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wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


The infomancer taboo really should be "taking media uncritically" but good luck mechanically representing that.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I keep imagining an Infomancer loading up on minor charges by watching Youtube Poops.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Strange Matter posted:

Taboos also work well when they cause actual inter-party tension that has real consequences. as in your example of the Infomancer and the Master Plan, that doesn't really cause tension in the party, it's just contrived and inconvenient. Compare that to Adepts with really good taboos like the Entropomancer, who literally cannot allow another party member to take a risk because that's his job, or the Dipsomancer, who is just never not drunk.
Well, I think the Entropomancer can let a party member take a risk, but not because they'd rather not take it themself. You don't have to be the one to kick down the door, but you can't play the wizard hiding in the back of the party's marching order because you're not feeling your best.

I find it funny that Heath Ledger Joker can't be an Entropomancer, because playing games with people's lives from a safe distance is explicitly forbidden. See, statements like that are what some of these supplement Adept schools need: arbitrary statements that simply go around you saying "No, I'm not mad/in love/whatever so I don't lose a charge."

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



We had so much fun reviewing micro games that we wanted to make one. So we did. While hanging around our local nerd store we were sitting with a friend of ours, who was making the old argument that even though the rules for Warhammer 40k suck, it's a "Beer and Pretzels" game. I pointed out that any game is a fine game if you drink and don't take it seriously, and resolved that our new game would be the ultimate Beer & Pretzels game. So here's Beer & Pretzels, our new wargame, for your advance review (It's not really up at the website yet).


theironjef fucked around with this message at 02:11 on Sep 11, 2015

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




That looks pretty nice. You should put it up on wargamevault.com and see if you can rake in a few quarters.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Hey, it's better balanced than Age of Sigmar.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I don't think we can charge for it, since there's a party boardgame called Beer & Pretzels already (something about throwing coasters). We just want it played.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


Kurieg posted:

The Infomancer Taboo seems... bizarre. Like the point isn't the control of information, more that you're making sure that no one can get anything valuable out of any kind of media, including yourself.

It also makes it exceedingly difficult to remain informed about literally anything.

The 'Negativland' reference- the band that did cut up and remixes that got them sued by Disney and U2 - gave it away. It's not a hacker school. It's an Adbusters/Situationist/KLF/Burroughs cut up/glitch art school. It was written back when remixes and mashups were subversive and underground. The main inspiration sounds like the weird Max Headroom broadcasting hijack.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




The metaphor presented is that somehow the act of information disruption boosts and enhances the Infomancer's mystic "signal", allowing him to "broadcast" on different levels than everyone else (i.e. perform Magick). But ordinary media 'resets' him back to the same wavelength as everyone else. For reasons. Despite the trappings of hacker culture, the Infomancer is really more inspired anarchic/surrealist sabotage in the style of the Max Headroom signal hijacking, which is just about the perfect example of a Infomancer getting a significant charge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_broadcast_signal_intrusion.

And yeah, its almost impossible to imagine the Infomancer actually building charges without busting their taboo (other than very basic things like self-directed Minor charges or destroying/damaging broadcasting equipment). About half the examples of charge-building (doctoring photos, defacing ads in meaningful ways, hacking a webpage, etc.) would also break taboo.

Probably a better taboo would be to simply limit the infomancer when it comes to communicating via "unscrambled" media. That is, an infomancer can read a book, watch a TV show or receive an email without busting their taboo (and thus can charge without having to worry about understanding things too much and violating taboo)...but they can't send information to someone else through media in a standard way. Call someone on the phone and you violate taboo. Send an email. Leave a written message. You can get around it by "encoding" your message in non-standard ways such as leaving a note in the form of a rebus, or sending emails in heavy "leet" speak (although since the early 2000's that has likely become a more standard form of communication, preventing use without breaking taboo), make a call but don't speak and just send morse code messages.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


Or you could argue that in the modern world most information is already remixed and cut up. An Infomancer can listen to Top 40 pop since it's mostly assemblages of other songs. They can get their news from the Daily Show.

I think the book should have explained a bit more about the theory behind Infomancy. It's a magick school that suggests a familiarity with Guy DeBord: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9tournement

quote:

A détournement (pronounced: [detuʁnəmɑ̃], French for "rerouting", "hijacking") is a technique developed in the 1950s by the Letterist International,[1] and later adapted by the Situationist International (SI),[2][3] that was defined in the SI's inaugural 1958 journal as "[t]he integration of present or past artistic productions into a superior construction of a milieu. In this sense there can be no situationist painting or music, but only a situationist use of those means. In a more elementary sense, détournement within the old cultural spheres is a method of propaganda, a method which reveals the wearing out and loss of importance of those spheres."[3][4] It has been defined elsewhere as "turning expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself"[5]—as when slogans and logos are turned against their advertisers or the political status quo.[6] Détournement was prominently used to set up subversive political pranks, an influential tactic called situationist prank that was reprised by the punk movement in the late 1970s[7] and inspired the culture jamming movement in the late 1980s.[5]

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





theironjef posted:

I don't think we can charge for it, since there's a party boardgame called Beer & Pretzels already (something about throwing coasters). We just want it played.
So call it Pretzels and Beer. Come on, son!

A long game might make my BeerLord get warm. What do I do if I'm drinking lousy beer or perhaps Yuengling?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Nessus posted:

So call it Pretzels and Beer. Come on, son!

A long game might make my BeerLord get warm. What do I do if I'm drinking lousy beer or perhaps Yuengling?

The Beer Lord is just a model. He can be a real beer if you prefer (and you should) but there's nothing wrong with swapping him for a cold lord once he dies. Send him to Fridge Limbo for a while before he gets to Valhalla.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Cypher System Corebook, part 3

Experience Points

One of Cypher’s touted features is that it does not give the players experience for killing monsters. Rather, the GM is free to hand out experience whenever/however they like (with guidelines), and specifically through a mechanic known as GM Intrusions.

I'll talk about GM intrusions later on, but the short version is that whenever the GM wants to introduce a twist or a complication, supposedly for the sake of making the game more interesting or dramatic, he declares that he's using a GM Intrusion. In exchange having their plans hosed around with, the player earns 1 XP themselves and then nominates a different player to also earn 1 XP.

The first thing I want to mention is this sidebar from the book:

quote:

Defeating opponents in battle is the core way you earn XP in many games. But not in the Cypher System. The game is based on the premise of awarding players experience points for the thing you expect them to do in the game.

Experience points are the reward pellets they get for pushing the button—oh, wait, no, that’s for rats in a lab. Well, same principle: give the players XP for doing a thing, and that thing is what they’ll do.

In the Cypher System, that thing is discovery.

The first two paragraphs are not wrong. If you reward players for doing A Thing, then in general they’ll keep engaging in that behavior because you’re rewarding them for it.

It’s that last sentence I take issue with, combined with statements like these:

quote:

The core of gameplay in the Cypher System—the answer to the question “What do characters do in this game?”—is “Discover new things.” Discovery makes characters more powerful because it almost certainly grants new capabilities or options, but it’s also a reward unto itself and results in a gain of XP.

The generic idea that players will engage in whatever behavior you reward them experience with is correct, but I don’t think it necessarily follows that just because you tell the GM to reward the players with XP for engaging in discovery and exploration, that you’ve also made a game that’s tailored for discovery and exploration.

