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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


Night10194 posted:

The saddest part is how shallow all three of these are, too. Especially the last one. Wick will forever be a 14 year old edgelord making his first homebrew after getting disillusioned with D&D.

Did D&D kill his dog or something?

Most of the other RPGs he mentions do sound more fun than D&D, and I'd love to play 7th Sea done right.

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Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Count Chocula posted:

Did D&D kill his dog or something?

D&D3E was released around the same time as Wick's Orkworld, and apparently he couldn't stomach the fact that a completely new and reworked edition of the world's first RPG sold a lot better than his own piss-poor "what-if-the-bad-guys-were-actually-good" fantasy trip. Cue the huge hissy fit that was posted earlier in this very thread.

Comrade Koba fucked around with this message at 09:07 on Dec 29, 2015

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Comrade Koba posted:

D&D3E was released around the same time as Wick's Orkworld, and apparently he couldn't stomach the fact that a completely new and reworked edition of the world's first RPG sold a lot better than his piss-poor "what-if-the-bad-guys-were-actually-good" schlock fantasy. Cue the huge hissy fit that was posted earlier in this very thread.
That's part of it, but the real reason was that he thought 3E was a step backwards for the hobby, back towards its stupid childish kill-things-and-take-their-stuff roots and away from the metaplotted story-and-theme game/settings of the 1990s. In reality, the way that 3E flew off the shelves, reversing the long slow decline of RPG sales that set in after Magic: the Gathering, showed that RPGers largely didn't want intricate, metaplotted settings where your PCs were supporting characters in the Iconic NPC's story - they wanted toolkits full of options that let them build their own worlds and stories, and they wanted to punch ogres and skeletons in their faces and level up and have fun. Which is a stinging slap to the face of everything Wick holds dear.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Did Orkworld have all of that stuff, though? There's storygame aspects to it, but it seems to just be "D&D but bad good and good bad because clever".

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.

You forgot "And Savages Noble"

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Wick is a embittered wannabe novelist/screenwriter who (to his credit) knows exactly what stories he wants to tell. He's just terrible at converting them to a form that provides equitable agency to his players.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Agency? Free will? Entitled newbies, I'm 41, let me show you how the real world works! :shepface:

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Wick is a embittered wannabe novelist/screenwriter who (to his credit) knows exactly what stories he wants to tell. He's just terrible at converting them to a form that provides equitable agency to his players.

Being terrible at it implies it's a thing he's trying to do. He wants to be editor-in-chief or director, the players will act in his story the way he wants it and ideally they'll agree and enjoy, but it's not required.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

I want to see that opening filmed.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I think Immortal is one of my favourite campaign settings, but bwahahahahaha actually playing in it hahahaha.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Orkworld is pretty alright if you like his writing style and don't mind the occasional tangent about game balance or making sure all cell phones are cast off to Avalon. It's a niche concept done reasonably well if you're not put off by how Wick writes, since most of it is just setting details and fiction. I think the sort of "tribe in a hostile world" bit is better done by Mad Lands or Hillfolk but it's not quite as unbearably Wick as Houses of the Blooded.

I think it fails in some key ways but at the same time it's unique enough for its time to at least stand on its own. I'd probably feel differently if I did a deep delve but I doubt I will, I have Mayan wizards vs. alien robots to write about.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Kavak posted:

I want to see that opening filmed.

We watched like half an hour of those old sex line commercials to get lines for that. They're on youtube and are very worth the time.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Kavak posted:

He wants to be editor-in-chief or director, the players will act in his story the way he wants it and ideally they'll agree and enjoy, but it's not required.

No, he wants to make them hate the story and then convince themselves they actually liked it because The Wick is the ~greatest storyteller~ you guys!

Want to play a ronin? gently caress you, everyone hates you and you get executed by roving samurai.
Want to play a superhero? gently caress you, the villain kidnaps you and steals your powers.
Want to play [concept]? gently caress you, in MY setting [concept]s are outlawed and hunted for sport.

:master: :smugbert: :master:

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



You guys are forgetting a side of Wick, where he gets all weird and possessive when his player is a cute womangirl. Then it's "You want to play [thing]? Why sure and you're even more powerful, but I will leer at you constantly and make weird remarks every time you do anything!

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





theironjef posted:

You guys are forgetting a side of Wick, where he gets all weird and possessive when his player is a cute womangirl. Then it's "You want to play [thing]? Why sure and you're even more powerful, but I will leer at you constantly and make weird remarks every time you do anything!

To be fair this is like 65% of the gamemasters out there.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








theironjef posted:

You guys are forgetting a side of Wick, where he gets all weird and possessive when his player is a cute womangirl. Then it's "You want to play [thing]? Why sure and you're even more powerful, but I will leer at you constantly and make weird remarks every time you do anything!
When did he do this? I'm not doubting you given all the poo poo I've heard about him, but I don't happen to remember that amongst things like the player who came to sessions just to glower while his character was in prison/the hospital recuperating.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

I like Traveller 2300AD a lot and it's probably one of my favorite space settings because it doesn't fall into a number of traps space sci-fi normally falls into. It was also a setting made by a proto-Microscope like system.

Edit: Isn't Wick's Scorpion waifu his creepy, "perfect" version of his ex-wife, not an actual PC?

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Dec 29, 2015

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Kumaton posted:

Holy poo poo. Is the second edition still coming out, or has it already been released, and have the scrubbed it clean or not?

Harris changed it into an errata book that is cheaper than what backers put in for a PDF copy, released it quietly back in March without telling any of the backers or giving them their rewards, and now just seems to be ignoring anyone who demands an explanation or a refund while putting out teasers for supplements.

I haven't read it, but I heard it's just some mechanical changes. Nothing too earth-shattering.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Edit: Isn't Wick's Scorpion waifu his creepy, "perfect" version of his ex-wife, not an actual PC?
It's far more pathetic than that; Wick virtually admits that Kachiko is his Dragon Lady masturbation fantasy. As far as I know, Wick's ex-wife (Jennifer Mahr) is not Asian. He did kinda/sorta identify her with Kachiko in the introduction.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

The credits thank Jennifer "Shosuro" Mahr. I'm going to skip ahead and reveal a few things. Shosuro was one of the Scorpion Clan founders. Bayushi Kachiko's name before her marriage is Shosuro Kachiko. In fact, she's the reincarnation of Shosuro. Now, that's a simplication, too. She's also an unnamed former girlfriend, too, as we'll see.

Way of the Scorpion posted:

I just got done writing Way of Scorpion for AEG. In that book, a character named Yojiro meets with another character named Kachiko. Now, while many folks know who Bayushi Kachiko is, not a whole lot of folks know who Yojiro is.

He’s the character I used during the playtest of L5R RPG. So, in a way, he’s me. The authorial intrusion. The quiet joke. Richard Blake. Peter Frigate. Oh, never mind.

So, at the end of the story, Kachiko rewards Yojiro with a lock of her hair in the most erotic scene ever written for any Five Rings product. There’s no sex in the story. But there’s a lot of… suggestion.

That’s the set-up. What you need to know to proceed. Let’s do so.

* * *

So, anyway, I’m getting married.

Marcelo Figueora is running it. He asks me if I want a stripper at my bachelor party. I say, “No.” My bachelor party is about me and my friends. That’s it. Me and my friends. Having a stranger show up to my bachelor party didn’t feel right. This was a secret time for Us. No outsiders.

Little did I know what Marcelo had in mind.

He called a friend of mine. Told him his plan. He got together with my wife and made sure it was cool. Not only did my wife think it was cool, she even paid for my friend to fly in. This is why I tell everyone I meet that I have the coolest wife in the world. You’ll see why in a couple of moments.

So, it’s my bachelor party.

In the middle of the party, he takes me to a small room. Places me in the center in a chair. Tells me to hold tight

and Kachiko walks in.

She smiles. Wishes me well. Asks me if I love the girl I’m about to marry. I say “Yes.”

She says, “Too bad.”

And she gives me a lock of her hair.

That’s all I’m gonna say about that night.

Some things only remain sacred as long as they remain secret.

I still have that lock of hair.

And it’s magic.

(By the way, my wife and my old friend had lunch the next day. Jennifer invited her to the wedding. I love my wife.)

