Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

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
That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




theironjef posted:

The abilities are siloed like that? Weird. I knew they were still doing it with the attributes, which I don't think I've ever played a game where that wasn't houseruled the hell out. But since I haven't read Vampire (gasp) I didn't know abilities were ever like that, except for Street Fighter.

There's long been a weird fear of extra dice, ironically more so in the games where they make less of a difference.

Siloing character creation can be a really great guideline for newcomers or players who like a little constraint to spur their creativity.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Warmachine: Mercenaries



Rhulic life is centered on the clan, a tightly knit extended family of shared bloodlines and marriages. Clans can have up to multiple thousands of members, and new clans form by young dwarves seeking to branch out and start fresh. Clan lords are the most respected Rhulfolk, the leaders of their families. Each is given respect and deference proportional to their clan size, prosperity and honor. The most potent of them are the stone lords, 13 clan lords who are the ultimate Rhulic authority. They are responsible for guiding and defending the Rhulfolk as a whole and handling all interaction with foreign powers. Not all stone lords are equally talented, intelligent or skilled, but each directly descends from one of the Great Fathers, the dwarven gods, and has been declared worthy by the Church of the Fathers. They have both spiritual and secular authority. Though they represent the most potent clans, Rhul is oligarchical and many other clans also have a lot of influence. Rhulic history has shown strong clan lords banding together to share leadership over lesser clans, with councils of the most powerful local lords ruling counties, towns and cities in Rhul.

The Moot of the Hundred Houses is the Rhulic central legislative and judicial body, meeting frequently in the capital, Ghord, to discuss Rhulic concerns. Only the representatives of the hundred most powerful clans can attend, and membership does change as clans rise and fall, but most of the top clans have held their status for centuries. Moot judges enforce the legal rulings of the Moot and are appointed by the stone lords. They are well-educated arcanists, priests and scholars who study the Codex, the lore that contains all Rhulic legal precedent, all the way back to the words of the Great Fathers. Moot judges have jurisdiction over entire clans and can judge the clan lords. Violence and clan feuding is part of Rhulic life, but usually smallscale and not considered war under Rhulic law. Even the largest feuds are regulated by tradition and law passed down by the Great Fathers and overseen by the judges. Most clans get involved in vendettas over various things, even property ownership or building rights. These are regulated and monitored conflicts, but often very violent. Most often, feuding clans will dispatch evenly matched forces to fight at a mutually accepted location. These battles are regulated and almost never ended by rout, but instead by negotiated and predetermined victory conditions, such as loss of a standard or casualties in a certain percentage. These ensure only the strongest and most creative clans earn the right to make themselves immortal by the sacred art of building. Clans will set aside internal conflicts whenever threatened from outside, and the stone lords and judges enforce peace when feuds threaten to disrupt commerce and industry. The idea of being unable to help your clan fight is unthinkable to the Rhulfolk, and few fear death in battle or duels. Virtually all Rhulic citizens are skilled fighters, so while Rhul has no army, all of its citizens might as well be professional soldiers if needed.

Mercenary work is extremely respected among the Rhulfolk, and most clans have strong martial traditions, especially near Horgenhold, Hammerfall and Lakeforge. These clans send a certain amount of their forces out as mercenaries, for profit and training. The stone lords like it, though the Moot has the right to veto any contract outside Rhul. It is understood by all that if Rul is threatened, the mercenaries will immediately be recalled to defend it, and even those legally exiled by Rhul would probably answer that kind of call. Rhul has taken more of an interest in the activities of its mercenaries since the Khadoran invasion of Llael, since it proved that war had come to their doorstep. This led to the founding of the Searforge Commission, charged with overseeing mercenaries outside Rhul in order to ensure the security of weapons and military shipments. The Searforge Escorts wear bright colors to warn attackers that they aren't to be interfered with, and they carry the Searforge Commission sigil when accompanying trade caravans or shipments of gold and other valuables.



The Commission answers only to the Moot as a whole, and elements of many martial clans are rotated through it as needed. Most clans are happy to lend them soldiers, since it pays well, gives field experience and helps keep track of human developments. Getting supplies and hardware has always been easier for Rhulic mercs than human ones. The Commission is backed by influential houses and enclaves, ensuring they have a study supply of 'jacks and parts. Even clans with a vested interest don't just give warjacks away, however, so Rhulic mercs often request pay in raw materials or items they know will be of use to suppliers. Rhulic mercenaries increasingly group together to consolidate their skills, forming bands similar to the charatered human companies. Those facing dwarven companies can attest to their discipline and organization. Rhulic respect for law extends to the charter law of their clients, and Rhulic mercs use some of the toughest contract negotiators in the world to ensure they and their clients know exactly what they're getting. Larger outfits allow their troops to be ired on both sides of a conflict, but will take care during negotiations to ensure they don't face each other in battle. A Hammerfall High Shield gun Corps platoon might defend Point Bourne against Khadorans in the Thornwood while another will work for Khador to protect a supply depot near Corvis on the other end of the same front. Their roles are clearly defined, so they won't fight each other despite serving on opposite sides of the same war.



Gorten Grundback will work for Cygnar or Khador. He is a member of Clan Dohlan, and he grew up fast, discovering his inherent talent for earth magic in their mines. His clan, longtime miners, saw great potential in him, and he got many tools and manpower as he ascended the ranks of the Grundback mining conglomerate his clan belonged to. When he began commissioning steamjacks to further his work, he found he had a talent for the magic of mechanika, which he honed on trade expeditions to Llael and Khador. He was able to command the 'jacks as easily as the stones. One day, he realized he was meant to be a warcaster. He'd heard tales of the honor and glory of these mighty warriors, and he decided to leave mining behind, turning his foremansip over to his nephew. He gathered his personal 'jacks and ventured forth to become one of the few Rhulic warcasters out there. For a while, he lived like any mercenary, but after proving his worth a few times, his services became highly regarded. His reputation and expert 'jack skills earned him enough respect from the Grundback clan that he was elevated to a full clan member, letting him take their name. He wields earth and stone on the field, calling walls of rock or waves of molten ore. He can even conjure up immense landslides on his foes. His combat skill is no less impressive - he's a block of msucle and armor, wielding the mechanikal maul Forgefather with immense force. If his foes are too cowardly to fight up close, he has a double-barreled Stoneground pistol customized to his specifications. He's a skilled technician, a master of stone magic and a proud warrior, all for the price of a few thousand coins. His gimmick is, in fact, rocks, and his feat causes a landslide to hurl enemies around and debuff them.



Durgen Madhammer will work for Cygnar, Khador or the Protectorate of Menoth. He is compelled to destroy, oblivious of all collateral damage. He loves to fight, and his history is full of disasters, thanks to his preference for unstable magic and powerful mechanika. He started out in his family mines, blasting tunnels and ordering 'jacks, but he left after several deadly accidents. His kinfolk actually had him legally removed from their clan. He decided, instead, to become a warcaster, spending 20 years as a mercenary mechanik and battle mage. Demolitions, elemental magic and mechanikal skill have turned him into a legend. He routinely pushes his 'jacks beyond their limits and they always need repair. He's as deadly to friend as foe, so few will intentionally work with him - or near him. Those desperate few that stay close try to avoid his aim until his payload blows. He is a cackling madman, captivated by the beauty of destruction. He rides the rush of battle in a wave of devastation, with a spectacular end. His gimmick is explosions, and his feat buffs blasts and AOE attacks.



The Grundback Blaster stands just under 5 feet and is just over 3 tons. Rhulic steamjack designs are brutal but economical, based off utilitarian chassis. The Blaster is a prime example. Like its cousin, the Gunner, it's based on the chassis of the durable Grundback Runner. It's armed with a canister-fed hailshot cannon, one blast of which will release a volley of tiny projectiles to cut through massed troops. By shaping the barrel with a metal choke, Rhulic engineers were able to concentrate the blast significantly, and with a minor flex of will, warcasters can increase its potential. To protect the declitate internals, the engineers made a heavily reinforced armor shell, making the Blaster a very tough little machine.



The Grundback Gunner is just under 5 feet and weighs 3 tons. It's compact, and that often makes people underestimate it. It is, however, quite lethal. The cannon can deliver powerful explosive shells, and the small size makes it excellent at handling narrow caves and mountain roads. Together, the guns and manueverability make it a force to be reckoned with. IT was originally made to carry messages quickly in mines, but after the cannon was added to the chassis, the Grundback Runner became known as the Grundback Gunner. When compared to the millenia-old reputation of the Ghordsons, Clan Grundback is a newcomer to the Rhulic mechanikal conglomerates, and their prestige is very much owed to the Gunner, a marvel of efficiency that is easy to service in the field.

Next time: When his hands are above your head, his groin is level with your teeth.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Warmachine: Mercenaries



The Ghordson Avalancher is nearly 12 feet tall and over 10 tons. As the Rhulic clans become more concerned with their neighbors' wars, they've needed more powerful weapons. Most warjacks used by Rhulic mercenaries were meant for industrial as well as military use, but the Avalancher is a dedicated combat machine. The Ghordsons turned to their workhouse Driller chassis as its basis, arming it with the potent avalanche cannon, which can punch through just about any armor at a great range, and a giant assault shield to hit people with. The Avalancher is a mobile artillery platform for battlefield control and strategic advantage in mountain passes. Its shells detonate on impact, and for enemies forced to cluster together, it is devastating, especially on the mountain roads of Rhul. The cannon is even used between battles to create controlled rock and ice slides to clear roads. Its uncomplicated weapons make it a favorite among mercs, wh ovalue the ability to carry out field repairs.



The Ghordson Basher is just over 11 and a half feet tall and 8 and a half tons. It was meant for utility and durability, hauling loads for construction and mining. It uses a very powerful engine on a sturdy chassis to haul huge loads of cargo. When unloaded, it's very fast for a heavy laborjack, and uses that to deliver incredible concussive force. It is further augmented with powerful short-range grenades to soften targets up before it rams into them. It is heavily armored for survival in tunnel cave-ins or battle, with plating several inches thick that makes for both armor and weapon.



