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

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

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

paradoxGentleman posted:

Could you please elaborate a little? I like GURPS because of the sheer flesibility it promises and the detail and work put in the supplements, but I must admit I have not played it enough to be' sure that it delivers.

Different opinions are good for the brain.

Off the top of my head I think it says a lot about the system that the four main stats are three fighting body stats and a kludge for the entirety of the character's mental attributes, with everything else being advantages and disadvantages. That's deeply weird for a universal system, particularly one with such a clunky combat system.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry
Also figuring skill values was so goddamn annoying with half points and the like.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.

Part IV: The Remaining New Units
Welcome back to this F&F of Freebooter's Fate: Deep Jungle. Last time, you heard about the new units available for the Pirates and Imperial Armada. Today, we'll be talking about the storyline advances and new units for the Goblin Pirates, the Brotherhood, and the sole Mercenary available.

The Goblin Pirates have had a good year. With the Empire's attention elsewhere and more goblins joining the fight against the Hairies, they've been gaining confidence in their plans, seeing some new blood in their ranks, and even permanently taking control of settlements and forts, rather than just raiding them. They're helped by their endless inventiveness – they've got some smart goblins among them, and they're always willing to let rumor do the work for them.

One new Leader is available for the Goblins – Chulo Bolu, a former slave whose owner was a rich merchant. Unlike most Goblins, he's taken to formal human education like a duck to water, and has managed to use these skills to lead a great crew. Possessed of a natural understanding for tactics, as well as noticing how the hairies tend to lose confidence in the face of the Goblin's crazier schemes, he's hoping to lead the Goblins to a new age where they're the ones in charge. Most of them tune him out when he starts talking all big and fancy, but they're impressed with many of his schemes have succeeded – the plan to free one of their fellow Goblins from the Cazador's grasp was his, as well as some other remarkable tactical wonders. Still, he's a young upstart, so most Goblins aren't too keen on following him.


Death-fish!

Chulo Bolu is closer to a Pirate leader than a Goblin – he's fairly brave, skilled in melee and at range thanks to his various weapons, and is pretty good at making sure people follow his orders. In deference to the fact he's a Goblin, his ”sword” is a steel-coated swordfish, and he's still not quite sure how to act. Still, despite the prissy act, he's got one major factor that gets his fellow Goblins to listen to him – his mother.

The first Specialist for the Goblins in this book is Momma Galina. Rightly feared wherever her right hook reaches, she's a terrifying fighter and an even more terrifying cook. She's also Chulo Bolu's mother and, much to his chagrin, incredibly proud of him, taking every opportunity to show his baby pictures to anyone who can see, occasionally employing headlocks to ensure that they're paying attention. In the fiction introducing her, some poor Brotherhood assassin, having seen the danger of a charismatic Goblin, shoots Chulo Bolu. His mother doesn't like that one bit, and after beating him half to death and determining that her son was fine, shows the trapped assassin the baby pictures.


Basically just an overprotective mother. Y'know, with a gun and a propensity for violence.

Momma Galina is incredibly tough, taking a lot of damage to go down. She gets a morale bonus if she's on her son's crew, and – once per game – can switch places with him in a melee they're both in as she charges in to rescue her son. She's decent in close combat, but the real terror is her pistol – converted to fire arrows, rather than those prissy bullets. They fire in a straight line, passing through anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way. She's a drat great option for Goblin crews, and worth hiring even if you're not using Chulo Bolu.

El Charro and Pujamen really love the circus, and due to stupid hairy prejudice, always had trouble getting in. After a failed attempt to dress as children and enter due to having no grown-up there with them, they noticed some acrobats balancing on each other's shoulders. With the help of a long coat, they start imitating one of the hated hairies, with El Charro balancing on Pujamen, and after successfully beating up a few pirates, they saw the potential in the trick. Chulo Bolu saw it as one better, and they're the first spies that the Goblins have ever had, leading several successful infiltration missions.


I love the piggyback model.

As specialists, you've always got to hire them together, but you get two Goblins for the price. They can piggyback on one another, which lets them reload quickly, act as one unit, and – best of all – dismount suddenly and outnumber an opponent in melee. They're pretty much identical in stats, aside from their chosen weapon – Pujamen has the scary knife, while El Charro has the scary club.

Grogg, also known as Senor G, is a big, burly goblin, well-known for both his size and his love of jewelry. Once a servant on a merchant's plantation, he learned all sorts of trade skills there – mostly involving blacksmithing and other household repair skills. When Chulo Bolu's crew was trapped by an Imperial squad in a warehouse with nothing more than assorted junk, he hit upon the idea of taking a barrel and using an old stove to construct some rudimentary armor. The squad, confused by the sounds of hammering, were even more confused when a barrel suddenly appeared. It grew even worse when the barrel turned out to be bulletproof and contained a goblin who was a drat good shot with a pistol. Ever since that day, Chulo Bolu has loved having the burly, gold-chain wearing Goblin as a member of his crew.


Me have low respec' fo' th' lughed stands in me way, innit?

Grogg loves his barrel – it's cover, armor, and a home, all in one. He can close the lid, rendering him into just another harmless barrel, untargetable by ranged combat and usable as cover for other Goblins. While he's not particularly great in melee, he's basically moving cover for the rest of the crew, and his toughness and barrel ensure he's hard to kill even if you can swing at him.

Finally, to make the joke obvious, Chulo Bolu's closing line in the story is, ”I am delighted when a scheme works out.”

The Brotherhood should have struck when the Empire was pushed out of Longfall – instead, they suffered thanks to the sudden loss of information networks, the well-regulated series of kickbacks that they once had, and the sudden changes in the system. Even worse, there's some infighting within them – some members want to take a more moderate view, operating openly, while others have even transformed parts into a far-ranging extortion agency. They've gained some more options here, so let's start with their Leaders.

Dottore is a well-known figure about town – known as Siringa, he's a dealer in medicines and a surgeon of no small skill, plagued by a series of long-running maladies and injuries that have nearly crippled him in his old age. He wears a leg brace, and is working on his masterpiece – Toccasana, a wonder-drug to ease pain, increase vigour, and keep someone going long after they should be dead. It's his life's work, and he sees the Brotherhood as another way to get access to research subjects for it. Much of the introductory story concerns his formulation process and experimentation – including several of the failures, such as Toccasana's unfortunate tendancy to cause a rather painful shock to the system and total paralysis in situations of high stress. The story ends with Fith'Arach, whose obsession with poison he finds disturbing despite the similar nature of their work, picking up some of it and doing that creepy thing where he talks to poison more than people.


The pseudo-Plague Doctor mask works pretty well for the guy.

Dottore is an interesting leader for the Brotherhood – practically useless in combat, he's mostly good at healing wounds, poisoning weapons, and surviving if he's ambushed. Physically weak and with no ranged attack, he's a support leader more than anything else. He can also purchase doses of Toccasana, which can be used to buff his allies, but has a chance of injuring them every round. He can take it himself with no effect, which makes him a little more survivable, but it's not required.

As you might suspect, they gain several new Specialists this time around.

Colpo di Mano is the typical assassin, specializing in striking at night and through thick, obscuring fog. Although we don't learn too much about his character – aside from his obsession with concealment and fog – he's a valuable member of the Brotherhood, used for stealthy assassinations on the streets that no one should observe.


Fun fact – while uploading images for this review, I confused his model for one of the other Brotherhood assassins. They're not exactly distinct in design.

He's got the usual tricks of the basic model Brotherhood specialist – good at concealing himself, better when making a sneak attack, and poisoned knives. He's also got a once-a-game smoke bomb that creates moving concealment – he's immune to any penalties it imposes, and it lasts for a random amount of time, drifting around the battlefield. It makes ranged attacks fairly useless, thanks to blocking LOS, and it really helps to cover their weakness at range.

Adombra is the one the Brotherhood calls when they can't get close to a target. Her introductory fiction details one of her assassinations – the Comandante Esteban Cardoso, a naval inspector, whose presence had offended someone on the island. Here, the fact that no one in the Brotherhood really knows the reason behind half of their missions is made clear – she's got no idea who wants him dead and doesn't care, because her job is simply to be the best long-distance killer they've got. She gets her target, leaves, and that's all we learn about her.


Holy poo poo, this sculpt. I can't even describe how much it annoyed me when I started putting it together. That outfit is goddamn ridiculous.

As a model, she's purely a ranged combatant, using a poisoned crossbow with nearly the range of a arquebus. She's got fast movement, is hard to pin down with ranged attacks thanks to getting a good defensive bonus from terrain, and her crossbow is pretty terrifying – unlike most weapons with its range, which take a complex action to reload, once she's in position, she can fire and reload in a single turn. That, plus the poison, means she's good at getting consistent damage at range – something the Brotherhood usually can't do.

Finally, we get the new Deckhand for the Brotherhood – the Battitore. Rather than being the stealthy murders that we're used to seeing, they're essentially the hired goons of the mafia, part of a growing faction within the Brotherhood that feels the Great Undertaking is a fool's errand and that they'd be better off charging protection money and using their connections for their own advantage. They're hard-hitting in melee, but have no ranged options. A good option to mix in with the Brotherhood's limited options for Deckhands, especially as they're cheaper than Harelequins.


Battitore – note the little masks on the belt.

Finally, we have the sole Mercenary of the book – Fidanzata. The daughter of a prominent merchant, her life was once perfect – she was a celebrated beauty, and more than one handsome teniente in the Armada had fought a duel over her honour. That all came crashing down on her wedding day – searching for her new husband, she overheard her father and new father-in-law arguing over the price he'd been paid for her, and found her new husband in the kitchen, ”instructing” some of the comelier female servants. Something snapped, and she began wandering the streets, disfigured herself, and living out her life on the edges of society. But she'd found a friend in the gutters with her – Longfall's most numerous residents, the rats.