By stripping away the experience gain from monsters and telling the GM that they can award XP for whatever they like*, you create the conditions to have games that can be exploration-focused, but you’re not making a game that’s specifically made for it.

*that in itself is yet another potshot at D&D-type games, but omits the fact that Dungeon Master Guides since AD&D 2nd Ed have been telling DM’s to award experience for all sorts of things beyond just killing monsters, and even before AD&D 2e, players would gain experience for retrieving treasure from dungeons, which is exactly the kind of hard, written rule that directly encourages players to engage in a specific kind of behavior. Even if you don’t tell the DM that they should reward the players for looting the bejesus out of that dragon’s lair, it’s going to happen regardless.

The waters are further muddied when he gives out other guidelines for handing out XP:

quote:

Sometimes, a group will have an adventure that doesn’t deal primarily with discovery or finding things. In this case, it’s a good idea for the GM to award XP for accomplishing other tasks. A goal or a mission is worth 1 to 4 XP for each PC involved, depending on the difficulty and length of the work. As a general rule, a mission should be worth at least 1 XP per game session involved in accomplishing it. For example, saving a family on an isolated farm beset by raiding cultists might be worth 1 XP for each character. Of course, saving the family doesn’t always mean killing the bad guys; it might mean relocating them, parlaying with the cultists, or chasing off the raiders.

quote:

Players can create their own missions by setting goals for their characters. If they succeed, they earn XP just as if they were sent on the mission by an NPC. For example, if the characters decide on their own to help find a lost caravan in the mountains, that’s a goal and a mission. Sometimes character goals are more personal. If a PC vows to avenge the death of her brother, that’s still a mission. These kinds of goals that are important to a character’s background should be set at or near the outset of the game. When completed, a character goal should be worth at least 1 XP (and perhaps as much as 4 XP). This encourages players to develop their characters’ backgrounds and to build in opportunities for action in the future. Doing so makes the background more than just backstory or flavor—it becomes something that can propel the campaign forward.

So it's an exploration-focused game, except if the players are dealing with a particular non-exploration-related mission, you should award them some XP for successfully accomplishing it. Further, if the players come up with some objective that they want to do all their own, you should also facilitate that and again give them XP for successfully accomplishing it, again even if it's not exploration-related.

But Cypher/Numenera is a discovery-focused game because Monte Cook said so. Okay.

It's a much more useful general guideline when he says that during a typical session, a player might earn 2 to 4 XP, and then earn another 2 XP between sessions.

which will bring us to the next bugaboo of this game: Spending XP

(I'm breaking up these posts into smaller chunks so that there's a central thesis to every mechanic I'm discussing)

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

gradenko_2000 posted:

Cypher System Corebook, part 3

Experience Points

It's a much more useful general guideline when he says that during a typical session, a player might earn 2 to 4 XP, and then earn another 2 XP between sessions.

which will bring us to the next bugaboo of this game: Spending XP

(I'm breaking up these posts into smaller chunks so that there's a central thesis to every mechanic I'm discussing)

How do you earn XP between sessions? Things like writing up the session etc?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

I assume it means the GM just says you begin the session with 2 XP already banked, which actually means something since you can spend your XP on things besides leveling up.

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


oriongates posted:

Probably a better taboo would be to simply limit the infomancer when it comes to communicating via "unscrambled" media. That is, an infomancer can read a book, watch a TV show or receive an email without busting their taboo (and thus can charge without having to worry about understanding things too much and violating taboo)...but they can't send information to someone else through media in a standard way. Call someone on the phone and you violate taboo. Send an email. Leave a written message. You can get around it by "encoding" your message in non-standard ways such as leaving a note in the form of a rebus, or sending emails in heavy "leet" speak (although since the early 2000's that has likely become a more standard form of communication, preventing use without breaking taboo), make a call but don't speak and just send morse code messages.
See now, this is not only an easier Taboo to manage but also one that's a lot more fun for the player, because it challenges him to come up with creative ways of relaying important information to avoid losing his charges. Under the current system, a powerful Infomancer would have to be a sort of media hermit, completely isolating himself from the outside world; instead, the above change would mean that dealing with a powerful Infomancer would be like communicating with an alien, or like, watching a soap commercial directed by David Lynch.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


theironjef posted:

I don't think we can charge for it, since there's a party boardgame called Beer & Pretzels already (something about throwing coasters). We just want it played.

How about reflavoring it into "Cheese & Dudes", the cheesiest wargame out there that also happens to have a faction themed after beer & pretzels.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Doresh posted:

How about reflavoring it into "Cheese & Dudes", the cheesiest wargame out there that also happens to have a faction themed after beer & pretzels.

That's a killer idea. Gonna look right into that.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Please add an advanced rule for sharp cheddar piercing armor.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



theironjef posted:

We had so much fun reviewing micro games that we wanted to make one. So we did. While hanging around our local nerd store we were sitting with a friend of ours, who was making the old argument that even though the rules for Warhammer 40k suck, it's a "Beer and Pretzels" game. I pointed out that any game is a fine game if you drink and don't take it seriously, and resolved that our new game would be the ultimate Beer & Pretzels game. So here's Beer & Pretzels, our new wargame, for your advance review (It's not really up at the website yet).




OMG, that tagline :vince:

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


Sorry for the delay. Senior year of Engineering school just started, and I'm doing this instead of practicing Heat Transfer.



Part 11: VECTRON'S GLORIOUS DIVINITY AND IMMENSE HOLINESS and some other holy fucks
The Alignment chapter. Every character starts with an alignment to some deity or another. While devout worship isn't really all that necessary or common, it is important to at least be aware of those tenets and not break them. A follower of Vectron need not announce his glory all the time, but only shouting it twice a year is probably pushing it a little. The book is a bit odd on Alignment though as it describes alignment as "universal forces bigger than deities or any other allegiance you might have. They are an intrinsic part of the universe, as real as gravity, time, or magic." Presumably, this would mean that the deities are more like exemplars or the arbiter of that alignment rather than the master. It's not all that important to think about.

Devotion
What is important is that Devotion is how a character's alignment is measured and it runs a bit like WoD's Morality system. Break with alignment and an Alignment roll is made. Rather than rolling for successes like in WoD or using a pool as normal for this game, an Alignment roll is just 1d10 with any potential modifiers that the character might have. Match or exceed Devotion, nothing happens. That's good. Go under and devotion drops a point and a Degeneration roll is made. Same roll as before but the target value is one lower. Fail this one and the character gets a shiny new status effect that remains until they recover the Devotion level that triggered it. Most of them are fairly annoying to potentially debilitating, but never outright fatal. Recovery is as simple as spending XP, however the cost is relatively high (50*Current Devotion), but it's generally not any more than a session's worth of XP. Only one point of Devotion can be bought at a time though.



