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That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Ham Fellows! That was pretty great.

I remember at one point my friend and I had a ridiculous combined amount of games our group had never played, or that only one or two of us had. One summer we would run a couple of one-shots every week, just to plow through as many systems as possible. It was pretty fun as a relatively short project, but by the end we all wanted to go back to more regular stuff.

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Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!


No worries Doresh, you´ve tortured yourself enough.

I vote for Tenra Bansho Zero as well, because it´s awesome
and supposedly includes rules for getting bonuses if other
players applaud your performance.

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



Hell yeah, I'd love to see someone hit up Tenra Bansho Zero. I kicked the drat thing and love just reading the book. If you do it, though, I definitely suggest just getting diaper girl out of the way first thing probably with the inclusion of the story about how the translators would have flat removed it from english release if they could.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

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

chaos rhames posted:

This has gotta be one of the best intros you've done so far. The Mexican System destroyed me.

My favorite's still the Kirk Cameron rap album, but that was pretty cool.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Simian_Prime posted:

My favorite's still the Kirk Cameron rap album, but that was pretty cool.

That one was a personal favorite of mine too! It was just this weird attempt to take a long running injoke from nowhere (I had spent a year mumbling "I'm Kirk Cameron and I'm here to say"), and the recording work was working with us so much. We got that Teach the Controversy sales pitch to line up with the lyrics entirely by accident, for example.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Mr.Misfit posted:

No worries Doresh, you´ve tortured yourself enough.

I vote for Tenra Bansho Zero as well, because it´s awesome
and supposedly includes rules for getting bonuses if other
players applaud your performance.

Yeah, I guess I'll take a break from the bad stuff for a while.

And the game has such rules, if by "getting bonuses" you mean "getting brownie/fate points".

LornMarkus posted:

Hell yeah, I'd love to see someone hit up Tenra Bansho Zero. I kicked the drat thing and love just reading the book. If you do it, though, I definitely suggest just getting diaper girl out of the way first thing probably with the inclusion of the story about how the translators would have flat removed it from english release if they could.

You mean the girl from the cover? I've seen sillier depictions of this getup (including a Kurosawa movie or two). If anything, it looks more like she's wearing some kind of high-cut loose leotard.

Simian_Prime posted:

My favorite's still the Kirk Cameron rap album, but that was pretty cool.

Me too. That was just hilarious. And I barely know who Kirk Cameron is.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:56 on Nov 4, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Alright, I've finally defeated the Grey Seer, and so now it's time for more

WHFRP2e, More Wizbiz (really priestbiz)

I don't know why, but for some reason slogging through all the various spell schools is always one of the hardest parts of any gaming system for me.

Next on the agenda, we've got the two core book Dark Lores. Dark Lores are special in that they require you to use Dark Magic to cast them (the extra die that replaces your lowest die, gets added to miscasts, etc) and in that they can have side effects. If you miscast percentile rolls doubles, you get an additional, painful permanent effect from the spell. These can include permanent mutations, stat losses, or vulnerability to things like sunlight. This is pretty loving bad! In return, Dark Lore spells tend to be really powerful (though core-book Necromancy is kinda underwhelming).

First up is the Lore of Chaos. Tome of Corruption, the Chaos book, will have lores for every Dark God, but this is a generic Undivided list. It is *nasty*. It ranges from being able to stun people (and inflict Insanity) with visions of Hell to buffing stats, to summoning demons, doing Damage 4 hits equivalent to your Mag rating (Damage 5 if you have Mighty Missile; Burning Blood is a better Fireball), taking over opponents' actions, turning your hand into a Damage 7 +10% to hit ignores 1 point of armor nimbus of destruction, mutating enemies, or laying down a massive damage 8 template that also stuns and renders enemies Helpless (the condition that makes them get auto-hit at +1d10 damage). Chaos Magic is designed for bosses, not so much for PCs, and it will gently caress you up.

The Lore of Necromancy is also supposed to be a villain lore, but it's kinda underwhelming compared to how badass chaos magic was. The reanimation spells are good, obviously; minions always help and they can create some pretty nasty undead. Call of Vanhel will let them donate extra actions to all their minions, which is potentially lethal. They also get some spells to buff their toughness and perform some gross HP regen by drinking corpse blood. Amusingly, Necromancers get a massive undead destruction spell, which instantly kills all skeletons and zombies in a wide area and hits all the other kinds of undead for Damage 5. You could make a pretty amusing dark hero Necromancer who wanders around fighting other undead.

Next come the Divine Lores. Divine Lores are a little hurt by the fact that priests don't get one until their 3rd career at earliest. That takes a long time in play and they're not that amazing for how long it takes to learn them. They're safer, though; priests only have a single miscast table and it's nowhere near as weird or catastrophic as mages. They can also learn to use magic in armor, so that helps. They're also very short; each Lore is only like 6 spells. All of them are pretty helpful, but a Priest PC relies a lot more on their mundane combat abilities, knowledge, and charisma than their magic.

The Lore of Manaan is the magic of the god of the sea. It allows you to curse someone with terrible luck, bless sea voyages, and hit people with geysers. It's pretty unimpressive unless your campaign takes place on boats.

The Lore of Morr is the magic of dreams and death. Morr is a cool guy and his spells will let you gently caress up undead, bring peace and serenity, give out visions, and enhance your buddies' ability to murder their enemies.

The Lore of Myrmidia is the magic of strategy and leadership. It lets you enchant spears, buff combat abilities, and protect buddies. Pretty helpful for a warrior priest.

The Lore of Ranald is the magic of the God of Thieves. It lets you help people sneak about and buff their luck.

The Lore of Shallya is a big deal. A Shallyan PC is by nature going to be a pacifist, because she's the Goddess of Mercy. Her magic is incredibly useful, though; it provides cheap and easy healing, disease cures, insanity cures, poison cures, oh, and an anti-Nurgle laser. Yeah, a laser. The pacifist healing priestess, faced with enemies sworn to the God of Disease, can just whip out a purifying laser cannon that does d10 damage regardless of their DR and stuns them.

The Lore of Sigmar is the big headliner for the Warrior Priests, one of the big iconic hero types for the setting. It's the magic of...well, it doesn't have much of a theme to it. It's sort of general heroic cleric spells, having some minor healing, anti-undead/demon attack spells, buff up your hammer with the power of righteousness, and encourage allies. Sigmar is above all the God of the Empire, the ideal ruler, and it's a little hard to make magic that hangs on 'Being Extremely German'.

The Lore of Taal and Rhya is the magic of wild places. It lets you take on the strengths of animals, talk to animals, and do general druid stuff.

The Lore of Ulric is kind of a lovely knock-off of Myrmidia and Sigmar. Ulric is the 'old' God, the one Sigmar worshiped, and he's all about axes, wolves, winter, and other generic barbarian northern god stuff. His spells manipulate cold, make allies go berserk, and encourage people with wolf stuff. I don't especially like Ulric, either as a God or his Lore.

The Lore of Verena is pretty neat. She's the Goddess of Truth, Knowledge, and Justice, the wife of Morr and the mother of Shallya and Myrmidia. Her spells let you put the question to people, enchant the sword of justice to have bonuses against people you've proven committed a crime, and to do cool investigator-priest stuff. Verena's pretty neat.

