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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

What happens after the Festival of Eating All the Sausage, when everybody gets You Ate a Sausage in Warhammer disease?

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

What happens after the Festival of Eating All the Sausage, when everybody gets You Ate a Sausage in Warhammer disease?

You're being punished for buying your sausage from halfling street vendors instead of Good Honest Sigmar Fearing Imperials.

Fallorn
Apr 14, 2005


Night10194 posted:

You're being punished for buying your sausage from halfling street vendors instead of Good Honest Sigmar Fearing Imperials.

Who sources his sausage from a halfling street vendor.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

Fallorn posted:

Who sources his sausage from a halfling street vendor.

Someone who counts among his or her equipment a small, but vicious dog.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Look I'm just saying, halfings' true calling as a people is obviously being badass luchadores, not making street food.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Night10194 posted:

Look I'm just saying, halfings' true calling as a people is obviously being badass luchadores, not making street food.

Unless the stret food was made specifically to go along with the luchadore match.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

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

Doresh posted:

And I dunno, German school always appeared a bit bland and generic compared to what you see in American and Japanese schools.

I think it's mostly just that America and Japan have really fetishized our high schools. Not just the school girl thing, either. We just have a lot of media dedicated to high school students and their sports or relationships or whatever. I think any country's high school students could be interesting, though, if just because being a teenager means you are a goddamn idiot with a bunch of hormones going crazy and you think you know what you're doing.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth


Doresh posted:

Unless the stret food was made specifically to go along with the luchadore match.

Seriously what's with forgetting that the halfling iconic weapon used to be an actual pot of soup. A true halfling luchadore would weaponize his sausage cart.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



CMOT Dibbler is a pioneer in the weaponization of food.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Tatum Girlparts posted:

Seriously what's with forgetting that the halfling iconic weapon used to be an actual pot of soup. A true halfling luchadore would weaponize his sausage cart.

The Halfling Hot Pot is a glorious thing.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 8: "The mage can transform himself into any variety of crab, lobster, or shrimp that is no smaller than a half inch (12.7 mm) and no longer than three feet (0.9 m)."

Ocean Wizard O.C.C.


"So, what do you think of my swimsuit?"

So these are like whale singers, only they use ocean magic and only ocean magic. Seagoers like to hire them for various reasons. And that's all the details we get! :v:

They're another ley line walker variant, and can hold their breath, swim faster on ley lines, and get a lot of the basic ley line powers just like the whale singers. They get a decent selection of ocean magic spells, and aren't limited by their level when learning them. They get sailing skills, and slightly more free picks than whale singers.

Sea Druid O.C.C.
By Steve Sheiring and Kevin Siembieda


Yep, this is from the great betrayer again. (I'll never get tired of bringing that up, sorry, Kevin.) There's no real information on exactly what they are or how you become one, other than they're at tune with the watery world and have to pick a (non-sentient) totem animal, because this is the nineties and it's important to know what your spirit animal is. "Slide."

So they can sense water from afar, tell you pure water is, detect elementals, get a danger sense that only works when the danger is underwater, and can hold their breath well like every other watery class here. I know, you wouldn't wnat people to straight-up just breathe water, that would be too powerful for these classes that need to be underwater to use a lot of their effects. :rolleyes: They can also summon their totem animal and control one of them, most of which are dinky S.D.C. creatures, though you can also summon some mutants or monsters, like giant squids. So it can be useful if you pick the right critter, and the GM lets you. They can also learn ocean magic, dolphin spells, or a spellsong, but only get one or two per level so they're basically the worst spellcasters of this lot. With their average sailing and wilderness skills, they're entirely depending on picking a utility animal to do things for them, but even then they're very one-note.

Ocean Magic
By Steve Sheiring and Kevin Siembieda
Special thanks to Val Conder for his spell suggestions.


Out of nowhere, we get notes on using any magic underwater, so ocean magic has to wait a moment. It notes that using normal magic words to cast spells underwater is hard and takes three melee actions for each spell, and can only do one spell a turn. It notes that spellcasters in vehicles need a porthole or window to cast spells through (even fire bolt?), and it notes some magic aren't usable underwater like flight spells or air spells.

Which gives the odd effect that non-cetacean aquatic spellcaster - because ocean magic requires the spoken word - is completely hobbled in their primary element. Why the gently caress? Did they not pay attention to the rules when they were laying them out paragraph by paragraph? Unless you're specifically an aquatic creature that can talk without trouble underwater, ocean magic becomes a joke! Well, okay, you can get around it by casting magic from inside sealed environmental armor, but still. It's quite odd. :argh:


Congrats, you turned into a lobster, gain +4 to roll with butter.

Let's have some magical highlights! There's a lot of stuff like swimming well or mucking with ocean currents, I'm skipping that and going right to the goofy spells.
  • Abilities of a Snail: That's loving right, you have antennae and the ability to stick to surfaces, double carry weight, survive deeper depths, and sneak better, thanks to snail power!
  • Air Swim: Lets you swim through air, which is useful, but you totally look like a doofus.
  • Grow Tentacles: This allows you get tentacles that give you bonus attacks!... with no damage value.
  • Metamorphosis Crustacean: You're a shrimp! Or you can become a giant crab with lovely M.D.C. that will get murdered by nearly anything. No need for massive damage, even.
  • Mystic Sea Horse: You summon a giant sea horse! And you can ride it!
  • Ride the Waves: Surf without a surfboard.
  • Senses of the Shark: Allows you to sense blood, electromagnetic power, and see in the dark. Oh, and it makes you roll to keep from going berserk in the presence of blood. Yeah, you aren't geared for going berserk, most likely, being a wizard. Good luck with that!
  • Speak Underwater: For a P.P.E. and spell slot tax, you can be a human who casts your ocean magic underwater without penalties! Whoooo.
  • Strength of the Whale: Ironically, this spell is best for whales, who can use it to bump up their power strike to do 1d4 x 100 M.D.C., or just double their already impressive strength.
  • Summon Sea Friend: This lets you summon a sea creature randomly! If you're lucky, you get a friendly killer whale. Or you could end up with far less useful sea turtle. "Get them, Leonardo!" *nip*
  • Walk Like a Humanoid: This lets you give an aquatic creature legs which... not only looks goofy, doesn't prevent them from suffocating or dehydrating on land. Ooops.
  • Whirlpool: Gives a 90% chance of sinking any vessels, so if you don't know how to defeat those enormous Splugorth vessels, 50 P.P.E. will do it, apparently.

Kinda short this time, but need to save space, because...

Next: Everything you wanted to know about cetaceans. Except porpoises, because gently caress those assholes.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Do monster shrimps have less MDC than dolphins?

Grnegsnspm posted:

I think it's mostly just that America and Japan have really fetishized our high schools. Not just the school girl thing, either. We just have a lot of media dedicated to high school students and their sports or relationships or whatever. I think any country's high school students could be interesting, though, if just because being a teenager means you are a goddamn idiot with a bunch of hormones going crazy and you think you know what you're doing.