Characteristics that are penalized with a degeneration is more than just a penalty, it prevents its improvement. At the very least, however, a character can't have the same Degeneration twice. Degenerations are one of the ways to reach a Characteristic rank of Zero. In this case, the character is severely debilitated in that aspect. The characteristic adds one die to the roll rather than zero and applies Skills and such as normal, however Tens do not explode and count as Zeros instead. It's not the worst. The worst is hitting Devotion 0. Just like in WoD (for most splats), when that stat hits Zero, the character is now out of the game due to reasons. In this case, it's because the deity is so pissed off that they character has been smote into ruin, insanity or some other form of unplayability. Before that happens, it's probably just best to convert to a different religion/deity that's more amenable to the types of things your character wants to do. Switching to a deity in the same Pantheon (there are three), reduces Devotion by 2 to a minimum of 1, but with no other ill effects (no word if it triggers a Degen roll, but I'd assume not). Shifting to an entirely new Pantheon sets Devotion to 4 and a Degeneration is gained at the 7 Devotion mark. It's suggested changing alignments should only be done once and with sufficient in character reason.

Not the most interesting or all that good of a mechanic, but :shrug: It's better than D&D's alignment bullshit though.

Deities
Deities are beyond the mortals that exist in the Great Wheel. They are creatures borne from the Warp from the emotions and souls of living creatures even if they claim to have created said creatures. A paradox. Though they may be depicted in one for or another, their true form is meaningless as they have transcended beyond physical forms.


"My heart praises Khorne, but my body praises Slaanesh"

Between these gods, there are three overarching groups or Pantheons. Not much really binds these god to their pantheons beyond a loose view on how the Wheel should turn and it's not uncommon for gods of the same Pantheon to be in conflict. The Pantheons are the Ruinous Powers, the Blessed Pantheon and the Grey Council. Most mortals worship more than one god at different times and generally the gods take little notice of them. For Adventurers, their devotion is to a particular deity and thus reap the risks and rewards of such a focus.

As the gods don't necessarily have a gender, I'll refer to them as "it"s rather than be "he" or "she" (or "xe" or whatever bullshit that's been made up for other genders). The book uses "He" a lot because the deities it uses are mostly male from their respective source material. All of the deities are derivative from one source material or another.

The Ruinous Powers of Chaos
"I do what I want," is basically the key tenet for any followers of a Chaos god. The gods aren't in particular want of anything beyond service through an aligned interest so while a worshiper of Chaos may slaughter and destroy, it's because the worshiper wants to and not because they're ordered by their deity. The Ruinous Powers are basically the Warhammer Chaos Gods. Yeah.

Khorne - It is the Blood god and loves to kill. Worship to it is done through bloodshed through combat. It doesn't matter why, just fight and kill and Khorne will be pleased. Whether it's your own or others', let blood be spilled. gently caress Magic though. It's for cowards and pussies. Fighting should be done honorably though so slaughtering a field of bunnies for Khorne isn't exactly pleasing to him. At least give the bunnies a weapon first.

Slaanesh (SUPER :nws:) - The god of excess. The god of YOLO. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll is what Slaanesh is all about. Turn the dial up to 11 on everything and give no fucks about holding back for anyone else. If it makes you happy, Just Do It(R). Slaanesh only asks of its followers of a few things: Try new things as long as it wont kill you (or do, YOLO), Be Different(R) as being like everyone else is just another form of holding back, and share your excesses with everyone. They don't know what they're missing.

Tzeentch (slightly :nws:) - The God of Hope and Change. Change is good and Hope is merely the wish for Change. In his infinite mind, Tzeentch listens tothe Hopes of all and through his circuitous and elaborate machinations such great works will Tzeentch manifest beyond the ken of mortals. All followers should be flexible in their plans and ideas as openness to change is the fastest way to achieve it. If you don't like it, change it. By any means necessary, especially via magic. Finally, follow your dreams as you are the captain of your destiny (unless it doesn't coincide with Tzeentch's plans).

Nurgle - It loves you and everythin about you. Even your illnesses and diseases. "He's like the lazy, smelly grandpa who is always there with a smile, who makes you laugh, and is there to hold you when you need a shoulder to cry on." It also is into death and rot and disease and stuff. Followers of Nurgle shouldn't ask for help though. Bootstraps Motherfucker! Escaping suffering is done though faith (presumably through Papa Nurgle). As for those who are dying, there's nothing wrong with helping them. They cannot be saved, but they can at least be comfortable when they go.

Malal - The true embodiment of Chaos and the general sense of gently caress you and everyone and everything else. The ideal god for internet trolls, anarchists and other psychopaths. Malal gives zero shits about what the other gods think and their hate in it only makes it stronger. Malal's followers are expected to follow a few commandments (until they self-destruct): Hate is power. Hate those that oppose you and use that hate against them. Destruction is the end state of all things so why not help it out. Finally, Betrayal is a thing and it's totally cool. If they get stabbed in the back, that's their fault, not yours. (Alternate link for info)

The Blessed Pantheon
Where the Ruinous Powers are the embodiment of Chaos, the Blessed Pantheon is the embodiment of Law and Order. They want to keep the universe in one piece and a piece that isn't one large smoldering ruin. They're not necessarily good, but they do keep things neat and tidy which tends to benefit the universe as a whole. Additionally, while the Chaos gods seek to open the Warp further up bring its chaotic power into the universe, the Blessed Pantheon prefers to seal it closed permanently. These are basically the Lawful and Good gods of D&D with guest appearance by Sigmar.

Sigmar - A bit possesive of its followers, Sigmar is said to be the great unifier and seeks a stable and communally good civilization. Most humans and some Dwarves worship Sigmar. The tenets of Sigmar include: Work together for the community as the whole is stronger than the individual. Push back the wilderness and let the light of Civilization push the ever encroaching darkness back. Seek out the new and novel, ideas, inventions, lands. Build machines, build cities, build empires.

Bahamut - The god of nobility and of just power. Once, Bahamut sought to unite the stars under its banner (more on this in another chapter), but now only guides civiliations to prosperity. It's mostly worshipped by Dragonborns. To sum up what it asks: Noblesse oblige. Those in power should use said power responsibly and with generosity to those less priveleged. Additionally it desires the stemming and opposition of evil in all of its forms.

Pelor - The Burning Hate God of Mercy, Light, Kindess and generally not being a dick. Pelor desires making the world a better place through acts of kindness and generosity and turning the other cheek. Totally not an allegory for Jesus. Pelor's tenets include: Alleviating suffering where it exists, introducing Pelor's light where darkness exists and remaining vigilant against evil.

Moradin - The Dwarves' favorite god. Moradin demands it followers to be loyal to family, friends and leaders (in that order) and to demonstrate it. Its followers should also remain stoic in the face of adversity and meet it with unrelenting tenacity. Finally, Moradin's followers should seek to make a lasting mark on the world or universe. Something that lasts and leaves agreat legacy should be seen as the highest good.

Cuthbert - Big on loyalty, hard on dishonesty. Breaking a promise means incurring the wrath of Cuthbert and it's said that invoking its name in a contract will curse anyone who breaks it. Cuthbert demands of its followers: Honesty, such courage that any fear you possess is instead driven into foes, and rewarding betrayal with the end of a blade as trust should be given only until its broken and such trust only regained when repaid.

The Gray Council
Unlike the other two groups, these gods are basically a catchall for those who don't fit the other two. These gods are also some of the most followed as they don't tend to call their followers into action against other gods. They're more D&D gods with two special guests from WoD/Exalted as well as a rather famous one.

