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  • Locked thread
Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Doresh posted:

Does anyone know whether or not the last edition of Gamma World happened before or after Wizards tried to add a bit of Magic the Gathering to 4th edition with those weird Destiny cards, or however they were called?

I don't know, but I'd guess it predates it. I don't remember any references to cards in any of my early 4E stuff, but the GW box came with a deck and an attendant collectible mechanism the stupidity of which I hadn't seen since Changeling cantrip cards.

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Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Bieeardo posted:

I don't know, but I'd guess it predates it. I don't remember any references to cards in any of my early 4E stuff, but the GW box came with a deck and an attendant collectible mechanism the stupidity of which I hadn't seen since Changeling cantrip cards.

I guess it sorta works in the context of Gamma Terra, but not making it a Living Card Game was pretty silly.

4th Edition (or I think just Essentials) had these booster cards which I think you gained on a crit or so. Either failing to understand part of the charm of their Magic cards, or just being plain old greedy, the grand majority of these cards didn't actually have any artwork on them, just a generic symbol depending on the type of card.

Oh, and as for the thread title: FATAL & FRIENDS 2016: Turbo Championship Edition Revised

Doresh fucked around with this message at 19:57 on Jan 5, 2016

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



FATAL and Friends 2016: The Kickstarter Feedback Changed Nothing

Serf
May 5, 2011




FATAL & Friends 2k16: The Hateful d8

FATAL & Friends 2016: No, not that John Wick

FATAL & Friends The Fourth: Now we are all sons of liches

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

FATAL & FRIENDS 4TH EDITION CORE RULEBOOK

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


For some reason "The Good, the Bad, and the d20." came to mind while exercising, it's fitting but... maybe trite? Also maybe something playing off of 4 (episode IV?) with this being the fourth thread? Hm.

Tasoth posted:

Fatal and Friends Revised: Burning Both Ends of the Wick.

No way am I putting his name in the title. Or any other name, really.

Doresh posted:

Oh, and as for the thread title: FATAL & FRIENDS 2016: Turbo Championship Edition Revised

4th Edition? Ultimate Edition would be little too self-serving, I think.

PurpleXVI posted:

I guess I should put off the next HSD post until after the new thread starts, then. :v:

I don't think anybody needs to put their posts off in the meantime unless you're starting a new review. inklesspen's archives should be archiving either way. But is there anybody who is doing a review that wants to keep this thread open until it's finished? I'll probably ask Ettin to close it once we have a new thread, since END ME SCOOB divested themselves of responsibility on the thread awhile back.

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man




inklesspen posted:

My archive is now (to the best of my knowledge) completely caught up with all three threads, with two exceptions: at some point Evil Mastermind rebooted the TORG review and I skipped the reboot because I would like EM to tell me what to do about that (merge it with the previous one, delete the previous one, etc), and also I skipped the fanskin writeups for Monsterhearts and Apocalypse World because they seemed to require a lot of back-and-forth conversation posts to make sense.

I have a few requests going forward:
  1. If you make a post that ought to go in a writeup, please do not quote or reply to posts that have nothing to do with your writeup; I have to edit these out or else your writeup looks cluttered in the archive
  2. For the love of $DEITY, please put a subtitle in your post saying what it's about; if I can't easily spot one, I'll just label it "post 1", "post 2", etc.

I will generally aim for the archive to be no more than a week behind the thread; my software downloads new posts every hour, but I probably won't add posts into the writeups more than every other day. (I also intend to change "ongoing" writeup status to "abandoned" if they go two months without a post. Probably nobody will care, but I figured I'd mention it.)

Hey inkless my last ten or so entries in my habitually delayed C:tL review, all in this thread, don't seem to be archived. Not sure why.

Also I suggest FATAL & Friends 2016 - A Review-Your-Own-Adventure Thread

(Also I wouldn't critique the Eclispe Phase furry book too hard; dragons that live, fly and breathe fire yet die to dudes with swords is just as much of a fetish imo)

Gerund fucked around with this message at 20:32 on Jan 5, 2016

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kavak posted:

Fatal Friends 2016: The Neverending Storygame II: The Next Edition

Fatal Friends 2016: The Neverending Storygame III: Dream Warriors

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I am rather proud that I'm going to be the only person who's doing a readthrough/review that spans three threads. :v:


(God why did I do this to myself I originally started Torg on April 15, 2013 :smithicide:)

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Evil Mastermind posted:

I am rather proud that I'm going to be the only person who's doing a readthrough/review that spans three threads. :v:


(God why did I do this to myself I originally started Torg on April 15, 2013 :smithicide:)
I mean if time is the fourth dimension, then congrats, you're doing a pretty good job being a High Lord attacking parallel threads with your review.

