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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 19: "They rob, rape, pillage, and murder, taking what and whom they please with impunity."


Five-eyed dog not appearing in this book.

Horune Pirates

This is a group of worldwide pirates led by the horune, which is a mysterious aquatic race who ravage Earth's coast because uh, it doesn't really say. Did I mention they're mysterious? There are 1.4 million of them on Earth, but none of them have a story to tell.

History

The Horune arrived on Earth about two centuries ago and started attacking ships and coast for their stuff. Oh, and sometimes they just rape or murder people just because. Yup. Rape. Their only ally is Atlantis, because Atlantis appreciates some good generic evil. Apparently they come from what they call the "Mothersea", but nobody knows what is. Because they're mysterious!

Culture & Government

Though they seem like crazy, orc-ish anarchists, but they shape up to military rank and file when on the job. How? Well. It's a mystery. They respect their captains and may squabble, but are ultimately loyal to the death when it comes to their own kind. It's possible for non-horune to become captains, but not to command horune fleet. They see other people as a resource to be conquered or consumed, and live by the "law of the sea", whatever the hell that is. Even the Splugorth are viewed as an alliance of convenience, and they only respect power or brutality. Why?

:iiam:

Magic & Technology

Stealing most of their technology, the horune generally learn to maintain their equipment, but generally intimidate or enslave people into doing repairs when necessary. They use magic to make their ships, but we'll get around to that in a bit.

Mysterious magic! :iiam:

Foreign Affairs

Let's see, they have fights with the New Navy, Tritonia, Japan, and the naut'yll. A small number of them worship the Lord of the Deep to ward off its wrath, though a tiny percentage are actual Cult of the Deep members. This actually works to keep the Lord from attacking them directly, but its minions generally give no shits and attacks them anyway. They sometimes trade or ally with the Gene-Splicers or Splurgorth as part of the interdimensional evil union. And they like to hunt and kill whale singers and other cetaceans because evil and sadism etc.

Horune Pirate R.C.C.
Optional Player Characters


So, horune are "minor supernatural creatures", which is really just an excuse to make them mega-damage beings. Though they look reptilian, they're "closer to birds", which means they're dino-ish, I guess? Their eyestalk-like eyes are divided by role, with some being farsighted and others nearsighted, which is a neat idea but mostly just flavor. Let's see, they can regenerate, get minor psionic powers + hydrokinesis, have supernatural strength, and naturally can swim and hold their breath. Their default skill list gives then a lot of pilot, underwater, and weapon skills, but not much else. They get poo poo for skill picks. They can choose to be a Mystic instead as per the core book only with the skill package listed here minus four skills (so barely any skills at all).

Kind of just generic strong water baddies.

Ship Dreamers

So there's a rare kind of Horune that live their entire lives where they just float in midair in a lotus position (the book says "like the ancient Earth Hindu Indians") and have a giant magic eye appear above their head. Magic keeps them from having to eat or drink or sleep, and they can apparently cast any spell of 13th level or lower. How? :iiam:

Their big deal - as if being natural archmages wasn't enough - is that they can somehow manifest seagoing ships from their dreams once or twice a year. In fact, most of the Horune ships used are created from these dreams. Somehow all these ships look alike. How is this done? :iiam:

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

Psychics who have tried to probe the minds of Ship Dreams, and survived, all report the same thing. First, they are lost in an ocean of swirling colors, mostly reds, blues, and purples. The psychic feels a sense of disembodiment similar to astral projection and floats aimlessly above the colors. After what seems to be a few moments, the psychic's ears begin to ring and the mumbling of a thousand voices can be heard, although no words can be recognized. The sound and pressure builds. Numbers and equations flash before their eyse although the too cannot be recognized or later remember. The head begins to throb and feels like it's going to explode. Try as he might, the psychic cannot break the connection! He screams and keeps screaming as the sounds and images intensify. Suddenly, the grinning or laughing face of the Ship Dreamer fills the sky. Sometimes he appears to be speaking but his words cannot be heard over the din. There is a blinding blue flash and the ordeal is over.

Yep, bet you wanted to find out the answer behind all these mysteries, well, gently caress you, PC, and make a roll against psionic attack or die, though it says if you want to be nice, you can roll two out of three or just have the PC survive anyway. However, PCs are automatically disuaded from ever trying again. How?

:iiam:

It lists their attributes as "Unknown!" though they only have middling MDC, they have a ridiculous Horror Factor (19 if attacking, more than most gods or demon lords), though their pathetic two attacks per round make them a bit of a pager tiger. Still, they have ridiculous magical power and could just open a rift or whatever to suck PCs away. They're utterly immune to psionic attacks and apparently can't be forced to make ships for people. It's like a tremendous amount of passive-aggressive NUH-UH in NPC format, and though it's the most interesting idea in the horune writeup, it's oddly obsessed with protecting a mystery of no major importance whatsoever.

Horune Weapons & Technology

Most of their weapons are made by Atlantis. They have a harpoon gun that can shoot explosive harpoons (crap), electric or plasma magic harpoons (slightly less crap), or magic nets (totally not crap). There's a rare sonic rifle made by the Ship Dreamers that does middling damage. And lastly the have a knockoff of the naut'yll's energy trident, because you can't be an undersea baddie without your standard issue tridents and nets. Lastly, they steal a lot of guns.

Horune Sea-Horse Sled & Speeder

These are made by the Ship Dreamers, and come in two models: one looks like a seahorse-shaped sled and the other looks like a speeder with a horse's head. Apparently these are based on the cover and the guys on it are horune with helmets on, and certainly not a completely unrelated piece of art that's being shamelessly shoehorned in.

They have a weirdly specific 223 MDC, and the sled can pull stuff but is slow, while the speeder can't pull stuff but is faster. They're powered by *magic* and get special piloting and dodge bonuses. The heads can spit fireballs or ram people, and apparently start to shriek if they're being stolen. Also, they only work for horune because magic, so don't try and steal these, PCs! Unless you're a horune PCs, I suppose.

Horune Dolphin Combat Drone


More spikes means more evil.

So the Ship Dreamers kidnap dolphins and use their :iiam: to turn them into cyborg shock troopers. Apparently most of them have their minds wrecked into obedience, but 2% retain their mind and bust free, though they can't turn back. So they become rogue drones, living by no code but their own, which seems like a easy hook for a PC, but it's not clear if you could play one of these things.

They have average power armor MDC, legs to run with, magical flight, jump jets, swift swimming, magical swimming if they somehow lose their fins or something, a crap sonic rifle, some pretty badass plasma ejectors, crap hip lasters, and tragically, their mouth is just a painting and they can't cyber-bite people. Lame. Even though they're living beings, no details on what skills or attributes they retain, if any. Presumably you'd just slot in a dolphin statblock where necessary, but it's unclear.

Horune Land Shark Drone


Not quite as creepy as Gyo.

Like the dolphin, but they use a shark instead, decreasing tragedy and increasing awesome. They're twice as tough, can fly, run, or swim, have a weaker single plasma ejector, crappy lasers and blasters, but it does have "chest lights" that can do save-or-sucks like blinding flash or wisps of confusion. Oh, and they can bite people, too, and are generally more buff, but strangely have a weaker arsenal than the dolphins. And unlike the dolphins, these never rebel and bust out on their own, so you certainly can't play them. :(

Horune Dream Ship


Attack of the whalebutts.

So, these are the big ships the Ship Dreamers make, and are sometimes called "whale ships" after the fact they look kinda like whale tails. In any case, these are huge 90K ton ships with 20,000 MDC and regenerate, so back off, PCs! They're swift on the surface at 90 MPH, but can submerge at a tremendous hit to their speed. They have "storm cannons" that shoot lightning and plasma cannons that do alright damage, plasma turrets that do a crazy 250 average damage apiece, laser cannons more powerful than boom guns, heavy torpedoes, medium-range missiles, "1d4 x 100" mini-missiles, and crazy damage from rams (up to around 300 MDC).

These are designed to make the horune near-friggin' unstoppable, I guess. I mean, let's do the math. There are 1400 ship dreamers on Earth. They can make one of these a year. They've been here on Earth for 230 years. That's like... let's see, cut the number in half because they probably haven't all been here all this time... about 161,000 of these ships. We have 1.4 million of the horune and about 1.4 million other pirates they command. They can crew one of these things with as few as 112 crew, so they can field about only 25,000 of these or so, though. Still. That number means they should be attacking every coast on Rifts Earth constantly, because math. Most historical pirates were terrors of the sea if they could field three dozen ships, let alone enough to destroy most navies.

Ugh. Well, let's look at their "light" ships, shall we?