There, at last, are all the core book Lores. There's also Ritual Magic, which requires a lot of time, materials, power, and generally fucks you if you mess it up but is used for massive effects like causing a huge earthquake or calling down a comet (there's sadly little actual Ritual Magic in the core book, just an earthquake spell and a weird 'temporarily turn everyone in their region into Beastmen' spell). They also touch on magic items. Magic items are really rare in the Warhams. PCs generally won't get them, and if they do they'll only have a few at best. They're sometimes created by exceptionally powerful wizards or priests, but more often items become magic by sympathetic power. Say, the sword of a great hero, stored in a shrine for a century and venerated as a relic of that hero? It would gain magic power from that. They can also be created by dwarven rune-smiths, and of course elves make magic poo poo all the time (typical bloody elves, everything being so easy for them) but you generally won't get much in the way of magic stuff, and when you do, it'll probably be fairly minor, like a sword with AP or +1 to damage. Still makes a big difference, mind you.

And that's finally it for magic! Next up is a chapter I particularly like; Religion and Belief in the Old World!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Divine magic in WFRP is very strange to me. There's no question that the Chaos Gods exist; they've got champions and avatars and special monsters running around all over the place, but AFAIK the only evidence for the existence of the gods that help humanity is that they grant spells to priests. Which is why the new edition of WFP is incredibly weird to me.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

Divine magic in WFRP is very strange to me. There's no question that the Chaos Gods exist; they've got champions and avatars and special monsters running around all over the place, but AFAIK the only evidence for the existence of the gods that help humanity is that they grant spells to priests. Which is why the new edition of WFP is incredibly weird to me.

The Gods certainly exist, that part isn't especially in question. But they are far more distant than D&D type Gods and people who actually have Divine Magic are extremely rare and valuable. The average Priest in setting has nothing, really. An Anointed Priest or someone with the capability to be one is a rarity in and of itself and that alone makes you something of a hero.

The Gods being more distant and worshiped much more like an actual polytheistic pantheon is one of the things I like a lot. It also ensures the good guys don't run into the single biggest problem Chaos has, where Chaos Gods are such micromanaging douchebags that they kind of take character away from their worshippers.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:



Got a hot, fresh Afterthought 18 - The One Shot Podcast episode here. We discuss the value of one shot games, plus a bunch of fan questions and digressions.

"Let's cut to a clip!" is my new favorite dumb joke.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 3: "Before any of us knew what happened, blood was flying!"

Creatures of the Deep

blah blah rare creatures blah blah sea mysteries blah blah be monsters

Dragon Ray


Not every Pokémon ended up in Pokémon.

True to its name, this is one part dragon, one part ray, but can also fly or slither around. They're not real dragons, tho, just posers. They're sentient and speaking, and are generally good critters that help out local communities and who are apparently obsessed with telling stories because eh, because. Some are evil and conquer because, you know, what else are you going to do with that alignment on their sheet?

And it says here you can play one.

They have ridiculous charisma, good willpower, and generally high physical stats. They're M.D.C. and tough, but nothing to shout about, swim perfectly, ignore cold, heal fast and regenerate limbs, sense direction, take some underwater pressure, and hold their breath for an hour or so. For some reason they get a list of special moves including special bonuses with their tail, maneuvering rules (even though nothing else has maneuvering rules at this point), and speed bursts. They get a bunch of combat bonuses and a smattering of basic psionics (including psi-hands for doing stuff). Most get a bunch of sea skills and modest skill picks, though you can take up a magic O.C.C. with this race, but your available skills are cut in half. This seems to be really focused to be a playable PC race, which makes it a little odd to have at the start of the monster secretion section.

Giant Octopus


To be fair, Moby Dick was a dick. I mean, it's in the name.

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

This is a real life creature that lives in the deepest parts of the ocean

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

Size: 50 to 60 feet (15.2 to 18.3 m) long.
Weight: One ton
Hit Points: Mega-damage

Sure, that sounds plausible, I mean, nobody's ever reported one above around 300-600 pounds, and even that's dubious, and there are no reports of them being cannonproof monsters that slice through boat hulls like butter, but, you know. I'm sure Rifts knows better.

So, they actually have pitiful M.D.C. for a creature their size (less than most humans in armor), but get just about every ability attributed to any species of octopus, including chameleon powers, and some I'm not so sure about (can they really sense magnetic north?). They get a "power punch", which seems like a comical thing to do with a tentacle. They also apparently live around a century, or about twenty times longer than any real octopus.

I'm starting to wonder if this was fact-checked as stringently as a GURPS supplement. :raise:

Giant Squid

So, this time the size figures are accurate, but-

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

However, according to sea druids and Whale Singers, giant squid who have fed on humans or other humanoids can acquire a taste for them and become "man-eaters". Some have even been known to crack open mini-subs to get at their favored prey.

- science, everyone.

So they're tougher than giant octopi, but not by much. They're also immune to cold, have color vision, see the invisible ahahaha what, bio-regenerate, sense true north and can climb at 85%. All just like real squids! Squids are just magical. And of course they get eight attacks, lawl. Once again the lifespan is way off, and they... yeah. It's pretty silly. It should be noted that both the giant octopus pale before the giant cephalopod called the trelque-huecuve presented in South America, which has five to ten times the M.D.C. and about 10 more points of strength, despite being a river-dwelling monster that gives no fucks about the deep sea.

Lorica Wraith


the eye-bone's connected to the- wait what the gently caress-

Oh, good, I can stop fact-checking this poo poo.

This is a 40' fish-skull thing with spinal-column limbs and tail or whatever. It has no eyes, but uses "chemoreceptors, psionics, and ultrasonic abilities". Sure. Most people think it's just a dumb predator, but it turns out to be eeevil and likes killing its prey sadistically and cleverly, like an '80s slasher villain. Also sometimes they work for big villains, but are about as loyal as a shark with trust issues.

And then, poo poo, Erin Tarn breaks in for half a page, telling this about a carnival which claimed to have "Deep Sea Wonders" despite being several hundred miles inland. Then it turns out to be a trap set by slavers who are working for a lorica wraith, and a fight breaks out when the locals fight back, and then the Coalition shows up out of nowhere and blows the hell out of it. And so Erin sneaks away, stumbling away with her life out of sheer blind luck once again.

So, uh, their M.D.C. is listed as 4d6x100, what the hell? They're nearly as tough as adult dragons or vampire superblobs?! They ignore cold, regenerate, can swim, echo-locate, talk-

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

The Lorica wraith can learn to speak in a similar way as the dolphin, except it has a hoarse, rasping voice befitting of a wraith.

- so dolphins can talk. Hm.

They can survive on land for about a week before starting to lose M.D.C., have "dolphin ley line abilities" which we don't know about yet, but apparently dolphins - regular dolphins, not mutants or anything - are magical, and they can sense ley lines like a wizard. They also get some modest psionics. There are also rules where you can make them into crappy weapons if that's your thing.

Picasso Magic Fish

This is a normal fish that, no poo poo, does not eat humans, it isn't evil or sadistic, and it isn't a misunderstood good guy. It's just a fish that eats magic and makes itself look weird and big to scare off predators with illusions, or can turn invisible. It's also faster and is a minor mega-damage creature when juiced on magic. They're mainly used as P.P.E. batteries by wizards to manage to catch them, particularly in techno-wizard or bio-wizard devices.

Kinda neat to see. A bit overwrought with detail, but actually neat enough to have an animal PCs might want to hunt. Except it get an automatic dodge, just to make doing that annoying.

Sea Maw
aka Gulper


Ah, zee sphincter of zee sea.

