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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.

Count Chocula posted:

This is bringing me back to my brief time on RPG.net, which was full of Blue Rose jokes, and I don't get it. All RPG is somebody's wish-fulfillment. Why is a bunch of math nerds pretending to be mighty wizards and murderhobos any 'better' than.... Satyros Brucato's hippie pagan mishmash?

As bad as old school D&D is, it never suggested that immigrants are subhuman rat-people who want to spread their genes through coereced sex.

gently caress Brucato. gently caress him in his lovely, shrived, patchouli-scented dick.

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Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Covok posted:

I really like this idea. Because being a lvl 99 Goblin is boring and un-intimidating, but growing into a titan. Now, that's boss.

Indeed. It's character growth in every sense of the word. I wonder how that idea could work in a D&D campaign ("The reason you don't see any goblin weaponmasters around is because those actually turn into giants or trolls. Or hobgoblins, depending on their training and personality.")

(Though some monsters actuall get smaller, like the Thunderbird or the Faerie).

Doresh fucked around with this message at 09:06 on Jul 26, 2015

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Doresh posted:

Indeed. It's character growth in every sense of the word. I wonder how that idea could work in a D&D campaign ("The reason you don't see any goblin weaponmasters around is because those actually turn into giants or trolls. Or hobgoblins, depending on their training and personality.")

(Though some monsters actuall get smaller, like the Thunderbird or the Faerie).

This is pretty much the Fist Of The North Star power size creep, where Kenshiro starts off fighting normal sized dudes like Zeed but ends up fighting 20-foot-tall, super-strong, super-crazy, muscle mountains like Mr. Heart or Iron King Kiba

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Doresh posted:

Indeed. It's character growth in every sense of the word. I wonder how that idea could work in a D&D campaign ("The reason you don't see any goblin weaponmasters around is because those actually turn into giants or trolls. Or hobgoblins, depending on their training and personality.")

(Though some monsters actuall get smaller, like the Thunderbird or the Faerie).
This is literally how Gygax's D&D game worked, according to the stories about Sir Fang. A skeleton levels up into a zombie, which becomes a ghoul at level three, which...

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




I've always liked the idea that the traditional "monster" races (goblins, orcs, ogres, etc) where all one race, a species that simply keeps growing throughout its life...an orc is simply an older goblin and an ogre is what an orc grows into with time. Give them long enough and they can get even bigger.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

I think Scarlet Heroes/Red Tide also toys with that idea as far as goblins turning into orcs turning into hobgoblins turning into bugbears.

Hypocrisy
Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm



I find the "peace collar" in Blue Rose really creepy but I suppose it could be looked at like when a court orders someone to be medicated only it's actually mandatory...and a collar.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Hypocrisy posted:

I find the "peace collar" in Blue Rose really creepy but I suppose it could be looked at like when a court orders someone to be medicated only it's actually mandatory...and a collar.

Yeah, it just seems like a magic anti psychotic to me.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Yeah, it just seems like a magic anti psychotic to me.

Helps that Blue Rose goes out of its way to specify that it's only for the very most extreme of cases and doesn't lobotomize the person or anything. More like a court-mandated medication regimen.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


AmiYumi posted:

This is literally how Gygax's D&D game worked, according to the stories about Sir Fang. A skeleton levels up into a zombie, which becomes a ghoul at level three, which...

Young Freud posted:

This is pretty much the Fist Of The North Star power size creep, where Kenshiro starts off fighting normal sized dudes like Zeed but ends up fighting 20-foot-tall, super-strong, super-crazy, muscle mountains like Mr. Heart or Iron King Kiba

oriongates posted:

I've always liked the idea that the traditional "monster" races (goblins, orcs, ogres, etc) where all one race, a species that simply keeps growing throughout its life...an orc is simply an older goblin and an ogre is what an orc grows into with time. Give them long enough and they can get even bigger.

I wonder if elves used to be like that once. Could explain why an ancient, near-static demihuman race could split off into enough distinct sub-species to fill a Pokedex (or Elfdex).

Hypocrisy posted:

I find the "peace collar" in Blue Rose really creepy but I suppose it could be looked at like when a court orders someone to be medicated only it's actually mandatory...and a collar.

I would prefer something like that chip Cartman got in the South Park movie.

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 like the idea that Elves are basically like Eevees from Pokemon depending on what kind of environmental influence/magical radiation they receive.

But with the caveat that they all start off as Kender before they hit Elf Puberty and become graceful, nature-loving sticks in the mud.

(Half Elves don't have that ability, they just can balance their Elf and Not Elf sides)

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!


pkfan2004 posted:

But with the caveat that they all start off as Kender before they hit Elf Puberty and become graceful, nature-loving sticks in the mud.

The issue with this idea is that no elves would survive till puberty, because gently caress kender, even Lawful Good celestials would hunt them down and murder them for the sake of the universe.

EDIT: Almost missed the latest Blue Rose post. One thing I dig about it is that they seem to actually accept that a high-magic world changes their society(see, psychic counsellors and peace torcs), but without doing some dull magitech thing or having it just be "medieval Europe but sometimes a guy in a tower throws a fireball." Made-up words for things the real world has words for, though, make me unreasonably angry, it just always seems so wanky. Still mostly of a positive opinion about Blue Rose, though.

PurpleXVI fucked around with this message at 17:00 on Jul 26, 2015

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



PurpleXVI posted:

The issue with this idea is that no elves would survive till puberty, because gently caress kender, even Lawful Good celestials would hunt them down and murder them for the sake of the universe.

Kender clicked into place for me when I learned that they were a Mormon's solution to having a thief character who's a good guy.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



It's an evolutionary mechanism to prevent the world from being overrun by Elves 'cuz they're immortal. Having their child stage be Kender opens them up to danger and they either have to rise above their base instincts to survive to become Elves, adapt, find protection or die. Which is why you end up with enclaves of isolated Wood Elves, hoity-toity High Elves who protected their kids from the consequences of their actions, run-of-the-mill Elves who live near different societies and learn that being an immortal dick is not a good thing and Drow who teach their Kender kids how to constructively channel their impulses.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

The issue with this idea is that no elves would survive till puberty, because gently caress kender, even Lawful Good celestials would hunt them down and murder them for the sake of the universe.

EDIT: Almost missed the latest Blue Rose post. One thing I dig about it is that they seem to actually accept that a high-magic world changes their society(see, psychic counsellors and peace torcs), but without doing some dull magitech thing or having it just be "medieval Europe but sometimes a guy in a tower throws a fireball." Made-up words for things the real world has words for, though, make me unreasonably angry, it just always seems so wanky. Still mostly of a positive opinion about Blue Rose, though.

I agree with liking it when fantasy societies allow themselves to be affected by the presence of magic. It's one thing I liked about the Eberron writeups, magic was used as a part of that world too. Romantic fantasy tends to treat low-level crafty magic as a more normal thing that makes peoples' lives a little bit better so Blue Rose is dead on for including that.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Where's the dividing line between 'practicing sorcery is illegal and will get you banished' and 'water purification crystals and lamps'? There's obviously a difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' going on here.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Crasical posted:

Where's the dividing line between 'practicing sorcery is illegal and will get you banished' and 'water purification crystals and lamps'? There's obviously a difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' going on here.

I think it stated earlier that "sorcery" means flesh-warping, summoning critters from shadow, mental domination, presumably raising undead, and similar traditionally evil magic, as something distinct from less creepy magic.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

PurpleXVI posted:

The issue with this idea is that no elves would survive till puberty, because gently caress kender, even Lawful Good celestials would hunt them down and murder them for the sake of the universe.

EDIT: Almost missed the latest Blue Rose post. One thing I dig about it is that they seem to actually accept that a high-magic world changes their society(see, psychic counsellors and peace torcs), but without doing some dull magitech thing or having it just be "medieval Europe but sometimes a guy in a tower throws a fireball." Made-up words for things the real world has words for, though, make me unreasonably angry, it just always seems so wanky. Still mostly of a positive opinion about Blue Rose, though.

If I'm honest I find the flowery terms for "gay" and "straight" to be a little silly myself, but given the nature of the setting I'm willing to say okay Blue Rose, you can have that one.

Crasical posted:

Where's the dividing line between 'practicing sorcery is illegal and will get you banished' and 'water purification crystals and lamps'? There's obviously a difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' going on here.

Yeah, this is a thing that the book doesn't really do a great job of clarifying until it gets to the section on magic despite the fact that it spends a lot of time talking about sorcery and various arcana in the setting chapter. It's a problem a lot of RPG books have where they frontload all the setting information and then save specifics and clarifications for later chapters, which gives them a very "flip back and forth" approach to actually understanding what the hell's going on.

Without stepping on gradenko's toes too much, the tl;dr version is this...some arcana within Blue Rose are designated with a "Sorcery" keyword, and using those arcana require the adept to make a Corruption check. What's a Corruption check? Well we'll get to that but from context you can probably guess it ain't good. Sorcery is magic which draws upon negative emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred...someone earlier compared the way the Light and the Shadow work to the Force and honestly that's pretty apt.

Here's a quick example. There are two different psychic mind-reading arcana you can learn. One is called, appropriately enough, Mind Reading. When successfully cast you get to make an opposed roll and if you win you can read the target's surface thoughts. If you want them to bring a certain thought up to the surface you can try to Bluff them ("Don't think about golden deer") but otherwise you just take what you can get. Mind Probe on the other hand is sorcery, and when you cast it you make the same opposed roll but if you succeed then you get to straight-up rummage around in the target's mind and take whatever you want, period. Ask a question, get an answer, including innermost secrets, all without needing to bother with pesky trivialities like "permission."

Simply studying sorcery doesn't carry an inherent risk of corruption, and if you remember from her writeup one of Jaellin's policies that's making some political waves is her decision to permit the study of sorcery, because she feels that outright banning knowledge could both be the start of a slippery slope as well as leave Aldis less prepared to understand and deal with sorcerous threats when they arise. Practicing sorcery is another matter altogether, and while some Light and Twilight-aligned adepts may attempt to use sorcery with the best of intentions it always carries the risk of falling to the Shadow.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012




quote:

Lucien stepped forward, power sword in hand. He had no idea how his enemy could remain so quiet. The tyrant had so many augmetics that he was more machine than man, and his augmented lungs alone should have been enough to make it easy to find him with their wheezing.
Then the glow of a power sword appeared at the edge of his vision, and the young warrior stepped back to parry the blow. The dark lord stepped forward with his lunge, a massive metal form. Lucien was forced back as the Dark Mechanius Verturabo's greater strength overpowered his guard.
"You are beaten," Verturabo said. His mechendrites twitched as he spoke. "It is useless to resist. Don't let yourself be destroyed as Oberon did."
Lucien answered by rolling sideways and thrust his power sword at Verturabo, surprising him and tearing one of the Dark Mechanius' mechendrites free. The black metal sparked and smoked. Verturabo roared, a burst of static, pained at the feedback. He immediately recovered and swing again.
Lucien backed away along the narrow end of the gantry as Verturabo came at him, slashing at the young man with his sword. Lucien's vague Syrneth memories snapped into focus for a moment, and he blocked the deadly attack with a complex block that was somehow second nature to him. Verturabo's attack was deflected into an instrument complex attached to the gantry, cutting it loose.
Lucien glanced down as it fell in the station's artificial gravity, and in that instant of distraction, Verturabo's power sword came down on Lucien's right arm, cutting off his hand and sending his sword flying. Lucien screamed and fell back, across the narrow gantryway over the abyss. Verturabo couldn't follow him across the thin pipes to the extreme end of the gantry. The Dark Mechanius was too bulky and clumsy to manage the balancing. But there was nowhere for Lucien to run.
"There is no escape," Verturabo said. "Don't make me destroy you. You do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can rebuild the Syrneth Empire, and bring order to the galaxy!"
"I'll never join you!" Lucien gasped.
"If only you knew the power of the C'tan. Oberon never told you what happened to your father."
"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!" Lucien held on for his life as another gust of wind cycled through the cavernous space. Verturabo shook his head, servomotors whining.
"No. I am your father." Lucien stopped moving entirely, almost stopped breathing for a moment.
"No. No! That's not true! That's impossible!"
"Search your feelings. You know it to be true."
"No! No! No!"
"Lucien. You can overthrow the Factions. They have forseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Come with me. It's the only way." Verturabo put his sword away, a mechendrite taking it from his bionic hand and whisking it away under his black robes. The hand extended out to Lucien, offering salvation.
Lucien looked at the hand, and a calm came over him, lifetimes of experience in dealing with dark powers at the back of his mind. He stepped off the gantry and into freefall. Verturabo looked after him, the wind whipping at his robes. He had lost him again.
Guess the reference. Answer: Star Wars

Part 8: Magic
Within the Great Wheel, there are individuals bestowed great power from the Warp. They are known as sorcerers or psykers. This power is both a blessing and a curse as this power allows them to channel the chaotic energies hidden under the fabric of reality, but can slowly draw them into said Chaos as they use it. Because the setting is part 40K, using magic is a risky venture as it threatens to unleash the perils of the Warp upon its user or those around them. Obviously, this causes great fear amongst those who know what can be unleashed and many races necessitating controls on sorcerous individuals.