The Ghordson Driller is 11 and a half feet tall and 9 and a half tons. It's been in production for over 160 years, and is widely seen as the best industrial laborjack ever made. It benefits heavily from the multipurpose approach the Rhulfolk take to engineering, both a tool and a weapon. Surplus Drillers are often sold to mercenaries at substantial discount. Its main industrial purpose is mining, using its drill to break heavy walls and embankments and its armor to witnstand falling stone and collapses. This also makes it devastating in combat, able to shrug off attacks before delivering its own. Its immense rock drill can bore through any armor, and its grappler claw, normally meant for clearing rubble, can hold targets still long enough to bring the drill to bear. The Driller is a monster, efficient and tireless.



The Wroughthammer Rockram is 11 and a half feet tall and nearly 10 tons. It is immensely practical, designed by the Wroughthammer clan, allies of the Ghordsons, off an unarmed Ghordson chassis. As with all Rhulic 'jacks, it is utilitarian, using its sledge cannon to crack rock walls in mines and its mechanikal pulverizer hammer to crush stone. In battle, these become weapons, tearing armor apart and sending foes reeling. They're short range, but crippling, even for warjacks. The Rockram is slow, but steady and devastating.



Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps will work for Cygnar or Khador. They are trained rifleman from the fortress of Hammerfall in Rhul. They hire out in times of war to fuel Rhulic coffers, using their training and discipline to bolster army forces. They are heavily armored and well-equipped, fielding in crack units of riflemen meant to maneuver in formation. Their shields hold up their heavy dual-barrel war-rifles, with slots used like arrow slits on battlements. Their real strength is their discipline, positioning themselves to fire over and between their comrades with ease. They are trained as 'jack marshals as well, and their sergeants sometimes use warjacks to supplement their firepower...for a price.



The Gun Corps are sometimes led by a Hammerfall High Shield Officer and Standard. The captains of Hammerfall are superb leaders, each a master of formation and drills. Any client lucky enough to hire a Gun Corps company led by a captain is assured of flawless performance, no matter what. The officers are responsible for the defense of the Rhulic border and the mountains of Rhul, using wide patrols and warjacks to deal with foreign incursions or hostile wildlife. They can be found afield when hired or defending Searforge escorts. Ranking High Shield members responsible for recording contracts and history assist these officers, and these soldiers are also charged with carrying company standards - poles supporting disks inscribed with the company's legal status and history. This inspires the unit as well as advertising its successes.



The Horgenhold Forge Guard will work for Cygnar and the Protectorate of Menoth. They march to war in armor so well made that it seems to be a different material than lesser armor. The Forge Guard use immense pneumatic hammers to topple even warjacks, and coordinated battle drills to get them loyal to each other. They are a synchronized machine of death. Several of the clans of Horgenhold had kin and friends in Llael that died in the invasion, and they'd prefer the occupiers left and if Rhulic trade didn't pass through Khador. As a result, Horhenhold warriors refuse to work for Khador and take Protectorate coin. They bear the name of their ancestral kinssmen who stopped the Orgoth from entering Rhul when few others could defeat them. That theyh ave joined the wars of humans has not gone unnoticed, and they have more job offers than they can handle already.

Next time: I mine in my mine and what's mine is mine.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Warmachine: Mercenaries



The Horgenhold Artillery Corps will work for Cygnar and the Protectorate of Menoth. For centuries, the dwarves of Horgenhold have used cannons to defend the mountain passes into Rhul, obliterating foes from a surprising distance. Their mortar shells can also be fired indirectly, giving them immense battlefield control. Escalated war and mysterious attacks on western Rhulic villages have prompted some patrols to carry increasingly heavy wepaons, and the artillery corps of Horgenhold use portable mortars which can be fired with great speed. Even under fire, they can accurately gauge targets to within feet. Rhul's artillery has existed for a long time, but it's only recently that outsiders started using artillery for siege. The Rhulic Moot has traditionally not liked mercenary work, but in recent years their profits are hard to ignore, and provisions now allow mercenaries to equip themselves with siege cannons and other such weapons. They claim neutrality, but many clan lords worry that entanglement in human battles will bring war to Rhul.



An Ogrun Bokur will work for Cryx, Cygnar or Khador. Young ogrun who have yet to bond with a korune often go to great lengths to impress potential masters. They spend years outside their homelands, forging a reputation. Bokur means 'unsworn,' and they attach themselves to important people across the continent to prove their skill. It's a time-honored tradition for the period before they swear their lives to a korune, and they take on temporary clients, protecting them as long as agreed on or until they die. From the black ogrun of the Scharde who protect necromancers to the Rhulic ogrun who protect dwarves, the bokur stand between their clients and harm. While they are bokur, they exist to prove their readiness to be fanatically loyal bodyguards. On returning to their people, they share tales of the risks they took, and the glory they get is directly related to the danger they suffered. Those with scars are noble, those that lost limbs are heroes. The bokur code is unassailable, and few would ever exaggerate their deeds, let alone lie. Those rare ogrun caught lying are exiled. This also hpapens to bokur that shame themselves and their families by serving dishonorable masters. An ogrun whose noble korune is slain usually has little trouble finding a new one, but those under a weak or despised korune have few options - just look at Gudrun the Wanderer. Whether using their shields or immense pole arms, they will fight in any situation, enjoying battle. Few can survive their blows, and they'll take any risk to show their commitment. Bokur that survive often become more conservative but more dangerous fighters. Many recently have begun collecting trophies or tattoos to show their successes. It's not popular among elders, who expect you to remember every detail of your glories, but young bokur are increasingly enjoying these visual records of their lives.



Thor Steinhammer will work for Cygnar or Khador. He's first to admit he's a disappointment to his family, but he laughs at it. After all, he's one of the best paid mercenaries in Immoren, his talents commanding more coin than any duelist, rifleman or soldier. After all, he can maintain warjacks. The Steinhammer clan is sworn to defend Groddenguard against the horrors of the north, especially the dragon Scylfangen. Thor's family expected him, second of eight sons, to become a warrior and help defend. Instead, he was fascinated by mechanika and the workings of Rhulic 'jacks. He didn't care that it'd estrange him from his clan - he worked in the mines, learning to repair and work with the many 'jacks of Rhul. Gorten Grundback introduced him to mercenary work on a trip home to resupply, when Steinhammer saved him a lot of money by repairing two scrapped warjacks he was going to sell for salvage. Gorten saw the potential there, using his coin and stories to impress Thor. Thor gladly left the Glass Peaks to seek his fortune, never looking back. He enjoys working with other Rhulfolk, but will also happily work with humans. He's followed Gorten's advice and avoided work with the Protectorate or Cryx, but he'll otherwise work for anyone. His reputation with the Searforge Commission has made it easy for him to get the components needed to keep 'jacks running, too. On top of his skill with a wrench, he's great at squeezing performance out of the machines he commands, and many mistake him for an actual warcaster. He isn't, and he's proud of the fact that his skill is just simple knowhow and some finesse.

The End

Next up: Skorne, as my book's finally been found.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib



Aldea Through the Ages

Fantasy RPGs love them some distant golden ages when things were bigger and cooler only someone hosed up and broke everything and Blue Rose is no exception to that trend.

The Old Kingdom

So now that we're out of creation myth territory we can start looking at history proper. "Fifteen hundred years ago, after the mythic age gave way to history, the great city of Aldis was founded," the book says, because when a pantheon of gods really did create the world it lets you bypass all that boring waiting around for evolution to figure poo poo out and civilization to faff around discovering fire and pottery and whatnot. Aldis was a beacon of learning and magic, art and culture, and people from across Aldea started making their way there to learn and teach. In time Aldis became the capitol of a mighty realm, known as The Old Kingdom, ruled by the Council of the Wise who were made up of the finest practitioners of every art. They presided over matters of law and justice and led Aldis the Beautiful into a golden age whose reach extended across the known world, even to now-forgotten lands far across the sea.


Before...

In sticking with the rose motif, the symbol of the Old Kingdom was a thornless red rose, with each petal representing a different craft or art treasured in Aldis.

It's not a true golden age without magical crystals and airships everywhere and the Old Kingdom had both in abundance. They were the first to figure out the properties of arcana-enhancing shas crystals and developed something called "crystons" which goes to show that long-lost golden ages were no better at naming poo poo than people today are. And they had airships! Also they could heal any ailment, construct great buildings without the need for manual labor, and stuff like that, but everyone knows airships are where it's at.

Of course the secrets to all of these miracles was lost during the Shadow Wars, but despite this people can still find Old Kingdom artifacts lying around throughout the world, buried beneath forgotten ruins or stuffed into the back of the attic somewhere. Like any good post-magipocalypse technology, though, most people tend to give such artifacts a wide berth because the Old Kingdom hadn't discovered the principles behind good User Interface design and so the artifacts are often a danger to those unfamiliar with their use. Present day Aldis encourages citizens to turn over discovered Old Kingdom artifacts to the crown to be studied by scholars or safely disposed of if they prove too dangerous to keep around.

Among the most dangerous of these artifacts are known as the shadowgates, upright rings fifteen feet across comprised of shadowsteel, no doubt set upon shadowhousings by master shadowarchitects with the assistance of shadowsurveyors. These shadowgates originally formed a linked network of portals that allowed the realms of the Old Kingdom to instantly transport goods and messages and travelers from one place to another, but the Shadow-tainted adepts who would become the first Sorcerer Kings figured out how to turn them into summoning devices, opening gates to the realm of Shadow and calling forth legions of darkfiends. In addition the Sorcerer Kings often trapped or hid their shadowgates to keep people from using them as a shortcut into their domains, which rendered them useless for transportation.

Today only the most learned scholars and adepts are even aware that shadowgates used to be anything other than monster generators. Most shadowgates are now inactive, but they can be reawakened by careless adepts, natural magical surges, or triggered by all manner of long-lost activation keys whereupon they start pouring forth darkfiends until someone shows up to shut them down or destroy them, and this is considered one of the most important duties of both the Sovereign's Finest and the priest-adepts of Jarzon, one of the few things the two nations can wholeheartedly agree on.

The Fall of the Old Republic Kingdom

But of course the Old Kingdom fell because it would be a pretty boring game otherwise. How did it fall? A slow decline into corruption and complacency, the usual. The members of the Council of the Wise began to grow more interested in their own pursuits than the welfare of the citizens. Justice became lax and taxes on distant provinces increased. But probably the thing that really set the snowball in motion was when the adepts on the council began to delve deeper and deeper into studying and experimenting with sorcery, which is Blue Rose's term for magic that's generally bad news...fleshwarping, dominating minds and bodies, magic that takes rather than gives, all that good stuff. They might have started with noble intentions but it didn't take long for even the wisest and most powerful to begin falling to the Shadow, cunningly concealing their corruption until it was too late.

