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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Midjack posted:

Palladium called out specific cars by name in their equipment sections too, including such commonly seen vehicles as the Delorean.

One of my all-time favorite things about Rifts was how Simbieda basically just assumed that the only stuff that would survive the apocalypse to get into the hands of TK Wizards was the cool stuff. DeLoreans? Sure, take 'em! P-51 Mustangs? There's about 180 flying ones in the world(a lot in California, which is destroyed), but I'm sure that all of them will survive the end times, why the hell not?

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Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


GimpInBlack posted:

It's stunning on the artist's part, sure, but that image was ripped off from a (at the time) three-year-old video game. A fairly popular one, granted, but if you're not really a big video gamer--which as I understand it the art director on the book wasn't) and you're assuming your artists are producing original works in good faith, it's an easy oversight to make.
Agreed. The artist is at fault here, the guys in charge can't know every piece of art that exists.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free

theironjef posted:

One of my all-time favorite things about Rifts was how Simbieda basically just assumed that the only stuff that would survive the apocalypse to get into the hands of TK Wizards was the cool stuff. DeLoreans? Sure, take 'em! P-51 Mustangs? There's about 180 flying ones in the world(a lot in California, which is destroyed), but I'm sure that all of them will survive the end times, why the hell not?

I'd love to tell you that that's why they showed up in the Rifts books... but sadly, it's only because it was easier to copy and paste the equipment section from modern-day Palladium games in there than it was to write up all new items.

Kaja Rainbow
Oct 17, 2012

~Adorable horror~

Nihilarian posted:

Agreed. The artist is at fault here, the guys in charge can't know every piece of art that exists.
I'm put in mind of the story of Nobilis 3E and how 68 pieces (all by a single person) turned out to have been blatantly copied from Touhou fanart. That led to a lot of headache, a printing delay, and a pull of the PDF to commission replacement art. Point is, people can and will trace art from all sorts of random things.

Kaja Rainbow fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Jan 14, 2014

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012




Mors Rattus posted:

Even since they stopped being edited by Scribendi.com, White Wolf has had editorial issues when it comes to copying. Danse Macabre had a chapter literally cut and pasted verbatim from the Mage Chronicler's Guide with names swapped around and the editor didn't notice until fans pointed it out.

Scribendi weren't that kind of editor. They're editors in the correcting spelling kind of way. That bigger-picture kind of thing is the purview of line editors, each of whom generally looks after one (or more, if they're workaholics) line. Which isn't to excuse anything, but a writer working in bad faith with a developer focusing on books for a different line will occasionally have poo poo like that slip through. Usually, the writer never gets hired again.

Also, Scribendi were utterly loving incompetent. Not just bad at editing in that they missed things that us writers done hosed up. Scribendi introduced errors into the text. Stupid schoolkid poo poo at that. In the Horror Recognition Guide, they "corrected" a perfectly normally-spelled "weird" to "wierd". In a heading. Made me look like a right tool when it came out...

VVVVV Sorry, didn't even notice it was "Even" until you pointed it out.

DigitalRaven fucked around with this message at 21:09 on Jan 14, 2014

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

DigitalRaven posted:

Scribendi weren't that kind of editor. They're editors in the correcting spelling kind of way. That bigger-picture kind of thing is the purview of line editors, each of whom generally looks after one (or more, if they're workaholics) line. Which isn't to excuse anything, but a writer working in bad faith with a developer focusing on books for a different line will occasionally have poo poo like that slip through. Usually, the writer never gets hired again.

Also, Scribendi were utterly loving incompetent. Not just bad at editing in that they missed things that us writers done hosed up. Scribendi introduced errors into the text. Stupid schoolkid poo poo at that. In the Horror Recognition Guide, they "corrected" a perfectly normally-spelled "weird" to "wierd". In a heading. Made me look like a right tool when it came out...

Hence the 'even', yes. That wasn't a typo for 'ever'.

Scribendi was awful.

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

DigitalRaven posted:

Not just bad at editing in that they missed things that us writers done hosed up. Scribendi introduced errors into the text. Stupid schoolkid poo poo at that.

To give you a great idea of just how incompetent they are, they managed to misspell my last name in a credits page... which wouldn't be so bad, except the very next name was my wife's and they somehow managed to spell the same last name correctly THERE.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

theironjef posted:

One of my all-time favorite things about Rifts was how Simbieda basically just assumed that the only stuff that would survive the apocalypse to get into the hands of TK Wizards was the cool stuff. DeLoreans? Sure, take 'em! P-51 Mustangs? There's about 180 flying ones in the world(a lot in California, which is destroyed), but I'm sure that all of them will survive the end times, why the hell not?

Yeah, it's the same reason that the Coalition Navy is flying Super Tomcats based off the F-14 design, they were being phased out during the time that book was published and have now been completely shredded to prevent the parts from getting to Iran, who is now the only country flying them. Or the Coalition Navy lobbing around Tomahawks, which somehow survived the Golden Age's arms race without being decommissioned and scrapped and then the Cataclysm. Or any of the Golden Weaponsmith stuff from Mercenaries.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

Hence the 'even', yes. That wasn't a typo for 'ever'.

Scribendi was awful.

Onyx Path seems to be a bit more on the ball with this, making sure they get artists they trust not to dick them over, and not putting out PoD versions of books until the first 'Fan Pass' of editing goes through, just in case there are a few "See Page XX"s or edge cases of plagiarism.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Kurieg posted:

Onyx Path seems to be a bit more on the ball with this, making sure they get artists they trust not to dick them over, and not putting out PoD versions of books until the first 'Fan Pass' of editing goes through, just in case there are a few "See Page XX"s or edge cases of plagiarism.

Yeah, you really need a line-editor/developer for broader issues, but when it comes to spotting typos and inconsistencies, no editor alive can match the power of All Your Readers Combined.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!


Dragonlance Key of Destiny Adventure Path Book Two, Chapter Two: Flotsam and Jetsam

Hey guys. I know it's been a long time since I last posted for this review, but December's been quite a month, to say the least. Last time we left off, the PCs discovered the significance of the Key of Destiny, the Dragon's Graveyard, and both Tears of Mishakal. After escaping the Dark Knight Fortress of Darkhaven, the party finds themselves north of the Desolation's mountain and a short ride to the port town of Flotsam. There, they must research the means to rid the corrupted Tear of Mishakal and start their journey northward.

Personalized Key of Destiny Soundtrack: Ramshackle Haven of Rogues



Flotsam is a haven for rogues and outcasts that managed to endure a history of strife. Invasion by the Dragonarmies, demonic invasion, the forces of Chaos, and even Malystryx's attacks has yet to completely destroy it. Even then, it is a city rebuilding from its ruins, and much of Flotsam's buildings are dilapidated and home to squatters. Gathering information about town will confirm that Lorde Toede, the leader of the town, has the largest library of books related to necromancy and magical healing in eastern Ansalon.

That name should be familiar to any Dragonlance fans. In the original Chronicles, Toede was a hobgoblin officer of minor importance yet possessed of a vast ego. In spite of his incompetence he managed to earn the rank of Dragon Highlord of the White Dragonarmies, but only after the tide has turned against the Empire, and he wasn't very competent in his duties. He was killed by an enraged green dragon while out on a hunting trip, and was resurrected by devils in the Abyss over a failed bet to see if such a pathetic soul could ever achieve a life of nobility. Now resurrected, Toede is effectively immortal as his spirit will reform in a new body if he dies, but his body continued to age and thus he seeks to find a means to restore his youth. Thus his vast library. In keeping with his delusions of grandeur and desire to "prove" himself to be noble, he's established himself as a surprisingly effective leader, even organizing the city Thieves' Guild into a covert network of spies and police force, providing safety and security against the Desolation's many horrors.

Lord Toede, as he imagines himself to be:



In fact, the network is well-informed of visitors to Flotsam, and any PCs spending long enough time in the ramshackle habitat will come to their attention. Any attempts to secure an audience with Lord Toede, or directly visit his manor, will be rebuffed. An incredibly efficient, yet highly complex, bureaucratic network of clerks, officials, and other public workers to handle the paperwork necessary of addressing peoples' needs. PCs wishing to legitimately gain access to Toede's manner must trudge through the maze of paperwork. It's a series of skill checks with subordinates, underclerks, clerks, and senior clerks. Each interaction is meant to be a role-playing encounter facilitated by a relevant skill check (Knowledge check to gain a better understanding of the process and speed it up, Bluff to fool them, Intimidate to "get the paperwork through," et cetera). Every check takes a varying amount of hours, and failed checks require the PCs to be bounced to other clerks of the same rank. They can theoretically perform an infinite number of checks, but the major factor is time. Illegal actions, such as a failed Intimidate or bribery, can cause the PCs to be fined or spend the night in jail if caught.



And yes, the PCs gain experience points for successfully bypassing a clerk based upon their Average Party Level.

Or they could forcefully break in, but that's for another time. Let's look at Flotsam in more detail:

Location 1 is city hall, where all the bureaucratic paperwork is processed. Location 2 is the Rock, scorched black by years of dragonfire and where most of the city's wealthy live (along with Lord Toede's manor). Location 3 is the Jetties, the cleanest inn of Flotsam. Location 4 is an open-air Marketplace, where three shops sell potions, arms and armor, and scrolls and minor magical goods. Location 5 is a ruined section of town. Location 6 is the Brown Pelican Inn, home to the Thieves' Guild. Location 7 is the Shrine of Shinare, the most popular temple in town. Location 8 is the docks, where PCs can secure passage by ship to travel northward if they don't want to make the journey on land.