The major types of sorcerers include:
Astropaths - Sorcerers who use their abilities to facilitate telepathic communication across the Warp and make sure those messages reach the right individual.
Navigators - Individuals who can navigate the chaotic and unstable wilds of the Warp. Merely looking into the Warp can cause insanity so only the blind can navigate the Warp successfully using their abilities. The only way to spot a Navigator would be by their eyes which may be whited out, or, potentially, whithered into empty sockets.
Sanctioned Sorcerers - These are individuals who've gone through trials to control their powers and safely use them around others with minimal threat of unleashing the Warp. Mechanically, in order to count as Sanctioned, the Feat Tested must be acquired. It's mandatory for the Priest class path, but option for the Magic User class path.
Apostates - Also known as Warlocks, Renegades, Darkspawn and more, they are the runaways and rebel sorcerers who deign from undergoing the trials needed for sanctioning or belong to worlds who've not discovered the methods for controlling their magic. Many die from the Warp manifestations caused by their burgeoning powers, but a number survive to reach a level of power that Sanctioned Sorcerers cannot match.
Untouchables - An odd bunch. They exist with no Warp presence and could said to be the opposite of Sorcerers. The lack of Warp presence creates a feeling of unease around normal individuals making them loners or pariahs. They don't seem to be mechanically supported

In order to ascend through the levels of Sorcery trials must be taken at each step. (I'm sure these trials are a reference to something or other, but idk.) While Sanctioned Sorcerers have access to a support network that sanctioned them, unsanctioned sorcerers must undergo the trials alone. The first trial is one of humility and learning to see beyond their own hubris. The second is tutelage which is done by finding some sort of teacher, though they need not be living nor present. The third is one of journeying the Great Wheel and learn appreciation of it as it is, thereby expanding one's views and understanding each moment in life. The fourth is overcoming one's fears, whether those are of losing one's powers, being consumed by them, losing one's way or others. The last trial is one of sacrifice. This might be a body part like a finger or a relationship or even an emotion. Whatever is sacrificed represents their ability to learn sorcery. The more significant the sacrifice, the greater their ability. It's up to the SM and player as to whether or not these trials or played out or handwaved as part of training time.

Casting and Learning Spells
Whenever a spell is cast, it incurs a risk of creating disturbances in the Warp. By limiting the amount of power drawn, these effects can be mitigated. Casting a spell uses a Focus Power Test which is the Magical School + a Characteristic with the Characteristic determining kept dice. When casting, a sorcerer has three different ways to cast: Fettered, Unfettered and Pushed. Fettered casting runs zero risk of unleashing the evils of the warp, but halves the number of dice rolled when casting (it's presumably rounded up, but the book doesn't say). Kept dice may be reduced in this way. Unfettered casting allows all dice to be rolled, but if any exploded dice are kept (that's what it says on the Psychic Strength table, but the entry on Focus Power test indicates that doubles on the test will trigger it ), a roll must be made on the Psychic Phenomena table. Pushed spells add a bonus to their Magical School, but mandates a roll on the Psychic Phenomena table with a bonus to the roll (that's bad).

In order for the spell to be successful, it has to pass a predetermined TN, regardless of whether or not it triggers a psychic phenomena. They range from 15 to 30. Some spells have saves. The TN for those saves is the result on the FP test.



There are 9 schools of magic. They are, in alphabetical order: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Healing, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. They're basically the same as their D&D counterparts except Healing which is essentially a bunch of Cleric spells. The Bard path gives access to the Enchantment and Illusion schools. The Cleric path gives access to the Abjuration, Divination, Necromancy, Healing and Transmutation schools. The Magic User patch gives access to the Abjuration, Evocation, Illusion, Conjuration, Divination and Necromancy schools.

Whenever a character gains a level in a Spell School, they gain a spell of that level in that school. There are only five levels of spells so a caster can only ever get five spells in a certain school without the Spell Book feat that's only available from the Magic User tree. The feat can be taken multiple times and each purchase allows the acquisition of a spell from a school at an already achieved rank. There are only two spells per level except for the fifth which has one


Likely lifted from a 40K book

Certain spells require a foci or material components. Material components for the spells in the book are pretty simple with the most expensive (though no necessarily the hardest to obtain) being a black gem with no listed value. Material components are consumed upon the spell's used. Focuses are little more expensive, and immediately ends the spell's effects if destroyed. Some spells also have somatic and/or verbal components because D&D. Spells cast taht aren't touch spells or specify a range or special target require line of sight some sort of awareness of the target

Some spells can also be combined with each other (Combo-OK), ala Exalted. Comboing spells allow both to be used in the same action. The cost for the combo is 50 XP per level of spell involved. The roll involved uses the lowest characteristic and spell school of the the spells involved and use the highest TN +5/additional spell. The action type is also the longest type (though combining a half-action spell and a reaction spell is a bit of mystery). Saving against one part of the combo also doesn't negate the whole thing and each spell in the combo must be unique (so no comboing Magic Missile with itself a bunch of times.)

Spells
Abjuration
Protection spells, counter magic, and some other stuff. The associated characteristic is Willpower. Interestingly, none of the spells can be part of a combo.
Level 1: Shield, Armoring Aura
Level 2: Knock, Dispel
Level 3: Mage Armor, Glyph
Level 4: Exploding Runes, Disjunction
Level 5: Contingency
Armoring Aura and Mage Armor are defensive buffs. Shield allows an alternative roll for Parry Knock works on unlocking doors with nonmagical locks. Glyph allows targeting whatever was tagged with the glyph without needing line of sight. Exploding Runes works as its D&D counterpart in that it triggers when read. Dispel and Disjunction are basically counter spells. Contingency allows setting up a spell and activating it when a certain trigger is activated. Very much something for followers of Tzeentch.


Messing with Wizards is a bad idea. Not because of their magic, but because their edgelord might rub off.

Conjuration
Summoning and transportation spells. The associated Characteristic is Willpower
Level 1: Invisible Servant, Blink
Level 2: Lesser Servant, Call Item
Level 3: Porte, Jaunt
Level 4: Greater Servant, Teleport
Level 5: Gate
The servants are all Summoning spells with 1, 2 and 4 in all characteristics respectively and the equivalent number of Skill dots as needed. Blink, Jaunt and Teleport are all teleportation spells limited within the current Crystal Sphere ("planet"). Jaunt has a shorter range, but can be used as a reaction. Call Item allows tagging an item and then later being able to summon it to yourself as a free action. Porte and Gate are portal spells with the former requiring line of sight to where portals are opened and the latter not needing it.

Divination
Seeing and communicating across great distances. The associated characteristic is Wisdom.
Level 1: Augury, Whisper
Level 2: Forsee, Luck
Level 3: Scry, Precognition
Level 4: Mind Net, Unluck
Level 5: Commune
Whisper, Mind Net and Commune are the communication spells with Whisper being a single message to a target in sight, Mind Net affecting a group of allies and Commune being a single target anywhere. Augury is basically Common Sense the spell. Foresee is Shield but for Dodge. Luck gives floating dice that can be used later and Precognition allows for rerolls. Unluck is a die debuff.

Enchantment
Mind affecting effects. The associated Characteristic is Charisma.
Level 1: Charm Person, Command
Level 2: Stun, Attraction
Level 3: Dominate, Awe
Level 4: Encore, Blindness
Level 5: Geas

Command, Dominate and Geas are basically spells that allows commanding an individual to do stuff with decreasing levels of limitation. Charm Person increases social ability with a target. Attraction makes people fascinated with a target. Casting it on a person gives them a boost to their social rolls while casting it on an object makes them want to inspect it. Stun and Awe force a target or targets, respectively to do only half actions. Encore acts like the Pokemon move and forces the target to make a save or repeat their previous action. Blindness does exactly what it say. It's a relatively high level because it lasts for a day rather than a scene.

Evocation
Make things out of energy. Mostly blasts. The associated Characteristic is Charisma.
Level 1: Magic Missile, Energy Burst
Level 2: Energy Grasp, Energy Ray
Level 3: Energyball, Energy Aura
Level 4: Energy Wall, Energy Bits
Level 5: Energy Meteors
Magic Missile is an undodgeable energy attack (implies the possibility of parrying) like the D&D version. Rolling better on the test means more missiles. Energy Grasp makes your hand glow with an awesome power and allows an unarmed attack using Evocation+Charisma as the attack roll. Energy Ray is a ranged touch attack that's more powerful than a Lasgun. Energy Aura hurts anyone too close to the user. Energy Wall is like the Wall of X spells in D&D except things can pass through it but take damage as it goes through. Energy Bits makes spheres of energy that can be kept around and launched later. Energy Burst, Energyball and Energy Meteors are ranged attacks with AOEs. Energy Meteors can also hit multiple targets based on dots in Evocation (except it's the capstone so it's always going to be 5 ). Each meteor is more powerful than any single shot from a conventional weapon listed in the book.


This is probably a thing you can do in this game

Healing
Recovery spells and other trademark Cleric spells. The associated Characteristic is Wisdom.
Level 1: Cure Light Wounds, Boon
Level 2: Regeneration, Boost
Level 3: Cure Moderate Wounds, Rebuke
Level 4: Consecrate, Holy Weapon
Level 5: Resurrection
The Cure Wounds duo heals HP based on resource points sacrificed by the caster. Regeneration allows the regowth of limbs (generally occurs through crits). Takes a week of rest after casting to regenerate what was lost. Boon gives an attack roll boost for allies in an area. Boost is a VERY good spell as it lets someone take an immediate half action which includes things like attacks or more spells. Rebuke forces those around who don't worship the same god to lose 1 health and 1 Hero Point. Not quite as good. Consecrate makes an area that allows anyone who worships the same god, to get an extra rolled die on all rolls. Better. Holy Weapon gives a weapon a +1k1 boost against enemies of your god. Resurrection resurrects a target for the cost of five resource points and the target loses a Constitution point. If they only have 1 Con, they can't return to the land of the living.

Illusion
Alter the perception of others with illusions. The associated Characteristic is Intelligence.
Level 1: Image, Disguise
Level 2: Invisibility, Ghost Sound
Level 3: Silence, Mirror Image
Level 4: Improved Invisibility, Programmed Image
Level 5: Permanent Image
Disguise is a substitute for the Disguise Skill. Image, Programmed Image, and Permanent Image are mostly the same spell with the latter two being improved versions of the former. Programmed Image allows the illusion to react to stimuli and make sounds. Permanent Image makes it so the Illusion cannot be dispelled (however, it cannot do what a Programmed Image can do). Invisibility and Improved Invisibility subs in for the normal Stealth roll with the former ending immediately when the user attacks but lasting up to Illusion in minutes while the latter only lasts one minute and doesn't end when attacking. Ghost Sound and Silence works like their D&D counterparts more or less. Mirror Image allows the making of Shadow clones up to the number of the user's level (so at least 3).

Necromancy
The dark version of the Healing path with more emphasis on the undead and some spells give extras when Vampires use them. The associated Characteristic is Intelligence
Level 1: Flush of Life, Rot
Level 2: Speak with Dead, Draining Touch
Level 3: Torment, Raise Dead
Level 4: Corrupted Earth, Consume Soul
Level 5: Necromutation
Flush of Life acts like the Vampire ability except it can be used on other corpses. Rot ages things within a cubic area. Doesn't affect attended things like equipment and presumably things that are still alive. Speak with Dead makes a corpse answer a single question per day. Draining Touch is a touch damage attack and restores Vitae to a Vampire when they use it. Torment makes all creatures within a radius lose half of their HP including the caster and allies. Raise Dead has more in common with the MtG card than the D&D spell. It makes a zombie out of a corpse. Nothing more, nothing less. Corrupted Earth is basically the debuff version of Consecrate. Consume Soul lets the user prevent the resurrection of a target by...eating its soul. Necromutation sets the user's HP to 0 and makes them immune to HP loss. Being at 0 HP doesn't render the character unconscious, but it's probably not a good idea to go running around in that state taking damage. Necromutation puts you in that state, but being immune to damage basically means no ill effects. At least until the spell runs out.