Yeah, that seems about right. It's the little things that make culture stand apart.

Tatum Girlparts posted:

Seriously what's with forgetting that the halfling iconic weapon used to be an actual pot of soup. A true halfling luchadore would weaponize his sausage cart.

It's not my fault. I didn't know halflings had such an awesome iconic weapon.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011
I MIGHT BE A DECENT PERSON BUT I'M ALSO DEEPLY, DEEPLY STUPID AND SHOULD NOT BE REPLIED TO

The halfling hot pot and the doom diver is one of the things that I am glad semi escaped Games Workshops obsession with darker and grittier.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


One of the big reasons I enjoy Warhammer Fantasy as much as I do is that it's a setting that has room for a driven hero battling cthulu horrors and then his buddy, who fights explosive ratmen by scalding them out of their little holes with fiery, spicy soup.

They can be in the same army, both trying to keep their lawyer alive because he's the one guy with the keys to the moneychest.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


Hostile V posted:

It's nice to know that one of the most dangerous classes is a big buff person with a machine gun wearing swim trunks, floaties, a snorkle and an aluminum foil hat yelling "SUFFER NOT A FISH TO LIVE" whenever they open fire or feel like it.
Its not necessarily the most dangerous thing in the game given that at-will no save blindness is a thing is this game.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



MadScientistWorking posted:

Its not necessarily the most dangerous thing in the game given that at-will no save blindness is a thing is this game.
Yeah but that's boring. Also, dangerous class unless there's a class that just revolves around just blinding opponents. BB Gun Marksman, Eye-Gouger, Sorrow Spider Trainer, Shish Kebab Dual-Weapon Master, Knife-Glove Boxer, Chronic Onanistomancer....

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Tenra Bansho Zero


Let's cover some (not so) giant robots, shall we?

Armour

Say hello to my little friend.

Armours are the stars of any battlefield. Their sheer firepower makes them a force to behold, and their size and appearance makes them both a terrifying foe to fight and a giant humanoid banner to rally the own troops. Waging a war withou sufficient Armours is foolish, and a lord can measure his wealth and power (as well as their standing with the Shinto priesthood before the schism) by how many Armours he has under his command.

Technical Stuff

Armours are for the most part pretty small compared to your typical Japanese mecha and much closer to something you find in Heavy Gear (probably so their pilots can better interact with the non-mecha PCs). There are no hard numbers presented, but Armours are somewhat over twice as tall as an average human.
Building an Armour requires plenty of Scarlet Steel and Onmyojutsu-infused magitek muscles to allow for movement. Power for said movement is provided the with a Heart Engine, which is not only an infinite source of energy, but also the only real energy generator on Tenra aside from windmills (if you count them) and whatever secret pre-colonization stuff the Shinto priesthood as stashed in its basements.
Armour cockpits are very streamlined in that the only kind of control interface used is either a meikyo or kimenkyo mirror. The pilot - called an Armour Rider plugs his special interface helm into the mirror and can then control the Armour like his own body.

Meikyo Armour

The oldest and most powerful kind of Armour. Easily recognized by their armour- or lifelike appearance and lavish decorations, with at least one of its weapons being heavily customized or a unique creation. It is not uncommon for a meikyo Armour to be a sort of family heirloom, being passed down from one generation to the next.

The unique trait of meikyo mirrors is that they transfer the Rider's soul into themselves while he is interfaced, absorbing the Karma generated by him to improve the Armour's power and reaction time. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that too much Karma makes it very easy for the Rider to turn into an Asura (they instantly become one as soon as they have over 108 Karma, whereas everyone else can just wait till the end of the next Intermission to get that number down). Becoming an Asura while interfaced is especially nasty, as the Rider's soul is now forever trapped inside the mirror and the Armour becomes his de facto body.

As a security measure against such an event, meikyo mirrors will reject anyone who is burdened by too much Karma. And just to make sure, the mirror will never accept that Rider ever again.
It is for this reason that meikyo armours are not piloted by a noble lord and his retainers, but by their underaged children, for only they are innocent and sheltered enough to have an insignificant amount of Karma. Still, gaining Karma is part of human life (especially when you're killing people by the hundreds as a giant death machine), and most Riders don't even get past their teenager phase before the mirror rejects them.

(If your going by the the artwork, pretty much all meikyo Riders are girls. I guess the boys are busy taking bushido lessons or something.)

Before the schism, it was normal for these teenagers to just move on with their life. But now, a new kind of Armour has been born.

Kimen Armour

When the Northern Court made the knowledge of meikyo creation public, it quickly turned out that they apparently held back a lot of secrets. Though these new kimenkyo mirrors may be inferior to their meikyo ocunterpart, they are nevertheless easier to come by and faster to produce.
With these kimenkyo came the kimenkyo Armours (abbreviated as Kimen Armour), who like the mirrors controlling them are much more mechanical, functionally-designed knockoffs of the meikyo Armours. Still, any shortages in direct power are easily countered by mass-producing Kimen Armours. As a result, the traditionalistic Southern Court was forced to crank up their meikyo mirror production to keep their loyal lords competitive.

With none of the soul-sucking Karma shenanigans of their meikyo counterparts, Kimen Armour readily accept any Rider. Noble Armour Riders that have been rejected by their family's meikyo Armour are now able to continue their service, and the huge influx of Armours has led to the recruitment of Rider candidates with a lower social status.


All onboard the Armour train!

Armours are not only more numerous than they have ever been, but Kimen Armour smiths are also broadening the combat roles of the Armour, like Armour with wheels or tank threads to break through entrenchments or even pure support Armour that is essentially an APC with a humanoid torso.
Since the Northern Court also lifted an old ban on high altitude flight, Armour smiths have begun to tinker with flight systems in order to challenge the shikigami's air superiority role. Still the Southern Court still uses the ban, and flying to close to their HQ has a good chance of you vanishing forever.

Another neat benefit of the Kimen Armour is the greater availability of replacement parts. The standardized and modular design of Kimen Armour even makes it possible to perform extensive reconfigurations between missions.

Armour Frames

Aside from the general meikyo/kimenkyo divide, there exists a couple sub-types (or frames) aside from the standard Armour:

Suit Armours originally started as experiments to create wearable Kongohki (a first hint at their nature) that didn't quite work out. The advent of the Kimen Armour has created new interest in Suit Armour, as they make for some pretty cheap shock troopers. Overall, they are less rad Kongohki that can still have a social life.

(I have a suspicion that Suit Armours were a rather late addition to the game. They have no artwork related to them, and they are the only kind of Armour that doesn't even get a passing mention in the settings book.)


Icky.

