you are within it. The land also begins to reflect your general condition (if you get ill or injured it'll show signs of problems)

-You can drain points from one of your Followers by touch, but this requires consent...although you can compel consent by whatever means you wish. You have to protect your followers from outside threats...you can hurt them as much as you want.

-You can act as a conduit between followers and the land or between different followers.

In practice this makes a True King with both a Land and Followers the best healer in the game, so long as everyone he's trying to heal is one of his Followers. It's easy to use the Land in order to easily heal critical wounds to yourself or an ally and then "tax" your followers 1-2 wound points each (which will heal in 1-2 days) to restore the land.

91+% You can punch people with a building. Basically you can channel your Struggle skill "through" your Land. This lets you make attacks against anyone in your Realm using various objects terrain features (which count as weapons...make a tree branch fall on someone and you get +6 for being big and heavy.). Or you can grant one of your followers a moderate boost for 15 minutes. They have to be within line of sight and they have to have the appropriate skill already. Make an Avatar roll and the chosen skill gets a boost equal to the sum of the dice for 15 minutes.

quote:

The Freak has raised a great deal of money by using random magick to heal those whose illnesses are incurable to medical science.

The Warrior


honestly, this doesn't so much say "deadly opponent" as it does "topless hula girl with sunglasses"

Unlike most RPGs, the term "warrior" has a bit more complexity than just "guy what fights". To be a Warrior is to have an ideological opponent which you are engaged in a battle with. This may be a very literal battle but it can also be metaphorical. Either way the goal is to eliminate, permanently and absolutely, the chosen foe. You can declare "war" on a group (Terrorists, Racists, Christians, etc), a problem (Poverty, Breast Cancer, Drugs) or even just an idea or class of objects (books, guns, etc).

Yes, you can be engaged in a War on Violence.

I've got to say, the Warrior is probably my favorite Avatar as far as design goes (the concept is fairly appealing too). It fits perfectly into the world (especially the modern world), is easily understood and at the same time has enough complexity that Warrior Avatars are not going to be cookie-cutters of one another (unlike say the Executioner or Savage). The Taboo is demanding and also interesting and, most importantly, it drives the Warrior to act out their archetype rather than simply avoiding certain acts. It's too bad there aren't more Avatars like this.

Taboo: To be a Warrior means you can never back down, no matter how much you want to or how much you should. A cop who is part of a War on Crime cannot avoid acting to stop a crime in progress...no matter how outnumbered or outgunned he may be or even if the crime is a little kid who grabbed a piece of gum. That kid is in handcuffs. Basically like a modern-day version of the most rear end-sticked paladin you can think of.

Like the Masterless Man and the Pilgrim, actually achieving your goal more or less invalidates your Avatarhood. So remember, if you declare a War on Steve you're not going to make it very far as an Avatar (a War on Steves, however, could make for a very interesting campaign).

Suspected Warriors This is one of those "too many to name" categories. Every great ideological movement or counter-movement has had Warriors. Anywhere someone is willing to do "whatever it takes" to support their cause. Specific examples include John Brown and Alexander the Great...but could just as easily count members of the Taliban.

Warrior Channels

1-50%: The Warrior never makes Stress checks when pursuing his goal. No hardening of failed notches, they can just completely bypass the check. It's notably that this is, in many ways, much much stronger than the first channel for most Avatars because it requires no Avatar check to use. It just automatically kicks it with even 1% in the skill. That means, in game, all it takes is one month of indoctrination to turn anyone into a Warrior who can then pursue their goal with no need to make Stress Checks.

When pursuing their goal the warrior is literally immune to guilt...they could torture someone to death over a past due library book or use their own children as guinea pigs for research.

Honestly though...this is disturbingly close to reality. That's part of what makes the Warrior Avatar so unsettling and (in light of recent events) actually a bit difficult to talk about. I have a hard time criticizing how easy it is to take someone who may otherwise be nice and good and turn them into a remorseless psychopath in pursuit of a particular vendetta. This is sadly where UA probably matches up most closely with the real world.