This is a giant extra-dimensional 100' deep sea monster (fish? alien? doesn't say) that'll just try and swallow up anything, even small vehicles. It even starts out with rules on how to blow a hole out of its stomach to escape, as it does mild M.D.C. damage every turn you're in the stomach. It also has eyes along its side so it can see in all directions, if badly. Still, it's supposedly really persistent and has attacked boats or lunged after leaping dolphins.

It turns out its M.D.C. is "P.E. number x 1000!", which is, uh, 21,000-26,000. Seems like a typo? I'm not sure it's supposed to be tougher than many gods. Anyway, it's immune to cold (seems to be a common trait so far) and pressure and poisons, regenerates, senses magnetic north, etc. It also gets an automatic dodge despite being a 100' long, 80+ ton fish, which is weird. It can swallow stuff whole, which just occurs automatically, and that attack lists a different damage value than before (2d6 Mega-Damage instead of 1d6), because editing. It also only does Structural-Damage to those without Mega-Damage, which is convenient enough for them. There are rules for those who want to make its skin into a wetsuit or armor, provided you can be bothered to do loving 21,000+ points of damage to earn a 60 M.D.C. wetsuit. That armor also doesn't protect against blunt or explosive attacks, which means any tail-slap from a mega-damage creatures will reduce the human to jelly.

Sure, seems worth it. :rolleyes:

Sharks

We get a broad description of sharks, including their stereotypical blood scent, electroreception, and night vision, which is all accurate enough. We also get percentages for them flying into a frenzy when exposed to bloooood.

Great White Shark

I'll just go over the fallacies in bullet point form at this point.
  • Let's see, listed as "20-40 feet". The longest known great white in reality is 26 feet. It says "ancient ones" and mutants can go up to 70 feet. This is apparently because sharks never stop growing. And "ancient ones"? Well, I guess they live to be around 70 years old, but I don't know if I'd call that "ancient".
  • Most just have 1d6 x 100 hit points (i.e. 1d6 M.D.C.) but mutants and "ancient ones" have 1d6 x 10 M.D.C.
  • They're impervious to cold (nope), sense magnetic north (nope), and echolocate (nope nope nope).
  • Most just do bites with an average of 21 S.D.C., but "ancient ones" do 2d6 M.D.C. (or 700 M.D.C.). Yes, it turns out age increases a shark's biting power by 34 times. (Mutants can do 5d6 M.D.C.)
  • They are listed to live 150 to 300 years, though in real life it's more like 70.

Tiger Shark

Like a great white with slightly lower stats and all the same inaccuracies.

Shadow Sharks


"Shadow" meant 25% more crosshatching, apparently.

These are evil extradimensional sharks that prefer their prey sentient and adorable. They have modestly decent M.D.C., can turn invisible in shadow, regenerates, can talk, but is vulnerable to sunlight and light or fire damage. It also gets some "ocean magic" to be detailed later, including a sonic blast. As with many assholes, they live forever. Despite being sentient, you can't play one because they're evil. Eeevil.

Storm Riders
aka Ley Line Beasts


Like many RPG monsters, it closes its mouth basically never.

So these are "murderous supernatural monsters who feed upon the P.P.E. energy of living beings and who enjoy inflicting terror and pain." Sigh. They apparently can spontaneously appear during ley line storms, though half of those who do return to whence they came once it's over. They come from another dimension but not through a rift, somehow coming over on ley line storms, but nobody knows how. (Considering how many storms there must be and how many nexuses there are, you'd think these things would start to dominate the seas entirely after centuries given that they don't die of age. Then again, seas are still pretty big.) Some think they're spontaneous creatures born of destructive magical energy, though a few think they're the "living nightmares of the Old Ones".

Naturally they're - sigh - sadistic and love to spread terror and are smart and cunning and disloyal and ugh boiler plate slap the description of a hundred loving Rifts monsters here. They're about 10' long, have modest M.D.C. (which is tripled during ley line storms, actually making them really loving annoying), they can see the invisible, have a bunch of senses, do extra damage on a ley line or nexus, but take double damage from fire, rune weapons, holy weapons, Millennium Tree weapons, and other creatures of magic. Still, when their bite does 18d6 damage on a ley line nexus and they appear at a rate of 1-12 every 10 minutes, these things seem born to TPK any poor PCs to get stuck in a seaborne ley line storm... especially when, they get a poo poo-ton of magic and an average of 1000 P.P.E. to throw around.

Oh, and they're immune to most mind-affecting psionics, so forget about trying to learn the mystery of their existence and just accept them trying to bite your face off (and then showing it to your friends, because eeevil).

Zomba

The class that started the dance-fitness revolution and changed the way we look at a workout forever. It’s fun, effective and best of all? Made for everyone!

aka Silicon Sea Snake


Everybody Loves Bitey!

Oh, Nevermind that.

This is a stony, eyeless snake thing. Despite being stony, it swims perfectly, and can crawl up on to ship surfaces (somehow) to feed. However, they're just animals and will flee if hurt badly enough. That being said, they get dragon hatchling-level M.D.C., regenerate, somehow see from "three tiny eyes", get an automatic dodge (despite being a 15', 800 lb. worm), can leap out through the water, and actually do decent damage on a bit (but nothing else). There's not much to them otherwise, they're just generic biting machines. Oh, and Atlanteans and "Horune pirates" like them as pets, but they're pretty stupid and may get into their master's food or screw with them because stupid.

So, now that I'm to Z in this section, that's the end, right?

Bill Coffin posted:

Once Kevin's ready for layout, he prints out the whole mess and fires up his wax machine because he still puts these damned things together by hand. What's that? Desktop publishing software? Naw, he's faster without it! To his credit, he lays out the book in fairly decent time, but he also illustrates why all Palladium books have a simple two-column format. Kevin isn't going to cut columns to shape or deviate from formula because he might have to reflow a section of the book, and when he does, all those columns have to be standard or else none of it works. Where this really makes you want to bang your head against the tip of an artillery shell is when he lays out 80% of the book, discovers that he'd like to rename an alphabetically ordered item on page 5 and decides that it would be too much work to reflow the rest of the list. You know how every so often in a Palladium book you'll have a series of NPCs or OCCs or something and one of them is grossly out of alphabetical order? That's why. I used to think it was because Kevin couldn't read the alphabet. Now I know it's because he's truly, madly, deeply in love with putting books together in ways that even Monty Burns would decry as old-fashioned.

:(

Stidjron


"Are you sure I have enough claws? I was thinking of having some implanted all over my belly. It's not clawsome enough."

This is a extradimensional deep sea horror that loves to hunt for pleasure as well as food and can be malicious and cruel and- look, you know the drill by now. It's basically designed to be Alien at sea. Well, if the alien was about 30' long and kept sharks as pets. They're blind, but have echo-location that works on both sea and land. Though they have a glowy angler, it doesn't have any supernatural effects other than being a tentacle that can pull folks into its maw. It also lets you know you can't play one, which I'm sure disappoints everybody.

They have modest M.D.C. and a bunch of locational damage locations, regenerations, gets a bunch of underwater wilderness skills, a bunch of ESP powers, and bitey teeth.

Rurlel Eel People


Can never touch the tip of his own tail.

Like it says on the tin. These aren't monsters, but are a "warrior race of D-bees" who live in harmony with the sea and don't like to cause trouble and apparently only fight in self-defense. And you can play one! If your GM allows it.