Living Armours combine annelid (aka super monster parasites) knowledge with normal Armour smith know-how to create an Armour whose outer layer is largely composed of living tissue. This gives the armor a pretty gross and monstrous appearance, but allows for some nice annelid powers, like gaining regeneration or being able to hulk out.


Clearly not overcompensating for anything.

Great Armours are the pinnacle of Armour design, being much more taller than any other Armour and requiring two Riders (usually a driver and a gunner), each with their own mirror (one of which must be a meikyo). Despite their truly fearsome power, Great Armour are rarely used because the dangers to the two Riders are multiplied, as only one of them needs to become an Asura for the other to become one as well. Armour with even more Riders are even rarer for this reason.

Only mentioned, but not codified with rules are transformable and combinable Armours.

Rules

Armours only have physical Attributes (Body, Agility and Sense) which replace the Rider's when he interfaces. Interfacing also causes all physical skill checks to use the Rider's Interface skill - except when he's using an Art of War skill (aka martial arts style).
Since Vitality and Wound Track are usually determined with Body + Will, Armours only use Body.
By default, the only extra sense an Armour has is the so-called Lifepulse, a kind of sonar for living beings.

Meikyo Armour Riders will have the grand majority of their starting Karma be stored inside their meikyo mirror, who will gobble up any Karma he generates while interfaced. The amount of stored Karma is used to calculate the meikyo bonus, which are bonus dice added to any physical Armour roll (going from +0 to +6, though PCs will have to make do with a max. bonus of +5 because +6 is Asura-only territory). As noted above, interfaced Armour Riders can't go above 108 Karma during a Scene and get rid of the excess Karma during the Intermission. They immediately go Asura.
Even with the juicy meikyo bonus, a Rider eventually has to somehow get some Karma off his meikyo mirror. To do this, he can either hire a Buddhist monk to berform a cleansing ritual, or draw some of the Karma into himself by raising one of his Fates during an Intermission.

Armour Creation

After picking the Armour's Frame - which determines amount of Attribtue points to spend and the required Station of the Rider (the latter behing much lower on a kimenkyo model), it is time to decide the overall design of the Armour. You'll then have several slots to spend on special Armour equipment, built-in weapons and upscaled mechanica (aka cybernetics). Armours can also wield upscaled weapons from the general weapon list (who get a nice damage bonus in the case of melee weapons) as long as they have slots to store them in.

While Armour designs can greaty vary from the standard humanoid form, doing so makes it harder to pilot as the Rider has to adapt to this strange form. This is represented by giving non-humanoid designs worse or at least less balanced Attribute modifiers.

Head Gear

The first cutomization step is purely cosmetical and involves picking a face and helmet type. The face can be either humanoid (be it demonic, very human-like or your typical mecha affair) or a skull (if you're a fan of Rifts or BattleTech). The helmet can be either a classic samurai kabuto, or a fabulous plume helmet. If you're familiar with Super Robot Wars, this means you get to pick between the Daizengar or the Aussenseiter.

Unsurprisingly, slots in the head region go into improved or additional senses like night vision, motion detection and the Sha Sensor for Onmyojutsu Riders. Also handy are the Eyes of Distant Death, an aptly-named targeting aid system for ranged weapons. No rules for Gundam-style vulcans, but it should be possible to just mount a repeater on a head slot.

Upper Torso and Arms

Each Armour has to have at least 2 arms (probably so any Armour can wield weapons). Other than that, you can have as many pairs as you require slots. Additional arm pairs result in a negative modifier to Body and Senses, but they improve your Agility.

Slots in this region offer a variety of specialized equipment. The Backpersonnel Transport turns your Armour in an APC to carry soldiers around, and you even get a free infantry-scale weapon with it. Heaven's Fire are jump jets, and Rotor Blades as well as Thruster Wings give you different flavors of flight.
If you're paranoid about your Armour falling into enemy hands, you can install a self-destruct device with the Brilliant Flower of Destruction.

Lower Torso and Legs

Aside from your typical two-legged form, you can take no legs to make a tank or snake robot. This option has the worst Attribute modifiers and the fewest slots, but it replaces the standard Unarmed Attack with a Rolling/Crushing attack that scales nicely with Body.
Four legs give you a centaur robot with doubled movement speed and the most torso slots of them all. With six or more legs, you can make a crustacean, instectoid or arachnoid Armour with lots and lots of leg slots.

Aside from a more spacious APC section than the upper torso, there are a variety of movement boosters whose choice depends on the amount of legs used: any legged Armour can take Heaven Roller Legs to replace their legs with large wheels for quadrupled movement speed and a bonus to evasion. Armour with 2 or 4 legs can instead choose to get themselves rollerskates in the form of the Gale Speed Rollers that only work on flate surfaces. 4 or more legs allow the installation of Hover Replacements for double movement rates and of course some nice hover ability. 0 to 2 legs allow you to take the Legs of the Water Dragon for underwater operations.

Armour Weapons

Aside from wielding oversized normal weapons, Armours can have a variety of built-in weapons, most of which are only allowed to be installed in one or two locations.

Melee weapons naturally go into the arms or legs:

  • Explosive Spiker: A gunpowder-enhanced spear attached to the arm or leg. To continue the SRW analogues, this allows you to be the Alt Eisen.
  • Twin Blades: Double-bladed arm or leg blades that are also gemblades according to their ROF.
  • Vajra Claws: Pretty rad Freddy-Krueger-style claws for your hands or feet. Also gemblades.
  • White Heat Palm: Your Shining Finger (or Shining Toe) attack. You can boost the damage by spending Soul, though Armour-scale White Heat Palms are very inefficient in that you have to pay 2 Soul for each +1 in damage.

Ranged weapons are possible the most feared Armour weapons of them all, because some of them have a range of up to 4 kilometers. Most of these go into either the upper or lower torso, with some also fitting into the legs.

  • Repeating Cursed Lancer: Your standard rifle or cannon
  • Peerless Cursed Lancer: The same deal, only as a gatling.
  • Fury of the Kami: A massive cannon with an equally massive power and range.
  • Roaring Dragon Mortar: Lobs big soulgem shells for AoE damage.
  • Shikidan Howler Cannon: Employing the help of a screaming shikigami, this cannon essentially fires a guided missile. It deals fixed damage and always hits, though the target can reduce and even negate the damage by evading. Has to be reloaded after each shot.
  • Twin Shikidan Cannon: Just the same deal with an additional shot.
  • Raiden Mortar: This baby combines everything after the lancers. It is a Shikidan round with the range of a Fury and the AoE of a Roaring Dragon. Only one shot per Scene, though.

Next Time: Onmyojutsu sorcery. Who's that Shikigami?!

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:37 on Nov 12, 2015

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Alien Rope Burn posted:

[*]Abilities of a Snail: That's loving right, you have antennae and the ability to stick to surfaces, double carry weight, survive deeper depths, and sneak better, thanks to snail power!