51-70% You can inspire others. Any allies fighting alongside you for your cause gain a +10% bonus to relevant skills. You don't get this bonus yourself but you can be inspired by another warrior and vice versa but the bonuses don't stack.

Oddly enough that's a second ability with no actual skill check required.

71-90% You can now use your Avatar skill in place of one other skill that is suitable for your cause (and that has already been used in pursuit of it). Ehh...okay, I take back some of the praise for the Warrior...it's first two Channels don't require the Avatar skill and here we've got another one of those "use Avatar in place of a skill you've already invested points in, wasting those points". It's going to really suck if, by the time your Warrior skill gets to 71%, you've already built up your Firearms or Struggle or whatever skill to 40-50% because that's 40-50 points that you will now get no benefit from.

91+% You now cannot be harmed by anyone who represent your opposition. It's important that not only do you oppose them but that are attacking you because of that allegiance. If you are at War with drug-users you can still be hurt by someone who shoots up with weed or smokes LSD or snorts hash or whatever...but if they are attacking you in retribution for wrecking their drug lab, or because you're a DEA agent on a raid, etc.

Again we've got another channel with no skill use...it's not like I would even complain if it weren't for the fact that almost every other Avatar's channel interacts with their skill rating in some way. Even when it's really pointless to demand a skill check (like when you're already above 90%) or when you can just keep trying anyway (like the merchant's second channel). It's just odd that the Warrior apparently only uses its skill rating for the third channel and to determine which channels are unlocked.

quote:

Whew, done with the Global section. I was really running out of quotes

So, that's Avatars done and the global section as well. next we'll move on to Cosmic gameplay, wherin the secrets of the universe are revealed and we get to see who really gets to shape reality. Hint, it ain't adepts.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Fun fact about the Malifaux wargame: Gremlins are one of the playable factions, and have a Henchman unit that is a really big pig.

Henchmen can lead squads, so you can have an army that is entirely made of pigs.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Mors Rattus posted:

Fun fact about the Malifaux wargame: Gremlins are one of the playable factions, and have a Henchman unit that is a really big pig.

Henchmen can lead squads, so you can have an army that is entirely made of pigs.

They also appear to have access to Whiskey Golems. I don't know about you, but these two are all the units a tabletop army could ever need.

oriongates posted:

Unknown Armies, part 16: Avatars, pt 5

So the Avatar of the Warrior could be a SJW Youtube weirdo?


A punch to the head could end ugly for this one.

Tulul posted:

Non-casters are given the ability to engage with the mechanical systems of the game, while casters are given the ability to bypass the mechanical systems of the game.




1. Nice!

2. I love how they just pop into existence and then just stroll into the wilderness. Would kinda blow for them in the Underdark, or a desert.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 14:04 on Jun 28, 2015

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Aggressively Hegemonizing Porcine Swarm

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



inklesspen posted:

Aggressively Hegemonizing Porcine Swarm

Mason Verger approves.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Now that's what I call going HAM!

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


And now it's time for the home stretch.

Stars Without Number

This fellow would work well with Silent Legions...

Chapter Fourteen: Designer Notes

Something not very seen in roleplaying games, this chapter is all about Crawford looking back at the previous ones, telling you why he did what he did and what to consider when you want to houserule stuff.

For example, you can use a more flexible Attribute generation method than "3d6 in order", but then you shouldn't set one of the two Prime Attributes to a minimum of 14 because that will no longer be necessary. This section also includes rules for multi-classing, This can be quite powerful in SWN (as you can just dip into Expert and Warrior to get their one class ability), but this seems to be geared towards higher level characters, as dipping too early comes at a noticable penalty (your BAB and Saves suffer as those bonuses from multiple classes aren't added, and skills can just cease to be class skills for you unless they are class skills for all of your classes).