This corruption began to spread through the Old Kingdom like a cancer. Backroom deals and alliances became plots and assassinations. Protests and rebellions were crushed mercilessly and used as an excuse by Shadow-tainted warmongers to build bigger armies as well as their own private militias. The first sorcerers began to learn the secrets of summoning darkfiends and drawing upon their own corruption for power. In general things started to look pretty bleak, but don't worry, they get even worse.

Every Rose Has'em.

In the seventh century of the Old Kingdom things finally came to a head as a cabal of sorcerers led by the alliterative Delsha the Dark seized the throne, disbanded the Senate executed the Council of the Wise, and Delsha declared herself Empress Delsha I of the new Empire of Aldis, also known as the Empire of Thorns.

An alliance of rhydan and vatazin (psychic animals and not-elves respectively) tried to stand against her but they were outmatched and overwhelmed. Delsha placed a bounty on rhydan pelts and vatazin heads and within a generation the vatazin were no more. The rhydan were pushed to the brink, especially the unicorns, but they managed to flee to the depths of the wilderness and seas to regroup and rebuild their numbers.

Delsha ruled with an iron fist, like you do, but even with her extended lifespan she wasn't immortal though history is divided over whether her death was due to betrayal or sorcerous mishap (natural causes is apparently off the table). The Empire quickly tore itself apart as ambitious and ruthless Sorcerer Kings began to vie for the throne, none of them having the raw power or force of personality to defeat or unite the others, and within a decade the Empire of Thorns was a war-wracked ruin.

Things quickly took a turn for the Dark Sun as the Sorcerer Kings used fell sorceries to grant themselves immortality or transform themselves into ageless monsters, ensuring themselves an eternal rule. They treated people like beasts of burden, outlawed all magic except their own and ordered adepts and magical artifacts hunted down, and were generally huge dicks. The people under their rule quite obviously suffered, with blight and famine sweeping the land and diseases unknown a generation before running rampant. Meanwhile the Sorcerer Kings themselves kept experimenting with sorcery often with disastrous results such as in the port city of Falzanoth whose Sorcerer King wound up triggering an earthquake that caused the entire city to collapse into the sea.

Nonetheless things were as stable as they could get for about a century after the fall of the Empire as the Sorcerer Kings busied themselves consolidating their kingdoms, studying arcana, and gathering all the magical power they could. Then, of course, they decided that what they had wasn't enough and set their sights towards each other.

Even More War

So now we're T-minus 600 years from modern day Aldis and the Shadow Wars that we've been hearing about kick off as the Sorcerer Kings proceed to war with one another for two hundred and fifty loving years holy Christ. They raise armies of the unliving, use flesh-shaping to create armies of ogres, troglodytes, night people, and all manner of aberrations and shadowspawn beyond naming. They invoke the Exarchs openly because they've long since stopped giving a gently caress and summon darkfiends to be their assassins, soldiers, spies, and councilors. They corrupt promising adepts into their apprentices, some of whom overthrow their old masters and become new Sorcerer Kings themselves like any good Sith. Thousands upon thousands of people die and life sucks for everyone.

Various rebel movements slowly begin to gain strength, preserving the old ways and worshiping the gods of Light and the Primordials. The plotted and sent out spies, engaged in daring raids to rescue and recruit adepts, but none of them were aware of how deep the Sorcerer Kings' power truly ran, and it was only due to the sorcerers' greed, paranoia, and overconfidence that the rebels stood a chance.

Over time the weaker Sorcerer Kings are destroyed, some of their lands conquered while others are left blasted and smoldering ruins many of which remain barren wastelands to this day. The victors and survivors grew increasingly paranoid and began summong larger and larger armies of darkfiends to their service, and this would be the beginning of their downfall.

quote:

About 350 years ago, a horde of darkfiends turned on their summoner, Rhaz Tethes, lord of what would later be known as the Veran Marsh. They attacked his citadel in the heart of the city of Veran-Tath, and he summoned all his power to defend himself. The resulting cataclysm destroyed both Rhaz Tethes and the darkfiends and transformed the region around his citadel into the vast and deadly swamp that remains today.

Within days darkfiends the world over began turning on their summoners. Some say it was the gods of Light who weakened the Sorcerer Kings' hold on their minions and gave them a chance to turn, but others say it was part of a plot by the Exarchs to conquer Aldea for themselves. Either way by the time the dust settled two more Sorcerer Kings were dead and the rest were severely weakened, giving the opportunity they'd been looking for to strike at the remaining Sorcerer Kings across the Empire.

A New Hope

The Great Rebellion started small with a series of coordinated attacks by brave heroes but quickly became a mass uprising. Slaves rioted, the oppressed took up arms, and several Sorcerer Kings were even slain in their beds by their servants. The rebels had help from the rhydan who had been in hiding since the Empire's attempted genocide but now returned in force, rebel leaders riding griffons and unicorns and rhy-horses into battle while packs of rhy-cats and rhy-wolves joined the fight. Even treants from the Pavin Weald showed up to recreate that one bit from The Two Towers.

The rebels were also aided by an unsuspecting arrival. You know it, you love it, it's the

motherfucking

MAGIC

DEER


use the force, luke

That's right, this is the very first appearance of the Golden Hart, which appeared suddenly in the city of Aldis and proceeded to aid the rebels. Now you're probably wondering what the Golden Hart could really do for the rebels when it mostly seems concerned with lines of succession. Well what if I told you that the Golden Hart was immune to sorcery? And what if anyone within an ambiguous distance of it (the passage in the book reads "confer its immunity upon anyone within of it" which is a really annoying typo) was also immune to sorcery? Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Of course immunity to sorcery isn't immunity from armies of the undead and darkfiends so there was still plenty of fighting to do, but the rebels had a definite advantage going forward.

One by one the Sorcerer Kings fell. They refused to cooperate even to the end, and in fact many of them betrayed each other to the rebels believing that once the dust settled they could simply mop up what was left. Others destroyed themselves and their strongholds rather than accept defeat. The one holdout was the northern land of Kern beyond the Ice-Binder Mountains. The treacherous paths kept the rebel army from marching upon Kern in force and while bands of rebels assaulted it for years the power of Jarek the Lich King, bolstered by his land's rich deposits of shas crystals, was too difficult for them to overcome. After four successive defeats at the hands of his forces the rebels retreated, leaving Jarek in charge of Kern. After this the Golden Hart vanished and its disappearance is widely regarded as the end of the Great Rebellion and the reign of the Empire of Thorns.

The next century that followed was one of rebuilding. Everything had been blown to hell and gone during the Shadow Wars, stretches of farmland were too tainted to work, shadowspawn and monsters were all up in everyone's business, and populations had dwindled. It was a long hard road but new states began to emerge, rebuilding and growing, defending their borders and driving back the bandits, roaming shadowspawn, and darkfiends. Among these emerging nations were a reborn Aldis and the Theocracy of Jarzon. Jarzon remembered what how the Old Kingdom had become corrupt and tyrannical and sought to prevent that from occurring ever again, while the lands around Aldis were full of people who sought to restore the grandeur and traditions of justice and wisdom that characterized the Old Kingdom at its height.

Something Something Star Wars Joke

Then we get details on the rebirth of Aldis. I'm just going to go ahead and hit the high points because this section is already getting kind of long as it is. The lands around Aldis were spared the worst of the Shadow Wars and were full of fertile valleys where refugees fled following the war, making the new Aldis a melting pot of various cultures, including rhydan who came to dwell in the surrounding wilderness. Seltha, a charismatic and visionary leader, reached out to the rhydan and proposed the formation of a kingdom with the rhydan being granted full citizenship. They agreed to this and presented her with the Blue Rose Scepter, a gift that the Golden Hart had given them, and also worked rituals to ensure that Aldis would be ruled by a fair and just sovereign. The Golden Hart was called forth and chose Seltha as the first Queen of Aldis.

quote:

To further ensure the fledgling nation remained free from the Shadow of the Old Kingdomís latter days, Queen Seltha ordered anyone who wished to become a noble to pass the test of the Blue Rose Scepter, which would accept only the touch of someone devoted to the Light. She adopted the scepter as her badge of office, and within a decade, Aldis was widely known as the Kingdom of the Blue Rose.

[...]

The kingdom became a haven for peoples and creatures of goodwill faced with hatred and persecution elsewhere. Diversity and acceptance were the founding principles of the land; even the newest immigrant could become a noble if he or she passed the test of the Blue Rose Scepter.


...and after.

Bam, title drop. So it's not just the sovereign who gets a magical background check, only those who pass the test of the Blue Rose Scepter are accepted as nobles. We'll get more into that in the coming section on Aldis' government. Also check it out, diversity and acceptance are the founding principles of the land. How could you not see the secret fascism lurking beneath the surface, I mean really?

Some other stuff happened, rebuilding and whatnot, mentions of surviving libraries stores of knowledge, etc. They fight off a bunch of bandits, it's all very business as usual. Then the Lich King decides to attack, because when you're a Lich King you have a certain reputation to maintain. He sent a massive army of darkfiends, unliving, night people, and humans to conquer Aldis and claim it for himself. The darkfiends and unliving fought for him because it's their nature, but the humans and night people fought because Jarek held their loved ones hostage and they knew if they refused him that he would kill them all. Jarek is a huge jerk in case you can't figure it out.

King Karthakan, fourth sovereign of Aldis, mustered the city's exhausted troops but also tasked adepts with probing the Lich King's troops for weaknesses, and when they discovered the nature of the hold he had over his living forces devised a daring plan. A force of his most skilled scouts and soldiers flew into Kern on griffonback and freed the hostages in several of the Lich King's labor camps which were left lightly guarded because Jarek never imagined that anyone would choose to help their enemies.

quote:

King Karthakanís adepts then contacted the most charismatic and disaffected members of the enemy forces and placed them in psychic contact with their now-freed loved ones. As news spread through the Lich Kingís army, many troops deserted and joined the Aldin forces, while others launched surprise attacks against the Shadow-tainted officers commanding them, as well as the foul unliving and darkfiends. Although fighting was hard and most of those who struck back at their overseers died, the desertion of over half of the night people and human troops spelled the end of the invasion. Aldis was weakened in the war, but the loss to Kern was greater; it took the Lich King almost a century to reestablish order and rebuild his forces.