Fidanzata is another animal handler – instead of oncas, she can be hired alongside several swarms of rats. She's decent in melee thanks to poisoned weapons and a general unshakable courage, but her true strength comes from getting hordes of rats into melee with her – the Rat Swarms are individually weak, but quite fast, hard to hit, and can climb with no penalty.

That's it for the new units – next time, several new scenarios, as well as the rules to the first mini-campaign for Freebooter's Fate and my thoughts on this book.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


I'm a huge fan of IOU as a setting, but I've never once considered actually running it using GURPs. Fortunately any reasonably "adjustable" super-hero system works perfectly for the kitchen sink setting. PDQ (via Truth and Justice) is my preference.

However, I will say that IOU does a good job of working the GURPS system as well as it can, providing interesting and amusing advantages and disadvantages. Mundanity is certainly one of my favorites.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

So I was writing a thing on Leviathan: The Tempest up until I got a mixture of burnout and way too drat busy at work. And because work is constantly boring for me, I loaded up my phone with a buttload of nWoD gamebooks and spent a good part of July and this month reading them. I like Promethean a lot, and I got to read some of the other books that give you scenarios, plot hooks, etc.

I ain't here to review none of them, honestly. It was a good idea on paper but it burnt me the gently caress out on nWoD for now, let alone one spread across multiple articles on a RPGnet wiki page. So Leviathan is on hold for now. Anyone wants to pick up where I left off, fine, but I might return to it. Who knows?

Instead, I'm going to talk about a relatively new game I found this year that immediately piqued my interest the moment I saw what inspired it.




This is a banner from the End Transmission Games website and I am unabashedly borrowing it because it's neat and saves me five minutes of work.

PSIONICS: The Next Stage of Human Evolution is a game about teenage psychics on the run from authorities. It was made in 2015 (and apparently Kickstarted) and it was made by End Transmission Games (who brought gamers the incredibly high concept game of S.P.L.I.N.T.E.R. and I mean high concept to mean "a striking and easily communicable idea").

It's set in a world that's ostensibly the same as the one we live in, and it has some rad art that tends to sum up the attitude of the game. Also, the fact that the beginning of this book has a snippet from My Chemical Romance's 'Teenagers' and a snippet of a final hearing review on MKULTRA.



This book has fluff and it's neat fluff and I will not be sharing it or delving too much into it because I feel like this game is worth buying so I'm not gonna share you the fluff. But the overarching story is that there are a group of teens from Bridgewater, NJ who display psychic powers and do the reasonable thing: they make a Youtube video. Which only gets a couple thousand views and most people think it's fake. Unfortunately, the video results in the federal government coming to get them...until most of the agents are killed by a group of cell members belonging to the Zodiac Order, a group of rogue Espers hell-bent on fighting anyone who would exploit fellow Espers. The myriad stories in the book follow the fallout of the rescue and relocation of these teens: the kids living in New York at a drug dealer's crash pad, the one teen who didn't get saved and was taken by the government, other members of the Zodiac Order the teens come in contact with, and a band called Tomorrow's Starlight playing a gig in NYC.


So what is Psionics like?
The introductory section (minus the 'what is a RPG?' bit) lays out the inspirations of the game's genre and what it is and what it isn't. And honestly I'm gonna let the game speak for itself here because the book has a voice and it's a pretty good voice. Or, at least, I like it, and it's good (in my opinion) when a book drops its clinical documentary/expository tone and just shoots straight for you.

So, in addition to those lovely teens you know in high school, your hormones, stuff just sucking and the world being an unjust place, The Man has decided that it's your turn to serve your country and they're not willing to take no for an answer. You have two choices: roll over and accept, or fight back, shut up and keep running.
You should seriously consider doing the latter.

INSPIRATIONS
The game doesn't really have a good name for its genre. It considers something along the lines of "psychopunk" (punk rebellion and psychic abilities) but doesn't really like the name. But, there are four clear inspirations and the inspirations should give you a very good idea what kind of game this is.
Firestarter: Both the book and the movie. Firestarter is about a young, powerful pyrokinetic who got her abilities from her parents who got their abilities from a government drug test involving hallucinogens. Her dad keeps on the run with her until they both get captured and things reach a boiling point under the care of The Shop, a CIA-run group dedicated to experimenting and exploring psychic powers.
What the game takes from Firestarter: the idea that psychic powers have a physical toll on the body of the users and your ability is limited by biological brakes, the idea that the three main umbrella of powers should be Pyrokinesis (fire and ice control), Psychokinesis (mind control) and Telekinesis (moving poo poo with your brain), you can get your powers through heredity or drugs, and the idea that the government is out to get, control and experiment on Espers.

Scanners: Everyone knows Scanners. Heads explode in Scanners. A mentally unstable psychic battles another psychic who is making more of the drug that makes psychics so he can create an army of loyal child psychics. People get shot, heads explode, eyes bleed and there's a business conspiracy to boot.
What the game takes from Scanners: technokinesis, people's heads exploding from psychic powers, business conspiracy to enforce government conspiracy.

Akira: Tetsuo and Kaneda are street thugs in a biker gang in Neo Tokyo 30 years after World War III. Tetsuo gets his psychic abilities unlocked from a government program when they realize he has similar potential to the person responsible for the destruction of Tokyo: Akira. Kaneda tries to spring Tetsuo with the help of anti-gov rebels. All hell breaks loose.
What the game takes from Akira: the actual punk part of psychopunk. Kaneda and Tetsuo are teens and they have teenage emotions and feelings. They rebel, they have grudges, they run with a gang and Tetsuo isn't a stable kid before he gets his powers. It also takes the fact that Espers are transhuman, something much more than a normal man even if they're beholden to the same emotions and thought processes, just with new abilities. It also makes an interesting mention of the fact that the people responsible for the government program may not be the best people...but they're honorable, they're flawed, they're human. Just because the government is after you doesn't mean that they're not still people paid to taze and bag you.

Galerians: Rion wakes up in a hospital with psychic powers. He has been part of a program to create superhumans and they don't want him to leave. But he's not the only kid, and he doesn't have the willpower to keep himself totally in check. Rion needs drugs, and lots of them, to use his abilities and also keep himself from melting down with catastrophic results.
What the game takes from Galerians: Galerians was a videogame and that's pretty important because it put the opportunity to be Charlie McGee from Firestarter, Tetsuo from Akira or Cameron Vale from Scanners in the hands of the player. The nature of the game and ability to play these psychics inspired the developers to make Psionics, period. Also, like Rion, Espers are exposed to a lot of drugs and need drugs. Rion may have superpowers, but they turn him into a junkie to use his powers or stay stable. A lot of Espers end up as junkies too, whether it's caffeine to keep their power up or injecting themselves with stolen government serums to increase their power. Finally, Galerians had what happens when a psychic loses absolute control: they become a walking weapon of death whose powers spiral out of control and kill absolutely everyone around them (and eventually Rion if he doesn't have a drug that stops it). This is triggered by extreme emotional stress and taking too much damage. And there's mechanics for it in Psionics.

Honorable mentions:
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
Push (the movie not based on the book)
Chronicle (the found-footage style movie)

So what does 'Psychopunk' fall into genre-wise?
Science Fiction: absolutely. Science made you this way, and it's not fully explained why. You need More Science to increase your power, and people want to Do Science to you.
But it isn't full Science Fiction because: it's set in the present day (ish) and it's focused more on how these abilities affect our world (which, technically, would fall under Asimov's definition of social science fiction, something he was quite fond of).

Horror/Thriller: Ohhh yeah. Your powers can do some scary poo poo. There are the remnants of old experiments lurking in decommissioned facilities. And, of course, the government is after you.
But it isn't full Horror/Thriller because: you can fight back. You can get away. And you can try and save other people with what you can ddo.

Action: cars will explode, people will die, poo poo will get thrown, SWAT teams will burst through skylights.
But it isn't full Action because: Action is always just a sub-genre, full action would be...weird.

Superheroes: you're not too far off from the X-Men or other heroes on the run from the forces of evil. You're transhumans gifted with abilities beyond normal human grasp.

But it isn't full Superheroes because: running around in a mask and cape will just lure the Feds to you. And it's the 'real' world. You know that joke that the Harry Potter series would be faster and done earlier if the SAS knew about Voldemort? Well, bullets can lay you low, your actions have heavy repercussions, and the world isn't just. Nothing is black and white and your enemies are big, faceless fronts whose (relatively) normal, flawed, human agents you'll come up against. There's rules and stats for fighting a paramedic, doctor or hospital orderly as much as there is for a black-ops mercenary or psychic bear (not a joke).

So, NEXT TIME, let's get into the meat and potatoes of the system. It's not that hard, it's a d6 system, but the sooner we finish that and making characters, the sooner Fabulous Secret Powers will be revealed when we hold aloft that machete your dad bought from home depot to cut up vines and creepers in the back yard and say
I
have
THE POWER!


(yes this is a teenage boy with a neckbeard and longcoat lifting a car with his mind to throw it at the cops. I like to think that the developers both A: have a sense of humor and B: understand teenagers/their audience, to some extent. Also where else am I gonna fit this picture in the review)

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Midjack posted:

This is true in real gunfights. Cops (non-SWAT) typically only have a sidearm, with maybe a long gun in the car. Soldiers typically carry a long gun and sidearm. It's not common for anyone who expects a gunfight to have an arsenal strapped to them; much more likely to have a primary, a backup, and a bunch of ammunition for both.