Yojiro was Wick's playtest PC. Yojiro was madly in love with his sister-in-law, Kachiko. Kachiko was never a PC.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Dec 29, 2015

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


I wonder what kind of meltdown a GM like Wick would have if his players formed a cabal excluding him, made a large batch of characters each aside from the one the GM knows about , put up no resistance and swapping characters every time they lose one. Just changing to a completely new character whenever one gets imprisoned, tortured for centuries or full out assault by the unbeatable villain and continuing on with the group. I can't imagine the session would last long before there was a fight.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

Delta Green. It's an excellent adaptation of the Cthulhu Mythos to the 90's zeitgeist with the message that perhaps the greatest cosmic horror is the great indifference of man against man. Almost all the villains are people who want to harness the Mythos for their own petty benefits, which is a chilling thought. The writing is top-notch, with every page dripping with plot hooks one can craft an entire campaign from. It's full of NPCs that are ready to come into conflict with each other, or that the players can make come into conflict with each other for their own purposes.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



NGDBSS posted:

When did he do this? I'm not doubting you given all the poo poo I've heard about him, but I don't happen to remember that amongst things like the player who came to sessions just to glower while his character was in prison/the hospital recuperating.

ARB posted the excerpt from the last Play Dirty, I think it might have even just been called "The Girl" and it started with him expounding on how certain women are actually girls based on how bouncy they are, and ended with him triumphant over how she physically shrunk away from him every time he talked to her, basically. Granted in his mind she's retreating from like... possibility or something.

TombsGrave
Feb 15, 2008



I figure Wick would just throw a hissy and quit and write an extremely inaccurate story about how a bunch of powergaming jerks couldn't sufficiently immerse themselves in worlds of his creation.

As for settings: Unknown Armies is the only setting I can think of that I'd run basically unchanged, either in terms of specifics or in presumptions about game structure. UA hits this sweet spot for me where it does everything I wanna do as hard as I wanna do it. For most other settings I find myself tweaking things to one degree or the other, usually in favor of giving the PCs a bit more agency/ability to kick rear end, or making the setting less complex/more streamlined 'cause politics is generally not my bag.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



LatwPIAT posted:

Delta Green. It's an excellent adaptation of the Cthulhu Mythos to the 90's zeitgeist with the message that perhaps the greatest cosmic horror is the great indifference of man against man. Almost all the villains are people who want to harness the Mythos for their own petty benefits, which is a chilling thought. The writing is top-notch, with every page dripping with plot hooks one can craft an entire campaign from. It's full of NPCs that are ready to come into conflict with each other, or that the players can make come into conflict with each other for their own purposes.


Delta Green is what the Cthulhy Mythos would be like if it'd been written by a competent writer instead of H.P. Lovecraft.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Halloween Jack posted:

Yojiro was Wick's playtest PC. Yojiro was madly in love with his sister-in-law, Kachiko. Kachiko was never a PC.

Burn it down. Salt the earth. Let nothing living grow here again.

Peter Ustinov would beat wick to death with his own gall bladder for this offense to raconteur.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Tasoth posted:

I wonder what kind of meltdown a GM like Wick would have if his players formed a cabal excluding him, made a large batch of characters each aside from the one the GM knows about , put up no resistance and swapping characters every time they lose one. Just changing to a completely new character whenever one gets imprisoned, tortured for centuries or full out assault by the unbeatable villain and continuing on with the group. I can't imagine the session would last long before there was a fight.

Oh, god no. The moment someone brought an unsanctioned sheet out, he'd bring his shoe down like Khrushchev. Then there'd be an argument. Then after the fact he'd come up with another stdh.txt entry where each new sheet would be afflicted with plague, run down by a car without warning, or otherwise written out as he played whack a mole, proving that even heroic figures can be victims of 'random' happenstance.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I figure any discussion of great campaign settings has to give the nod to Tekumel, Glorantha, and Harn for how much went into their development and how they've commanded the loyalty of cult audiences over decades. (In the case of the first two, fans have followed the setting as the rules and the publishing company changed completely.)

theironjef posted:

ARB posted the excerpt from the last Play Dirty, I think it might have even just been called "The Girl" and it started with him expounding on how certain women are actually girls based on how bouncy they are, and ended with him triumphant over how she physically shrunk away from him every time he talked to her, basically. Granted in his mind she's retreating from like... possibility or something.
Do not drown Happy Fun Ball for 200 years :ohdearsass:

Lot of possibilities under that fedora.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Halloween Jack posted:

I figure any discussion of great campaign settings has to give the nod to Tekumel, Glorantha, and Harn for how much went into their development and how they've commanded the loyalty of cult audiences over decades. (In the case of the first two, fans have followed the setting as the rules and the publishing company changed completely.)

Agreed entirely on the second one.

mcclay
Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn


Soiled Meat

I'm currently in love with Degenesis's setting: it does post apocalypse without going full Fallout and have everyone wear leather and random bits of metal. Tribes are evolving into full blown cultures and civilization, North Africa is even pretty close to our modern day tech level. Great horrible space fungus mutants dropped by meteors that ended the world.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

I love Feng Shui's setting, albeit with a fair bit of changing about to it. The basic concept of a bunch of time-traveling action heroes having insane adventures throughout time while a massive (and hilarious) left wing dystopia looms in the Bad Future just appeals to me.

Shame about the game's actual system, but I can just run it in something else.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



LatwPIAT posted:

Delta Green. It's an excellent adaptation of the Cthulhu Mythos to the 90's zeitgeist with the message that perhaps the greatest cosmic horror is the great indifference of man against man. Almost all the villains are people who want to harness the Mythos for their own petty benefits, which is a chilling thought. The writing is top-notch, with every page dripping with plot hooks one can craft an entire campaign from. It's full of NPCs that are ready to come into conflict with each other, or that the players can make come into conflict with each other for their own purposes.
I second this, especially their take on Carcosa, Hastur and the King in Yellow especially with Night Floors. There's a lot about that fluff to.love because while fighting the Great Old Ones is fighting an inevitable tide that you might be able to get people away from, Carcosa is madness and entropy, the natural decay of all things and how it breaks down in the end. The Old Ones come but Hastur was always here, the Elder signs and Shoggoths and spells need to be made and cast but Carcosa and the Yellow Taint are just always there where you're not looking.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




It's kinda sad how literally every take on Carcosa is better than Derleth's. Even all the dumb irrelevant stories in A Season in Carcosa.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:



The Spinner Kin: Eight in Infinity for the Tying of the Web
What?

quote:

Reinventing physics is not as difficult as one might think. Darkness is a crutch for those that cannot hide. Today I am feeling indulgent. I dangle in plain view, if my victim would merely look.
He pays no attention as he sighs through the boredom of his money. My contract states that he must be identifiable when I bring him in. My legs extend, and I become the poisonous compass to his well-deserved judgment. When one shops little girls out for sex and profit, it is wise to know all of your enemies . . . and potential enemies.
Some of us might be amused to liquefy you from the inside out.
I have heard he is afraid of spiders. If he wasn’t before, he will be when I am done.
So a bunch of spider assassins, lovely. At least they're staying someplace well trod this time around.

Behold the Beast: Unlike other changing breeds, Arnae(for that is what they call themselves) only live for 5 years after their first change. Which seems kind of lovely just from a Player Character perspective. "Alright guys, here's the group, now you've got two years of in game time before Bob dies, hope you didn't want any downtime." In game this means that the spiders are creatures of action, they strive to be certain of the consequences of their actions before doing so, but to them inaction is literally death. Since they're such a short lived species they don't get to raise their own children, they do their best to make sure that they're cared for but the cycle of abandonment has created a society of self important loners who don't trust anyone.

quote:

To the Spinners, Arnae kin (both animal and human) are viewed more as social network ties rather than friends and family. Great tangling interconnections in business, science, literature and political manipulation are decidedly natural, yet interpersonal relations are not. Individuals are fragile; developments that bend cultures endure.
If spider-kin appear cold, it’s only natural. How could a masterpiece love lesser works of art? Certainly, the other beings that shamble and stumble through the night are worthy in their way. Sentiment, though, for such things is unseeingly. Best to discard it, as a man would put cows from his mind as he unwraps a cheeseburger.
It takes a great deal to impress an Arnae. Most beings that do catch the attentions of Spinners are generally viewed as competition for food, information or life-experience. If a person wishes to stay in the presence of an Arnae for any real length of time, she must prove herself useful, independent and intrinsically aware. Grandmother’s brood are not a forgiving lot. Forgiveness takes time and long-term patience. It is easier and more efficient to dismiss (or disembowel) problems as necessary.