Horune Strike Ships

These are basically smaller versions of the dream ship (reuse art, whee), and only have mere 6,500 MDC. Bizarrely, they have about the same crew requirement as the big ones. They're only 30k tons, and get a plasma cannon that does 250 MDC, and two plasma turrets that do 250 MDC apiece... wow, missiles aside, they actually have more basic firepower than the big versions. They also have the boom-gun-plus laser turrets, heavy torpedoes, medium-range missiles, and "100" mini-missiles. Their rams aren't as buff.

And these are the horune's light, regular workhorse ships, and they have more than they could possibly crew. The New Navy has one big ship and several dozen submarines. Numbers-wise, the horune should be wiping the floor with other supposed sea powers like the New Navy, but well. Rifts is bad at math.

Next: Atlantis Undersea. I mean, like, their ships, it didn't sink again or anything.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Dec 20, 2015

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Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Tenra Bansho Zero


I think you can use these rules for superheroes.

Ayakashi

My face is a gas mask full of tiny faces.

Ayakashi are the supernatural beings of Tenra. They come in all kinds of sizes and forms. Some a fey-like, other demonic or downright Eldritch. Some might be gentle creatures full of wisdowm, while others are dangerous beings that only think of destruction.
To bring a bit of order into this chaos, humans have come up with 4 general categories of Ayakashi, though many Ayakashi can be quite hard - if not downright impossible - to clearly define. This is reflected in the Ayakashi creation rules, where the only difference between the categories is their maximum power level.

Incidentally, almost all of these category titles make great names for World of Darkness games.

Henge: The Different, The Transformed

Henge are the go-to category for most Storyteller System PC options, as they used to be ordinary animals or humans until something happened to them, making them larger, smarter and often with animal/man-hybrid features. They're your bakeneko or nekomata (aka cats that became monsters when their tail kept growing and/or split into two), and even some Kijin or Annelidists could technically count as Henge. Orochi is also classified as a Henge.This is also a good category for making a mutant human, if you feel like playing as the Toxic Avenger.

The example Henge provided by the book is the Chimera, which is what happens if a Shikigami goes rogue and becomes a twisted, soulgem-covered rage monster, which is especially problematic if it was bound to a Heart Engine and can now exist indefinitely.


It's like The Thing in mid-transformation

Tsukumo-gami: The Artifacts

Based on the Japanese superstition of objects or even entire places gaining a soul and slowly becoming sentient over time. A Tsukumo-gami's soul can also be from a human, somewhat similar to a Kongohki.
As being an animated object isn't freakish enough, Tsukumo-gami have a tendency to sprout faces and/or a strangely organic look.

The two examples for this type of Ayakashi is the Wheel of Flame (an oversized Armour greatsword of a Rider that went berserk that now occasionally joins in battles out of sheer bloodlust) and the Daidara-Bocchi (derelict Armours who have gained sentience and sometimes act as benevolent giants).


What's that over there?

Yokai: The Monstrous

These are what most people on Tenra think of when they hear the term "Ayakashi". Having a much more narrow focus than the Yokai of Japanese folklore, they are vengeful ghosts, losts souls trying to share their suffering with the living, or just beings born of pure hatred against mankind.
While most Ayakashi have strange, alien motives and goals humans have a hard time wrapping their heads around, Yokais are plain and simple: They just want to torment and/or kill you.

The example Yokai* are the Tengu, which in TBZ is a pretty metal thing with psychic abilities and blade wings that may or may not have once been a fallen monk.


It is also extremely hard to make sense out of their face, or head for that matter. It's almost like gazing at Azathoth.

*) I think. The book doesn't really spell it out. They do however don't appear to be evil, so they might actually belong to the next category.

Ara-Mitama: The Deep Spirits, The Gods of the Wild

The most powerful Ayakashi are actually lesser, earth-bound gods (or close enough in power that it really doesn't make a difference). Think of all the non-humans in Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away (with the possible exception of No-Face who is more Yokai-ish).
Some Ara-Mitama can be beings of pure evil, but many acts as guardians for the region they live in.

The example Ara-Mitama are the Great Wolves, who are like the Oni in that they have been ordered by Yi-yil himself to watch over Tenra. They tend to appear in places where the natural balance of the world is in danger.


Let me tell you about my fursona...

Humans and Ayakashi

While human horror stories tend to pain Ayakashi as the aggressors (which does tend to be true for Yokai), most Ayakashi-related problems actually start when humans just barge into their turf, or when the Ayakashi is awoken - or actually created - from all the death and misery created by all the grim darkness going on.
Once enraged, an Ayakashi tends to go berserk for quite a while, forcing the local lord to send some troops to deal with the threat. This only really works for weaker Ayakashi and never for Ara-Mitama (who can curbstomp entire armies on a regular basis), especially since Ayakashi can't be truly killed if you just destroy their current body.
What you need for serious Ayakashi problems are Spirit Hunters, Buddhist monks trained onmyojutsu. To wipe a Ayakashi out both physically spiritually, they have to study it. Learn of its goals and weaknesses. This can be quite stressful to a human's psyche, and Spirit Hunters have a tendency to go a little bit crazy.

A recent trend - probably another result of grimdarkness - are spirit packs, hordes of very weak Ayakashi that nevertheless pesker the locals and have a tendency to attract larger, more powerful Ayakashi.

As some Ayakashi look quite human or can at least take on the form of humans, Half-Ayakashi are occasionally born. They are humans with strange powers, and usually do their best to hide their true nature because they don't feel like getting a visit from a lynch mob carrying torches and the pitchforks.

The book notes that Ayakashi should never be used as mere cannon fodder. That's what Ashigaru are there fore. Ayakashi should be treated like monsters from a Sword & Sorcery story: Strange, alien creatures that are very rare and are always the main focus of any story involving them. Spirit packs in this case probably count as a single creature.

Ayakashi Creation

Ayakashi are created slightly different depending on whether they are NPCs or PCs.

NPC Ayakashi get an allotment of points to spend on attributes, skills and powers called Yohjutsu (from the "yoh" character used in the Japanese writing of Ayakashi). The maximum number of points depends on the category of the Ayakashi, with Ara-Mitama having a much higher upper limit than anything else.

The book is sadly not exactly clear on whether you have to spend points for every single skill or just assign a single rating for all skills that make sense for the Ayakashi. Most of the example statblocks just go "all skills at x", which becomes ridiculously expensive fast and downright impossible to do within the point limit.
Doing a bit of reverse-engineering, it appears you just buy one ranke for all skills. Then again this is all just for NPCs, so the GM can just give them whatever stats and powers he wants. This approach also makes sense seeing how this would be the only case of NPCs having a clear upper limit.

PC Ayakashi and Half-Ayakashi are just built like normal characters, with the option of buying powers with Karma.

Yohjutsu

Ayakashi powers are similar to skills in that most of them have a rating from 2 to 5. The GM is free to tweak the power's effect if it doesn't quite make sense for the Ayakashi in question. So just because an attack power allows attacks up to 1 kilometer doesn't mean it has to.
  • Domination: Mind Control with varying levels of obedience.
  • Draining Weapons: Damage-over-Time attacksl like poison or acid.
  • Fear: A bit like in Warhammer. Max level allows the Ayakashi to freak out an entire city.
  • Flying: Higher levels increase the speed and maximum carrying capacity before getting encumbered. Top speed is Mach 0.5.
  • Hallucination: Mess with people's perceptions. Powerful Ayakashi can create illusions that last forever.
  • Healing: Actually more like regeneration, as it heals Vitality each round.
  • Incorporeal: Allows the Ayakashi to move through solid objects. No immunity against physical attacks though.
  • Invisibility: The higher the level, the longer the Ayakashi stays invisible, until it becomes permanent.
  • Mindreading: Powerful Ayakashi can not only read you like a book, but you won't even notice that he does.
  • Multiple Forms: Like the ninja duplication trick. Max level can make 10 copies, or one perfect copy that is just as powerful and sturdy as the original.
  • Natural Weapon: Claws or teeth and stuff. Tsukumo-gami with this are also typically animated weapons.
  • Possession: Take over the target's body. The book helpfully points out that the GM shouldn't min-max an Ayakashi to be a dick to the PCs with this power.
  • Projectile Attack: All kinds of Pokemon-esque ranged attacks, from lightning to needles.
  • Resistance: Armor and/or thick hide for extra Vitality.
  • Shapechange: Play doppelganger. The higher the level, the longer the Ayakashi can maintain his disguise
  • Superspeed: The Ayakashi either gains the Kongohki's Overdrive ability or a kind of Super Overdrive that allows the dice to explode a second time. Ouch.
  • Undying: Like Healing, but for the Wound Track.