Actually, most infantry don't even have that. It's typically just an assault rifle or, even more likely these days, an assault carbine (since most military isn't infantry but support guys like truck drivers and radio operators). Sidearms are usually reserved for officers, support weapons personnel (like the SAW gunner, marksman, or shotgunner), vehicle drivers (especially tankers, where a carbine might be too much for the cramped space), pilots or special forces operators (since the pistol will usually be silenced for close quarters).

Even then, the sidearm is used more as a personal defense weapon and isn't given more than two spare magazines. Infantry tend to travel light and need to maximize their weight, so a pistol would be dropped in favor of two or three more magazines for your primary or a belt for the SAW. The U.S. current issue sidearm, the M9, weighs 900 grams empty, while a fully-loaded 30-round STANAG magazine weighs .5 kgs, so you can see why no one would carry it without a good reason.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

Halloween Jack posted:

I've never given Rolemaster more than a glance, so pardon/correct me if the following complaint doesn't apply:

The problem I have with most "tactically detailed" combat rules is that they are rarely very tactical. As in, they don't give you much in the way of choices to make in combat, as opposed in preparation for combat. You can design combat rules where weapons vary in reach, initiative, base damage, critical damage potential, armor penetration ( and specifically against different types of armor), modifiers to parrying (and specifically against different weapons), and so on. However, I notice most combat rulesets make it impractical to change your weapons and armor in the middle of combat.

The result of this is that players will spend a long time reading the books, and consider very carefully what weapons and armor to take with them when they go adventuring. But when fighting breaks out, the optimal "tactic" is to hope you win initiative, then just hack/blast away and hope the other guy drops first. Again, depending on the game, this also holds true for rules about dodging and finding cover, unless your goal is to run away.

I first got a taste of this in Shadowrun (2nd and 3rd editions). When deciding what weapons to take with you, the tradeoff was between stealth and stopping power. Once combat started, the best gun was the one currently in your hand.

On the other hand, D&D 4 has very detailed rules for combat, but none of it is in service to anybody's notion of realism. It's about having tactical choices, sometimes at the expense of physics-engine notions of realism.

I think a better descriptor would be decisive combat rather than tactical. I agree, all the focus on realism such as how long it takes to draw a weapon or don/doff armor means you're pretty much fighting with whatever's on hand, and all these attack tables as a result don't really suggest "I'm going to use a dagger against xyz but a katana against abc!" so much as give the GM lots of thematic and appropriate flavor text for the wounds being inflicted.

What it does seem to do though is make the combat fairly short (in terms of the number of rounds of back-and-forth, perhaps not in practical terms due to table lookups), creates a "this side is winning now" dynamic as soon as one solid hit is inflicted by inflicting a global penalty with a serious injury, and then lets you quickly finish off someone that's wounded.

I could see why the game specifically calls out parrying as something that should be done as a matter of course: the Fighter should be trying his damnedest to not get hit while his partymates try to flank or gang-up on a target. Once you enter that "death spiral", it's hard to climb out short of a really lucky roll because even the damage you're inflicting back at the enemy is going to be limited.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



When I had an idea for Monster Hunter: Dynast Edition (Dragon-blooded Exalted game) I was going to have an NPC sword caddy for the team. "Yes, I think I'll use the reaver daiklave today - red jade, if you please -"

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy
When I was going through HARP's weapons and equipment list I went "a mattock? what's a mattock? and then what's a war mattock?"

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013

A war mattock has more spikes, I think.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Mundanity always bugged me in IOU, because A) somebody always wants to play with the top level and B) it basically puts the fun brakes on for anybody else. It strikes me as a better thing for the occasional NPC, because it makes a character often a one-gag sort of character, so it works somewhat if the character has limited exposure rather than showing up all the time.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah


Rolemaster's long had that weird myopia that seems typical of any fantasy game weapons list. "Okay, so we've got the broadsword, dagger, falchion, main gauche, rapier, scimitar, short sword and two-handed sword; and for pole arms we have the javelin, lance, spear and, uh, 'pole arm.'" There were some weak optional rules for other stuff, but it was along the lines of "katanas are like broadswords, but they get +5 against Armor Types 1-12."

Pretty much straight on from 1980, with a few Shadow World bullshit made-up weapons here and there, up until 2002's The Armory which added a whole bunch of stuff like 16 new pole arms, including our good friends the bec de corbin, partisan and guisarme…and more swords, like the bastard sword, cutlass, foil, great sword, knife, long scimitar and long sword. Oh, and the oriental section adds even more blades, including the katana's very own weapon table. (To be fair, there were a handful of new ~oriental weapon tables~ in the Martial Arts supplements over the years, because of course.)

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 04:08 on Aug 18, 2015

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Mundanity always bugged me in IOU, because A) somebody always wants to play with the top level and B) it basically puts the fun brakes on for anybody else. It strikes me as a better thing for the occasional NPC, because it makes a character often a one-gag sort of character, so it works somewhat if the character has limited exposure rather than showing up all the time.
I dislike the general thrust of that style of things because it creates an intrinsic dichotomy between parts of the setting and, I guess, the "real world." It is an idea which Mage kind of did well with, and I know there's actually (lord save us) a Xanth character with a similar ability - but his is portrayed specifically as the general suppression of magic, rather than some kind of "enforced mundanity."

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Midjack posted:

This is true in real gunfights. Cops (non-SWAT) typically only have a sidearm, with maybe a long gun in the car. Soldiers typically carry a long gun and sidearm. It's not common for anyone who expects a gunfight to have an arsenal strapped to them; much more likely to have a primary, a backup, and a bunch of ammunition for both.
I'm aware of that, but...in short, what's your point?

Okay, I can see how a game wants to model that your weapon is situational, and if your weapon is less than ideal, well, it's less than ideal. But how complicated does the system need to be to model that? Base damage, armor penetration, and whether or not it has autofire, I suppose. You hardly need a system as complicated as one that uses multiple sets of tables to measure the difference between a flanged mace hitting a mail hauberk as opposed to a swordsman landing a mordhau strike against a vambrace. Think about how much of the system is going to model what happens after the bullet leaves the barrel.

Unless you're the kind of person who is going to toss in turn in bed at night, distressed at the thought that you didn't properly earn your fun at the last game session, because the rules you're using don't properly model how well a 5.56 round penetrates a steel helmet at 300 yards, as opposed to 7.62. In which case, there's always Phoenix Command.

Setting real-life fire team tactics aside, I think my criticism applies pretty well to Dark Heresy and its related games. Due to distinguishing melee and point-blank range, the main tactical breakdown is whether you choose to be a shooter, charge into melee, or do the sword-and-pistol thing. The melee weapons range from chainsaws to electrified blades to ones coated in anti-matter fields, and the guns range from bullets to lasers to better-laser-with-a-stupid-hose-attached to heat rays to gyrojets to poison shuriken launchers, but after wasting a bunch of time poring over the lists, you're going to just pick one and go with it.

gradenko_2000 posted:

I think a better descriptor would be decisive combat rather than tactical. I agree, all the focus on realism such as how long it takes to draw a weapon or don/doff armor means you're pretty much fighting with whatever's on hand, and all these attack tables as a result don't really suggest "I'm going to use a dagger against xyz but a katana against abc!" so much as give the GM lots of thematic and appropriate flavor text for the wounds being inflicted.

What it does seem to do though is make the combat fairly short (in terms of the number of rounds of back-and-forth, perhaps not in practical terms due to table lookups), creates a "this side is winning now" dynamic as soon as one solid hit is inflicted by inflicting a global penalty with a serious injury, and then lets you quickly finish off someone that's wounded.

I could see why the game specifically calls out parrying as something that should be done as a matter of course: the Fighter should be trying his damnedest to not get hit while his partymates try to flank or gang-up on a target. Once you enter that "death spiral", it's hard to climb out short of a really lucky roll because even the damage you're inflicting back at the enemy is going to be limited.
I understand wanting all those things--short and violent combat, a quick death spiral, flanking and parrying rules--but you can get them with a combat system that is nowhere near as complex as Rolemaster or HarnMaster or Phoenix Command. Just off the top of my head, ORE does it just fine and has hit locations built in!

I will never, ever understand why people will play a ludicrously complex combat system because it has a wealth of critical hit tables. I've never, ever had a hard time coming up with multiple creative ways to describe orcs getting splattered against the dungeon walls over the course of a session. Even if I did, I could much more easily play around with a simple d100 cart than laboriously determine a result from one chart, chosen based on a result from another chart, chosen based on an initial die roll.

Don't get me wrong; like most gamers, I went through a phase where I wanted everything to be more detailed and realistic than the games I started out with. But even then, the "realism" wasn't really in service to precisely modeling a bunch of minutiae--what I wanted was for characters to be able to attempt anything that I thought they reasonably could, even if it was a longshot--for example, attacking multiple targets at once, which some games simply disallow, or wrestling an enemy's weapon away, which some games don't allow or make so complicated and difficult that it's never worth trying.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy
I was just pointing out that yeah, it's not really "tactical" combat so much as "visceral combat if for whatever reason you can't make something up on your own" as well as "combat that isn't fundamentally based on battleships unleashing broadsides on each other"

I do agree with you that there are better and simpler ways to achieve either.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

Setting real-life fire team tactics aside, I think my criticism applies pretty well to Dark Heresy and its related games. Due to distinguishing melee and point-blank range, the main tactical breakdown is whether you choose to be a shooter, charge into melee, or do the sword-and-pistol thing. The melee weapons range from chainsaws to electrified blades to ones coated in anti-matter fields, and the guns range from bullets to lasers to better-laser-with-a-stupid-hose-attached to heat rays to gyrojets to poison shuriken launchers, but after wasting a bunch of time poring over the lists, you're going to just pick one and go with it.