Acererak - THE God of Magic. Legend goes that Acererak gave up every piece of its body to learn the secrets of the world, leaving only a skull. Such knowledge however granted it godhood and immortality so being a skull was a bit moot at that point. Acererak teaches perfection of the mind through balancing reason, perception and emotion; the accumulation, preservation and acquisition of all knowledge; keep a few things learned a secret, just in case.

The Raven Queen - The god of death. When one dies, they're met by the Raven Queen and their soul is taken to the Warp and let out later when it's their time to be reborn. It's not keen on the latter but, it's part of its job and it takes its job very seriously. Followers of the Raven Queen are expected to show no pity for the dead as that is the natural end. Those so seek to cast off the chains of fate should be punished for their hubris and reminded of their mortality. Followers are also expected to keep to the shadows, avoiding the light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil.

Luna - Unlike Malal who gives zero fucks and Tzeentch who's ultimately in it for itself, Luna, as a god of change seeks it for the better. Luna is rather fickle and inconsistent being stern at times, but also loving. Savage, calm, lustful, cold. Luna is all of these things. Luna commands people to follow their own path, no matter where it leads and no matter what anyone else says. It does desire of its followers to steer change in such a way that makes things better. Those that would rob others of their freedoms should be opposed and assist those who are oppressed. Finally, the wilderness should be met with in harmony, not opposed.

Corellon - A living Eldarin god. Corellon is the god of excellence and being the best. Failure only comes when refusing to try again. Failure cannot be tolerated, so always keep trying. Whatever it is that its followers do, Corellon urges they cultivate beauty in what they do, seek out lost magic or art that might've been inspired by Corellon and not to show compassion to those who've failed on your rise to power.

VECTRON (Viewable if you're in the UK or using a British IP) - BY VECTRON'S GOLDEN WINGS, may he be praised. Vectron is totally real and not made up whose worship has gone back a zillion years. BY VECTRON'S KINDLY CLAW, Vectron will help you with whatever you need as long as you sing Vectron's praises. Just don't question Vectron's validity or existence. Vectron is the best and most awesome god ever :colbert: All problems can be solved by praising Vectron and if it hasn't been solved, then there's not enough yelling and it isn't loud enough. Once it is solved, however, make sure to to tell everyone about how Vectron helped. PRAISE VECTRON!

Next: Killing Implements and Aids and anti-Killing Implements and Aids

ganonso
Aug 1, 2011


I stopped lurking just to post in this thread and signal I will comment Nephilim. Not the Chaosium's version you could be familiar with but the original (and superior) French Version beginning with the 2nd edition rulebook.



For those who don't know poo poo about the game: You play a Nephilim, an antedilluvian elemental creatures reduced to possessing human bodies to survive. Unlike the World of Darkness you are perfectly fine with stealing the flesh of others (Or more precisely your big problem is that you can't have your awesome spirit form anymore) You are part of one of the 22 Arcana of the Tarot, 22 paths to attain enlightnement and be freed of your fleshy prison. Your ennemies are the Minor Arcana, secret societies bent on exterminating your for reasons that range from sympathetic (you kinda enslaved humanity in prehistoric times) to the vile (they want to use you as a superpower source). One tagline of the games, is that all conspiracies are true.

Aestically the game is very mystical and fuses elements of Alchemy and Kabbalah along with most Western Occultism and is not afraid to namedrop important historical people as being part of the super-conspiracies who try to command humanity.

(Amusingly one supplement states that the huge number of conspiracies vying for control only suceed to hinder their efforts and thus, make humanity free)

What makes the game thread-worthy in addition to his obscurity is some 90's strange racial festishism (one of the human Splats are Bohemians and while they are better treated than WOD's gypsies, they are still poo poo and deeply uncorfotable.)

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


With the assistance of some random encounters, the party is now level 7, and 4th level spells are in play. The party has definitely outgrown Diamond Lake; even Allustan himself is only roughly on par, maybe a shade ahead, of his protege Wally. Luckily, the party now has an excuse to head off to the Free City and get involved in the real important stuff of the campaign... you know, after maybe one more outing that's more set up than payoff.

Also, this module is weirdly light on art. It just... isn't very thoroughly illustrated.

Age of Worms, The Hall of Harsh Reflections


The party takes five days to travel to the Free City, and gets in precisely two encounters along the way. As is typical, this means the spellcasters are free to unload their new spell levels into... one incredibly stupid bandit (23 on table is 1d3 bandits) and then on another day another... one bandit (17 is the same 1d3 bandits... I don't cheat these rolls at all, folks :psyduck:). Sadly, only on a 90+ would the party have met with the two surviving trolls of the five that the rival adventuring team took out some days ago. Roger would have been heartened to hear Tirra is doing well.

The guards at the gate hassle the party, out of hope for a bribe of about 5 gp. They pay. It's easier than strenuously arguing about the equivalent of a dropped penny, and more likely to work than trying to disguise themselves and hope their disguise holds up.

Here the magazine takes a moment to inform Dom that the Free City is intentionally a bit of a blank slate; it could be Greyhawk, Waterdeep, Sharn, or something else based on the campaign. The actual intent, I believe, is Greyhawk. But Dom is playing this to the hilt, so Free City it remains.

As they enter the city, they find their way briefly blocked by a parade. It's to show off a bit and advertise for the Champion's Games (next session, folks!), as the arena's performers are showing off some of the werid beasts they've acquired to fight there. The star here is a chimera, that, wouldn't you know it, breaks free just as two thieves (statistically the same as the fools on the road) try to pick-pocket them. The thieves have a Will of +0, and the chimera of +6. Wally waves his hands and the situation is defused. Wally is thus making a great first impression.

Then they meet a street prophet who rants about the Age of Worms, the roaring of dead dragons, and the worm that walks. He's basically like a pre-recorded message, though; he can only repeat his message in its entirety and cannot offer anything else as far as interpretation. Thanks, that's helpful.



That's enough distractions. The party meets with Eligos, who's in a well-appointed house with rather a lot of wealth on display. If you were curious, Eligos is a Fighter 2/Wizard 7/Loremaster 2, which is kind of a weird build but all right. His manservant is a (N male elf expert 2), which I'm sure is information this review would have been woefully incomplete without. The party exposits to Eligos, and he tells them he's going to look into all this weird Age of Worms/cults/unknown and powerful undead thing, for free, as a favor to his friend Allustan and Allustan's protege and totally not-the-main-character Wally. It will just take up to a week, so... go stay in the Crooked House, a specific inn, and wait for the next plot trigger to show up.

The campaign mentions a few things the party can do here; probably the most interesting is a sidebar on the "Mistmarsh Accord". This is an opportunity for the PCs to make good on their promise to strike a treaty between the lizardfolk last session and the Free City. It tells you how much this is going to matter from here on (not at all) and suggests you take only as much time on it as the party finds fun, from whole stables of politicians to convince to just making one Diplomacy check and calling it a success.

The Crooked House is actually a fairly nice inn, just literally crooked. Wally makes friends with the proprietor, a fellow gnome and friend of Eligos, and they rent single rooms. Single rooms are actually all that's available. No reason, just chance, that.