Transmutation
The magic of changing things and enhancing physical ability. The associated Characteristic is Wisdom.
Level 1: Swift Change, Treesong
Level 2: Dedication, Animal Power
level 3: Magic Fang, Polymorph
Level 4: Primal Power, Earth Song
Level 5: Dragon Form
Swift Change allows changing of clothes or armor in an instant. Shapeshifters like Werewolves can also use this to shift forms. Treesong and Earth Song allows shaping of wood and stone respectively like clay. Dedication allows linking a character that can change shape and an object on them and keep them bound together through transformations rather that ripping apart or falling off. Polymorph doesn't actually do what its D&D counterpart does. Rather, it turns the subject into a wolf. I dunno why either. Dragon Form does the same thing except it turns the user into a dragon. Magic Fang gives natural weapons and unarmed attacks +0k1 and makes them magical. Animal Power and Primal Power boosts one and all physical Characteristics respectively.

So that's all of the spells. ALL of them. It's all relatively simple, all things considered because gently caress Vancian casting. However, the Martials get to have their own subsystem to play with as well and it's arguably more XP intensive and more complex than the Magic system.

Next: The Chapter of 9 Sword Schools

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


pkfan2004 posted:

I like the idea that Elves are basically like Eevees from Pokemon depending on what kind of environmental influence/magical radiation they receive.

And in a technologically advanced setting like Eberron, shady scientists will try to test all sorts of new stimuli to see what kind of new elven race might pop out next (like Steam or Tesla Elves).

Super Console: Monster Mash


Now for the rest of the book.

New Rules

Monster Mash's default assumption are a Silly campaign in the Magitech Era. Medieval Era works just fine, aside from most likely ruling out the Meks Robot evolutionary path.

The Angry State

This is a small little tweaks to give critically wounded characters a slightly better survival chance. If their Health fallws at or below 20%, they gain +5 in Damage, Defense and Magic.

Status Effects

Here are a couple new ones. The most-frequently used in the new monster class abilities are the three Break statuses, originally from Final Fantasy Tactics and reflavored into something more fitting for monsters. They all apply a non-cumulative -10 penalty to a certain score or two: Claw Break (aka Sword Break) reduces Damage, Mind Break Intelligence and Magic , and Scale Break (Armor Break) reduces Defense.
Another FF classic makes its Super Console debut with Zombified, which curses the target with those fun Undead traits (Cure hurts, Dark heals, Doom heal you fully, Life spells and Phoenix Downs are instant-kills).
Something I don't recall seeing in a FF game is Corrupt. This status overloads its victim with evil, making it attack its allies in blind rage. It's overall a meaner Berserk: There's no Damage bonus, but the victim will always hit his allies, and he isn't forced to just use physical attacks like a berserker has to, making Corrupt spellcaster with their AoE potential a lot more scarier than a Berserked spellcaster.

Elemental Notes

Super Console defaulted to the 8 classic FF elements (Fire, Cold, Earth, Air, Lightning, Holy, Darkness and Water), with the option of coming up with new elements (like Sonic for a Bard spell or two, or Acid).
Monster Mash cuts the selection down to 7: Cold is gone, having been entirely replaced by Water. Since monsters don't have access to the Holy element (only their human enemies do), Lightning (no without an opposing element now that Water has taken over for Cold) is the monster's number 1 choice against Dark-aligned enemies (like their former boss).

Equipment

Monsters have a quite a problem with normal adventuring equipment. They can't carry swords or other weapons, put on armor or shields, and accessories like shoes and rings are usually right out of the question.

For this, the Main Villain came up with Baubles. A single Jewel can temporarily fuse with a monster's head or chest to augment its attack, while up to 2 Orbs can float around it, boosting its defense.
In game terms, these are essentially equippable weapon, armor an accessory effects. Similar to how those old effects counted as 1-3 bonuses, baubles are rated in 1-3 Stages, indicating the mimimum monster evolution required (Base, Intermediate, Advanced) to wear it.
Fortunately, all the normal items like potions and so work just fine (even on robots).

Obtaining Gear

One of the major problems monster parties come across is that most of their members can enter a town without causing panic (except for Monstopolis, that one hidden city entire run by monsters). The campaign has to be especially silly if the party's ED-209 wannabe can just stomp into the local item shop to buy some potions while the giant-rear end monster bird and his titan friend occupy the entire market square.

Luckily, there are Wandering Merchant. Their selection tends to fluctuate quite a lot, but at least you can encounter them in the wilderness, and even inside dungeons. They're basically like Neko from Secret of Mana (especially if it's always the same merchant).
As their a kind of random encounter, they only appear if the CPU says so or the party spends a point of Patience to dick around the place till they run into him.

As Baubles are created by monsters and for monsters, you can't really buy them. In fact, they don't even have any prices listed. So how do you get them? Well, they can gain them as drops from defeated enemies, quest rewards or treasure. Wandering Merchants also tend to have a couple, but they only hand them out through trade: a Bauble can be exchanged for another Bauble of the same Stage, or they party can trade in an amount of unused items equal to the Bauble's stage times 25 (aka it's their main way of getting rid of junk instead of selling it).

Game Advive

And here's the GM stuff.

The Life of a Monster

Monsters are more than short-lived creatures that spontaenously spring into existence to harrass heroes in a random battle encounter. Here's the default assumption on monster society:

  • Goblins and Birds live in simple clans and flocks, respectively. Simple and straightforward.
  • Spores are creepy dudes (even for other monsters) who lived underground for who knows how many thousand of years, and may or may not have a couple crashed floating islands from the Golden Age stashed in their floral Underdark. Nobody really knows what they actually want. They are so secretive and mysterious that even the Main Villain didn't know of their existance until they themselves appeared before him looking for work.
  • Meks were created by the Main Villain himself, and only a few of them ever betray their creator and master.
  • Apprentices obviously come from the human population. They are almost as creepy as Spores, for they are strange and twisted monsters on the inside.
  • Wisps are part of the world, a natural phenomenon that somehow gained sentience.

The most important point in any monster's life comes when a Boss or the Main Villain himself comes recruiting it for the forces of Evil.

Game Types

It is very important for the CPU to set the monster-human relations for his world. Do they hate each other's guts? Do humans fear them, or do they live together? Maybe monsters didn't even exist in the world until the Main Villain came around, with the player characters being one of the first monster pioneers.

Since the party will at least initially work for the Main Villain, it's important to remember why they would do it. Sure, he's a megalomanic jackass, but hey, it's always better to be on the winning side!
And seeing how the Main Villains plans to conquer the whole world, there's plenty of job security, ways to get promoted and lots of nice places to live in (if they weren't burned down to the ground, that is). And you even get to keep working for him after you die.

As the player characters will eventually form a group of elite monster, they are essentially the Main Villain's secret task force to help his evil plans come fruition. They kidnap the princess, they steal the elemental crystals, and they sneak into the king's castle.

Fighting Evil with Evil

Smarter monsters will eventually start to doubt the Main Villain. He doesn't seem to have any plans for what to do with his army after he has conquered the world, or what's to become of his mighty empire after his death (which you'd think would be kind of important will all those scheming backstabbers around). There are also these moments where talks about destroying the world or ending all of existence...

When a monster finally snaps and goes against the Main Villain, it can be for three reasons: It might be genuinely fighting for the forces of Good now, it could just rebel out of selfish reasons (like revenge or the prospect of wealth), or it might just become one of those scheming backstabbers who want to become the next Main Villain.

Allied Forces

Simply put: Not every epic war between Good and Evil has to be about humans (and demihumans) on one side and monsters on the other. Maybe both have an equal amount of humans and monsters, allowing dragons and dragoons to join forces in jolly cooperation.

Infiltration

There are two kinds of infiltration campaigns possible: the players might take the roles of shape-shifting monsters that infiltrate human society (though that's probably only good for a session or two; monsters gotta be monsters), or they might actually be working for the good guys all along, letting themselves be recruited by the Main Villain to destroy his plans from within.

The Aftermath

An interesting idea involves the campaign starting after the war between good and evil has ended (opening options for a prequel). How could things develop, depending on who won?

If the Main Villain was victorious, the scheming backstabbers start becoming much more active. The party's main job will probably involve beating some sense into rebellious Bosses. Or they could be trying to backsab the Main Villain themselves. Or maybe they and other monsters find out it was better with the good guys around - especially if the Main Villain seems more and more serious about destroying the world...

If the good guys won, things are a lot less convenient for the monsters. The Main Villain's fortress disintegrated with him, his army is scattered, and mighty heroes are searching the lands for its remnants. A comeback will not be easy, and will certainly require a lot of time and patience. After all, the Main Villain was like over level 90, and those pesky heroes still beat him.

New Conventions

A couple new tropes for you Console RPG campaign:

  • The Human Alliance: The main faction opposing the Main Villain's scheme. Usually led by a King, usually with a much smaller army, and generally dependent on a couple talented adventurers.
  • Mirror Games: An interesting option that has the players alternate between a human and a monster party, kind of like a sanbox where you're constantly foiling yourself. Not sure how much of a console trope that is. The book however mentions at least one game that is kinda sorta like this (Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits).
  • Monstropolis: As mentioned, that one twon/city that is like every other town/city, except everyone is a monster. A very nice place because you can just shop without alerting the guards, but being in Monstropolis for an extended period can become very annoying, as the wealthy and civilized town monsters only feel pity for their poor outworld cousins.
  • Size Mismatches: Though often ignored in Silly games, being a Titan. Colossus or Garuda can have some definite impact on out-of-combat adventuring. Titans can't really fit into tiny dungeons and make surprise attacks pretty much impossible, and a Garuda can't land in a city without cleaning the whole place and blowing away a couple children. One way around this is to have the players control multiple monster characters, or the CPU can throw the big guys a bone and have the Bosses hide in castles and dungeons big enough for them. On the plus side, airships become superfluous if the party's Garuda or Dragon can just let the others fly on his back (except for the Titan), an a Titan or Collosus can easily help his comrades over seas, mazes and other obstacles.

Antagonists

Human enemies finally get some love in Super Console with these new Creature (or Antagonist) types. It's not recommended to just use PCs from the core book as enemies (those would be Bosse sin their own right), but Monster Mash provides guidelines as to what abilities a monsterfied version of a Super Console class would be expected to pull off.

The default for human enemies is the Townsfolk type, which is just like the Goblin in the core book in that it doesn't change anything about the stats. Other types include Demihuman (all your elves ind dwarves lumped together into one type, with a thing for Geomancer magic), Guards (physical tanks), Scouts (fast dudes that like to tweak ambush and surprise chances in their favor), Soldier (physical warrior).

Also included are two especially powerful types that count as two enemies for calculating EXP: The Angel (Holy-spamming elite mooks with raised stats across the board) and the Angry Mob (essentially a swarm; very sturdy, and almost always able to perform a physical AoE attack).

Also included are - again - example antagonists. The most interesting are the Multiple Mage (Level 10 Magician Angry Mob, a single Time Mage who messed around with time travel to create a hundred duplicates of himself) and the Silver Angel (Level 32 Robot Angel, so Shin Megami Tensei).

And that's it for this particular Final Fantasy roleplaying game. There's also Console Handheld around, which emulates the first couple handheld RPGs. It's in the pocketmod format (of course), with a lot of streamlining similar to Microlite d20 (my favorite change probalby being that you don't have to buy new gear to get better bonuses, but because the old stuff decrades as you level up). Not sure if I'll do a oneshot or not, as that game's very short and designed for being tweaked and houseruled.
There are also still other FF-inspired games ripe for the riffing. I've set my eyes on two or three, with Returners probalby being the highest on the list because I think I'm not tackling enough bad stuff.
Still, I'll probably follow my old plan of continuing with more Crawford goodness first. But before that, I think I should first link my stuff on the wiki.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Hordes: Trollbloods



The trollbloods are a loose alliance of scattered trollkin tribes, or kriels, in the lands humans had little hunger for. Recent war has encroached even on this land, and they are beset by foes from all sides. They are now coming together for war, with all breeds of troll joining them in battle. Their hardiness is their great strength - trollkin alone are hard to kill, let alone actual trolls.



The trollbloods are a powerful but disorderly alliance. Most of the leaders and warriors are the more civilized trollkin, but they are joined by the adaptable pygmy trolls, or pygs, and larger full-blood trolls. At the pinnacle are the dire trolls, with unmatched ferocity, regeneration and hunger. The trollkin are the core of the alliance, defending their ancient customs and sophisticated culture from terrible persecution. They fight not only for their lands and lives, but for the survival of their race itself. Betrayed by their allies and surrounded by hostile forces, they have no choice but to war. Rather than one nation, the trollbloods are hundreds of kriels, each separate, slowly coming together now to defend each other. They are tied together by blood and friendship, but they have no overarching hierarchy. Each kriel is led by a group of elders who have recently been put in contact with each other, but they are contentious and generally self-centered. Despite this, a few great chiefs have emerged to bring the kriels together and unite their people. Without unity, the trollbloods will die. Still, they are a stubborn and traditional race, and many of them don't like change.