I'm having trouble thinking of a reason to play as these things in a group game. Played as written they're short lived loners who kill anyone who catches their eye. In their own society, such as it is, they tend not to gather. If they do gather the eldest is in charge, unless it's a group of mixed gender, in which case it's the strongest female "as is always understood and respected."

In their human forms they show the sexual dimorphism of their animal breed. Men top out at 5 foot and 90 pounds, women average about 6 feet and 130 pounds. They're also "Lithe and beautiful" but that strikes me as more dangerously malnourished. They possess spinnerets in all of their forms because I'm sure someone, somewhere, loves the idea of a dudes pulling down his pants to squirt out a length of rope.

Their prey is everyone, they're sadistic killers who suck out organs, or poison to chase down later. They have a particular dislike for Werewolves, since they associate them with the Azlu Spider Host that thickens the walls of the world. That said the Arnae aren't exactly forthcoming with their acutal natures and try to kill Werewolves first so... They do hate the Azlu but they're not equipped to kill them as efficiently as Werewolves are.

In turn everyone hates them, because they're spiders. They're also the weavers of fate and while that makes them feel full of themselves it also makes everyone else hate them because they have those silly little notions of free will and the like. Still others would like to see Grandmother Spider's poison finally kill off the infestation known as man.

quote:

Stereotypes
Man: Bulbous and deaf are these. They could not hear the sound of the Web singing from their actions if it was as loud as the Bells of Saint Michael’s. However, they are fun to watch.
Mages: Invest your days toward the Fates, or do not. Dabbling in the sticky oil of the Universe is a game only for children and suicidal flies.
Vampires: For all that they have a delicious sense of style, they completely lack the manners to know when they should leave the party.
Werewolves: Does doggie want to play in the big sticky net? Good boy!
:wtc:

Nanekisu: The Eight Nives
I think around here is the time the Editor really stopped giving a gently caress because there is no consistency in this breed whatsoever.

quote:

As rare as truth, the Nanekisu are called rather than born. Warrior scholars all, these single-minded Arnae define their purpose in the defense of genuine knowledge. Found in every major center of faith and learning throughout the world, the Nanekisu are the knives that cut away the gangrene spread of propaganda and misinformation.
No single genus now claims the spear of the Nanekisu. In the beginning, all these spiders were native only to the Mediterranean regions. When their Gift manifested, they were revered as gods, monsters or both. It was a glorious time, but time has always quarreled with Spinners. As all things do, that period passed. When exploration became more and more possible for normal man, the Nanekisu bloodlines stretched across the globe. False teachings and ignorance flayed hot the souls that bore the blood and brought the Eight Knives up into every land. For those that call themselves Nanekisu (Non-eh-kee-SU), the word “calling” is too tame a word. Their vocation is more of an epiphany or divine order. Their souls demand they follow. Their skins melt to meet the needs required to do so.
Simply put, these Spinners gather information, root out falsehood and preserve what passes for “truth” as best they can. Their short lives are dedicated to this greater goal. Some enrich themselves through this calling (information may want to be free, but access to it can be quite expensive), filling huge penthouses with elaborate webs of computer networking and sticky webs; others assemble archives and place them under the keeping of human kin.
A few erase the distinctions of mortal morality, becoming syndicate bosses extraordinaire. These spiders hide their true natures in catacombs deep below their chosen cities, or fill warehouses to brimming with sparkling masterpieces. Their underlings learn quickly that finger-joints are small prices to pay for failure, compared to others that might be required. Informants and crusading cops wind up as desiccated husks or incubators for fresh generations. And then there are the gatherers themselves — restless artisans of the silent kill. Venturing out in human guise or picking their way through skyscraper landscapes, these Arne(ED: Yes, they mispell their own name) find the answers they seek. If screams are not easily understood, then such is the cost of a job well-done.
Nanekisu have long proved themselves zealots of education and dauntless defenders of the intellectual arts. Often versed in the hard sciences, history, theology or sociology, these Spinners aim to be definitive experts in their fields of choice. As warriors, they are dispassionate assassins. Just as panic murders rationality, Nanekisu kill just as quickly.
Alright, that's fine, they're scholar assassins and the Wikileaks guy, good, great. And what's the picture we have for them?

fantastic. Now let's throw all that out of the window.

quote:

As mentioned previously, there is no set racial or animal stock among the Nanekisu. All races, nationalities and arachnid species have equal chance of
serving. Continuity between their generations comes through listening, not seeing. Nanekisu believe that wisdom is found in limited speech. When one is not talking, after all one may hear. These Spinners rarely, if ever, speak . . . and if they do, it is never idle conversation.
Only in animal form is there a sign of affiliation. A scar shaped like a hand (usually in silvery white) appears on the Nanekisu cephalothorax undercarriage. This is the sign of the poisoning and the death that followed.
In War-Beast form, Nanekisu take on the appearance of information itself. So many voices, so many theories, so many arguments have made up what is now seen as the truth. So it is with the wrathful shape of its protectors. Becoming a skittering, twitching, climbing jumbled mass of arachnids, the overall shape mimics a single massive spider. Thinking as one, acting as one, the millions of tiny bodies redefine ghoulish retribution as they strike venomously against those who oppose them. The Arnae appreciate the symbolism of many lives weaving into the actions of one and the actions of one weaving into many. Those who face the horror of that War-Beast rarely do. . . .
(It’s important to note that the individual arachnids in this body are not independent. Similar to the millions of cells in the human body, one spider cannot crawl off and act in a solo capacity, and the mass cannot alter its shape. This form is, for all purposes, a single massive entity.)
What the gently caress. The "Poisoning and Death that Followed" is only mentioned right towards the end of their breed description. Apparently if an "Arne" (yes they do it again) wants to join the Nanekisu they have to beat an existing Nanekisu in ritual combat. If they win they must "allow himself to be poisoned to death ritualistically and then trust that the current defender will bring him back again in a new and very different form. To allow this test is to prove loyalty. No Nanekisu has not seen the other side. Knowledge is power." You know what? This seems like a much more interesting breed, why the gently caress have you been talking about murderous mafia librarians instead of these guys? Also Nanekisu don't have an animal form.

Breed Favors: Fang and Claw, Many-Legged (adds +4 to Speed), Nine Lives
Breed Bonus: Their Nine Lives aspect is represented by the fact that they're really just a sentient spider swarm in human skin. They're impossible to kill.
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Blend In, Catwalk, Clever Monkey, Darksight, Earthbond, Invisible Marking, Keen Senses, Mindspeech, Natural Armor, Sense of Familiarity, Skin Double, Slumber’s Touch, Spook the Herd, Swarm Form, Truth Sense, Unsettling Eye, Unspeakable, Venomous, Wallwalking, Weaver’s Wisdom, Webbing
Form Adjustments: War-Beast: Str +3, Dex +4, Sta +3, Man –5, Size 6, Health +4, Speed +13 (species factor 9), +2 to perception rolls, Fang and Claw (bite) 1 (L)

:swoon: They got the health calculation right. And they're pretty good physical powerhouses, not bad. And they've got the creep factor with the whole "spider made out of smaller spiders" thing. I just wish they were written better.

Carapaché: The Hidden Children

quote:

Before the World writhed out of its laying silks, there was Fate, waiting. As always as beginnings and as never as the ends, she watched the World struggle onto the threads of the Sky. She watched the infant World seize and devour space so it could have a place to set its traps. World wove beauty onto its face with webs of light pulled from within its own innocence. She considered her circular intentions and understood that World did not worry about consequences because it had no fear. All that it needed had been provided for it. Fate knew this should not be the way of things.
She turned upon it jealousy because jealousy takes, but does not give. She told the webs of Light that Darkness was better because it was never-ending, not trapped within the virtue of the World. She told Darkness that Light was better because it was not heavy with cold. Both Darkness and Light looked upon the other with hatred because it is easy to hate those who have what you cannot. The war began, as it had been fated before the always of beginnings and the nevers of ends.
Vibrations of war between Light and Dark sang through the web. No longer did World’s threads feel strong or its traps hidden. No longer did World feel alone and peaceful in its own self-reliance. Fear came soon after, and Fate smiled. World offered up humanity and spiders to appease the war between Light and Dark. No one knows which gift was meant for whom. Light and Dark took World’s gifts, but left Fear to lay her eggs in World’s paralyzed belly. This was the way of things, and remains so even now.
Who wants to play rear end in a top hat batman who fucks over both sides to make sure that the war goes on for as long as possible and keeps things interesting? No one? I thought so.