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

[*]Abilities of a Snail: That's loving right, you have antennae and the ability to stick to surfaces, double carry weight, survive deeper depths, and sneak better, thanks to snail power!
Does this also mean that your penis becomes as long as you are tall and sticks out of your forehead, like a snail's does?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Doresh posted:

Do monster shrimps have less MDC than dolphins?

Here's your ridiculously complicated answer, because this is Palladium. Monster shrimp wizards have 15 M.D.C. /level, so anywhere from 15 to 225, depending on the wizard.

On the other hand, dolphins get 9d6 + 6 hit points to start (average 37.5), plus 1d6 per level (after level 1), and S.D.C. of 2d4 x 10 (average 50). So dolphins have less M.D.C., having none, but they turn into M.D.C. creatures when on ley lines, doubling their H.P. and S.D.C. and using that as the M.D.C. value, for an average of 175 + 7/level. This means they generally hit 224 M.D.C. at level 8. It's possible for the shrimp to outpace them if the dolphin rolled some really bad stats, but on average a dolphin will always be tougher than the shrimp on a ley line, but weaker away from it.

You may ask "What if the monster shrimp is on a ley line? Doesn't that boost spells?" Unfortunately, it only boosts range, duration, and damage, and so the durability of the shrimp form remains unchanged.

FMguru posted:

Does this also mean that your penis becomes as long as you are tall and sticks out of your forehead, like a snail's does?

That is not one of the listed effects. However, while you get your speed reduced by 60%-80% while snailified, you also get +1 to dodge. Snails: masters of very, very slow evasion.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 9: "Thus, a playful dolphin who doesn't want his human playmate to leave, might say, 'No ... go. Play ... fun.' or string together words and phrases like, 'Go home.' 'Give ... more fish' 'Shark bad ... kill you.' 'Come ... now. Land people ... trouble. Bad. Go now.'"

Dolphins & Cetaceans


Finally, a character class that looks like a missile.

Dolphins and cetaceans, in precisely that order of importance.

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

Design Note: FOr those readers to look to our books for factual data, please be aware that much of this material is fictional, even though it may sound factual. The text is inspired by real world scientific evidence and research, but applied to the fictional world of Rifts where we can adjust reality any way we desire. Consequently, the degree of intelligence, subjective reasoning and natural abilities of cetacean RPG characters have been extrapolate on and taken to the extreme, with magic and psionic powers thrown into the mix. Still playing such a character makes you wonder about these amazing mammals and what their life in the ocean must be like.

Well, fair enough, that starts to explain why the dolphin abilities delve into nonsense about flying saucers! Wait, not quite. But it's a start, I suppose. :v:

Background: Before the Rifts

Boy, there sure are a lot of cetaceans! We get a lot of deal on pre-rifts human research into trying to learn to communicate and train dolphins, including:

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

Task training was an attempt to teach dolphins to perform simple tasks and routines. If successful, the animals could be used in a way similar to training dogs helping the blind, sniffing out drugs and bombs, herding sheep, etc.

I don't think dolphins are going to have much luck herding sheep. :(

It also notes that they discovered dolphins could use their senses to detect illness and were extraordinarily kind ot ill patients, and even somehow mysteriously healed some people. It was also believed that they could help doctors identify diseases, if only they could talk. Also the military tried to train dolphins, but they turned out be be bad soldiers, since they didn't want to hurt humans and were too smart to be tricked into it. Because dolphins are innately good, you see. Still, they tried giving dolphins cybernetics or power armor, and they found out genetic engineering could make them into aggressive, loyal, warriors, but if any lived past the rifts, they're a mystery the book just doesn't have time for.

It also notes that porpoises exist, but that they avoid humans, so gently caress 'em, they get no more mentions.

The Dolphins of Rifts Earth

So, the rifts made dolphins smart and *magical*. And without humans around, they were able to replenish their diminishing numbers. Despite the fact that humans tore up their ecosystem and hunted their brethren, most dolphins are glad to see humans again when they take to the sea, apparently having learned no lessons.

The Dolphin Community

It notes dolphins are social creatures and work together as teams and families to hunt, though they often split and separate for extended periods of times. Thanks to *magic*, killer whales are now smart enough to see hunting dolphins was wrong and now don't hunt dolphins very often, though there are still a few assholes hunting for dolphin treats.

Dolphins & Conflict

War is apparentlky unknown to dolphins, but they will gang up to defeat a predator or danger to the group, though they're inclined to let foes run, on account of magical, good, and gentle. They don't often fight amongst themselves and only a few are poisoned by bitterness or evil. Even evil dolphins generally don't kill or lead people to their deaths, though, because dolphins are, once again, innately good. The book even terms then "The Paladins of the Sea", a title for which killer whales don't qualify because they actually have a mortal grey area. However, some dolphins are racist against non-humans because they're strange and unfamiliar, and echolocation lets them tell a difference in people's innards.

In related news, dolphins apparently have no respect for privacy if they go around vibrating people's gutsnakes. :raise:

Technology

They're at one with nature, and so don't see a need for belongings or technology. They understand they're useful but see them as "dangerous toys". Of course, the lack of thumbs might prejudice them, but the book doesn't bring that up.

Foreign Relations

This is laid out like the South America books, so I guess Rifts likes it as a format. Also, it's the '90s and so you have to have every faction be super-opinionated about all other factions in the game. Fact!

The Splugorth actually like dolphins even though they don't like much of anything, because dolphins are that likeable. Granted, their idea of "liking" something is "experimenting on something and then throwing into arena combat", which dolphins are less keen on. The Naut'yll see dolphins as a threat to their continued expansion, and so there's a sort of cold war there. Naturally, dolphins, being innately good, oppose the Lord of the Deep at every turn. Triax is looking to try and militarize and train dolphins, but not very seriously. Dolphins get along fine with the Lemurians, whoever they are. They're also staunch allies with Tritonia and the New Navy.

Dolphins & The Human Language

Dolphins apparently are visual thinkers, and just refer to humans as "land people", cetaceans are "ocean people", and Lemurians are "good people". But D-bees are "the other" or "bad others", because even amongst innately good sea creatures, racism to D-bees lives on. They can learn human languages, but their vocal cords and visual brains apparently limit them to single words or three-to-four word sentences at most. Those with cybernetic vocal implants or telepathy can manage longer, but simple sentences. They're bad at reading, since they're bad at symbols, and not hot at math or anything involving precision measurements. They can learn the cardinal directions, though.

Yes, dolphins can talk now, because of *magic*. Unfortunately, they talk in child / imbecile chatter, as mentioned at the top of this article. Because:

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

Proper use of grammar, tenses, and sentence structure are beyond them; either that or they just don't care to learn them.

:rolleyes:

Dolphin Speak

Dolphin language is something humans can't learn outside of the occasional single word. We also get a lot of details on dolphin body language, so in case you want to know what a know what a dolphin wiggling means, consult this book. Wait, no, don't!