In all myths, the trollkin are one of the oldest races of Caen. In more recent history, they were part of the barbaric hordes known as the Molgur, and many of their traditions date to that time. They fought alongside trolls, humans, goblins and ogrun, but even then they held the bonds of kith and kriel above others. These extended families rose from tribes and warbands to protect villages or fight foes. When the Menite priest-kings broke the Molgur, the trollkin dispersed widely, gathering in the wild places. These separate kriels retained only the traditions they had inscribed on the great krielstones, and many ancient ways were lost. The trolls fared even worse, being hunted down by humans when they didn't follow the trollkin away. For generations, the ties between troll and trollkin were tenuous, with only a few shamans exploring them. The Menites were extremely ruthless towards the dire trolls, and only the most feral of them in the high mountains survived. That the trollkin survived at all is testament to their resilience.



Most kriels settled in the best land they could get, often in the deep forests. The Thornwood, Gnarls and Scarsfell Forest became home to the largest trollkin populations, which retained their ties to the trolls for defense. Other kriels were forced to more remote regions, on the edge of the Bloodstone Marches or the Scharde Islands. Life has changed little in most of them since that time. A few small but notable kriels left the wilds, settling in human cities and casting aside many traditions. Only a few human cities in the modern era support trollkin communities large enough to identify as kriels.

Kriels are generally led by a few key individuals vital to the community, primarily a chieftain and council of elders that decide on matters of importance. They pool resources, build houses and keep the village secure as well as managing trade. The most potent shamans of the trollkin are usually significant on these councils, as are senior chroniclers, sorcerers, fell callers and expert craftsmen. The chief and elders are the arbiters of most decisions, and most kriels allow contentious disputes to be settled by trial by combat atop an elevated platform at the village center. These fights are brutal but rarely fatal, overseen by the chief, who can decide to champion either side if there's a disparity in martial skill. In kriels with particularly strong chiefs, it's rare for disputes to reach the arena for that reason, which leads to the general belief that strong chiefs encourage peace.

Chiefs are generally powerful warriors entrusted to oversee a kriel's defense and make wartime decisions. In some rare cases, they are shamans, sorcerers or fell callers. Chiefs are traditionally male, but not exclusively so. Transition between chiefs depends on the kriel, but it's not uncommon to be handed to the eldest son of the chief, if they're strong. These heirs spend their lives preparing themselves. If the kriel has a better candidate, like a war hero, the chief may choose them instead. When a chief dies without leaving instructions, the elders choose the new chief from the kriel champions. Chiefs do not lead a kriel except in times of danger, deferring to the elders on other matters. In times of war, however, they have complete authority. Isolated kiths often lack enough members to host a full council, so they might be ruled by a shaman or chief - who may well be the same person. Even then, however, several elders serve as advisors.

On top of an often tight-knit band of champions, chiefs are also supported by larger groups of warriors, known as warbands, who are utterly loyal to the chief, and are generally close kith or at least of the same kriel. The greatest chiefs might lead warbands from several kriels, and it isn't unheard of for trollkin to travel great distances to join a legendary chief's warband. A chief with many followers will often have multiple warbands, each led by a champion. While rare in the past, it's more common these days.

Since the defeat of the Molgur, many trollkin communities have reestablished their ties to the trolls. It causes strife with human villages, given troll hungers, but it's worth it for their strength and power. Those rare warlocks that can bond with trolls inevitably rise to lead, often becoming chiefs by virtue of their immense battle power. Their trolls are often considered part of their warbands. Most trollkin communities are insular, at least until recently, and while visitors from other kriels were welcome, alliances were rare. As kriels have been displaced, though, trollkin have been forced together more than ever before, and elders from many kriels are meeting with each other. These regional councils are mostly found in the Thornwood, Gnarls and Scarsfell, where trollkin populations are very dense. Because the current troubles are bringing them together, the trollkin more often work to help each other despite distance. Not all of them are comfortable with this, preferring to rely only on locals, and strife between kriels is not uncommon, especially if old grudges exist.

Nothing has worked to unite the trollkin more than the rise of Madrak Ironhide, whom all recognize as a hero on par with Horfar Grimmr, and who leads Tolok Kriel. He has worked to promote cooperation and peace between kriels, and he leads what has come to be called the united kriels by many. His legend is fundamentally tied to the trouble of his people, who remain battle-ready despite being driven from the Thornwood. They are iconic of the spirit of the united kriels, gaining at least nominal support from the Thornwood and Gnarls elders and many scattered kriels. Madrak hopes that one day, all trollkin will be united for mutual preservation. The Scarsfell has thus far avoided formally joining, but many warriors have come out of the Scarsfell to serve Madrak. Many potent shamans and chiefs also support him, but the fractious nature of the kriels makes consensus hard. Most warbands and kriels following Ironhide owe him no formal allegiance or vassalage, seeing themselves as allies and peers. Borka Kegslayer has led a small army out of the Scarsfell to join, but they're more interested in fighting humans than nation-building.

One of the biggest steps is the oath of fellowship between Madrak and Hoarluk Doomshaper, the military leader of the Gnarls kriels. This bond was forged when the Circle Orboros betrayed Madrak and tried to kill him. Doomshaper helped thwart that, and the Thornwood and Gnarls kriels have become increasingly close. While Doomshaper agrees with Ironhide on some ideas, he's still a staunch traditionalist uncomfortable with the modern changes. Still, he'll do anything to save his people. That's why he released the dire trolls on the world. He likes trolls and admires their simplicity and savagery, and he's committed to helping Ironhide in the war that he believes will envelop the trollkin in whole, but he's also committed to vengeance. Ironhide hopes for peace with humans, but Doomshaper feels violence is the only communication that can be had with them.



Next time: Just wanna kill all humans

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Hordes: Trollbloods

Despite the lack of total harmony, the unity of the kriels is growing by the day. Few elders have time to debate the implications of a trollblood nation now, as more and more trollkin leave their homes for the protection of the unified kriels. The intertribal councils are becoming responsible for an evergrowing number of refugees. While the trollkin do not fight as one and have no clear chain of command, they are still formidable foes. Their resilience and healing abilities mean they often outlast foes of greater organization, and they're no strangers to battle. Every adult trollkin is a warrior, with only those too young or old to fight being defenseless. The kriels have had to adapt by necessity, but this isn't the first time they've organized. Four hundred years ago, Cygnar attacked the kriels, and in response, they destroyed the colossals that were the pride of humanity. Their skill at guerilla warfare was enough then, even with great technological inferiority, and now they're being forced to take up new weapons and tactics.

Most kriels have at least a few warriors to defend their lands, even if they're normally peaceful. Even the friendliest farmers can be counted on to defend the kriel, and more warlike trollkin tend to view war as a sport and fighting to be a part of life. Feuds between kriels tend to be resolved after a few skirmishes with few serious casualties, thanks to their natural resilience. Combat as competition is more common in the Scarsfell than the Gnarls or Thornwood, and the Scarsfell trollkin joining Borka Kegslayer often find their combative nature met with hostility by the southern kriels.

The traditional emphasis on close combat has served the trollkin well, as it plays into their strength and endurance. Many martial traditions are born from the kriels, like the Fennblades of Fenn Marsh and the long riders of the Khadoran plains. However, some, like Madrak Ironhide, have seen a need for modern weapons. In the past, Cygnar and Ord would sell surplus weapons to the trollkin, and Cygnar considered them nominal citizens. However, their motive in arms dealing was to have the trollkin serve as a buffer against their foes. These arms sales have been suspended now due to hostilities, but that hasn't stopped the trollkin from using the black market. Several trollkin have served in human armies, especially those raised in cities, and some of them have brought military experience to the kriels. Their methods are not traditional, but their tactics have been very useful. Even the most hardened trollkin veteran can benefit from professional training, as they often lack the discipline to maintain order in large engagements.

Despite the ongoing frustrations of ex-military trollkin, their efforts are paying off. Many younger trollkin embrace modern weapons, and with training and drilling, they're as good as any soldiers. The inherent strength and courage of the trollkin serves them well, and these modern tactics alongside the trolls and dire trolls may well save the race. One major source of professional soldiers has come from the unmated but mature trollkin known as shen, whose tendency to violence and lack of societal role could otherwise cause trouble. Traditionally, they are encouraged to leave their kiths and band together as trollshen, groups of 5 to 20 males of various ages. They also arise among refugees who band together for protection, as they often turn to banditry or mercenary work to survive. With the right guidance, their recklessness can be useful.

Pygs have existed on the fringes of society forever, often seen as useless in battle due to their capriciousness and lack of interest in craftwork. However, this has changed. Pygs are just as resolute as trollkin, given weapons suited to their natures. They have a lower tolerance for drills and discipline, but that can be worked with. Dire trolls also tolerate them for some reason, which is exploited well in combat. Pygs are naturally skilled with firearms and tend towards thrill-seeking, so they're often seen in modern warbands.

Not all trollblood forces are warriors, either. Shamans are increasingly seen aiding the warbands with Dhunia's power as well as advising their communities. Their presence inspires trollkin as a sign that Dhunia supports them, and many shamans are powerful warriors, too, like Borka Kegslayer. Sorcerers are also respected by the trollkin for their strength in battle, and many recent warlocks have been born sorcerers, calling on their natural connection to Caen's magic. Many sorcerers become runebearers, able to turn stone against their foes and call on history as a weapon. After all, trollkin history is written in stone, and with proper reverance, these stones can be used to harm foes and bless allies. Krielstones are now brought to war, along with the scribes that record the events of battle on them.

The thing that scares other forces most, though, is the presence of trolls. Many kriels think of trolls as part of their communities, making special weapons, armor and clothes for them. Trolls get easier access to food from all this, offering their strength in return. Dire trolls are more recent allies, and even the kriels think they're dangerous and untamed at best. Dire trolls are capable of immense ferocity and are never more than a tiny step away from violent frenzy. Pygs calm them, but even then they're unpredictable. Feeding trolls and dire trolls is a big problem - they eat massive amounts of food, and when hungry, they grow aggressive and violent, often eating anything nearby. Trolls that live closely with trollkin do so less often, but any troll can snap.

Thus, any warband needs skinners and hunters to keep the trolls sated. Even the best-supplied kriels can't perfectly feed trolls, and some shamans claim their hunger is the cost of Dhunia's gift of regeneration. Any troll on the battlefield is likely to be fighting as much to eat as to help the trollkin. Maintaining supply lines is hard, with so many disparate kriels, and that is why so much is invested in defending the Gnarls, where many kriels live close to each other. Those far afield must hope for generosity from the local trollkin or to start raiding and hunting. Despite all these challenges, trollkin warbands are increasingly becoming a cohesive and potent army. The trollbloods excel at endurance above all else, and they know that they must fight if they will survive.



All trollkin warlocks have magical skill, but their power comes from their ability to command the trolls. They have a deep connection to their kin, which many believe draws on Dhunia's own power, making them more than leaders - they are hands of the goddess. Most trollkin warlocks are either born sorcerers or Dhunian shamans. Sorcerers are easy to spot - they're usually small and albino. They are highly valued, though, for their skills. Most sorcerers do not become warlocks, as the ability to command trolls is rarer and needs the right inclination. Shamans can be found everywhere, as the trollkin are deeply spiritual, and those that become warlocks are particularly honored. They tend to tap into Dhunia's destructive aspects rather than her fertility and seasonal power. A few try to balance both sides of her nature, but most shamans focus on one or another. Warlocks tend to be leaders and chiefs, and they often struggle for control in the united kriels due to their varying ideas and traditions. How to deal with humans is one of the big points of contention. Some say the trollkin should fight only to gain their promised homeland and protect it, while others are sick of human lies and want to use any means necessary to carve out their own nation.





Grim Angus is a grizzled trollkin, a widely traveled bounty hunter and tracker. The mere rumor that he's on an outlaw's trail is often enough to get them to surrender or seek protection. He has turned his skills and immense rifle to the defense of his people now. He learned to hunt in the Wythmoor swamps of Ord. While an albino, he has forgone sorcery in favor of tracking and hunting, traveling the world. After exploring Ord and Khador, he began bounty hunting for a living, getting a thrill from hunting humans more than he ever had protecting them as a mercenary. He loves terrorizing his quarries. He's more drawn by the chance to test himself than the money, however, and eventually he grew tired of just taking out humanity's trash. They were cowards, and he found himself seeking out risk. He headed back home, only to discover the nearby Thornwood overrun by war, sending refugees to his homeland. The Tharn besieged his kriel, and many trollkin died. The stories he heard gave him new purpose, and he began to fight for the united kriels. He prefers to snipe with his custom rifle, Headhunter, then attack with overwhelming force. When the enemy is surrounded, he captures those that might be useful and kills the rest. His methodic nature is cold and calculating, but he's a master of the hunt, and he has no time for doubt. He will kill the enemies of the trollbloods, one bullet at a time. His gimmick is sniping, his feat debuffs foes with net traps.