They're physically quite capable but ugly, and swim pretty fast (around 30 MPH), are resistant to cold, can regenerate limbs, sense direction, survive up to a 1.5 miles down, but can't breathe air for more than about 10 minutes without "special breathing equipment". They have mild M.D.C. and get a bunch of undersea wilderness skills and crappy free skill selections. They can also choose to be ocean mages instead, which is wayyyy better as far as choice go. Kind of dull, but if you want merfolk, here you have them.

Next: The regurgitation return of the gene-splicers!

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 05:30 on Nov 5, 2015

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Night10194 posted:

The Gods certainly exist, that part isn't especially in question. But they are far more distant than D&D type Gods and people who actually have Divine Magic are extremely rare and valuable. The average Priest in setting has nothing, really. An Anointed Priest or someone with the capability to be one is a rarity in and of itself and that alone makes you something of a hero.

The Gods being more distant and worshiped much more like an actual polytheistic pantheon is one of the things I like a lot. It also ensures the good guys don't run into the single biggest problem Chaos has, where Chaos Gods are such micromanaging douchebags that they kind of take character away from their worshippers.

That's actually one of the primary issues people have with the big reboot they just did with Fantasy. Sigmar used to be a distant, but rather cool guy, whereas his followers tended not to be. Sigmar was perfectly fine with Ulric, his followers were not fine with Ulrics followers, and vice versa.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



It does not surprise me in the slightest that Siembieda publishes his books like that.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


Green Intern posted:

It does not surprise me in the slightest that Siembieda publishes his books like that.

To be fair, they have apparently started using actual desktop publishing software since Bill wrote that.

Possibly out of shame.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Night10194 posted:

The Gods certainly exist, that part isn't especially in question. But they are far more distant than D&D type Gods and people who actually have Divine Magic are extremely rare and valuable. The average Priest in setting has nothing, really. An Anointed Priest or someone with the capability to be one is a rarity in and of itself and that alone makes you something of a hero.

The Gods being more distant and worshiped much more like an actual polytheistic pantheon is one of the things I like a lot. It also ensures the good guys don't run into the single biggest problem Chaos has, where Chaos Gods are such micromanaging douchebags that they kind of take character away from their worshippers.

Not only that, but it (was) strongly implied that many of the gods had multiple aspects worshiped by different cultures. Heck, two of the Elven gods were suggested to be less destructive aspects of Khorne.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Well, that's ignoring the fact that they literally Soddom and Gommorah'd Slannesh into being.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Kurieg posted:

Well, that's ignoring the fact that they literally Soddom and Gommorah'd Slannesh into being.

I think that's only in 40k? But I could be mistaken.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kurieg posted:

That's actually one of the primary issues people have with the big reboot they just did with Fantasy. Sigmar used to be a distant, but rather cool guy, whereas his followers tended not to be. Sigmar was perfectly fine with Ulric, his followers were not fine with Ulrics followers, and vice versa.

There are a LOT of issues with Age of Sigmar. It is absolutely awful on pretty much every level.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


JohnnyCanuck posted:

To be fair, they have apparently started using actual desktop publishing software since Bill wrote that.

Mind, not until 2008 or so, and occams and I are still doing books from '94. The vast majority of Rifts books (like 90%+) were indeed done on a glue machine.

I think the first Rifts book (not the first Palladium) book to be done with software would be World Book 30: D-Bees of North America? I'm not certain of that, but it would make sense given the book's contents.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Night10194 posted:

There are a LOT of issues with Age of Sigmar. It is absolutely awful on pretty much every level.

When I first saw the Sigmarines, I thought it was a joke. Now I sadly know better.


No crustaceans? I am dissappoint, Rifts. I was hoping for a MDC version of the pistol shrimp (Earth's most likely only citizen with a natural implosion shockwave attack).

And these creature entries spam "Can sense the magnetic north" like D&D monster manuals overuse low-light vision.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 17:41 on Nov 5, 2015

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.




I'm so excited for this, Underseas is probably my favorite Rifts book. I convinced a DM to let me play a power armor dolphin in a campaign that had nothing to do with the ocean once, so great is my love for this goofy book.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




theironjef posted:

I'm so excited for this, Underseas is probably my favorite Rifts book. I convinced a DM to let me play a power armor dolphin in a campaign that had nothing to do with the ocean once, so great is my love for this goofy book.

I did pretty much the exact same thing! It's a terrible dumb book and I love it. It probably has something to do with me watching SeaQuest as a young boy.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer


I actually like a lot of the pictures of the various sea-critters, even the lorica wraith-majigger, but they don't all need to be boilerplate sadistic evil cusses c'mon Rifts. Sea creatures are completely terrifying without even making stuff up about them. Also this heavy use of automatic dodge gets even more annoying IIRC, don't most landlubbers and semi-lubbers have underwater movement penalties to be explained later?

A lot of the shark stuff is just plain stupid-lazy but the longevity aspect was something believed at the time I think. 70 years is still pretty long for a fishy.

Also my sister is thinking of getting into aquariums, I innocently suggested she get a mantis shrimp. If you want a real-world sadistic and hate-filled deep sea terror, there is your adorable little glass-breaker.

occamsnailfile fucked around with this message at 01:12 on Nov 6, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I better keep up the daily posts, then!



Part 4: "It will neither attack or defend the subject of its attraction, although it may leave him or her tiny gifts (food) like eyeballs, entrails, fish, occasionally stolen items and knickknacks, shiny stones (rarely valuable), and similar worthless (and smelly) items."

Gene Splicers & Sea Monsters
By Steve Sheiring & Kevin Siembieda

Yep, the interdimensional trolls (as in internet, not Norse) known as the gene splicers are back, making terrible sea monsters in the interest of being annoying fucks science. (Also, it's the return of Sheiring, the treacherous one.) Apparently "Captain Nemo-2, his New Navy, Tritonia and Lemuria" and "Whale Singers, aquatic D-Bees, and sailors" destroy the gene-splicers work wherever they find it, whoever they are, but the gene-splicers can just hide in ocean trenches and moon good guys through their portholes because their ships are immune to pesky pressure.

Random Creation of Gene-Splicer Monsters

So the gene-splicers make monsters for unknown reasons and then discard them for unknown reasons.

:iiam:

Rifts World Book Six: Underseas posted:

Imagine a giant penguin coming towards the characters. At first, the sight might invoke a few chortles of laughter. Then, all of a sudden, their amusement turns to horror as the penguin grabs a character with its tentacles and bites his head off. Only then do the other characters realize the true peril they face.

(Sometimes I wonder if the sadistic, evil monsters that populate these bestiaries are modeled after a certain RPG writer.)


This is actually in the Whale Singer section but I'll put here where it actually fits the text.