The Carapaché are almost exclusively South American, shortly before the first change they wander into the jungles get caught in a spider web, wrap themselves up, and emerge as giant recluses or tarantulas. And they rarely, if ever, change out of that form. They're all Wind Dancers and adore watching humans and supernatural creatures fight it out on the global stage. And they interfere to keep it going. A Vampire may find prey already wrapped up in webs for him. A cop may find bureaucratic red tape falling away because all his detractors are now dead. A reporter might find an envelope of evidence webbed to their car. Not a one of these people live in Marvel's New York City and should probably be suspicious of this.

They're universally Latino (or Nativo) and preternaturally thin. They rarely wear clothing(They remind them too much of the webs from long ago) and go naked unless forced otherwise. Also they speak Spanish only if pressed. "English is a novelty at best." Their war form is a giant spider, their animal form is a significantly less giant spider.

Breed Favors: Many-Legged (adds +4 to Speed),Venomous, Webbing
Breed Bonus: They get a +2 bonus to hide from larger creatures, and all Carapaché characters have Survival and Stealth, and receive free Skill Specialties in Hiding and Jungle Survival. Basically they're so good at hiding it's actively uninteresting.
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Blend In, Catwalk, Clamber, Culling the Weak, Darksight, Invisible Marking, Keen Senses, Natural Armor, Nine Lives, Resilient Form, Spook the Herd, Truth Sense, Unsettling Eye, Unspeakable, Wallwalking
Form Adjustments: War-Beast: Dex+4, Man-5, Size 5, Speed+12, +2 to Perception rolls, Fang and Claw (bite) 1(L) plus venom Primal Beast: Str 2, Dex 4, Sta 2, Size 2, Health 5, Speed 11, +4 to Perception, Bite plus poison.

Well, one, you got the health wrong, but I'm sort of okay with that because only having four health is essentially a death sentence. Also who the gently caress would want to play this character?

Other Species

Chi Hsu: Mystic Webs
Yeah this is going to be super racist.

quote:

In the grand towers above Hong Kong and the vaults below Singapore, a fatal game of Go has been waging for nearly 1,300 years. Open the wrong door in Beijing or turn your head in San Francisco just a moment too soon, and you may see one of the 10,000 secrets of old Qin. Neither Communists nor emperors nor Western oafs could untangle the web of the C’hi Hsu, a venerable breed whose alchemies stop the tread of time. In the centers of those webs sit vampiric spider-witches whose arts stave off the frailty of their kind.
Correction: this is going to be impossibly racist.

quote:

Not all C’hi Hsu are so blessed, of course. To reach the exalted thrones of the Great Hakka, an Arne must pass 1,000 tests as presented by a master of the breed. Given the short lifespan of spider-kin, this requirement is even more arduous than it seems. Yet some few succeed; learning the sacred alchemies of Five-Web Magic (a uniquely arachnid take on Taoist alchemy), they prolong their years and powers to impossible lengths. So doing, these “Jeweled Queens” command other, lesser C’hi Hsu to carry out mundane tasks, secure cooperation from the local communities and bind rivals in webs both symbolic and real. When an outsider meets a C’hi Hsu, it is almost certainly one of these “Young Silks.” Their elders are far too elevated to sully their feet in the gutters of Man; to even enter the presence of a Jeweled Queen’s web, a visitor must fast for three days and be perfumed in seven kinds of smoke.
At least Big Trouble in Little China was meant to be a parody. gently caress.

quote:

Young Silks and Jeweled Queens alike, the C’hi Hsu love conspiracy. Their long lives give them much to remember and much to avenge. This may be the reason Spinner-Kin are so short-lived. Perhaps their webs were not meant to last, their poisons meant to boil in mortal frames. The Great Hakka weave a web of insult and intrigue that reaches back to the Qing Dynasty and spans from the boarders of Russia to the shores of the United States. The venerable House of Zhî even counts itself among the so-called Regencies. Yet so subtle are these designs that the flies trembling at its corners never see the spiders in the strands. The Jewel Queens have no need for haste, after all. Unlike their kin, the Jewel Queens have time.
Again, who the gently caress would even get the chance to play these characters? This sounds more like a description of "Strange NPCs your group may run into that are also spiders."

Breed Favors: Many-Legged (+4 to Speed), Venomous, Webbing
Breed Bonus: C'hi Hsu don't have a war-beast, only having human and giant spider forms. They also all have the Occult skill and apparently get free Allies and Contacts in corporations and criminal syndicates but it doesn't describe how or how much.
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Beast Magic, Carnivore’s Puissance, Blend In, Catwalk, Clamber, Culling the Weak, Darksight, Earthbond, Invisible Marking, Keen Senses, Mercy’s Touch, Natural Armor, Nine Lives, Truth Sense, Unsettling Eye, Unspeakable, Wallwalking

Form Adjustments: Dire Beast: Dex+3, Man-5, Size 4, Speed+16, +2 to Perception rolls, Fang and Claw (bite) 1(L) plus venom
They should have lost a point of health here, but whatever. I don't forsee these guys actually ever engaging in combat.

Sicarius: Poison's Voice
Well we had Racist, now let's be sexist.

quote:

Legends claim that Poison was once the concubine of Sleep. Dressed richly in the fever dreams and delusions of early Man, she wooed Him into a false peace. She brought wakeful dreamers into states that mimicked dreaming and death. Sleep had more territory with which to travel due to her ministrations. He fell for Poison’s affections. Unfortunately, this is a legend for spiders. Poison acted as a female should. Sleep has never forgiven Her. He sent dreams from beyond the Web to his children to bind her in the hatred and death of Man. Forever in the darkness, She has grown mad. The Sicarius are Her voice. How organized madness can be if hate leads the way.
Oh sure it's 'positive sexism' but "Yeah of course she was going to betray him, that's how empowered women are supposed to act" is still super loving dumb.

quote:

Sicarius have worked for centuries to prefect the magic of toxins. From herbalists to pharmaceutical chemists to the lethal red back spiders, these Spinners hone painlessness into pain. Understanding the power of sex as well, they are hauntingly alluring. In their bravest shape, these “spider queens” arch a full eight feet in their slender yet formidable arachnid forms. To see a Sicarius in her full glory is to finally understand hopelessness in love.
Until the turn of the 19th century, no males were born under the venom of Sicarius. Now still rare, males who are so blessed must constantly prove themselves useful and keep a watchful eye on the affairs of their betters. Some Sicarians believe that the breed’s toxins had grown too weak to pass on without the male counterpart. Many others still resent that implication. . . .
YES WE GET IT MALE SPIDERS ARE WEAKER THAN FEMALE SPIDERS STOP JACKING OFF ABOUT IT.

Breed Favors: Many-Legged (adds +4 to Speed), Venomous, Webbing
Breed Bonus: They only have a Dire Beast form. Also all Sicarians have Science, with a free Skill Specialty in Toxology. Which doesn't make any sense. I salivate, that doesn't mean I know how to perfectly reproduce saliva in a laboratory environment. They pulled that trick in Spider-Man and it worked because he was a loving boy genius.
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Blend In, Catwalk, Clever Monkey, Culling the Weak, Darksight, Exoskeleton, Grave Misfortune, Hypnotic Allure, Invisible Marking, Keen Senses, Natural Armor, Partial Change, Sexual Dimorphism, Spook the Herd, Sweet-Voiced Fiend, Unsettling Eye, Unspeakable, Wallwalking

Form Adjustments: Dire Beast: Dex+4, Man-5, Size 6, Speed+8, +2 to Perception rolls, Fang and Claw (bite) 1(L) plus venom
I guess we can add speed to the list of things they don't understand. Since Big Spiders in Little China had speed 16 but these guys only have speed 8.

Regardless I think only the Spider made of Spiders even approaches a playable character and this whole chapter could have been safely excised if it wasn't pretty much required so Brucato's pack of one-shot authors could jerk off over Black Widows.