(I kid, I like your Torg reviews)

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





FATAL and Friends 2016: Black Leaf's Revenge

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Werewolf: the Apocalypse was a game that wanted to both have werewolf society be horribly flawed and also have it be largely correct about the world and never really reconciled those two notions.

Right about the problem, wrong about the solution?

LornMarkus
Nov 8, 2011



FATAL and Friends 2016: A Lamentable Pile of System Mastery

Partially in honor of our favored sons, but also because our collective knowledge of these awful systems is slightly embarrassing.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Fatal Friends 2016: The Neverending Storygame III: Dream Warriors

The Neverending Storygame III: Escape from Sprechenhaltestelle.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Fatal Friends 2016: The Neverending Storygame III: Dream Warriors

Fatal & Friends 2016: The Final Storygame (Not)

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!


Hc Svnt Dracones: Extended Core



New Rules

This section is mostly a section of various minor new rules adjustments, though for some reason it adds something you'd have figured would be vital to the actual core game, motivations and "compulsions." Motivations have no mechanical impact at all, while compulsions mean gaining a tiny advantage in exchange for a social flaw. This works about as well as it ever has in any RPG, i.e. not at all, since they mostly mean you're encouraged to do things adventurers already do. I.e. be aggressive, gather loot and stay with your friends. The only real thing of note is that there's a Motivation which basically means your character(somehow) has memories of the human era and longs dreamily for it, feeling more human than Vector. Basically you're a sort of reverse Otherkin. Aside from that, there's mostly new gear and body mods to implement.

Prehensile Tail posted:

Though not a trait associated with any of the major species in most Vector families, the genetic keys for tail control were carefully preserved and cataloged through those few members that possessed it as a potential advantage that could be used later. Pulse has wanted to make this particular trait universally available as a General Operation for ages, but it was, currently, classified as a heritage trait for specific lizards and rats, which protected it under ancient codes of conduct put in place to avoid potential unforeseen genetic complications from the mixing of incompatible genes that might someday result in the sterilization, and subsequent destruction, of a species. Only after years of testing, computer models and no shortage of payoffs has it finally been reclassified as a universal commodity.

So, firstly, the genes for a prehensile tail can literally just be cut-and-pasted to make one happen. This is worse knowledge of biology than Wraeththu.

Secondly, "protected under ancient codes of conduct"? What ancient codes? There's no global/interplanetary regulatory bodies, there are just corporations. Laws barely even exist.

Thirdly, people are literally producing their own loving home-made mutant babies, corporations are literally making servitor species, why the gently caress does anyone care about careless implementation of tails for the general populace?

There's also the "Hive Node" implant, which basically starts up a hive mind that others with Hive Nodes can join, giving everyone in the hive access to their memories, knowledge and perspective. It's described as making everyone superhumanly understanding and cooperative, with relatively little individuality... and seems to be described as more dangerous than drugs, Whispers(Space Blood Ghosts), the slenderman knockoffs from the first book or in fact most other things. I suppose there's an obvious joke present in a corporation-fellating RPG describing something involving sharing in the same terms as a dangerous drug. :v:

And a bit of body horror that's reasonably well-done, essentially there's Nublood(replaces all your blood with a superior synthetic substance, and rejiggers your body to produce it instead of Blood Classic(tm)), and "Inteliformic Flesh," essentially integrating a very powerful self-repair system in a body that's been filled with Nublood. The downside is that the more repair you undergo as a result of being injured, the more of your body is replaced with the new flesh. It causes no mental damage, even when it eventually subsumes your brain, but it does effectively make you shapeless, until you're basically just a plasmic blob that can manifest limbs and pseudopods as needed. It mostly replaces your vulnerability to being shot with bullets with a vulnerability to ultrasound and electromagnetic fields, as well as water, since you end up being too dense to swim from all the tissue replacement.