In the end Aldis gained several thousand exceptionally loyal citizens out of the deal, including an equal number of night people defectors. Night people are basically this setting's orcs, people warped by fleshcrafting into soldiers by the Sorcerer Kings, but they aren't inherently evil and while the people of Aldis didn't trust them at first their dedication and bravery against the Lich King's forces won them over and so they came to be accepted and their right to settle in Aldis was granted.

The war with Kern spurred the creation of the Sovereign's Finest, an organization of adepts, scouts, and soldiers sent to patrol the borders and keep a watchful eye on threats to the kingdom. The Sovereign's Finest grew in prominence during the reign of Queen Allia, fifth sovereign, and under her reign its prominence and mandate grew to the point where Aldis no longer needs to rely on its standing military as much. You can play as these guys!

Oh, and then there's Jarzon. Remember the Veran Marsh that got made when a Sorcerer King blew up? For a long while it was impassable but over time it became less so, and Aldis discovered that the nation of Jarzon lay beyond it after the Sovereign's Finest discovered several safe passages through to the other side. The initial diplomatic meetings went badly. I'll just lay it out for you, Jarzon is a fundamentalist theocracy that considers women to be second-class citizens, homosexuality to be a perversion, rhydan, vata, and night people to be dangerous monsters, and unregulated study of arcana to be tantamount to consorting with the Exarchs themselves. Needless to say, they and Aldis do not get on. The Jarzoni attempted several large-scale attacks against Aldis but their forces never made it past the hazards of the marsh, which is the only thing besides some very delicate diplomacy that's preventing yet another war.

There, now we're through with the history and we can finally, finally start looking at present day Atis and taking a closer look at its society, government, and people.

Next Time: What the heck is a vata exactly (spoiler alert, they're elves).

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


I'm kind of sad The Earthsea novels weren't mentioned as sources of inspiration for Blue Rose. The first three books are literally all about the main characters choosing to mend instead of destroy to make everything right.

Bacchante
May 2, 2012

Friends don't let friends do sarcasm.


So, from black and hateful sources of which I am forbidden to speak of I have acquired the original and revised PDFs of FATAL. Sadly, the excess splatbooks are lost to the decaying annals of history... for now. With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to usurp the poster formerly known as Syrg's position as 'Worlds most foremost expert on FATAL' and finish the work that he started so long again.

For FATAL and Friends.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Kai Tave posted:


Symbolically coded for your convenience.

...no coin/disc/pentacle?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Thesaurasaurus posted:

...no coin/disc/pentacle?

It's hanging around Anwaren's neck

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Kai Tave posted:

It's hanging around Anwaren's neck

Ohhhh, there it is. I didn't notice it, next to that Gandalf-grade wizzarding staff.

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.

What does siloing abilities mean?

Bacchante posted:

So, from black and hateful sources of which I am forbidden to speak of I have acquired the original and revised PDFs of FATAL. Sadly, the excess splatbooks are lost to the decaying annals of history... for now. With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to usurp the poster formerly known as Syrg's position as 'Worlds most foremost expert on FATAL' and finish the work that he started so long again.

For FATAL and Friends.

Oh good, here we goooooo...

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Thesaurasaurus posted:

...no coin/disc/pentacle?

...OH! Swords, Cups, Wands, Coins. Minor arcana.

Completely went over my head until you pointed it out.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kai Tave posted:

What I mean is that the people complaining about Blue Rose's venisonocracy probably weren't similarly impassioned over, say, the various lines of succession and forms of government in the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk, and in most D&D gaming groups how the king of such-and-such gets put on the throne is probably, at most, a background detail that never really matters in the course of actual play. But for some reason the fact that Aldis' sovereign gets picked by a divine, otherworldly force that just happens to take the form of a magic deer is a huge problem, and I'm inclined to think that it's only a problem because people upset about Blue Rose were looking for any and everything they could point to and decry as bad.

Most of the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk are composed of oligarchies at that. You pretty much only get to be a ruler through magic or cash.

So when King Arthur draws or is given Excalibur or when Donald Blake wield's Thor's hammer, is that the work of social justice warriors as well?

It's pretty much a concept that's existed in storytelling since the dawn of time so you know who the good guy is without going through that person's whole backstory or take the time to build them up into a hero from nothing.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 03:53 on Jul 24, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Hordes: Skorne



While the Skorne are new to western Immoren, they are one of the most ancient civilizations on the continent. Their culture developed away from the human nations, following millenia-old philosophies with distinct ideas of honor, sacrifice and morality. For them, the conquest of the west is the natural and inevitable outcome of thousands of years of destiny. Though once divided, recent events have united them as an empire with an immense army. They are fundamentally shaped by their endurance of terrible destruction and suffering, beginning with the destruction of the Empire of Lyoss and the catastrophe that consumed the east. Once nomads, they established a more permanent civilization with a backdrop of chaos and misfortune, which they learned to thrive on, rising to become the dominant civilization of eastern Immoren. Their ascetic warlords have long dominated them, as the warrior caste subjugated the scholars and workers. Their tribal culture relied on enslaving foes and beasts as labor, and it was from the early beast-conditioning techniques that the warrior-philosopher Voskune first discovered the art of mortitheurgy, the magical power that manipulates the energies released by cutting flesh, spilling blood and the transition of death. These arts allowed both skorne and beasts to be controlled, conditioned and turned into weapons.

Philosophy was vital to the evolution of the skorne warriors, particularly ancestor worship. The skorne do not have gods, looking instead to their ancestors to be emulated and respected.This legacy is as close as most skorne can get to immortality - they do not, they know, endure past death except in memory. The skorne have no knowledge of Urcaen, believing that after death, their souls simply enter a vast and hellish Void. To avoid this, the skorne use exaltation, a holy reward for the strongest and best who die in battle. These great warriors are preserved in sacral stones so that their families can access their wisdom in the centuries to follow. In this state, they communicate from beyond death to the extoller caste. All skorne seek to become exalted, pushing them to great courage in battle that they may earn a place among their ancestors. The core of skorne warrior tradition was laid down by Dominar Vuxoris, who would become the First Exalted. His work became the hoksune code, which states that a warrior lives only by risking their life in combat. Outside war, they are a shadow, their spirit dying. They regain their vitality only in battle. Those who follow the hoksune welcome death as a chance for glory and perfection in combat. Greater glory comes from close combat and striking the killing blow, so those trained to kill at a distance are less respected. However, all hoksune adherents seek perfection with their chosen weapons via constant training, sparring and combat.

The largest skorne tribes coalesced into the houses, and some houses can trace their lineage back to the founding of Malphas, the first skorne city. Most retained their old tribal rivalries, and every house sought to arm and train a large force to protect themselves and war on their foes. These house armies became the basis for the modern cohorts. The warrior caste divided itself basedo n weapon and fighting style, eventually narrowing into the three modern military disciplines - the Cataphracts, Praetorians and Venators. Those who fail to become Praetorians are instead made Hestatians, the lowest of the warriors, relegated to guard and militia duty. All skorne are born either as members or servants of a specific house, learning their place within it from birth. A house tyrant or dominar has total control over what their house members do, so long as they obey their dominar or archdominar and follow the codes of skorne honor.



Many houses are hundreds or thousands of years old and have large, fortified palaces in the skorne heartlands. These compounds can become truly immense, with ancestral shrines, huge armies and places of training and meditation. The imperial house, Balaash, holds an immense store of seized sacral stones from defeated houses, overseen by Supreme Aptimus Zaal. Lesser houses have their own sacral stone stores. Before the founding of the empire, wars between houses were common, but the destruction was limited due to the goal of each side being to seize land and property as well as to enslave the other side. It was common for there to be little loss of life except in the warrior caste, as the slaves changed hands. However, skorne history is full of major wars between huge house alliances that reshaped society and destroyed cities. Since the wars of unification, fighting between houses is much reduced. Traditionally, it has been hard for the skorne to work together across house divides, but the reforms of the Conqueror have made it much easier.

Tasks that fall below the warriors are for the worker caste, including trade, long distance communication, construction, food production and distribution of goods. While they are essential, there is no glory for the workers, and warriors look on them with contempt. Almost all houses have a large population of enslaved workers and servants, who are sometimes used for mortitheurgical experimentation. Skorne consider slavery just a fact of life, either applied to themselves or outsiders. Slaves stand below the worker caste, but the slave caste remains vital to skorne infrastructure. The slaves can earn their freedom via prolonged service, but the conquered generation generally remains enslaved until death. Their offspring have a chance at freedom if adopted into their new house, and the decrease of house warfare has made slaves harder to get recently. This could well impact the imperial economy, and some of the eastern houses resent House Balaash's apparent monopoly on slaves from the western conquest.

As the skorne became agricultural, they rapidly advanced the arts of beast handling and mortitheurgy. Over the centuries, the paingivers experimented on many creatures, mastering anatomy, pain and mortitheurgy. Permanent settlements allowed mortitheurges to study more and more precisely how to use their spiritual arts, and the arcane castes were created. The importance of ancestor worship allowed the extollers to rise to prominence as the guardians of the ancestors and choosers of the exalted, granting them power normally limited to the warrior caste. Different philosophical schools among the extollers revere different exalted ancestors, making up many faiths and cults within the skorne. The ancestors can interact with the living only via the extollers, who spend their lives learning to contact the dead. It is disrespectful to bother the exalted without good reason. Extoller power is tied to mortitheurgy, which all dominars and tyrants must study. They master magic by a mix of philosophy and anatomical knowledge, using the innate power of blood and tissue. While it is superficially similar to necromancy, mortitheurges do not animate the dead - rather, they preserve life beyond the natural bounds of the body. They can fuel their magic with their own pain as well as the life force of others.