Weaknesses

In order for Ayakashi (both NPCs and PCs) to gain more points to spend, and to offer an interesting option to defeat the Ayakashi, it is highly recommended to pick at least one Weakness.

Weaknesses come in three flavors: Taboos are things the Ayakashi is not allowed to to (like revealing a kept secret for Tengu). Tricking an Ayakashi into breaking its taboo will cause damage, up to instant death.
Vulnerabilities are things the Ayakashi is particularly weak against, causing the damage to be multiplied. An example is the Chimera's vulnerability against other Shikigami.
Goals are the Ayakashi's motivation, its reason for existing. The level of this weakness determines how serious the Ayakashi is at accomplishing the goal. Max level means the goal is so important to its core being that it will be instantly destroyed if it acts against it. Such an exmaple is the Great Wolves' determination to guard the lands of Tenra.

Any damage sustained through a weakness is of course unaffected by whatever regenerative ability the Ayakashi has.

Next Time: Arts of War - my Kenjutsu is better than your Kenjutsu.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Dec 5, 2015

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Alien Rope Burn posted:


Horune Dolphin Combat Drone


More spikes means more evil.


Horune Land Shark Drone


Not quite as creepy as Gyo.


These two make me giggle every time I look at them. I mean they're like angry spiky dolphin clown suits! I bet if you push their noses in they honk.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 20: "Sea Skimmer Warships will have 10 High Lords and 10 Conservators as officers, 2d4 air or water warlocks (all 1d4+4th level), 1d4+1 ley line walkers or an adult dragon (all 1d4+5 level), 1d4x10+40 Overlords, 2d6+20 Powerlords, 1d4x10+40 Altara warrior women, 1d4x100 gurgoyles, 1d4x100 gargoyles, 1d4x10 Destroyer power armor, 2d4x10 War Urchin power armor, 1d4x10 War Fish power armor, 1d4x100 Serpent and/or Equestrian power armor, 1d4x10 Kittani ATV hover Jets and 1d4x10 War Crab robots, Insecton land rovers or K-GTRV land skimmers."

Oh, that's not all. Welcome to just part of the farce we have in store below:

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

There are also likely to be a handful of specialists including practitioners of magic, creatures of magic, dragons, demons, Sunaj assassins, Metztla, tattooed men of all kind, warrior slaves and beings from other worlds (see Rifts Atlantis for armor, vehicles, and characters not described in this book).

Atlantis Undersea

Speaking of ridiculous bullshit overpowered villain factions, it's time to have a look at the Atlantis Navy! No, the insane, continent-bombarding slave ships from Rifts World Book Six: South America weren't enough. It's time to up that ante. It notes they can be found slaving all over the world, but their numbers are sparse at sea and that they don't have a lot of accurate data since most of their reports are from pirates and scalliwags and the like. Mainly kydians and kittani can be found at sea using technology to survive, but it notes the water is where the splugorth slavers, the cover monster of Rifts, can exit its barge and move around normally.

We get a lot of details on how different monsters and mecha can submerge and-

Weapons of Atlantis

It notes here kittani laser and plasma weapons can be used underwater with a small damage reduction. They also have an underwater rail gun that works like any other lame rail gun, only underwater. It also has kittani rocket grenades that, despite the name, are really torpedoes. There are He explosive ones (high damage, low blast radius), fragmetation (low damge, hich blast radius), concussion (middling damage, chance to stun), gill clog (saving throw for waterbreathers not to suffocate). There's a kittani energy trident, in case you thought I was kidding about tridents being mandatory for waterborne villainry. No art for any of this, mind. And they make knock-offs of naut'yll weapons, because why not bloat their weapon list further?

Rune Weapons & Magic Notes

It notes here, in an obscure little section in the middle of the Splugorth Emporium, that magic heat and fire attacks are reduced underwater, electrical attacks do double damage but with shorter range, and air spells may not work.

Enough of that, on to weapons! No art for these things either.

Spiked Sea Helm

This is a spiked roman-style helm that lets you breathe underwater and headbutt people with the spikes, because if one thing's true of Rifts, it's that spikes and blades are never ornamental. They shoot off, are used for headbutts, fire lightning, whatever. If WWI was fought by Palladium, the Germans would have used their spiked helmets to charge enemy lines and try and impale-

- actually that sounds pretty cool, nevermind. Stupid, but cool.

Sea Slayer - Rune Sword

Sadly, this does not slay seas. Instead, it's a modest-damage rune weapon that's a drinker of souls, making it one of the most deadly god-killing weapons in the game. Also you can command it to dance and fight for you, in case you're lazy.

Rune Claw

This is a thing you wear on your wrist that looks like a fist and blades come out of its mouth. Not much of a claw, really. What do you get for this fashion disaster? Crap damage, but it shoots bolts of force for decent damage. And that's all.

Rune Trident

Mandatory magic trident. Does good damage, gives you psychic powers like hydrokinesis (useful underwater) and pyrokinesis (not so useful underwater). It's also intelligent and cursed so it makes aquatic creatures fear the sea, and if you fail a save, it's permanent, enjoy. Yes, this is a weapon that locks out out of the entire Underseas setting for a character, in a book called Underseas. Go figure.

Rune Harpoon

It does meh damage but can be used to cast some useful spells that let one disguise oneself or fly (???). And yes, it does return back to your hand.

War Urchin Power Armor


Butt and boobs pose, minus butt or boobs.

Ah, yes, the feared urchin of the sea. So this is a collaboration between the kittani and some unnamed Splugorth techno-wizards. It has two different jet packs you can wear, one for the sea and one for air. Remember what I just said about spikes and blades never being ornamental. Yes, the spikes on this suit are actually grenade launchers.

:psyduck:

It's of average toughness, fly or swim depending on what pack you have, has magical and normal sensors, and a "chest environmental multi-system" where you press buttons on your chest to activate a poo poo-ton of different spells which I'm not going to list. It makes me wonder why they have these jet packs when it comes with magic swimming and flying anyway, though. Its gauntlets can fire a variety of damaging or dehibiliating spells, and it has those grenade launchers on its calves, which I'm sure it easy to aim. Especially the ones that aim backwards.

:psyduck:

Kittani Destroyer Power Armor


Guns don't have to be pointed at the enemy, you just slap them all over the shoulder however.

This is the jumbo shrimp version of the War Urchin, and despite being called "kittani", this is actually for the kydians to use. Confusion! It's got some solid MDC, even has more spells for some reason, it mentions both using a jet pack to fly or not using a jet pack and flying, make up your mind, zooms around underwater, more grenade launchers, and a shoulder plasma/laser gun that does pretty great damage.

With the number of contingency spells these things have, it feels like they were built by the most annoying GM ever. "I blow off its aquajets so it can't swim!" "Oh it casts swim as a fish and swims around anyway." "I hold it down with my massive strength!" "It casts escape to get away." "We shoot our lasers at it!" "It casts impervious to energy." It makes it so the only thing you can do to these villains is just pound them to death. If they don't just get away with invisibility.

Kittani War Fish Power Armor


That's one nasty robo-penis, Ewell.

Other than the ill-placed gun, thing is pretty cool looking, like a lot of the other kittani animal-inspired designs. Like another mer-power-armor earlier, the fish section can detach and the user can walk around, but you have to leave behind most of the weapons on this thing to do so. The tail has a computer that can be set to do automated defense and shoot at people. "Sir, we're under fire... by a giant fish tail!" Rifts.

It has decent MDC, swims at 100 MPH underwater or 140 MPH on the surface (!), has magic and normal sensors, craplasers, a mehgun, mini-torpedoes, and totally non-decorative fin blades.

Kittani War Crab


At least this one is called a crab. Honesty in gaming mecha.

So this is a giant robot crab mech, which is rad enough. It's pretty tough but slow as hell. The weapon list is split into two halves: the lower half includes the usual crap lasers, two "quad-plasma cannon turrets" that do great damage, more craplasers, average rail guns, and non-decorative leg spikes. The upper half has heat beams from the eyes which are just... the worst, seriously, who has time for 1d6 damage? Shoulder spikes, also the worst, 1d6 damage. However, its claws can grab stuff and lift PCs in the air and all that, so the top half isn't a total wash.

Kittani War Shark Submarine Mk 4


Yes, it can robo-bite.

So this is a huge 360' shark-sub with 3,000 MDC, 1 laser cannon turret, heavy torpedoes, mini-torpedoes, all of which do great damage. But the big deal is the bite (does 2d6x100 MDC) and the "100 gun Laser Battery" in the mouth that does 4d6x100, or 1d6x100 to four different targets. Also the mouth can disgorge troops, and hopefully they remember to stop biting or shooting while they do that. And yes, it carries dozens of mechs, making this another huge big fuckoff watercraft for the Splugorth. It can also barf up smaller shark subs, seen below. But we're not done with big fuckoff watercraft. Nooope.