Next time: Angry blue people

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 00:12 on Jul 28, 2015

The Iron Rose
May 12, 2012

Cat Army


Kai Tave posted:


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?


Man I really want to run a campaign with a ostensibly on the up and up noble aristocracy that's actually hideously corrupt and authoritarian in all sorts of subtle ways.

I mean I realize the genre lends itself more to black and white morality but goddamn does this plot concept practically exude an air of "this could be totally super hosed up if ever misused."

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





The Iron Rose posted:

Man I really want to run a campaign with a ostensibly on the up and up noble aristocracy that's actually hideously corrupt and authoritarian in all sorts of subtle ways.

I mean I realize the genre lends itself more to black and white morality but goddamn does this plot concept practically exude an air of "this could be totally super hosed up if ever misused."
This idea has probably been had by the majority of people who have read the Blue Rose book and I believe it is at the point where playing the tropes straight would be the more interesting change of pace.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



The Iron Rose posted:

Man I really want to run a campaign with a ostensibly on the up and up noble aristocracy that's actually hideously corrupt and authoritarian in all sorts of subtle ways.

I mean I realize the genre lends itself more to black and white morality but goddamn does this plot concept practically exude an air of "this could be totally super hosed up if ever misused."

Have I got the game for you! It's called Houses of the Blooded and it has been FnF'd right here by jadarx and yours truly.

it is also kind of terrible

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



Nessus posted:

This idea has probably been had by the majority of people who have read the Blue Rose book and I believe it is at the point where playing the tropes straight would be the more interesting change of pace.

Yeah, it's good to have an awareness that in the real world such a system would invariably become corrupted somewhere along the line, but there is really nothing wrong with wanting to play a game where it isn't (yet).

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





LornMarkus posted:

Yeah, it's good to have an awareness that in the real world such a system would invariably become corrupted somewhere along the line, but there is really nothing wrong with wanting to play a game where it isn't (yet).
The hypothetical prospect of Aldis being undermined despite the best efforts of man, woman and deer does seem like a good dramatic point, makes the PCs important and all that. Or pulling things back from the brink if it does go over.

But you could also just have adventures there or some poo poo, man, not everything needs to remind you that Nixon lied and LBJ sent kids to die in the 'Nam. If we don't imagine that anything could be better, even in a hypothetical deer game, then perhaps they've won. This is really more about geek cynicism than anything, of course.

On the topic of Nixon, has anyone done Freebase? (I found my copy of Nightbane so I"ll pick that up again soon)

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

The Iron Rose posted:

Man I really want to run a campaign with a ostensibly on the up and up noble aristocracy that's actually hideously corrupt and authoritarian in all sorts of subtle ways.

I mean I realize the genre lends itself more to black and white morality but goddamn does this plot concept practically exude an air of "this could be totally super hosed up if ever misused."

The thing is, and I say this not to dissuade you from doing this, I find that it's far, far more common for tabletop RPGs to take this exact approach already. Roleplaying games are littered with ostensibly good organizations which turn out to be terrible and evil and corrupt, their goodness nothing but a facade, to the point where it feels like a lot of gamers simply can't accept the idea of anything being genuinely noble and decent without trying to invert it and make everything cynical and grimdark. To borrow an example from JRPGs "The church...is secretly evil! And also god is the final boss" is such a cliche by this point that I feel like Blue Rose is more daring and original for presenting a fantasy kingdom that stands for justice and fairness and equality and actually means it.

Speaking of which.



Places To Go and People To Be

One of the big draws in tabletop roleplaying games is the much-touted ability to do whatever your heart and imagination desire. You could run another typical game of Dungeons & Dragons where the players go down into a dark dungeon to kill monsters and steal treasure...or you could decide to start up your very own thieves' guild, start up a traveling band that solves mysteries, or go into the mustard smuggling business. The possibilities are endless.

In practice it helps when a game provides a quick and easy framing device for wrangling a group of player-characters together and providing them with a convenient in-character excuse for going on adventures together, and Blue Rose helpfully does exactly that. Of course some people may be wondering what use there is for a group of fantasy adventurers when Aldis seems to have its poo poo mostly together, but there are plenty of threats facing the Kingdom of the Blue Rose both from within and without, and it takes those with strength, wits, and a stout heart to face these threats in the name of the Light.

And this is exactly what the Sovereign's Finest do for a living. Founded by Queen Allia, Aldis' fifth sovereign, the Sovereign's Finest has since then grown in prominence and scope to form one of the cornerstones upon which the nation relies for its safety and security. Bandits, ancient artifacts and remnants of the Shadow Wars, pirates, raiders from Jarzon or Kern, all of these are frequent threats to Aldis, and so specially trained and royally appointed individuals travel the country, accompany nobles, and patrol the borders of the kingdom to provide defense, advice, and other assistance where and when it's needed most. Healers, couriers, scouts, rangers, adepts, and the rhy-bonded can all be found within their ranks. They are Blue Rose's Harpers, Aldis' version of Firewall, an organization tailor-made to give GMs a ready-made reason for why the player-characters happen to be traveling and working together with a mandate broad enough to encompass a variety of potential adventures.

Befitting that purpose, the Sovereign's Finest usually operate in teams of three to six and are welcomed in most communities in Aldis. Members are formally known as envoys and their highest allegiance is to the sovereign themselves. Depending on who the current sovereign is the organization may be referred to as the King's or Queen's Finest, but the book simply sticks with Sovereign's Finest when discussing it. In isolated parts of the kingdom, of which there are plenty, a team of envoys may be the locals' primary access to news, martial aid, and magical healing. Mots remote villages don't have the the ability to hunt down bandit gangs or close shadowgates on their own, and when these problems arise such communities are more than happy to welcome aid from the Finest.

We get a sidebar on the director of the Sovereign's Finest, Sharit Ranith. He's not really that interesting to be honest...he started as an envoy when he was 17, worked near the Ice-Binder Mountains for a decade, then transferred to the capital with his team to serve as the sovereign's personal messengers and scouts, he's had 35 years of service overall, and Queen Jaellin has recently appointed him as director. He loves his husband Dalt but some people joke that he's married to his duty, and every now and then he gets nostalgic for some good old fashioned field work and accompanies a team of envoys on a mission to keep in touch and prevent his skills from growing rusty.

At any rate, the director of the Finest assigns the teams to various areas often based on their experience, with veteran teams getting assigned to dangerous patrols such as those near the Veran Marsh or Ice-Binder Mountains, but even newly trained envoys (that's you!) are considered worthy defenders of the kingdom and in troubled times even the least experienced teams can expect to find themselves patrolling untamed portions of the frontier or rooting out bandits and shadowgates. Experienced teams of envoys often have storied and impressive reputations but just wearing the uniform and badges of the Finest is enough to garner respect from most people. Some jaded urbanites and nobles view green recruits with disinterest or even disdain, referring to them as the Sovereign's Lapdogs, but to most of the kingdom's citizens envoys are heroes and while most envoys aren't nobles themselves isolated villages and remote settlements frequently make little distinction between the two.

Envoys even get paid a regular salary for being the kingdom's on-call troubleshooters, but the truth is that envoys have little need for money much of the time...one of the ways that communities pay their taxes is by providing food and lodging to traveling teams of envoys. Of course if the community is going through a rough patch then envoys are expected to pay their way like anyone.

The Hall of Envoys is where the Finest are administered from, out of a building on the grounds of the royal palace, and this is where the director lives along with four assistants pulled from the ranks of the Finest and assigned by the sovereign themselves. They're not just expert administrators but traditionally they're all psychic adepts as well. The Hall is big enough to house multiple teams if they happen to be called to court for whatever reason. Two teams of envoys are permanently attached to the court and handle things like scouting the sovereign's travel routes as well as various problems around the capital. Other teams only visit the court for special training, inquests, reviews, and important mission briefings, and most teams will never visit the capital more than once a year or so. Ordinary briefings and assignments are handed down remotely through psychic communication with the director's staff, and this sort of long-distance direction works because the Finest expects their teams to be largely self-directed. Detailed instructions are handed out in emergency situations, but otherwise teams of envoys are expected to keep themselves busy.

After them we have the Sovereign's Guard who are Aldis' standing army. Aldis does have an army, but it's not as big as it might otherwise be due in part to the Sovereign's Finest handling things like border patrols and bandit hunting. This allows Aldis to maintain a smaller force of well-trained volunteers ready to stand against threats to the kingdom, but on its own it isn't large enough to stand up to a full-fledged invasion or an organized force of darkfiends all on its own. The Guard supplements its numbers by maintaining a number of reserve forces comprised of citizens in good health (men or women, makes no difference) who spend at least one day a month training with weapons and learning woodcraft and other skills, in return for which they receive a modest reduction in taxes and the knowledge that they're ready to help protect the kingdom in times of need. Using psychic arcana the army can call up the majority of its reserves in less than two weeks despite the distance, and while Jarzon and the Lich King of Kern may scorn these reserves when led by officers they can be a formidable fighting force.

The army is also responsible for handling disaster relief efforts. Soldiers stationed in cities are trained to fight fires, and if hurricanes, floods, or other disasters strike then the army mobilizes to rescue people, build shelters, administer medical care, and help repair buildings.

The Knights of the Blue Rose, or simply the Rose Knights, are the elite of the Sovereign's Guard. They're the kingdom's military champions at the forefront of the most dangerous missions, whether it's leading the army in charges against powerful darkfiends or personally spearheading the closing of shadowgates. They also patrol some of the most dangerous parts of the kingdom, such as the Ice-Binder Mountains. Only the most skilled, selfless, and devoted soldiers are chosen to become a part of the Rose Knights, and they receive special training including various arcana useful for combating darkfiends. The most heroic knights are permitted the honor of riding griffons into battle in dire times of need. This could be you (after some leveling up)!


I dunno guys, I'm just not feeling the uniforms. Maybe if you had some giant pauldrons or something.

Then we have Spirit Dancers which, uh, are honestly kind of vague and just sort of appear out of nowhere. In the Old Kingdom the Spirit Dancers were adepts specializing in the meditative arts, masters of mind and body. Maybe like Monks, I guess? I dunno. Their spirit dance is a physical reflection of the Eternal Dance and said to touch upon the divine as they whirl through its steps. Like many adepts of the Old Kingdom most of the Spirit Dancers were wiped out and the survivors corrupted and recruited by the Sorcerer Kings, but some went underground and survived, passing on their lore in the guise of complex folk dances often set to music and they formed part of the core of the resistance, teaching new spirit dancers the skills they needed to overthrow the Sorcerer Kings. So kinda like Jedi? Like I said, the writeup here is distressingly vague and non-specific compared to the other groups we've seen so far.

Spirit Dancers strongly support Aldis and its sovereign, and most of them live in special academies where they perfect their arts, but some are wanderers who freely give their services and teachings to anyone who's ready to receive them, and hey, several of the most famous Spirit Dancers have even joined the Sovereign's Finest which means you can play one too! Just as soon as you figure out what the hell they are (spoiling it now, they're basically Jedi Monks who Dance).


Where the gently caress are my feet?

Bads Big, Bigger, and Biggest

So now you've got a group of characters together and a reason to be roaming all over Aldis righting various wrongs, but now you need some wrong to get righted. Fortunately Blue Rose has you covered there too.

First up are unscrupulous merchants because while shadowspawn and darkfiends might rampage across the land sowing terror and darkness in their wake, you don't see them loving each other over for a percentage now do you? Most of the kingdom's merchants are scrupulous, but those that aren't can cause a great deal of trouble in their quest for greater profits. Sometimes they accidentally poison streams and lakes with the byproducts of mining, smelting, and dye-making operations, and these sorts of problems can go unnoticed until crops begin dying and people and animals begin falling sick. Envoys and independent healers know to watch for this sort of thing. Sometimes the merchants were simply careless or unaware of what they were doing (or, y'know, that's what they say), but just like in real life some merchants understand that not being a huge dick costs both time and money and so they'd rather just let things ride, at least until a noble straight-up orders them to get their poo poo together.

Pollution is one thing, but even more troubling is that some merchants are Shadow-alligned and willing to collude with the forces of darkness, engaging in behavior ranging from mistreating their employees to willingly betraying the kingdom to Kern or Jarzon in exchange for bribes, trade concessions, and promises of future wealth and power. Some of these merchants use their caravans to smuggle information, spies, and dangerous artifacts across the kingdom's borders.