Dolphin R.C.C.


"So, how many skull robots do I get to draw-" "None, you'll draw loving dolphins and like it, Long."

Rifts World Seven: Underseas posted:

Playing a dolphin or killer whale as a player character can be a blast! There's something magical about such an alien, yet so familiar (also see bi-form Whale Singers). The character can be specially dynamic and interesting if the player tries to portray the dolphin in character, with their different view of life, thinking in pictures rather than words, high morals, innocence, and broken speech patterns.

You know, I've read a lot of R.C.C. writeups, and they often come with warnings like "this race is normally bad guys, so if you want to realllly play one, you can, but everybody will hate you, and GMs, don't forget to give them a hard time at every turn!" But for the most part, those character types generally can speak and walk with other PCs normally. Meanwhile, you have dolphins that require a special environment, can't communicate well, require technology or magic to function with most parties at all, and are likely to turn away from standard Rifts missilehobo operating procedure, and Rifts is like "hey, these guys you should super-play!" I don't get it.

So dolphins are pretty much tops over humans in every way - yes even Physical Beauty - except intelligence and, of course, thumbs or walking. Still, they have the big issue of only being S.D.C. creatures, so they have to rely on armor or magic just like humans, only with far fewer choices. Not that they start with armor of any sort, which is an issue. Their skill selections are barely worth mentioning; where most classes get around 15-30 skills, dolphins start with about 10. (They also, contrary to earlier, can't learn medical skills other than "Sea Holistic Medicine".)

However, they do get all their abilities I covered under pneuma-biforms - sensing electromagnetic energy, echolocation, sonic bursts, dolphin combat and maneuvering, a variety of small combat bonuses, their ley line magic, dolphin magic and other sea magic. They also have a small chance of psionic powers. Honestly, they're just missing a character ability that literally says "kitchen sink".

Next: Ecco gets mini-missiles.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 13:03 on Nov 14, 2015

FH_Meta
Feb 20, 2011


Honestly, given the lack of hands, what would they do with the kitchen once it's down there?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


FH_Meta posted:

Honestly, given the lack of hands, what would they do with the kitchen once it's down there?

Trying to stump me, eh?

12% of them can select telekinesis or ectoplasm (which lets you create ecto-arms) as a power. 3% can gain super telekinesis, electrokinesis, or telemechanics. All of them can learn a spell that lets them grow tentacles once they hit 3rd level if they want to.

Now we just need a working undersea kitchen and we should be all set, I'm sure a techno-wizard could figure something out.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Man, they really have it with dolphins and cetaceans, do they? And what's with the orca-apologist stuff? "No dear sir, orcas are now far too noble to kill fellow dolphins. It's those ruffians of the orcas that ruin things for everyone!"

(Though I presume orcas still do that thing where they eat cute little seals? Or has the power of Good turn them Vegan? Or are seals evil and therefore okay to eat? But what if evil food makes you evil, too?)

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Here's your ridiculously complicated answer, because this is Palladium. Monster shrimp wizards have 15 M.D.C. /level, so anywhere from 15 to 225, depending on the wizard.

On the other hand, dolphins get 9d6 + 6 hit points to start (average 37.5), plus 1d6 per level (after level 1), and S.D.C. of 2d4 x 10 (average 50). So dolphins have less M.D.C., having none, but they turn into M.D.C. creatures when on ley lines, doubling their H.P. and S.D.C. and using that as the M.D.C. value, for an average of 175 + 7/level. This means they generally hit 224 M.D.C. at level 8. It's possible for the shrimp to outpace them if the dolphin rolled some really bad stats, but on average a dolphin will always be tougher than the shrimp on a ley line, but weaker away from it.

You may ask "What if the monster shrimp is on a ley line? Doesn't that boost spells?" Unfortunately, it only boosts range, duration, and damage, and so the durability of the shrimp form remains unchanged.

Ouch. This is like 3.X, except worse and without the tiniest hint of consistency o_O

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Nov 14, 2015

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Doresh posted:

Man, they really have it with dolphins and cetaceans, do they? And what's with the orca-apologist stuff? "No dear sir, orcas are now far too noble to kill fellow dolphins. It's those ruffians of the orcas that ruin things for everyone!"

(Though I presume orcas still do that thing where they eat cute little seals? Or has the power of Good turn them Vegan? Or are seals evil and therefore okay to eat? But what if evil food makes you evil, too?)

A strict reading of Palladium alignments means you cannot kill prey for food unless you're evil (diabolic, specifically, aka psychopathy), because only diabolic characters can both "kill an innocent" and "attack and kill an unarmed foe". Obviously not rules as intended, but Palladium alignments are odd.

In any case, there's nothing indicating seals are "sentient" like dolphins are, so that sort of favoritism applies.

Doresh posted:

Ouch. This is like 3.X, except worse and without the tiniest hint of consistency o_O

It is, at heart, an AD&D or BRP knockoff with a poo poo-ton of cruft stacked on top of that.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Has anyone written up Blue Planet yet? Because I keep thinking of how that game lets you play uplifted orcas with rocket launchers.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Maxwell Lord posted:

Has anyone written up Blue Planet yet? Because I keep thinking of how that game lets you play uplifted orcas with rocket launchers.

No, it hasn't. Definitely an interesting game, though radically more serious from the "Ecco and Seaquest vs. Cthulhu and Cuttlefishmen" book I'm currently writing up.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


Doresh posted:

It is for this reason that meikyo armours are not piloted by a noble lord and his retainers, but by their underaged children, for only they are innocent and sheltered enough to have an insignificant amount of Karma. Still, gaining Karma is part of human life (especially when you're killing people by the hundreds as a giant death machine), and most Riders don't even get past their teenager phase before the mirror rejects them.

(If your going by the the artwork, pretty much all meikyo Riders are girls. I guess the boys are busy taking bushido lessons or something.)

Before the schism, it was normal for these teenagers to just move on with their life.
I remember, when I read the book, really digging on this setting detail; it's not just that the pilots are children, it's that the pilots are children deliberately raised in the most sheltered, naive, "us good, other guy bad" way possible in a effort to keep them functioning as child soldiers as long as possible. Of course, eventually they get too old (or see too much of the real world), at which point the little emotionally-retarded sociopath just gets cut loose and shoved into society at large. I think it's even one of the suggested character types.

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

Maxwell Lord posted:

Has anyone written up Blue Planet yet? Because I keep thinking of how that game lets you play uplifted orcas with rocket launchers.

I wrote up a Beluga Musician in the old 'Create a Character' thread, but I didn't go over it. It is a fantastic setting.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 10: "Since dolphins are the speed demons of the ocean's mammals, they love going fast!"

Dolphin and Orca Power Armor

So, you know all that talk about dolphins not needing technology? gently caress all that, it's time for dolphin power armor, because it's rad.

Sea-Snake Class
Fast Scout Power Armor



"The armor protects 90% of the character's body..."