There are also encounters in Flotsam. Not random encounters, mind you, that schematic for towns was done away with in Key of Destiny. Instead the Dungeon Master is expected to throw whatever scenarios seem the most interesting at the moment.

Accident: Basically the PCs are caught near a structurally unsound location, depending upon what section of town they're in. Any location they can encounter a collapsing building, whose support structures are a little too weak and collapses outwards onto the PCs. In any of the back alleys or on the Rock, they can encounter a spiked pit trap, which is a holdover from the town's old defenses against invading armies.

Little Boy: The PCs come across a sobbing child of 8 or 9 years. His name is Gib, and he doesn't know where his parents are, but if he can find Husker the teddy bear he left behind, perhaps he could find them. He's worried that "the wicked ones" are hurting the bear, and wants their help in rescuing him. The truth is that the boy's actually a ghost killed by Malystryx's dragonfire years ago, and his body is buried in rubble. He will only pass on to the spirit world if he's reunited with his teddy bear.

If they offer to help, Gib will be happy and lead them into the ruined section of town and to a cellar of a demolished building. He says that this is where Husker is, and can be found amid the other dolls. The other dolls are possessed by evil spirits and will spring to life, attacking the PCs when they approach the bear. The dolls are weak individually (CR 1 with 11 hit points), but there's 9 of them. In addition to helping Gib pass on, the PCs can find the spellbook of Gib's father, along with notes on how to create such dolls.

Press Gang: A crew of six minotaur toughs from the Bloodied Blade are looking for able-bodied men and women to work their ship, and will ambush the PCs at an opportune time. They're not very tough and have 5 levels in either Mariner (an underpowered sailor core class) or Warrior, so PCs shouldn't find them too tough.

And that's it for encounters. Honestly I'm a little underwhelmed by this selection, although the ghost boy and evil dolls are pretty cool.

Lord Toede's Manor



Whether the PCs are trying to sneak in or successfully gained an audience, this is where they'll be coming. In case of the latter, the guards will be aware of their arrival and the Chamberlain will show them in. In case of the former, the place is heavily guarded. Toede has some supernatural muscle in addition to Guild Thieves, including a pack of hell hounds, a stone golem, and an advanced shield guardian (golem which can absorb damage inflicted on its charge) to contend with. And Toede's slipped several trapped runes about the library in fake books to dissuade thieves. Toede himself is high-level (18th), but no real threat to the PCs (he's mostly got levels in noble-themed classes, is really old, and has no spellcasting ability; but he has a template, Tenacious Spirit, which prevents him from easily getting killed).

quote:

Surrounded by all the finery his money can buy, Lord Toede of Flotsam sits upon his throne. He looks like a drooling white raisin. Incredibly old—older than any hobgoblin has a right to be—the former Dragon Highlord speaks in barely audible murmurs. These are further muffled by his fur-lined robes or drowned out by the clink-clink of the ostentatious rings and bejeweled trinkets he wears. A lanky man in well-tailored livery stands beside the throne, wearing a ridiculous cloth cap and fastidiously adjusting Toede’s accoutrements every few minutes. This is the Chamberlain, Toede’s mouthpiece and majordomo. He clears his throat when you enter.

If they dealt with the bureacracy:

quote:

Toede’s shriveled lips move slightly and the Chamberlain nods in response, saying “Lord Toede gratefully acknowledges the presence of such an august and polite troupe of adventurers. He admires your willingness to act in accordance with his laws, as he is a scholar in legislation and very fond of it.”
Toede murmurs again.
“Lord Toede invites you to present your request to him, so that he might deliberate upon it and give you his answer.”

If they did not:

quote:

Toede’s tiny wrinkled fingers tap impatiently on the arms of his throne as the Chamberlain adjusts his master’s robes, trying to make Toede look suitably menacing. He mutters something, which the Chamberlain relates. “Lord Toede is most displeased at your careless disregard for order and administration, doubly so as it was he who created the process of requests, and circumventing it is a grievous insult to Lord Toede’s honor. “That said, he admires your tenacity, cunning and skill. Lord Toede is willing to suspend potentially fatal judgment in order to hear what it is you want of him.”

Due to his age, Lord Toede's voice is nearly imperceptible and thus he uses his Chamberlain as a pseudo-translator. Basically, Toede will be very fascinated with the Tears of Mishakal and want them for himself, but knows better than to earn the ire of such a powerful band of adventurers. On the contrary, he'd be glad to help them in their research, provided they help him first. Toede used to have an amphi (toad-like evil dragon) companion, Hopsloth, and has obtained a few eggs of such creatures from the Sea Elves at great personal cost, but some bandits stole them from his manor. Through contacts in the Thieves' Guild he learned that they're making camp in the ruins of Micah, off to the west of Flotsam. He wants the PCs to travel to Micah, deal with the bandit problem, and retrieve as many of the eggs as they can. If they do so, then they'll have unlimited access to his private library and a hospital stay in his manor.

The "bandits" are actually a tribe of Disir, foul creatures of Morgion, god of pestilence and decay, who live underground and plan on invading the surface world as part of a greater invasion force.

Disir:







The Ruins of Micah



In ancient times Micah was a Silvanesti elven city, one of the major battlefields during the Second Dragon War. It was resettled by humans in the Age of Might, but destroyed during the Cataclysm. Home to goblins and then ghosts, in recent years a disir scouting party had its priests exorcise the spirits and turned the place into a base of operations. They used the underground Goblin Tunnels to make their way into the cellars and basements of Flotsam, and stole the eggs from Toede's manor.

KoD Soundtrack: Disir Invasion Force

I don't remember the specifics, but I know that the Disir gave my party a hard time. It was a rather refreshing challenge, as half the party was reasonably optimized and the previous encounters were cakewalks. Looking at the Disir stats now, I can see it. Most of their warriors are standard melee brutes, but some of them are half-dragons with acidic breath weapons, and some mid-level Clerics in addition to a Queen with levels in Noble.

The ruins are still relatively intact, as far as shelter and walls go, making it prime location for the Disir. The place's haunted reputation makes travelers give it a wide berth, too.

Location 1 is a ruined plaza:

quote:

At the base of a low hill near the coast, a wide curving wall of pure white stone marks the boundary of an ancient ruined town. The walls, like the ruins themselves, seem to disappear at the far end into the hill and beneath the ground, as if the land itself was in the process of consuming it. A road paved with bleached flagstones enters through a gate and winds through crumbled buildings. Pieces of once-mighty structures are scattered about like the toy blocks of a giant child. There is no sound.

The disir exude a natural mucus, which they can use to create thick webbing. Due to their own anatomy they can pass through these mucus "walls" relatively effortlessly.

The rest of the locations are located underground.

Location 2 is a garden home to Feolidas, a ghostly treant who watched over it in life. He will attack the PCs, viewing them as intruders. The disir avoid this area.

Location 3 is a ruined temple home to 4 disir guards and 2 tyin, an oversized and barely sentient caste of disir who serve as manual labor and are heavy hitters. They use this place to keep a lookout for intruders.

Location 4 is a giant crack in the earth created during the Second Dragon War, and from this area the disir came. They now use it to toss corpses and discarded bits of disir eggs and waste, which 3 ochre jellies feed off of at the bottom.

Location 5 is a ruined roadway of upturned flagstones and slopes at a gradual downward angle. From here the PCs can see the magnificent white spires of Micah. The road is heavily patrolled by disir, six at a time. Large, ruined stones which fell as pieces from ruined towers serve as cover for them to zigzag around the battlefield.

Location 6 is an otherwise nondescript series of road which teleports anyone who stands with both feet to the junction of pillars in Location 7, sans magic items which remain behind. In ancient times it served as a quick transportation system for the elves to the city center. Considering that the disir queen and her elite minions are in 7, this trap can be incredibly debilitating and might lead to a Total Party Kill if the PCs don't retreat. I didn't use this trap in my games, as the battle was challenging enough.

Location 7 is a series of sundered pillars which formed the core support base of the towers that fell during the war. The remnants of each pillar are white and shine brightly in a rainbow of colors if exposed to light. Clustered at the base of the pillars is the disir queen and her nest; from here she attends to the larvae and orders the rest of the disir to do her bidding. Four elite disir warriors serve as bodyguards for her.

quote:

The thick, heady smell of musk and the sharp tang of acid commingle in this nightmarish place. Surrounded by filmy curtains of webbing and hunched over a thick mass of writhing larval forms is a creature at least three times as large as a man, armor plated and glistening with ooze. Its head, enormous and wasp-like, swivels on a spindly neck, jaw opening and shutting. The voice that issues forth from it is eerily feminine, but filled with hate. “Kill them! Kill them! Bring their bodies that my children may feed on them!”

In addition to the disir, a series of webbing arcs between the pillars as a barrier for disir to retreat beyond their foe's reach. Additionally, any damaging area of effect spells or similar large-scale attacks have a chance of breaking off sections of the pillars to fall and damage anyone below. If the support pillars are all destroyed, then the entire complex will begin collapsing, burying locations 4-8 beneath tons of rock in 10 minutes.

Location 8 is where the 11 amphi dragon eggs are being held in a bowl-shaped depression covered in a layer of mucus. A disir shaman and 4 disir-amphi dragon hybrids, the result of the Queen's experimentation, guard them. A statue of Morgion's disir incarnation stands above them all, carved from rock to depict a fly-headed, many-legged horror with a long, whip-like tongue. If the caverns begin collapsing, then the shaman will try escaping the ruins with 3 eggs in tow.