Now comes an interlude I'm going to praise heavily. There's a doppleganger hired by parties unknown to everyone but Cleo and Dom (I haven't mentioned the name yet, I don't think) who's supposed to try to infiltrate the party. The doppleganger, Ixiaxian (let's call him Ix), is hoping to replace a party member and keep tabs on them while the person he's replacing is kidnapped. Not a great idea, right? Well, the adventure calls out the problems (in character and out of character), offers reasonable suggestions on how to deal with them, and says from the get-go that if the DM judges it would be more disruptive than cool to just cut the subplot and suggests what to offer in that case. So... Ix is going to try to replace someone he can reasonably impersonate. And who won't just be able to actually obliterate him. So that's Cleo and Wally out of the running. Luckily, this is exactly the sort of thng Roger finds fun. So, one night, the real Roger is spirited off, and for the next while Roger is playing Ix, and any other dopplegangers know to avoid attacking him. What a stroke of luck they were all in single rooms.

That's not to say it's perfect. Ix is supposed to try to avoid PCs who have magical abilities he can't copy, those who can make high enough Escape Artist checks or Strength checks to escape being kidnapped. So... it's entirely possible some campaigns would reasonably have no one he could even attempt. The book doesn't address this one, and it misses a few other possibilities for how Ix would arrange this all, including forgetting the single occupancy rooms. Also the payoff is a bit of a misfire. More on that in a bit.

Anyway, a day or two later on, after everyone's gone to bed, another doppleganger walks into the bar in a 'merchant' guise, walks upstairs, shapeshifts to look like Wally, walks back down, stabs the proprietor to dying levels in full view of the late-night drinkers, and walks back upstairs to turn back into the merchant and try to come back down and whip the crowd against the PCs.

The party jumps to try to defend themselves, but somehow Roger, the party face, isn't able to sway the crowd, and now there's another guy in the crowd (the doppleganger) who's trying to spring attack the PCs even as he rouses the startled drunks to anger. Unfortunately, his Will is +6 and his Fort is +9, so there's only one way that this reasonably goes against a viciously accused level 7 wizard with all of his spells for the day. It starts with "S" and ends with "ave or Lose", so by the time the town guards arrive Wally has cleared his name, Cleo has saved and revived the innkeeper, and the party has retrieved a rather distinct-looking key that points at where this doppleganger's hideout is.

It's also possible that the party could get arrested and thrown in jail and then kidnapped by the dopple-gang, but it's telegraphed enough that to do so would involve really poor decision-making on several levels. Once kidnapped, they're on a time limit to escape (and get all their stuff back from the conveniently unlocked chest with all their stuff not far away), and if they don't manage it it's a TPK.

So... it's off to a warehouse by the river to use this key and kill a whole ring of shapechangers because... I guess just because they're evil? The party has no reason to think this was anything but the work of one guy, and that one guy had a key. The first room, the one that's kept sort of legit in case of inspections or the like, has three mimics that attack the party, and a trap with a DC seven points lower than what we saw in the very first adventure.

The party loots a random ring of swimming from the floor, and Roger manages to take 2d6 falling damage from a badly put together ladder before managing to get into the unlocked chest that would have had their stuff, but now just has a periapt of health, a bag of holding, a 200 gp cloak, and another eight hundred plus gp. I should probably mention at some point that the reward for saving the innkeeper was that he gave them free room and board for a month, so they don't owe him the collective 1.8 gp a day any longer.

Pressing on, the party finds a row of cells with four people in them: one is an elf noble they can rescue, one is an insane man who's technically rescuable, and the other two are HOLY poo poo DOPPLEGANGER GUARDS PRETENDING TO BE LOCKED UP I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. The party brushes them off. This is not the dangerous area of the campaign. Even Roger isn't exactly being hurt too much, not that he's fighting much, either.

The saved duo are sent back. The PCs move to the next room in this basically linear dungeon. A pool of stagnant water studded with abandoned weapons, with bad-looking timber bridges on them. "Hm, this could be a sort of deception," Cleo says, stressing the last word. Dom scratches his head. How could she have known the password? It's not clear why the book even lists the password if you can't know it. "It might be a deception, but we still have to cross," Roger agrees. Wally doesn't get the hint, so the invisible stalkers attack him. Yeah, there's two invisible stalkers that attack people who get on the planks without saying the word. This fight... is actually very nasty. Two permanently-invisible enemies while the PCs are forced to make balance checks all the time to avoid falling into dangerous water is both interesting and threatening. They fish out a partially-charged wand that was thrown into the water once it's safe. These dopplegangers need to take better care of their magic stuff.

A few less interesting traps and fights later, and we're in the planning room. The dopplegangers thoughtfully have a perfect written record and paper trail of their entire scheme (basically: replace people with dopplegangers, get money/power by doing so), so the party adds that to their new bag of holding. Nice to have some retroactive justification for the murder spree. It's just like old times.

And... that's it. There's nowhere else to go. The party can't find any secret doors or anything, so that must be everything. No boss fight, really? In surprise, Cleo leans against a specific wall to steady herself from the shock and falls through. Wouldn't you know it, there was an illusory wall. In the next room is... the party! Everyone is tied up and looking worse for wear. So that's two Rogers, two Cleos, and two Wallys. What's going on here? The prisoners work their way free, and now there's six people who are all insisting they're the real person, and... oh, come on, now. The real Cleo and Wally blast their opposite number with magic. Ix reverts to Dom's control as he attacks them, and thus this is all cleared up with a minimum of fuss. It's not that hard.



It's also worth noting that it's not unreasonable for a party to miss this room entirely; a couple of secret doors would let you skip it and hit the next place, instead. That would be exciting for the poor roleplayer.

Next up is... a retread. Stop me if you've heard this before, but the party gets thrown into a maze and have to navigate it while enemies take advantage of sliding panels to control the battlefield. This one is just smaller and less complex than the one in Vecna's temple in the second adventure. :sigh:



Well, onto the boss room. It's Allustan! No, of course it's not, it's another doppleganger. How is that supposed to confuse or even surprise anyone by this point? He gets cut down, and the party can loot the magical items he was using to help fund and manage the doppleganger spread. In case the party had any doubts, this includes a mirror that reflects anyone's true form. Yes, that's the real Roger. They also find another note that says this doppleganger was receiving instructions from someone else, and where to meet him. Well, gosh, I wonder if we'll find out who that is.

Yes we will. It's a mind flayer, who with a couple of drow bodyguards ambushes the party as they try to leave the dungeon. He planeshifts away almost immediately.

Whoooo's up for another dungeon? Yup, rest up and let's do it again. The note tells the party where to go, in the sewers of the city. There's some faffing about with Search checks and Track feats and 8%-per-hour encounters. Do you mind if we brush past that? We get to the next dungeon, where the mind flayer lives. It's also very linear, and pretty much excessively boring. The party fights some shriekers, some more drow, and a spirit naga who could instead be bribed for 1000 gp if preferred, and then even more drow. Then we shake things up with a couple of glyph traps. That was a nice change of pace. Back to the meatgrinder. It's a couple of homebrew aberrations.

Next up is a particularly stupid trap. There's a stone brain here, with hardness 8 and 50 hp. It's a trap that attacks one person per turn with dominate person. Save to only suffer 1 wisdom damage, instead. So... ability damage, dominate person, annoyingly hard to break, wording suggests that the DC 30 disable device check doesn't actually break the dominate effect, basically impossible to just run past, no stealth option even offered... let's pretend this isn't here as I genuinely have no idea how you're supposed to handle this unless you have someone stand outside its range and plink it with arrows or a druid/ranger has their pet chew on it.