This is a big problem in the 40kRPGs. There are a ton of different stats on weapons and different kinds of weapons, but at the end of the day you'll take a Power weapon for melee if you can (they cut through unpowered melee parries, do huge damage, and have a huge armor penetration) and some form of Melta or if you can get it, a Multilaser for ranged.

Part of the problem there is the developers never really thought about the fact that a weapon that does d10+10 Pen0 is simply better than one that does d10+3 Pen7 because the Pen7 weapon relies on your enemy having extremely heavy armor (AV 7 is Power Armor like the Sisters of Battle/lighter armored Marines wear) or else you lose a ton of the damage, but since armor just reduces damage directly the d10+10 Pen0 one will have the same ability to hurt that hypothetical AV7 guy as the d10+3 Pen7 one. A point of Pen is just a worse point of base damage. There's only so much they can vary things with those stats and it just leads to certain stuff being really bad and some stuff being really good.

A lot of games with a ton of weapons fall into this trap, where they only have a couple points of mechanical variation but they still try to have 80 bazillion guns and swords and knives, but the player is just going to take the one that does the most damage most efficiently that they can get because why wouldn't you? Especially if the game makes a big deal about how lethal combat is and you really need to scramble for advantages.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an extra long episode, because this book has a shocking amount of stuff to unpack. I thought it was going to be a lot simpler!

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide

theironjef posted:


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an extra long episode, because this book has a shocking amount of stuff to unpack. I thought it was going to be a lot simpler!
Already 40 minutes into this and your breakdown of all the "All _____ must..." are fantastic.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah


theironjef posted:


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an extra long episode, because this book has a shocking amount of stuff to unpack. I thought it was going to be a lot simpler!

It's advanced, MarkJef!

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 17:36 on Aug 18, 2015

Ixjuvin
Aug 8, 2009

if smug was a motorcycle, it just jumped over a fucking canyon
Nap Ghost

theironjef posted:


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an extra long episode, because this book has a shocking amount of stuff to unpack. I thought it was going to be a lot simpler!

You guys missed Unearthed Arcana (understandable, since it came out like 8 years after the PHB and DMG) which is basically a third core book, it includes the Barbarian and well remembered stalwarts of D&D the Cavalier and Thief-Acrobat, races like Drow as player characters, as well as a six page appendix with a bibliography about medieval polearms with diagrams like this one


I'm playing a psionicist (taken from a Dragon Magazine article) in an AD&D campaign right now and the system is a loving nightmare and only works at all due to heavy house ruling. You skipped over the whole part where combat is way more simulationist than 2e+, with weapons and spells having attack and casting times that take up specific amounts of initiative segments. Part of what makes psionics a titanic pain is that once mental combat starts both parties are attacking and defending on every initiative count. It's bananas.

Here's some other things that drive me crazy! All weights in the books are given in gold pieces, even though as you mentioned 10gp nonsensically weighs a pound anyways so they could have just divided all the weights by ten and spared us the goddamn trouble. All the distances are given in inches, wargames-style (except when they aren't!), and to convert those to "real" distance you turn it into feet and then multiply it by ten if you're in a dungeon or like a hundred if you're outside.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 3: Phase World Sourcebook Part 2: Off to the robo-jockey races



Last time we discussed the CCW in some fairly broad strokes. It mostly sounds like modern ‘murica, but with more holograms. It isn’t generally a bad place to live, but it isn’t tightly organized and regulations are subject to planetary government whims. Let’s hear about some of those planets specifically.

In’Val is an Earth-like planet but still a planet of mystery, a former homeworld to an advanced race. It’s mostly empty now because scientists opened a rift several decades ago and a godlike entity came out and cursed them. Everybody is totes scared of a repeat so the only folks living there are cultists and yet more scientists, now with military backup.

The Bushi Federation Oh, this is going to be good I’m sure. :allears: So this is a group of five planets populated by the oni race, a species of tall red-skinned humanoids. Amazingly their culture is based upon medieval Japan. Each of the planets is ruled by a daimyo subject to the shogun with a religious figurehead emperor. Their armies are made up of “cybernetically enhanced “cyberai” :psypop: and they have a rigid caste system. In order to join the CCW they had to change some of their laws like the right of the warrior class to behead disrespectful commoners. You know, like real world samurai totally did all the time.

Being a provincial gang of warlords, they have managed to chump the rest of the galaxy in cybernetics and a bunch of daimyo have managed to become heads of zaibatsu because that is how Japanese history worked, there was no interstitial period between samurai-->industrialists. They manufacture the katana-class fighters for the CAF fleets. No mention is made of the status of women or the lingering threat of capitalism upon warrior caste societies or anything like that.

Jesus loving christ.

Malthus’s World (Dellian-4) is named for Malthusian principles. Yes, that Malthus. It is inhabited by the t’zee, who basically populated every square inch of space on that planet, even ocean floors. 50 billion people were packed into its tight confines. The t’zee are...very fertile apparently and they just didn’t care much about massive plagues and starvation cycles. Being packed in like space sardines, they learned to miniaturize, all the way down to the nanoscale, something the rest of the CCW had not achieved.

The t’zee are run by a military-industrial dictatorship that monopolizes all resources and ruthlessly exploits their overpopulation. The t’zee are seen as dirty poors who will move in and overbreed anywhere they go and there are motions to try and expel them that have thus far been rebuffed. Being a hardscrabble opportunistic culture, there’s a lot of smuggling and other illegal stuff passing through Dellian-4, and the CCW trade regulators have recently uncovered evidence that some of the leaders of industry actually DO want to take over the CCW. The investigation is still ongoing. Probably just waiting for PCs to get involved and bust it wide open.

Those are our new planets of note. Next we get new OCCs and RCCs because that is what Rifts players bought the book to see. First we get the In’Valian Robo-Jockeys which sounds like fun.


what? no fun? oh, okay

The In’Valians are masters of prosthetics and robotics. They have to be. They were once tall and blue-skinned humanoids but they decided to tinker with rift experiments. A 500’ tall gelatinous tentacle cube came through and they killed it. Then its mommy looked through the rift and gave a scream that instantly killed basically all the psychics on the planet. And then they got the Wasting Disease. There was no cure, quarantine didn’t help, the In’Valians all just started showing basically the effects of prolonged weightlessness and radiation exposure. Magic and science availed them not, but they were able to build robot exoskeletons to tote their twisted remains around, basically becoming Mechanoids without the two-legs-bad obsession. They tend towards bad behavior because they are all bitter jerks now.

They get really poor physical attributes but +4 IQ. They have 1d6+6 SDC. They live longer than ever, up to 300 years, but usually suicide before the end just to be depressing. When exoskeletoned they get +1 init, +2 to strike/parry/dodge, and +3 to roll with punch. Without it, they’re screwed. They have a -30% to all physical skills and they can’t take any of the good ones. They’re at -10% even to skills that require manual dexterity like computers.

The exoskeletons are a lifesaver (literally) and the In’Valians get so attached to them that they give them names and sometimes even AI personalities to feel a little more cheerful about their body dysphoria. Most of these exoskeletons have open cockpits to allow Kuato-like visibility.


lady exoskeletons have to watch their girlish figures!

The Light Exoskeleton has 60 MDC in the body and can basically move like a normally-aspected creature. It has a PS equivalent of 22. It costs 100,000 credits and the RCC stats don’t say they automatically get one. Have fun with that!

The Armored Exoskeleton is like the first one but 120 MDC with 75 MDC in the cockpit. It has a robot PS of 26 which means it can do MD with punches. 1 mill-yun credits for something much shittier than power armor.

Combat Exoskeletons are used by soldiers or adventurers and is supposed to equal power armor. 300 main body, 200 cockpit glass. Typically has a built in energy weapon of some kind, robot PS 32 and sensor systems like laser targeting and radar. Strangely the speed capabilities are not listed and it probably can’t fly. 8 million credits to get a basic model, 12 million for a nice loadout with missiles and stuff.

For something called a ‘robo jockey’ this is all pretty awful. Both statwise and also conceptually, it just seems to dismiss a race that got a really tragic fate as a bunch of jerks now that they need wider parking spaces and the statblock is incomplete--it doesn’t give normal equipment or money, or even list skills you can take. I guess you can add an OCC on top of the RCC but no OCC has the exoskeletons as default equipment. The text strongly implies that all PCs should get one but it never says which, and they’re all kinda crap anyway.

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.
Didn't AD&D have a polearm that never actually existed? Do I remember that correctly?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

quote:

You skipped over the whole part where combat is way more simulationist than 2e+, with weapons and spells having attack and casting times that take up specific amounts of initiative segments.

I'm running an AD&D game and this actually came up: "if Cure Light Wounds takes up 5 segments, what else can I do during the turn? Can I still attack?"

So I pored over the books and couldn't find anything that told me how many segments it takes to attack. The hammer is listed as having a weapon speed of 5, but I don't think that represents time in segments because a polearm has a speed of 13 and is really more of an initiative representation as far as a dagger going before a polearm, I guess?

I just gave up and reflected upon this passage:

quote:

The system of AD&D combat maximizes the sense of hand-to-hand combat and the life-and death character of melee without undue complication. Because of this, you, the DM, are enabled to conduct such portions of a game without endless resort to charts, tables, procedure clarifications, and over-lengthy time requirements.