Up Next: The last chapter written by a decent author before the plunge into madness.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 21:51 on Dec 29, 2015

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




quote:

They could not hear the sound of the Web singing from their actions if it was as loud as the Bells of Saint Michael’s

Dabbling in the sticky oil of the Universe is a game only for children and suicidal flies.

For all that they have a delicious sense of style, they completely lack the manners to know when they should leave the party.

Werewolves: Does doggie want to play in the big sticky net?
Wow, they just threw a bunch of metaphors at the web to see what stuck, didn't they?

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Chapter 2 Continued: Spell Descriptions

David Pulver posted:

Unlike many other roleplaying settings that mix magic and technology, I postulated magic would not remain an arcane force outside of the mainstream, but would rather be embraced by it. By treating magic as a new branch of physics, I may have lost some of the mystery, but I have always felt that this is an element that some game designers place too much attention on. In many real-world occult systems, magic follows well defined (if fictional) laws – so why not make it that way in a game?

Unsurprisingly, a setting that relies a lot on magic happens to have new spells: a whopping one hundred and six of them. Like standard GURPS magic of all eras, spells are more or less skills under a different name and a Fatigue Point payment whether or not you succeed the skill check. What is different is that a lot of the spells are actually quite interesting. Sure, given the sheer volume of new spells, there are a few unimpressive ones like Identify Plastic or the like, but even otherwise unimpressive spells at least have novelty for the setting, including Speed Data (double your modem's data transfer speed) and Delete Commercials (self-explanatory).


The spells you find in GURPS Technomancer are focused heavily on the synergy between technology and magic. Indeed, as you may have guessed from the quote by the author up top, magic doesn't simply complement technology, it turbocharges it into a wild and screaming future. I'll admit I might be biased in Technomancer's favor here in that I'm far more of a fan of this method than the idea of magic and technology are diametrically opposed forces that cannot coexist safely. Rather than attempt to talk about spells by school and inevitably have some schools where nothing gets spoken about or do a "top picks" bullet point list, I've decided I'm just going to look at spells from the perspective of their intention.

Spells of Convenience: Not every piece of magery needs to be something destructive or even all that earth-shaking. Sometimes you just want to have an easy way to help with the daily grind. One of the biggest examples is Necrovision™, a spell created and trademarked by the corporation Necrotech for the express purpose of letting those who pay to learn the spell be able to watch cancelled television shows. In the far off era of 1999, before Netflix and Hulu were even a glimmer in our eyes, this spell is both popular and controversial: many companies have begun to bring in the lawsuits against Necrotech for violation of syndication rights. Another would be Elemental Plumbing, wherein you bind a water elemental to your house's plumbing so that you can get fresh water of any temperature on command. Some other examples: you can overclock your PC with Upgrade Computer, be your own surge protector with Purify Power, and even ensure your financial future with the stock market divination spell Plutomancy.


Spells of War: Of course, while not every spell has to be destructive, some inevitably are. This is especially true when you live in a world where the Cold War helped fuel a lot of the magical revolution. Some spells on the battlefield are innovations on old fantasy staples, such as taking Fireball and adding concussive force to make it High Explosive Fireball or adding molten metal for Shaped Charge Fireball. Others are the reverse, grafting magical capabilities onto technological weaponry: take an ordinary missile and make its explosion spawn a murderous undead skull with the spell Skull Spirit, for instance, and the Magic Bullet spell turns a firearm into a deadly homing weapon. Oh, and then there's Gun to Butter...it turns a firearm into butter or margarine. I'm not sure why it exists but I had to mention it.

Spells of Malice: Or "spells I couldn't figure out how to classify beyond that they are detrimental but not military". Sometimes, people are just plain assholes. How else would you explain the creation of spells like Game Addict, which enchants a slot machine, pinball table, arcade game, or video game so that the next person who plays it is unable to stop playing, even for basic body function needs, until they are unable to due to either extraneous circumstances or falling unconscious? Or Curse Virus, which creates a supernaturally powerful computer virus? And let's not even begin to think about the mindset of whoever created Hellspawn, a spell that impregnates someone with a demon.


Spells of Augmented Humanity: While not explicitly a transhuman setting, it is probably worth remembering that GURPS Transhuman Space was designed by David Pulver just like Technomancer was, and some similar ideas about altering humanity through some greater power are present here as well. A lot of them end up dealing directly with fetal matters. If you want a particularly special child, you could always give them an inherent magical power with Spellgraft, or make them some confusing furry with Create Chimera. Don't want a child at all? Well, that's not a problem either. Medical mages have two options for you there: Remove Fetus lets you take the fetus out to place it in an artificial womb, while Transfer Pregnancy straight up shunts the fetus to someone else's womb (and even grows them a womb if they don't happen to have one). These spells have both aided in reproductive rights and created an alternative to abortion that pro-life groups have found acceptable. There's also some good old-fashioned mechanical augmentation present in the book if that's more your style, the most variable being the spell Partial Mechamorphosis. This specific form of shapeshifting has ten specific uses given, including transforming your arm into a chainsaw, a finger into a pen or screwdriver, feet into wheels, and ears into radio antennae.




Chapter 3: High-Tech Enchantment
Industrial Enchantment
This isn't your daddy's magic items economy! Rather than go find some weird artificer out in the boonies, the world of GURPS Technomancer has a new system it refers to as industrial enchantment. Entire factories with vast assembly lines are used by dozens to even hundreds of mages that methodically weave portions of a spell together in a great rhythm. While it may be a bit exhausting on your Fatigue Points, the pay isn't too bad, with an average assembly line enchanter's salary being $375 a day. And what exactly is manufactured in such a way rather than by individual enchanters? We aren't privy to exact products, but some general ground rules are given that if a spell can be manufactured to replicate a mundane device at a cheaper price in the long run, cost-effectively improve upon a mundane technology, are labor-saving, or do something that non-magical technology simply can't, it's likely to be enchanted en masse. Cook, Flying Carpet, Hide Thoughts, and Teleport Other are given as some commonly manufactured spells.


Radiation and Necrotechnology
While industrial magic may be the frontliner for chapter 3, the brunt of it discusses the force that caused the entire world of Technomancer to exist in the first place: radiation. Nuclear radiation is innately bound with necromantic power and can even spawn demons from a dimensional breach if things go to poo poo. Given how hard it is to get people to accept nuclear power in the real world, you can probably surmise how well the idea of nuclear reactors that can also randomly spawn literal hellbeasts went over in the early Cold War era. It wasn't until the late '70s and early '80s that Oz particle interaction with nuclear radiation was understood well enough that the public could accept the presence of NEMA (nuclear-enhanced mana area) reactors, nuclear reactors outfitted with special precautions such as pentagrams to seal any unwanted demon activity and special ectoplasm-coated power lines to allow both electicity and mana to be pulled from the reactor.

There's also the matter of waste and leakage. While strictly monitored, there's always the potential for something to go wrong, like what happened at Chernobyl, and radiation sickness is the least of your worries. Radiation sickness can rapidly progress into one of two even more sinister conditions: you have the chance of either getting TZS, which rots you alive until you end up becoming a zombie, or vampiric leukemia, which makes you into a vampire. It's even possible to have a demon possess and then transform you into their own likeness if you get a ridiculously high amount of rads in your system. Pregnancies affected by radiation can similarly end up in the birth of a vampire fetus, a defect-addled mutant, or the best case scenario of a baby who is innately magical but can only ever be able to learn or cast necromancy spells. These are all very good reasons why so many laws and precautions are in place in the first place.

Last on the radioactive information list would be necronium, a radioactive and mana-active metal that is used to power NEMA reactors. It also happens to be a convenient superweapon, since it doesn't have that pesky "could cause the fabric of reality to unravel" problem that standard atomic bombs do, and necronium happen to be used by all the same nations that use nuclear weapons in real life. A less terrifying but nonetheless potent piece of machinery necronium is used in is the necrolaser. Developed by Necrotech in 1988, these fancy devices shoot fluorine, gas, and ectoplasm through necronium mirrors to create violet beams of necromantic energy.