Two more encounter rooms. Now we're at the boss! It's... well, it's a mind flayer who is yet another sorcerer. The party actually has access to higher-level spells than he does by this point. This entire dungeon smells of a rush job; there's nothing much interesting here beyond the stone brain and it's basically a straight line to be followed. Also, the dead mind flayer had a note out on his desk saying he had been hired by Raknian to kill the party, continuing the campaign theme of "finding the plot thread by killing people and then reading their mail". He also knows Raknian purchased the "Apostolic Scrolls", but we don't get to find what that is yet.

The party wipes some of the blood, ichor and/or other off as they exit the sewers. Well, third time's the charm. Time to go kill this Raknian guy, right? No, no. Go take a couple days to refill your spell slots, then Eligos invites the party to dinner first. Oh, and as the party goes to meet him for dinner, they find boys in the street putting up flyers for "The Free City Champion's Games are coming! Lord Raknian, Director". Welp, time for a cliffhanger. We'll meet with Eligos next time.

So... next time, the party is going to join in the Champion's Games, a gladiatorial tournament and one of the adventures I have strong and positive memories of. At the very least, it's not this weird interstitial sort of adventure.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Green Intern posted:

Please add an advanced rule for sharp cheddar piercing armor.

Thinking that the right way to do that while still keeping it simple is to add two advance units for each faction so that they all have the base three and then something special for advanced play. We'll have to discuss it more before recording tomorrow.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

ganonso posted:

I stopped lurking just to post in this thread and signal I will comment Nephilim. Not the Chaosium's version you could be familiar with but the original (and superior) French Version beginning with the 2nd edition rulebook.

Cool! I've toyed with trying to do a write-up on the Chaosium adaptation, but it's seriously weird to begin with, and that's before you get into poorly translated and possibly missing mechanics.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



theironjef posted:

Thinking that the right way to do that while still keeping it simple is to add two advance units for each faction so that they all have the base three and then something special for advanced play. We'll have to discuss it more before recording tomorrow.

Cheese Units:

Sharp armor piercing cheddar spearmen.
Stinky cheese bombers, with AoE blast radius.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



"They call this weapon...Feta Gear."
"HRM?! FETA GEAR?!"

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



But how does it taste?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Like a goat, I'd imagine. *shudders* I don't much care for feta.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Unknown Armies: Postmodern Magick Adept Rundown, part 5




Key + (Apple X Bird) = magick thieves

Kleptomancy

Hey, remember Kender? Weren't they fun. Now you can play a kender-wizard!


Please, stop screaming.

Well, for better or worse, this is the Kleptomancer, an adept powered by theft. This is one of those adept schools that's a little bit too straightforward with its theme. They steal and that gives them magickal power. There's no postmodern twist or flair to the idea...they're just thieves who also happen to get a magickal charge from thieving. The supposed paradox of the school is that it is never possible to steal enough...which isn't really much of a statement. It also claims that the act of stealing is more important than what is being stolen (not true, since the value of the object being stolen is what determines the value of the charge you get). Unlike plutomancers or bibliomancers (schools with a similar style) there's no real "twist" or complexity...a Plutomancer can get rich building charges but is forbidden from actually using that money for anything but the Kleptomancer just has to keep stealing (i.e. the thing they'd be doing anyway) and they can do whatever they want with the things they steal (they could even give them back).

Charging Ritual

To get a minor charge you have to steal something, duh. Any object worth 100$ or less is worth a minor charge. The object must have some value (stealing trash gets you nothing) and it's loss must be noticeable (even if it isn't actually noticed). So for instance, stealing a dime from a cash register is worth a charge as it's loss could cause the register's count to come up short, but stealing a handful of M&M from a loose bowl wouldn't (because the owner likely wouldn't realize that there's any missing)...however, stealing the same amount of M&Ms from the owner's gingerbread house would (as the missing candy would be noticable). The theft must be performed personally, hiring someone to steal something is a no-no (this would also presumably prevent you from profiting from less direct theft in the form of dodgy accounting, tax fraud, etc), but that's more a decision for the GM. Given how vaguely defined "object" is, your standard Kleptomancer can really get massive quantities of minor charges at once...run into a convenience store, grab a handful of junk food and run out and you've gotten dozens of minor charges so long as you can avoid being actually chased down or caught. An actual armed robbery could net literally hundreds of minor charges, as much as you can carry.

For a Significant charge you have to steal something worth between 100 to 1 million dollars (each object is one charge, regardless of individual worth). That's really all there is to it. Nabbing cars, laptops and smartphones is probably the easiest source of minor charges.

For a Major charge you have to steal something famously unique (mona lisa, hope diamond, etc) or any object worth over 1 million dollars.

Kleptomancers also have an additional twist...they can steal charges from other adepts. If a klepto steals something from an adept who has an appropriate charge then they get twice as many charges and the victim loses a charge (so a Klepto who steals a bibliomancer's lawn ornament gets two minor charges and the bibliomancer loses a minor charge). Adepts should be careful not to tick off a kleptomancer (or make sure that they're not alive to attempt revenge), because they can power themselves up while powering you down.

Taboo
The klepto taboo has two parts. The first is simple enough: you have to steal something, anything, every week. Which...doesn't seem like a big deal. I would imagine that most adepts are looking to charge up a lot more often than once a week so it's hardly going to be causing them any trouble.

The second part is a bit looser: if you get caught, you lose any charges gained from the theft. If you're already tapped out of charges then you go into "debt" and lose the appropriate number of future charges. Being "caught" is not really satisfactorily defined...the implication seems to be that you are actually forced to suffer some kind of punishment for the crime (being forced to return or pay for your theft, sent to jail, fined, etc). This can be a big deal if you're planning on keeping your stolen goods...an adept who gets caught by the police with a buttload of stolen valuables can find themselves not only drained of charges but in the hole for many other charges in the future...but in most cases you're just stealing to charge up and once an object is stolen there's nothing that says you can't simply dispose of any evidence: throw your stolen smartphone in a nearby garbage truck, burn the pile of scratch-off tickets you yanked off a convenience store counter or even just leave all the stolen items on the doorstep of the original owner if you feel like it.

Kleptomantic spells
Kleptomancy is all about being a magick thief: movement, misdirection, deception, etc.

Instant Locksmith (minor)
open any lock by randomly fiddling with it.

Out To Lunch (minor)
The "Look A Distraction!" spell. It lasts for about 15 seconds and during that time the subject just stands around confused. They won't react to anything not immediately dangerous or direct attempts to gain their attention. They might vaguely remember what happened while confused but won't act on it (they'll simply recall it later if asked, and can't provide any important details), making it ideal for simply walking past guards or taking important objects.

Loser (minor)
This makes the subject temporarily lose track of some object that they aren't currently using or making skin contact with (no making people believe that they're naked). The object doesn't vanish, the subject just has an utter inability to locate it. No one else can find it either, except the klepto, who can take it without anyone noticing or reveal its location (breaking the spell).

