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Victorkm
Nov 25, 2001



Kai Tave posted:

Monsterhearts, by default, is a game about high school students. I'd say if people can't figure out "what's my motivation?" as a supernaturally empowered high school student that they aren't trying hard enough. What do high school students usually want? To be popular, to be accepted, to be respected, to be taken seriously, to get revenge, to impress someone, to score, etc.

I don't think Monsterhearts has to be for everyone any more than any other game does, it's perfectly fair to say "eh, not my bag," but I think it's kind of silly to say that characters in Monsterhearts have no incentives to kick up a whirlwind of drama just because it's not a game where you steal and kill and wreak general havoc like most RPGs.

Yeah, personally in my murderhobo games I tend to both take paths with my character and encourage others in my playgroup to do dumb flashy stuff that I know will get us in trouble bad, regardless of the promise of reward, because I am pretty sure that what happens next is gonna be awesome.

Like in Dark Heresy I talked the guy driving the boat we were chasing another boat with into trying to force the other to stop, and he botched the roll, killing everyone who didn't manage to jump clear, including my character, in a giant explosion.

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Gazetteer
Nov 22, 2011

"You're talking to cats."
"And you eat ghosts, so shut the fuck up."

Tulpa posted:

Regarding Monsterhearts, the Growing Up moves and the implied advancement scheme of pushing terrible teenagers towards healthy adulthood reads great on paper, but those moves are actually pretty terrible. I really want to remove the dice rolling from them because nothing undermines 'my vampire is slowly maturing into an emotionally available adult' like failing every single 'share pain' roll I attempt.

That's something that happened in my actual ongoing monsterhearts game, I was the only one that took growing up moves and kind of regret my choice.

If you picked a Growing Up move that works on one of your bad stats, then you should expect you'll mess up some rolls. Share Your Pain is basically an evolution of Gaze Into the Abyss. Instead of taking your problems to the unfeeling cosmos or a magical book or whatever, the character tries talking with another human being (sort of) about them. The thing is, though, vampires suck at Gaze Into the Abyss. They're a hot/cold skin. They are good at emotionally manipulating people, not quasi-mystical introspection. The Growing Up moves they'd actually be reasonably good at are Make Someone Feel Beautiful and Call Someone on Their poo poo, since those are basically evolutions of Turn Someone On and Shut Someone Down, which the Vampire is all about.

That's why you're rolling for them. Because they're more mature/healthy versions of the basic moves.

Tulpa posted:

There's a lot of weirdnesses to the game that I don't believe to be intentional. I wish all the best for Avery and their games, but I'm mechanically minded enough that I usually manage to trip over every unintended quirk in the rules. (Here's another one, at least half the moves can be triggered without any change in fictional positioning, so the MC will often have to make a move in response to none of the characters actively doing anything.)
You mean like "Jill smoulders sexily to turn Martin on, rolls a 6, has not technically done anything other than sit there"? Just off the top of my head:
- The attempt is actually pretty obvious, Anne sees, smirks in Jill's direction and takes a string on her
- Jill's phone rings -- it's her mother! Her mother tells her than her father's in the hospital, but hangs up in a hurry before she can offer any kind of better explanation
- Herald the Abyss -- Jill is hit by an abrupt vision or revelation or whatever of the MC's choosing. The MC uses this to feed her incomplete information that will put her into conflict with another PC.

Hard moves don't need to be proportionate responses to what the player was trying to do, and they don't actually need to be a narrative result of the roll they were trying to make. Basically when someone fucks up a roll, the hard move is the way that the MC ensures that something interesting still happens. So it's even more useful when the PCs are being kind of passive in a story sense. The MC just has to be able to think fast, and/or have a couple good all purpose hard moves thought out for the characters in advance. MCing Monsterhearts is on one hand relatively low effort, because you don't need to come up with detailed plans beforehand, or really stat out enemies very much, and every player has the mechanics for their moves sitting right there in front of them. On the other hand, you've got to be pretty flexible and good at coming up with things on the fly, or the game will grind to a halt or be boring for everyone.

Gazetteer fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Aug 22, 2014

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

Speaking of Monsterhearts...



Before I get into the next Skin, all this discussion of objectives in the game made me realize that the book actually discusses it at some length. Basically:

Objectives posted:

Unlike some story games, Monsterhearts doesnít have an endgame or an explicit goal to shoot for. You are left to determine what it is that your character wants, and pursue that in any way that makes sense to you.

Since the default setting is a high school, there are a few goals that nearly everyone is going to have: saving face, gaining friends and social security, figuring out who their enemies are, getting social leverage on others, dumping their pain on other people.

If you arenít sure who your character is, start with those things and build outward from there. Soon, youíll likely find yourself embroiled in situations that demand action, and your objectives will emerge from that.

Play to find out what happens, whatís important, and what it is you really want.

So, yeah, basically what Kai Tave said above.

With that out of the way, it's time for my favorite Skin, the Infernal!



The Infernal has literally made a deal with the Devil. Okay, not necessarily the Devil, but the point is that the Infernal has made a bargain with some nefarious entity in exchange for power. The Infernal's theme is very much about a meteoric rise to power through the use of the powers granted to them by their demonic patron, followed by a downward spiral as those powers are momentarily denied from them. Actually, let me just quote the prose of the Infernal to give you an idea for what the Infernal is about :

quote:

At first, it seemed innocent. It gave you things, made you feel good about yourself. You came to it with your problems, and it fixed them. When you asked how you could return the favour, it told you to be patient - that all debts would be settled in due time. That was the first time you heard it mention debts.

Youíve got Satan as your corner-man, or a demon in your brain. Or maybe the stars glow just for you. Regardless, you owe a debt to something much bigger and scarier than youíll ever be.

Yes, the Infernal is a demonic junkie, riding high with dark power one minute, going cold turkey another when they must repay their debts to their dealer. The Infernal also makes amazing use of the game's Strings mechanic for the purposes of fueling its main narrative function.

Statistically the Infernal starts with a 1 in Volatile and Dark and a -1 in Hot and Cold. They're in tune with the occult (no surprises given the theme) and also very prone to physical confrontation.

Moves: All Infernals start with Soul Debt, and get to choose one more.

With Soul Debt the Infernal gets to name a Dark Power that they owe a debt to, and said Dark Power can hold Strings on them. Whenever the Dark Power holds 5 Strings on the Infernal, they trigger their Darkest Self. The Infernal also chooses two bargains with the Dark Power, representing powers they can call on from their Dark Power in times of need. Many of these Bargains involve giving the Dark Power Strings. In the discussion of the Infernal's mechanics it's pointed out to the MC that they should probably turn the Infernal's Dark Power into a Menace for their game at some point, meaning that the Infernal potentially ends up playing lackey to the big bad of the Season.