Biospionics is a very important discipline for Psychics, as it is the earliest and most easiest to get healing option. The System Strain caused by healing severely limits the party's ability to operate in prolonged conflicts (like a megadungeon). SWN recommends a more Star-Warsish format, where the heroes have short bursts of action with weeks or even month inbetween.
Still if you want, you can just ditch the System Strain rules, though then you should prohibit Psychics from mastering their healing powers (making them free to use).

Speaking of Psychics, there's a paragraph or two about quadratic wizards, spellcaster class abilities that replace entire classes, and the 15 minute adventuring day. Crawford deliberately nerfed the Psychic in raw power, showstealing capabilities and breath of different powers to avoid these shenanigans.

If you want THAC0, ascending AC and only dying at -10 HP, that's also perfectly valid. You can also do a Swords & Wizardry thing and severly reduce the amount of different Saving Throws.

For a more realistic setting, you could ditch psychics and FTL drives. Or you could just make up your own.

A real treat in the paid version is a little box showing you how to repurpose the AI creation rules into a general point-buy character creation framework.

And that's just a few of the topic adressed in this chapter. Definitely an interesting read.

Chapter Fifteen: Hydra Sector

This chapter presents an entire example sector, with factions and the starting world of Gateway (the former sector capital). The sector includes another world called Muruni (this one being a Middle Age wasteland founded by psychic survivors of a crashing spaceship) and a couple World with Aztec names because of some Mesoamerica fanboys wholo colonized the sector. The most notable world is Polychrome, which the cyberpunk supplement of the same name revolves around. A lovely little hell hole whose atmosphere got FUBARed by alien insect raiders.

The factions of this sector are The flower Union (religious Aztec fanboys without the human sacrifice bit), The Burning Mirror Compact (religious Aztec fanboys with the human sacrifice bit), The Everlasting (immortal cultists/mad scientists out to conquer the whole sector) and The Republic of Gateway (the good guys).

Chapter Sixteen: Game Master Resources

This one has a bunch of tables and information for various cultures (Arabic, Chinese, English, Indian, Japanese, Nigerian, Russian and Spanish; a bit random, but you gotta stop somewhere), rules to quickly flesh out and stat up NPCs and various tables to roll up stuff like corporations, religions and architecture. Also included is an example ship for each hull type.

And that's all for the core book. But there's a lot of other stuff to cover in SWN:

For further freebies, there are various Mandate Archives, usually offering a mix between fluff and crunch. Examples include Martial Arts (including just that), The Dust (nomm-happy nanite swarms and other fancy tech), Imago Dei (religious AI crusaders, also suped-up Pretech ship hulls) and Transhuman Tech (which is probably a lot better than this furry wank-fantasy thing).

That's already lots of neat stuff for free, but there are also quite a lot of "proper" supplements:

  • Darkness Visible: Sci-fi espionage campaigns, including rules for agencies.
  • Dead Names: Your toolbox for strange, probably extinct aliens and the ruins and wonders they left behind.
  • Engines of Babylon: Features some artifacts, but the main draw are rules for creating and customizing planetary vehicles and ships without FTL drive, be they in-system shuttles or ginormous generation ships.
  • Polychrome: Cyberpunk. Now you can hack stuff!
  • Relics of the Lost: Various dangers and treasures the PCs can find in ruins. Includes more detailled rules for Expert Systems aka dumb robots.
  • Skyward Steel: For sci-fi naval campaigns, including rules for large-scale fleet combat as well as Wrath-of-Khan-style ship duels.
  • Suns of Gold: Merchant campaigns, or how I learned to stop worrying and became a Ferengi.

In terms of published adventures, there's only Hard Light so far, dealing with trouble at a mining outpost.

And if that wasn't enough, there are other Crawford games that lend themselves well to be incorporated into SWN. The most obvious candidate is Other Dust, the prequel of sorts to SWn that is set right in the middle of the Silence, on good old post-apocalyptic Earth (with the little twist that mutations weren't caused by radiation, but by malfunctioning nanite swarms meant to stabilize radiation victims).
The less obvious candidate is Silent Legions, Crawford's most recent Kickstarter success dealing with supernatural horror that eschews your typical Cthulhu adaption by giving the GM the tools to make up his own mythos. The main addition for SWN is insanity as well as Eldritch magic and abominations (to add a bit of Northwest Smith to your campaign; dude loves zapping cosmic horrors). Also featured are nasty critical hit rules that make combat even deadlier. Oh, and there are rules for playing as a luchadore - because if there's anything Old Ones fear, it's El Santo.