Steal Breath (minor)
The Klepto minor Blast. It steals the air from the subject's lungs and a little bit of their life force. In addition to damage it causes the target to lose their next action, making it pretty drat powerful as far as minor blasts go.

Detect Traces (minor)
A form of psychometry which is limited to using stolen items. The more valued and precious the item, the more information you can learn from it. Stealing a bit of gum from someone's wallet might get you their name and maybe a vague autobiographical summary ("overworked mother", "IBM Programmer" etc). Stealing their wedding ring gets you intimate details about their life and personal history, but never specifics (you can learn how happy their marriage is, how many kids they have and where they were born but not their PIN number).

Downtime (Significant)
Electronic security will not notice you for the next half hour. You don't appear on camera, set off motion detectors. In fact, more literally you become a complete "blind spot" to all electionics, not just security: your voice won't carry over a phone line and the phone won't even register that you've dialed a number. Even cars won't start. For an extra significant charge you can extend this effect for up to 12 people so long as they stay within a few yards.

The Big Switcharoo. (significant)
An upgraded version of a minor spell, this lets you swap any two objects or living creatures up to motorcycle sized (including yourself if you wish). They have to "fit" in their new positions and have to be of roughly similar size and shape (but not mass). You have to see both subjects clearly. One downside is that the switch only occurs when no one other than you is looking at the objects (although even a blink is enough to allow it).

Steal Life (significant)
The Significant Blast. In addition to inflicting firearm damage it actually lets you steal some of their life force to heal yourself (up to your max, no increasing your total). You can also use this spell (somehow) against mechanical and electronic devices, although it wont' give you any healing.

Steal Memories (significant)
Exactly what it sounds like. You take one of the target's memories, learning the facts while wiping the information from the victim's mind. You must specify the memory in an unambiguous way, and it must be the memory of an 'event' rather than a 'fact'. For instance, you can't steal the target's memory of the date of their birthday...but you could steal the memory of the last time they told someone their birth date or their memory of their last birthday party. The memory can't be too long (probably no longer than a few hours at most) and you have to steal something from the target to cast the spell, something of personal value. Finally, stealing memories is a rank-5 Self check on your part (and maybe on the part of the target if they realize they're missing something important or essential from their memory). You can "heal" stress by stealing the target's memories of the stressful event but then you have to resist the same stress yourself.

Kleptomancy Major Effects
Permanently "vanish" anything smaller than a moving van or make it appear in your possession. Teleport anywhere you want in the world. Gain the ability to be unseen at will. Steal a quality from someone else.


This is your brain on Magick

Oneiromancy

Another one of those out-of-place schools with an oddly ancient backstory. Like Cryptomancy, Oneiromancy harkens back to the classical period...fortunately its history is not nearly so complex. The "old-school" Oneiromancers were what the name literally implied: diviners and prophets who foretold the future with dreams. For the most part they all died out long ago, leaving only vague traces in the modern form.

Modern Oneiromancy is just a couple of years old and is based on delirium and self-induced exhaustion. By denying themselves sleep they bring the dreamworld and the real-world closer together until the line between the two begins to blur and merge. This grants the ability to reach into the dream world and meddle there or pull the dream into the waking world and inflict it upon the conscious. Just make sure you've got plenty of coffee. The modern Oneiromancer comes from only one source, a performance art group called 101001101 (led by the Rahyab, who I will detail later...but suffice it to say that the Rahab is an uber NPC that makes the Freak look pretty tame in comparison).

Charging Rituals

Oneiromantic charging resembles dipsomancy, without the convenience or speed. To charge up you must deny yourself sleep until you start to suffer penalties. The "good" news is that Oneiromancers start to get penalties much sooner than a normal person: they kick in after 12 hours awake. Every hour after 12 you take a -5% shift to Mind and Speed skills (plus any Soul skills requiring focus or Body skills involving coordination) and you get a Minor charge. You can consume two cups of coffee (or equivalent stimulant) to keep the penalty from increasing but this prevents you from gaining a charge that hour. You can erase penalties by taking more stimulants.

After 20 hours you get a -10% penalty per hour and at 36 hours it goes up to -15% and increases by an additional -5% per hour for every 8 hours afterwards. If your penalty ever exceeds -50% then you have to make a Body roll to avoid nodding off briefly (breaking taboo).

Oneiromancers get a Significant charge once they spend 36 hours awake and another significant charge every 24 hours after. Clearly, this is not easy, doubly so considering their taboo.

Oneiromancers effectively cannot get a Major charge...or more strictly speaking they can but there's no way to actually do it beyond GM fiat. They must do it "old school" style: speak a prophecy and witness it fulfilled. And no, you can't make up a prophecy then make it happen. The prophecy must be spontaneous, important and without justification. Prophesying Barak Obama will be elected president after he's been nominated as the Democratic candidate isn't worth anything...but making that claim when he's a young man in high school certainly would...but you can't do anything to make it come about yourself.

Taboo
Much like the dipsomancer, but worse. The Oneiromancer busts taboo when they sleep, even for an instant, or when their exhaustion impairment hits zero (say by consuming enough caffeine to completely cancel it).

All told, the Oneiromancer is probably the worst adept type when it comes to balancing their charging vs taboo. The Dipsomancer has the same harsh taboo but they balance it out by having the fastest and easiest charging structure out of any adept out there. Even their significant charges flow like water once they've got a suitable vessel. The Oneiromancer has one of the most difficult times gaining minor charges with a 12-hour "head start" needed and a delay of 1 hour between each charge (assuming they don't take stimulants). Their significant charging structure wouldn't be, comparatively, too bad..except they'll lose their charges unless they use them immediately. Even building enough charges for some of their spells is almost impossible (staying up the 60 hours needed means that the penalty-per-hour you're dealing with is -30%, requiring 12 cups of coffee per hour to counteract. If you aren't the Rahyab, Oneiromancy is kind of a lovely deal.

Oneiromancy Spells
Visions, delirium, sleep and hallucinations. Like half the adepts we're covering, Oneiromancy powers are about manipulating perception in some way. Despite its origins as a form of divination modern Oneiromancy cannot reveal or clarify: only distort, conceal and warp. Along with having a brutal charging structure the Oneiromancers are also devoid of any really interesting spells.

Black Coffee (minor)
Perform an action with no sleep penalty or counter the effects of a failed Body check to stay awake. This would seem like a surefire way to help staying up late for long periods to build up minor charges...but the law of transaction is going to kick you since you can't earn a charge on the period if you use this spell to keep yourself up (although you can use it to avoid busting taboo).

Don't Close Your Eyes (minor)
The Oneiromancy minor Blast. It implants a nightmare that hangs around in your victim's subconscious until they sleep causing them to suffer a nightmare (inflicting an appropriate stress check at rank-5) and causing the subject to wake up with injuries related to the nightmare. Obviously not much use in the heat of the moment but a good silent-killer since you can build up multiple blasts on someone without them knowing it. Two big downsides however: first, your target must be awake at the time (so no targeting sleepers) and second, if you fall asleep before your target does the blast has no effect. Oneiromancy is a bitch.