We have charts that randomly generate sea monsters! Because the gene-splicers are basically just doing the superadvanced interdimensional rear end in a top hat version of Monster Rancher to get their creations, apparently. So, I'm gonna randomly roll up some gene-splicer monsters!
  • A giant squid with a crocodile head with low animal intelligence that can survive up to 500' below the water's surface with two antennae that can analyze the chemical quality of water that can fire a sonic blast and can absorb electricity from a boat by clinging to it.
  • A dwarf with two heads, one is a dwarf head and the other is a shark head, with very low human intelligence, can survive up to 500' below the water's surface, has six tentacle tongues in the shark head that add three attacks, is silent and can sneak really well (and gets a special backstab attack), and has a bad luck aura that infects people with -2 on all die rolls for several hours. (Given a literal reading of that, it makes your combat rolls worse, but makes skill rolls actually better.)
  • A generic 6' humanoid body with two heads, one is a lamprey head and the other is a turtle head, is a "very aggressive and cruel predator" that kills for kicks as well as food, can survive up to 4000' below sea level, has a spiked, prehensive tail, both heads have shark teeth (the lamprey head gets more teeth I guess), and it will obsess upon and stalk a PC and just hang around them and give gifts and be creepy without being dangerous. Unless it's hungry. Which is basically all the time.
Hopefully people now have a good idea of the wild story possibilities of having a turtle-lamprey-man stalker waifu around all the time. A megaverse of possibilities! :dance:

Ley Line Mutations

So, some creatures are mutated by magic underwater, but it doesn't seem to affect sea mammals, so there are no mutant sea lions just asking questions after their sudden sentience. Mostly it's just scary creatures like sharks or crabs or squids. Most of the results are pretty forgettable - the creature is huge or is M.D.C. or gets meaner or is magic resistant, though there are some weirder results like being able to teleport through a ley line or severed parts grow back into a whole creature within one minute.

Of course, this means you could roll up a creature that still ends up being mundane but weird, like a particularly smart shrimp that can cast a few spells and is resistant to magic but is still tiny and can be crushed with a human's bare hands. Not that they mention shrimp, so pistol shrimp enthusiasts are out of luck until later. In any case, I guess not every mutant is a winner, no matter what Magneto says.

Next: Rifts gets a serious case of tentacle envy.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Of course, this means you could roll up a creature that still ends up being mundane but weird, like a particularly smart shrimp that can cast a few spells and is resistant to magic but is still tiny and can be crushed with a human's bare hands. Not that they mention shrimp, so pistol shrimp enthusiasts are out of luck until later. In any case, I guess not every mutant is a winner, no matter what Magneto says.

Aw but the Oatmeal did that comic! Oh well, I'm sure the mutated Sriracha Tesla is coming right up.

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



theironjef posted:



Got a hot, fresh Afterthought 18 - The One Shot Podcast episode here. We discuss the value of one shot games, plus a bunch of fan questions and digressions.

Oh yeah, not to the Afterthought but I figured I'd let you know you're not actually alone in being traumatized by Superman 3. poo poo was god drat horrifying at a young age.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


It's not ripoff. It's a hommage.

occamsnailfile posted:

Also my sister is thinking of getting into aquariums, I innocently suggested she get a mantis shrimp. If you want a real-world sadistic and hate-filled deep sea terror, there is your adorable little glass-breaker.

Give the shrimp a break. His eyes are so advanced that he sees stuff nobody else can, so maybe he has valid reasons for Falcon-Punching stuff, and we are just unable to understand his pain. Now here's an idea for a shrimp-based World-of-Darkness game.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Imagine a giant penguin coming towards the characters. At first, the sight might invoke a few chortles of laughter. Then, all of a sudden, their amusement turns to horror as the penguin grabs a character with its tentacles and bites his head off. Only then do the other characters realize the true peril they face.

Isn't this one of those settings where you're probably shooting the crap out of anything that walks torwards you, just to make sure?

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Of course, this means you could roll up a creature that still ends up being mundane but weird, like a particularly smart shrimp that can cast a few spells and is resistant to magic but is still tiny and can be crushed with a human's bare hands. Not that they mention shrimp, so pistol shrimp enthusiasts are out of luck until later. In any case, I guess not every mutant is a winner, no matter what Magneto says.

I don't get this. Shrimps and crabs are already pretty alien to begin with. Just make 'em bigger, with sharper edges, spikes and maybe some skull-like motifs. Why is there no love for shrimps in Rifts?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Doresh posted:

Isn't this one of those settings where you're probably shooting the crap out of anything that walks torwards you, just to make sure?

Siembieda has a constant gimmick where there will be a horrific-looking creature that's the nicest guy ever, and it's so sad that people judge just based on looks. So possibly? But you better be prepared to mark down "Alignment: Diabolic" on your character sheet at some point.

Doresh posted:

I don't get this. Shrimps and crabs are already pretty alien to begin with. Just make 'em bigger, with sharper edges, spikes and maybe some skull-like motifs. Why is there no love for shrimps in Rifts?

Kind of odd they don't have more sinister crustaceans in general, really.

Sure hope you like dolphins, though! Because this book loves dolphins! From their silky tails to their nubbly snouts! Dolphins!

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



This book is from like 1996, so the internet hadn't turned mantis shrimp into sea icons yet. They were still just gross long saltwater bugs that some Hawaiians ate.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

Prior to Pokemon, there was little traction for the headlines that made Mantis Shrimp memetic.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



theironjef posted:

This book is from like 1996, so the internet hadn't turned mantis shrimp into sea icons yet. They were still just gross long saltwater bugs that some Hawaiians ate.

No isopods either.

It would have been hilarious to see the MDC version of pistol shrimp.

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

Doresh posted:

It's not ripoff. It's a hommage.


Give the shrimp a break. His eyes are so advanced that he sees stuff nobody else can, so maybe he has valid reasons for Falcon-Punching stuff, and we are just unable to understand his pain. Now here's an idea for a shrimp-based World-of-Darkness game.


Isn't this one of those settings where you're probably shooting the crap out of anything that walks torwards you, just to make sure?


I don't get this. Shrimps and crabs are already pretty alien to begin with. Just make 'em bigger, with sharper edges, spikes and maybe some skull-like motifs. Why is there no love for shrimps in Rifts?

Read the novel Fragment by Warren Fahy. He's got your giant mantis shrimp in spades.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 5: "I almost used my rail gun to put an end to his horror!"

The Lord of the Deep
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda

A Sailor's Tale of Horror

So there's a sailor who tells a tale of a giant tentacle attacking their boat and taking away one of his shipmates, and he doesn't stop it because he's afraid if he stops it, it'll take him instead. He doesn't stop it, though, fearing that if he saves his fellow crew member, it might take him away instead. And so he then retired from the sea (or lakes, even) and works on a farm and drinks a lot.

And it's the Lord... of the Deep! (I keep envisioning it in my head being said like "The Lord... of the Dance!")

The Lord of the Deep

The Lord of the Deep isn't Cthulhu! I mean, he's a octopoid, giant-sized monster living in the bottom of the Pacific, but, you know. Let's make it clear right now. Not Cthulhu.

Though it is a bit like B'wana Beast. :D

So it lives in the Marianas Trench, and can streeeetch its tentacles up to 2000 miles away. The issues with that aren't really covered (like, in theory, it might do a lot of damage to the sea floor that way), so just take that at face value. It generally does this to feed off the psychic energy of its victims or to take them underwater and fuse them with another animal or creature, like Disney's The Wuzzles + tentacles.

Origins

It's theorized that the Lord of the Deep actually lived on Earth for millennia, and the lack of magical energy made it sleep. But not like Cthulhu! Because it isn't Cthulhu! Occasionally it'd sleep-eat somebody and so it made the legends of the kraken. And then the magic of the rifts made it wake up again! But not like... you know! Big C!

Or maybe it just came through a rift the boring way. It any case, it's been operating since then and has consumed or transformed a lot of folks.

Allies and Enemies

The main foes of the Lord are the Whale Singers, a group founded by those transformed by it but who broke free from its influence. Groups like Tritonia, Lemuria, and the New Navy have fought off its attacks for the most part, and are looking for a way to kil it for good. The Naut'Yll have suffered the greatest losses and even though they're bad guys, they might team up with good guys to fight it. The Splugorth know about it but consider it a minor concern. Zazshan, aka M'r'r'l'y'n or whatever, he knows the Lord of the Deep personally and seems to know a lot about it for mysterious reasons. Most other groups are ignorant.