Aside from that, 60 or so pages are wasted on dull, dull, dull stuff, mostly describing minor house rules you can choose to apply or not.

Lore

Honestly, the main draw for me in getting this to review was never whatever new abominations of the rules they were going to come up with, but the new fluff.



The ~Lore~ is given in a mix of IC and OOC stuff. IC is that kid explaining to the naked lizard-thing in the trenchcoat what her world is like, OOC is just, you know, narrators talking to us. For some reason this girl, supposedly ten years old, has an in-depth understanding of how mega-engineered arcology blocks work. Mind, how it works is retarded.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

The building pipes natural light in through solar tubes and each of the levels has its own sort of ‘sky’ I guess.

Why would you pipe in natural light? I mean, even assuming that you could gather a bunch of it with reflectors and focus it down some mirror pipes or whatever... I'm pretty sure it would be 900 times more efficient, especially with Superior Furry Space Technology, to just make some lamps that emulate natural sunlight. Especially once you get much farther into the solar system than Mars, at which point there's a lot less natural light to work with in the first place.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

“We get weather and stuff like they do outside, but it’s all on a schedule to keep it consistent.”

One of the points of living inside is that you don't get loving rained on. Why would you add rain to the inside of a goddamn building unless you were a loving idiot. There are even indoor storms. The writing also suffers terribly from sounding like something out of Moon People at times, where the author(even when its in a 10-year-old girl's voice) gives incredibly specific measurements of size on things that no one would ever need. Why would I need to know that exactly every 1000 square feet of the arcology is a modular section that can be removed and replaced? Why would I need to know that the bridge to the next arcology is exactly a mile long and a thousand feet wide? This doesn't even add any drat sense of scale.

Also, the author might've read my first review or just, somehow, come to the same conclusion I did. Because in the first review, I boggled over a device called a "Neuroplex," basically a learning-while-sleeping machine, which could give a PC proficiency in basically every skill. In fact, given the time scales presented, there was no reason why every single character in the setting should not have been proficient with every single skill. However! In this bit of lore, it's explained that the "Neuroplex" doesn't actually work, because it just gives you "knowledge" that you don't really understand. Which makes you wonder why it works for adults, then, since the kid explains that they can't use it to teach her and her peers.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

“Tellll meee about the schoool, Elsie,” Stranger interrupted, and the young lynx bit her tongue. “Whhhyy aren’t yooou taught...wiiith a Neuroplex?”

Elsie refocused on the question and slowed her breathing. There it was again: a peculiar selection of information. She was vaguely aware that she was being kept from spinning out of control by the steady stream of conversation, though, so she didn’t press him on it.

“Oh, uh, heh. I’m sure plenty of us would like to, it’s just not allowed. I guess it’s for a good reason though. Something to do with context.” She tried to remember the speech she been given on the same subject. “It’s the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘learning,’ right? ‘Knowing’ is what computers do. They have hard data about stuff and they can provide you with specific facts when you need them. But it doesn’t know anything about its own knowledge, you know?” She frowned, and tried to form the right words.

“The computer doesn’t think about where knowledge comes from, or its own mindset when it got it, or how it works with a completely different thing that might have some similar aspects. It’s just there, sitting in memory, with no real life context to help guide its use or branch into other things it’s doing. Because it’s just knowing, right? It isn’t learning. There’s no practice or mistakes or knowledge of what happens if you tweak this or that. It’s just data. “‘Learning’ is what school does. Part of it is about gaining knowledge, but a bigger part of it is about learning to be a person. It’s about attaching what you got in the class room to whatever it is you saw three weeks ago or overheard in a conversation. Or maybe watching the same teacher for weeks on end and figuring out through observation that when they come in unshaven it’s because they’ve been working late, but if they come in wearing fragrance, it’s because they’ve been drinking.” She smirked. “I had one like that. But see, if I got that fact in a Neuroplex, I’d have no idea what conditions led to that knowledge. I’d never be able to apply that learning process to the next person.

“If all school were Neuroplex-based, you’d end up with a bunch of people with textbook knowledge about their items and science and stuff and no clue about what it is to exist together. How to read people’s moods or learn about being a friend, or what they love or hate and for what reasons.
They’d have fact without experience.” She rolled her eyes, “I’ve met a few kids who were over-baked a little longer than they should have been, it’s the same sort of situation. It’s like listening to someone recite junk they got in an encyclopedia with no real idea of how to apply it to the world. Adults are allowed to because they’ve already pretty much done all the social growing they’re going to do I guess.”