So, Tritonia and the New Navy have started crafting special suits for dolphins that work or fight at their side. After working with them for a few years, they usually let the dolphin keep the suit. Apparently it uses "sonic signals" to let the dolphin unclamp and clamp the armor, and though it's not sealed, it does have an extra oxygen supply. Apparently, the dolphins are delighted that it lets them zoom around at 70 MPH, but aren't so thrilled with its laser arsenal, mainly using it to try and scare foes of rather than murder them, because dolphins are innately good, aside from the occasional bout of speciesism.

Their M.D.C. is very modest, and since it's not full-body, there are special rules where you can shoot the soft, squishy S.D.C. dolphin within if you get it from behind (Rifts has no positioning rules, tho) at a -5 penalty. The lasers are notably lovely, but it may be outfitted with torpedoes, but most dolphins won't bother using them except against supernatural evil (and the naut'yll, because gently caress those foreigners).

Man-O-War Class
Dolphin & Orca Combat Armor



Power armor, or a ray gun?

Most dolphins don't like this suit because it's too war-ish, except against the Lord of the Deep, but killer whales give no shits and load all the torpedoes.

The dolphin version is kinda low on M.D.C., but the killer whale version is average for power armor. Like before, you can shoot the operator if you have the right angle. This only goes 45 MPH, but can shoot lasers or rail guns for light damage, and its fin blades do about the same. It can also be kitted out with mini-torpedoes, but most dolphins are still too good for those.

Sea Tiger Class
Orca Combat Armor



It has rules for power armor bites. Tiny, pathetic power armor bites.

Orcas like guns, and they like this suit. Orca not think hard, orca shoot! This is near-identical to the Man-O-War, only with a bit more M.D.C. and melee damage, but it's a bit slower. And that's all!

Unicorn Scout Class
Killer Whale Combat Armor



It's not so good to be the spear when you get stuck, I bet.

This is based off the narwhal, but not for the narwhal, because gently caress those guys, amirite? And, unlike a narwhal, it really can stab folks. It's much like the Sea Tiger, only with an ion blaster instead of rail guns, and a big horn that looks badass but is actually a worse, lower-damage weapon. Ooops. Well, at least it gives bonus damage for point-blank enemies you've impaled, a bonus no other weapon in the game gets. (It's still not worth it, though.)

Next: Whale PCs. I don't need to add a joke to that.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 02:19 on Nov 16, 2015

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

There goes a narwhal!

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Firing energy weapons underwater doesn't seem like the best idea.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


The Lone Badger posted:

Firing energy weapons underwater doesn't seem like the best idea.

Oh, they accounted for that! ARB will be getting around to it soon.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

A strict reading of Palladium alignments means you cannot kill prey for food unless you're evil (diabolic, specifically, aka psychopathy), because only diabolic characters can both "kill an innocent" and "attack and kill an unarmed foe". Obviously not rules as intended, but Palladium alignments are odd.

In any case, there's nothing indicating seals are "sentient" like dolphins are, so that sort of favoritism applies.

...

It is, at heart, an AD&D or BRP knockoff with a poo poo-ton of cruft stacked on top of that.

So it's a special kind of heartbreaker. Nice.

Alien Rope Burn posted:


Power armor, or a ray gun?

In any case, it looks rad as heck.

AmiYumi posted:

I remember, when I read the book, really digging on this setting detail; it's not just that the pilots are children, it's that the pilots are children deliberately raised in the most sheltered, naive, "us good, other guy bad" way possible in a effort to keep them functioning as child soldiers as long as possible. Of course, eventually they get too old (or see too much of the real world), at which point the little emotionally-retarded sociopath just gets cut loose and shoved into society at large. I think it's even one of the suggested character types.

Even with that, the first real battlefield must be one hell of an experience for them.

And "Former Armour Rider" is one of the archetypes in the book. They start of with a hatred towards Armour, and they incidentally come right before the Armour Hunter archetype.

Speaking of TBZ...

Tenra Bansho Zero


Let's take a look at Tenra's magic system, which is based on some Japanese/Taoist occult summoning stuff.


What a lovely sight.

Onmyojutsu

Onmyojutsu is the art of the Onmyoji aka Taoist sorcerers, and it is the source of Tenra's magitek.

Onmyojutsu was most likely discovered/invented some time after the colonization of Tenra, as it revolves around the control of Sha, the gossamer-like energy (as the book loves to describe it) that flows through the whole planet. Think of the natural, friendly cousin to the Winds of Magic of the Old World.

The exact origin of Onmyojutsu is forgotten and shrouded in mystery. What is known is that it most likely involved the miki shrine maiden Moonsong and man called Horned Monk who was most likely an oni. According to the two main theories, Onmyojutsu was either discovered by the Shinto priesthood and brought to the public by Moonsong (making her some kind of Prometheus), or it was taught to Moonsong by the Horned Monk to adapt for human use.


Horned Monk and Moonsong.

The Shinto Priesthood denies that a miko named Moonsong ever existed, but the first theory seems to be the most likely as there are a lot of onmyoji among the priesthood, and contemporary oni don't actually use onmyojutsu.
To add further mystery to the whole deal, Moonsong's dying words supposedly had her admit that she spread Onmyojutsu to atone for her sins (whatever they were).

Shikigami

The main gimmick of onmyojutsu is that sorcerers can't cause direct magical effects (like your Flight or Fireball). Instead, they use Sha to construct a proto-lifeform known as a Shikigami to perform the desired effect for them (like serving as a flying mount of being essentially one of those Bomb enemy from Final Fantasy).
Shikigami summoning is done by writing a magical seal, charge it with the sorcerer's energy and have it start absorbing Sha till the Shikigami can be created. The seal is typically written on a strip of paper, but one can also draw it in the air or water if time is short.
After the Shikigami was created, it will only last for a couple of minutes before it runs out of energy, which experienced sorcerers can extend to a few hours. For a permanent creation, one needs the limitless energy supply of a Heart Engine, but those had their demand skyrocket ever since the invention of mass-produced kimenkyo mirrors. Oh, and using Heart Engines has an especially high chance of the Shikigami going berserk.


This guy is a dick.

As Shikigami a a pure creation of the sorcerer's mind, they can look like anything from a beautiful fairy to an Eldritch horror. Most of them tend to have soulgems embedded in their body, as sorcerers like adding them to their seals to reduce the required energy to start the Sha gathering process.

The maximum possible size of a Shikigami is greatly limited by the surrounding Sha energy. Trying to create anything truly big requires absurd amounts of energy and work. An example for this is provided with the biggest known Shikigami, the siege engine "Annihilation". Its summoning process required several life sacrifices and a prayer seal with a total area of 120 m˛.

Shadow of the Shikigami.