Who are all these factions? We don't know! None of them have been introduced yet! I mean I know, but I've read ahead. Still, context!

Then there's The Cult of the Deep, which is a death cult that worships guess who, and do eeevil things for it. More on them later. They're mainly big on the Pacific coast in North America, Central America, and South America. There's also a small cult in the Great Lakes but they're mostly posers and have no actual connection to the Lord or supernatural abilities from him. Columbia, Maga Island, and Bahia all outlaw the cult, though most other nations are still ignorant of its existence. Oh, and the Horune Pirates might worship the Lord of the Deep, since it never seems to attack them, but it's not clear. Mind, that isn't mentioned here, but a few pages later.

The Lord of the Deep
Alien Intelligence


"See how I don't have an rear end? Or toes? Totally not Cthulhu."

So, now we get a statblock dropped on our heads. The creature itself is only about 700 feet wide, so I guess that means it's mostly just those 2000 mile tentacles. The base creature can barely move without magic (it literally can't dodge, according to the rules), and is mostly sessile. However, it has 500,000 M.D.C. and regenerates roughly 1,000 M.D.C. per minute. That makes it the toughest thing in the game... so far. They also list it having stats for it on the astral plane to battle it there too when it opts to astrally project, not that we have any great idea what the astral plane is or how to fight anything there. It's impervious to fire, cold, heat, disease, radiation, and pressure, can climb about half the time, and automatically understands languages. Also, it can drain P.P.E. from those it kills, automatically senses everything around it no matter what (including invisible and "4D" beings), and can merge two living beings together into a hybrid (which can breed true with other hybrids). However, magic does double damage against it and it regenerates slower, and holy or Millennium Tree weapons do ten times damage.

So if you have a Millennium Tree staff that does like 2d6 damage at base, that's like 70 damage on average, so... only 7,143 successful attacks to kill the Lord of the Deep! Well, thankfully, unlike every other supernatural intelligence, it can't just teleport away naturally. Of course, it lives in a trench where nearly everything dies from plain old pressure, so good luck! Oh, and skip what I just said, because it can cast a spell to teleport to Chi-Town or another dimension. It' just can't teleport naturally.

We're not done! It has all the ESP psychic powers, has all spells up to level 10 (yes, it can cast Carpet of Adhesion, gently caress it all), and do some higher-level dimensional or weather magic. It explictly doesn't get any of the new magic from this book, like ocean magic or whale songs.

Oh, and it might be able to chat up the Old Ones or the beings in the god prison from Rifts Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of the Megaverse, despite them being asleep or imprisoned. Oh, and it can call "1d4x100 diverse monsters" an hour for "1d4+1 hours", or ten times that number if it has several days.

We get a map of where it can reach!



And it notes that there's a dead pool where it resides, which occasionally opens portals to other worlds where people fall through and are killed and eaten by the Lord or its minions. gently caress hope!

We're not done yet!

Its tentacles get a statblock all their own. They have "1d4x1000" M.D.C. - wait, why is it random? - and a bunch of sub-tentacles as well. It notes that the Lord doesn't know what's happening on its limb for 1d6 minutes, though it's not clear if the tentacles have their own sub-brains or what. It's not like they have any obvious sensory organs, but I guess they magically know what's up because magic.

Generally they do solid damage with the sub-tentacles, and each "reacher of the deep" gets 12-30 attacks a round, which may seem retarded and like it would slow the game down! And it does! But it's not much different than any Rifts combat involving more than one monster. It does great damage (between 1d6x10 to 3d6x10), but it has a special attack against boats and buildings that does 1d4x100 damage. Whee!

And that's all the numbers. Time for some monsters you can actually fight and not just run like gently caress from!

Devil Shark R.C.C.
Minion of the Lord of the Deep

This is what you get when a shark and a human are mashed together by the Lord of the Deep. It apparently doesn't need to eat, but is driven by hunger because, you know, evil. It prefers intelligent creatures because it's evil. And apparently they keep treasure troves because ev- well, that's not that evil. But it is a convenient reason to kill them. Aside from the evil.

They're middle-of-the-road for toughness, but they get all of the senses of a shark (including, as you'll recall, echolocation), regeneration, and cold immunity. They're decent in melee combat but not fantastic, but they get a body slam that can knock people back and rob them of their attacks. And they take double damage from rune and Millennium Tree weapons, which would be great if - once again - most of those weapons didn't do absolute poo poo for damage. All of the minions here have the same weakness to magic trees that grow on land. Makes sense!

Monster Naut'Yll
Minion of the Lord of the Deep

This is what happens when you cross a naut'yll an a barracuda. "What's a naut'yll?", you say? Well, we won't find out for another hundred pages. Enjoy the mystery! Anyway, they're humanoids with long tentacles on their face, gnashy claws, and sharp bitey teeth. They also love to eat other naut'yll, because when you're crossed with a barracuda, the immediate result is an evil cannibal. Magic!

They have "triple normal M.D.C." which I'm not looking up. They can regen, gain sharp senses, and have "magic facial antennae", i.e. stretchy tentacles. They can resist all mind intrusions and automatically sense things around them no matter what. They do crummy melee damage, and despite their tentacles being sold as terrifying, do the least damage of all their attacks. They also get their skills reduced from what they were before the transformation, which means you have to stat them pretransformation, then modify that, because GMs have all the free time in the world.

Also this notes they can entangle, which are the grappling rules from the corebook that are almost never referenced. And I'm not going to go over them again. It's just interesting that this is the first time I've seen a monster entry actually use them rather than having an arbitrary automatic or percentile grab attack.

Why, no, they don't get a bonus to entangle, hilariously, it just notes that they can. A human baby can entangle at an equal level of proficiency, it turns out. It's just harder to get them to try.

Psiren R.C.C.
Minion of the Lord of the Deep


Minimum Physical Beauty: 21

This is what you get when the Lord crosses a human with a fish or seal. And 90% are female! Because only women can be sexy, no sausage in our seas, amirite? And they're supposed to be "strangely attractive" except when they open their mouths to reveal sharp teeth. They basically get some of the normal empathic mind control powers with a boosted range to enable this, and try and lure people off ships to munch on them. Sometimes they're touched by the selflessness of others and might show mercy, or they might become stalkers of the sea when they fall in love.

So, their M.D.C. is meh-ish, and they're pretty reliant on making you save-or-suck with their psychic powers. Oh, and they can make a psi-sword or shoot mind bullets, just like the mermaids of legend. Naturally they can swim super well and see the dark and all that. Oh, and despite the fact that they eat people, they do "not need to breathe or eat to survive". I guess they just do it because they like the taste of manflesh. They have the same skill reduction like the monster naut'yll, I'm bored, moving on.

Oh, and it refers to languages as "tongues", as if it was 1978.

Sea Doppelganger R.C.C.
Minion of the Lord of the Deep

This is what you get when you mash up a jellyfish and a human. Generally it looks like a giant jellyfish, but can copy human forms by either eating people or reading people's minds and taking on a form from their thoughts. However, though they can copy people, they can't talk and look like happy dappy drunks. Some sailors have caught onto this, which has resulted in some innocent folks being shot for looking too happy and/or drunk.