This explanation is entirely retarded, and I'll note that I hate Stranger(the lizard guy)'s speech impediment so much after hearing his retarded alien drawl in paragraph after paragraph. Also, why not just teach the kids with neuroplexes, then let them run wild and socialize, if lack of socialization is really the only excuse for keeping them in traditional schools. The neuroplex doesn't put you in a LEARNING COMA for weeks on end, it's just something you plug into at night for a couple of weeks. But really, we already knew that this RPG was retarded.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

Beaming information into someone’s head might teach them facts, but it gives them no life experience to attach those facts to. Knowing how to draw, for instance, is more than knowing how to construct shapes on a page. It’s having the experience with a pencil, the training to control your hand and apply the correct amount of pressure, the understanding of what angle the page should be at to be most comfortable for you, or how the room lighting should be arranged so as to best facilitate your thought process. These are things that are learned through practice, experience, time, trial and error. They are not constants, and they change from person to person, or even from day to day.

Again, what would the harm be in giving everyone encyclopedic knowledge before turning them loose to get "life experience" and, again, nothing in the neuroplex rules makes the proficiencies it provides any different from proficiencies that characters have gained from year-long learning. Also there's a weird sidestep into a paragraph about how kids in the HSD universe are more mature, earlier, because teaching methods are now better. I mean, in any other RPG it wouldn't seem suspect, but in an RPG where we've already had robot pregnancy, I really have to wonder if it's not an excuse for why statutory rape isn't a thing in HSD.

We're also taught about how THE LAW works in HSD. Basically one company has a monopoly on THE LAW, gee, almost like a government, and every other company contracts them for law enforcement because they're the only brand of law that people trust. If corps didn't contract THE LAW corp, no one would want to live in their corptowns or whatever. It seems kind of dull and unimaginative(what a surprise), you'd figure that in a corporate dystopia(or utopia) there'd be multiple competing brands, like Mountain Law, Coca Law and Pepsi Law, and no single contractor would rent out THEIR law, they'd only contract to enforce the specific employer's law. Though, if we're going by law enforcement corporations enforcing their own specific law, you'd figure that there'd still be fascist law enforcement, libertarian law enforcement, something in between, etc. and depending on personal preferences, people would choose their living space or employer depending on who they contracted with to supply law. But no, you just get one corporation supplying one flavour of Law which is very similar to our own, Earth Law.

Starvation and thirst are also apparently no longer things in the setting, which is, again, weird to me. It may be post-scarcity, but Eclipse Phase accurately predicted that corporations aren't limited by morals or ethics: If they control the means of post-scarcity, they can also enforce scarcities to make people consume their products and do their work.

Also apparently, despite the GLORY OF CORPORATE FREEDOM, you're not allowed to have kids if you're poor. On the one hand I'm surprised, because that's a step beyond the sort of fascism that any Earth nation I know of has ever tried. On the other hand, I'm not surprised by the disdain for the poor or the disdain for CHILD HAVERS.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

Consider the setting: the solar system is run by corporate giants with nearly limitless wealth and power and control over just about every aspect of individual life. It’s a recipe for disaster, really. To their credit, the organizations in HSD all stemmed from a common mission statement laid down by the Mars corporation 700 years ago; a message of freedom, personal liberty and the right to not be contained and controlled by stagnant powers that could not keep up with their population. As publicly owned companies, they’re accountable to their stockholders, who expect them to respect that concept. Vectors have a long history of ending problems before they start, and more than a few tyranical organizations have been torn down from within when they became too obviously corrupt.

The rest of the sidebar this is from basically consists of "AND THEN VECTORS WERE MORALLY SUPERIOR TO HUMANS IN EVERY WAY. AND MORE ENLIGHTENED, TOO. AND THEY'D NEVER HUNT AN ANIMAL TO EXTINCTION, EITHER."

Afterwards the writing goes on a tangent about how cults are now called "universities" and how the kid stole her mom's pornos when the alien tries to ask her how babies are made. What the gently caress.