The player must also choose a title for their Dark Power, or come up with one of their own:
    ĀĀ
  • The Poisoner
  • ĀThe Trickster
  • The Connoisseur
  • The Fallen
  • The Glutton
  • The Emissary
  • The Butcher
  • The Tyrant

Dark Recruiter is a move that basically rewards the Infernal for being the Renfield to the Dark Power's Dracula: when the Infernal brings an innocent soul to their Dark Power, they mark experience.

Unknowable is a really weird and powerful Move, as it basically makes lashing out physically involve no mechanical risk to the character, even on a 7-9. With this Move, whenever the Infernal lashes out physically, on a 10+ the target loses 1 String on the Infernal, and on a 7-9 the Infernal gets another option added to the "choose one" list: they lose 1 String on you.

Okay, so this Move basically means that even on a 7-9 you never need to choose any of the bad options (provided the target is holding Strings on you). However, it is sort of balanced out by the fact that while it removes the immediate mechanical consequences for beating someone up and rolling a 7-9, it doesn't remove the possible narrative consequences. Even if you do roll a 7-9 and something bad doesn't happen to you mechanically, beating people up is still bad, okay?

Can't Save Myself is amazing. When someone saves you from forces too powerful for you to reckon with (read: your Dark Power), they mark experience, and you gain a String on them. This move really encourages the Infernal to play the angle of a unwitting Scooby to a power they don't understand and can potentially make the Infernal's character arc be about being saved from their unhealthy debt to the Dark Power. Basically, it makes you Bubs from The Wire, except with the Barksdale Crew replaced with the forces of Hell. The fact that the game's Season mechanic allows for changing your Skin makes the salvation arc viable mechanically as well.

That's all the Moves for the Infernal, but now we're getting to the really meaty stuff: Bargains. You get two to begin with, in case you forgot, and you can get the remaining ones as an Advancement.

The Power Flows Through You lets you add 2 to your roll by giving the Dark Power a String (choose before rolling). Since the range of numbers in PbtA is pretty narrow, a +2 to the roll is huge.

Numbing It Out allows you to give the Dark Power a String in order to remove a Condition or up to two harm.

With Elsewise Power you can use any Move from any other Skin that you don't have once, in exchange for a String to your Dark Power of course. Since the Infernal has a high Volatile and Dark, good options include hexes from the Witch and a bunch of things from the Werewolf.

Uncanny Voices is a really nice narrative power: you give your Dark Power a String in order to learn a secret about someone you're talking to. The player of the character has to tell you one of their secret fears, secret desires, or secret strengths (you choose).

Strings Attached allows you to ask your Dark Power for literally anything. The MC attaches a price to it and hints at an undesired twist in its nature, and if you pay the price, you get what you asked for. Need a getaway car? Sure, but the body of the car's previous owner is in the trunk.


Backstory! The Infernal owes debts, meaning that they give out 3 Strings, divided any way they like between their Dark Power and the other characters.

Someone thinks they can save the Infernal. Take one String on them.


Gang: In case you thought the Infernal wasn't laden with enough drug addict metaphor as is, they can supply for a gang of Needy Fiends as an Advancement.

Sex Move: When the Infernal has sex with someone, the Dark Power loses one String on the Infernal, but gains a String on the person the Infernal had sex with. If you thought owing a debt to the Devil was bad enough, wait until you show affection to someone: the Devil will already have their number.

So, what happens when the Dark Power collects 5 Strings on you or your Darkest Self triggers in some other way? You go cold turkey.

quote:

You canít get what you need, anymore. The world has left you cold and alone, shivering in the wake of your own addictions. The dark power will make some open-ended demands of you, and itíll promise you some lucrative (and perhaps volatile) things in return. Every demand you fulfill brings you a little closer to feeling whole again, to rekindling the fire in your heart. Whenever you fulfill those demands, remove a String it holds on you. You escape your Darkest Self when the dark power has no more Strings on you, or when you agree to an even worse bargain with an even more dangerous dark power.

So, why do I like the Infernal so much? First of all, the Infernal comes with a prefab Menace for the MC to use. The moment there's an Infernal in the group, you know there's a big satanic power behind the scenes, trying to cause chaos in the community. Second of all, the Infernal often acts as a vehicle for that chaos, making for a great PC-NPC-PC triangle. Monsterhearts is one of those games which really work the best when the action is character-driven and the MC really just sits back and watches the sparks fly: they set up the scene, put the PCs together, ask a couple of provocative questions, and then watch the players burn everything down to the ground. With an Infernal in play the MC often doesn't even need to worry about setting up PC on PC drama, because the drama and conflict will create itself. Of course, the same could be said about the Mortal, which is the next Skin on our list.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Kai Tave posted:

Monsterhearts, by default, is a game about high school students. I'd say if people can't figure out "what's my motivation?" as a supernaturally empowered high school student that they aren't trying hard enough. What do high school students usually want? To be popular, to be accepted, to be respected, to be taken seriously, to get revenge, to impress someone, to score, etc.

I don't think Monsterhearts has to be for everyone any more than any other game does, it's perfectly fair to say "eh, not my bag," but I think it's kind of silly to say that characters in Monsterhearts have no incentives to kick up a whirlwind of drama just because it's not a game where you steal and kill and wreak general havoc like most RPGs.

I think most people who dislike Monsterhearts do because it isn't murderhoboing "like most RPGs" as you claim. That also really isn't the source of people not getting the motivations. After all Call of Cthulhu is a fairly popular game and in it the investigators have no reason to actually go out investigating. As soon as the supernatural horror stuff starts they should just book it back home and call the cops.

I think one of the biggest disconnects is that Monsterhearts demands that you be invested in your character from the get go for it to really function, as plots are primarily player driven and seem to be helped by spur of the moment emotional decisions. This is unfortunately at odds with how a lot of people play RPGs, only gradually becoming invested in the story and characters through the experience of several sessions. For instance you might not care if Bork the Barbarian dies in the first session of D&D because you haven't really done much with him, but would care if he died after a three month campaign. Monsterhearts is asking you to care right away and that takes a different frame of mind or less you end up with no motivation.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


PresidentBeard posted:

I think most people who dislike Monsterhearts do because it isn't murderhoboing "like most RPGs" as you claim. That also really isn't the source of people not getting the motivations. After all Call of Cthulhu is a fairly popular game and in it the investigators have no reason to actually go out investigating. As soon as the supernatural horror stuff starts they should just book it back home and call the cops.
Every single story I've ever heard about Call of Cthulhu that makes it sound interesting involves murderhoboing.