You can vote what you want to see next, but I'll probably do a little palette cleanser inbetween to avoid doing so much d20 stuff in a row. Suffice to say, my next target might just be the most obscure commercial Final-Fantasy-ish roleplaying game around.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:08 on Jun 28, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Uresia: Grave of Heaven?

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I had a fun time reading everybody's explanation of caster supremacy, something that I'm thoroughly familiar with in 3rd, 3.5, and Pathfinder (not sarcasm, I really did enjoy the step-by-step, thorough analysis and elucidation of the concept!). My focus was on the constant cries of "Caster Supremacy Returns! All Hope Lost!" in regards to 5th edition. From what I've seen and read, the spells seem well-balanced to their level of play. For example, the Sleep spell in 5e will often make a big difference in a low-level encounter but won't simply wipe it. There are certainly still times where a cleverly-used or unexpected spell can turn an adventure on its head. That being said, I've been in plenty of non-D&D games where a player's bizarre decision changed the course of a game despite their complete lack of narrative-defying powers. This isn't an effort to say that my anecdotal experience renders any dissenting opinion moot, I just think that the response to casters having access to spells in 5th edition in a manners similar to 3rd and previous editions has been overblown.

gradenko_2000 posted:


Why did you feel that you needed to come up with an entirely new class in 4e? The only Power Source+Role combo that was not represented was Martial Controller, so every other character concept that you might want to capture is just a matter of "refluffing" your character's race, in-universe class depiction and in-universe power description.


When I was a little kid learning about dungeons and dragons, I wanted to play a dragon. Dragonborn are pretty cool, but they're not dragons. Using 4e, if I wanted to design a class that was "Dragon" rather than "dragon-inspired warrior" or "dragon dude with a breath weapon and wings" I would have to create all of the powers from the ground up, providing options at every odd-numbered level for encounter and daily powers (not to mention Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies). I did that in 5th edition and it felt much easier. You'd be justified in saying that I could have just played a dragonborn fighter and reskinned everything, but this has felt more right to me.

gradenko_2000 posted:


I also don't really consider it a good thing that "the system is so light that it's easy to throw out some rules" because that assumes that there are going to be rules that need to be thrown out ... which by implication means that you're not going to want to run the game RAW, but if it's not supposed to be run RAW, then why wasn't RAW modified to not include the rules that were expected to be thrown out in the first place?


The game works fine RAW. It's simple, easy for a new player to learn, and the class progression from levels one through three introduces new abilities at a good pace for learning how the class and game work. A sidebar saying "this game is yours, play your game how you want to play it" is present in lots of rulebooks, but 5e really goes above and beyond to say "No, really, D&D takes many forms and you're encouraged to feel out how the game works best for you." I think that's great. They made RAW in the PHB in a way they felt would make the game fun and accessible, and I think that kids who start with this edition are well- positioned to be less grognardy than many of their 3rd-edition forebears since they will have been told, from the get-go, that they can make their games play like they want them to play.

TheBlandName
Feb 5, 2012


Just Dan Again posted:

When I was a little kid learning about dungeons and dragons, I wanted to play a dragon. Dragonborn are pretty cool, but they're not dragons. Using 4e, if I wanted to design a class that was "Dragon" rather than "dragon-inspired warrior" or "dragon dude with a breath weapon and wings" I would have to create all of the powers from the ground up, providing options at every odd-numbered level for encounter and daily powers (not to mention Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies). I did that in 5th edition and it felt much easier. You'd be justified in saying that I could have just played a dragonborn fighter and reskinned everything, but this has felt more right to me.