It also says "The humanoid upper torso is actually a robot controlled by the pilot.", which I don't know what the gently caress they mean by that.

Kittani War Shark Submarine Mk 5

As above, but smaller at 60', smaller weapons and a lot less damage, the bite does crap damage for a 26' diameter bite and it has no 100 gun ridiculousness. It also has no art in the usual Rifts "say two vehicles have the same art at different sizes[/i] because Palladium.

Splugorth Sea Skimmer
Also known as The Ark



The shields on the side are supposed to be bio-organic eyes, because gently caress the artist's intentions.

Those that remember my writeup of Rifts World Book Six: South America may recall the Splugorth Slaver Mothership, a ridiculous seaborne death star thing that there are only four of that can hardly be stopped by anyone?

This is tougher and bigger than those. Yes, one book later and the Splugorth are already getting something more badass than the last, it's like I can feel murderous GM impulses just radiating off the page. Oh, and only though there were four of those motherships, the splugorth have three hundred of these. Sometimes they travel in groups up to a half-dozen.

So this is like those Hutt skimmers from Return of the Jedi only on water, huge, and ridiculously magical. It has 30K MDC, is a half-mile long, has laser and plasma cannons with damage in the hundreds, smaller decent laser turrets, heavy torpedoes... but that's not all. It has an energy prow that does damage in the hundreds and shoots off fire and lightning every which way, grants the three top crew members the ability to cast any spell up to 8th level with thousands of magic points to draw on, a force field that basically gives it another 13K MDC, magical sensors, and it can loving cloak. And no, the fins aren't ornamental or for maneuvering. Of course! They're for attacking! It has dozens to over a thousand of powerful supernatural critters and mecha on board as listed at the top of this post, depending if it's prepped for war or peacetime. And if you're really unlucky, it has metztla sidekicks (psychic monsters with thousands of M.D.C. apiece) and/or a splugorth on board.

Don't you dare try and win, PCs. Don't you dare. :argh:

Splugorth Sea Fin


"Just keep putting turrets on it, I'll tell you when to stop."

What, we're not done yet?

:sigh:

This is another huge warship, which to their credit, is somehow not huger than the last, with a mere godlike 15K MDC. It is 1000' long, has lasers and plasma turrets that once again do damage in the hundreds, deck lasers with average damage, heavy torpedoes, a compliment of mecha, magic force fields (tack on about another 3K MDC), magic sensors, and this one can cloak too. Of course. It's also notable as a 1000' long seagoing vessel that "moves silently" because water doesn't make sound, right, and has an 80% prowl rating. It is literally sneakier than most ninjas.

And I think we're done seeing the author wank numbers all over the page. Seriously, after seeing the USS Ticonderoga sold as an unstoppable war machine, it turns out the Splugorth have hundreds of vessels that outclass it in nearly every respect. Bad writing? It's in here!

Next: A secret navy. Sure, that sounds plausible.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:43 on Dec 20, 2015

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





With Rifts just assume any weapon with no art looks like a Wilk's laser pistol, regardless of what it actually is.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Midjack posted:

With Rifts just assume any weapon with no art looks like a Wilk's laser pistol, regardless of what it actually is.

Or the Northern Gun ion blaster, which looks like an MP5K done up like Han's blaster from Star Wars.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:



Part 18: "Sea Skimmer Warships will have 10 High Lords and 10 Conservators as officers, 2d4 air or water warlocks (all 1d4+4th level), 1d4+1 ley line walkers or an adult dragon (all 1d4+5 level), 1d4x10+40 Overlords, 2d6+20 Powerlords, 1d4x10+40 Altara warrior women, 1d4x100 gurgoyles, 1d4x100 gargoyles, 1d4x10 Destroyer power armor, 2d4x10 War Urchin power armor, 1d4x10 War Fish power armor, 1d4x100 Serpent and/or Equestrian power armor, 1d4x10 Kittani ATV hover Jets and 1d4x10 War Crab robots, Insecton land rovers or K-GTRV land skimmers."

What's next? Gorgoyles?

It is also very nice to now that the standard loadout of these warships can vary from a couple hundred dudes with a handful of vehicles to thousands of dudes and over a hundred vehicles. Really keeps the enemy guessing what might pop out of these clown cars.
And if that's their warship I'd hate to see what's inside a dedicated transport ship.

(Yeah, lower loadouts are for "peacetime", but it's randomly determined. And when is an evil Rifts race at peace with everyone?)

quote:

This is a spiked roman-style helm that lets you breathe underwater and headbutt people with the spikes, because if one thing's true of Rifts, it's that spikes and blades are never ornamental. They shoot off, are used for headbutts, fire lightning, whatever. If WWI was fought by Palladium, the Germans would have used their spiked helmets to charge enemy lines and try and impale-

- actually that sounds pretty cool, nevermind. Stupid, but cool.

Imagine that helmet also had a built-in MDC umbrella for protection against incoming fire.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:59 on Dec 6, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Midjack posted:

With Rifts just assume any weapon with no art looks like a Wilk's laser pistol, regardless of what it actually is.

You know, you mentioning it bugged me, because I realized the Wilk's design seems familiar... first I thought it was Laser Tag, but that wasn't right. Then I realized it had to be a light gun...





... there it is.

Doresh posted:

What's next? Gorgoyles?

Gargoylites.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Jon and Jef, thank you for Christmas Mastery. If it makes you feel any worse, the movie follows the book almost exactly, though I don't think Luther did botox in the book.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Midjack posted:

Jon and Jef, thank you for Christmas Mastery. If it makes you feel any worse, the movie follows the book almost exactly, though I don't think Luther did botox in the book.


Yeah. That definitely felt like an attempt to pad out the run time with some slapstick chuckle-head comedy. Even without that it's still just the story of some assholes, surrounded by assholes, with an idiot daughter they are terrified of disappointing like she was going to banish them to the cornfield.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Midjack posted:

Jon and Jef, thank you for Christmas Mastery. If it makes you feel any worse, the movie follows the book almost exactly, though I don't think Luther did botox in the book.

I think I was going to yell about that movie for an hour after seeing it with or without a microphone, so I'm glad it was at least medium constructive.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 06:59 on Dec 7, 2015

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003

Fuss and misery


Doresh posted:

What's next? Gorgoyles?



girgoyles

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Midjack posted:

Jon and Jef, thank you for Christmas Mastery. If it makes you feel any worse, the movie follows the book almost exactly, though I don't think Luther did botox in the book.

This movie is based on a book o_O ?!

(And it's always good to hear them riff a movie I'm actually familiar with. Seems I'm on a roll since Sinbad.)

Grnegsnspm posted:

Yeah. That definitely felt like an attempt to pad out the run time with some slapstick chuckle-head comedy. Even without that it's still just the story of some assholes, surrounded by assholes, with an idiot daughter they are terrified of disappointing like she was going to banish them to the cornfield.

This reminds me a bit of my father, who is the only one in the whole family still insisting on a christmas tree. The holidays bring forth the tyrant in some of us.

El Spamo posted:

girgoyles


Man, they should come up with a special breed of gargoyles specifically raised to fight the Germans to bring in som umlauts.Then we can have "The Gärgoyles of Sprechenhaltestelle".

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I've always vaguely wondered if Palladium's assortment of gargoyles were borrowed in part from things like this old, old TV movie: http://horrorpedia.com/2013/05/31/gargoyles-1972-tv-movie/

I think someone set me straight before, but you know. Mind like a steel sieve.

The Vosgian Beast
Aug 13, 2011

Business is slow

Grnegsnspm posted:

Yeah. That definitely felt like an attempt to pad out the run time with some slapstick chuckle-head comedy. Even without that it's still just the story of some assholes, surrounded by assholes, with an idiot daughter they are terrified of disappointing like she was going to banish them to the cornfield.

People like the Kranks and company are why the Grinch stole Christmas.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 21: "Even if a submarine is sighted, it is assumed to be one of Captain Nemo-2's vessels."

Top Secret - NGR Military Data

... is for some reason in 48 point font or so, here, it's more like:



So, Triax, despite being a coastal nation, has no known naval presence. Really? They don't... ship things? Ever? Aren't they supposed to be like a mammoth corporation? Isn't that a basic thing they would do? At least for cyberfishing? I mean, I understand that Rifts is written in a world where there's no need for infrastructure to build a million billion robots, but this is like... an extremely basic function of a modern nation.

Oh, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, see the F&F review of Rifts World Book Five: Triax & the NGR. I did a whole thing where I pointed out how none of their fiction works by their own rules. It's swell.