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

MadScientistWorking posted:

Every single story I've ever heard about Call of Cthulhu that makes it sound interesting involves murderhoboing.

The couple of times I've played Call of Cthulhu (okay, it was Delta Green) we basically decided to throw caution to the wind and make all the stupid mistakes that people make in horror films, because we knew it would make for a cooler game. The way we rationalized it was that in spite of being well-trained government agents who knew of the supernatural, they were on their first mission and had no actual context for understanding how to deal with the supernatural. Unlike us players who knew, deep inside, that my character reading the mad sorcerer's diary would lead into him going insane and trying to perform a dark ritual to summon Nyarlathoteph by using one of the other agents as a sacrificial victim, only to actually commit suicide at the end of the ritual, thus sort of completing the ritual but also ruining it forever.

That was pretty much one of the best games ever.

Gazetteer
Nov 22, 2011

"You're talking to cats."
"And you eat ghosts, so shut the fuck up."

Ratpick posted:

Unknowable is a really weird and powerful Move, as it basically makes lashing out physically involve no mechanical risk to the character, even on a 7-9. With this Move, whenever the Infernal lashes out physically, on a 10+ the target loses 1 String on the Infernal, and on a 7-9 the Infernal gets another option added to the "choose one" list: they lose 1 String on you.

Okay, so this Move basically means that even on a 7-9 you never need to choose any of the bad options (provided the target is holding Strings on you). However, it is sort of balanced out by the fact that while it removes the immediate mechanical consequences for beating someone up and rolling a 7-9, it doesn't remove the possible narrative consequences. Even if you do roll a 7-9 and something bad doesn't happen to you mechanically, beating people up is still bad, okay?

This is one of my favourite moves in the whole game. So like, the Infernal is a Volatile/Dark skin. Meaning, they suck in social situations when they're not using their dark powers. What Unknowable lets them do is use their good volatile stat to mitigate that. Sure, I suck at Shutting Someone Down, but it doesn't matter -- I can punch the strings out of you. The idea that it lets you avoid taking a bad result on Lash Out Physically is kind of secondary, I think. The main effect is that it lets the Infernal brute force their way through social maneuvering.

I played an Infernal in a play by post game at one point, and I made extensive use of Unknowable. Best, cleanest example, I think, was where I failed a roll and the MC had this NPC take a string on me. So, the best way to eliminate that advantage was to just say gently caress it, and break her nose. This move encourages the Infernal to go around beating the poo poo out of people at the drop of a hat. It makes it so scenes involving them will unexpectedly escalate to blows at a moment's notice. It's great if you plan to play a combative, high volatile Infernal who is letting all this power they've been given go to their head. Not so much if you want to play more up on the... naive, lost kid in over their head angle. It's got a good mechanical effect and it incentivises behavior that makes the game more interesting and chaotic for everyone.

Infernal in general is just a fun skin to have around; they start off really powerful. Their bargains and moves are mostly pretty great, and you don't want to mess around with them while their dark power only has a string or two on them. Then suddenly, the rug gets pulled out from under their feet and hey have to desperately scramble to do what their dark power wants them to.

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

Gazetteer posted:

This is one of my favourite moves in the whole game. So like, the Infernal is a Volatile/Dark skin. Meaning, they suck in social situations when they're not using their dark powers. What Unknowable lets them do is use their good volatile stat to mitigate that. Sure, I suck at Shutting Someone Down, but it doesn't matter -- I can punch the strings out of you. The idea that it lets you avoid taking a bad result on Lash Out Physically is kind of secondary, I think. The main effect is that it lets the Infernal brute force their way through social maneuvering.

I played an Infernal in a play by post game at one point, and I made extensive use of Unknowable. Best, cleanest example, I think, was where I failed a roll and the MC had this NPC take a string on me. So, the best way to eliminate that advantage was to just say gently caress it, and break her nose. This move encourages the Infernal to go around beating the poo poo out of people at the drop of a hat. It makes it so scenes involving them will unexpectedly escalate to blows at a moment's notice. It's great if you plan to play a combative, high volatile Infernal who is letting all this power they've been given go to their head. Not so much if you want to play more up on the... naive, lost kid in over their head angle. It's got a good mechanical effect and it incentivises behavior that makes the game more interesting and chaotic for everyone.

Infernal in general is just a fun skin to have around; they start off really powerful. Their bargains and moves are mostly pretty great, and you don't want to mess around with them while their dark power only has a string or two on them. Then suddenly, the rug gets pulled out from under their feet and hey have to desperately scramble to do what their dark power wants them to.

You know, this is why I love writing this review: I'm getting a completely new perspective on some of the stuff in the game based on other people's comments. Now that you mentioned it, it makes so much sense that Unknowable is basically there to cover for the Infernal's weakness in social situations and to encourage them to escalate social situations into physical conflict. It's perfect, and really goes with the Infernal's theme of an unpredictable teenage junkie with satanic powers.

e: Also, I don't really see a direct thematic conflict between volatile and combative Infernal and the naive kid who's just in over their head. Like, give any awkward and naive teenager demonic performance-enhancing drugs and what's the first thing they do with them? They abuse the hell out of the power without thinking of the consequences, lashing out at people they had no hope of lashing out at before and doing other stuff they would've never dreamed of before. The real drama comes the first time they lose their powers and actually realize that, holy poo poo, they kind of made a terrible deal.

Ratpick fucked around with this message at 19:36 on Aug 22, 2014

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

PresidentBeard posted:

I think one of the biggest disconnects is that Monsterhearts demands that you be invested in your character from the get go for it to really function, as plots are primarily player driven and seem to be helped by spur of the moment emotional decisions. This is unfortunately at odds with how a lot of people play RPGs, only gradually becoming invested in the story and characters through the experience of several sessions. For instance you might not care if Bork the Barbarian dies in the first session of D&D because you haven't really done much with him, but would care if he died after a three month campaign. Monsterhearts is asking you to care right away and that takes a different frame of mind or less you end up with no motivation.

I don't really think this is the case though, at least not to the degree you're describing it. Bork the Barbarian doesn't need to be a rich deep character for the player to say "Bork wants to slay powerful monsters and get rich, bam, motivation." Likewise you don't need extensive buy-in with a Monsterhearts character. "Molly wants to be the most popular person in school no matter who she has to step on to do it." That's all you really need to get the ball rolling.