Types of Onmyoji

Aside from the classic sorcerer, there are various other professions who make use of Onmyojutsu: armours-miths design and build Armour, crafters churn out kimenkyo mirrors, kugutsu makers create the living art pieces that are the kugutsu, and ninja and Buddist use various magical techniques that are at least somewhat related to onmyojutsu. There are also the samurai, but we'll safe them for the next post.

Summoning Rules

The abilities of a Shikigami are limited by the amount of Creation Points spend on it. The maximum amount of Creation Points are based on the sorcerer's Onmyojutsu skill and Knowledge attribute. Before using soulgems to reduce the cost, the sorcerer has to pay half the Creation Points as Soul, with the surrounding Sha contributing the rest. During combat, it takes till the end of the next round for the Shikigami to be completely summoned and ready to act.
If the sorcerer wants to, he and the Shikigami will share senses with each other, which is handy for spying. The downside is that the Shikigami's destruction will cause a feedback that causes damage to the sorcerer.

The two main ways of Shikigami creation are Random Creation and Crafting. The first option has the sorcerer yank the first best Shikigami into creation. This has the advantage of creating a Shikigami that is most likely stronger than what he could summon otherwise, but it comes with the obvious drawback of having a random assortment of powers, and there is a chance that the Shikigami will go out of control, turning into either a Runaway (a normal Shikigami without master) or a Chimera (a powerful, twisted rage Shikigami). Other than in these two instances, the Shikigami will always be 100% loyal.
Crafting takes more preparation as it involves painting the entire "blueprint" of the Shikigami. It will therefore have the exact powers the sorcerer wants, but its base attributes and skills will be slightly lower than a random creation.
The mass-produced kimenkyo mirrors gave rise to a third method used by young hipster sorcerers involving one of those mirrors linked to an abacus, creating a sort of computer that can store and upload Shikigami blueprints on the fly. The result is a kind of semi-random creation, as the sorcerer can limit the pool of possible powers and avoids any chance of the Shikigami going berserk.
Using meikyo mirrors allows for the creation of more powerful Shikigami based on the meikyo's Karma, but it is quite rare for meikyos to be used in this way.

Shiki-Slinging

As mentioned, it takes till the end of the next round for the Shikigami to take its first action. If the sorcerer wants to have the Shikigami ready ASAP, he can use "Shiki-slinging" to get it ready in the same round.
Shiki-slinging involves drawing the seal and saying the prayers as fast as possible, and it is the only kind of summoning that actually requires any kind of check. Failing this check means the sorcerer made a mistake that always creates a runaway Shkigami.

Talismans

Shikigami can be bound to an inanimate object (usually; wait till the next post) to serve as a talisman. This has quite a few advantages: Summoning a Shikigami through the talsiman is somewhat faster than normal summoning (with the Shikigami acting normally in the next round), it can be used even by non-sorcerers, and the Shikigami will always be the same instead of a new creation every time. Even getting destroyed only has it retreat back into the talisman (with a few exceptions).

Shikigami Abilities

The various active and passive powers a Shikigami can have. A lot of these can have multiple levels for added effect.

  • Additional Damage: Self-explanatory. Useful when turning a weapon into a talisman.
  • Combat Ability: Increases all of the Shikigami's abilities and its Vitality.
  • Explode: To make a Final Fantasy Bomb.
  • Flight: For air superiority.
  • Gaseous Form: Very handy for spy duties.
  • Phantasm: Allows the sorcerer to target someone with an illusion through the Shikigami. The illusion can cover all sense, which is quite nice.
  • Poison: For a bit of DOT.
  • Possession: Vital for talisman creation and of course also able to take control of someone.
  • Prolong Summoning: Multiplies the amount of time the Shikigami can exist.
  • Ranged Attacks: Lightning bolts and other fun stuff. Requires Additional Damage to actually do anything.
  • Regeneration: Makes the Shikigami tankier.
  • Sense Link: As described above. Has no cost, and the sorcerer can always decide whether the Shikigami has this or not.
  • Shapechange: It's polymorph.
  • Shiki Destroyer: This handy ability gives each succesful hit against a fellow Shikigami a chance to destroy it instantly, though the attacker itself gets destroyed as well.
  • Soulfind: Like the Lifepulse of an Armour, this is used to sense living beings.
  • Transmutation: The sorcerer picks a substance, and the Shikigami can sacrifice itself to turn itself and any nearby nonliving matter into the substance. Not very useful for a talisman Shikigami as it will not return.

Next Time: Samurai - Shikigami May Cry.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 11: "While a Killer whale has never slain a human, they often bite and kill aquatic humanoids, D-bees, aliens, and mutants."

Killer Whale R.C.C.
Also Known as the Orca



As produced by Dino De Laurentiis.

So, firstly, even though they use it as the class name, they pick apart the name "killer whale" as a misnomer, explaining that though killer whales can be savage hunters, they almost never attack - and certainly never kill - humans. I'm sure seals are thrilled with that anthropocentric hair-splitting.

Orca organize into pods and apparently hunt as a group tactically and are more vicious than dolphins. Though they'll readily befriend humans, they're extra racist against D-bees and most aquatic humanoids. And sometimes eat them, because gently caress you, bumpy heads. That being said, though they aren't the "paladins" dolphins are, they don't often fight amongst themselves and live in harmony with nature etc. But they're still "the only cetacean that prey on warm-blooded animals". This isn't true in real life, but they can use their illusions, let it take them where it may.

So orcas are, like dolphins, superior to humans in all but smarts (including, once again, beauty). Similarly, their skills are utterly anemic, but unlike dolphins, they can start with a suit of power armor if they're working with Tritonia or the New Navy. They have pretty much all the abilities dolphins have, save of the fact that they get to pick which type of magic (dolphin, ocean, or spellsong) they want to learn.

Sperm Whale R.C.C.


The smuggo of the sea.

Yes, in case you didn't think dolphins or orca were impractical enough, here's a class that'll leave your GM scratching their head. The book calls them the "king of mammals" and notes that sperm whales can gently caress up giant squids. Except. They actually can't, unless they're on a ley line, since squids are M.D.C. and whales aren't. Granted, with magic a Rifts whale will destroy that squid, but without it a whale is squid food, just like in the illustration of the giant octopus.

That hair-splitting aside, we are reminded that [sigh]whales are gentle to humans and never attack us unprovoked[/sigh] and that they organize into "clans" of families or a "harem" around a single male. Naturally, their strength , but they're ugly unlike other cetaceans. Their S.D.C. is bizarrely low for their size, though, and even a human juicer will outpace them by far in toughness. They're sightly more skilled than their smaller cousins, and oddly enough, they get automatic psionics? Sperm whales are naturally psychic, though most just get a bit of ESP and mental defenses. The get most of the powers of a dolphin, plus a keen taste sense. They can do (pitful) M.D.C. with their strength, but when pumped up by magic, they can deal a ridiculous 1d4 x 100 M.D.C. with a ram and actually become effective combatants - though their M.D.C. is still surprisingly low. They don't get as much magic power, though, and can only use ley lines to become M.D.C., shoot bolts, double speed, and heal. They also only can learn spellsongs, generally to their detriment, unlike their more flexible and wee cousins.