Anyway. The NGR doesn't have a Navy. Officially. Somehow. But they're working on a secret Navy to try and initiate "Operation Sea Storm" where they attack the gargoyles from the Mediterranean and try and pincer them in. Which is a good plan! Though I'm still not sure how you would keep a whole Navy secret. In any case, should it go off as planned, the NGR could defeat the Gargoyle Empire in a decade.

And yes, this means it's time for another catalog of equipment and weapons, right on the heels of the horune and splugorth sections. I'm a little tired of reading about boats. A little. So tired. Boats.

Triax Underwater Weapons and Vessels

So we start with cyborg equipment here, like undersea body armor, depth gauges, artificial gills, sonar, and echo-location.

Then we have TXT-10 Ultra-mini Torpedoes, which you I guess aim by hand, which seems like a bad idea but I'm obviously not a Triax armsgineer. They do crap damage. There's the TXD-01 Deep-Sea Sonic Beam Rifle, which does awful damage out of water, bad damage in water, but can stun seaborne creatures. There's the TXD02 Deep-Sea Laser/Harpoon Rifle, which is pretty meh, even with exploding harpoons. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a harpoon, though, to harpoon things? There's the TXD-03 Deep-Sea Laser Assault Rifle, which does pretty decent damage with laser pulses and comes with a dinky vibro-bayonet. No illustrations except for the 03 and torpedoes, which are supposedly what the guy below is holding.


Protect the head, forget the crotch.

It's armor time after that, and we get the basic rundown on features like air supply, lights, radio, etc., and both armors come with exoskeletons that boost strength and speed and reduce the fatigue from extended swimming... though no idea what power source they run on or if they can run out of power and become leg weights. There's the TXD-6, shown above, which has pretty decent protection, and the TXD-8, which has great protection. Both come with "Ultra-Mini-Missiles" and vibro-blades that do terrible damage.

TXD-100 Ultra Deep-Sea Power armor


"What, I can aim with one eye! You just don't understand technology!"

From TXD-8 to TXD-100! That's quite the leap. Also it's ultra. That's some strict military designation there, and not something that sounds at all toyetic.

So this is a flying suit like the SAMAS, though it's designed to double as an undersea suit at the cost of speed. It's a lot tougher than the Coalition suits, tough. It has a lot of awful lasers, mini-missiles, and a "TXT-10 Ultra-mini Torpedo Drum Launcher" which is only saved by the fact it can fire eight of its crappy grenades at a time for some pretty great damage, but it'll eat up that clip in about a single turn or two of firing. It does what ti does and seems to be pretty alright, except for those lovely low-damage lasers Rifts vehicle designers insist on plastering all over every vehicle.

VX-2000 Barracuda


Oooo, Barra-Barracuda

This isn't a vehicle, but here it is anyway. It's a cyborg body designed for "deep-sea reconnaissance and combat". I can imagine those reports now. "Reporting things are still dark, also there are glowy fish. Beginning assault on the fish. Bastards won't glow much longer!" Like many cyborgs, they're ridiculously tough, about as tough as a glitter boy. Except it can float! Somehow.

It has a "TXP Quad Rifle" which can fire lasers, depleted uranium rail run rounds, both of which suck. It has a TXD-02 as listed under the weapons above, and it still sucks. It has a particle beam weapon rod in its leg, standard issue with all Siembieda cyborg designs, which sucks. A vibro-blade, which sucks. A selection of other sucky weapons. And mini-missiles.

I've made this point before, but when you have vehicles that can take 23 shots from their own main gun, you may have some bad rules at play. And the same goes for cyborgs.

X-6000 Transformable Sub


Subs are pretty much just underwater jets, right?

This is actually in the sub section but I'm post-balancing here.


Seems familiar.

So, this is a sub that turns into a mech, using the old Macross-style foldover transformation. (Unshocking, given that Kevin Long started out on the Robotech line.) It has decent MDC, dinky rail guns, and mini-torpedoes. Also it has a special holster on the underside so it can use a handheld weapon while transformed, of course. Also like Macross. Basically with this thing you better get your pop stars in order and then get ready to fight.

Next: die Boote

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:44 on Dec 20, 2015

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





So guys. We're doing another two-parter. It seemed almost inevitable that we'd come up against something as balls-out crazy as Synnibarr again someday. And here it is. It's called Immortal: The Invisible War, and for every bit of hair-metal notebook scribble dork excess Synnibarr could generate, this one has two bits of New Age pseudo-mystical dolphin song self-discovery. This week, we're just covering the basics and the rules. And it takes an hour, because this book is insane. Next time, the story, which is currently bleeding out of my ears a little.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

I am slowly catching up on System Mastery. Currently on Nobilis, so I still have a way to go. But one day I shall be upon you!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Oh, wow, I'm looking forward to this one. I had to read Immortal, and basically reread it, and review it, and think on it for awhile before I understood it. It's not that the concepts in it are impossible to understand, but it's essentially written completely out of order. The premise, the setting, and the rules are often presented in snippets that are jumbled together, and constantly cross-reference each other, so something that is mentioned on page 1 is not explained until page 50, defined mechanically on page 100, and explained again in a different way on page 200.

Also like a lot of 90s games that camein the wake of White Wolf's success, it's terribly overwritten, with far too much setting history in the corebook, and several different premises for a game crammed into one. This compounds the organizational problems tenfold.

Reviewing Immortal is sort of like talking with a deeply psychotic person until you understand the fantasy world they live in, then trying to explain it to other people without them thinking that you're crazy, too. There is a newer, free edition, which I'll review at some point. It's still got a lot of setting concepts crammed into it, but they're actually explained in a clear and logical order. I mean, it verified for me that the author is not bonkers.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Cheese dudes, thanks a lot for reading my dumb questions! I hope you have a good Christmas

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Halloween Jack posted:

Reviewing Immortal is sort of like talking with a deeply psychotic person until you understand the fantasy world they live in, then trying to explain it to other people without them thinking that you're crazy, too. There is a newer, free edition, which I'll review at some point. It's still got a lot of setting concepts crammed into it, but they're actually explained in a clear and logical order. I mean, it verified for me that the author is not bonkers.

Well, it is always good to hear that people can at least partially grow out of the 90s.

And Immortal again reminds me of my joke goal of making a WoD-inspired RPG that is completely incomprehensible because everything uses made-up bs terms, to the point it's not even clear what everyone is even playing as.

Tenra Bansho Zero


Arts of War

That's one majestic beard.

Arts of War - like Buddhist martial arts - are the different fighting styles teached throughout Tenra. They are bought like skills and provide a new (mostly passive) technique each rank, like a feat chain.

While a character can learn multiple Arts of War, he can't combine techniques from different ones for a single action, as they generally require completely different stances, ways of thinking etc.
Armour Riders can make use of their Art(s) of War while inside their giant robot, but they cannot replace the corresponding combats kill (Melee, Unarmed or Marksman) with their Interface skill because you actually have to be good at using the Art personally.
A general trend with these Arts of War is that they allow you to use a different Attribute for you combat skill roll than what you would normally roll. This is typically the first technique to be learned, and all the following techniques require this replacement Attribute to be used.
Also handy is any technique that lets you make counterattacks against ranged attacks, as those rob Ashigaru and other cannon fodder of their only safe way of attacking you.

As having a strong army is imperative in the world of Tenra, every lord worth its salt employs at least one War Master, a powerful practicioner in an Art of War serving as the army's trainer.
As the lords don't want to lose these valuable assets (and the assets themselves don't see getting blown to bits by giant robot artillery as a particular fair and honorable way to go), many masters in the Arts of War avoid actual battlefields and instead compete in Royal Tournaments for fame and glory.

Fun fact: Tenra's Myiamoto Musashi is called Koan Hajime (the artist formerly known as Karasuma Shiro), and his "Book of the Five Rings" is called "The Analects of War".

Southern Seas One-Blade Style (Kai-Nan-Ittou-Ryu)

Invented by a particular suicidal samurai and honed in actual battle, this style is all offense, zero defense. For a user of this Art, there is only his blade and its target.

Aside from being able to use Body instead of Agility for all Melee skill rolls (as this style is all about overwhelming the enemy), this style mainly boosts the user's Aiuchi attack, that full-offense counterattack where you deal full damage to your opponent if you can survive him doing the same to you first.
As you gain ranks in this Art, you will be able to force the defender into doing an Aiuchi attackand still be able to land your hit if you get knocked out (for those "Two fighters dash past each other, stand dramatically for a moment, then one of them collapses" moments). Real masters strike so fast that they land their Aiuchi strike first. Unless the opponent also has this Art or the user rolls particularly poorly, this is essentially an insta-kill for lesser opponents that don't have enough Vitality to take a hit. Pretty handy when dealing with ninja and other quick dudes due to the auto-hit properties.