What Monsterhearts requires is players recontextualize the sorts of goals and motivations they're used to. In most RPGs that's stuff like killing the bad guys, getting rich, saving the world, or some combination thereof. Monsterhearts is mainly a game of high schoolers who have high school motivations, they just also happen to be supernatural creatures.

Tulpa
Aug 8, 2014


Gazetteer posted:

You mean like "Jill smoulders sexily to turn Martin on, rolls a 6, has not technically done anything other than sit there"? Just off the top of my head:
- The attempt is actually pretty obvious, Anne sees, smirks in Jill's direction and takes a string on her
- Jill's phone rings -- it's her mother! Her mother tells her than her father's in the hospital, but hangs up in a hurry before she can offer any kind of better explanation
- Herald the Abyss -- Jill is hit by an abrupt vision or revelation or whatever of the MC's choosing. The MC uses this to feed her incomplete information that will put her into conflict with another PC.

Hard moves don't need to be proportionate responses to what the player was trying to do, and they don't actually need to be a narrative result of the roll they were trying to make. Basically when someone fucks up a roll, the hard move is the way that the MC ensures that something interesting still happens. So it's even more useful when the PCs are being kind of passive in a story sense. The MC just has to be able to think fast, and/or have a couple good all purpose hard moves thought out for the characters in advance. MCing Monsterhearts is on one hand relatively low effort, because you don't need to come up with detailed plans beforehand, or really stat out enemies very much, and every player has the mechanics for their moves sitting right there in front of them. On the other hand, you've got to be pretty flexible and good at coming up with things on the fly, or the game will grind to a halt or be boring for everyone.

Yeah, but like the only example there that naturally follows from the fiction is the first one (and only just barely. If I had described Jill's hair framing her face in an appealing way, catching the eye of Martin and rolling 6-). I feel like Monsterhearts has a real problem with integrating the principle of 'make moves but misdirect'. My regular MC and a lot of MCs I've played with (and when I've MCed myself) often had points in the game where nothing happened in the fiction and they have to make a hard move with nothing to misdirect. It's really blatant that a move in a situation like described tends to not arise from the fiction at all but come across as a nonsequitur.

Don't get me wrong, I value the monsterhearts game I'm in and I think the game is excellently designed for its proposed theme and focus, I also just feel like there are gaps in the mechanics that underserve the otherwise incredibly focused and skillful design.

Kai Tave posted:

I don't really think this is the case though, at least not to the degree you're describing it. Bork the Barbarian doesn't need to be a rich deep character for the player to say "Bork wants to slay powerful monsters and get rich, bam, motivation." Likewise you don't need extensive buy-in with a Monsterhearts character. "Molly wants to be the most popular person in school no matter who she has to step on to do it." That's all you really need to get the ball rolling.

What Monsterhearts requires is players recontextualize the sorts of goals and motivations they're used to. In most RPGs that's stuff like killing the bad guys, getting rich, saving the world, or some combination thereof. Monsterhearts is mainly a game of high schoolers who have high school motivations, they just also happen to be supernatural creatures.

Yeah, agreeing with this. If you're worried about player buy-in you can easily tell people to treat their characters as they would in a hypothetical teen paranormal romance Fiasco game. Getting them in trouble, making mistakes that you and everyone else at the table know are mistakes, making huge issues about nothing. They're all genre appropriate and require no player buy-in except into the idea that it's fun to see people gently caress up.

Tulpa fucked around with this message at 19:47 on Aug 22, 2014

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Honestly, the main reason I'm not particularly interested in Monster Hearts is the same reason I'm not particularly interested in Apocalypse World - I dislike the concept of sex as a mechanical device. That's not to say that I'm all about the murder-hoboing (though when it comes to that, I prefer believable mechanics to genre emulating mechanics); I'm more than happy to play games about people with friends, families, poo poo to do and other very good reasons not to go wandering the countryside looking for monsters to kill; I just prefer those things to be decisions made by the GM and the players rather than something enforced by the system.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Well, the thing here is that sex isn't a mechanical device. It's a trigger - when you do this, this happens. And in a game about personal melodrama, especially in high school, sexual and physical intimacy are important to address. (In Apocalypse World it's less about physical intimacy and more about emotional intimacy, and would benefit from triggering off that.)

This isn't +2 to boning or magic to have sex with someone. This is 'these are the consequences of you getting intimate with someone.'

As an aside, the gently caress is a 'believable' mechanic?

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 20:12 on Aug 22, 2014

kaynorr
Dec 31, 2003



hectorgrey posted:

Honestly, the main reason I'm not particularly interested in Monster Hearts is the same reason I'm not particularly interested in Apocalypse World - I dislike the concept of sex as a mechanical device. That's not to say that I'm all about the murder-hoboing (though when it comes to that, I prefer believable mechanics to genre emulating mechanics); I'm more than happy to play games about people with friends, families, poo poo to do and other very good reasons not to go wandering the countryside looking for monsters to kill; I just prefer those things to be decisions made by the GM and the players rather than something enforced by the system.

If you don't like having interpersonal dynamics made mechanical, than it's pretty safe to say that Monsterhearts and possibly many PbtA games are not for you. It's a pretty core part of the premise, similar to "the roll of a d20 can simulate whether or not I chop that orc's arm off".

That's the essence of making something mechanical, and I strongly suspect is a huge limiting factor of why we don't see more people working in this design space. There is a very large chunk of all potential and practicing roleplayers who are completely turned off by the notion that the dice or rules can dictate an emotional or mental response that isn't outright mind control.

Tulpa
Aug 8, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

Well, the thing here is that sex isn't a mechanical device. It's a trigger - when you do this, this happens. And in a game about personal melodrama, especially in high school, sexual and physical intimacy are important to address. (In Apocalypse World it's less about physical intimacy and more about emotional intimacy, and would benefit from triggering off that.)

I think both Monsterhearts and Apocalypse World could benefit from taking the rewording of sex moves in Urban Shadows, making them outright intimacy moves. Mainly because neither of those games do a good job addressing intimacy outside of sex.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I think highlighting sex in particular is a better thematic choice for Monsterhearts though given the source material it's cribbing from. In the case of Apocalypse World I agree that it seems a bit like "and by the way, here are the aftereffects when your character has sex with someone, fyi."

Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


Ratpick posted:

e: Also, I don't really see a direct thematic conflict between volatile and combative Infernal and the naive kid who's just in over their head. Like, give any awkward and naive teenager demonic performance-enhancing drugs and what's the first thing they do with them? They abuse the hell out of the power without thinking of the consequences, lashing out at people they had no hope of lashing out at before and doing other stuff they would've never dreamed of before. The real drama comes the first time they lose their powers and actually realize that, holy poo poo, they kind of made a terrible deal.

Another thing to remember is that Volatile isn't just about being swole as gently caress. It's about being unpredictable and impulsive and, well, volatile. Even if the nice naive teenager isn't abusing their new demon powers, they still have a demon on their back asking them to do things and now you're in their face telling them to do things and can't you just give them a little goddamn space and then they do something they'll regret later but at least now they can run away to think about it.

Admittedly, part of that's just me projecting my own anxiety issues onto the Infernal, but there's still more to being Volatile than being actively violent.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Kai Tave posted:

I don't really think this is the case though, at least not to the degree you're describing it. Bork the Barbarian doesn't need to be a rich deep character for the player to say "Bork wants to slay powerful monsters and get rich, bam, motivation." Likewise you don't need extensive buy-in with a Monsterhearts character. "Molly wants to be the most popular person in school no matter who she has to step on to do it." That's all you really need to get the ball rolling.

What Monsterhearts requires is players recontextualize the sorts of goals and motivations they're used to. In most RPGs that's stuff like killing the bad guys, getting rich, saving the world, or some combination thereof. Monsterhearts is mainly a game of high schoolers who have high school motivations, they just also happen to be supernatural creatures.

The thing is that I don't find the interpersonal relationships of high schoolers interesting in and of itself. If I care about an individual character I can get invested in their tribulations and relationships regardless of context, but out of the gate it lacks a hook for me.

edit: I realize that this comes off as me just trying to justify my own disinterest in Monsterhearts, and that isn't really helpful to the continuing conversation. The point buried there is that for nerd things like Buffy the hook is already there as character that people latched onto first and then started caring about the melodrama because they cared about the melodrama. Whereas Monsterhearts needs you to care about the relationship for their own sake or become super invested at character generation. Though this is a bit projecting as I never actually watched Buffy.

Terrible Opinions fucked around with this message at 20:48 on Aug 22, 2014

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


When it comes to combat in RPGS, I consider believable to mean such things as being hit with a sharp piece of metal is something you go out of your way to avoid and good armour will not only save your life if you get hit, but it also won't slow you down overly much. It doesn't have to be completely realistic; that's almost impossible anyway, but with enough concessions to reality that things don't become utterly ridiculous. A pretty good example of a game I really liked would be the writeup I did a few threads back of The Riddle of Steel - the mechanics are mostly believable (though there are a few problems), and I quite enjoyed the way it dealt with character development.

Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


PresidentBeard posted:

edit: I realize that this comes off as me just trying to justify my own disinterest in Monsterhearts, and that isn't really helpful to the continuing conversation. The point buried there is that for nerd things like Buffy the hook is already there as character that people latched onto first and then started caring about the melodrama because they cared about the melodrama. Whereas Monsterhearts needs you to care about the relationship for their own sake or become super invested at character generation. Though this is a bit projecting as I never actually watched Buffy.

To steal a point Jackson Tegu made when he was starting the Second Skins kickstarter, each skin is on some level playing it's own game with it's own set of rules. Someone like you would be better off choosing something like the Chosen or Infernal whose personal games are "I MUST FIGHT THE DARKNESS" and "I made a literal deal with the devil and I have to deal with that" over something like the Ghost whose personal game is just being stuck in a cycle of blaming people for ignoring you and apologizing after you blamed them way too hard. Just stick to the ones that come with setting hooks built in.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



hectorgrey posted:

When it comes to combat in RPGS, I consider believable to mean such things as being hit with a sharp piece of metal is something you go out of your way to avoid and good armour will not only save your life if you get hit, but it also won't slow you down overly much. It doesn't have to be completely realistic; that's almost impossible anyway, but with enough concessions to reality that things don't become utterly ridiculous. A pretty good example of a game I really liked would be the writeup I did a few threads back of The Riddle of Steel - the mechanics are mostly believable (though there are a few problems), and I quite enjoyed the way it dealt with character development.

I have literally no idea what this has to do with Monsterhearts at all, a game in which medieval combat does not feature.

In fact, your definition of believability seems inextricably tied to medieval combat. Now, I like Ars Magica as much or more than the next guy, but it ain't all there is out there!

Tulul
Oct 23, 2013


Tulpa posted:

I think both Monsterhearts and Apocalypse World could benefit from taking the rewording of sex moves in Urban Shadows, making them outright intimacy moves. Mainly because neither of those games do a good job addressing intimacy outside of sex.

That's because neither of them try to.

Apocalypse World is gritty. It smells like old motor oil and rust. Think Mad Max, the Book of Eli, the Road. It's about a bunch of hosed up people in a hosed up world where normal expression of intimacy is not a thing. Everyone keeps their guard up and if someone exists who can say "I love you" in all honesty, they're pretty much unique. It's only in the moments of physical intimacy and vulnerability that emotional intimacy can emerge. Making it a sex move is a pretty obviously deliberate decision; it says a lot about the kind of game AW is.

Monsterhearts is a (sort of) horror game about horrible manipulative high schoolers and what they do. When was the last time you saw a high schooler have a healthy grasp on intimacy? When was the last time you saw a horror movie have a sex-positive message? It emulates poo poo like Twilight and explores the really creepy implications of that sort of thing.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Dilb posted:

This is not a problem that I think should be fixed, exactly, but I'm having a hard time imagine how I'd engage with the system. If I were seriously trying to play I'd need to set up meta-goals for myself, like "have sex with everyone" or "trigger everyone's darkest self, aimed at someone else". I'm not sure why I'd want to interact with most of the rules, unless I was just deliberately trying to stir up trouble. I had that same issue when I was reading Mosterheart game writeups in the notable experiences thread.

Lemon Curdistan posted:

Are you a robot who doesn't understand the concept of playing a game to play through cool story moments, or the idea that people might like RPGs that emulate genres other than "kill nonhumans to steal their stuff?"
With highly narrative games, it's not uncommon to understand what the stats represent, but fail to understand how they interact to create new situations and outcomes in a way that makes sense. This is especially true if you don't get a chance to playtest it.

Upon a cursory reading of My Life with Master, I found it kind of alienating because it not only seemed to want me to play actor and director at once, either way it's difficult to game your way to an outcome you want. In that game, the mechanics seem to make the results of the character's actions unpredictable; you cannot align the character's desire to do something to accomplish a goal with the player's decision to use a character trait to achieve an outcome. (Of course, MLWM is a very innovative game published over a decade ago.)