Humpback Whale R.C.C.


Look out, baddies! They'll filter you with their baleen!

They have pretty songs! And baleen plates! Facts are over, time for Rifts to work its magic. So, they're slightly weaker than sperm whales, get more spellsongs, but have weaker psionics. If this seems short it's that Rifts often makes a statblock and just repeats it with minor variations, and this is another variation. Another two and a half pages filled, and that's it!

Since this is a little short, have a pocket murphy's: whales actually get a bonus to sneaking, and are better at sneaking than many humans.

The Tail End of the Conversation

So, like the fact that we have dolphin PCs and a big focus on dolphins is cool, but the book loves them to the point I'm just completely worn out on dolphins now. I mean, the fact that dolphins are straight-up prettier and more charming than humans makes my eyes roll back into my skull until I can see my own brains. It's a neat idea, Rifts just approaches it like a six-year old that just read a book on dinosaurs and wants to tell you all that they've learned at excurciating length, plus one or two things from a children's story where a dinosaur fought aliens with lasers. It's a neat idea beaten well past death.

It also just makes me think of how anti-technology Rifts is, strangely enough, despite all of its mecha shows and gun parades. The most happy, peaceful, and good people are invariably those combine a reverence for nature with magic spells. We saw it in England, Africa, South America, and now Underseas. Oh, and it isn't nearly over. We'll see that theme again and again in future books, and it will not get any fresher. Siembieda likes to idealize native peoples and animals, and the dolphin section is a perfect storm of the two.

Next: fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Dec 20, 2015

CISscum
Nov 15, 2014


Doresh posted:


This guy is a dick.
He surely looks the part!

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Doresh posted:

Talismans

Shikigami can be bound to an inanimate object (usually; wait till the next post) to serve as a talisman. This has quite a few advantages: Summoning a Shikigami through the talsiman is somewhat faster than normal summoning (with the Shikigami acting normally in the next round), it can be used even by non-sorcerers, and the Shikigami will always be the same instead of a new creation every time. Even getting destroyed only has it retreat back into the talisman (with a few exceptions).

I like the idea of a non-sorcerer who's gotten their hands on a talisman for a Flight/Additional Damage/Explode shikigami and has gone all mad-bomber with it.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





Afterthought 19 - The Longest Nard, so called because it's goddamned enormous. We answer a million questions, discuss some recent fan art, including a game that a listener made out of the shreds we left behind while ripping into Panty Explosion. That was pretty cool of him.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Crasical posted:

I like the idea of a non-sorcerer who's gotten their hands on a talisman for a Flight/Additional Damage/Explode shikigami and has gone all mad-bomber with it.

Yeah. It's a great way for some added utility and options to spend your Soul on if you don't use it already. Talismans are effectively Pokéballs. And a talisman weapon will not only most likely have a higher base damage, but will also double that upon activating and even attack on its own.

Though Explode is one of those one-shot talisman tricks. Talisman Shikigami can't recover from using a power that involves them sacrificing themselves. Still, you can throw a fake bomb that summons a bomb monster.

Tenra Bansho Zero


Let's take a look at feudal Dante.

Samurai

I think you should see a doctor about that. EDIT: Whoops, wrong picture.

Unlike feudal Japan, Tenra doesn't use the term "samurai" to refer to a "proud noble/warrior class guy". That's just a proud noble/warrior class guy. Tenran samurai are rather swordsmen whose path to become the best there is led them down a road that had them exchange their humanity for raw power.

Remember all the talk about talisman? How they usually are inanimate objects with a Shikigami bound to them? Well, a samurai is what you get if you bind a Shikigami to a human body. The are a fusion between man and spirit and can "activate" themselves to add the Shikigami's powers to their own.
Some powers can't be used by a samurai, and others don't make a lot of sense. Samurai typically settle for Additional Damage, Combat Ability, Regeneration and the occasional Flight. You could make a more sneaky samurai who's into poison or illusions, but most samurai aren't that subtle. Ranged Attacks are also an option, but it is gerneral more cost-effective to just pick a soulgem gun.
As a talisman, any Shikigami with Shiki Destroyer seriously ruins their day, though at least this power won't actually destroy their Shikigami and merely force them out of their not-Devil-Trigger.

When transforming, samurai experience more or less severe physical changes, including anything from skin color changes, inflated muscles, chitinous protrusions, wings or a downright demonic appearance. Samurai Gem Sparda would be a totally fine option.

Becoming a samurai involves having a bunch of soulgems implanted into your skin. They house the Shikigami, and the more you use, the less Soul you have to pay to activate the transformation (just like with any summoning). This process can take months, is extremely painful and can easily result in your death. And you have to make sure that the sorcerer performing the binding is trustworthy, as it is all too easy for him to "install" an Explode-based kill switch into the Shikigami, or a mind control trigger. Even a trustworthy sorcerer will most likely insist on a secret code word that can instantly activate or deactivate the transformation, with the added bonus of the caller sharing senses with the samurai.

If the swordsman survives the samuraification process, he is now a sterile demi-human with funky body tattoos and lots of soulgems sticking out of his skin. They're certainly not inconspicuous fellows.
After the binding is complete, the samurai can't just implant more soulgems into himself to reduce the activation cost, nor can he alter or improve the Shikigami. All of this would require to get rid of the current Shikigami and repeat the whole process all over again. This is not only just as dangerous as last time, but becoming a samurai (again) after chargen generally makes your Karma shoot through the roof.

As a dangerous killing machine that gave up its humanity, samurai are both feared and hated by normal humans. But since simple villagers aren't stupid enough to enrage the swordsman that could demolish their entire town, they will usually be very generous and nice to any wandering samurai.
Their immense power makes them popular retainers or mercenaries, though lords and other rich people tend to care more about a samurai's power than the samurai itself. The battlefield is usually the only place they can truly call home.


Introducing the PredaHorse.

Aside from samurai, one can turn ordinary animals into talismans. The most popular example is the tenba (aka "heavenly horse"), the only kind of horse that stands a chance in the crazily grimdark battlefields of Tenra.

Next Time: Buddhist monks - You Wa Shock!

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Nov 18, 2015

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Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Alien Rope Burn posted:

That hair-splitting aside, we are reminded that [sigh]whales are gentle to humans and never attack us unprovoked[/sigh] and that they organize into "clans" of families or a "harem" around a single male.
The coincidence of this review happening around the same time a movie about the whaleship Essex is being promoted is not lost on me. I'm not sure if RIFTS's commentary on cetaceans is quite as hilarious as GURPS 4E's "chimpanzees are peaceful herbivores that won't fight unless their young are threatened", but it's up there.

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