Paingivers have traditionally been removed from house politics, rising mostly from the lower castes due to their need to forsake house ties - a sacrifice the privileged generally will not make. In rural areas, they often come from trackers and beast tamers, while urban paingivers are recruited from clever, talanted and dexterous youths. The senior paingivers are highly selective, never inducting anyone they don't believe can rise above the caste of their birth, so numbers are limited. Paingivers must embrace the philosophy of the ancestor Morkaash before they are initiated, including a test of endurance and fasting. Once brought into the ranks, they disavow their house loyalties in favor of the paingiver order, wearing distinctive masks to show their facelessness and isolation. Without loyalties, they can barter a better price for their services. They are uniquely unaffiliated in skorne society and very much in demand. They operate as spies and information gatherers, assassins, beast tamers and trainers and interrogators. Most specialize in just one or two of these roles. Their independence has shifted with the establishment of the empire, and now all serve Lord Assassin Morghoul first, and others only as long as it does not conflict with their duties.

It was not until the coming of the human Vinter Raelthorne IV that the Skorne Empire was established. The Conqueror used his strength to convince the skorne leaders he was one of their ancestors reborn, and while his reign was brief, he introduced sweeping societal reforms, particularly around organization and war. Following his recent deposition by Supreme Archdomina Makeda of House Balaash, she has taken the reins. She is highly traditional, but willing to continue what Vinter started with his military reforms so that she can conquer the west. The skorne have been transformed from a nation of feuding houses to a unified empire, and the houses have been required to support the Army of the Western Reaches, forging them into true weapons of conquest. Though Vinter's true intent was not to plunder the west as he'd said, his legacy remains. The empire has been divided into distinct regions, called tors, with leaders appointed to govern them and ensure the houses in them contribute properly. His greatest achievement might be the creation of a military that both respects skorne traditions and preserves their philosophies while supporting the logistics of thousands of soldiers. However, some of his changes were not embraced enthusiastically. He expanded the concept of a house absorbing another to suggest that all houses had been conquered by the emperor, and so he had the right to reallocate and reform houses as needed for the military hierarchy. This also made it hard to organize insurrection, as the houses were mixed in the army and each tyrant was required to send a tithe of warriors. He also allowed skorne to rise through the ranks, even to tyrant rank, with far greater speed than was traditionally possible, with new tyrants allowed to use their subordinates as the core of a new house.



Every skorne is very aware of their caste and relation with those around them. All warriors are members of the same caste, but there are subtle yet important distinctions. Because there are so many warriors, many perform tasks that would normally be the job of lower castes, day to day. Many, for example, learn to make armor or weapons. How much of this they can do without losing status is one of the many subtleties of caste interactions. Among the house armies of the east, where workers and slaves are more numerous, there is less need for warriros to do these things, but this changes considerably when lwoer caste support is minimal, such as in the Army of the Western Reaches. Praetorians are the backbone of the skorne military, by which all other warriors are measured. They focus on close combat with many traditional weapons with distinct roles. These include the pikes and shields of the karax, the cavalry spears of the mounted ferox and the dual blades of the swordsmen. There is a long rivalry between Praetorians and Cataphracts about which is most true to the hoksune code. Praetorians hold that their emphasis on first strikes, speed and precision most closely represents the ideals of Vuxoris, while the Cataphracts are most universally respected for their resilience and stamina.

Only the largest and most powerful skorne can become Cataphracts, and only the wealthiest houses can afford to equip and maintain their armor and weapons. Many of the most devoted hoksune adherents are Cataphracts, who have a reputation for stoicism. They are trained to endure extreme privation in any environment, and they embody the skorne ideals of life and death. They are epxected to be in the most dangerous parts of battle and revel in the chance at glorious death. Many exalted were once Cataphracts in life, possibly including Vuxoris. Venators, on the other hand, train to fight at range with reivers and siege weapons, so they are a lower part of the caste. Their betters view them with disdain, as ranged combat furhters them from the enemy when they die. In past centuries, they used javelins and slings, mostly, but their modern armament takes a lot of skill and training. They are now integral to skorne strategy, and this has gained them a grudging respect, particularly in the Army of the Westenr Reaches. They are never candidates for full exaltation, but can become honored companions thanks to ancestral guardians.

Not all skorne combatants are of the warrior caste, however. Specialists from worker, extoller and paingiver castes are also required. All skorne value the extollers in battle, as they can preserve the spirits of the dead. Their simple appearance can raise morale, and few tyrants fail to take advantage of that. Because extollers rarely judge philosophers or scholars worthy of preservation, they are of great standing in the worker caste and even house lords respect them for their ability to talk to the ancestors. They also persuade ancestors to accompany them into battle in carefully made vessels, allowing the exalted to become potent ancestral guardians. All exalted yearn to fight once more, and these guardians can also serve as receptacles for the skorne that die near them, giving the extollers time to decide if they are worthy for full exaltation or the lesser honor of becoming companions to the exalted. Paingivers are also vital specialists, the most common in the army. While warlocks can command beasts directly, they rely a lot on the beast handlers to maximize their destruction, as the best beast handlers can push beasts to their limits without breaking them utterly, and when it's all right for a beast to go berserk.

Next time: Torture samurai!

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Pope Guilty posted:

What does siloing abilities mean?

Most White Wolf/Onyx Path games split their traits into a set of categories, like Physical/Social/Mental, or Talents/Skills/Knowledges. During character creation, you prioritize these categories and that determines how many points you get to put in each set. This is actually really good at helping total newcomers get into the game to start; "I'm the dumb guy who studied really hard so he's still good at knowing stuff" or "I'm the beefy rockslab vampire."

It's certainly not the best way to do that, and there's a lot of bad baggage tied up with it because WoD, but it's pretty good at that initial boost for getting people fleshing out characters.

That and the dots make it more approachable than it otherwise might be.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


White Wolf-ish silo'ing also helps prevent the most excessive min/maxing where someone identifies THE most important combat stats and dumps all his points into them, with 1's and 0's in everything else, for instance. But it's really a lot down to execution.

The Golden Hart also sounds like a bit of a dick, it gives the Blue Rose Scepter, an object meant to be held in your hand, to the intelligent animals, none of which have opposable thumbs. How do the "Rhydan" work, anyway? Are they Narnia-esque normal animals, but intelligent and talkative/psychic, with the occasional fantasy animal like a unicorn? Or are they all fantasy animals, while the normal animals are just normal animals?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

PurpleXVI posted:

The Golden Hart also sounds like a bit of a dick, it gives the Blue Rose Scepter, an object meant to be held in your hand, to the intelligent animals, none of which have opposable thumbs. How do the "Rhydan" work, anyway? Are they Narnia-esque normal animals, but intelligent and talkative/psychic, with the occasional fantasy animal like a unicorn? Or are they all fantasy animals, while the normal animals are just normal animals?

As far as my reading of it, they are "normal" animals, except they have intelligence and psychic ability, but they can still only make the vocalizations available to them as animals, and "verbal" communication is done psychically. You are correct that they do not have opposable thumbs, and they look the same as normal animals, except of course that the normal animals are just that, without the intelligence and the psychic ability.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





I imagine most animals bigger than a dog would be capable of holding a sticklike object in their mouths for a short period of time.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

PurpleXVI posted:

The Golden Hart also sounds like a bit of a dick, it gives the Blue Rose Scepter, an object meant to be held in your hand, to the intelligent animals, none of which have opposable thumbs. How do the "Rhydan" work, anyway? Are they Narnia-esque normal animals, but intelligent and talkative/psychic, with the occasional fantasy animal like a unicorn? Or are they all fantasy animals, while the normal animals are just normal animals?

On the other hand you could look at it as the Golden Hart being savvy enough to give the Blue Rose Scepter to the rhydan knowing it would make the perfect diplomatic offering to cement their future relations with Aldis as well as ensuring that yet another method of magical background checking made its way into human hands with more finesse than simply dropping it into their laps.

Rhydan are a mixture of normal and fantasy animals...the next update, which I hope to have done sometime tomorrow (albeit late as I'm starting a new work week) goes into detail on Aldis' various peoples, and the Rhydan are shown to comprise a set variety of animal types, so not just any animal can be one and even among those types that rhydan can be found comprising there are still non-sentient and non-psychic versions. Not every horse in Aldis is an intelligent, psychic horse, for example.

Spiritually speaking, rhydan have the same types of souls as humans do. They're intelligent but incapable of vocalizing beyond what their animal body can naturally produce, however they are psychic and capable of communicating with people using mindspeak.

And since this is FATAL & Friends I feel I should address something in advance because I'm sure someone out there is wondering. Rhydan are capable of forming a "rhy-bond" with someone they feel especially close to. This is a pretty serious deal and is generally described as two beings sharing the same soul. Think of it as a bit like the daemons from the Golden Compass...people forming psychic bonds with magical talking animals is kind of a romantic fantasy staple. That said despite Blue Rose's emphasis on relationships and romance beyond what your typical fantasy RPG generally engages in at no point does the game promote or even discuss the notion of a rhydan and human having a romantic relationship together. Not even in a "tragic love that can never be" sort of way. I'm sure you're all very disappointed that you can't add Blue Rose to the list of games where Skill Focus: loving the Dog is a pro purchase but there you go.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


I missed out on the Max Attax discussion. I love that cabal. They turned the mid-session Maccas run into part of the game. It also lead to PCs spending a long time trying to 'infiltrate' them, until I said "They're Maccas, not the Masons". I like how the game takes them semi-seriously, and they work as the best part of Anonymous. The new Hamburgler would make a perfect mascot too. But now McDonalds is losing money and closing stores. Why?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Kai Tave posted:

And since this is FATAL & Friends I feel I should address something in advance because I'm sure someone out there is wondering. Rhydan are capable of forming a "rhy-bond" with someone they feel especially close to. This is a pretty serious deal and is generally described as two beings sharing the same soul. Think of it as a bit like the daemons from the Golden Compass...people forming psychic bonds with magical talking animals is kind of a romantic fantasy staple. That said despite Blue Rose's emphasis on relationships and romance beyond what your typical fantasy RPG generally engages in at no point does the game promote or even discuss the notion of a rhydan and human having a romantic relationship together. Not even in a "tragic love that can never be" sort of way. I'm sure you're all very disappointed that you can't add Blue Rose to the list of games where Skill Focus: loving the Dog is a pro purchase but there you go.

Thank goodness. I'm enjoying what I've seen of Blue Rose so far and may have to look into picking it up or adapting the setting for my gaming group's own use. Glad the setting sidestepped the furry issue.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Kai Tave posted:



The real fantasy here is that no gaming group has ever actually looked like this.