Twiddle The Knobs (minor)
Basically lets you mess with the settings of your victim's perception: increase or decrease volume, brightness, saturation, hue, etc, by up to 50% one way or the other (multiple castings stack). It's kind of useless outside of annoying someone or convincing them they've been poisoned/drugged. But you can use it on yourself to sharpen your senses or reduce them to prevent overload. The changes last until you (not the victim) next sleep.

Forty Winks (minor)
Makes someone do that little nod-off and jerk awake thing you do when you're really tired (although if the victim is in a position where they would be comfortable sleeping this spell would probably do the trick). The main effect is a -30% penalty to any check made in the next 30 seconds...or forcing another Oneiromancer to immediately lose all their charges.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn (significant)
The Significant Blast. Same as the minor except in addition to damage (and the normal unnatural stress from being hit by a Blast) this spell also inflicts two Rank-7 checks against appropriate meters. A surefire way to wreck someone's mind...so long as they fall asleep before you do.

Shadows and Fog (significant)
You become extraordinarily difficult to notice: -50% if you're walking, -70% if you're standing still. This has no effect in combat, but otherwise lasts until you next sleep.

Dreams Made Flesh (significant)
This spell must be cast on someone sleeping, exhausted (-50% or more impairment) or in a trance state. It makes whatever dreams or hallucinations they have appear in the real world. The effect is intangible but often dramatic (likely involving stress checks).

In The Hole (signficant)
Denies the victim their senses completely for a number of rounds equal to the ones place on your roll. in addition to rendering them helpless, the spell inflicts Unnatural and Isolation checks. The victim can try and resist by rolling under your Soul stat every round (if not in combat the roll must be higher than 30 to succeed).

Up All Night (significant)
This spell lets you substitute your Onieromancy skill for any skill that you have no rating or default in (so you can use it to learn computer programming or rocket science but not to drive a car). The effect lasts an hour but increases your impairment by -10% in the process.

Oneiromancy Major Effects
Make a dream object or entity completely real. Altering the environment as though you were lucid dreaming. Receive a prophetic vision.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




The kleptomancer would fit a thousand times better if it was a hoarder adept. Taboo is you can't throw away anything, and cannot knowingly let anyone throw something away for you. Bam, instantly thematic and relevant. The issue is how you measure charges- is it just something you gain over time, so the longer you survive in the more awful the house the more powerful your magic?

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Green Intern posted:

Please add an advanced rule for sharp cheddar piercing armor.

And with a bit more prep time, you can have yourself a game of CHEESE, the classic wargame about a combined arms force of pretzels and peantus fighting a giant lump of cheese that gets smaller as the battle goes on because damage is measured in bites.

ZeeToo posted:

The party takes five days to travel to the Free City, and gets in precisely two encounters along the way. As is typical, this means the spellcasters are free to unload their new spell levels into... one incredibly stupid bandit (23 on table is 1d3 bandits) and then on another day another... one bandit (17 is the same 1d3 bandits... I don't cheat these rolls at all, folks :psyduck:). Sadly, only on a 90+ would the party have met with the two surviving trolls of the five that the rival adventuring team took out some days ago. Roger would have been heartened to hear Tirra is doing well.

I generally prefer random encounters that go like "There's around half a dozen ogres blocking the street ahead." or "You find traces of a nearby orc tribe.", but "One crazy dude with a sword rushes towards you" works too I guess.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




ZeeToo posted:

continuing the campaign theme of "finding the plot thread by killing people and then reading their mail".
It's almost as if I'm back playing the Neverwinter Nights Original Campaign again. :v:

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Cooked Auto posted:

It's almost as if I'm back playing the Neverwinter Nights Original Campaign again. :v:

At least the NPCs cough up more than one portion of backstory per level.

Also, does each Age of Worms adventure have a different author or do some come back after a few chapters? Was there any editorial oversight?

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Kavak posted:

The kleptomancer would fit a thousand times better if it was a hoarder adept. Taboo is you can't throw away anything, and cannot knowingly let anyone throw something away for you. Bam, instantly thematic and relevant. The issue is how you measure charges- is it just something you gain over time, so the longer you survive in the more awful the house the more powerful your magic?

I was always a little surprised that there wasn't some kind of hoarding adept. I always felt the "hoarder" style would actually fit Cliomancers better than their current charging paradigm. I love the theme and ideas behind cliomancer powers but their charging/taboo always felt out of place among the other adepts. A "mad collector" sort of character who hoards anything old, regardless of value, seemed like it might work better.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


Kavak posted:

At least the NPCs cough up more than one portion of backstory per level.

Also, does each Age of Worms adventure have a different author or do some come back after a few chapters? Was there any editorial oversight?

In theory, the answer to the latter is "yes". Before the campaign began, we got an overview that spat out about a page of summary for each adventure, and Dungeon magazine does have pretty decent editing overall, much as I might rag on this. I'm willing to accept there's going to be rough edges on a monthly product, but in broad strokes this was cohesive and planned.

According to the original overview (and with actual outcomes given parenthetically where different), the writers are:

  • The Whispering Cairn, by Eric Mona
  • The Three Faces of Evil, by Mike Mearls
  • Encounter at Blackwall Keep, by Sean K Reynolds
  • The Hall of Harsh Reflections, by Jason Bulmahn
  • The Champions Belt, by Tito Leati
  • A Gathering of Winds, by Wolfgang Baur
  • The Spire of Long Shadows, by Jesse Decker
  • The Prince of Redhand, by Richard Pett
  • The Library of Last Resort, by TBD (Nicolas Logue)
  • Kings of the Rift, by Greg A Vaughan
  • Into the Wormcrawl Fissure, by James Jacobs
  • Dawn of a New Age, by TBD (Tito Leati)

So, yes, technically there's a writer who comes back. Next update will be his first outing.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Kavak posted:

The kleptomancer would fit a thousand times better if it was a hoarder adept. Taboo is you can't throw away anything, and cannot knowingly let anyone throw something away for you. Bam, instantly thematic and relevant. The issue is how you measure charges- is it just something you gain over time, so the longer you survive in the more awful the house the more powerful your magic?

I would have kept it as stealing, but made the taboo no stealing anything of significant monetary value. Base the charges on how difficult it is to steal. So, if you want a significant charge, you sneak into the Louvre and steal a velvet rope. A minor charge? You don't steal the lotto tickets from the convenience store. You steal the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray--and leave the pennies.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


So it turns out I'm going to have to ask for audience participation. For the tournament fight next adventure, the Age of Worms team is going to need a name for the group to fight under.

The enemy teams vary from "Guttuggers" to "Sapphire Squad" to "One of Us" to "Auric's Warband" to "The Woodchuckers", so there's a lot of possible space for names.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





ZeeToo posted:

So it turns out I'm going to have to ask for audience participation. For the tournament fight next adventure, the Age of Worms team is going to need a name for the group to fight under.

The enemy teams vary from "Guttuggers" to "Sapphire Squad" to "One of Us" to "Auric's Warband" to "The Woodchuckers", so there's a lot of possible space for names.

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



ZeeToo posted:

So it turns out I'm going to have to ask for audience participation. For the tournament fight next adventure, the Age of Worms team is going to need a name for the group to fight under.

The enemy teams vary from "Guttuggers" to "Sapphire Squad" to "One of Us" to "Auric's Warband" to "The Woodchuckers", so there's a lot of possible space for names.

At the risk of overt self-promotion

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