Oh, and speaking of ectoplasm, it gets a full discussion in this chapter as well. What's special here isn't the actual description – it's just slimy ghost juice that the undead leak, as it often is in fiction and pseudoscience alike – but what's done with it. Specifically, tons of spiders are killed and then reanimated to make zombie spider farms because their silk is naturally ectoplasm-laced. This so-called solid ectoplasm is then either embedded into silicate composite material to create Ectite™ cables such as those used to transfer power from NEMA reactors or in machines utilized by industrial enchantment facilities, or simply woven together into necromancy-resistant Ectoweave™ body armor.


High-Tech Alchemy
Like enchantment, but in (usually) liquid form. Alchemy has basically been heartily subsumed into the pharmaceutical business, who have manufactured ways to deliver their elixirs in aerosols, cigars and cigarettes, inhalers, and hypodermic needles rather than the old-fashioned potion bottle. Like other pharmaceutical products, there's also various regulations surrounding alchemical elixirs. Elixirs such as those that create natural sunblock, grow or remove hair, or prevent tooth decay for a period of time are freely given over the counter. Other elixers are prescription-only, such as those for weight loss, age reduction, or fertility. And then there's the illegal ones: love potions and drunkenness potions are considered date rape drugs, combat-effective elixirs are restricted to military use, and invisibility and resurrection elixirs are top secret government projects that nobody in the general public knows about. Outside of that last pair, though, there are always some people out there that are illegally shipping and selling elixirs that people want to buy on the black market.


Genetic Thaumaturgy
Genetic engineering is a lot easier when you can just magic up weird effects. Even with the issue of the Human Genome Project being a decade from completion (which is strange, given that there is a spell specifically for gene sequencing), enough is known that you can do some truly wild and wacky things. Unfortunately for those aspiring mad wizards out there, a lot of said wild and wacky things are actually illegal. It is illegal in the USA and many other nations for a mage to engage in human genetic engineering except for medical therapy purposes or to create biological weapons. Like prescription and illegal elixirs, however, there are always outlaw mages with knowledge of spells such as Create Chimera and Spellgraft who are willing to get a big payday in spite of the risks.


Golems
While what I'm about to write about is not actually in the GURPS Technomancer book, it is technically official, just cut content. Golems: they're a fantasy staple at this point. Technomancer even gives them brief mentions in sidebars discussing that war golems and plastic pleasure golems are both things that exist. But why briefly mention golems when you could talk about them in depth? GURPS contributor Hans-Christian Vortich apparently had the same idea, as back in the day he wrote a chunk of information about golems of war. The leading producer of golems from the Cold War onward has been the Cadillac Golem Company, a subsidiary of General Motors. Their 1969 and 1970 GLU-1 (Golem Life Unit 1) series, nicknamed "Iron Men" due to the fact that at the time iron and clay were the only materials that could be enchanted by still relatively green industrial mages, effectively filled the same role as tanks: big, pricy hunks of metal that make up for their slow speed and need for human direction by being murderous armored powerhouses.

These 7 to 10 foot tall blocky-framed metal men were given specific designations based on their armament, with GLU-1A golems wielding dual machine guns, GLU-1Bs similarly dual-wielding grenade launchers, and GLU-1Ds wielding a huge recoilless rifle. We don't know what happened to GLU-2, but in 1979 the GLU-3 "Silver Man" was rolled out, now being created out of titanium rather than iron. A special dual riot shield-wielding variant called the Shield Man was also created to be used as a hostage rescue unit by the FBI. Outside of the United States, the two most famous golems are Mexico's Titanio Almado Modelo "Balam", which is more or less a Silver Man with a jaguar head shape for flair, and the human-sized (and thus somewhat cheaper in build costs) Soviet Uralgonzavod.




Nonhuman Races
Human Chimeras
Half animal, half human, all American. Or at least it's assumed so, because all six known species of human chimeras are formed from animals found in the American Southwest and none have been reported outside of the region of original Trinity fallout. This seems to definitely shoot down the idea that chimeras are actually the results of either Seelie genetic engineering or the results of recessive genes from a time in the distant past when mana was present before disappearing until the Trinity Event, both of which are postulated hypotheses in a sidebar. There are at least a few things that are definitely known. All human chimeras can speak with animals related to their beastly half, take extra damage from silver and necronium, suffer from emotional outbursts and laziness during the full moon, and require a daily exposure to ambient mana to stay healthy.

...Oh, and chimeras can't breed with each other, but can breed with humans, as all of them have human genitalia. This is detailed to us for reasons that are unclear, and I'd honestly probably rather have them stay unclear. With that :stonk: bit of information on human chimeras out of the way, let's meet our misfits.
  • Spider People (81 Point Template): The rarest and most mechanically expensive chimeras, the spider people are sort of like centaurs, only instead of a majestic horse you have a huge-rear end tarantula as the junk in your trunk. If you're a spider person, you get the benefits of having a good amount of lower body strength, wall-climbing, web-spitting, and having venom-laden fangs in your otherwise human mouth.
  • Coyote People (5 Point Template): An anthropomorphic coyote. They can hear and smell better than humans, but are otherwise not all that powerful and are also probably not seen as being as cool as werewolves would be.
  • Cat People (19 Point Template): Anthropomorphic cats, which oddly enough are specifically stated to have human hair on top of their furry cat heads while coyote people get no such statement. On top of being good at the things coyote people are good at, cat people also have night vision, impeccable balance, quiet movements, quick reflexes, and reduced damage from falls.
  • Hawk People (-18 Point Template): Like spider people, the hawk people are inexplicably not anthropomorphic/furry/whatever types. Instead, they follow the harpy design, with human torso and head but hawk everything else. Hawk people have powerful claws, can fly, and have great vision, but also have brittle bones.
  • Snake People (25 Point Template): Snake people have a long serpent body and tail instead of legs, a forked tongue, fangs, and slitted pupils, and are even referred to as nagas to bring home the fact that they are like the spider people and hawk people rather than the anthropomorphic triad. On top of being extremely flexible, having infravision, and having both the squeeze of a constrictor and the venom of a viper, snake people actually have innate supernatural powers: specifically, they get Magery 1 that is limited to Communication and Empathy spells and three free ranks in the Persuasion spell.
  • Fox People (-9 Point Template): And we're back to the furry shape species. They are mostly mechanically similar to coyote people, save that they have reduced total hit points and can innately cast an illusion to appear human.


Chimera Halflings
Weird things happen when chimeras and humans have sex. There's a 25% chance the baby is a chimera, a 25% chance it's a human, and a 50% chance it's one of these. Halflings are there for if your flavor of animal people is more anime than furry. Or if you want to pay less character points, since they have lesser versions of their parents' sensory abilities in exchange for taking less bonus damage from silver, no bonus damage from necronium, and not having a mana dependency. Cat, coyote, and fox halflings all have the ears and tail of their species but otherwise look human, hawk halflings have feathers instead of head and pubic hair, snake halflings have slitted pupils, forked tongues, and snakes for hair, and spider halflings get venomous fangs and six arms for their "we're not completely human" look. You can see a hawk halfling, snake halfling, full-fledged cat person, and spider halfling in the image I used to introduce this chapter. Moving on.


Atomic Lich (230 Point Template)
A CIA black ops project in 1973 was undertaken to attempt to artificially make mages by making them chug radiation-laced potions. Surprisingly, this didn't actually work as planned, and all two hundred and three test subjects died. What a shock! In a non-ironic surprise, thirty of them came back, now with a new unlife as pissed off glowing skeletons that the CIA dubbed atomic liches. The liches escaped from the facility and fled to the winds, and while seventeen of thirty have bene murdered, the rest have managed to either stay hidden or gain a significant power base to stay alive. One of the most powerful is the mafioso and "Dark Lord of Chicago" Elrond Carver, who rules the criminal underground of the American Midwest. Even the atomic liches that aren't crime bosses are still extremely dangerous: on top of all the perks of being an unliving monstrosity, they have increased strength and hit points, innate Magery 3, leak radiation for about two or three yards around them, and can breathe a cone of radiation Godzilla-style.



Chonchon (92 Point Template)
Believe it or not, these undead heads that fly using their massively enlarged ears are actually based on a creature from mythology. Most chonchons are delirious and driven by nothing more than basic blood hunger, some eventually come to their senses and attempt to relearn how they were before they became weird flying head vampires. Chonchons can become invisible to both living and machine vision and have vicious bites that can spread an infection that causes the afflicted to become a chonchone themself if they succumb.