Clarity of Heaven Style (Ten-Shin-Gan-Ryu)

Invented by a Bright Lotus monk who wanted to defeat his opponents without killing them. His solution was to specialize into hitting their limbs.
As this requires a very good aim, this style allows you to use Senses instead of Agility for melee combat. By first learning how to accurately hit the oppoent's limb and later his Chakra points, you get to decide how the opponent distributes his damage between Vitality and the Wound Track (though the Dead Box is out of the question). A master can damage or outright detsroy the opponent's weapon.

True Illusion Style (Shin-Ei-Ryu)

Founded by an onmyojutsu assassin, this style focuses on speed, decepting and trickery, using Knowledge instead of Agility.
As trying to confuse the opponent can backfire badly when it doesn't work, this style's gimmick is that whoever hits doubles his margin of success. A master of the True Illusion Style can manage to confuse Death himself, allowing them to delay the actual effect of their hits for up to 3 years. Imagine telling a campfire story about how that one guy almost decapitated you a few years ago, only for you head to suddenly fall off your shoulders.

Empty Mind Style (Gashin-Kikuu-Ryu)

The obligatory iaijutsu style. Users of this Art keep their weapon sheathed until the perfect time, at which they strike with blinding speed and then sheath their weapon again, never allowing the opponent a chance to see the blade.

As this gimmick requires great spirituality and a certain state of mind, you can replace Agility with Spirit.
As you only strike or defend at the last possible moment, this is essentially an even more risky version of the True Illusion Style: Whoever wins gets to keep all of his successes for damage calculation, effectively granting a free Aiuchi attack.
Empty Mind masters can use their pure will to attack, allowing them to turn their strikes into short-ranged attacks.

Dragon and Tiger under one Sky Style (Ryuuko-Itten-Ryu)

Of course did the above Tenran Musashi come up with a dual-wield style. This Art grants a damage bonus for wielding a secondary weapon in the off-hand, which improves with rank and eventually lets you add the full damage from both weapons together. This full effect doesn't work for counterattacks, but at least you are able to win ties by stabbing the opponent with your secondary attacks.
A true master can make one full attack with each weapon, either against two different targets or a single one (in which case you essentially attack with double the die pool). As this is a rare case of making multiple attacks outside of counterattacks and spending Aiki chits, this move not only costs a lot of Soul, but also breaks the two weapons.

Crescent Moon Blade Tactics (Tohoh: Kogetsu)

The chessmaster villain style, which lets you study the enemy's movement so well that you can predict his actions, using Empathy instead of Agility.
As you gain ranks, you read the enemy so well that you deny the enemy more and more defensive actions when you attack, until he can't do anything to reduce your successes aside form creative use of Annelidts or Oni Resonance. Pretty scary.

Migawari-Style School of Marksmanship (Migawari-Ryu Shageki-Jutsu)

No relation to the Imperial Stormtrooper School of Marksmanship, this Art was originally invented by the ninja of the Migawari clan to improve their thrown weapons skills, making it the first ranged Art so far.

Users of this Art can throw weapons with blinding speed, attacking with Agility instead of Senses and increases increases the weapon's rate of fire. They can even defend themselves against other projectiles with projectiles of their own, defending with the Marksman skill, without being able to counterattack, though - unless you reach the last rank, where you can defend and counterattack against anything by throwing some knives at it.

The Art of Ki Manipulation (Souki-Jutsu)

A style for both melee weapons and unarmed combat that involves chargin your attacks with ki. This effectively works like how you can improve gemblade damage by pulling the trigger, only in this case it works with any weapon and uses your own Soul points instead of soulgems. The higher the rank, the better the exchange rate. Overall a nice pick for those without use for their Soul (which is true for normal warrior dudes).

Fist of the Celestial Kongohki (Kongoh Rakan Ken)

This fighting style is exclusive to Kongohki (though I guess it also makes sense for Kijin so full of mechanica you can barely tell them apart from a Kongohki), as it takes advantage of them being able to move and twist their joints in ways impossible for a human being.

The first technique is the first one without any actual combat application. Instead, it allows the Kongohki to fly by spinning its arms, turning it into either a helicopter or the Tazmanian Devil.
Further ranks allow the Kongohki to perform instant surprise attacks through weird joint movements, surpass its limits, boosting its Overdrive (allowing the the dice to explode a second time, similar to Ayakashi Superspeed) at the cost of damaging itself. The final technique allows the Kongohki to blow itself up for massive collateral damage (and it can still survive somehow).

Though a lot of these techniques are neat, they really feel a bit out of place compared to the other Arts.

Resonant Blade Style (Zedai-Ryu)

A swordfighting style only used by an elite group of Oni known as the Zedaishu. Taking advantage of Resonance powers, it can only be learned by Oni and Half-Oni.

This style already start off promising by being able to summon a Sha-blade made out of pure light. Further techniques lets you spend Soul to reduce incoming damage or counterattack ranged attacks with your bare hands. The final technique lets you manipulate fate itself, giving you an Overdrive that works for everything, not just physical actions.

All in all, you're a Jedi in the Matrix. Or an Angel Halo / Orcus Overed.

Esoteric Arts of War

These are Arts of War that are rare, be it because they are near-forgotten, fallen out of favor or a bit unorthodox.

Ancient Style Lightning Strike (Kouryu: Senshou)

An old little Art that occasionally becomes forgotten, only to resurface later. Its main deal are lightning-fast strikes. You get to increase your damage (signifying your rapid-fire attacks) up to thrice your weapon's base damage if you master this skill. Other techniques use the familiar risk/reward trick of doubling the margin of success of the winner.

Typhoon Rider Style (Nohwake)

A very oldfashioned style about mounted combat, which is steadily losing relevance on the modern battlefield (aside from maybe guys with those freakish samurai horses).
The obligatory Agility replacement Attribute for this Art is Station, because riding into battle is not for dirty peasants.

The bonuses provided by this Art are pretty straigthforward and nice. You get a damage bonus for attacks on horsebacks that continues to grow until it is almost as ridiculous as Kenshiro's, and not only can your horse move over 100 m per round, but it can also eventually leap dozens of meters into the air. Pretty boss.

Seizan Mountain Spear Technique (Seizan Sohjutsu)

Speaking of dirty peasants, this style consists of a bunch of spear tricks passed down from one soldier to the next that have eventually been collected and formalized by a monk. It can be used with any polearms, as well as a nodachi (due to the length I guess).

Taking advantage of the weapon's superior length, users of this style gain a defense bonus, win ties with the opponent and pierce him in such a way he is forced to fill out his Critical Wound track before anything else.
The rare masters of this style can shoot energy bolts from their weapon.

Empty Fist (Kuuken)

A Kung-Fu-esque unarmed combat style focusing on using the opponent's momentum - and his own weapons - against him.

Aside form replacing Agility with Empathy, Empty Fist practicioners can use the useful - and very funny - trick of hitting the opponent with their own weapon. The "use his own momentum against him" part comes in your typical risky technique of "winner keeps all successes".
A master of this style can make himself appear so defenseless that he can draw aggro, forcing an opponent to target him.

Bestial Companion (Inugai)

Remember when I said that the Shadow School of ninjutsu lets you be Galford from Samurai Shodown? This unarmed fighting style lets you use a ninja dog in combat. Ninja. Dog.

User of this Art can communicate with their companion without speaking a single word. The dog himself is abstracted as a "ranged" attack. Further ranks let you deny the opponent actions by having your dog biting his leg, and you can eventually counterattack anything wiht Unarmed Combat thanks to your companion warning you from danger.

Black Wing Gun Style (Kuroba Yauchi)

A style born with the advent of gunpowder weapons, it focuses on dual-wielding guns, adding a certain Western flair to the game.

Like the melee dual-wielding Art, this lets you add more and more of your secondary weapon's damage to your main one. Further ranks also let you counterattack anythign with your guns.

Next Time: Within the Shadows of Tenra - secret organizations. May or may not be a multi-parter.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:31 on Dec 8, 2015

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

They added another gunslinger Art of War in a recentish kickstarter update, that one being for crossovers from the "Western" setting of Terra. (It's both Western as it's inspired by Europe and the US and and also Western as in there are cowboys.)

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Halloween Jack posted:

Reviewing Immortal is sort of like talking with a deeply psychotic person until you understand the fantasy world they live in, then trying to explain it to other people without them thinking that you're crazy, too.