The only problem I have with Blue Rose so far is this image right here. Not the diversity represented obviously, that's fine...but the art style makes this gaming group look like they're beatific Greek gods discussing the doings of mortals. I know not every gaming group is a bunch of hooting baboons like my players but these guys don't even look like they're having any fun at all...it's like they've achieved some kind of gaming Nirvana where any desire for pleasure or personal gain has been released and they've reached an enlightened void of feeling.

WereJace
May 16, 2006

Beast Wars


Kai Tave posted:

And since this is FATAL & Friends I feel I should address something in advance because I'm sure someone out there is wondering. Rhydan are capable of forming a "rhy-bond" with someone they feel especially close to. This is a pretty serious deal and is generally described as two beings sharing the same soul. Think of it as a bit like the daemons from the Golden Compass...people forming psychic bonds with magical talking animals is kind of a romantic fantasy staple. That said despite Blue Rose's emphasis on relationships and romance beyond what your typical fantasy RPG generally engages in at no point does the game promote or even discuss the notion of a rhydan and human having a romantic relationship together. Not even in a "tragic love that can never be" sort of way. I'm sure you're all very disappointed that you can't add Blue Rose to the list of games where Skill Focus: loving the Dog is a pro purchase but there you go.

It does get a passing mention, but only once in the context of an Arcana in the Companion called Self-Shaping which allows the arcanist (wizard) to transform themselves into another form.

""Some legendary rhydan mastered the ability to turn into humanoids, and even found humanoid lovers or mates, but most rhydan find humanoid forms clumsy, uncomfortable and vulnerable (needing to wear clothing and armor, for example)."

But that's the only glance they ever take at the subject, and it's not even in the core book.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



WereJace posted:

It does get a passing mention, but only once in the context of an Arcana in the Companion called Self-Shaping which allows the arcanist (wizard) to transform themselves into another form.

""Some legendary rhydan mastered the ability to turn into humanoids, and even found humanoid lovers or mates, but most rhydan find humanoid forms clumsy, uncomfortable and vulnerable (needing to wear clothing and armor, for example)."

But that's the only glance they ever take at the subject, and it's not even in the core book.

Eh... Again, I'm willing to give that brief mention a pass, given the nature of its source material. Which is very different from Changing Breed's "Yiff!" sidebar or lonely adolescent boys wanting to gently caress cartoon ponies, though I can certainly understand why casual readers unfamiliar with the source material and unwilling to buy into the conventions of Blue Rose's particular strain of fantasy would take it wrong.

To me, Blue Rose is reading a lot like that Arthurian fantasy RPG that had a good review going before it disappeared. It's aiming for recreating a rather specific type of fantasy story and the trappings thereof, which are hilariously easy to take wrong out of the context of the source material.

WereJace
May 16, 2006

Beast Wars


Cythereal posted:

Eh... Again, I'm willing to give that brief mention a pass, given the nature of its source material. Which is very different from Changing Breed's "Yiff!" sidebar or lonely adolescent boys wanting to gently caress cartoon ponies, though I can certainly understand why casual readers unfamiliar with the source material and unwilling to buy into the conventions of Blue Rose's particular strain of fantasy would take it wrong.

To me, Blue Rose is reading a lot like that Arthurian fantasy RPG that had a good review going before it disappeared. It's aiming for recreating a rather specific type of fantasy story and the trappings thereof, which are hilariously easy to take wrong out of the context of the source material.

Oh absolutely. As I said, I'm pretty sure that's the only mention in the entire set of books and I'm glad it is.

I'm actually running a slightly modified Blue Rose campaign for my friends right now, so I'm pretty happy to see other people talking about it. I didn't have a lot of difficulty selling my players on it, though that's mostly because we're all women who grew up with Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey books in our hands. They're been enjoying themselves so far, even though the game's been a little more murderhobo-ey than I imagine a lot of Blue Rose is.

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.

Kai Tave posted:


And since this is FATAL & Friends I feel I should address something in advance because I'm sure someone out there is wondering. Rhydan are capable of forming a "rhy-bond" with someone they feel especially close to. This is a pretty serious deal and is generally described as two beings sharing the same soul. Think of it as a bit like the daemons from the Golden Compass...people forming psychic bonds with magical talking animals is kind of a romantic fantasy staple. That said despite Blue Rose's emphasis on relationships and romance beyond what your typical fantasy RPG generally engages in at no point does the game promote or even discuss the notion of a rhydan and human having a romantic relationship together. Not even in a "tragic love that can never be" sort of way. I'm sure you're all very disappointed that you can't add Blue Rose to the list of games where Skill Focus: loving the Dog is a pro purchase but there you go.

Somewhere, Satyros Brucato is crying.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I mean I guess if you really wanted to have the most intimate, meaningful relationship possible with your animal soulmate, the best possible outcome would be finding a way for your souls to ascend to the Dance and help others find that peace and love too with your success.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


Bacchante posted:

So, from black and hateful sources of which I am forbidden to speak of I have acquired the original and revised PDFs of FATAL. Sadly, the excess splatbooks are lost to the decaying annals of history... for now. With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to usurp the poster formerly known as Syrg's position as 'Worlds most foremost expert on FATAL' and finish the work that he started so long again.

For FATAL and Friends.
You can't though as I want to say that he has material that has never been released for that game.

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

MadScientistWorking posted:

You can't though as I want to say that he has material that has never been released for that game.

Having homebrew for FATAL doesn't really count for anything.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


inklesspen posted:

Having homebrew for FATAL doesn't really count for anything.
If I remember correctly it wasn't homebrew. Someone gave him an unreleased Fatal supplement.

Bacchante
May 2, 2012

Friends don't let friends do sarcasm.


MadScientistWorking posted:

If I remember correctly it wasn't homebrew. Someone gave him an unreleased Fatal supplement.

Yeah. The deity almanac and the monster manual equivalent. Sadly, they remain beyond my reach. Or possibly fortunately. I only have so many SAN points left.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Hordes: Skorne

Before the military reformations, 'cohort' and 'army' were synonyms, and tyrants still refer to their soldiers as a house army sometimes. Dominars with multiple cohorts referred to their forces as a sabaoth, a great host. Since the reforms, an army is specifically a large regional force of multiple sabaoths commanded by an archdominar. An army protects each tor, and sabaoths are army divisions, commanded by dominars or, more rarely, lord tyrants. Beneath them are cohorts commanded by tyrants and lord tyrants. There are six tors in the eastern empire and so six armies to protect the borders, garrisons and settlements. The three interior tors have the highest populations and political power. First among them in wealth and power is Tor-Halaak, which includes the capital, also Halaak, which is overseen by Archdominar Korinvaas. Southeastern Tor-Kademe os the most fertile land in the empire, producing most of its food, and is held by Archdominar Jolxal of House Murkaat. This area includes the Ocean of Grass, where most of the imperial titans are from, and where skorne like Dominar Rasheth of House Telarr made their fortunes hunting. The third major interior tor is Tor-Malphas, named for the first skorne city, deep in the Shroudfall Mountains. It is ruled by Archdominar Lorketh of House Jakaar.

The three peripheral tors are more barren and sparse. The Northern Marches, ruled by Dominar Leskaar of House Kursorik, have the smallest population and army. Tor-Sarikaan in the east is ruled by Archdominar Hekrask of House Zhuron, and Tor-Sortaan in the west is ruled by Archdominar Jalkier of House Muskaar. Each of these leaders has an army, but their cohorts have been reduced in both size and number due to the laws requiring contribution to the Army of the Western Reaches. This helps prevent rebellion while the supreme archdomina is away. The primary agency keeping the eastern tors obedient is the unified paingiver caste under Lord Tormentor Morghoul. Many paingivers have joined the western army, but many more still remain in the east to protect the empire. They are assisted by the Bonded Porters, established by Vinter to ensure supplies flowed across the empire. While they are individually powerless workers, they are vital to logistics and protected from interference with harsh legal punishments. They have adapted well to the supreme archdomina even though they are much more prone to internal corruption than the paingivers. As long as supplies flow, internal corruption is largely overlooked.

The skorne traditionally do not consider themselves a united people, looking only to their own tyrants for direction. The many houses are prone to feuding, and it takes a really extraordinary person to maintain power over these rivalries. The supreme archdomina, however, is very powerful thanks to the loyalty of Lord Assassin Morghoul. House Balaash also maintains its estates near the capital, so it has a lot of influence there. Dominar Lunzaal of Balaash, a respected warrior and relative of Makeda, has been promoted ot maintain these estates and wield the Balaash political power in the capital while she is absent.

The Army of the Western Reaches is the invasion force of the skorne, and all houses must contribute to it. It is led directly by Makeda, and is the largest and most effective force the skorne have ever had, especially thanks t Vinter's organizational expertise. They are established in garrisons and forts in the Bloodstone Marches, with a supply chain crossing the desert back to the empire. This grows more secure by the day, though any passage across the wastes is still challenging. Within the hierarchy of empire, the Western Reaches are equivalent to a seventh tor. Until Makeda took power, she was the archdomina in control of the army and the region. This is larger than any other tor - in fact, it's technically larger than the empire itself. Most of it, however, is unsettled territory that is a geographical barrier between the Abyssal Fortress and the western territories. It remains to be seen if Makeda will appoint an archdominar to rule it - the need isn't pressing, as she leads from the front rather than from the Abyssal Fortress as Vinter did. After defeating his forces, she immediatrely headed back west to keep conquering, sending Morghoul home to Halaak to seize power over the painivers and turn them into a tool of the state.

Vinter integrated most of the forces he was given into mixed cohorts wearing Balaash colors in an effort to break house loyalties. Makeda retains this more discriminately, allowing favored tyrants and dominars to retain their house colors and standards, as long as they put a token in Balaash vermillion on. Some of her dominars have reverted to house colors without permission as a display of passive resistance to her rise. She does, however, retain the power to reform and reshape cohorts as she likes. The Abyssal Fortress has been a vital base and training center for the Army of the Western REaches, particularly before it came further west. Its elite black-armored garrison was responsible for protecting Vinter personally. Makeda put some of her most loyal subordinates in that honor guard, intending for them to aid her overthrow, but Vinter noticed it. He killed them all personally, removing many of Makeda's top dominars, lord tyrants and tyrants. She's promoted worthy successors, but it'll be some time before her command structure fully recovers.