Zombies
Technomancer's zombies come in two flavors: necromantic and toxic. Necromantic zombies are your straight up D&D-style mindless undead corpses, not anything particularly special, and the entry even just points you to GURPS Magic for its zombie stats rather than give any new ones. The only state in the union where it's legal to create necromantic zombies is Louisiana, where they can be animated for "death plus hard labor" criminal sentences since even in fictional universes we've got a horrible prison system. Criminals are stated to use zombies as servants, enforcers, laborers, and sex slaves (treated with a Sterilize spell and plastic coating, because apparently necrophiles are at least cleanly about it in the Technomancer-verse).

Toxic zombies, on the other hand, are very conscious and very dangerous. These are the types that you become if you suffer from TZS, and it's not a pleasant experience. You slowly lose points of your IQ stat day by day, and the only way to recover it is to consume the brains of sapient beings: one point regained per brain. It's sort of a lose-lose situation, as you either eat brains to retain your knowledge and sense of self or you devolve into a slavering flesh-hungry beast and thus end up eating brains anyway. Luckily, they're also only a bit stronger and tougher than humans, with most of their power being from the benefits of no longer having to eat, sleep, breathe, or any of those other pesky human body function limitations.


Vampire (270 Point Template)
Everyone's favorite undead bloodsuckers. Technomancer's vampires are extremely strong and durable, making them more than capable of overpowering even spider people in order to drain the blood of sapients, which they need to survive. On top of physical power, they are also invisible to machines, can transform into an animate shadow, and innately know 5 ranks of the spells Create Servant (reflavored as animating a person's reflection rather than just creating a servant automaton), Shape Darkness, and Teleport. Of course, every vampire has its weaknesses as well, and the ones here suffer from being unable to heal themselves even with blood draining, a constant mana dependency, the need to rest in soil from their homeland daily, a weakness to sunlight, and vulnerability to silver and necronium.


Spirits
Spirits come in several forms: animating spirit, ghost, shade, and holo-ghost. The first is probably the best understood, as they are frequently channeled to bring life to inanimate objects and necromantic zombies. An animating spirit is not anyone's soul or animus: instead, it's merely a psychic after-image, a shard of universal memory of a person who is now deceased. They don't have any memory, free will, or a stat block as they are merely a means to a spell-related end.

Not a lot is actually known about proper ghosts. They're dead, they're ectoplasmic, they are actually someone's soul, and they come from somewhere that indicates there's some manner of afterlife or at the very least a halfway point between life and true death, but that's about all anyone can surmise. Another similar type of undead is the shade, which is the ghost of yourself from a possible future. Both of these have a reference to go look at the book GURPS Undead for more on them, but there is at least one fully statted Technomancer spirit in the holo-ghost. These guys are basically what happens if you intentionally try to create an animated spirit that has a presence outside of an object and retains the memories of the person it was made from.

How is that done? Well, you need to have a necrolaser, a roll of camera film made from necronium shavings that is used to photograph a still fresh corpse, and the ability to cast the spell Summon Spirit. Put them all together and you have your holo-ghost. While holo-ghosts are intended to effectively be interactive holograms of the recently deceased, they have free will and can potentially break out of whatever binds them before they get dispelled, and are even allowed as a player character racial template. The perks you get for being a holo-ghost are the benefits of incorporeality and undeath, innate Magery, and the ability to go invisible or possess people, but you also have the drawbacks of having one gnawing obsession or compulsive behavior and a constant mana dependency.


Dragons
Blue, red, and black dragons are the three types of dragon in the world of Technomancer, and only one of them actually has the same coloration as their name. Blue and red dragons (401 point racial template) are 20 feet of deadly winged reptile that actually have green scales and gold eyes. They are given their two names based on whose side they're on: they're blue dragons if they are the ones that are servants of the USA, UK, and Israel, and red dragons if they're the ones from the Soviet Bloc, Egypt, and Syria. There are also extremely rare cases of "wild dragons", specimens that came through the Trinity rift but managed to slip under the radar rather than be killed and have their egg clutches taken to be raised by humans. At least some are known to live in the barren far north of Canada and the Peruvian Andes.

Not only are dragons extremely strong and durable due to their sheer size and thick armored hide, they are also actually pretty smart. They're only IQ -1, which is the same intelligence score given to Neanderthals in GURPS Dinosaurs and GURPS Ice Age, which means they can actually think and plan out their combat strategies. These flying furnaces are capable of breathing fire and innately learning fire magic on top of the trifecta of claws, jaws, and a powerful alligator-like tail. Their only real flaws are that they have constant mana dependency (which usually isn't a problem in GURPS Technomancer, but you never know), require three times as much food as a human soldier would which can potentially cause logistics issues, and they can regress into a bestial state if put under extreme psychological stress.

The other type of dragon is the black dragon. These are literally the setting's stealth bombers, even having been hatched in the Lockheed Skunkworks from genetically modified blue dragon eggs. While they are the same length as blue and red dragons, black dragons are thin and agile rather than thickly muscled powerhouses. They are invisible to machinery and don't cast a shadow, but also take damage from sunlight, leading to rumors that the secret recipe for making black dragons involved vampires or some other form of undead. This claim isn't exactly hurt by the fact that they also innately learn necromancy rather than fire spells and have radiation breath rather than fire breath.


Elementals
If you remember your Paracelsus, the classical four elementals are gnome of earth, undine of water, sylph of air, and salamander of fire. Technomancer uses the Paracelsan elementals rather than D&D style blobs of matter, and furthermore modernizes them by stating that they are more accurately described as personifications of the solid, liquid, gas, and plasma states of matter rather than nebulous Medieval concepts of essential planetary materials. We also learn that they are free-willed and have anywhere from chimpanzee to human levels of intelligence depending on the individual elemental, which makes the Elemental Plumbing spell from chapter 2 horrifying in hindsight. It's even noted that there are activist groups attempting to change elementals' legal status from natural resource to free citizen.

Elementals are capable of experiencing all the emotions we can. Some feel comraderie and companionship with humans that actually treat them nicely, and some even engage in sexual acts with mages who cast Body of [Element] spells specifically for that purpose...never underestimate humanity's ability to learn how to gently caress things, I guess. There are also elementals that aspire to be learned magi (as each elemental innately has Magery 3 with a limitation to spells of their specific element), elementals that rally with environmental activists, and elementals that work with ecoterrorists. Mechanically, all elementals share a lack of need to eat, drink, or sleep, an unaging body, constant mana dependency, and a social stigma of being valuable property.

And with the generals out of the way, let's get to the specifics.
  • Air Elemental/Sylph (57 Point Template): As mercurial as the winds they are made from, sylphs are impulsive, capricious, and easily distracted. The only thing that all sylphs have a solid stance on is that air pollution of both natural and anthropogenic natures are intolerable. Yes, natural too, as in some of them are known to get mad about volcanoes. Sylphs are incorporeal and swift fliers, and are also capable of attacking in combat by creating super-fast jets of air that can actually cut things in the vein of Avatar: the Last Airbender or various manga and anime.
  • Earth Elemental/Gnome (80 Point Template): Gnomes look like grumpy-faced rock men. They also act like grumpy men for that matter, being callous, stubborn, and reclusive. Gnomes can burrow through the ground and are particularly sturdy thanks to being made of stone, but otherwise aren't all that interesting mechanically.
  • Fire Elemental/Salamander (110 Point Template): These guys look like humanoid blobs of heated plasma rather than salamanders, and also hold the esteemed position of probably being the biggest assholes out of any of the elementals. Salamanders are both egocentric and impulsively pyromanic, setting things on fire because they feel that the blaze is beautiful art. They are made of fire, immune to fire, and shoot jets of fire. Fire.
  • Water Elemental/Undine (48 Point Template): A humanoid figure made of water. They swim, rapidly regenerate damage when in large bodies of water, can shoot high-pressure water jets, and are not given any really interesting flavor text at all. Oh well, they can't all be mind-blowing.


Angels

GURPS Technomancer posted:

The majority of Christians and Moslems believe that angels exist and are real beings, but this remains unproven. Many people claim to have seen them, but mainly in visions or dreamlike experiences. Mainstream theologians believe that angels do not appear directly, as faith is more important to God than providing direct proof of His existence through messengers.
And that's the entirety of the segment about angels. You're welcome.