It is exactly like that. Talking about this game with someone is a sure fire way to sound insane. The intro with all the terms wasn't me making stuff up to try to make the game sound as incomprehensible as possible. Those were all just passages taken from the timeline at the front of the book. While talking about other RPGs in public might make you sound like a huge dork when you mention your wizard casting fireballs; talking about Immortal in public is either going to make people cross the street to avoid the crazy person or possibly assume you are a New Age Guru trying to sell some rose quartz. Also for all of the many bullshit word substitutions and made up people and places in this book, there is no index and the "glossary" is done as sort of footnotes on the bottom of some pages with breaks starting and stopping seemingly at random. This makes it so that if you can't remember what one of their ridiculous terms actually means, it is a pain in the rear end to try to find where it actually explains it in the book.

So, for example, you want to know what The Darkle is. It got mentioned a few times as being important but the editing of this book is atrocious and you have no idea. "Fine", you think to yourself, "I'll just look up the footnote for the Darkle so I can see why some important artifact sounds like my nephew's baby talk." Darkle - A physical manifestation of abaddon, found encrusted in the brain of Samiel, an Abzulim, after it had died. After a protracted history of tragic influence, the vampiric ruby-like substance was placed within a receptacle, the Femme Darkle, until stolen in A.D. 1990. Thanks book. That has helped me immensely. If you then try to look up Femme Darkle in the book, it is just as inscrutable and sends you on this wild goose chase of hunting down terms so you can understand other terms.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

I counted all of the Pretentious Jargon Words in Immortal. IIRC there are 253 of them. (However, Everlasting: Book of the Unliving probably has more, since each type of monster in that game gets as many Pretentious Jargon Words as are typically found in a whole World of Darkness game.)

I also don't know of any other game with a Timeline that covers 65,000,000 years. Maybe Fading Suns?

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Grnegsnspm posted:

So, for example, you want to know what The Darkle is. It got mentioned a few times as being important but the editing of this book is atrocious and you have no idea. "Fine", you think to yourself, "I'll just look up the footnote for the Darkle so I can see why some important artifact sounds like my nephew's baby talk." Darkle - A physical manifestation of abaddon, found encrusted in the brain of Samiel, an Abzulim, after it had died. After a protracted history of tragic influence, the vampiric ruby-like substance was placed within a receptacle, the Femme Darkle, until stolen in A.D. 1990. Thanks book. That has helped me immensely. If you then try to look up Femme Darkle in the book, it is just as inscrutable and sends you on this wild goose chase of hunting down terms so you can understand other terms.
You made this up right?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Nephilim doesn't have a strict X date Y deed timeline, but its (blessedly short) history section begins long before the dinosaurs.

Continuum probably does. I don't feel like looking it up, but I remember its timeline was loving nuts.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Grnegsnspm posted:

It is exactly like that. Talking about this game with someone is a sure fire way to sound insane. The intro with all the terms wasn't me making stuff up to try to make the game sound as incomprehensible as possible. Those were all just passages taken from the timeline at the front of the book. While talking about other RPGs in public might make you sound like a huge dork when you mention your wizard casting fireballs; talking about Immortal in public is either going to make people cross the street to avoid the crazy person or possibly assume you are a New Age Guru trying to sell some rose quartz. Also for all of the many bullshit word substitutions and made up people and places in this book, there is no index and the "glossary" is done as sort of footnotes on the bottom of some pages with breaks starting and stopping seemingly at random. This makes it so that if you can't remember what one of their ridiculous terms actually means, it is a pain in the rear end to try to find where it actually explains it in the book.

So, for example, you want to know what The Darkle is. It got mentioned a few times as being important but the editing of this book is atrocious and you have no idea. "Fine", you think to yourself, "I'll just look up the footnote for the Darkle so I can see why some important artifact sounds like my nephew's baby talk." Darkle - A physical manifestation of abaddon, found encrusted in the brain of Samiel, an Abzulim, after it had died. After a protracted history of tragic influence, the vampiric ruby-like substance was placed within a receptacle, the Femme Darkle, until stolen in A.D. 1990. Thanks book. That has helped me immensely. If you then try to look up Femme Darkle in the book, it is just as inscrutable and sends you on this wild goose chase of hunting down terms so you can understand other terms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMJk4y9NGvE

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

I'm 90% sure that Femme Darkle is a really awkward goth drag queen.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Grnegsnspm posted:

So, for example, you want to know what The Darkle is. It got mentioned a few times as being important but the editing of this book is atrocious and you have no idea. "Fine", you think to yourself, "I'll just look up the footnote for the Darkle so I can see why some important artifact sounds like my nephew's baby talk." Darkle - A physical manifestation of abaddon, found encrusted in the brain of Samiel, an Abzulim, after it had died. After a protracted history of tragic influence, the vampiric ruby-like substance was placed within a receptacle, the Femme Darkle, until stolen in A.D. 1990. Thanks book. That has helped me immensely. If you then try to look up Femme Darkle in the book, it is just as inscrutable and sends you on this wild goose chase of hunting down terms so you can understand other terms.

This is what I want my dream project to be. Each made-up fantasy name in the glossary spread randomly throughout the book only leads to two other made-up fantasy name. It will only be through a meaningless passge somewhere in the book that you can reverse-engineer this whole nonsense and find out that you've been playing as a plumber all along.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Florhorgle n (flohr-hohr-gahl)

1: the emotion of feeling like the opening lines of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis apply to you ("One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.") because such a thing has actually happened to you.

"I was overcome with a severe sense of florhorgle and grasped the spines of my nethinkranz to garvok three circular traeehonts to perhaps reverse this unfortunate morvungular."

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Sadly, Ingenue -almost- makes sense! It’s a type of stock theater character that’s basically “Sheltered girl next door”, so basically they’re calling your character a fresh-faced young girl who has no idea what poo poo they’re about to be in.

Also, I've only heard one "Let's stat your character based on yourself" scheme that's worse than Immortal's, and that's the new FFG Post-apocalyptic games, which by default is apparently based on -other players voting what stats you should have-.

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


Doresh posted:

This is what I want my dream project to be. Each made-up fantasy name in the glossary spread randomly throughout the book only leads to two other made-up fantasy name. It will only be through a meaningless passge somewhere in the book that you can reverse-engineer this whole nonsense and find out that you've been playing as a plumber all along.
Neal Stephenson already wrote that book. It's called Anathem and it's awesome.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Zereth posted:

You made this up right?

Culling my own F&F:

Darkle: A physical manifestation of abbadon on, let me look that up--destructive immaculum, which was found petrified in the brain of a dead Abzulim named Samiel.
Abbadon: “The black ally,” an aspect of Immaculum used to wield destructive forces.
Abzulim: The first immortal race, created by conundrum shards merging with reptiles at the end of the Cretaceous period. Until recently, believed extinct.
Conundrum: Remember conundrum? It’s back! In sidebar form. Conundrum are shards of the Sanguinary’s shattered body. We now learn that an individual shard might be a part of its heart, brain, eyes, and so on. They’re called conundrum because they have a hypnotic effect on immortals due to “twisting passages of knowledge” within them. Like palantir, I guess. Unmerged shards are very powerful, though we aren’t told what they can do. As an example, brain-shards are called “whisperballs” and convey telepathy to everyone standing near them. Okay.
Conundrum: And in a loving footnote! Here it says that conundrum are “mineral-like,” that you need one in order for a tryst to create a mantle, that they can alter space and time, and that they’re all called Whisperballs, which sounds like a pointless gadget you buy from the Sharper Image catalogue.
Immaculum: Mystical life force that infuses all beings, flowing from the crucible.
The Crucible: The cosmic vortex that is the source of all creation.

...and remember, the jargon lexicon is in a running format, with a few terms on each page for most of the length of the book, so you're flipping back and forth to figure this all out.

Doresh posted:

This is what I want my dream project to be. Each made-up fantasy name in the glossary spread randomly throughout the book only leads to two other made-up fantasy name. It will only be through a meaningless passge somewhere in the book that you can reverse-engineer this whole nonsense and find out that you've been playing as a plumber all along.

Someone beat you to it.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 21:24 on Dec 8, 2015

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Before initiating the skein of conflict, your smackmaster must make sure that all auspices are leveraged on his base chance distribution module with 5% granularity. This includes his innate ascendancy, the power of his relevant facet, and any other apposite augmentations or abridgements. For example, if the holiman has invoked the weird of ordination, he will also add on a chance distribution module with 25% granularity. Next see if there are any agents granting the eminent chance distribution module or else the chance distribution module of shame (noting that one cannot have both with the roll). Once these matters have all been assayed, the smackmaster must then initiate all relevant chance distribution modules, selecting the most or least auspicious result depending on shame or eminence. The final tally is then correlated to the measure of aspiration, which the Diversion Manager (DM) will use to determine denoument.