Yes, the PCs can screw themselves over royally if they end up collapsing the cavern without the eggs.

The PCs will be granted an immediate audience with Toede once they return. If they have the eggs he will be overjoyed and grant library access for the remainder of their stay. If they took care of the disir but do not have the eggs, he will be heartbroken over the loss but glad that the monstrous invaders were taken care of and grants them access for one night. If the PCs accomplished neither, then he will be furious and send them off the premises. In such a case the adventure suggests having the Thieves' Guild help them with recovering the necessary information about the Tear, or if they did something incredibly foolish earlier such as attacking Lorde Toede. The adventure says that the PCs shouldn't ordinarily be given such a break, but it's obviously the only means forward through the plot. This is made even more blatant considering that the Thieves' Guild has no incentive to help them out (unless they're Steel Legionnaires, as half the Guild is secretly composed of them).

quote:

Scattered about you are piles of books, scrolls, tomes and sheaves of loose paper, with corners turned in and bookmarks hanging out. The collected notes, now finally assembled, reveal their secrets:

SO IT WAS that Dereg Raynhold, Knight of the Sword, struck north from the hinterlands where his gods-given blade had aided in the Defeat of Sylvyana, Ghoul-Queen of the Silvanesti; he left behind the druid Waylorn, and the righteous throng of Silvanost, and at their insistence sought out the fabled Fountain of Renewal.

THERE IN THE NORTH beyond Istar’s merchant cities, did Dereg take his blade. Great was his sorrow at the foulness which had afflicted him; Dark was the blood on his sword, and darker still the stain on his soul.

UNTO THE LAST did Dereg struggle to overcome the challenges of the Fountain’s guardians, bereft of the light of his blade and heavy-hearted. But triumph was his, and into the Fountain did he plunge his sword and arm. Bright was the power of the gods of Redemption. With their blessing, both knight and sword were one again, hale and sharp, keen as the wind of Solamnia.

As the last of these words are read, pieced together from Toede’s books, the air in the room grows chill, and hairs on the backs of necks rise.

Kayleigh manifests above the PCs, her insubstantial form looking as if caught in a wind. "NO!" she shrieks, claiming that the Tear's stain cannot be removed, for its been claimed by the Lord of Bones. Lothian sent her to give this warning in the hopes that this will spur the PCs onward.

Any divination spells cast regarding Kayleigh will only reveal that she came form the north, around Nordmaar. Additionally, a DC 25 Knowledge Arcana or Religion or Bardic Lore check will reveal that the Fountain of Renewal's location is rumored to be in this land.

Now armed with this information, the PCs must head north, by boat or by land.

Thoughts So Far: The bureaucratic maze was not memorable, but the combat with the disir made up for it and previous encounters with good challenges. I enjoyed Lord Toede's character as well, and the sole player in my group who read the novels was most struck by his appearance in the adventure.

Next time, Chapter 3: The Blood Sea!

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
Re: Changeling: The Dreaming:

http://ferretbrain.com/articles/article-313

quote:

Roleplayers in the audience will probably know that White Wolf Game Studio used to publish, as part of their risibly-entitled World of Darkness line a game called Changeling the Dreaming. It was a game about, like, the loss of innocence and the death of dreams, man. Players took on the role of Changelings, fairy spirits in human bodies, who were slowly losing their beautiful-unique-snowflakeness under the crushing "Banality" of the modern world.

As games went, it was alright, it fetishised childhood in a slightly iffy way, but otherwise was decent Guns and Wizards Urban Fantasy fare. What bugged me about it, though, was the way it essentially divided everything in the world into "Banal" (soul destroying and imagination crushing) and "Glamorous" (drawing on the power of the Dreaming, the wellspring of human imagination). In particular, what bugged me about it was that it assumed that "imagination" was associated purely with the trappings of medieval fantasy. An artist who paints grim cityscapes and urban decay is Banal, an artist who paints forests full of dancing elves is Glamorous. Who Wants to be a Millionaire is Banal wish-fulfillment tapping into people's desire to get something for nothing. The hundred or so fairy stories about farmer's sons who get fantastically rich because of a stroke of good fortune are totally inspiring and bring out the best in humanity.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Kaja Rainbow posted:

I'm put in mind of the story of Nobilis 3E and how 68 pieces (all by a single person) turned out to have been blatantly copied from Touhou fanart. That led to a lot of headache, a printing delay, and a pull of the PDF to commission replacement art. Point is, people can and will trace art from all sorts of random things.
I thought three or four were confirmed, which tainted everything the artist did so they had to hire new people?

Kaja Rainbow
Oct 17, 2012

~Adorable horror~

Zereth posted:

I thought three or four were confirmed, which tainted everything the artist did so they had to hire new people?
Possibly. I had to look up the details I recounted since it'd been a while since I heard about it, so I could've missed something.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

I could never figure out why Changeling seemed to have been written by people who had terrible childhoods but idolized childhood. This kind of explains it; they're mad that the tea party had to end.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Zereth posted:

I thought three or four were confirmed, which tainted everything the artist did so they had to hire new people?

We were never sure exactly how many, but the revelation of the first few gave Jenna some unpleasant insights into why the artist in question had seemed difficult to direct (besides just the language barrier).

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso


Chapter 9: The Othered Everlasting

The original World of Darkness games each included a brief chapter on antagonists, including rules for thugs, cops, guard dogs...and the other supernatural races “translated” into stats for the game you were reading. A vampire campaign could include mage antagonists or vice versa, without having to buy two books.


MOM DON’T LOOK

This chapter of The Everlasting is like that, only lovely. It gives an overview of the other races of Everlasting, along with their Torment and their innate abilities. Yet it doesn’t include any explicit powers, statblocks, or other things that would actually encourage you to use these other supernaturals in your campaign. Instead, it feels more like a 15-page advertisement for the other books in the Everlasting product line--which have already chewed up too much space in this book, which spent its introduction dealing with daevas and demons which seem to be of little interest to any of the unliving races.

Angels are timeless beings from a “higher spiritual plane” who watch over humanity. They have several different forms depending on what layer of reality they’re currently occupying (ooh, purple haze). They all know that they have some kind of special destiny to serve the cosmos, but they also have free will and worldly desires, leading to fallen angels. Their Torment is Imperfection--the temptation to give in to worldly concerns.

Angel powers include enhanced senses, Aspects, regeneration, flying on wings of light, and telepathic angel speech that transcends dimensional boundaries. They regain animus by spending time on the higher planes. They can be killed, but they’ll form a new earthly body--it’s impossible to really kill these hippie bastards.

Daevas are humans who are transformed into demigods reminiscent of pagan myth. They all have precognitive ability related to their ability to perceive the “Web of Destiny.” They used to be the most numerous eldritch, but half of them vanished in the setting’s big metaplot event. They organize themselves into “households” modeled after pagan pantheons. Their Torment is Doom--they become trapped by their visions of the future, and fear their ultimate destiny in a final apocalyptic battle. Some become obsessed with trying to change their fate, others with clinging to ritual and routine.


Hey baby, do you have inside you blood of kings? Would you like some?

Daevas get the standard package of enhanced senses, Aspects, and regeneration, plus a prescient ability to predict likely futures and an aura that projects their emotions into others. They recover animus simply through food, rest, and meditation. Each has a particular vulnerability (the guy from the sample fiction was allergic to gold).

Dragons are literal forces of nature who ruled a prehistoric fantasy civilization until they were overthrown. They spend most of their time in human form; transforming into their dragon forms is difficult. They hate demons and evil versions of their own kind, the leviathans and azhi dahaka. Their Torment is Furor; their anger at being overthrown tempts them to despoil the world for their own gain and destroy anyone who gets in their way.


Oh yeah, you’re a dirty little treasure horde, aren’t you? Yeah, take it baby.

Dragons have a lot of powers. Each dragon has an elemental connection and is adapted to survive in some kind of lethal environment (like the Antarctic or the inside of a volcano). They have body armor, acid blood, enhanced memory, enhanced senses, increased Aspects, rapid healing, resistance to toxins, disease, and pressure, low-light and infravision, the ability to comprehend all languages, and in dragon form, the ability to swallow enemies whole. They regain animus from food, rest, and eating gems. Dragons have no particular weaknesses, but can be permanently killed with enough damage.

Elves are hybrids of humans and creatures from the realm of Faerie. Their civilization has lasted for millennia and they exist on many parallel worlds, resulting in many elven nations. They inspired many human epics, and they breed and keep fantastic beasts. Although elves are more closely connected to humanity than to Faerie, which they consider strange and bizarre, their Torment is Yearning, a weariness with worldly concerns and a desire to pass into their spiritual afterlife.


Shovelface

Elves benefit from enhanced memory, senses, agility, increased Aspects, rapid healing, and night vision. They regain animus from food and meditation (just like D&D). They’re vulnerable to intense cold and fire, and enough damage will kill them.

Faerie is a broad classification of creatures from a magickal dimension with strong ties to the primal force of nature. There are dozens of differently kinds of faerie, some of which aren’t even humanoid. Their bodies are a combination of spirit and matter, and they only age when they’re in an earthly realm. They’re often identified as nature spirits, but it’s more accurate to say that they’re embodiments of chaos and infinite possibility. Their Torment is a conflict between Fayerie and Lucidity--as Fayerie increases, they become more chaotic and imaginative to the point where the line between the real and unreal blurs, and they transcend beyond three-dimensional reality.


The difference between elves and faeries? Eyebrow quills.