The Noble Council is aware that some members of the Merchant's Council are Shadow-aligned traitors working in secret to undermine the kingdom and assigns envoys to investigate them, but these investigations have to be handled with exceptional care. Relations between the two councils are already touchy, and false accusations could throw everything into turmoil while allowing the actual traitors to continue their dark work unabated. Such investigations can be lengthy, difficult, and potentially quite dangerous if the traitor in question is cunning and ruthless, but if enough evidence can be gathered the investigations culminate in tribunals which often results in the traitors being banished.

On the other side of that particular coin there are also fallen nobles to worry about. The Blue Rose Scepter ensures that all nobles are aligned to the Light...or at least it does when they're first accepted to the position. But since the scepter only works once per person that means that it's all too possible for a noble to slowly stray from the path and give themselves over to the Shadow without anyone being the wiser. Such a fallen noble is an agent of deception, division, and unrest, and while the Noble Council can strip such nobles of their titles if there's sufficient evidence of their misdeeds, this is a rare and serious procedure involving a length hearing.

The worst dangers come from Shadow-aligned regional nobles who can exert their influence over entire swathes of the kingdom. They exploit the labor and goodwill of the people under their jurisdiction but most are generally subtle about this, preferring not to tip their hands in a fit of cackling and mustache-twirling. They gradually twist and corrupt the place they rule and appoint assistants who agree with their policies and are able to maintain a facade of honor and compassion.

Some fallen nobles even seek out sorcerous power because of course they do. Some even do it with good, if misguided, intentions, seeking the power to protect Aldis no matter the cost, but even the best of intentions aren't enough to prevent sorcery from corrupting those who believe that no really, this time they've got it figured out. In some cases nobles are even unwillingly beguiled into Shadow by a sorcerer or evil arcane artifact, and once the source of the affliction is removed then the noble can return to normal.

Lastly, some nobles fall from the Light but don't dedicate themselves to outright evil. The stresses of the job lead some nobles to slip from the Light and become Twilight-aligned, not evil or corrupt but simply sacrificing their ideals for expediency, though most remain ethical even so.

We have a sidebar here about uniforms and insignia and it's really, really boring! I'll give you a hint, practically everyone has some variation on a blue rose or a golden hart. Either way I'm not summarizing nine paragraphs of clothing descriptions, sorry.

Something more interesting are bandits and pirates, who are pretty much what you'd expect. When people think about the Sovereign's Finest they think about them fighting darkfiends and sealing shadowgates, but much of the time their duties consist of dealing with brigands and bandits. Bandits are especially common in lands around the Ice-Binder Mountains where there are plenty of caves, valleys, and ancient ruins for them to make into hideouts, some of which come with complimentary unstable magical artifacts. Some bandits even make their home in the Veran Marsh though few are desperate enough to stay there for long, but those that do are incredibly difficult to pursue through the treacherous environment.

Bandit gangs range from a half-dozen to four dozen well-armed brigands with swift horses. A majority of them citizens of Aldis who've rejected all this lovey-dovey peace and tolerance to prey upon the weak and unsuspecting. Some are soldiers and refugees from Kern or Jarzon just doing what they do best. While there are plenty of grisly tales of bandits putting entire villages to the sword or selling the residents into slavery these incidents are fortunately the exception rather than the rule...most bandits are more interested in plundering whatever food, coin, and valuables they can find than they are in slaughter for slaughter's sake.

And because Aldis has a wealth of seaports they also have pirates, with the Scatterstar Archipelago having more pirate problems than most. They harbor in hidden coves and inlets, sailing out to plunder merchant ships before returning to nurse their wounds, make repairs to their ships which sometimes number up to a dozen, and load their ill-gotten gains onto small, innocuous-looking merchant vessels to be sold. Some of the most daring pirates hide among the ruins of the sunken city of Falzanoth and spend as much time searching for lost treasures among the ruins as they do attacking ships.

Now here's something you probably weren't expecting...Aldis has its very own clandestine criminal syndicate known as the Silence. In the central valleys of the kingdom bandits are a rarity but unfortunately crime isn't, and it's largely due to the Silence which controls all but the pettiest crime in Aldis' cities. Criminals are expected to pay a portion of their takes to the syndicate, in exchange for which the Silence provides them with fences, hires out bodyguards and assassins, and provides criminals with refuge from the law. All of this is overseen by the mysterious figure known only as the Prince, whose identity is a mystery to all but his (or her) most trusted senior lieutenants and the Barons who manage the syndicate's regional cells. Those criminals who decide they'd rather operate independently or disobey the Prince's orders are slain by his enforcers, a distinctive sigil branded onto their face to let everyone know who was responsible.

The Prince has contact with many of the bandits and pirates on the kingdom's fringes, fencing goods for them and hiring them to attack specific targets, and they also maintain loose ties with Kern, purchasing arcane artifacts and even the occasional darkfiend or unliving creature from the Lich King. Few of the criminals apprehended in Aldis know anything more more to do with the Silence than a local representative, but both local law enforcement and the Sovereign's Finest continually work to dismantle the syndicate. Sometimes they manage to snare a Baron, but as of yet they've been unable to acquire any concrete evidence of the Prince's location or identity.

Shadow cults are pretty self-explanatory. Worship to do with the Exarchs and the Shadow is expressly forbidden in Aldis, but that doesn't stop secret Shadow cults from occasionally arising and flourishing like weeds before the Sovereign's Finest can discover and disband them. These cults are characterized by blood sacrifices and encouraging the soul's darkest impulses, and both Jarzon and Aldis work tirelessly to stamp them out, though Jarzon frequently accuses Aldis of not rooting them out with sufficient fervor.

The most fearsome cults are those which have access to sorcerous power, capable of summoning darkfiends to do their bidding, and a worst-case scenario for the Sovereign's Finest is a Shadow cult with access to an active shadowgate. But the most insidious of these cults are those which are sponsored by the wealthy or nobles. Some jaded members of Aldis' upper social circles are drawn to the allure of the forbidden and use their wealth and influence to sustain and conceal their cult followers at first for the thrill but then later for fear of discovery (or full-blown corruption).

Shadow Dancers are dark Jedi Monks who dance. Some work for the Lich King, some have their own agenda, but they're all just as vague as their Light side counterparts.

The Unending Circle is another sort of cult, but one that's more concerned with escaping the consequences of their ill-spent lies by opting out of the whole Wheel of Reincarnation business. They're focused on achieving immortality through alchemy or sorcery, while others seek life after death. Most of these schemes end in failure but sometimes, through dark rituals with terrible spiritual costs, they find a way to extend their lives. Some instead dedicate themselves to fulfillment in unlife and seek out the rites for becoming a shadow, vampire, or even a lich.

It's not just people that pose a threat to the kingdom of Aldis. Arcane relics can be found all over the place, dotting the landscape in the aftermath of literal centuries of warfare against depraved Sorcerer Kings. A farmer might inadvertently dig up a necklace which turns the living into zombies or twists their mind and spirit. These sorts of relics don't show up often but they can do so practically anywhere, and while many of them are easy to identify thanks to their esoteric sigils, telltale magical craftsmanship, or sinister glow, the real troublemakers are the ones which look perfectly normal to casual inspection. The obvious ones get reburied or picked up carefully with the longest tongs one can procure and locked in a strongbox until they can be given over to the Sovereign's Finest, and carrying such things to the Royal College for study or discovery is a common duty for envoys.

Of course the problem is a lot of these relics are made from precious materials and so some people are loath to hand them over. These people will often sell or even wear items they find without even determining if it's safe to do so, and the Sovereign's Finest has to clean up the mess. Very rarely their naivete is rewarded and someone lucks into an amulet that makes crops flourish or a figurine that keeps vermin away, but most of the time people aren't so lucky.

Shadowgates have already been covered. Once they were part of an empire-spanning transportation network, now they mostly serve to barf forth darkfiends. Some are active, some are dormant, some open every few days like clockwork while others only open when specific events, like thunderstorms or a new moon, occur. Some are awakened by surges of natural arcana in the land or nearby adepts, which I'm sure is great fun for someone practicing their ESP in the wrong place.

What makes matters difficult is nobody knows where all the shadowgates are located. The Sovereign's Finest are tasked with finding them and substantial rewards are offered for anyone who discovers and reports one, but the Sorcerer Kings cloaked many with illusions to hide them from their ruthless peers and others are located in remote ruins or far underground. Some are also protected by powerful wards and enchantments because nothing can ever be easy. Once a gate is found the Sovereign's Finest and Rose Knights are mobilized to destroy or seal it if at all possible. If it isn't possible then the area is secured behind guards and wards and the location is not revealed to the populace if possible.

The Lich King loves him some shadowgates, but pretty much everyone else in Aldea is on the same page regarding them, even vastly different nations like Aldis and Jarzon. In fact, one of the few things the Finest and Jarzon's Purist priests can agree on is that shadowgates are bad news, and some of them have learned mutual respect and even admiration after working together against the forces of Shadow.


Yeah, this looks safe to use.

And of course there's sorcery which I've already talked a bit about. Aldis is a kingdom with a strong connection to the arcane arts and even it is wary of sorcery for the simple fact that it can corrupt even the most innocent of souls. The most conspicuous forms of sorcery pervert the natural order, summoning darkfiends and creating the unliving or warping people into monstrous forms, but the insidious threat sorcery poses is the subtle ways it can creep into other arcana...an adept who misuses his gifts, pursues power too deeply, and tries to exert control over the world runs the same risk that Anwaren did of falling into corruption and madness.

It happens even with the best advice and wisest of teachers, a promising adept deciding that they're the one who can succeed where others have failed. Or maybe they thirst for power and revenge. Perhaps they're simply experimenting, pushing the limits of their power and they wind up pushing too hard. To Aldins sorcerers are to be pitied for their fall from grace but they're also feared for their power, and while Aldin healers and the Sovereign's Finest prefer to treat and redeem sorcerers when they can, the safety of the kingdom comes first. Jarzon doesn't even bother with treating or redeeming, and sorcerers can expect an abrupt and fiery end once they've been found out.

Almost a century ago King Rannath ruled that the study of sorcery was no longer a crime in Aldis, stating that it was not sorcerous knowledge but its use which constituted a crime. This decision heightened tensions between Aldis and Jarzon and has allowed some sorcerers to operate in the kingdom's shadows. Some on the Noble Council are pushing for Jaellin to reverse Rannath's decision and make studying sorcery illegal once more, saying that it creates a needless danger to Aldis, but Jaellin has concerns about banning knowledge and study of any kind. Once one sort of knowledge is declared to be forbidden then what next? This is a hotly contested debate, and even Light-aligned nobles find their tempers flaring when the issue arises.

And with that we're almost through with chapter 1! Just one more update to go (I swear) and then I can turn things over to gradenko_2000 and his breakdown of Blue Rose's actual mechanics.

Next Time: Backpacking across Aldea.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Blue Rose seems like a fantasy take on Star Trek- the government is built on humane foundations and is run by good and noble people, so you're supposed to adventure and explore away from it or fight those who want to undermine it. It's just that they spend so much time talking about the kingdom before getting to the playable stuff that it seems preachy.

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!


Is it still possible to use Shadowgates for their intended purpose, rapid travel? That could open up some neat hooks where criminal groups use active Shadowgates for smuggling, but then one day, whoops, turns out this particular Shadowgate is activated by a virgin smuggling five crates of cocaine during a new moon and oh gently caress we're up to our assholes in zombies. Or player characters maybe having a useful shortcut... but who knows when it'll become a hellmouth instead? Should they report it and take the hard route?

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

This Super Console game seems really cool. Someone should totally run a game of it in PbP. Speaking of which:

Kai Tave posted:

To borrow an example from JRPGs "The church...is secretly evil! And also god is the final boss" is such a cliche by this point that I feel like Blue Rose is more daring and original for presenting a fantasy kingdom that stands for justice and fairness and equality and actually means it.

How would you stat God as a Final Boss in Super Console?

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

The best boss fight with God is DQ7, where God's not evil, he's just Brian Blessed and likes shouting and drinking and a good fight.

Also he comes and hangs around the bar you build in your town afterwards.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


quote:

Now here's something you probably weren't expecting...Aldis has its very own clandestine criminal syndicate known as the Silence. In the central valleys of the kingdom bandits are a rarity but unfortunately crime isn't, and it's largely due to the Silence which controls all but the pettiest crime in Aldis' cities. Criminals are expected to pay a portion of their takes to the syndicate, in exchange for which the Silence provides them with fences, hires out bodyguards and assassins, and provides criminals with refuge from the law. All of this is overseen by the mysterious figure known only as the Prince, whose identity is a mystery to all but his (or her) most trusted senior lieutenants and the Barons who manage the syndicate's regional cells. Those criminals who decide they'd rather operate independently or disobey the Prince's orders are slain by his enforcers, a distinctive sigil branded onto their face to let everyone know who was responsible.