Gee, thanks Gary.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Night10194 posted:

This is a big problem in the 40kRPGs. There are a ton of different stats on weapons and different kinds of weapons, but at the end of the day you'll take a Power weapon for melee if you can (they cut through unpowered melee parries, do huge damage, and have a huge armor penetration) and some form of Melta or if you can get it, a Multilaser for ranged.

Part of the problem there is the developers never really thought about the fact that a weapon that does d10+10 Pen0 is simply better than one that does d10+3 Pen7 because the Pen7 weapon relies on your enemy having extremely heavy armor (AV 7 is Power Armor like the Sisters of Battle/lighter armored Marines wear) or else you lose a ton of the damage, but since armor just reduces damage directly the d10+10 Pen0 one will have the same ability to hurt that hypothetical AV7 guy as the d10+3 Pen7 one. A point of Pen is just a worse point of base damage. There's only so much they can vary things with those stats and it just leads to certain stuff being really bad and some stuff being really good.

A lot of games with a ton of weapons fall into this trap, where they only have a couple points of mechanical variation but they still try to have 80 bazillion guns and swords and knives, but the player is just going to take the one that does the most damage most efficiently that they can get because why wouldn't you? Especially if the game makes a big deal about how lethal combat is and you really need to scramble for advantages.
Yeah, this is exactly what I'm talking about. You either shoot, charge and slash, or I guess if your sword does more damage than your pistol, you choose between shooting and charging. I think a lot of this is just an artifact of basically using WFRP's combat system (which I think is a little too complex but not bad) to run a setting where, past a certain point, every weapon is some sort of ancient ultra-deadly technomagic artifact with a paragraph explaining how awesomely rare and special it is. The 40K RPGs remind me a lot of the TSR Marvel Super Heroes game in that regard: a lot of fiddly detail that's really not necessary, as the result of a system that scales from "thug with a gun" to literal demigods.

gradenko_2000 posted:

I'm running an AD&D game and this actually came up: "if Cure Light Wounds takes up 5 segments, what else can I do during the turn? Can I still attack?"

So I pored over the books and couldn't find anything that told me how many segments it takes to attack. The hammer is listed as having a weapon speed of 5, but I don't think that represents time in segments because a polearm has a speed of 13 and is really more of an initiative representation as far as a dagger going before a polearm, I guess?
My only insight into this is that I played the Gold Box AD&D games, where the computer does all this poo poo for you, but the math is of course hidden. It was confusing trying to figure out why healing spells were impractical to cast in combat, ranged weapons attacked twice with great initiative, and the wizard wielding a dart was basically our submachinegunner after his artillery spells ran out.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Aug 18, 2015

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


That reminds me of Vax and Zal from the original Baldur's Gate game, a dart-focused bandit who could launch tons of them at you blindingly fast. I actually recreated this due with a dart-themed highwayman (highwayhalfling) Master Thrower in a 3rd edition game. The halfling never spoke himself but had a gnome bard companion (whose Perform was "bragging") who would issue threats on his behalf and kept up a constant patter during the fight as to how doomed the PCs were for daring to face the deadly darts of...whatever I named him.

It was actually a pretty tough fight (the halfling was very mobile and had a wide selection of magical darts, plus his Master Thrower meant he was basically a tiny gatling gun) and the PCs totally hated him. So of course I let him escape and return later (in the second encounter I gave the gnome a bag of tricks from which he constantly tossed animals).

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012

gradenko_2000 posted:

I'm running an AD&D game and this actually came up: "if Cure Light Wounds takes up 5 segments, what else can I do during the turn? Can I still attack?"

So I pored over the books and couldn't find anything that told me how many segments it takes to attack. The hammer is listed as having a weapon speed of 5, but I don't think that represents time in segments because a polearm has a speed of 13 and is really more of an initiative representation as far as a dagger going before a polearm, I guess?

In 1E, if your opponent is using a weapon that has a speed factor more than twice yours (or more than 5 higher), you get two hits in for his one. If the difference between speed factors is more than 10, the guy with the faster weapon gets three hits in to the slower guy's one.

I know these rules are buried somewhere in the DMG but I can't be arsed to look them up. We certainly never used them, or weapon vs. AC type modifiers, back in the day.

And yes, once weapon specialization was introduced, dart and bow specialists could really pump up the damage.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
I think a bigger problem with a lot of these is less the actual diversity of weapons so much as the options of what you can do with those weapons. Ideally, you have a system where going on guard one turn and full attack the next matters. Where you can throw sand in your enemy's eyes for a bonus the next turn, or else you tangle your enemy's weapon so he can't attack you.

It's like, it's okay if you just pick one weapon and stick with it, so long as you can do interesting things with that weapon. Being able to switch from your sword to your dagger isn't really interesting if all you're going to do is keep rolling a die, adding your bonus, and seeing if you get to roll damage that round. I'd rather have just one weapon that works pretty well and gives you options than a bunch of different weapons that all let you do one thing every single round.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.

Part V: Scenarios and Closing Thoughts
Welcome back to the final part of this F&F of Freebooter's Fate: Deep Jungle Today, I'll be discussing the scenarios and mini-campaign presented in this book, along with my thoughts on what this particular expansion has added and what it says about the game. So, without further ado, let's talk scenarios.

The first one presented is In The Jungle. Your standard basic scenario, for variations for 2-4 players, it's the normal ”Fight the opposing crew” scenario. Similar to other ones, the sole difference between it and the one that was presented in the first book is the terrain – any space that's not occupied by specific terrain is counted as jungle. It's suggest that you add various bits of scatter terrain to represent this and make it clearer for the players. Kinda interesting, and a good way to set up the new terrain mechanics, but pretty easy otherwise.

The second scenario – and my favorite from this book – is Hunt the Dodo. Dodos, in the world of Freebooter's Fate, are exceedingly tasty, reproduce really drat quickly, and are shockingly stupid. The players set up in the various corners, and dodos are placed across the board. They automatically flee away from any loud noises that are close to them – including gunshots and any other dead dodo, and, should they run into an obstacle, immediately break their necks because dodos are really, really dumb. Players get glory points for panicking or taking opponents out of action, but also for collecting dead dodos. The book provides tokens, but they've also made some fine dodo miniatures. It's my favorite introductory scenario from this book, bar none.


Here's the dodos they make. I love stupid bird miniatures.

Breakout is an interesting scenario, played with assymetrical sides. The attacker hires a full crew, while the defender hires a single miniature – either a leader or a specialist. The entire battlefield, being a jungle, is prone to mirages, so the defender also gets to place several tokens to represent their character. The attacker has to kill the defender's miniature, while the defender needs to get his mini through to the attacker's deployment zone. It's basically ”Predator: The Scenario”, especially considering the fact that the defender can re-deploy mirages when no one has LOS to them.

Man Raid is the first Amazon-specific scenario in the game, although it points out that the role of the attacker could be played by anyone if you can think of a good reason. In this scenario, a group of unarmed, drunken men (having heard some very fanciful tales about what the Amazons do to captured men; most of them unture and implying that they'll survive an enjoyable capture) are placed in the center of the board. Both sides need to capture the drunken idiots – the attacker is looking to use them for their nefarious purposes, while the defender is trying to get the idiots out of there. It's quite chaotic – some of the men aren't quite drunk yet, and the scoring is based on how easy it is to convince them to come with your crew – drunks head with the defenders, sober men head with the attackers.

Monsoon is another straightforward fight, meant to introduce a new terrain mechanic – weather. Because you're on a tropical island, it's raining incredibly heavily, and so ranged attacks have been made fairly useless – all ranges are reduced, as well as there being a chance that the rain has damaged your weapon in some way. While it's a little straightforward, it's pretty easy to add this to other scenarios; I'm not quite sure why it's here as a separate one, but it's a good way to add some changability to the game.

Now, we've got the real meat of Deep Jungle – the first mini-campaign in the game system. This is part of why I really like the game; they've prepared several related scenarios, each with rather unique victory conditions, that are all related to one another, providing rules if you're playing them as a campaign or simply as individual scenarios. It's quite clever, and it helps address the nature of this game as a sort of ”beer and pretzels” gaming system.

The Treasure of the Amayalli is the first mini-campaign, set up with a bit of fiction. The Imperial Armada is investigating why the Gobernador's astrologer has been missing for several weeks – when we join Teniente Matón, they've discovered that he'd been ambushed by goblins. All the evidence points to it – the scattered pages, the angles of the bulletholes, and the heap of dead goblins near the cart. Rifling through the remains, they discover that the Astrologer has been studying some of the ancient ruins and may have found the key to a great treasure. He's also been practicing the ancient language of the Amazons, using it to write several pickup lines in an attempt to charm them. Captain Rosso of the Pirates then arrives, having tailed the goblins in the hope of scoring some treasure. Just as they're planning to fight, a gust of wind picks up the scattered journal pages – each containing clues to the location of the treasure, and the hunt is on.

The Clue is the first scenario – players need to have their crew chase down the wildly fluttering scraps of paper as they're blown around by the sudden winds. Typical set-up, with all of the pages starting in a piece of terrain in the center – they suggest a broken-up cart, but anything works. Each page has a value on it – this will play into the upcoming scenarios. The mechanic for the wind is pretty simple – you can either randomly generate the direction of the wind using the Fate deck, or you can just blow gently on the table at the start of each turn. The winner is the one with the most clues at the end of the scenario.