Faerie have enhanced senses, Aspects, and regeneration, the ability to “recognize patterns in chaos,” resistance to disease, and the ability to alter their voice and appearance. They regain animus by draining the foyson, that is, the innate power from everything. This is harmless and unnoticeable when they drain it from the lands they protect, but they can also steal it from individual objects, causing milk to spoil, plants to wither, metal to rust, and electronics to malfunction. They’re vulnerable to fire and specific faerie foils that aren’t listed here. Faerie who die may reincarnate sooner or later.

Gargoyles are confusing. Original, as near as I can tell, but confusing. They’re a race of celestial spirits, bound into stone bodies by an ancient cult. They were created to guard sacred places and fight demons. They’re also called “Sin-Eaters” because...oh, I’ll let the book try to explain itself:

quote:

The gargoyles are called Sin Eaters, as they are attracted to evildoers like moths to the flame. Part of the curse the Servants of the Flame imposed upon them is that the gargoyles must pass on the Curse of Absolution by touching people, thereby taking on the memories of any sins the people have committed. The gargoyle is simply the conduit for the curse; its punishment is chosen by some higher power, and the gargoyles are forced by their very nature to do what is required of them. Sometimes the curse requires the gargoyles to carry out the punishment themselves; this often involves maiming or killing the evildoer. Often the gargoyles do not have to do anything, because the curse often takes the form of Backlash or specific tragedies that will soon occur in the sinner’s life.
I think this means that they’re drawn to evildoers, feed by absorbing their memories, and then the mysterious “Divine” mandates some punishment which the gargoyle may or may not have to mete out themselves. But it gets more confusing! Their Torment is Horrification, because sin-eating is the only way they can feel anything, and they become more fleshy and more evil as they eat more evil memories. So doing what God tells them to do is bad for them and makes them evil.


You eat the Rohypnol, he eats your sins.

Gargoyles have enhanced senses, including seeing spirits and sensing sin, rapid healing, and can shapeshift into more or less monstrous forms. They can be killed with enough damage, but the gargoyle’s spirit is free to reincarnate in a new body, free from any madness induced by Horrification.

Manitou are animal spirits who possess humans, until the human and totem powers merge. It’s implied that manitou possess desperate people who could benefit from the merging. They’re allies with the dragons (since both have a strong respect for nature) but feel lonely because they don’t entirely fit in with people, spirits, or animals. Their Torment is Animalism, in which they lose their human reason and live like animals.

Manitou have enhanced senses (like everyone else), rapid healing, and the ability to communicate with animals and spirits. They regain animus from eating and meditating, and they’re vulnerable to fire and cold.

Osirians are pretty cool guys. They’re mortals who reincarnate again and again to serve the “Cosmic cycle,” and their dozens of lifetimes instills them with compassion for others. They begin their new lives ignorant of their nature until another Osirian finds them and gives them the yer-a-wizard-Harry routine. They’re ruled by a council of the first nine Osirians, who are all still around. Their Torment is Ennui, which is self-explanatory.



Osirians have the ability to analyze the auras of people and magickal forces, and they have enhanced senses (yawn) and rapid healing (yawn). Their main power is in their magickal paths.

The Possessed are totally uncool. They’re dream entities called ochelum who, when they’re not possessing a host, live in gems or amulets. When a mortal acquires the amulet, the ochelum corrupts them with promises of power and begins a slow process of possession. After possessing the host, they slowly consume their soul. There’s a race of evil ochelum who possess good people for kicks, while the “good” ochelum possess evil people because only evil people deserve such a fate, but all ochelum hate each other, they just hate members of the other race more. Their Torment is corruption, and they don’t really fight for or against it--when they’ve completely consumed their host’s soul, they must move on to another body.


Grandma got devoured by a monster
Coming home from work All Hallows’ Eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for Everlasting, DO YOU BELIEVE?


Possessed have the power to change their appearance, create illusions, and a tediously-explained ability to manipulate dreams. They don’t have enhanced senses. Strangely, they regain animus by compelling Persona trait tests in others (evoking emotion). Possessed are vulnerable to fire and cold and can be killed in the usual way, but to kill the ochelum, you have to destroy its host and its soul-prison.

Questers are another of the cooler and more interesting factions. They’re mortals who devote themselves to a just cause so completely that they receive a divine vision (again that vague and mysterious “Divine”) that grants immortality. The Grail Quest is just one particular ideal which inspired many questers. Their Torment is Doubt, in which they lose faith in themselves and in the purpose of a Quest against evil that can never really end. Questers who give into Doubt can actually lose their memories and begin aging normally.


SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM

Questers benefit from rapid healing, spiritual armor (especially effective against demons), and even the ability to invoke a miracle to save themselves if they’re in a hopeless situation. They regain animus from rest and meditation. They’re particularly vulnerable to fire and cold, but can be killed conventionally.

With all the magickal critters running around this setting, I’m surprised that there are no advertisements descriptions for letters S-Z. Then again, there are three different ways to play a zombie in this book.

Next time, on The Everlasting: Have you wondered what kind of setting we’re actually playing in? Lonesome no more!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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2014-2018

Ars Magica: The Contested Isle

The Irish Church is rather unique. It is fiercely loyal to the Pope, of course, and frequently sends letters to Rome about rleigious practice, but some within it feel it desperately needs reform, and as of last century, they got organized. Synods were held, discipline was debated and the reformers, mostly bishops, have done much to bring Ireland back in line with the rest of the Church. A traditionalist faction largely made of abbots and old monasteries has resisted the chance. They debate not doctrine and theology - everyone's in rough agreement there - but on custom and organization. The Irish Church is built on agreements, charters, deals and unique cases, not the complex hierarchies of most of Europe. If an ancient saint gave a right to demons or faeries, that right must be enforced. The Irish Church is not nationalist and is barely unified on anything.

The traditional organization of the Irish Church is based on the paruchia - not a parish, but a number of monastery that owe allegiance to a shared founders' monastery, similar to the vassal-liege relations of Normandy. These monasteries and parishes may be and often are geographically distant, but they make up the paruchia, which is ruled over by a comarba, an abbot in the line of one of the saintly founders. The paruchia of Saint Columba, for example, is a bunch of monasteries under the spiritual leadership of the main abbey, whose abbot is known as the comarba Colum Cille. The reformers attacked this system in the 11th and 12th centuries, replacing the paruchia with dioceses, and the comarba's influence is now largely limited to loyal monasteries. The tension between the comarba and the reformer bishops remains, but for the last 50 years, most of Ireland has been behind the bishops.

Confession is not much different in Ireland than most places. Irish writers have written a lot on penances, and they are highly respected for their work in the field. Irish traditionalists may have condemned the practice of absolving the same sin more than once, but they've always been sympathetic to private confessions, and may in fact have influenced the entire Church with their belief in private penance, between priest and sinner and no other. Breaking the seal of confession is so heinous to the Irish that it is one of the four unforgivable sins. In Ireland, per the rule of Saint Maelruain of Tallaght, there are four things for which no penance can be done, you see. Firstly, breaking the seal of confession. Second, necrophilia. Third, incest. Fourth, being a sinner priest. God alone can forgive these sins, and no other. The Irish find anyone guilty of these sins to be considered excommunicate, denied the sacrament and often driven into exile. The traditionalists of the Church also refuse second chances - if your sin has been forgiven and had penance done, and then you go and repeat it, that may well be considered unforgivable, a hardline approach rarely seen elsewhere. Many reformers are more sympathetic to sincere repeat sinners, and may offer forgiveness along with very steep penances, and some reformers allow tha a priest or bishop might be forgiven venal sins, though never mortal ones. The English Church is typically more pragmatic about penances and find the Irish approach to be theologically suspect, though they agree that any priest committing a mortal sin should be taken to court and probably defrocked and heavily punished. Monks who shed blood or engage in mortal sin can be forgiven, but will usually be exiled as a penance. (This actually happened to Saint Columba.)

Now, let's talk about saints. Alongside Patrick, there's over a hundred saints popularly venerated in Ireland, and many Irish saints went abroad and are beloved in foreign lands, too. Patrick (or Patraig) is the patron saint of Ireland, though British-born, and is exceptionally powerful. He most famously drove the snakes and venomous things from Ireland forever. Any Irishman can call on Saint Patrick and at least hope for a response. Brigid of Kildaire, or Naomh Brid, was the child of a nobleman, but her mother was sold to a magician when it became clear that the woman, who was a concubine, was pregnant. The child was so holy that when she was born she would not eat the magician's food, but lived off milk from the cows. She swore to remain virginal her entire life, and she took vows as a nun, though some say that the blind bishop that swore her in mistaknely consecrated her as a bishop instead. As he did so, his sight was miraculously restored. Brigid traveled throughout Ireland, healing the seak and helping the poor in her chariot. She did many miracles, and had a special love for the poor. Saint Columba, or Colum Cille, was one of the twelve apostles of Ireland, founder of several monasteries and famous for arguing with Saint Finian of Movilla over a book Columba copied but was not allowed to keep. The argument escalated, leading to the Battle of Cuil Dreimhne, where many died. Columba was exiled, heading to Scotland to preach to the Picts and eventually banishing the Loch Ness monster and performing many miracles. He converted many of the Picts and Gaels of Scotland, and despite his exile from Ireland he is considered one of the three great patron saints of the island.