I haven't read any Romantic Fantasy, but I assume The Prince is a Fantomas/Diabolik style handsome rogue and potential love interest?

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

He's mysterious enough to be anything, although he's had to many people assassinated to be a secret good guy.

Bacchante
May 2, 2012

Friends don't let friends do sarcasm.


Fatal, Part 8 (The Continuation): Gender & Race



Yeah.

... yeah.

Look, I'll be honest, you may want to just hit your Page Down key until you're past this one. But, if you're still with me, let's get started. Again.

Really, this game needs no introduction. It's the reason this line of thread even exists. The review of it was cut short due to the game threatening to destroy the sanity of the original writer... that, or they decided that it just wasn't worth it. Maybe it wasn't. The thing for me, though, is that Fatal is too much of a joke. Admittedly that's for good reason; it is an incredibly meme-worthy game. Most of the people I've explained or shown bits of it to think that it is some sort of legendary trolling.

Then I point towards the 901 pages, 981 in the revised version, of work put into it. Along with all of the research which, while not very sanely done, is heavily cited throughout the book. Effort went into crafting this Necronomicon of role playing game tomes. A lot of genuine, heartfelt effort. If that's the right word to use. As such, I feel that this review should be concluded. Mostly because near as I can tell there isn't really an in-depth examination of this game. There should be. Because it's the little touches that can just horrify you.

I'll be continuing on from where my predecessor left off, albeit somewhat intermittently. His posts can be located here.


PG 38, Chapter 2 "Gender"
One of the more notable things about the revised PDF is that it's kind of laid out... oddly. Personally I feel that the original makes more sense in this regard in that it tells you what all of the abilities mean before expecting you to pick your gender and race. Equally interesting is the fact that the original version does actually just tell you to pick your race and gender without providing a random table. When compared to the revised edition this stands out quite a bit as that particular piece of offal seems to have been remade by someone who felt that 3d6 in order wasn't quite hardcore enough and instead encourages you to randomize every single aspect about your character for the purposes of 'realism'.

"Though sex usually refers to biological differences and gender usually refers to environmental differences, gender is chosen for this chapter because sex may be confused with sexual acts."

Let's start with this little footnote. I am actually a little surprised that it bothers to make this distinction. It's a pleasant surprise, actually, since this game is not known to be particularly friendly to anyone who isn't a heterosexual male. Yet another difference between the editions is the reversal of Gender and Race. The old one puts Gender first and the new second. This is a change I would agree with as picking what species you want to be is probably more important than the dangly bits or lack thereof.

The gender differences table is about what you expect; although I'll note that in the revision it was changed to a percentage increase as opposed to flat. Men are supposedly more fit, stronger, less attractive. In the new version they also have less pretty faces. Then there’s an increase in mathematical and spatial processing abilities which some cursory investigation tells me is still a hotly disputed topic. Men also possess more ‘Drive’ than women, according to Fatal, and lower intuition and reflection. Finally, men are more Choleric and less Sanguine… whatever that translates to in sane terms.

For the moment let’s ignore the general idiocy of having universal stat modifiers for gender. I’ll get to that. Let’s look at this from a purely mechanical point of view. Or, rather, the point of view of a sneaky munchkin min-maxer, as it were. In the old version the sum of the ability modifiers for men is positive fourteen. Opposing this is the sum of the female ability modifiers which is, obviously, a negative fourteen.

The revision changes to percentages, so it’s a little trickier to figure out the overall benefit. But considering that the male negatives are a negative two, three, four and five percent whereas the bonuses are two, three twice, five and thirty percent… yeah.

I’ll come right out and say it; Playing a woman in Fatal leaves you at a clear mechanical deficit. Not particularly unexpected. But the sheer scale of it is… rather fascinating. The largest bonus a woman gets is a +5, or a 5%. For men their largest bonii are a +15 in the old and +30% in the new. Then there’s this…

“According to the adjustments above, it may seem as though males are superior, though it is important to understand that there are other instances, such as nurturing, that are not apparent in the adjustments and may become evident and valuable during role-playing.”

This is just plainly not true. Being a male is mechanically superior to a female in every way. Now, there’s no way to take advantage of this superiority as the game provides no system for distributing your statistics other than randomly rolling. But, if we assumed there was one, then you could simply take advantage of the skewed increases to boost your statistics in your, very few, weak areas at the expense of your strengths.

If there were any sort of point allocation system it would be entirely possible to create a statistically superior male character about 75% of the time. That outlier is in the case that the female character somehow maxed the five abilities that she gets bonuses to. In which case the male would have at most ten percent less than her in those abilities, which is not a lot given the ‘mean system’ that Fatal uses, and be able to equal her in at least ten other abilities, then beat her in five himself.

These numbers may appear to be superficially balanced. I have no doubt that the logic I’ve just presented was how the creator assured himself the system was balanced. However, due to the highly skewed numbers in favour of the men the male will, in practice, be able to outstrip his female counterpart in more of his abilities than he will equal her, be even to her in all the rest and, finally, only be inferior in five occasions.

But that’s quite enough thought put into that. I’ll just note that the following line is absent from the revised edition and move on.

“The shift in range represents masses of characters better than extreme instances. For instance, the highest measured Intelligence is that of a female, though by large numbers females tend to score slightly lower than males in Intelligence. In this case, shifting the range lower for females also prevents the possibility of a female possessing the highest Intelligence. This is an unfortunate limitation.”


PG. 40, "Race"
Now we hit the other snag that I glossed over earlier. Those gender modifiers are identical for every race. Which means that every single species available to play in the Fatal verse apparently has a patriarchal society structure with identical sexual dimorphism. That’s just the start of the issues with this section.

Putting aside the previously-stated obsession with the revised rules and rolling randomly for literally everything about your character we have what would be your first real warning sign if this were a published product.

Well, no, the first real warning sign would probably be the introduction, or the cover, or the ominous latin chanting that fills your hearing whenever you’re facing the book. From a roleplaying standpoint, however? This is it. Namely; Disposition and Temperament modifiers. For those unaware, the former is the attempt at having a Good/Evil and Law/Chaos axis without getting sued by Wizards of the Cost and the latter is the stat that tells you the personality of your character.

We’ll, uh, get to that.

Interestingly, the sum of sub-ability modifiers for the races appears to come out even as well. That said, the best race is still probably the Anakim. You get one to ten random traits chosen from a random table. This is one case of the random realism obsession that actually exists in the original. There are the expected cosmetic options and a few negative options and, of course, the sex related options. But then there’s stuff like this:

“33 The anakim is only harmed by special weapons. Consult with the MM.”

“54 The anakim has gills on the side of their neck, allowing them to breathe underwater.”

“56-59 The anakim has skin that reduces damage due to fire/cold/electricity/corrosion by 50%. The skin does not seem abnormal when examined.”

“68 The anakim has a wingspan of 2d8 feet. They are able to fly if the wingspan exceeds 10 feet. Consult the MM for specifics.”

“76-86 The anakim is able to cast Call Fog/Call Maggots/Bestow Virus/Force Rancor/Force Scream/Force Slumber/Acidic Touch/Frosty Touch/Seal Orifice/Detect Magic/Determine Magic once per day. No chant, ingredient, or ritual is necessary.”

“87 The anakim has barbed skin. All who make forceful contact with the skin of this anakim suffer an additional 1 LP of damage.”

“100 The anakim has 1% immunity to magic per occupational level.”


And that’s all from the original. The revised edition has most of those, albeit more spread out, but also options for reading the thoughts of animals, dissolving water at 1d10 cubic feet per round on touch, turning rocks into silver once a week, farting as loud as thunder to stun enemies, secreting acid from its fingernails, a random bonus to all sub-abilities for a given ability, +50% to brawling damage, immunity to non-magical weapons, telekinesis and fire breath.

Rolling luckily can get you up to ten of these pick-and-mix powers. A lot of the negative ones appear to have been cut in the revised edition as well along with the cosmetic options that were essentially blank spots. Some options, like smelling perpetually of poo poo, have no associated mechanical penalties either. All in all it’s pretty much a guaranteed positive.

There are some benefits owned by other races.

Bugbears are pretty much worthless.

Dwarves don’t suffer aging penalties and can shapeshift with an increasing duration based on age at the cost of instantly dying when exposed to sunlight.

Black dwarves are, predictably, notably evil. One of their lines notes “It is rumored that their race was born as a result of the sorcerous combination of humans and maggots.” It’s pretty hard to imagine that isn’t some form of racism given the later magic items that I’m sure we all know about. Brown Dwarves leave their mothers in young adulthood and find a human family to serve or torment. Could be socially commentary, could be stupidity but it seems to be equating dwarves with legends of brownies and other helpful fairies. Unsurprisingly the White Dwarves are universally more ethical and moral.

Hardly seems required to comment when the game does it for me but, buried in the middle of their info block, is the comment that dwarves are differentiated only by garment colour and not skin colour. Uh-huh. Sure they are, Fatal. Sure they are.

Elves are less Tolkien and more, again, tiny fey. Dark elves immoral, light elves moral, dark elves black, light elves white, I’m sure you see the pattern. For some reason it notes they’re universally vegetarian and fart 3d10 times per day as a result? Elves also have lifespans based on the size of their home forest and, again, can shapeshift. However, they also get weaker the further they get from their home forest. This, of course, makes them worthless to players unless the entire campaign is based around your homeland.

Then there’s the racial differences.

“Dark elves are immoral and ugly. Nonetheless, they are incredibly fertile and are always trying to mate. Few children are born.”

Because that makes sense. The revised version adds an extra note that because they’re unattractive and lecherous they consistently use magic for seduction. I’ll take a moment to note that I’ve not been mentioning the, uh, ‘art’ in the revised version. That’s because it’s pretty much all just unrelated pornographic images. That’s rather noticeable here as there’s a picture of what I assume is meant to be a Dark Elf orgy but all the women are notably attractive because… magic, I guess.

Of course, the White Elves-uh, I mean, the ‘Light’ Elves are incredibly beautiful. A better-written game would let you ignore this but with its track record it’s pretty clear this is meant to be intentional. Apparently humans commonly kidnap elven maidens to attempt to force ‘marriage’. Of course. Marriage. That is obviously what a Fatal human would do. Notably, the only repercussion for this is that if the female perceives herself to be slighted, exact words, she will punish her kidnapper ‘harshly’ by ‘playing mischievous tricks’.

Humans get a single page. Bog-standard fantasy stuff. Totally average, no bonuses, no penalties and no noted skin-colour variations. It’s the little things that count, really.

Kobolds. Short, greedy, lazy and fire resistant. No mention on whether or not they have unusually large noses but we can probably assume that was intended without too much fuss. They steal silver whenever possible and enslave everyone they can. No special abilities.

Ogres next! For some reason there are four kinds. Base ogre, cliff ogre, gruagach ogre and kinder-fresser. The firstmost is large, hairy, tan, strong, dumb. Pretty much what you’d expect. They apparently abandon their kids at birth which makes them the smarter kind of ogre given the very next variety, cliff ogres, devour their parents when they get too old. Grugach are fat, lazy, and inexplicably the strongest variety of ogre. Finally, kinder-fresser pretend to be friendly so they can lure in children and devour them whole. They are a player race.

Finally we have Trolls. A notable trend here is ‘races that are offered to players but are an absolutely horrible choice unless everyone is that race’. Only in the case of Borbytingarna Trolls, the first of three types, the latter qualifier doesn’t even apply. They aren’t petrified by sunlight, at least, but will apparently attempt to kill anything they meet that is not an opposite-gendered troll.

Hill trolls are also not turned to stone by sunlight, always handy in your adventuring species, but have the same note of killing and eating everything that isn’t a potential gently caress buddy. They also particularly love eating humans. Yum yum. Sounds like a great time to play; I think I’ll roll one up as a Paladin.

Finally, subterranean trolls. These ones are almost interesting in that they were driven underground due to an apparent hatred of loud noises and sometimes like humans. The females are also apparently beautiful redheads? It quickly returns to form with the usual ‘hates everything, kill and eat’ nonsense.

Second to last in this chapter is the Racial Hatred chart. Let me sum it up; “All these races hate pretty much everyone else that isn't one of their own kind so building a varied party is almost impossible.” It looks like humans are at least indifferent to white dwarves, brown dwarves and white elves.

Last, and absolutely least, we have racial slurs. This is obviously incredibly important. Apparently humans are the only people with racial slurs for Anakim and at least one of them is basically a stealth compliment.