Now, part of Apocalypse World's style is to give you all the trees and let you figure out the forest, so to speak. It's obvious that the Battlebabe is a dangerous and sexy loner, and that the Hocus is a cult leader, but it's not immediately apparent that the Battlebabe is about seizing the role of the protagonist, or that the Hocus is about having many followers but few friends. MonsterHearts, on the other hand, is explicit and plain-spoken regarding what each skin is about.

I think the Ghoul is the saddest Skin, and it's my favourite, for the same reason I like playing the gunlugger in AW: powerful, but without the power to get what you really want, unless you learn how to work with others.

kaynorr
Dec 31, 2003



Mors Rattus posted:

I have literally no idea what this has to do with Monsterhearts at all, a game in which medieval combat does not feature.

In fact, your definition of believability seems inextricably tied to medieval combat. Now, I like Ars Magica as much or more than the next guy, but it ain't all there is out there!

I suspect it was a response to when I said "It's a pretty core part of the premise, similar to "the roll of a d20 can simulate whether or not I chop that orc's arm off". If you can't accept that a die roll can determine whether or not caused your character to get aroused (for example), much as a die roll could determine whether or not you punched that guy square in the jaw, then this whole design space pretty much is a lost cause for you.

Tulpa
Aug 8, 2014


Tulul, sure but I don't think what I suggested precludes that. You can make a game where Intimacy is as unhealthy and abusive as sex is in Monsterhearts, without even changing anything about the game. If anything, something like the vampire's sex move just being reworded to be about intimacy actually makes the skin more dysfunctional. They get added emotional leverage out of using people but not letting them get close. Ghouls drift towards stalker-ish behavior to anyone that's nice to them, infernals manage to be both drug addicts and dealers. Sure, the Chosen, the Mortal and the Fae work better if their sex moves are left alone but quite a few skins become even more focused on being metaphors for awful teenage creeps if the move is broadened to include all physical or emotional intimacy.

Using intimacy in the description of a move doesn't make the characters healthy and mature, it just means there's a dozen more ways for them to be teenage monsters with relationship problems.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



MadScientistWorking posted:

Every single story I've ever heard about Call of Cthulhu that makes it sound interesting involves murderhoboing.

There's a certain appeal to playing CoC as if it was Vampire$ or the opening to Phantasm 2 with Reggie, Mike, and the Hemi-cuda on the prowl through ghost towns in search of the Tall Man.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








MadScientistWorking posted:

Every single story I've ever heard about Call of Cthulhu that makes it sound interesting involves murderhoboing.
Common wisdom in Call of Cthulhu seems to be "burn the books, keep your eyes shut as long as feasible, and run from monsters". But the one time I played it, the group's deal was about investigating legends of Prestor John in 16th-century Europe/Africa/Asia. And when we found out that the mythos was actually A Thing (the legends of Prestor John turned out to be a hidden cult of Glaaki), we sprinted in the complete opposite direction of common wisdom.

By the end:
  • We kept (and read) all the Mythos-related books we could find.
  • Half of us knew magical spells.
  • My character had kept detailed journals of everything that had occurred and was shipping them back to his family in Adana.
  • Two of the others started a syncretic cult linking the Mythos and Catholicism.
  • We nearly killed a shoggoth with judicious use of gunpowder. (And then the survivors ran for it.)
  • All of us willingly became cultists of Tsathoggua.
  • All but my character were dead and stuck in the Dreamlands.
  • Oh yeah, we kinda banished Glaaki.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

PresidentBeard posted:

I think most people who dislike Monsterhearts do because it isn't murderhoboing "like most RPGs" as you claim. That also really isn't the source of people not getting the motivations. After all Call of Cthulhu is a fairly popular game and in it the investigators have no reason to actually go out investigating. As soon as the supernatural horror stuff starts they should just book it back home and call the cops.

I think one of the biggest disconnects is that Monsterhearts demands that you be invested in your character from the get go for it to really function, as plots are primarily player driven and seem to be helped by spur of the moment emotional decisions. This is unfortunately at odds with how a lot of people play RPGs, only gradually becoming invested in the story and characters through the experience of several sessions. For instance you might not care if Bork the Barbarian dies in the first session of D&D because you haven't really done much with him, but would care if he died after a three month campaign. Monsterhearts is asking you to care right away and that takes a different frame of mind or less you end up with no motivation.

Absolutely, I don't play RPGs in the style that Monsterhearts encourages. I don't find them fun. I'm not saying that it isn't a brilliantly written game, just that not everybody likes that style or even tolerates it.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

And that's totally fine. My point hasn't been "you have to like Monsterhearts or else," just that Monsterhearts isn't a game where motivation is nebulous and/or nonexistent.

Rohan Kishibe
Oct 29, 2011

Frankly, I don't like you
and I never have.


I can see myself playing monsterhearts, I tbut I think it'd be a good game to try on one of my groups of friends who don't enjoy DnD and the like, but I think I'd have to play as a chosen or infernal or similar. For some reason I can't stand stories that are just soap operas with no real plot aside from character interactions, but slap on a flimsy pretence of "the characters are all teenage mutant superheroes" or "everyone is on a weird time travel island with a smoke monster" and I'll eat that poo poo with a spoon, and I can see why that aspect might put someone off, but that's what the menace and such seem to be for. I should probably buy this game and check it out.

Mimir
Nov 26, 2012


NGDBSS posted:

Common wisdom in Call of Cthulhu seems to be "burn the books, keep your eyes shut as long as feasible, and run from monsters". But the one time I played it, the group's deal was about investigating legends of Prestor John in 16th-century Europe/Africa/Asia. And when we found out that the mythos was actually A Thing (the legends of Prestor John turned out to be a hidden cult of Glaaki), we sprinted in the complete opposite direction of common wisdom.

By the end:
  • We kept (and read) all the Mythos-related books we could find.
  • Half of us knew magical spells.
  • My character had kept detailed journals of everything that had occurred and was shipping them back to his family in Adana.
  • Two of the others started a syncretic cult linking the Mythos and Catholicism.
  • We nearly killed a shoggoth with judicious use of gunpowder. (And then the survivors ran for it.)
  • All of us willingly became cultists of Tsathoggua.
  • All but my character were dead and stuck in the Dreamlands.
  • Oh yeah, we kinda banished Glaaki.

Y'know I might be remembering wrong, but isn't Tsathoggua a pretty good deal all things considered compared to the majority of Mythos entities other than, like Nodens?