Saint Abban is unusual for an Irish saint because he was converted before Patrick came. He traveled in England and founded a monastery at Abingdon, you see. He was borna Leinster prince, but went to Rome to see the Pope, and on the journey performed miracles including the banishment of a sea monster, and on his return he defeated another monster. He is revered for he;ping convert the English and is quite popular with Irish priests resisting the English. The Bishop of Ferns, Ailbe Ua Mail Mhuadh, wrote a hagiography two years ago and is encouraging devotion to Abban. Saint Grellan is interesting because he lived in a time in which the Fir Bolg were at war with the tribe of Colla de Chrioch. The Fir Bolg used a false truce to take the king's son hostage, then murdered him after he seduced their queen. A second truce was arranged, but the Fir Bolg again planned treachery. As they drew their weapons, Grellan saw them from his church and prayed to God. The Fir Bolg sank beneath the earth, where some sway they are still trapped below the bog of Mach Liach, while others say they were sent straight to Hell.

Irish saints are noted for having rather unusual miracles - often ones that draw on nature, or which curse enemies. They have been known to banish monsters, bless books, call the waves to harm foes, hide fugitives, bless wild animals to keep hunters away from them, shatter false idols, curse ships with still winds and waters, free prisoners, make fires unquenchable and everburning, curse people to be unable to lie or bless people to walk on water.

In Ireland, there is a holy tradition known as the Celi De, or Culdee to the English. They are not a monastery, but a tradition of ascetic monks and laymen who follow the Rule of Saint Maelruain of Tallaght. Many are miracle workers as well as scribes and scholars. While some are laymen and take wives, they still practice asceticism and observe the litrugical hours. They study Invocation, Intervention, Purity and Transcendence. They spend parts of the year in monasteries and parts living as hermits, returning home only for saints' days and communal rites. Many have been abosbred over the last century into regular priestly orders, but others have chosen to live secularly and do not take vows of celibacy. Celi De are never, ever wealthy due to their vows of devotion taking so much time. The Celi De are often members of the Coill Tri, especially in Tuath Ronain. They fast a lot and often pray with arms outstretched as if nailed to a cross, though they never perform self-flagellation or punishment on themselves - if they ever need it, they get another to administer it, but even that is uncommon. Celi De often confess to each other rather than priests. The Irish Church sympathizes with them, but often the reform faction prefers to reorganize their monasteries, and the English see them as unorthodox and suspicious. Very few Celi De remain in Leinster or Munseter, but on the islands in the north, they can still be found.

So, demons. Demons have been in Ireland since the days of Partholon. When his wife, Delgnat, had an adulterous affair with the servant Topa, a demon revealed the crime by giving Partholon the power to taste their betrayal on a cup they had shared. PArtholon killed Topa, and thus the sins of adultery and jealousy came to Ireland. Second came plague. Partholon was first to die, but his people followed after. Only Tuan, nephew of Partholon, survived. He took the shape of animals to bring warnings of plague to later generations. War is the third of the Infernal weapons in Ireland. When Nemed came, he brought war with him. He defeated the Fomorach kings at Ros Fraechain, Badbgna, Cnamros and Murbolg, but each victory had a price. His wife died of plague twelve days after arrival, and he lost sons in two of the battles. And then, again, the Infernal plague came and killed Nemed, allowing the Fomorach to enact revenge, enslaving the Nemedians for 207 years before they could rebel. Even then, Infernal luck followed, for as they fled by sea, the Fomorach raised a deluge to sslaughter all but thirty men who fled in a single boat. The Infernal in Ireland promotes suffering however it can - giving a king luck in battle but taking his son in the same day, perhaps, or helping a people kill themselves.



Typically, Hibernian demons have two main approaches to encouragin sin. First, they give a man such hardship that he has no choice but to turn to evil. Second, they catch his interest and then stoke it via envy and obsession until he damns himself. Well, that and plague, of course. Plague leads to closed doors and abandonment of charity, so the Infernal spreads disease and famine in order to force people to extremes. Sometimes, the illness is restricted, sometimes not. Sometimes they leave careful exceptions - small islands of plenty in a sea of misery - to encourage envy and greed. In such times, it is wise to find the source of the illness and famine and end it decisively before the envy and desperation reaches a tipping point and leads to theft and raids. Fortunately, the Order is not alone in fighting demonic plagues. The Church does its best, though it is not always capable...and the druidic traditions also help, especially in Connacht. Folk witches treat the sick, Nightwalkers fight the demonic spirits, the few Elementalists of Ireland use their powers to fight the cold or heal the diseased. Others in the Coill Tri can ward against plague or banish illness.

The demons of Ireland have thus learned to be subtle. They do this not from intelligence, but malicious cunning and cowardice. Any creature that claims to be a servant of Hell probably isn't one. All Hibernian demons can, like any demon, take physical form...but because of Saint Patrick, none of them may adopt serpentine shapes, and any demon who can only take serpent form can never materialize in Ireland. Demons of Ireland prefer temptation to anything else, encouraging obsession and sin, occasionally possessing victims to persuade others to sin by lies and subtle trickery. Demons of Ireland are known to be able to bring plague and winter chills, as well as to kill those whom they send nightmares to. The isle is also home to the Sluagh, invisible spirits that can smell death coming and flock to it. They are compelled to fly to the dying from the west, and may enter homes only via windows. For this reason, it is wise, if little-known that one should shut western windows around the sick, wounded or old. The slaugh come only by night, keening as they fly but falling silent on arrival. They climb through windows and watch, clacking their teeth, or they knock on closed windows. Once inside, they steal their victim's last breath, and their spirit with it, which they drag away and scourge until it, too, becomes a cursed Sluagh. If they cannot get in before the victim dies or receives last rites, then they have no power over that soul.

It is said that a candle left burning in a field overnight will protect cattle from demons. A hagstone - that is, a small stone with a hole in it - hung in a stable keeps demons from stealing hoses, and over a child's bed, it protects against demonic child theft. It can also block the dark dreams sent by demons. Some demons, like the Sluagh, can only enter via specific directions and only vy open doors or windows. A branch of elderwood can bind a demon in place for a night, as it must obey its obsessive nature and count each thorn and berry on the branch until morning, when sunlight drives it away. Wearing a pouch of salt protects against demonic posession, if the pouch was well-made, too. Faeries who take on the shape of demons also must obey these weaknesses.

Some battlefields are terrible, Infernal places. For example, Magh Slecht, home to a giant standing stone in the form of the god Crom Cruach. Before Patrick came, it was ap lace of human sacrifice to ensure good winters and harvests. It was the only place in all Ireland that this was done. It has always been home to demons, and after Patrick banished the demonic Crom Cruach underground, the sacrifices ended. The tragedies did not. The druids of the Masraige who survived atrick's battle were ultimately killed by Diedne. The ?Ui Raghallaigh clan used the field to war on their neighbors and even Hermetic blood was spilled there in the Schism War. EVen now, it is a strategically important place. History records that the Ui Raighallaigh will again fight the Ua Ruairc here, in 1256, which will divide Breifne into two kingdoms.



Then, of course, there is the tainted fort of Du Bhun na Gaillimhe in Connacht, at the mouth of the Corrib. It is a naval base to small for large ships, a fort too far to resupply in a siege and a garrison too far from those it protects to do any good. It is always rebuilt and destroyed, offering false hope and easy slaughter. It is often assaulted, and whether the attackers want it or not, the Infernal aids them. Demons break bowstrings or weaken walls, or lead men safely through the marsh around it. This fosters cruelty and despair. History shows that the fort and those settlements it guards will faill to siege again throughout the 1230s as the Normans push west. If the Infernal is not stopped, then it will continue to fall and fail to protect the Connachta.

Perhaps even worse is the island of Inis Doney in Lough Erne of Ulster. It is an island with two natures. For the most part it is a calm place with a Divine aura centered on a beautiful church, which it is said is attended even by angels and saints. But there is a place on that island where no angel or saint will even look. Beyond the church is a stoney track heading down to a barren, quiet and cold place. This area has a weak Infernal aura and is the entrance to a series of Infernal regiones which grow darker and more evil as you head down. If you somehow manage to walk the path all the way to the very edge of Hell itself, then return to the church on Inis Doney, no demon may ever again tempt you, posess you or stay under your roof.

The End!

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Ugh. That whole section on sin-eating offends me on a philosophical level. It's like they read Gaiman's 'Murder Mysteries', heard the concept named in passing, and started scribbling furiously.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Short update tonight, as Aletheia's actual rules are pretty basic and uncomplicated--but this is also where I'm going to get a little more reviewer-y about things. Stay tuned for some good ideas, some hilarity, and some advice on outside-the-box thinking from someone I'm pretty sure has never encountered an RPG player ever.



I covered the basics of Aletheia's mechanics in the last update, but here's a quick recap. When you want to do something, the GM sets a target number between 1 and 7. You roll a number of d6s equal to the Attribute that seems most pertinent to the action, possibly +1 die if you have an applicable Descriptor. Any dice that show 5 or 6 are victories, and if your victories equal or beat the TN, you succeed. If you have a relevant occupation or Extracurricular Skill, you get one, two, or three automatic victories. That's it for the basics, but we get some more detail on three categories of action: Fieldwork, Fighting, and Powers.

Fieldwork is the nitty-gritty, the meat of most Aletheia games: going out to someplace where weird poo poo went down and ascertaining the nature of said weird poo poo. The game breaks fieldwork into four different actions: Investigation, Interviewing, Research, and, once all else is said and done, the Hypothesis. This is where we really start to see the GUMSHOE influence on this game.

First up is investigation, the actual on-site observation. Whether it's poking around the field where a crop circle appeared or autopsying the dead guy whose face is on upside-down, you're out there poking at things, taking measurements, and doing montages set to The Crystal Method. Investigative scenes have a certain number of clues for the PCs to find, one of which is designated the vital clue. You roll Awareness for investigative actions.