Pages Done: 64/901

And that was Gender and Race for Fatal. Closing thoughts? Stupid. Really, really stupid. The game design obviously favours playing a party of all one particular race and the best race is also plainly obvious. The penalties to Dispositions for a majority of these races means that even if you did find them interesting you couldn't run one without special dispensation to ignore that stupid rule.

A number of races are also unplayable in any sort of epic fantasy campaign. Dwarves all instantly die in sunlight and elves can’t stray any real distance beyond their forests. Ogres and Trolls are all pretty horrific, as are Kobolds. Rather tellingly the overall standard for whether or not a species is considered ‘good’ is whether or not they’re beautiful and/or like humanity. Which is odd, given how piss-poor of a choice being human is. Not that there necessarily is one.

The revised edition seems to have an odd fixation with not letting you choose anything about your character. It suggests that the Aedile, because every game needs a pointless name for its GM, might want to allow you to pick your species but then chastises you for wanting it by saying how ‘realistic’ it is to not do so. Considering the literally magical creatures available to you I don’t think realism is that much of a sticking point.

Next up: Body roll for anal circumference

Bacchante fucked around with this message at 13:08 on Jul 28, 2015

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



chaos rhames posted:

He's mysterious enough to be anything, although he's had to many people assassinated to be a secret good guy.

On the other hand, he might be a well-intentioned extremist who can be convinced of the error of his ways and brought back to the side of Light, in which case he probably is a handsome, charming rogue and a potential love interest.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I'm glad that Blue Rose specifically sets up my favorite RPG pick up plot, The Jordy Verrill. Nothing beats going into town only to find the local farmer found a gold ring while plowing and gave it to her wife and now we're covered in ghosts and nonsense.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Hordes: Trollbloods



Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia is Epic Doomshaper. He is immensely potent. He's spent a century gaining power, and he is feared and respected by many. He is a force of nature, incomprehensible but unstoppable, to be appeased rather than persuaded. Even as many trollkin flock to his side to hear his violent rhetoric, he is focused on a deeper goal. Being a war shaman is not enough - he wants to seek the depths of Dhunia's power, studying the Molgur before deciding to delve into dire troll consciousness. He unshackled his mind of restraint, merging with the dire trolls and living among them as a god. He has found power no other shaman knows, proving himself in a ritual witnessed by the most ancient dire trolls. He cut off his own hand and regenerated it in seconds, where it would take any other trollkin months. He has unlockedi mmense power and understanding of warbeasts, giving him unprecedented influence over his foes, even beyond the blood of trolls, to steal the essence of other beasts. His mastery of natural lore rivals even the Circle Orboros. In fact, he was so focused on gaining this power that he did not anticipate betrayal. A conspiracy in the Gnarls left him for Cygnar to cement a truce, and his capture and imprisonment have unleashed his full rage. No prison could hold him when the dire trolls could hear his call. Since regaining his freedom, nothing stops his wrath. His gimmick is messing with warbeasts, friendly and enemy. His feat buffs his warbeasts' speed.



Captain Gunnbjorn was born in Ceryl, growing up in the Cygnaran city. His father, once a warlock, had allowed his power to fade from drunkenness and isolation. As a youth, Gunnbjorn never met full-blood trolls, and he was convinced tales of the wild warlocks were but myths. He was disgusted by his tribe's poverty and rejected the trollkin. He embraced humanity, enlisting as a trencher. Trollkin are not common in the Cygnarna Army, but they are never turned away. He rose to officer rank, earning respect for his tactics and planning, helping to rally the trenchers after the fall of Northguard. Throughout his career, however, he noticed the trollkin refugees fleeing the Thornwood and other regions. When he was ordered to oversee the displacement of a kriel near Point Bourne, he resolved to do his duty. An elder refused to leave his hut, and Gunnbjorn got into an argument and struck him to the ground, but the elder's stare shook him to the core. The soldiers set fire to the village before he could respond, and he could only watch as the trollkin were dragged out and pushed to the road. Reeling, he left his company to head home to Ceryl and seek guidance. He wanted to beg his father's forgiveness, but the man had died months before. The elders sent him to Madrak Ironhide, and the chance to put his training to a noble purpose appealed to Gunnbjorn. As he reached Crael Valley, wherE Ironhood and the Thornwood refugees gathered, Gunnbjorn felt his blood rising. Not only was he welcomed, but he felt an imemdiate connection to the trolls there. He knelt before Ironhide, who welcomed him back as a young warlock. Since then, Gunnbjorn has used every moment to help the trollkin, learing to control the trolls and train the trollkin and pygs as soldiers. He was away recruiting when Cygnar attacked Crael Valley, forcing the defenders to flee to the Gnarls, and he regrets that he was not there to fight, but he believes he has a longterm solution. His time in Cygnar has convinced him that the trollbloods must become a true nation with a true army, and he will see that happen. His gimmick is artillery fire and sniping, and his feat protects his allies from explosions and knockdown.



Madrak Ironhide, World Ender is Epic Madrak. When he first took up the axe Rathrok, he knew he'd taken a grim path, for it was cursed. Now, he fears the worst superstitions about it may be true. He hasn't given up hope, but he is haunted by tragedy. For a time, he was concerned only with his people's fate. In recent months, however, he's had more personal problems to worry about as well. As he used Rathrok, something awakened within it. Foul weather follows him now, and he suffers visions he knows are false. He sees corpses aorund him and the banners of forgotten tribes. Marks of war appear to him, and his blood longs for battle. His power brings him victory but not peace. He does not enjoy the caress of his mate or the sight of young trollkin. He sees signs of conflict everywhere and feels an ancient blood thirst. The warriors gathering around him now are darker, fiercer, more eager to kill and die. Friends that once trusted him are uncertain and fearful. He has tried to rid himself of Rathrok, but he cannot put it aside. It appears in his hand when battle comes, and even the best smiths cannot even harm the leather bindings on it. It has a job to do, and even death may not free him from it. He has begun to believe that his visions and impulses are a son of Horfar Grimmr reaching through the axe from beyond to influence him. If that is so, how much has he been influenced? His followers still shout his praises, but others speak warnings of him. Many are afraid of the storms that follow him, and it is he, not his axe, that is now known as the World Ender. His gimmick is combat buffs and having people die for him, and his feat lets his allies attack an extra time.



Borka Kegslayer is never without his Keg Carrier. He is a legend of the north, his wanderlust driving him from kriel to kriel with a loyal warband of rowdy trolls and trollkin. He is uncouth, even savage, like an ancient chief. At every battle, he leads his warband in drinking before the fight, then charges into the fray, surviving no matter what the odds and often winning by beating people to death. While he is a Dhunian shaman, he is nothing like the elders normally associated with shamanism. When Dhunia called him, he embraced strife and the great crushing the weak to carve immortality on the krielstones. He has no patience for diplomacy or compromise, and the only change he's had over the years is embracing the kith of many kriels, not just his own. He believes it is the responsibility of every shaman to ensure the survival and prosperity of the trollkin, and he has sex as much as possible to do so, having many offpsring. Rearing the young is not his job, nor that of any shaman, male or female, so he leaves it to their kith. Many of them have joined him in battle now. He is an absent0minded but enthusiastic mentor, though he tries not to form attachments to his fellow warriors. They die too often. He mourns them but briefly before moving on. He gained infamy after the humans known as the Ruscar slaughted many kriels. Borka and some warriors went to the Rimeshaws for revenge, calling forth the secluded winter trolls to help. The Ruscar gathered in ambush, but Borka and his warband swore vengeance and drank themselves into a mad frenzy, where they marched into the ambush and fought with massive fury. Several died, but the rest fought like berserkers.

When the battle was over, only two dozen trollkin had died to slay three hundred Ruscar. Borka then led his followers on the Ruscar villagers, routing them and driving them out. Never again did they threaten the kriels. Borka's reputation grew as he faced terrible odds over and over, always winning. He fought the Vorgol, the Vindol and even the Nyss. He freed an entire tribe of pygs from Galtor kriel, and they now serve him loyally, carrying his kegs in battle. He was initially displeased about the united kriels, considering unity to potentially weaken the trollkin, instead of strengthening them. He dislikes the Scarsfell elders and their attempts to manipulate, and so he chooses not to leave the trollkin in their hands - they won't fight for themselves. The elders dislike his influence over the young. And so it was unexpected when he joined Madrak Ironhide, as the two have usually been at odds, almost fighting several times. They have settled their differences, mostly - Ironhide fights at the front, and Borka respects that. The plight of the Thornwood also appeals to his better nature and his drive to fight on the losing side and still win. He can smell the doom on Ironhide, but he itches to be part of the war, to leave his mark. He believes the south can benefit from his virility, and he wants to help repopulate the Thornwood. His warband always follows, bringing chaos, revelry and destruction. His gimmick is buffs and drunkenness, and his feat boosts allied movement and power attacks.



Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood is a revered protector shaman. She is a beacon of hope and optimism, despite her ferocity in battle, which often shocks the refugees she helps and guides. Her maternal drive compels her to strike without mercy at those who would harm the trollkin she protects. She is more than just a shaman, as she possessed the true sight, able to sense the future by divination. She knows many ancient forms of augury, feeling each has merit. She might cast bones or runes, shuffle cards, check celestial alignments, watch the flight of birds, gaze into fire or read the entrails of her foes. All contain glimpses of the truth. She is determined to guide the trollkin through this time of chaos, helping find the best future. She rejects the grim omens of Madrak Ironhide and Hoarluk Doomshaper, joining the united kriels to lend her vision and leadership. She has pulled allies from the brink of defeat often enough that her followers don't think she's naive any more. They have faith in her. Though she made her name in the Glimmerwood, she is a wanderer who rarely stays in one place, which she considers a failing. She is welcomed wherever she goes, and she's never alone - she has an odd but dedicated band of followers, drawn to her for many reasons, who will fight to defend her. They are quite skilled, especially backed by her fate manipulation and luck magic. Her reliance on luck rubs some trollkin the wrong way, particularly Grissel Bloodsong, but others see it as proof that hope has its own power. Her gimmick is luck magic and her feat allows rerolls of low dice.



The warbeasts of the trollkin are not just beasts to be broken - hell, calling trolls beasts is hardly appropriate. They are blood relatives of the trollkin, willing fighters whom warlocks only sacrifice when they have no choice. They are very resilient, regenrating from wounds that would kill anything else, so they last a long time in combat. They also have very long lifespans, assuming no violent death, easily able to outlive their trollkin masters. While all trolls are related by blood, their adaptability allows for many subspecies. All are brutish and temperamental, but most fullblood trolls are smart enough to use weapons and speak Molgur-Trul, if not with large vocabularies. The larger trolls are almost always the most fierce, and dire trolls are massive - up to 18 feet tall, with tusks almost two feet long. They are strong, tenacious and exceptionally hungry at all times. They aren't so smart and until recently were believed too savage to even approach. Troll adaptability is also seen in their ties to natural elements, like cold, earth and fire. Trolls of these types dwell in secluded regions and their nature often has much to do with their environment and unusual diet. Winter trolls of the north can breathe ice, and pyre trolls can spew flame due to their consumption of oil in the Bloodstone Marches, while slag trolls eat stone and metal, evolving potent stomach acid that they can spew forth.



Next time: TROLL IN THE DUNGEONS

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Ratpick posted:

How would you stat God as a Final Boss in Super Console?
He doesn't even need stats if you've got a chainsaw!

Mr. Maltose posted:

I'm glad that Blue Rose specifically sets up my favorite RPG pick up plot, The Jordy Verrill. Nothing beats going into town only to find the local farmer found a gold ring while plowing and gave it to her wife and now we're covered in ghosts and nonsense.
That's called Verrill luck, and you spell it H-A-R-T.

Traveller posted:

Have I got the game for you! It's called Houses of the Blooded and it has been FnF'd right here by jadarx and yours truly.

it is also kind of terrible
I was reading the F&F of the "Blood and Honor" spinoff last night, and I have to say, I side with Wick on the whole "gently caress ronin" stance. Playing ronin would really require a separate game, and there are already 10,000,000,000 games where you can play a medieval hobo with a sword.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 15:18 on Jul 28, 2015

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Blasphemeral
Jul 26, 2012

Three mongrel men in exchange for a party member? I found that one in the Faustian Bargain Bin.

Hey, everybody. I hope this is the right thread to ask:
Has anyone heard anything about the Mouse Guard second edition that was supposed to come out in February? And then again in April? I've not been able to find any news on it, and while I'm really interested in trying out Mouse Guard, I'm not gonna drop the high-premium to get a first edition handbook just to have second edition come out all new, shiny, and revised right afterward.

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