Contact is the second scenario. It's introduced with a bit of intro fiction – mostly consisting of various pirates mangling the language of the Amazons and referencing Pratchett several times, but it gets the point across. This scenario involves trying to convince an Amazon to show them to the temple – she doesn't speak a word of the trade tongue, so it's up to the clues from the first scenario to give them any chance of speaking the language. A single Amazon is placed in the center of the board, moving randomly, and both sides need to convince her to join them. She's wary of both sides, and is unwilling to join anyone who is fighting while in her line-of-sight. It's a bit crazy at times – especially if she gets spooked and decides to flee or attack one of the sides. Winner is the one who convinces her to show them to the ruins.

Conquering the Amayalli is the final stage of the mini-campaign; it begins with some short fiction detailing what's going on here. The Goblin Pirates, successful in convincing Qualani the Amazon to show them the way, are excavating an ancient temple of the Amazons. Unfortunately, a heavy tropical storm is brewing, and the Goblins, in their haste, have accidentally damaged a small statue. This has some rather unfortunate consequences, especially when a group of Brotherhood assassins arrive. The scenario requires that a temple ruin be set up in the center – the defender, who is allied with the Amazon, set up on it, while the attackers can set up along the edges. The defenders need to dig up the center, taking care to excavate an exquisitely-crafted clay statue.

The site is a center of mystic power that doesn't like being disturbed, and so every turn, there's a chance that Qualani, the Amazon guide, is possessed by the spirit of a Jaguar and goes berserk, attacking anyone intruding on this sacred site. Her possession can be hastened if the diggers take too long or if the statue is damaged or broken. She turns into a horrific melee monster, killing pretty much everyone. Victory comes from keeping the attackers at bay (for the defenders), keeping Qualani from becoming possessed (again, defenders), or routing the diggers from the ruins. It's exciting, especially if you're running the whole campaign in a go, and can make for a cool mini game.

Closing thoughts
This was a good expansion – it's clarified a few of the rules that could use a little bit of work from the first book, added quite a bit of variation to the game, and has provided a ton of new scenarios for playing. It's also very good at introducing the concept of the mini-campaign and how to evaluate victory scenarios – in games like this, the goal should be on achieving objectives, rather than attacking the opponent and ignoring the point of the game, and it's easy enough to set up ways to have the results of the last game carry on to the next in a campaign. Admittedly, a lot of this comes from showing, rather than explaining how to do this design – comparing the various scenarios gives you a lot of detail on the design process.

It also adds something I think was incredibly useful – an index in the back that covers both books, to make looking things up a lot easier. It's an incredibly smart decision – especially with the push to make Traits as keywords rather than requiring explanations on every character card – and it helps a ton.

While I'm not a fan of all the designs in this book, and some of the sculpts are a little worse than those we've seen before, there's some good stuff here. I like quite a few of the Amazon's designs – they're appropriately tribal and show variation among individuals, which is pretty good – but some of the sculpts end up disappointing when translated from the art.

I would have liked to see more specific rules on campaign building, and perhaps an escalation mechanic for building a Crew, but there's more than enough here for anyone looking to add some variation for games. It's cemented into the “casual gaming experience” thanks to some of the goofiness of the scenarios and characters, but it's still a drat good game.

Assuming people are still interested in hearing about this weird little game, I'll work on getting a write-up ready for the next book in the series, Mystic Spirits, which introduces a wonderfully flavorful and thematic magic component to the game, brings in a new crew in the form of the Cult, and brings forward another mini-campaign. After that, I might cover the most recent release, Tales of Longfall #1, a campaign book that covers the events of one night, giving five scenarios for players to play as either a campaign or as separate scenarios. Let me know if people are still enjoying this game – things get weirder from here on out.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

JackMann posted:

I think a bigger problem with a lot of these is less the actual diversity of weapons so much as the options of what you can do with those weapons. Ideally, you have a system where going on guard one turn and full attack the next matters. Where you can throw sand in your enemy's eyes for a bonus the next turn, or else you tangle your enemy's weapon so he can't attack you.

It's like, it's okay if you just pick one weapon and stick with it, so long as you can do interesting things with that weapon. Being able to switch from your sword to your dagger isn't really interesting if all you're going to do is keep rolling a die, adding your bonus, and seeing if you get to roll damage that round. I'd rather have just one weapon that works pretty well and gives you options than a bunch of different weapons that all let you do one thing every single round.

Basically this. The reason we get the massive 'weapon option bloat' stuff, of course, is that that sells add on books like hotcakes.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Plague of Hats posted:

Depending on the edition and specific rules you're using, you can get almost all of that going on. There are reach modifiers for both the attack roll and for initiative rolls, charging can switch things up, and I'm pretty sure one of the Rolemaster Companions had poo poo about hand placement. There's also a fan supplement from the ancient mid- or late-90's internet where some dude went absolutely crazy with adding even more detail, and action points and splitting five-phase combat into individual percentages of activity per phase and oh my god :suicide:

Man, I don't think I can handle this verisimilitude.

Ixjuvin posted:

You guys missed Unearthed Arcana (understandable, since it came out like 8 years after the PHB and DMG) which is basically a third core book, it includes the Barbarian and well remembered stalwarts of D&D the Cavalier and Thief-Acrobat, races like Drow as player characters, as well as a six page appendix with a bibliography about medieval polearms with diagrams like this one

I think unless your system actually emulates polearms as the swiss army knives they were, there's really no reason to have anything other than "Light/Medium/Heavy polearm", with a possible exception if your system cares about different types of damage.

JackMann posted:

I think a bigger problem with a lot of these is less the actual diversity of weapons so much as the options of what you can do with those weapons. Ideally, you have a system where going on guard one turn and full attack the next matters. Where you can throw sand in your enemy's eyes for a bonus the next turn, or else you tangle your enemy's weapon so he can't attack you.

It's like, it's okay if you just pick one weapon and stick with it, so long as you can do interesting things with that weapon. Being able to switch from your sword to your dagger isn't really interesting if all you're going to do is keep rolling a die, adding your bonus, and seeing if you get to roll damage that round. I'd rather have just one weapon that works pretty well and gives you options than a bunch of different weapons that all let you do one thing every single round.

There's a lot of fun to be had with this in The Riddle of Steel and its derivatives: How many dice do you put into attack and defense this turn? Which maneuver will you try out? If you have a sword and your opponent is heavily-armored, should you try half-swording? A Mordhau? Aiming for a joint? Or do you just aim for his head, hoping you hit it hard enough to knock him out (which is always good for a laugh)? And if you have a polearm: Which pointy end are you going to use?

theironjef posted:


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an extra long episode, because this book has a shocking amount of stuff to unpack. I thought it was going to be a lot simpler!

Dammit, it's already a bit late over here for such a long podcast. Oh well, now I've something to look forward to!

Other Dust


Groups and Enclaves


This guy is higher than the Higshine

A Group in Other Dust can be any collection of people with a common goal, be it "Let's all try to survive" or "Let's kill people and take their stuff". The rules revolving around groups are - in Crawford tradition - meant to help the GM quickly gauge their motivations, problems and general status. PCs can of course also get themselves their own groups.

Group Basics

Each group is rating in a Tier ranging from 1 (small local group) to 3 (major player in the campaign's region). They are also separated into types based on their overall motivations and methods:

  • Creeds are motivated by a religious or philosophical belief, and they typically try to spread it.
  • Raiders use brute force to take what they want. They're your murder hobos, and most of the villain groups encountered in Mad Max or Fist of the North Star.
  • Polities are united by their government, community and/or ethnicity. They mostly just try to survive.
  • Families can be savage tribes or noble houses, with a weird fixiation onf preserving their blood line. There be incest, basically.
  • Cabals are sneaky bastards, using more subtle methods to accomplish a business goal, conspiracy or what have you.

The "stats" of a group are called Resources and consist of Food, Tech, Morale, Influence and Security. Each type puts a different emphasize on these resources.
Raising these resources (with different thresholds depending on the type of group) raises the group's Progress to signal their prosperity and competency. Hitting all thresholds (thereby gaining a Progress of 5) can allow the group to move on to the next tier, dropping their Progress back down to 0 and raising their thresholds. Generally, each tier lets the group operate on another order of magnitude.

Since post-apocalyptic wastelands offer myriad ways for groups of people to meet their end, each group has a Ruin stat, summarinzg all the internal and external threats (called "Ruins") to the group. Each of these Ruins has a separate number of Ruin points. If the sum of all Ruins reaches a certain threshold (6-20 depending on tier; bigger, established groups can handle more than n00bs) the group will collapse. Examples in the book range from "The Nakamotos and Jonsons are feuding: 1" to "The Still Lady personally hates us and wants to turn us all into screaming immortal cancer trees: 17". Nice, so that's what this tree mutant was all about.

(The Still Lady is one of the Crazed, with a certain knack for body horror. One of the free supplements for Other Dust are about her and her cult, including her own lovely psychic discipline).

Lastly, groups can get themselves some Perks, various assets and other benefits. Also, groups can also have sub-groups, which I guess makes it easier for the PCs to take down a rival group one region at a time.
Perks are actually "lost" when improving the group's tier, because they no longer have the same impact on the larger scale the group is now operating.

Group Actions

Either between session or every month of in-game time, groups can perform one action to shape the sandbox. Like in Stars Without Numbers, these often involve group stat checks, though this time the dice rolled depends on the tier (1d6 for tier 1, 1d12 for tier 2, 1d20 for tier 3).
The most common kinds of checks are Progress Checks (die roll + Progress) for contested rolls with other groups and Ruin Checks for other rolls (a simple roll to try to get over your current Ruin. Failure means one of the Ruins got in the way and your action fails. A natural 1 actually makes a Ruin worse).
Damage taken by a group either reduces the group's Resources, or it is converted into ruin points, making a single Ruin stronger or creating a new one. The choice is taken by the defender.