Rather than resolving these scenes action-by-action, the GM sets a target number for the entire scene, equal to the number of clues to be found. Unlike other actions, you don't get to know the TN before you roll--but that's because, unlike other actions, failing to hit the TN doesn't mean failure. You just only find one clue per victory. Your first victory always gets you the vital clue, and since automatic victories apply to investigation rolls, as long as somebody has a relevant occupation or skill, you can't miss it. Other clues come in the order of whether or not your occupation/skill is relevant to the skill or not. An auto mechanic will notice spilled transmission fluid in the garage before lividity marks on a corpse, for instance. In a nice touch, the game spells out that anyone can find clues just by getting victories, but if your occupation or skill is relevant to a clue, you get some basic information about it. For instance, a paramedic who rolls two victories might find tire tracks leaving the scene or a scrap of cloth caught on a bush, but a CSI finding those same clues would have an idea of the weight and speed of the truck and what kind of fabric it is.

As a basic system, this is pretty solid and works just fine, but the game suffers from having no clear rules for having multiple characters investigating a scene. One would assume that each investigator would roll and then you'd total up their successes (after all, each one of them is going to be sharing the clues they find with each other), but with each scene typically having one to five clues, even a couple of moderately-trained investigators are going to descend on a scene like Holmesian locusts, stripping it of clues with a minimum of effort or research expenditure. Which is fine, I guess, if the meat of your game is meant to be putting the clues together more than finding them, but then why bother with all this "you might not find all the clues" rigamarole? GUMSHOE games solve the issue of group omniscence by making those extra clues things you have to buy with a finite resource pool, but here it seems like you might as well not bother with the investigation rules or else the GM needs to contrive scenarios where only one or two Society members investigate any given scene.

Interviews work almost exactly the same as investigations, except the stat you roll is Personality, and it's generally a bit easier to get the bonus from a Descriptor since you just have to play it up in the conversation. Crack jokes to set them at ease if you're funny, slap the table and make threats if you're scary, whatever. Here's where we also get our first glimpse of how we're probably supposed to handle opposed checks in this game: If the witness is hostile or uncooperative, you first have to roll a number of Victories equal to their Personality to get them to open up (or, presumably, do something in-game that makes them want to talk). Any victories beyond that give you your actual clues. Seems like that's a good way to handle other kinds of opposed actions like chase scenes or sneaking up on somebody, but it's only presented in the context of cracking stubborn witnesses.

Research is just straight-up information gathering. Sometimes it's used to give context to clues you find, sometimes it's used to figure out who to talk to or where to go next, but it's distinguished from investigation by being conducted away from the action, in a lab, library, or the like. Unsurprisingly, Reason is the key to research. Unlike investigation or interviewing, research is treated pretty much as a normal action, with the TN indicating the difficulty of finding the information at all. The only wrinkle is that you can drop the TN by 1 if you're conducting the research using a source that's especially appropriate to the information you're looking for. Researching a small town's history at the local newspaper archive, researching pretty much anything paranormal at the Hepta Sophistai library, etc. We're told in a sidebar that researching the pages of the Usher Codex is a bit of a special case; the GM gets more information on that in Chapter Eight.

Finally, once you've wrapped up an investigation and called it a day, it's time for the players sit around for a bit and kibitz about what happened, summarizing the events, collating all the evidence and developing as clear a picture of the phenomenon as they can. Once everybody's in agreement, they present it to the GM. If they got everything right, huzzah! Everybody gets 5 XP. If, however, the hypothesis is totally wrong or only partly correct, everybody rolls Reason. One, two, or three victories gets you 1, 2, or 3 XP, and the GM will correct some or all of the errors in your hypothesis depending on the victories rolled. If you fail the roll altogether, too bad, so sad, you get nothing. The GM is, however, encouraged to give out 1 XP regardless if the hypothesis is at least partially correct.

I kind of like the idea of the hypothesis round--it's a good way to keep players on the slow, steady track of discovery the game is aiming for and prevent them from getting too entrenched in their own (incorrect) ideas about the setting. In a looser game I'd prefer a rule about adapting the setting to the player's idea, but since Aletheia is so tightly married to its setting and metaphysics I think this works well. I'm far less sanguine about players getting different amounts of XP based on how lucky they are with a dice roll (especially since we're explicitly told that you can't spend Will on this roll). Without really strong advice on how much leeway to give players in ruling their hypothesis "correct" or not, it also has the potential to descend into pixel bitchy, mother-may-I bullshit. Unfortunately, there's no such advice in the book. Hope your GM's not the "well, actually the UFO was from Tau Ceti III, not Tau Ceti IV :smug:" type.

Anyway, on to Fighting. Aletheia is...not a combat focused game. The combat rules are very, very basic, but also have the potential to be hilariously lethal. First off, the basics: Initiative is 1d6 + Fitness (the only roll in the game that doesn't use the normal system), with some modifiers for catching people by surprise or having a Descriptor about being really fast.

Hand-to-hand combat is a Fitness roll, and has a TN of the other guy's Fitness. Damage is the total victories scored, plus a bit extra if you have a weapon. If you've got a Descriptor like brawny that might help with dishing out pain, roll a die: if you get a victory, deal one extra damage.

Shooting dudes is a little different. It's still a Fitness roll, but since "no human can dodge a bullet," the TN is 1. Adverse factors like range, darkness, movement, etc. can push that TN up. Firearms damage is the number of victories you rolled times 4 for pistols and single-shot rifles, x5 for shotguns or automatic weapons. Oh, and since it wasn't mentioned in Chapter Four, all characters have 20 hit points.

A couple things with this system: First off, occupations and skills work normally on combat rolls, which means even a moderately combat-built character (Professional occupation/skill, 3 Fitness and relevant Descriptor) has a pretty good chance of guaranteeing at least 3-4 successes per roll. In hand-to-hand that's not too bad, but when the guns come out it's really easy to get into absurd damage numbers. The game does provide a pressure valve for this situation: when somebody lands a hit on you, you can spend 1 Will to reduce the damage to only one point--which, really, should be your sign to get the hell out of Dodge.

Now, that's pretty nasty, but you can argue that in a game that's nominally about professorial types delving into the MYSTERIES OF THE UNKNOWN, a trained soldier with an automatic rifle should be terrifying, but the line between "moderate damage" and "OH GOD HOW CAN IT HURT THIS MUCH" is really thin. Oh, and add to that the fact that damage is based on total victories rolled, not victories in excess of the TN, and your damage becomes very spiky. Gunfights in adverse conditions especially turn into Marco Polo with bazookas--either you take no damage at all or you're pretty much down in one hit. Mercifully, 0 hp doesn't mean "dead," just "knocked out" or "in need of hospital care within the next half hour" depending on the lethality of the weapon.

That's about it for fighting. We get a brief sidebar about falling damage, another about called shots, and rules for healing damage that are nothing we haven't seen a million times before. Called shots let you trade a +1 to your TN for either an instant knockout in hand-to-hand fighting or +5 damage in a gunfight. As long as you've got at least one or two automatic victories you should pretty much always be called-shottin'.

Last up in this section is powers. You always roll Awareness for powers, and you never get to add Descriptos or occupations to the roll. We're told that target numbers work differently for all powers, which is... not really true. With the exception of the powers that deal with time, all the powers only require one victory to use. We're also told that the GM should make all power rolls and conceal the results from the players. Because apparently you might not know if your roll to teleport to Kathmandu succeeded or not? Seriously, presque vu and deja visite are the only ones of these powers where the difference between success and failure isn't immediately obvious. Presque vu just returns nothing (which could mean the power failed or just that the thing you're scanning isn't important), while deja visite lets the GM be a dick and lead you on a wild goose chase for a while.

I'm going to skip over most of the power descriptions because most of them boil down to "there are no practical limits to this power." A few specific exceptions:
  • Presque vu only reveals that an event or object is somehow significant, it doesn't tell you how.
  • If you fail to use any of the clairvoyant powers, you can't try again on the same subject until you spend 1 Will.
  • Remember how last chapter teleport said that the farther and less familiar the destination, the harder it is? Yeah, no. The target number of teleport is always 1, and all you have to do is think about a location. No direct experience or line of sight needed.
  • The time-based powers have a sliding TN based on how far you're aiming to go. TN 1 gets you up to a week forward or backward, TN 3 gets you up to a century, and at TN 5 the entire space-time continuum is open to you.
  • We get this really cool sidebar about dealing with the time-based powers:

Aletheia posted:

THE OBSERVER EFFECT
In quantum physics, if an event is unobserved, it exists in all possible states simultaneously. It is not until the event is observed that one state is chosen over another. Phrased more simply, the act of observation changes the phenomenon being observed. This has a very real application in Aletheia.

When a character uses Postcognition or Precognition, the act of observation changes the past or future. Most times, the changes are so subtle and minor that no one will ever notice them. However, the farther and longer one gazes across time, the more likely noticeable changes will occur. Therefore, characters should be cautious of how far and how long they look into the past or future. By doing so, they are actually altering what has occurred or will yet come to pass.

:science:

And we close out the chapter with a little section about "using powers creatively" that's just... oh God, it's just adorable.

Using Powers Creatively posted:

Beyond their basic applications, there are myriad ways for powers to be used creatively by players. The following examples are merely a sampling of what is possible.