Hc Svnt Dracones posted:

Birth method is determined by the father; if he is a male of an egg-laying species, the child will be born in an egg, regardless of the species of the child or the mother. Likewise if the father is a live-birth species, the child will be born live regardless of its, or its mother’s, species. This can result in a number of occurrences we as humans see as unnatural (cats laying eggs, birds giving live birth, dogs hatching out of a shell, etc.)

What in the gently caress again. Does this idiot have no understanding of the differences in biological plumbing required to lay an egg vs nurturing a living fetus? This isn't just some poo poo you handwave away, you gently caress. It's also explicitly described as something that the idiots who first made the Vectors implemented on purpose despite the extra difficulties. loving why.

The whole thing just ends on a sort of wet fart rather than an actual conclusion. The kid's parents were assassinated, and the corp wants to pick her up as a test subject for extremely vague reasons, and the big monster wants to protect her, and suddenly she realizes she can escape in a spaceship. But then the monster's on his own for a bit and he's all: "WELL, CORPSE, WHO I AM TALKING TO NOW(WHO WASN'T ACTUALLY COMPLETELY DEAD). I WAS ACTUALLY THE ONE WHO KILLED HER PARENTS, BUT NOW I LOVE HUMANITY AFTER ALL, OR SOMETHING, SO I WILL ARBITRARILY DECIDE TO SAVE HER INSTEAD. GOODBYE, CORPSE." and then he kills the corpse(that wasn't actually dead) and the whole thing ends.

It's 40 pages or so just to teach use the few tidbits I've noted here, that and some percentage chances for inheriting mutations like being a Lateral or a Taur or whatever. I mean, they even namedrop a couple of Vector religions and then completely fail to tell us anything about them except that one of them believes in an ouroboros or something. loving stupid, something that would actually have ADDED DEPTH(and probably been mockably retarded) to the setting, and instead text is wasted on a ten-year-old blushing as she tries fumblingly to explain to a giant monster what she saw in her mom's porn mags.

God, I'm glad this is loving over.

Well, until the next loving expansion, anyway. Jesus Christ, I'm almost starting to look forward to when Desborough finishes his stupid Gor RPG so I can review that.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


PurpleXVI posted:

Hc Svnt Dracones: Extended Core

Hello small hyena child, gaze unto my magnificent junk.

quote:

One of the points of living inside is that you don't get loving rained on. Why would you add rain to the inside of a goddamn building unless you were a loving idiot. There are even indoor storms. The writing also suffers terribly from sounding like something out of Moon People at times, where the author(even when its in a 10-year-old girl's voice) gives incredibly specific measurements of size on things that no one would ever need. Why would I need to know that exactly every 1000 square feet of the arcology is a modular section that can be removed and replaced? Why would I need to know that the bridge to the next arcology is exactly a mile long and a thousand feet wide? This doesn't even add any drat sense of scale.

I think the idea here is that they've basically created a bunch of space colonies in cubes and stacked them on top of eachother. So you've got a big open cube with smaller buildings in it, so it's raining outside (so your grass and flowers can get watered, etc) but you still have a house that you can sit in and not get wet. ALA O'Neill cylinders.

quote:

Birth method is determined by the father; if he is a male of an egg-laying species, the child will be born in an egg, regardless of the species of the child or the mother. Likewise if the father is a live-birth species, the child will be born live regardless of its, or its mother’s, species. This can result in a number of occurrences we as humans see as unnatural (cats laying eggs, birds giving live birth, dogs hatching out of a shell, etc.)
So the birth method is determined by the father but the species is determined by the mother? That's basically the exact opposite of every other place I've seen something like this occurring. He's basically saying that all vectors have both a normal uterus as well as all the mechanical stuff to produce eggs, just waiting for daddy's sperm to tell them which organs to use. But how does that work for Ovuliparous or Ovo-viviparous daddies? I mean they've got loving sharks, do they know how sharks reproduce?

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Alien Rope Burn posted:

I think I'll do a thread reboot later this evening for 2016, if there are no objections.

Taking suggestions for the thread title, in any case!

FATAL & Friends 2016: The Book of Vile Dorkness

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Thesaurasaurus posted:

Right about the problem, wrong about the solution?

Most of the oWoD fans I know would read the fluff as gospel, no matter how hinky or obviously unreliable the narrator is, and fight you tooth and nail over its veracity... which is great when you're in character, playing a doomed highborn wolfchild, but doesn't leave a lot of room for discussion when it informs your assumptions about the game itself.