Resoures can be gained with the actions Find Resource (look for a particular kind of Resource in the open) or Trade (exchange Resources with another group). Ruin can be reduced with a successful Solve Problem action.
To mess around with other groups, there is Attack (direct physical confrontation, which some group types can't actually pull off) Sabotage (sneaky actions whose damage goes exclusively towards Resources), Subvert (like Sabotage, but towards Ruin) and Influence (essentially mind control; you get to pick the other group's next action as long as it is not self-destructive; causing Ruin through this action makes the group immune against other Influence attempts for a couple turns).
Of course, the PCs's can influence all of this directly with an adventure or two. Provided are also guidelines to convert the Resources into something the players can use. A sufficiently high-tier group of the right type can provide the PCs with up to 10,000 workers and warriors.

Perks

Perks are acquired with, well, the Aquire Perks action. They cost a certain amount of Resource and require the group to beat a Progress check against the Perk's difficulty (all scaled according to tier). The Resources are expended before the roll, but further attempts don't require to cost to be paid again as long as the group continues to make the same aquire action each turn.

Perks include general descriptive traits like Cunning or Warlike (both allowing to roll two dice and take the better result on certain progress checks), manpower like Expert Traders (exchange Resources freely 2:1 rate), Guerilla Warriors (defense bonus vs all 3 damage-dealing actions) and Vast Army (double damage from Attack, which the group can now actually do if it couldn't before), and of course actual buildings like Fortifications (an additional pool to put damage into), Leadership Cells (allows the group to return in a much weaker form when wiped out) and most importantly the various kind of Tech Bases which raises the groups standard of living and gives access to shiny new toys to blast other groups with.

The chapter ends with a more detailed look at the vaious group types, including tier thresholds and randomly-determinable traits to fluff them out. You can end up with a Cabal whose secret HQ is a brothel, or a Creed that is essentially the Brotherhood of Mutants.

Next Time: Equipment and Artifacts. Let's see if there's anything new from Stars Without Numbers.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:47 on Aug 18, 2015

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

occamsnailfile posted:

Malthus’s World (Dellian-4) is named for Malthusian principles. Yes, that Malthus. It is inhabited by the t’zee, who basically populated every square inch of space on that planet, even ocean floors. 50 billion people were packed into its tight confines. The t’zee are...very fertile apparently and they just didn’t care much about massive plagues and starvation cycles. Being packed in like space sardines, they learned to miniaturize, all the way down to the nanoscale, something the rest of the CCW had not achieved.

The t’zee are run by a military-industrial dictatorship that monopolizes all resources and ruthlessly exploits their overpopulation. The t’zee are seen as dirty poors who will move in and overbreed anywhere they go and there are motions to try and expel them that have thus far been rebuffed. Being a hardscrabble opportunistic culture, there’s a lot of smuggling and other illegal stuff passing through Dellian-4, and the CCW trade regulators have recently uncovered evidence that some of the leaders of industry actually DO want to take over the CCW. The investigation is still ongoing. Probably just waiting for PCs to get involved and bust it wide open.

I always had an unpleasant, creeping feeling that, like the Bushi Federation is Space Japan, Malthus's World was implied to be some kind of Space China. Massive population pressures, propaganda playing up death penalties and the apparently low worth of human life to The Party, and the scary furriners meaning to steal our land, jerbs and hegemony.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Ixjuvin posted:

Here's some other things that drive me crazy! All weights in the books are given in gold pieces, even though as you mentioned 10gp nonsensically weighs a pound anyways so they could have just divided all the weights by ten and spared us the goddamn trouble. All the distances are given in inches, wargames-style (except when they aren't!), and to convert those to "real" distance you turn it into feet and then multiply it by ten if you're in a dungeon or like a hundred if you're outside.
Isn't this back when the point was still "how much gold can we drag out of the dungeon"? Tracking your carrying capacity in terms of "how much less gold can we carry out" seems appropriate.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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


STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES, or How to Use the Dicepunk System

Psionics uses End Transmission's engine called Dicepunk. It's up for free on their website, but here's a quick primer:
1: everything is d6.
2: roll the dice if there's stuff you wanna do.
3: most of the time you're rolling 2d6.
4: you either succeed or fail. Any margin of overlap between the two is up to the GM or the roleplayers.

An Attribute Check is when you want to do something that doesn't require a skill and isn't an attack. Roll 2d6 and if the result is less than the Attribute it applies to, it succeeds. Snake eyes automatically succeed, natural 12 always fails.

A Skill Test is when a non-combat skill is used. Skills have 5 levels: untrained, trained, apprentice, expert, master. You take the relevant Attribute linked to the skill and modify it depending on what your experience in the skill is (-2 to Attribute, +0, +1, +2, +4). Then you roll 2d6 and try to get under the modified Attribute. Again, snakes succeed always, 12 always fails. You also can't just keep doing Skill Tests to try and accomplish something. In a situation balanced in your favor, ideally you would just be able to try picking a lock for hours on end or hit a door with a bat. Eventually you'll succeed. The GM is encouraged to not let those ideal situations happen, but there are some psychic abilities that can grant you a reroll or if you can change the situation substantially, you can get another shot. If you can't break the door down, but you find a crowbar, that warrants a reroll.


An Attack uses a combat skill. There is no linked Attribute necessary, you roll 2d6 and add the bonuses from your rank in that skill to roll higher than the opponent's defense (Defense is calculated by your Attributes and other relevant modifiers). Natural 12s automatically hit. Damage is calculated by rolling d6s according to the weapon, and it can't be reduced past at least 1 damage. You got hit by something. There's gonna be a little scratch, at least.

Contests between two people are generally 1d6+Attribute+applicable Skill bonus. Whoever rolls higher wins.

Using your Psychic Powers requires a test in that relevant power. It's a Skill check that uses the Wits/Will attribute and adds the level of the relevant power to the Attribute. Roll below the result of bust out your mind powers. To attack, you add the level of the power you're using to 2d6, nothing more.

There are some more rules for Psychic Powers and taking damage and such but they come up later.



TEST SUBJECTS: Character Creation

Start with a concept and a name, pick a jumping off point to make your character. You get 30 points to split between the 4 stats: Strength, Speed, Wits and Will.
Strength: strength and toughness, helps determine health and how much of a beating you can take before you pass out.
Speed: Agility, dexterity and movement speed. Would be the killer stat to level up in most games because it's linked to a lot of different skills and combat skills, but. That would be...
Wits: intelligence, memory, defense and how many psionic powers you can know. Equally handy is...
Will: Courage and willpower, also your psionic use limits and how strong your powers can be.
Not tracked, you can determine this on your own: attractiveness/charisma, wisdom.

One of the paths of powers you can take can actually use your powers to increase your Strength and Speed, permanently and temporarily. It's kinda funny to see those Attributes be the less important ones. By all means, they're not dump stats, they just don't need to be high, but a soldier with an assault rifle can easily cut down your min-maxed psychic ubermensch who can't get out of their wheelchair. Let me explain how Attributes scale in Psionics:

You really start off with 26 points to spread around because you need a minimum of 1 in a stat. Real human beings are considered on a scale like you'd see in nWoD: your Attributes can be 1-6, 1 is disabled/handicapped/impaired and 6 is the real human peak of potential, a 3 is average. It's impossible to go higher. Psionics operates with what they call the Hollywood Human Attribute Scale, which is 1-10. 1 is still impaired, 10 is superhuman, 4 is average, 5 is good. If you're playing Kimmy Average, All-American Psychic Teenager, unless you're playing sports you really don't need a Strength score much higher than 4 or 5. Appropriately, you have more free points to allocate towards your Wits and Will scores because no matter how you came by your powers, having good stats in those allowed you to survive their manifestation.


You also have Derived Attributes, determined by your main Attributes.
Health is Strength x 6.
Knockout Threshold (the point at which you pass out from sustained damage) is 10-Will.
Death Threshold is 0-Strength.
Defense is 3+Wits.
Initiative is 2d6 rolled every time+(Speed x 2).
Your Power Points to fuel your powers are Will x 6.
Your Overflow Gauge, which determines how much you can use your powers before everything goes horribly wrong, is Will x 5.
Smart players might notice that you have more Power Points than you have notches in your Overflow Gauge. This will be explained later.

New characters start play with Skill Picks which let them get skills at an Apprentice level, at least. You get Wits x 2 Skill Picks. It takes 1 pick to get an Apprentice Skill, 3 for an Expert and 5 for a Master. You're teenagers, you shouldn't know everything. You also get Basic Training in Skills equal to your Wits. These are skills you're trained in, but not to the level of Apprentice. Use this to get common sense skills, like Drive or Swimming or Spanish at a high school level, which means you can use these with no negative modifiers but no positive modifiers. The following are sample skills. GMs should allow players to come up with Skills and Linked Attributes but not combat skills.


Players also start off with one Technique for free. They don't get more because again they're just teens. You can buy more Techniques as you play, and it's kind of suggested you do, because some of them are drat handy and it also reflects how you're learning. (Get Dodge when you can. Especially if you're a Telekinetic. Dodge is ridiculously handy and it also makes you immune to Grapples.)

There are more techniques to learn that can only be learned when you have certain powers or the experience to buy them. These are just the beginner/free options.