Surprise
The element of surprise can be valuable in certain situations, most notably during a fi ght (see page 56). With Postcognition, characters can know their opponents’ plans as they are formulating them. With Precognition, a character can see how events will unfold and alter them to his or her benefit. With Ghosting, Teleportation, and Time Travel, a character can appear from nowhere and get the jump on an unsuspecting foe.

Dodging An Attack
If an opponent pulls out a gun, and there’s no available cover, a character can use Time Travel, Teleportation, or Ghosting to get out of the way before the shot is fired. To do so, the character must fi rst make an Awareness roll (TN of 1) to react quickly enough to the situation. If this roll is successful, the character rolls to activate the power as normal.

Changing The Past
Characters with Time Travel and Precognition have the ability to alter past or future events. If a friend is murdered, for example, a character with Time Travel can journey into the past and stop the crime. A character with Precognition might see the murder happening in advance and make sure it never comes to pass. Using powers in this manner is fine. However, players will need to keep in mind that there may be unforeseen ramifications to doing so.

Seriously, you just got through telling us that we can teleport anywhere in the universe at will, travel to the beginning of the cosmos with a modicum of difficulty, and/or see what's happening anywhere in the world whenever we want, and the most creative uses you can suggest are surprising people, dodging attacks, and the plot of every time travel movie ever? Go read Steven Jay Gould's Jumper to see some of the truly ridiculous stuff you can pull off when you can teleport at will. If you can get past the weird-rear end prose, read C°ntinuum: roleplaying in The Yet for a thousand and one clever time travel tricks. Hell, run two sessions of this game and I bet your players will come up with better stuff than this.

Anyways, that's it for Chapter Five. Nothing ridiculously broken, but it feels like the only people who really developed or proofread it were the people who designed the game and knew how it was "supposed" to work. Lots of places where you can infer rules that probably should have been clearly spelled out, some cases where the intent isn't that clear. It works pretty well for simple, basic actions, but I see lots of potential for edge cases and unclear situations cropping up in actual play.

Next time: A Child's Garden of Weird-rear end poo poo.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e



"Falling asleep is something we do gradually. If letting our hearts and minds die were a sudden process, it would be easier to see it coming. Unfortunately, compromise works slowly. Watching it descend is like staring out a window at the end of the day. The shadows lengthen as the sun sets, and if our mind is occupied with other things, you don't even notice the drawing of the dark. Each step on its own seems incidental, but as it builds over time, it wears us away. It's entropy of the soul, and unless you're aware that it happens and take precautions, it inevitably arrives with the chilling beauty of the passing of seasons.

There is hope, however. The Kithain, even though they live in a different world, have dealt with as much perfidious mundanity as the rest of us. Each kith resists differently. Redcaps face down bullies on playgrounds. Trolls hold onto their honour in situations of tempting compromise. The satyrs fight boredom with revelry and celebration, and the pooka resist by pranking the most ostentatious mundanes. The sluagh, not surprisingly, are the most determined to carefully watch the tumbling of the leaves, for their acidic cynicism gives them insight into the harshest side of the real world."


I read this and all I can think of is some feral-looking thirtysomething storming onto a playground and tearing a pimply kid to bits because honour and hopes of staving off boring ol' adult stuff by basking in childlike wonderment and etc., like the last twenty minutes of some movie about goofyendearing manchildren gone horrendously wrong.

So, Chapter One: Watching at the Window! It's mostly narration by the mopey sluagh from the opening fiction, though there's a sidebar midway through from the ~*~TOTALLY RANDOM~*~ pooka, who explains that the sluagh is really an okay guy who was smitten with the sidhe girl from the opening and when real-life romance doesn't live up to the fairytale ideal you have built up in your head it can make staving off Banality that much more difficult and OMG I PUT CARROTS IN HIS SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR DRAWER AND I LEFT HIM A SIGN SAYING FIND THE CARROTS bEcAuSe iM sO rAnDoM artpop macht frei i guess

So.

"So you want to wage war against mundanity? Forgive me for saying so, but I believe if you're going to win, those rose-coloured glasses of yours aren't going to do you that much good. Look around you, and perhaps I can show you the world I see."

Yep.

So, there were these changelings, right? And "their clique" rallied around this bright green bus -- mopeysluagh liked it because it was ~offensively~ green, and the sidhe girl from the prologue liked it "because it was bright," and they just went around having adventures and being magickal hippies in university, but then that SQUARE sidhe got MARRIED and had KIDS and moved to the SUBURBS and UGH I BET SHE'S LIKE OBSESSED WITH COUPONS AND DONNA REED AND HER HUSBAND'S ALCOHOL PROBLEM AND MAKING HER KIDS HAPPY gently caress WHAT A LOSER and where does it all begin~? why does the dreaming have to come to an end~?

Childhood

This is where it starts, the book tells us, with dumb no-fun parents scolding children for being inquisitive i mean what's wrong with playing with bugs and dead cats and omg dad you say I don't have the sense to come in from the rain? You don't have the sense to come out into the rain, maaaaan. (yes this is an actual thing said in the book)

And what's worse, *they* use 'childish' as an insult. I mean, what the hell, right? All the best things in life, like comics and cartoons and games and *make-believe*, get called childish. But what *they* don't get is, everyone plays make-believe. People who wear "suits" and go to "jobs" are playing make-believe. That jerk behind the counter at McWorldofdonalds who totally looked at the sluagh like he was a freak is playing make-believe. Eeeeeeverybody plays a role, maaaaaan.

But, you know, children are really great, because they don't take things too seriously. See, those boring adults forget that digging yourself out of a mire of sadness and seriousness and regret is as easy as, uh....dancing and belching a lot. Because that's a thing children do. Except, you know, adults try to condition the childishness out of children, which is really terrible. Those mean ol' adults, telling girls to be ladylike and boys to show feelings never ever! They're probably just jealous.

Children are great, you see, unless they aren't wacky free spirits who like comics and make-believe and burping out the alphabet, in which case they're worse than the adults. See, all those so-called normal kids? They gang up and all go HEY WE'RE ALL NORMAL HIGH-FIVES FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT YOU WEIRDO and it totally made mopeysluagh's troll buddy want to hide forever.

"When a group of trolls get together away from all the people who ridicule them, they finally act proud of who they are. Until then, they're like any other kids: ashamed of who they are. That's where Banality begins. You hide, conform, or you stand tall."

In spite of this, mopeysluagh feels for the Autumn People, because they're secretly scared and envious of the Changelings, who are magical and special and really are the only people apart from small children who "realise how much possibility they have in their lives."

Book-learnin'

I'm not the first one to say this, but jesus christ Changeling has a weird outlook on education.

Education is good in theory. Asking "why" is good. But school? School is just a *system* of *conformist rituals*, maaaaan. They don't even want you to question anything, and you can't be late or doodle or daydream or ask *why*, you're just supposed to STAY IN THEIR LITTLE BOXES and do your dumb pointless schoolwork.

And then you enter high school.

High school, the book tells us, is not all bad. Not because of learning more, or greater opportunity, mind you -- high school is good because you can "learn about cliques" and meet freaks like you, freaks who will save your life. This, the narrator tells us, is how a lot of changelings find each other. In a sea of mediocrity and conformity, they're drawn together! And then, you know, there's everyone else.

"Unfortunately, the Autumn People band together as well. For instance, some Autumn People are the paragons of so-called virtue who make the honor roll. They get showered with praise and accolades because they conform to the system. High school football heroes, cheerleaders, student body presidents - it's all so banal because the whole social framework is based around conformity."

Never let it be said that White Wolf didn't know exactly who the gently caress they were selling to.

College: It's only downhill from here

So, college! College is a magical time, but it's also a time when a bunch of stuffy academics decide what you should learn. College is a test of "your ability to withstand bureaucracy." Your GPA? You actually think that's important? HEH. That's no more than the "measure of your conformity," silly. College is a mire of bureaucracy and THOSE PEOPLE telling you what's important and there's no surviving it without allies! Allies like the group from the opening fiction. Somehow, we go straight from this to a list of people who didn't make it through the spiritual minefield that is college unscathed -- "mindless sorority girls going for their MRS degrees, dorm rats who skidded through in an alcoholic haze, brooding loners who desperately tried to paint and draw and ended up with a lot of paint stains on their clothes." You know, if you had a hankering for another heaping helping of pandering to resentful alternateens.

The group from the opening fiction, though...

"For my clique, the antidote was found in our road trips. We went to SCA events in the woods and learned to fight with swords and shields. We went to Grateful Dead concerts and danced our minds out. Begging for change in Haight-Ashbury, raving with the Unseelie in Golden Gate Park, protecting Greenpeace Zodiacs from sea monsters, helping a wounded griffin in Mt. Tamilpais, egging the homes of spooky accountants in black suits -- it was one adventure after another. We had to deal with mundanity just like everyone else, but we went out and lived as well."

Fast forward to mopeysluagh living alone in a ratty apartment and subsisting on ramen and fishsticks, and all I can think of is how funny it is that the narration never mentions whether any of them actually graduated.

Fun facts about adult life

So mopeysluagh used to watch X-files, but other than that he doesn't know why he keeps that stupid thing because it totally turns people into entranced cattle, maaaaan. He totally has a 'kill your television' sticker on his TV screen and interrupts the narration to set his TV on fire because of course. (Cue Beatles lyrics.)