The Army is divided into four sabaoths, and the majority of Makeda's best are in the Southern Bloodstone sabaoth under Dominar Kaartos, who is her blood relative. The ten cohorts under him are the largest and best fortified, as well as the most actively engaged near the Cygnaran border and the Protectorate of Menoth. The second-largest, the Northern Bloodstone sabaoth, serves under Dominar Xarkorn, newly promoted after Vinter killed his predecessor. It focuses on Scarleforth Lake, the Castle of the Keys and several hill forts. While the dominar is nominally in charge, he is heavily influenced by Lord Tyrant Hexeris of House Kershon, who was left in charge of the western settlements while Makeda marched on the Abyssal Fortress. He is quite powerful and controls all the sabaoth's occultists alongside Supreme Aptimus Zaal and his extollers. The Bloodstone Desert sabaoth is less involved in the conquest, focusing on garrisoning the fortress between the Marches and the eastern empire, with two entire cohorts at the Abyssal Fortress led by trusted senior officers and Dominar Jelkaxis, who was promoted to secure communications after valor against Cygnar. The House Telarr cohorts recently joined hte Army under Dominar Rasheth to make up the newest and final sabaoth. Makeda has, for now, allowed them to remain a single-house sabaoth. Many lesser tyrants resent this, but they fail to understand the importance of House Telarr and its many warbeasts.





Unlike other forces, skorne warlocks gain their power via mortitheurgy rather than any inborn talent. This art combines anatomical knowledge with a deep understanding of the magical might of flesh and blood. All skorne warlocks are mortitheurges, as are most ranking skorne warriors, but there is a deep divide betwen those who use it just for power and those who delve deeper. The former are some of the more militaristic warlocks of the empire, using their magic to enhance their already impressive skills, while the latter are more mystical, studying the power of the living spirit. Some join the extollers, specializing in a similar role as priests in human society. To do this, they must pluck out an eye and replace it with a sensitive crystal, allowing them to see soul energies. To become a master of a house, a skorne must have sufficient mortitheurgical might to become a warlock, as that power is essential to dominating others. Most skorne warlocks are dominars or tyrants for this reason, commanding their own house levies on top of any army position. They are vital to the western expansion, often making the difference between victory and defeat, and they are nearly fearless on the battlefield. Often, they prove worthy of exaltation when they die, as well.



Supreme Archdomina Makeda is Epic Makeda. She has overthrown Vinter Raelthorne and seized control of the Skorne Empire, unifying them as never before. Her will is strong enough to defeat anyone. Not long ago, her devotion to Vinter was absolute, and she believed him to be the Reborn. Lord Assaassin Morghoul revealed to her his deception, and at first she would not believe it, until she was ordered to attack Fort Falk and watch her soldiers die meaninglessly. She didn't mind their deaths for victory, but there was no reason for this. The defeat was all the worse for the knowledge that she'd been ready to attack Eastwall, but was ordered not to without explanation. The only reason could be that Vinter wanted to deliberately weaken the army. Makeda was enraged. With Morghoul's help, she rooted out Vinter's loyalists, replacing them with her own loyal vassals. She confronted Vinter personally, ending his reign. He escaped by killing a host of her loyal tyrants, but she took the Abyssal Fortress and the Skorne Empire. Since then, she has laid the foundation for a new nation. Once the bridges connecting east and west were scure, she sent Morhoul back to Halaak to deliver her will and prevent feuding. While many house lords were uncomfortable with the coup, thery remembered the lessons of Morghoul during the Second Unification, and did not resist. Makeda has learned a lot from Vinter, and she intends to remake the skorne around the core of their society. She has remained in the west to oversee the invasion and solidify her hold on the Bloodstone Desert. Under her orders, supply lines have been reinforced and new forts built. She has already begun to reshape the Army of the Western Reaches into something stronger. She adheres to the strictest philosophies of the skorne, but understands the need to adapt and expand. Her focus on combined arms has met resistance from the hoksune adherents, but her victories cannot be denied. Even so, she is followed more out of fear than loyalty. She is a pragmatist who understands that the skorne only respect strength, so she is strong. She has accepted an apparently impossible goal, but she bears it well. Her gimmick is mobility, leadership and buffing, and her feat buffs attacks from her army.



Void Seer Mordikaar is a walking contradiction whose existence casts doubt on deeply held skorne beliefs. He reminds Makeda's followers that nothing is impossible for her army, having defied even death. He should not exist - he died, and his soul went into the Void. By sheer will and knowledge, he pulled himself back to life. His heart still beats, his lunges still breathe. He is alive, not some undead creature like the genzouls and kovaas. Only he knows how it was done. He is tainted by the power of death, and he is surrounded by a wound in reality, as deranged Void spirits slip through to haunt him. He deals with them easily, banishing or binding them. Before his death, he was a respected but inscrutable mortitheurge known mostly to other mortitheurge masters. He studied in the ruins of Malphas, investgating even an obscure heresy that claimed Voskune, Ishoul and Kaleed, the Self-Exalted Trinity, never fell into the Void but existed beyond death by will alone. The heresy was often expunged by Extollers, but proved tenacious among certain loremasters in Malphas, who preserved scrolls that contradicted traditional history. Mordikaar never found the Trinity, but his research took him in a new direction - exaltation without sacral stones, which he believes are a crutch. He is determined to find a better solution to mortality than crystal eyes. He uses an arcane latern to focus his power and reveal the spirits around him, isolating the nature of the light manifested by spiritual energy. His philosophy is antithetical to that of extollers, but it works. Just as Mordikaar will not speak of the events that led to his death, he also will not speak about why he joined the Army. He works with Tyrant Hexeris, who shares his interests, but he is very hostile towards Supreme Aptimus Zaal. Makeda allows his eccentricities so long as their power helps the skorne. His gimmick is playing around with revival and ghost/undead shenanigans. His feat buffs his allies defensively.

Next time: The spikiest god drat armor.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Kai Tave posted:

What I mean is that the people complaining about Blue Rose's venisonocracy probably weren't similarly impassioned over, say, the various lines of succession and forms of government in the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk, and in most D&D gaming groups how the king of such-and-such gets put on the throne is probably, at most, a background detail that never really matters in the course of actual play. But for some reason the fact that Aldis' sovereign gets picked by a divine, otherworldly force that just happens to take the form of a magic deer is a huge problem, and I'm inclined to think that it's only a problem because people upset about Blue Rose were looking for any and everything they could point to and decry as bad.

People where all fine and dandy for Arthur to become King of England because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at him, but a magical deer is now pushing things too far or something? Or were they just disappointed it wasn't a dragon or something equally "cool"?

Mors Rattus posted:



The Ghordson Basher is just over 11 and a half feet tall and 8 and a half tons. It was meant for utility and durability, hauling loads for construction and mining. It uses a very powerful engine on a sturdy chassis to haul huge loads of cargo. When unloaded, it's very fast for a heavy laborjack, and uses that to deliver incredible concussive force. It is further augmented with powerful short-range grenades to soften targets up before it rams into them. It is heavily armored for survival in tunnel cave-ins or battle, with plating several inches thick that makes for both armor and weapon.

Grenades? More like Guided Steampunk Missiles.

Bacchante posted:

So, from black and hateful sources of which I am forbidden to speak of I have acquired the original and revised PDFs of FATAL. Sadly, the excess splatbooks are lost to the decaying annals of history... for now. With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to usurp the poster formerly known as Syrg's position as 'Worlds most foremost expert on FATAL' and finish the work that he started so long again.

For FATAL and Friends.

Good luck on your journey.

(I wonder if you can build the Golden Hart in FATAL?)

Doresh fucked around with this message at 16:47 on Jul 24, 2015

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012



quote:

It had been a long flight out to Tau'va. Even with a good ship, the Crystal Sphere of the Tau Empire was difficult to penetrate. Good for defense against a hostile universe, terrible for trade. Or for visiting family. Joseph Sidus rubbed at his bionic hand. He was wondering just what he'd find in the cells.
Kuj'o J'Karra had been given his own cell. The other captives, all of them Gue'la, humans living with the culture of the Tau, refused to stay in the same cage as him. He had put eight gang members in the hospital by himself. Despite that, the authorities had told him he was free to go. He refused to leave. The criminals all called him a Daemon, whispered and pleaded to be put somewhere else.
J'Karra's mother, a human originally from Sigil, had been visiting every day to try and convince him to leave. She had contacted Joseph, her father, to try and knock some sense into him. He had left at once when she mentioned that J'Karra had said he was possessed by an evil spirit.
"You're going home today for sure, Kuj'o," The warden said. Joseph Sidus stepped up to the bars. The cell was full of various things, which had appeared there as if by magic.
"Don't worry. My grandson is coming with me," Joseph said. J'Karra had been facing away from the cell door. He stirred and turned around.
"Grandson?" J'Karra got up and walked over to the bars, facing Joseph. The two glared at each other.
"Get out of here! You're going home with me," Joseph said.
"Go away!" J'Karra said. "I didn't call for you. So you want to help me? What could you do? I'm sorry you came all the way from Sigil, but you can't help me, Grandpa."
J'Karra help up his hand. He had a broken bionic finger. Joseph raised his hand. The little finger was missing. J'Karra had pulled it off without him even noticing.
"Did you see it?" J'Karra asked. "Did you notice it? That is the evil spirit."
He stepped away from the bars, turning his bad on his grandfather. "Don't get near me. You would only shorten what's left of your life."
Joseph narrowed his eyes. He had seen the golden gleam around J'Karra. A flash of a ghostly form. He knew everything about the 'evil spirit'. It would come to J'Karra in time, but he didn't have time to play nice with his grandson. There were dangers ahead and his grandson was clearly destined to be in the middle of them.
Joseph snapped his fingers.
"Avourel," Joseph said. "Time for you to come into play." The tanned elf, draped in a robe and jewelry, stepped into the room. He'd get his grandson out one way or the other.
Guess the reference. Answer: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders

Part 7: FEATSFEATSFEATSASSETS
Starting where AccidentalHipster left off in this post (Inklesspen version), we have Feats. Since the system's mechanics have already borrowed from Legend of the Five Ring's rolling system, World of Darkness's stats system and in some way, Dark Heresy's class system, it's only fair that Dungeons and Dragons gets a go at being part of the menagerie and in this case, it comes in the flavor of Feats, Assets and Hindrances.