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Mimir posted:

Y'know I might be remembering wrong, but isn't Tsathoggua a pretty good deal all things considered compared to the majority of Mythos entities other than, like Nodens?
You're correct, and in fact this made the concept of conversion a titch less difficult. (Tsathoggua is the most chill of Elder Gods, and that's also why he's such an rear end in a top hat in Arkham Horror - since he tries to make the players chill just like himself.)

NGDBSS fucked around with this message at 03:51 on Aug 23, 2014

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





CHAPTER ONE: Visions & Revelations Part Two

So what is Britain actually like with all of these ghosts running around? Well, ghost hunting, talking to the dead and banishing spirits is a brisk, thriving business. To some, it's a safer alternative to being an Undertaker or joining the Deathwatch. To others, it's a big money sink for technology or a thankless job that requires a lot of free time or charity. So unless you're hiring a medium to talk to Aunt Josephine, most people's experience with ghosts boil down to containment or avoidance. Unfortunately, London is built on top of the Underground, and the Underground is full of old dead things that keep coming to the surface. These ghosts are no longer anything remotely close to what they once were, howling creatures of malice and spectral energy in misshapen forms.



After years of accidentally disinterring ravenous ghosts, mediums, parapsychologists and exorcists started making their own private firms to deal with the restless dead. The business is legal and recognized and controlled by various national rules. Parapsychology is booming and an accredited science to study, with most ghost hunters capturing spirits and bringing them back to research. While it's far from perfect, more often than not Neo-Victorians are looking to capture ghosts or detain them. To them it takes more effort to actually go about exorcising them, and general belief in religion has gone down due to the apocalypse. And more often than not, they do more good than the police or military can.



While the police employ precogs and various other psychics in their service, as paid consultants or as actual policemen, more often than not they're a novelty or another tool to be used. A few lucky mediums are employed as forensic pathologists. Occasionally, they will end up picking up and averting an assassination, an anarchist bombing or an Animate outbreak but most of the time they're just used to gather clues or interrogate suspects without touching them. They don't always have to deal with the real monsters.



The most notable of these monsters in recent memory was a incident called the Stepney Horror. Stepney was a slum in the city, notorious for being violent and crime-ridden enough to regularly attract feral vampires looking to set up hunting dens or Plague outbreaks. On top of those threats, Stepney was famous for people disappearing in the night. Not just one or two people either; on some nights, around a dozen men, women or children could go missing. The Psychic Branch dispatched some psychic officers to the slum to inspect the area. They found nothing but left with terrible headaches from scanning the area, and after they left the disappearances increased. After the investigation, scientists, psychics, homeless began to flee Stepney and avoid it. When unregistered psychics in the area began killing themselves, the military dispatched some Deathwatch soldiers to help the police. 58 soldiers, policemen and natives were torn apart by an invisible force and the military locked down the block.

One of the head investigators allowed a personal friend, a highly skilled empath, and her Undertaker bodyguard to enter Stepney and investigate. They were given a day to look around before the gates were locked permanently and returned in eighteen hours. What they found inside was an unstoppable horde of Animates centered around a factory deep within the slums and a psychic maelstrom trying to pull them closer. The factory was staffed with Automata (brains in jars operating galvanic bodies, built to do manual work) force-feeding chained captives into the mouth of a furnace. The furnace was pumping something into bottles in the factory and the rest was released into the sky by a smokestack, making a black coal fog of psychic screams and ectoplasmic energy. The duo burned down the factory, returned to the gate and that was the end of the Stepney Horror. The taint of something remains in Stepney and many psychics or scientists refuse to go near where the factory once was. Nobody knows who built the factory or what it was doing, but I'm pretty sure you guys can hazard a guess and come up with something the creators would approve of.

Oh hey, this picture is actually kinda relevant.


This is the face of the supernatural in London; it's an omnipresent force that preys on the weak and the desperate, just like the city itself. And sometimes, people tamper with it and very bad things happen.

NEXT TIME: THE FIVE PEOPLE WHO TAMPER WITH IT AND HOW YOU CAN PLAY AS THEM

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 04:00 on Aug 23, 2014

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts Mercenaries Part 22: "Most experienced adventurers wouldn't be caught dead wearing any equipment with the Chipwell logo - according to conventional wisdom, dead is what you'll be if you trust your life to these suits."

Chipwell Armaments, Inc.

This is the newest and last manufacturer in the book, and they offer rock-bottom prices with rock-bottom quality to match. Instead of using M.D.C., they use plain old steel and have a fraction of the (admittedly bloated) features most power armor suits have. They're known for being cheap death traps, but still get sales because companies and kingdoms can outfit forces on the cheap. Since you can outfit ten troops with Chipwell armor instead of quality armor, it looks impressive to have entire units outfitted with the stuff. Even the Coalition is thinking of outfitting irregular units armed with these, and offering citizenship to the survivors.

It's interesting, because I'm not sure if it's deliberate, but this is a rare way to have "mook units" in Rifts and giving PCs a way to mow down weaker power armor units. But even so, even Chipwell units can take a good amount of punishment. Since they run on batteries, though, it's an example of a unit that's useful to local militia but not suited to cross-country travel, due to their limited range. So you won't see these in the hands of too many PCs.

CAI-50 Challenger Light Combat Armor


something something rivets joke something

This is a light power armor that just gives about double the strength of regular body armor, very mild enhances strength, and piddling mega-damage punches and kicks. It has a very basic sensor package, and that's all. It's the sort of thing that's limited to local militias due to its battery life.

Chipwell Assault Suit

Though not much tougher than the Challenger, this has a nuclear power plant (which only lasts 5 years). It notes the power plant isn't very durable, but it's not a hit location, so fuggit. It has a machinegun that does piddly damage and a laser that's actually a Wilk's Pulse Rifle. Given that's the best Wilk's weapon, that's pretty decent for something that's supposed to be terrible. No sensors or listed, and it's hard to say if that's an oversight or not.

CAI-100 Warmonger Combat Suit


Now you're building with Legos.

This is supposed to be their worst suit, practically a decoy made up of S.D.C. materials, so it can be damaged with sticks and stones. And in defiance of the old S.D.C. rules, has no Armor Rating, so anything can hurt it, even kitten teeth. It has 4000 S.D.C., which boils down to 40 M.D.C., but actually has a respectable missile launcher. It doesn't... tell us what kind of missiles, though. They're presumably mini-missiles, but it doesn't say. For all we know, it could have long-range missiles stuffed up its cyber-rear end.