To be fair, mopeysluagh follows this up with a couple of obvious legitimate points about being poor -- often you can only afford lovely food, and menial work tends to be tedious and exhausting, and a lot of people have to at least fake politeness in the course of their work. Buuuuuut then we're right back into it, with mopeysluagh talking about how work TOTALLY TURNS YOU INTO A MUNDANE, MAN and you can hang around a freehold all the time but mopeysluagh doesn't really go out much anymore and everything's hopeless and--

And if all else fails, you can SELL OUT. TO THE MAN. (Cue Jimi Hendrix lyrics.)

SELLING OUT. TO THE SOULLESS CORPORATE MAN.
According to mopeysluagh, corporate jobs are basically the worst parts of high school -- no palling around with ~~freaks like you~~ and skipping class to play in drainage tunnels, only busywork and CONFORMITY, MAAAAN -- cranked up to eleven.

It begins with a cautionary tale.

Mopeysluagh had a roommate! Roommate was desperate for money and he found a high-paying job. "He used to be one of the noble sidhe. Now he's in real estate. Money always has its price."

...and it's funny, 'cos I'm pretty sure there's some bit either later on in Autumn People or in one of the other books about how established Sidhe went into real estate *all the time* to snap up ~magical~ properties and turn them into freeholds? So, you know. Real estate agents are terrible! Except when you're getting no-rent dens of whimsy or w/e out of them. (If I remember correctly, the example in the book was like..."Oh, Sidhe do this all the time...EXCEPT THIS loving GUY. LOOK AT THIS loving GUY, making GBS threads UP OUR MAGICKAL FAERIE PLAYGROUND-TO-BE WITH A "POLICE" "STATION" UGHHHH")

Anyways. Corporate jobs! Corporations are machines where people are merely COGS in THEIR NONSENSICAL MACHINE. Corporations don't want you to FEEL or think or dream or hope or talk about taboo subjects, because someone might get OFFENDED. Sometimes, they even monitor your progress with "managers." And sometimes, if you're really unlucky, they might make you wear a *suit*, "the uniform of conformity." See, wearing a suit is just another kind of make-believe, but if you wear it long enough, you become the guy in the suit.


No, not that guy in the suit.

Or the gal in the suit, but i get the feeling more and more that they're speaking to resentful adolescent boys here, so...yeah. Anyways! You become the suit, because there's no place for "your emotional feelings" in a work environment, unless they're feelings like "team spirit" and "empowerment." HEH. And it's easy to give in, because THEY make things like "financial stability" and "a place to live" and "a family" seem alluring, and the next thing you know you're telling yourself you're "empowered" BUT YOU'RE REALLY JUST SHELTERING YOURSELF FROM FEELINGS AND THE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD MAAAAAAAN~~~

But, you can avoid this terrible, Banal future! You can avoid it if you "have the right clique behind you" and keep the metaphorical fireplace burning, if you keep your imagination alive. Because, you know, they're the real freaks, "the blue-haired old ladies with their beehive hairdos and tight-pursed lips, the television evangelists who say that you're sinful, the uptight parents who label records, and all the repressed people who condemn sex and freedom."

Kiiiiiinda feeling like thanking whatever that teenage me never found this (or the Changeling corebook, for that matter) in a Borders or the one nerd store in town or something, because drat.

Anyways, mopeysluagh finds a "field guide to the Autumn People" under a carrot his wacky friend left, and that's the end of the chapter. Next time: Chapter Two: The Chill of Winter!

Ningyou fucked around with this message at 18:09 on Jan 16, 2014

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

As bad as everything in Changeling and Autumn People is, pookah are worse. They're basically kender without the useful "good at thief skills" part.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

The Autumn People posted:

"mindless sorority girls going for their MRS degrees,

:catstare:

There's a lot of staggering awful in this, but that just stands out as if the writer has some issues.

Honestly, CtD is a full subscription.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

So do the Changelings ever offer an alternative to going to school (not counting home school or living life in the woods as a feral, gassy hippie fool) or is the book just like "primary school sucks, middle school sucks, high school sucks 90% of the time, at least you can buy weed and go on road trips in college, it's all loving terrible and killing you but you have no choice so suck it up"? Because if that's the case wow that's one of the most whiny cases of "I don't like things but I don't know/care enough to change them so whatever" I've seen in a while.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

pkfan2004 posted:

So do the Changelings ever offer an alternative to going to school (not counting home school) or is the book just like "primary school sucks, middle school sucks, high school sucks 90% of the time, at least you can buy weed and go on road trips in college, it's all loving terrible and killing you but you have no choice so suck it up"? Because if that's the case wow that's one of the most whiny cases of "I don't like things but I don't know/care enough to change them so whatever" I've seen in a while.

It really kind of doesn't.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e

Robindaybird posted:

:catstare:

There's a lot of staggering awful in this, but that just stands out as if the writer has some issues.

Honestly, CtD is a full subscription.

ahahahaohmygod it only gets worse

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

Ningyou posted:

the pooka resist by pranking the most ostentatious mundanes.

Is there any plot beat worse than the prank war? I guess "hero rapes heroine because he loves her so much," but prank wars are stupider.

E: Unless the combatants in the prank war are actual children, and it is in a '90s Nickelodeon show. Then it's charming, not awful.

Pththya-lyi fucked around with this message at 18:51 on Jan 16, 2014

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
You know there's one thing in all the changeling material I've heard/read about that I haven't seen yet. If changelings think childhood is so great, where are the changelings who are having kids?

Or is actually producing and raising children so banal the irony unmakes them?

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
Anyone who thinks kids don't take things seriously has never had the fortune of actually dealing with children.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Changelings who have kids would probably never put them into, like, the foster care system or on firehouse doorsteps because that's actually not the best system for a kid to grow up in. They probably keep the kids and become Terrible Hippie Parents whose kids inevitably rebel during the teenage years and get all mad that their parents don't give them rules and restrictions and stability and a coherent education.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

The "Brainless Sorority girls" sounds like the lament of a bitter jackass who couldn't get one to sleep with him.

And I heard of Pookas being insufferable from some vaults of RP horror story, but I thought it's like Malks where a decent concept gets ruined by stupid players.

But holy poo poo, they sound insufferable RAW

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Yeah, pookas were designed to be that way.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
It helps to remember than there really aren't good concepts in C:tD.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e

pkfan2004 posted:

So do the Changelings ever offer an alternative to going to school (not counting home school or living life in the woods as a feral, gassy hippie fool) or is the book just like "primary school sucks, middle school sucks, high school sucks 90% of the time, at least you can buy weed and go on road trips in college, it's all loving terrible and killing you but you have no choice so suck it up"? Because if that's the case wow that's one of the most whiny cases of "I don't like things but I don't know/care enough to change them so whatever" I've seen in a while.

Um, obviously the alternative is "be kidnapped as a child and taken to a freehold, live there 'til you reach the ripe old age of twenty-five, kill yourself," goshhhhhh

(Or if you're a satyr, you grow to the ripe old age of twenty-five, have a big ol' Goodbye Orgy on gently caress Mountain after everybody sings a song about having a bunch of merry sex and killing yourself because you're a banality-ridden Old now, and then kill yourself.)

Did I mention I read the Satyr splatbook recently? Because holy poo poo. :staredog:

Ningyou fucked around with this message at 18:50 on Jan 16, 2014

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."

Ningyou posted:

"For my clique, the antidote was found in our road trips. We went to SCA events in the woods and learned to fight with swords and shields. We went to Grateful Dead concerts and danced our minds out. Begging for change in Haight-Ashbury, raving with the Unseelie in Golden Gate Park, protecting Greenpeace Zodiacs from sea monsters, helping a wounded griffin in Mt. Tamilpais, egging the homes of spooky accountants in black suits -- it was one adventure after another. We had to deal with mundanity just like everyone else, but we went out and lived as well."
Why is it that whenever I hear of Changeling I always tend to think that the writers of this game line had no life in college? Even the "fantastical" stuff is relatively boring and mundane compared to what I've seen in real life though I don't know if that is saying a lot about the city of Boston or the writers.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Like Logan's Run if they were running from being responsible adults, nobody really needed to catch them and they still died at the age of 30 25.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
The more I think about it, since changeling souls seem to reincarnate randomly, there's no real reason for changelings to actually reproduce as they would probably create a regular old boring mundane child. It would be more advantageous to let someone else do it then kidnap the child.

Conversely it would also probably be better for them to kill themselves as they approach adulthood so that their souls could reincarnate again rather risk banality killing their soul.

C:tD is a pretty horrifying game but not for the reasons most of its players would like.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

MadScientistWorking posted:

Why is it that whenever I hear of Changeling I always tend to think that the writers of this game line had no life in college? Even the "fantastical" stuff is relatively boring and mundane compared to what I've seen in real life though I don't know if that is saying a lot about the city of Boston or the writers.
Whenever I read Changeling: the Dreaming I remember my crazy ex's even crazier roommate, who never washed, lived on Hot Pockets and beans-on-toast (because everything British is better), and ran an unsuccessful Etsy shop. Her biggest claim to fame was being featured on Regretsy, and her peak of success was selling some of her doll's to a museum gift shop. My ex claims she found her crying the night before the sale because her dolls told her they were scared to go to the museum.

Baofu
Jun 15, 2007

Is it a CtD book that mentions that Asian people dream differently? Honestly (as an Asian-American myself), the rampant azn fetishism is one thing I did not like about oWoD.

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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Baofu posted:

Is it a CtD book that mentions that Asian people dream differently? Honestly (as an Asian-American myself), the rampant azn fetishism is one thing I did not like about oWoD.

I'm totally expecting for CtD to buck the trend here for oWoD Orientalism and go with the belief that Asians dream in boxes defined by antiquity and pop culture, so their imagination is like one of those square watermelons.

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