Feats
In order to move up one's Class, certain Feats need to be purchased before that Class is completed. It generally takes 3-5 Feats to complete a Class. The book suggests 500XP for a session (or an XP system based on encounters which can be variable) and with each Feat costing 100XP each, can be a session per class if the stats and characteristics are lined up properly.

A few of the familiar standbys are still around like Power Attack, Cleave, and Two-Weapon Fighting as well as the various Focus and Improved/Greater feats. Feats also blend some familiar Merits from World of Darkness and Exalted into the mix like Eidetic Memory or Fleet of Foot. Talents from Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader also make their appearance including Purge the Unclean or Wall of Steel. A number of Class features from D&D classes have also made their way onto the list such as Sneak Attack and Divine Bond and even the six Wizard Traditions from 4th Edition (I that's where they're from). Most of these generally work in some form or fashion like their original counterparts. Some, like Armour of Contempt act a little differently since the subsystem they're originally mean to work with doesn't exist. Languages are also included in this.


Two pages of feats. Probably less than the typical core D&D book.

Besides the Normal Feats, there are also Racial Feats. Two per race and generally reinforce some of the traits of that Race. Squats are better at wearing armor and harder to knock down, Gnomes love their tools and solving problems with them, Eldarin are good with the Warp, etc. Unlike normal Feats, the only restrictions to purchasing these Feats are Race, but they don't fulfill any Class requirements.

Assets
Assets cost the same as Feats, but are much more special in that they can be only purchased during character generations. They're generally better than Feats, if still a bit narrow in some cases or just a little odd. Left-handed for example makes it implied that the majority of humanoid species are right-handed for some unexplained reason. Veteran of the Warp, on the other hand, gives a powerful bonus in exchange for a Hindrance or some other flaw the SM can use to leverage, but otherwise still powerful.


Two of these on the table are actually wrong

The counterpart to Racial Feats are Exalted Assets. Because of the slightly stronger connection to World of Darkness and Exalted in the Exaltations, these Assets are a stand in for the particular X-splat or Caste for each. As such, with the exception of the Paragon, only one Exalted Asset can be taken by a character.

Since it wasn't mentioned in AccidentalHipster's post, Atlanteans are a cross between the Solar Exalts of Exalted and Mages from WoD. They have the mechanical traits of Mages with the background of Solars. Their Assets are named after the five Solar castes and mostly follow the abilities of the Anima Banners of their namesakes. For the cost of 1 mote (their resource stat), each Caste Asset allows a different effect. Dawns get a boost to Intimidation and Weaponry, Zeniths get to soak damage, Twilights get to boost their defenses, Nights get perfect stealth for their next spell, and Eclipses get to bind oaths with penalties for the oathbreaker.

Chosen, the messiahs living saints of the various deities in Great Wheel, have the Mark of their deity as an Asset. There's one for each deity so I'll skip over the explanations for those but they generally give boosts or rewards for doing the things that deity likes like Malal giving a boost for attacking neutral or allied targets, Acererack allowing subsistence on only faith in him and the Chosen's own magic or Vectron rewarding shouting his name very loudly within the hearing of others (in game).

Tzeentch's is particularly dickish as it allows you to avoid the Perils of the Warp. They still happen, but everyone else has to deal with it. Just as keikaku (keikaku mean plan)

Daemonhosts are an odd mix of Infernal and Abyssal from Exalted as little bit from Demons from NWoD: Inferno as they're supposed to be their dark mirror. Rather than Castes, however Daemonhosts can be associated with a specific sin as per the demons they take from. There are five instead of the typical seven as lust and envy are lumped together into Desire and gluttony and greed are lumped into Hunger. Makes things easier for what it's worth. In addition to the typical bonus associated with a sin, each also allows a conversion of Resonance back into Essence (converting a penalty resource into their normal resource) whenever they tempt others to act according to the Daemonhost's particular sin.
Edit: The sins associated are actually the categories of darkspawn from Dragon Age: Origins

Paragons are the exception to the "one Exalted Asset" rule and also has an Asset that is the exception to the "Assets only bought during chargen" rule as well. Action Hero recovers an Action Point (their resource stat) before each combat, Extra Action[i/] gives the Paragon even more Action Points, and [i]High Pressure gives a Pressure bonus based on level. The last Asset is also their rule breaking Asset. Normally Characteristics can only go up to 5. With this Asset, the player chooses a Characteristic that they can now boost to 11 6 and can always upgrade it regardless of Class. The Asset can be purchased for other Characteristics, but the chosen Characteristics for the new Asset are limited by the player's current Class.

Prometheans are a mix between their lovable namesake and their Exalted pseudo-parallel, Alchemicals. As such, their Assets are based off of a particular material. There are five as per the Alchemical castes. Orichalcum, from Exalted, gives +2k1 rather than +2k0 for spending Pyros (their resource stat) and an additional +1 to a characteristic boost from a power they gain. Mithril, originally from The Lord of the Rings, enhances speed and allows spending Pyros to turn half actions into full ones. Darksteel, from Magic: the Gathering, doubles their natural armor because it's the strongest metal there is, but gives the user a Max Dex of 3. Wraithbone, from Warhammer: 40k, allows the user to regenerate lost HP. Finally, Necrodermis, also from 40K gives the user a Fear effect.

Vampires have clans (no surprise there) from Old World of Darkness'sVampire: the Masqerade. They are Brujah, Malkavian, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue. Brujah gives a combat boost against those who fail social rolls against the player (losing an argument, getting intimidated, etc.). Malkavian aren't removed from the game after going insane. They just keep getting more disorders/derangements (Sidenote: One of the issues of the game is certain terms getting mixed up. In this case, it's disorder and derangement). Disorders/deragnements are decided by the Story Master. Toreador are better at arts and crafts, or rather, Crafts and Performance. Tremere get a free rank of Necromancy and get +1k1 when casting. This means a free spell to start off with as well (it's not as good as it sounds in and of itself). Ventrue are richer and are better able to interact with other Ventrue.

As Vampire takes clans from Masquerade, Werewolf takes tribes from its OWoD counterpart, Werewolf: the Apocalypse with one exception. The four chosen tribes from W:tA are the: Black Spiral Dancers, Get of Fenris, Red Talons and Silent Striders. The fifth one comes from Werewolf's New World of Darkness line, Werewolf: the Forsaken, which is the Iron Masters. BSDs are better berserkers and get a bonus to their attacks while in warform, but need to make Willpower checks to not attack anyone at random. GoFs get swole, and thus can spend Rage (their resource stat) to increase Strength, Acrobatics and Athletics. Iron Masters are civilized sorts and can always be in Free Study while in the middle of another class. Red Talons are closer to their furry side and can use social skills with animals at the cost of being worse at socializing with humanoids. Silent Striders are better at magics like the Tremere but their school is Transmutation rather than Necromancy


It's okay, there's no furries or Changing Breeds here.

Hindrances
Like Assets, Hindrances can only be obtained at the player's discretion during character generation. They're essentially flaws, and like flaws, they give extra XP to spend during character generation. SMs can give them out later, but there's no bonus XP for suddenly becoming Wanted or gaining an Enemy. Most Hindrances, have no actual mechanical effects and requires the player to follow them or the SM to remember they exist.


Edit: All of these courtesy of Deadlands
Might be a bit forced?


Hopefully, the first book can find its way to the fluff chapter since it's actually kind of amazing how it was all merged together in such a way that's not all that awful (also, it's the last one before the how to run the game chapter and the antagonists which is very much like an Exalted antagonist section). Of course, there's still a bit more mechanical bits to work through before we get there.

Next: Magic and Misfortunes are real!

Xelkelvos fucked around with this message at 19:40 on Jul 24, 2015

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Doresh posted:

(I wonder if you can build the Golden Hart in FATAL?)

To gain the right to rule by the selection of the Golden Hart in FATAL, you have to succeed in an orifice check to take the Hart's Rod of Selection without passing out, taking damage or tearing.

Women would have an advantage in this regard because they're meant to just take dicks and have babies and have -4 strengf except for one flaw in the plan: women aren't fit to rule or be in charge.

So men can only take the challenge and if they fail they are gay and if they succeed they're gay and nobody is gonna listen to a gay king.

There is no alternate means of succession short of finding a way to gently caress the magic deer without it being gay.

There's no problem with the logic of my fantasy world. Let me respond to your criticism with 50 angry pages rebutting your valid complaints and arguments.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Xelkelvos posted:


They all sound like great stuff for a Space Western for what it's worth

That's because that entire list is taken wholesale from Deadlands.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


Kai Tave posted:

That's because that entire list is taken wholesale from Deadlands.

I'll go ahead and fix that then. Yeah. There's a lot of bits and pieces so I appreciate any help in picking out things I've missed since there's a little bit of fun in finding them (if you're into tha I suppose).

Edit: Fixed Inklesspen's name because apparently I can't into spelling words.

Xelkelvos fucked around with this message at 17:55 on Jul 24, 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


a common typo, but I contain neither ink nor spleen

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Kai Tave posted:

I'll just lay it out for you, Jarzon is a fundamentalist theocracy that considers women to be second-class citizens, homosexuality to be a perversion, rhydan, vata, and night people to be dangerous monsters, and unregulated study of arcana to be tantamount to consorting with the Exarchs themselves. Needless to say, they and Aldis do not get on. The Jarzoni attempted several large-scale attacks against Aldis but their forces never made it past the hazards of the marsh, which is the only thing besides some very delicate diplomacy that's preventing yet another war.

What particular flavor of 'fundamentalist theocracy' are we talking here? Crusades-and-Inquisition catholicism? Vaguely islamic? Something else?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


pkfan2004 posted:

To gain the right to rule by the selection of the Golden Hart in FATAL, you have to succeed in an orifice check to take the Hart's Rod of Selection without passing out, taking damage or tearing.

Women would have an advantage in this regard because they're meant to just take dicks and have babies and have -4 strengf except for one flaw in the plan: women aren't fit to rule or be in charge.

So men can only take the challenge and if they fail they are gay and if they succeed they're gay and nobody is gonna listen to a gay king.

There is no alternate means of succession short of finding a way to gently caress the magic deer without it being gay.

There's no problem with the logic of my fantasy world. Let me respond to your criticism with 50 angry pages rebutting your valid complaints and arguments.

Truly, this is the system Blue Rose was meant to be played with.

  • Locked thread