Mostly true, from a literal perspective. But is it really hard to make 2 at-wills, an encounter, and a daily at level 1? Is it really so challenging to make a new power (or upgrade a power that you've already made) once a level? The process for making a new class (in a game you're actually running) in D&D 4E is to ask the player "what do you want your new encounter to do" and then making that power, with more or less mechanical strength depending on how closely it fits the existing mechanical themes in play.

The idea that you should have 30 levels of powers statted out in advance is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


inklesspen posted:

Aggressively Hegemonizing Porcine Swarm

Might I introduce you to Lord Carver, the Bringer of Most Massive Destruction Esquire and his Thornfall Alliance?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The difference, of course, being that the Pig Army of Malifaux has no hands.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Just Dan Again posted:

When I was a little kid learning about dungeons and dragons, I wanted to play a dragon. Dragonborn are pretty cool, but they're not dragons. Using 4e, if I wanted to design a class that was "Dragon" rather than "dragon-inspired warrior" or "dragon dude with a breath weapon and wings" I would have to create all of the powers from the ground up, providing options at every odd-numbered level for encounter and daily powers (not to mention Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies). I did that in 5th edition and it felt much easier. You'd be justified in saying that I could have just played a dragonborn fighter and reskinned everything, but this has felt more right to me.

You should just check out the Dragonborn Racial Paragon Path, since it's basically "get more dragony" the class. Like you eventually get wings and it focuses in on making your breath weapon more effective. Combine that with a class that grants a lot of personal movement (like monk or avenger), or a lot of blast and cone attacks(like the Invoker) and reskinning into a young dragon would be a total snap.

Also when I was a little kid I wanted to be a dragon too, but I'm pretty flexible about what I play now, because little kid me died. In Vietnam.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 00:24 on Jun 29, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kurieg posted:

Might I introduce you to Lord Carver, the Bringer of Most Massive Destruction Esquire and his Thornfall Alliance?



I would like to know more.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Essentially: a giant pigman warlord decided he was kind of sick of being marginalized and out in the middle of nowhere, so he teamed up with a mad biologist to conquer all of the surrounding pigmen and is now turning them into his personal army of conquest while he tries to take up the mantle of being a noble gentleman with mixed success.

He spends a lot of time fighting Cajun vodoun gatormen.

The Vosgian Beast
Aug 13, 2011

Business is slow

Mors Rattus posted:

Essentially: a giant pigman warlord decided he was kind of sick of being marginalized and out in the middle of nowhere, so he teamed up with a mad biologist to conquer all of the surrounding pigmen and is now turning them into his personal army of conquest while he tries to take up the mantle of being a noble gentleman with mixed success.

He spends a lot of time fighting Cajun vodoun gatormen.

I've been convinced, Warmachine is better than Warhammer.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




theironjef posted:

You should just check out the Dragonborn Racial Paragon Path, since it's basically "get more dragony" the class. Like you eventually get wings and it focuses in on making your breath weapon more effective. Combine that with a class that grants a lot of personal movement (like monk or avenger), or a lot of blast and cone attacks(like the Invoker) and reskinning into a young dragon would be a total snap.
I remember that in the lead-up to 5e, one of the things they went on about was how your race shouldn't make a big difference at character creation, but you could get more elfy/dwarfy/etc traits as you leveled. Did that happen at all?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The Vosgian Beast posted:

I've been convinced, Warmachine is better than Warhammer.

Warmahordes has a truly amazing setting and I've considered writing about it before, but I'd be focusing on the wargame setting material rather than the RPG.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Essentially: a giant pigman warlord decided he was kind of sick of being marginalized and out in the middle of nowhere, so he teamed up with a mad biologist to conquer all of the surrounding pigmen and is now turning them into his personal army of conquest while he tries to take up the mantle of being a noble gentleman with mixed success.

He spends a lot of time fighting Cajun vodoun gatormen.

Can you tell me more about these Gatormen, after learning about the Piglord I would also like to know of his noble foes.

I am down with Piglord as antagonist or misguided protagonist.

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