So it attacks by stinging people with mega-damage poison, so humans don't stand a chance without armor in the way - it's insta-death even to juicers and crazies. Or they can envelop people and do automatic acid damage until the person breaks free (taking a modest amount of damage to do so). They need to eat about three people every two days, and unlike the other minions, they actually need to each. Naturally, they have a swath of powers - regeneration, special limited telepathy to read forms, and the ability to sense anything around them (but not target it, necessarily). It has the weaknesses of the others, plus it's vulnerable to fire.

"These creatures have about as much in common with humans as real jellyfish; they are simply supernatural predators." As a final note, it says they're not created by the Lord of the Deep and are actually another monster from the rifts, in total contradiction to their earlier backstory. Apparently it's just that some of them choose to serve the Lord of the Deep, even though they're about as smart as a particularly cunning sponge. This book had four editors listed and two authors, folks. A dozen eyes had a chance to catch a very basic error like this. Perhaps some of them are jellymen, walking amongst us with drunk smiles on their faces, pretending to edit RPG books until their chance to strike.

The Cult of the Deep

We start with a prayer of the cult, which is pretty generic but works, and then discussion of how the Lord of the Deep sends out his mind astrally, which appears to people in dreams along coastlines or in psychic visions. But it's not Cthulhu! Some who survive with their minds intact become obsessed with foiling the Lord of the Deep, but we're not talking about them. We're talking about those who become obsessed with serving the Lord of the Deep. They're big on ritual sacrifice, mostly of other people, either through ritual murder or by handing people over to the reachers of the deep. The heads of the cult are psychics, since apparently only they can have a true link to the Lord of the Deep. (See also: Warhammer 40,000.) Those who are psychic servants also slowly mutate into Servants of the Deep. Which aren't deep ones!

The Lord of the Deep puts out this "call" to people once a year for a period of a week, but it can't control exactly where it appears because eh who knows, which is usually a 1000 mile strip of coast close to here it already has influence. It notes a saving throw is required of any character with psionics, but the results of failing that saving throw aren't clear. It also points out - unusually for Rifts - that GMs can elect for PCs or key NPCs to automatically save. Well, that's handy, since we don't know what the saving throw is for, once again.

Servants of the Deep
NPC Villain R.C.C.


So, this is for human and d-bee psychics who become connected to the Lord of the Deep and choose to serve it. They're "gifted" with supernatural power and supernatural ugly, and are given power over years until - if they survive that long - the Lord of the Deep brings them home for eating. Eating your most powerful servants? Well, that's a notion, I suppose.

Their powers are dribbled out over a period of years and decades, and mostly they get M.D.C. and P.P.E. boosts every two years or so, along with some modest spellcasting. By around five years they start getting the ugly, and around seven years they're pretty unsubtle raspy-voice wartfaces. In ten years, you become an outright tentacle monster that has to eat souls to survive, and you stop talking and start groaning and growling instead. And if the servant gets to twenty years, the Lord of the Deep takes the servant into its nommy embrace.

Yes, their reward is to get et. Still, you get a longer life than a juicer, so there's that.

Next: I dedicate a full update to one of Rifts' most broken classes.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Oh, I hope this is the class I think it is.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Siembieda has a constant gimmick where there will be a horrific-looking creature that's the nicest guy ever, and it's so sad that people judge just based on looks. So possibly? But you better be prepared to mark down "Alignment: Diabolic" on your character sheet at some point.

Man, this is like this Thundercats episode I can vaguely remember.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Sure hope you like dolphins, though! Because this book loves dolphins! From their silky tails to their nubbly snouts! Dolphins!

Huh, well at least the book keeps me on my toes.

Young Freud posted:

It would have been hilarious to see the MDC version of pistol shrimp.

Right? It's awesome. You could make them shrimp monks who master the art of the Vacuum Wave Claw.

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Read the novel Fragment by Warren Fahy. He's got your giant mantis shrimp in spades.

Good. Gotta keep that in mind.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

It's interesting that the Monster Naut'yll is the only one of these evil sadistic predators who don't even need to eat but hunt anyway because they hate you that you can't play.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


occamsnailfile posted:

It's interesting that the Monster Naut'yll is the only one of these evil sadistic predators who don't even need to eat but hunt anyway because they hate you that you can't play.

Of course. They wouldn't be evil if they didn't do thinks purely for the evulz.

(Oh, and is anyone okay if I just continue ProfessorProf's TBZ review, or do you guys want a "reboot"?)

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 6: "A sea inquisitor shooting a .45 pistol (normally 4D6 S.D.C. damage) will inflict 4d6x2 M.D. to a creation of the Lord of the Deep, demon, or evil dragon."

Sea Inquisitor O.C.C.
Enemies of the Cult of the Deep

Sadly, no, they are not attempting to boil a pot of seawater to have it tell them about the conspiracy of waves. "Talk, you fluid bastard! Talk!"

Sometimes when the Lord of the Deep makes a calling, those who survive with their lives and sanity are inspired to murder it. Ooops. Also, they get superpowers as a result of the calling. Somehow. Double ooops. Some of them have even joined together to work in small bands, but there's no actual inquisition or organization. Some think a higher power of some sort empowers them, but for some reason the powers they get don't set off supernatural or magic senses. It could be that their supernatural powers are, in fact, so badass they can't be detected, or that they somehow come from Sea Inquisitors being so willful they get powers.

So. They're a bit ridiculous. So ridiculous, I'm actually going to go over everything they get. Their powers are:
  • They get a ridiculous bonus to Mental Endurance (+8) with a minimum of 18. On top of that, they get a +8 to saves against Horror Factor. In addition, they get a small bonus to save against magic.
  • They get a special aura that disrupts all magical and psychic powers that target them, where they can dispel a spells and powers with an I.S.P. and P.P.E. each round equal to 10 x their level. If this doesn't cancel the spell entirely, they only suffer half effect. This includes area effects that include them, though other people still suffer the full effect.
  • A magic shield that absorbs 100 + (10 x level) M.D.C. of damage. This can be summoned once per level per day, so if you have it wrecked, you can just just call it back up if you've above first level.
  • They can sense the supernatural within 1000 ft., and have a 35% (+5% per level) of being able to tell if a supernatural creature is evil.
  • Any attacks they make against evil supernatural creatures do double damage. That isn't the big deal. The big deal is that any S.D.C. attacks they do against supernatural evil are converted to M.D.C, then doubled. We'll be getting to just how game-breaking this is in just a bit. :iia:
  • They get a variety of small, meaningless physical bonuses. Also they can hold their breath longer than normal. Yay!
To get all this, you have to be "principled or unscrupulous", and note that the second is a typo; they probably mean scrupulous or unprincipled, since no such alignment exists.

In addition, though the Sea Inquisitor gets its own set of O.C.C. skills, it then has to select a different O.C.C. it gets all the rest of its skills from. This can be any psychic or adventurer O.C.C., sailor, pirate, grunt/foot-soldier (do they mean Coalition Grunt?), simple warrior (no such class exists), or mystic. I'm going to point out that if you choose a mystic or psychic class, you get all the powers they get. :v:

The Sea Inquisitor is, at the time this book was published, probably the most broken O.C.C. in the game. So let's examine:

How to Break Rifts With the Sea Inquisitor Class

:regd08:

Getting all those awesome powers and slapping a psychic class on top of that is just the starter here. The key to breaking Rifts comes from their ability to use S.D.C. weapons to inflict M.D.C. So what we want is the highest S.D.C. damage we can find without any possibility of having it inflict M.D.C.. Because, let's examine some of the weirdness that results because of their ability.