Finally, the powers. New PCs start off with 2+(Wits/2 (round down)) points to spend on their Psionic Talents. A high Wits means you can start off quite powerful! There are some rules and restrictions to your selections.
First, a Primary Talent can only go up to 6. The Primary Talents are Psychokinesis, Pyrokinesis and Telekinesis.
Second, a Secondary Talent can only go to 4. Each Primary Talent has three Secondaries.
Third, you can only take a Secondary Talent if the parent Primary has 3 Ranks.
Fourth, you can only start with Rank 5 in one Primary Talent or 3 in a Secondary.
Fifth, if you don't start with at least 1 Rank in a Primary Talent, then you can't ever develop that Talent naturally. Emphasis on naturally. You can give up knowing Telekinesis in exchange for being very good at Psychokinesis and Pyrokinesis, but if you ever want to know Telekinesis you have to procure the right drugs.

So, Angelina Normalgal has a Wits of 8. She's got 6 points she can spend. It's up to her player if they want to be good at everything, or really good at a few things. Full honesty? If you start off with a Rank 5 Primary Talent, you can already do some pretty wild poo poo and you're just giving yourself a powerful option to fall back on reliably. There's more of a challenge for doing okay at everything because it's gonna take a while to get up to Rank 6 for that one power and it's not that hard to build up power for your Rank 1/2/3 Talents.

Finally, Equipment. Players start with 100x(Wits)d6 in cash. They also get a certain amount of Equipment Picks depending on ranks you have in your skills. Equipment picks means that because you're good at this thing, you naturally have some of this thing, be it guns, throwing knives or improvised explosives. Use your picks to get the weapons and gear you want and use money for the odds and ends or the things you really want but don't have the picks for.

Some sample characters are in the book, but if anyone's interested in throwing me a character concept, I can whip up something before moving on to the deeper rules for Psionic Talents and the powers themselves.
NEXT TIME: You don't get any experience for people you killed while having a power meltdown. Seriously. It's a smart move because now you can't just limit break your way to Munchinkinland.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Ixjuvin posted:

You guys missed Unearthed Arcana (understandable, since it came out like 8 years after the PHB and DMG) which is basically a third core book, it includes the Barbarian and well remembered stalwarts of D&D the Cavalier and Thief-Acrobat, races like Drow as player characters, as well as a six page appendix with a bibliography about medieval polearms with diagrams like this one


I'm playing a psionicist (taken from a Dragon Magazine article) in an AD&D campaign right now and the system is a loving nightmare and only works at all due to heavy house ruling. You skipped over the whole part where combat is way more simulationist than 2e+, with weapons and spells having attack and casting times that take up specific amounts of initiative segments. Part of what makes psionics a titanic pain is that once mental combat starts both parties are attacking and defending on every initiative count. It's bananas.

Here's some other things that drive me crazy! All weights in the books are given in gold pieces, even though as you mentioned 10gp nonsensically weighs a pound anyways so they could have just divided all the weights by ten and spared us the goddamn trouble. All the distances are given in inches, wargames-style (except when they aren't!), and to convert those to "real" distance you turn it into feet and then multiply it by ten if you're in a dungeon or like a hundred if you're outside.

Yeah, we didn't want to skip so much, but that's like the densest book in the world, so we basically had to focus on the stuff that drove us the most crazy, and I'd have to assume that knowledge of how bad the initiative system is would probably only really come from playing the thing (the one time I played AD&D the initiative system was houseruled into 2e's and psionics were just banned outright).

The thing that drove me the most crazy personally was alignment languages. They make so little sense!

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

theironjef posted:

Yeah, we didn't want to skip so much, but that's like the densest book in the world, so we basically had to focus on the stuff that drove us the most crazy, and I'd have to assume that knowledge of how bad the initiative system is would probably only really come from playing the thing (the one time I played AD&D the initiative system was houseruled into 2e's and psionics were just banned outright).
For something that is, at heart, a tactical combat simulator, AD&D 1E was amazingly incoherent for how everything fit together in combat.

quote:

The thing that drove me the most crazy personally was alignment languages. They make so little sense!
Those actually make a little sense when you consider D&D's roots in things like Chainmail and Swords and Spells. All Lawful races and monsters speak Lawful so they can communicate and issue orders on the battlefield to each other (same with Chaotic and Neutral). It's a wodge to make sense of something in a minis wargame. Expanding them so that Kobolds and Beholders could discuss specific Lawful Evil points of philosophy with one another but in ways that are totally incomprehensible to Neutral Evil or Lawful Neutral monsters and characters is just loving weird.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer

Bieeardo posted:

I always had an unpleasant, creeping feeling that, like the Bushi Federation is Space Japan, Malthus's World was implied to be some kind of Space China. Massive population pressures, propaganda playing up death penalties and the apparently low worth of human life to The Party, and the scary furriners meaning to steal our land, jerbs and hegemony.

I don't know about China, though I can see the parallels you're making--I just always got the impression they were supposed to be the dirty conniving immigrants everyone thought they were. But that does line up a lot with the stereotypes of mainland Chinese. I cover them a bit more when we get to the t'zee RCC.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

pkfan2004 posted:

Some sample characters are in the book, but if anyone's interested in throwing me a character concept, I can whip up something before moving on to the deeper rules for Psionic Talents and the powers themselves..

Robert "Berty" Swangler, a semi-reformed pyromaniac now faced with some real deep temptation.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

Zereth posted:

Isn't this back when the point was still "how much gold can we drag out of the dungeon"? Tracking your carrying capacity in terms of "how much less gold can we carry out" seems appropriate.

Yeah, I agree. Character encumbrance is rated as "how many gold pieces can you carry?" and all equipment is measured in "how many gold piece-equivalents does this weigh?" because you're supposed to be "trading off" weight by consuming supplies at the same time that you're taking on more weight by looting rooms.

theironjef posted:

The thing that drove me the most crazy personally was alignment languages. They make so little sense!

If you're the same alignment as someone, you can talk to them by defaulting to your alignment language.

Except some creatures can fall into multiple alignments, and if you try to talk to someone that's of a different alignment while using your alignment language, they know and they'll turn hostile.

You can try speaking Common, but there's only something like a 20% chance that a humanoid/intelligent creature will know it. You can try using your "extra languages" from a high Intelligence stat, but you might run out of them eventually (or you might not have the right ones if you pre-selected all of them during character selection or something)

And finally, even if you did surmount the language barrier, you still have to get a good reaction roll, which is where Charisma comes in!

All that said, AD&D was where alignment started to become a "personality/behavioral prescription", when it originally was just a license to kill.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Robert "Berty" Swangler. 16 years old, reformed pyromaniac from Logan County, Oklahoma. Accidentally burned down a barn at a fair when he was 11, parents got a plea deal for him to not to go juvie. Instead, Berty was sent to Guiding Outreach Juvenile Wilderness Program for a year. If anyone doesn't know what a wilderness program is, they basically take your rear end out the desert and make you hike, exercise and live outside for as long as you're required to. Berty came back at the ripe age of 12, a lot less full of piss and vinegar, a lot bigger and stronger and a lot more troubled. He tried to escape. Other kids tried to. Berty knows he's never going back to that camp and he's been trying to keep his nose clean for the last three years.

That was until he found out he could start fires with his mind. One day a bunch of men with sunglasses and a van came and told him that he had a choice: he could go to a new camp quietly or they could have his parents sign the paperwork to make him go. And that was the last his family, or the government, saw of him, stealing off into the night.

Berty is a good kid, but he wears his scars openly with a soft voice and a tendency to flinch for such a big teen. The camp did teach him how to survive in the wilderness, so now he roams the Southwestern US getting honest menial work where he can and keeping a step ahead of the suits who want to bag him and take him to a facility. It doesn't help that police and rangers have posters in their stations saying that he did things he didn't do and there's a big reward from the FBI for his detainment. No credit cards, no ID, only cash, only what he can take.

But there's a strong temptation burning deep inside of Berty telling him that maybe he wouldn't have such a problem if he let the fire out to stop the people chasing him.

Robert 'Berty' Swangler:
Strength: 6
Speed: 5
Wits: 8
Will: 8
Health: 36 (knocked out at 4, dead at -6)
Initiative: 10+2d6
Defense: 11
Power Points: 48
Overflow Gauge: 40

Skills: Awareness Expert (+2), Survival Expert (+2), Stealth Expert (+2), Rifles Expert (+2), Pistols Apprentice (+1), Security Apprentice (+1), Spanish Apprentice (+1), First Aid Apprentice (+1).
Basic Training: Negotiation, Cooking, Locksmith, Drive, Swim, Brawling, Blades, Subterfuge.
Techniques: Blitzkrieg.
Attacks:
Remington Model 30 at +2 (5d6 damage)
Glock 17 at +1 (2d6 damage)
Combat Knife at +0 (1d6+4 damage)
Fireball at +4 (4d6 damage, 4d6 per turn if target is ignited until flame is stopped)
Psionic Talents: Pyrokinesis 4 (Entropy 1), Telekinesis 1.
Equipment: Remington Model 30, Glock 17, Combat Knife, Crowbar, 80 .30-06 bullets, 100 9mm bullets, 3 spare clips for Glock, Flashlight, First Aid Kit, duffel bag, tank tops, hiking boots, beat sneakers, old Salvation army jeans, denim jacket, rain jacket, bedroll, rugged wristwatch, 6 bottles of Party All Nite Energy Shooters, four joints, 6 cans of food, 5 MREs, water purification tablets, $2900 in scavenged cash.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 02:43 on Aug 19, 2015

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

The Iron Rose
May 12, 2012

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:
Next character have a patriot who willingly works for the men in black

  • Locked thread