And that's all for Chipwell and the arms manufacturers. But that's still not all!

Next: The Coalition keeps up with the mercs-es.

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012





kaynorr posted:

Color me extremely disappointed, though, by the suggestions that the Growing Up stuff isn't as mechanically solid as what came before.

In my experience, when taken on benevolent characters, the growing up move is one of the most amazing RP things I've had. I'm in particular thinking of my Queen who was trying to be a good person (most of the time anyway) and was loving up by the numbers, accidentally spamming "Turn someone on" rather than "Make someone feel beautiful". They are really, really good for well intentioned characters who just make things worse unless the dice gods hate you. (I'm not as happy with Call Someone On Their poo poo as I am the other three). But don't take them unless at least one of them is what your character is trying to do anyway.

Oh, has anyone else used Final Showdown to kill a Dark Power? (The Infernal in that game and the Dark Power tried so hard to recruit my Queen - and flirting with a Dark Power is a dangerous game, but one Queens are made for).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts Mercenaries Part 23: "Emperor Prosek wants to become the master of the German-style Blitzkrieg ("lightning strike"), a swift attack using air and ground forces that overwhelm enemy defenses and create openings that the rest of the army can exploit."

Not that they're Nazis, or anything like that!

New Coalition Vehicles

It's been a long time since we've seen the old skullies and spikies (back in Rifts Sourcebook), and unfortunately, all we get here are some new vehicles to keep them competitive with the new technology in this book. That's right: their section in here is solely to keep pace with the power creep of the other vehicles in this book.

Coalition Air Defense Systems

This isn't so much a vehicle as a note that the Coalition has air defense radar stations, and tends to lob long-range missiles at anybody unregistered in their airplace. The only way to avoid this is to fly low over uninhabited areas, though if this requires a skill roll or something, it really isn't clear.

CS Grinning Skull Main Battle Tank


Turrets on turrets on turrets...

This is a tank meant mainly to act as a vanguard for the Mark V APC from the core book, and it requires a large crew to man all of its crazy turrets. It has double-cannon turret that's up there with the ol' Glitter Boys, a small laser turret, two dinky other laster turrets, and missiles (short range? mini? it isn't clear). It hovers around, but isn't nearly as fast as the Naruni's hovertanks.

Coalition Mark IX Missile Launcher Vehicle


Where's the skulls?

This is a variant on the Mark V APC designed around lugging around a long-range missile launcher. The fact that it's a variant lets Breaux near-trace it from Long's existing design, of course, which is convenient. Most are being designed for artillery, but there's an experimental one which is being designed to fire anti-air rockets. However, there really isn't any mechanical difference between the two aside from their radar range. It's not very tough, but its ability to fire salvos of long-range missiles... once again, breaks the damage values (24d6 x 10, if you're wondering). It also has dinky lasers, dinky autocannons, and less dinky mini-missiles.

Coalition Nightwing Attack Aircraft


Seriously, where's the ridiculous skull stylings?

Designed as a blatant response to Iron Heart's Grey Falcon, the Nightwing reminds me a lot of the Cobra Firebat, but it doesn't have a rad Terrordome to launch from. Well, it can't be perfect, I suppose. They're supposed to escort the Death's Head Transports and act as ground attack vehicles. For jets, they're pretty tough, and are somehow 60' long even though the art makes them look stubby and maybe 25' at most, judging from the size of the pilot. Pft, details!

They have a pretty powerful laser, medium-range missiles, and long-range missiles. It's clear the art and the description and the art at at odds in terms of the vehicle's size and scope, but forget about it, this is Chi-Town.

Next: Mercenaries' last stand.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I love that goofy UAR-1 sensor pod stuck on top of the Grinning Skull. It's like a cherry on top of the stack of turrets.

Tulpa
Aug 8, 2014


neonchameleon posted:

In my experience, when taken on benevolent characters, the growing up move is one of the most amazing RP things I've had. I'm in particular thinking of my Queen who was trying to be a good person (most of the time anyway) and was loving up by the numbers, accidentally spamming "Turn someone on" rather than "Make someone feel beautiful". They are really, really good for well intentioned characters who just make things worse unless the dice gods hate you. (I'm not as happy with Call Someone On Their poo poo as I am the other three). But don't take them unless at least one of them is what your character is trying to do anyway.

Oh, has anyone else used Final Showdown to kill a Dark Power? (The Infernal in that game and the Dark Power tried so hard to recruit my Queen - and flirting with a Dark Power is a dangerous game, but one Queens are made for).

Yeah, my objection is mainly that having to roll for the grown up moves ends up with the awkwardness of what should make sense for my character, that she is finally acting in a more emotionally mature way, is sabotaged by my terrible dice rolling luck. It took 3 sessions of attempts before I could actually call someone on their poo poo and my cold is at +3! I was just sabotaged by my unbelievable bad luck, and having that happen over and over made it frustrating that I took those moves instead of something like rewriting my sex move or darkest self.

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012





Tulpa posted:

Yeah, my objection is mainly that having to roll for the grown up moves ends up with the awkwardness of what should make sense for my character, that she is finally acting in a more emotionally mature way, is sabotaged by my terrible dice rolling luck. It took 3 sessions of attempts before I could actually call someone on their poo poo and my cold is at +3! I was just sabotaged by my unbelievable bad luck, and having that happen over and over made it frustrating that I took those moves instead of something like rewriting my sex move or darkest self.

... urgh. Your cold was at +3. Normally when you call someone on their poo poo, someone has shut them down - meaning you get to invoke a condition. Up to +4 most of the time. Your dice must hate you.

Gazetteer
Nov 22, 2011

"You're talking to cats."
"And you eat ghosts, so shut the fuck up."

To be clear, there are 36 possible results from a 2d6 roll. When you are rolling at +3, three of them will result in a 6 or less. You have a 92% chance to succeed at a roll like that every time you make it. Furthermore, when you do fail, two thirds of the time you end up with a 6 exactly, meaning that if you have a string on the person you're rolling against, you can spend it to salvage the roll. And as you are the Vampire, you're one of the skins that can easily get strings on other players. This is on top of what Neon's saying about taking advantage of a condition, not to mention moves that might offer an additional boost to your roll or let you carry one forward. That is a really impressive string of bad rolls if you were making more than one per session.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Bieeardo posted:

I love that goofy UAR-1 sensor pod stuck on top of the Grinning Skull. It's like a cherry on top of the stack of turrets.

It's interesting to see Breaux try and make his designs more dynamic, but I just keep squinting at him struggling with perspective, mostly, particularly with those complex designs.

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