Rifts Sourcebook tells us explosive arrows do 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 mega-damage for medium, heavy, and "high" explosives, respectively, which becomes 2d6, 4d6, or 6d6 damage in the hands of a Sea Inquisitor. But a light explosive arrow does 1d6 x 10 S.D.C., which becomes 2d6 x 10 M.D.C. in the hands of a Sea Inquisitor. Which is pretty drat nice - that's closing in on the damage of a boom gun, one of the highest damage weapons in the game without using missile barrages. And, bizarrely, that's over three times the damage they'd do with "high" explosives, 6d6 M.D.C. But we can do better.

In the core book, the most powerful S.D.C. weapon is the 90mm recoiless rifle, which does 1d10 x 100 S.D.C. or 1d10 M.D.C. Now, if we're a jerk, we can get into an argument with the GM and insist that it's the player's choice to do S.D.C. with the weapon instead of M.D.C., which would let us do 2d10 x 100 M.D.C., for an average of 1100 M.D.C. of damage with each shot. But for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume that the GM puts that kibosh on this, that any weapon that can do M.D.C. uses its M.D.C. damage value- a measly, forgettable 2d10 for the 90mm recoilless rifle.

So the best weapon S.D.C. weapon in the core book is a .50 or 14mm heavy machinegun. It has no strength requirement, and does 7d6 damage per round. For the purposes of this argument, I'm assuming we have the Rifts Conversion Book and the nerfed burst damage rules from that. That means a short burst does 14d6 x 3 in a Sea Inquisitor's hands, or an average of 147 damage with an single attack, 40% more than the boom gun of a glitter boy. With a long burst we can use two attacks to do 14d6 x 7 or 343 points of damage, or 63% more than a boom gun of the same level. But we can do better than that, to borrow a phrase from LightWarden.

Rifts Mercenaries introduced Wellington Industries, an arms manufacturer that makes high-quality S.D.C. firearms. So, an MP-23 caseless SMG does 2d6 x 10 S.D.C. with regular ammo, or 140 average M.D.C. damage in the hands of a Sea Inquisitor. Which is awesome, but we can do better than that. Larger weapons do piddly amounts of M.D.C., so those are no good to us. So we pick up Wellington Industries smallest weapon, the MP-10 caseless pistol. The key point is that we'll be loading it with explosive rounds, which do M.D.C. when loaded into any weapon heavier than a pistol. Otherwise, it inflicts triple S.D.C. damage. So an MP-10 does 1d6 x 10 bursts, 3d6 x 10 with explosive rounds, which translates to 6d6 x 10 damage in the hands of a Sea Inquisitor, twice that of a Glitter Boy. And the ammo is cheap as hell, only costing you 60 credits per 30 round clip, far cheaper than an E-clip recharge, which costs you 1500 credits.

But we can do one better than that. :black101:

I don't usually reference "future" books, but this is too good to pass up. Rifts World Book 14: New West gives us a new psychic class, the Psi-Slinger. He's a psychic gunslinger and has a lot of abilities we mostly don't care about, save for the fact get gets to dual-wield pistols. So a Sea-Inquisitor Psi-Slinger can pick up two MP10s and do 420 points of damage with each attack, or do 210 to two different targets. This will is flat-out kill most monsters, and even gives adult dragons cause for worry. They also automatically can't parry your attack, even if they normally could. In addition, a Psi-Slinger converts up to 30 points of energy damage to S.D.C. when shot with an energy weapon or halves the damage of anything higher. Combined with our mega-damage shield of pure loving will, the Sea Inquisitor Psi-Slinger can ignore all energy attacks under 30 points of damage, and take half damage from those that do anything over that. In addition, you get all the proficiency bonuses and cool gunslinging tricks that the Psi-Slinger gets in addition. If that's not enough, you get a bonus attack every round. Or you can be a mind melter or the like and just be happy with having a variety of neat utility powers.

Bear in mind there is a big caveat for this horrendous damage output: your enemy has to be an evil supernatural being. But that's most foes in Rifts outside of the Coalition, bandits, and the Kittani. And, to be fair, missile barrages can still do thousands of points of damage from certain vehicles, so a lot of robot pilots can outpace the Sea Inquisitor. But bear in mind those missile barrages will cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of credits to replenish at the (still nebulous) Black Market, whereas the Sea Inquisitor can reload for a several hundred credits. In addition, missile barrages can be shot down by savvy foes, while gunfire is still gunfire. But we're not quite done yet.

If you're not interested in maximizing damage and are fine with merely outpacing glitter boy damage output, you can instead become nigh-immune to magic and psionics. In Rifts World Book 12: Psyscape you have the Psi-Nullifer psychic class. In addition to auto-negating 10 times your of P.P.E. or I.S.P. a round, the Psi-Nullifier gets to spend 1d6 I.S.P. when targeted by a spell or power, which negates three times that amount of P.P.E. or I.S.P. If the mage or psychic doesn't "overspend" to cancel out that amount you roll (and they have no idea how much they need to spend), the power is weakened or cancelled. The main drawback is that you negate even positive spells with that ability, but you can at least voluntarily bring down the Sea Inquisitor shield for friendly mages.

Here's a bonus trick: a Sea Inquisitor doesn't have to be human! If you're playing a race or class with supernatural or enhanced strength, you can do more damage to a evil supernatural being by doing a restrained punch instead of a normal punch. See, a restrained punch does S.D.C. damage, which is normally what you'd use to love tap a normal human into unconsciousness, but due to the sea inquisitor's damage boost, it greatly enhances the damage your punches do. Let's say you have a Physical Strength of 30, which lets you do 3d6 M.D.C. with a punch. Now, once you graduate to Sea Inquisitor and punch a demon, you do 6d6 M.D.C. Better than nothing, but not great. But your restrained punch does 5d6 S.D., so it does 10d6 M.D.C. with your damage boost - but that's not all. See, high strength gives you bonus damage that only applies to S.D. attacks - so a Physical Strength of 30 gives +15. So you're actually doing 10d6 + 30 (the actual example in the class is explicit about this). If you somehow got a Physical Strength of 50, you'd be doing 2d6 x 10 + 70, which is 33% more damage than a boom gun, and a lot more than the the 12d6 damage your normal punches would do to a demon. The key is that you never, ever want your strength to exceed 50, because then your restrained punch turns into 1d6 M.D.C. and the trick is lost.

There have been some really broken R.C.C.s - the norse giant, the demigod, the phoenixi - but hands down, the Sea Inquisitor wins my newly-christened Palladium Mega-Turd Award for the most broken O.C.C. at this point in the game. About the only competition is the far more infamous Cosmic Knight, but that mainly has superlative travel and toughness. But the Sea Inquisitor, with the right gun, can murder just about any supernatural evil short of a god or supernatural intelligence, and they can do it with just a pair of cheap, throwaway automatic pistols. At low levels they may lack in durability, but a mid-level one is also as tough as a glitter boy under the right circumstances, and with far lower repair costs (like, zero). And you can give them broad skills, psychic powers, or even attach the class to the already-overpowered true atlantean or demigod.

And when you murder an adult dragon with some of the dinkiest weapons in the game, tell 'em Alien Rope Burn sent you. :ssh:

Next: Pneuma Pneuma.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 12:13 on Nov 7, 2015

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PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


For some reason some of the stuff I love the most from the F&F thread is when someone completely breaks a game in half with some unintended results of RAW.

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