Simple.

JackMann fucked around with this message at 22:27 on Dec 8, 2015

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

JackMann posted:

Before initiating the skein of conflict, your smackmaster must make sure that all auspices are leveraged on his base chance distribution module with 5% granularity. This includes his innate ascendancy, the power of his relevant facet, and any other modifiers. For example, if the holiman has invoked the weird of ordination, he will also add on a chance distribution module with 25% granularity. Next see if there are any agents granting the eminent chance distribution module or else the chance distribution module of shame (noting that one cannot have both with the roll). Once these matters have all been assayed, the smackmaster must then initiate all relevant chance distribution modules, selecting the most or least auspicious result depending on shame or eminence. The final tally is then correlated to the measure of aspiration, which the Diversion Manager (DM) will use to determine denoument.

Simple.
You missed a chance to rename the word "modifier."

Immortal is just as obsessed with renaming common RPG concepts.

Actor: Player.
Blunder: Critical failure.
Clash: combat turn.
Escapade: Action
Essence: Your effective total (i.e. your rating plus any positive modifiers)
Exploit: critical hit.
Forte: Number of points you have in something.
Hostile: The difficulty dice that you need to beat with your own roll. More complications mean more hostiles.
Legacy: A type of serenade that reduces hostiles.
Maneuver: a roll to succeed at something.
Meld: combining two traits.
Motes: Number of points you have in something.
Narrator: Gamemaster.
Null: Critical failure.
Persona: Character.

There's a neat dice-as-difficulty mechanic plus the beginnings of a freeform magic system that let you combine and modify premade powers, but it's buried under a total loving mess.

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

unseenlibrarian posted:

Also, I've only heard one "Let's stat your character based on yourself" scheme that's worse than Immortal's, and that's the new FFG Post-apocalyptic games, which by default is apparently based on -other players voting what stats you should have-.

I participated in a character creation session of this recently, and it was pretty bad, but it was also hilariously easy to game the system.

The way it works - or, at least, the way that it worked in our session - is that you have three categories of traits and two attributes within each category. They split down the lines of Physical (Dexterity/Vitality), Mental (Logic/Willpower), and Social (Charisma/Empathy). Each attribute starts at a value of 1 and you have 10 points to spend on them, with a rating cap of 5 on any individual attribute. You also note down a freeform positive and negative descriptor for each category - for example, I might put down Nearsighted and High Pain Threshold for physical traits.

Once everyone in the group has done this, it's time to shame the gently caress out of your fellow sweaty nerds, and find out what they think of you, by voting on the overall categories. In turn, each player presents their scores for one of the categories and any explanation they might have for those values. The other players then vote on whether they think you should have higher or lower scores in that category (or, presumably, if your scores were correct and need no adjustment). You then adjust your scores up or down by one, and take another descriptor in that category to balance it out. So for example, if the group decided that my Physical category needed to be higher, I might balance it out with a negative descriptor like Clumsy Driver or some such.

Here's where it gets fucky: the group can't decide how your final scores end up. They vote on the category overall, and you decide which score changes. So in theory you could load up on Vitality and put a point in Dexterity. Then when your group rightfully calls you on your bullshit, you note down a positive trait (such as "expert brawler"), lower your Dexterity, and proceed to play as Musclefist Punchman. Sure, you'd be an rear end in a top hat, but you're all playing a game where character creation is based on judging your friends on their self-image, so gently caress it.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Halloween Jack posted:

You missed a chance to rename the word "modifier."


Fixed with alliteration.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


If that doesn't sound like the worst CharGen method, I don't know what does. At least the dice in "3d6 down the line" don't judge you personally.

Strange Matter posted:

Neal Stephenson already wrote that book. It's called Anathem and it's awesome.

Noted as a possible reference. If I can't be the first, i can at least ty to improve on the formular.


Pretty much this. Though I would've probably added 1 or 2 additional layers of made-up words just to make sure.

JackMann posted:

Before initiating the skein of conflict, your smackmaster must make sure that all auspices are leveraged on his base chance distribution module with 5% granularity. This includes his innate ascendancy, the power of his relevant facet, and any other modifiers. For example, if the holiman has invoked the weird of ordination, he will also add on a chance distribution module with 25% granularity. Next see if there are any agents granting the eminent chance distribution module or else the chance distribution module of shame (noting that one cannot have both with the roll). Once these matters have all been assayed, the smackmaster must then initiate all relevant chance distribution modules, selecting the most or least auspicious result depending on shame or eminence. The final tally is then correlated to the measure of aspiration, which the Diversion Manager (DM) will use to determine denoument.

Simple.

Of course it denotes significant acumen to scrawl the integers as complete phrases, preferably with a unique nomenclature.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



unseenlibrarian posted:

Sadly, Ingenue -almost- makes sense! It’s a type of stock theater character that’s basically “Sheltered girl next door”, so basically they’re calling your character a fresh-faced young girl who has no idea what poo poo they’re about to be in.

Also, I've only heard one "Let's stat your character based on yourself" scheme that's worse than Immortal's, and that's the new FFG Post-apocalyptic games, which by default is apparently based on -other players voting what stats you should have-.

I will hold judgement til I see another one where you have to notate your actual personal weight so as to derive hit points. Though yeah, letting other people stat you out could make for a fun one shot. Actually if you used that to create characters in Panty Explosion, that'd be pretty great. Let your best friend pick five of your stats and your worse enemy pick the other two.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 22: "The Sea Mite is incredibly fast, maneuverable and deadly!"

Triax Submarines & Navy Sea Craft

XS-20 Sea Mite Mini-Submarine


Point weak spot directly towards enemy.

So, this is a one-man sub that is "incredibly fast, maneuverable, and deadly!" It isn't, however, durable, and has less MDC than most power armor, and a 50 MDC front window that can be broken pretty easily to get at the soft, squishy Tootsie Pilot center. It is actually given combat bonuses to represent its agility, including an extra attack, and has heavy torpedoes, a big surprise for a small ship. Otherwise it's mini-torpedoes and rail guns that do average damage. Mostly, though, it looks and feels like a death trap.

XS-24 Sea Bat Mini-Submarine


Well-armed.

Focusing once again on single-crew subs, this has a vulnerable cockpit just as above, but has a blast shield that goes over it if broken and the system switches to cameras. Wait, why does this have a cockpit at all, then...? In any case, it's slightly tougher than the XS-20, and has slightly better rail guns, mini-torpedoes, and tiny robo arms. It also is "very silent" and enables use of the prowl skill, in one of those "I didn't know you couldn't do that in a vehicle until you just mentioned it" rulings.

XS-30 Torpedo Attack Sub


"Only a thin pane of mega-glass between me and watery doom, just the way I like it!"

Going to point out in italics here that this is the third vehicle named "torpedo" in this book.

This has 1,200 MDC. It has a cockpit with 80 MDC. Breaching the cockpit renders the crew vulnerable. Heavy torps, rail guns, and lasers, but who cares? You gonna die. And this thing cost your military 28 million credits! Hopefully they can at least salvage it, put on a new cockpit, and send some new sap to their doom.

XS-120 Interceptor


Yeah, just put the turret on the bottom, it's not like hydrofoils ever slow down, right?

So, this is a 100' hydrofoil intended as a patrol boat, with 1400 MDC, light torpedoes, lasers, particle beams, and mini-missiles, which is a decent array of light weapons, but once again, it hilariously could never fight itself. Also it notes this has been tested publicly, so I guess not all of the navy is secret, after all? I'm confused. Goes 180 MPH, seats 20, and that's that.

XS-400 Escort Battleship


Designed to gently caress sea monsters. Er. gently caress up. That's what I meant.

  • 40 officers
  • 200 enlisted men
  • 244 pilots
  • 1 XM-270 Mosquito or XM-275 Lightning
  • 40 X-2700 Dragonwings
  • 48 XM-140 Infantry Support Weapon Platforms
  • 48 TXD-100 Ultras
  • 24 X-10A Predators
  • 24 T-C20 Terrain Hopper Power Armor
  • 24 X-5335 Hunters with TX-862FC Anti-aircraft gun
  • 12 X-60 Flankers
  • 12 T-550 Glitter Boys
  • 12 T-31 Super Troopers
  • 12 Sea Bat Mini-subs
  • And a partridge in a pear tree.
also they're thirteen pilots short

The NGR Poseidon
Submersible Carrier



"Launch whatever the hell those things are!"

It's a second-class USS Ticonderoga.

Which makes it a third-class Splugorth Slaver Mothership.

And that's all I have left to say.

Next: A few mistakes in the end.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:48 on Dec 20, 2015

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