Demons
Demons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all share the bond of being consummate liars. They claim to be whatever is conveniently scary and threatening to their audience at the time: Goetic demons, eldritch horrors, hellish characters from popular fiction, and even Old Scratch himself. They aren't actually any of those things, mind you, but it doesn't hurt to play pretend when you have the goal of messing with people. Scientists are split between two theories about demon origins, feeling that they are either extradimensional beings that psychically latch onto the subconscious of someone around the area they are summoned at or are in fact just figments of a mage's imagination taken shape when a summoning spell is cast or a horrible magical mistake accidentally summons one. The latter is a bit less likely given that demons can also spontaneously appear at nuclear events, but is handwaved away by proponents as being dark energy attached to nuclear radiation being affected by the nearest people at random times.

Whatever demons actually are, they all share the same base 34 point template, which seems to be a conceptual precursor to what would become meta-traits in GURPS Fourth Edition. Their shared boons are a lack of need to sleep, immunity to disease and to spells that have an IQ saving roll, night vision, and agelessness, while on the minus side they are all emotionally callous, vulnerable to silver and necronium, cannot harm "truly good folk" (whatever that specifically means), recoil from the sight of holy symbols of any faith, and have constant mana dependency. They're also considered outlaws by society and are officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church, but I doubt they actually care about either of those disadvantages. Four specific demon forms are given example stat blocks.
  • Gremlin (224 Point Template): Gremlins are technology-targeting demons that look like people with the ears and tail of a rat. Not only are they invisible to machines and capable of innately casting technology spells (all of them already know the spells Glitch, Machine Control, and Reveal Function specifically), they can shrink down to a miniscule size in order to wreak havoc in the innards of machinery. The CIA claims that Iraq and Argentina have weaponized gremlins, while other nations say the USA has them, but nobody really knows.
  • Hellraker (169 Point Template): Compulsive murderers and sadistic torturers, hellrakers resemble the stereotypical horns, hooves, and red leather skin kind of demon. They're a horrific mess of claws, horns, fangs, damage regeneration, and brute strength and endurance who love nothing more than a good blood bath.
  • Malebrachne (177 Point Template): While they look like satyrs (though some are female rather than male), malebrachne are anything but revelrous. Their delight comes through making others fall onto a dark path, and they have an arsenal of tools to do so: innate charisma, fast-talking skills, shapeshifting to disguise themselves, and invisibility to try to trick people into believing they are suffering from voices in their head.
  • Succubus/Incubus (215 Point Template): Your stereotypical bat wings, spade-tipped tail, and horns on an attractive woman or man type of succubus or incubus. They're carnal symbols of lust and lechery, and the ones that aren't bound to some mage are typically prostitutes, strippers, or horrific rapists by choice. These demons are technically infertile, but can store sperm in succubus form and then release it in incubus form. Succubi/incubi have slightly higher Strength and Dexterity than humans, the ability to change sex at will, shapeshifting as an innate spell, pheromone powers, double-jointed limbs, sharp teeth, claws, and a +3 bonus to the Erotic Art and Sex Appeal skills.


Chupacabra (42 Point Template)
Nobody's quite sure what the hell these guys are. They definitely look demonic, with their reptilian legs, glowing eyes, taloned hands, leathery gray skin, and spiked back, and they were even briefly thought to be demons back when they first appeared in the '70s, but they don't react to summoning, holy symbols, or other things that would mark them as being demons. Seelie believers claim that they are some hybrid between faerie and vampire whipped up in a secret government lab, and also claim that they are behind cattle mutilations seen in areas soon after Seelie visitations. Others say it's some sort of weird animal that evolved from the Trinity event. The truth? Unknown, but it probably doesn't matter to you when one is looking you right in the face. Not only are their mess of jagged teeth and talons an obvious danger, they are also capable of extreme speed and long frog-like leaps and can spray venom like a spitting cobra. Chupacabras are technically shy, but they have been becoming more and more bold recently, even attacking and draining blood from humans rather than small wild animals and livestock.



Killer Penguin (113 Point Template)
Hello, best creature in Technomancer. :allears:

The killer penguins are the end result of the Soviet faffing about in Antarctica, in more ways than one. Not only did they gain rudimentary grasping hands and sapience from the Russian atomic testing, Russian vivisections of them lead to a species-wide burning hatred of humanity since they turned out to have a hive mind and millions of people feeling the same horrifying pain at the same time doesn't do great things for interspecies tolerance. After murdering the weakest Russian outposts first, the penguins learned how to use guns and cast Soviet military spells, rallied their troops, and eventually ousted humans from Antarctica and declared their own independent communist state. They now manufacture magic items in grand ice cities and sustain themselves through planned fishing villages that equally distribute food throughout the continent. While technically all mindlinked, killer penguins are nonetheless independent (albeit loyal to their people), and several species have their own political power blocs. The king and emperor penguins are one clan, as are the adelie and chinstrap penguins, with macaroni, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins being neutral parties between the two. There doesn't seem to be any active danger to the rest of the world at this point, but a group of radicals calling themselves the Human Liberation Front have recently taken over a small island off the coast of Antarctica and plan on eventually annexing parts of the mainland, which has some worried that it might be the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to uneasy peace between the penguins and the rest of the world.

All killer penguins are amphibious, resistant to the cold, immune to attempts at fear and coercion, have a mental link with all other killer penguins within a 1,000 mile radius, innate Magery 1, poor grip with their stubby little flipper fingers, constant mana dependency, and loyalty to the collective. On top of that, chinstrap penguins are quick on their feet but also violent and bloodthirsty, emperor and king penguins are hardier than other species, gentoo penguins are weak but particularly good at swimming and have a daily rather than constant mana dependency, and macaroni penguins have innate Magery 3 rather than Magery 1 but are also less effective at resisting the spells of others.


Seelie
The Seelie, also known as faeries, are a big mystery. While a CNN poll suggests that 52% of the American population believes in them, there is no hard evidence beyond the claims of eyewitnesses and abductees and smooth iridium metal projectiles referred to as elfshot that are supposedly used by the Seelie. Some claim that mysterious Mages in Black come to take away evidence such as elfshot and to silence people who "know too much." Others say that they've seen forced impregnations and forced fetal removals during their abduction experiences. Is any of it real? It's unknown.

If you couldn't guess by now, Seelie are extraterrestrials with a magical veneer painted on the top. UFOs become "elf hills", abduction is carried out by the Loyalty and Walk Through Earth spells rather than technological paralysis, spells are used in place of medical technology, etc. David Pulver originally planned on having the Seelie have full stat blocks and be a solid thing, but GURPS line editor Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch convinced him that having them be statless mysteries would work out better in the end, and thus here we are.



Next Time in GURPS Technomancer: Character mechanics and the role of magic in society.

Fossilized Rappy fucked around with this message at 22:44 on Dec 29, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Everything about this is redeemed by hive-mind penguins, immediately.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

Funny enough, I've been thinking of starting a Fate game in the Planescape setting. I wanted a game that felt closer to the aesthetic of Torment, and Fate seemed suited better than any edition of D&D to let you create a cast of characters like "a floating, wisecracking skull from Hell" or "a chaste succubus, devoted to intellectual pleasures", rather than "yet another elf wizard."

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



theironjef posted:

Here is an Afterthought for you guys, hopefully you want to discuss favorite campaign settings with us.

Sadly the campaign talk was kind of a wash for me because I never played/read about Planescape. On the other hand, thanks for that random clip in the Q&A because I'd completely forgotten I really liked that song and that movie.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:

You guys are forgetting a side of Wick, where he gets all weird and possessive when his player is a cute womangirl. Then it's "You want to play [thing]? Why sure and you're even more powerful, but I will leer at you constantly and make weird remarks every time you do anything!

Yeah, I don't bring it up in the reviews because it didn't really seem too relevant to discuss Wick's personal issues beyond how they go into his GM advice, but there's definitely a patronizing quality to him in the examples that involve women. "Patronizing" isn't a word I get to bring up much, so it hasn't come to mind, but I realize it's a perfect descriptor now that I remembered it. "Happy Fun Ball", "Dire Peril", and "Glamour Girls" all feature what feels to me to be some really blatant patronization. There's probably others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

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