The writers for the core material were way too subtle. Sure, the hints are there, but I think most people look to the corebooks for objective truths about the game, like 'These are the mechanics', 'this is the history of the world', and 'these are the conceits we're building on'. When you have an unreliable narrator from the word 'go', when large portions of your player base may not even know what an unreliable narrator is or how to identify it, you're asking for trouble. And that's before metaplot rears its ugly head.

Doresh posted:

I guess it sorta works in the context of Gamma Terra, but not making it a Living Card Game was pretty silly.

4th Edition (or I think just Essentials) had these booster cards which I think you gained on a crit or so. Either failing to understand part of the charm of their Magic cards, or just being plain old greedy, the grand majority of these cards didn't actually have any artwork on them, just a generic symbol depending on the type of card.

Yeah. I like it conceptually, building on the idea of 4E's equipment wishlists and such, but if they insisted on that approach they should have sold it in LCG-style decks. It basically suffered the same issue as cantrip cards: the cards themselves weren't designed with collectibility in mind, and they were a tagalong product for an already hella niche product line: given the sheer amount of other poo poo sold in boosters, they simply weren't worth the countertop space.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 22:23 on Jan 5, 2016

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Bieeardo posted:

Most of the oWoD fans I know would read the fluff as gospel, no matter how hinky or obviously unreliable the narrator is, and fight you tooth and nail over its veracity... which is great when you're in character, playing a doomed highborn wolfchild, but doesn't leave a lot of room for discussion when it informs your assumptions about the game itself.

The writers for the core material were way too subtle. Sure, the hints are there, but I think most people look to the corebooks for objective truths about the game, like 'These are the mechanics', 'this is the history of the world', and 'these are the conceits we're building on'. When you have an unreliable narrator from the word 'go', when large portions of your player base may not even know what an unreliable narrator is or how to identify it, you're asking for trouble. And that's before metaplot rears its ugly head.

The problem is that a lot of the oWoD corebook fluff is presented as gospel and not being spoken by any narrator. The splatbooks are where you get the unreliable narrator (Or in the case of Tribebook: Stargazer, ten of them).

The CofD books is where you start to see them literally stating "All of these things could be true, or none of them could be".

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


So, what the hell are you supposed to be doing in HSD? I mean, the corporations are all moral agents who have everything on lockdown, they have world peace, they know where they come from, and somehow despite being a setup for a situation where almost everyone should be at everyone's throats, there's no goddamn conflict anywhere.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Fatal and Friends: Hc Svnt Recensus

I'm also all for a Sprechenhaltestelle gag.

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!


Night10194 posted:

So, what the hell are you supposed to be doing in HSD? I mean, the corporations are all moral agents who have everything on lockdown, they have world peace, they know where they come from, and somehow despite being a setup for a situation where almost everyone should be at everyone's throats, there's no goddamn conflict anywhere.

Yeah, the book hints at there being corporate conflict to participate in, but at the same time also does its best to suggest that this conflict is REALLY VERY MINIMAL and handled in the MOST HUMANE WAYS POSSIBLE because if it was a Shadowrun-esque dystopia then there might be a point to having governments. Hence the somewhat ham-fisted inclusion of the various types of space ghosts, and also I suppose the exo-nymphs, to add in some threats from outside the system it praises. Even when the little kid's parents are murdered by ONE corporation, rather than it making her suspicious of the entire system, she runs off to get help from a different corporation, and the sidebar goes on about how sub-divisions of corporations might be bad without the entire corporation being bad and so on.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Like, because I reviewed it way back when entirely in reaction to HSD, let's take a look at the situation in the most conflict-free zone of Albedo: Platinum Catalyst. In the Core Systems, where the worlds are heavily developed, environmentally sound, managed by a friendly and omnipresent AI that personally has time to try to help out every citizen, there is still poo poo To Do as a soldier! First, there's all the political intrigue, corruption, and investigation play you can do with EDF high command; there are definite conspiracies among command, especially the people who have learned to deceive the Net and change public record through it (which takes people off guard as almost everyone is used to the Net being a pretty objective source of facts). From what a friend who is a fan of the comics tells me, the failure to STOP these conspiracies actually brings down the entire system and crashes the Net in the comics, because it can't manage the economy without accurate info and their planned economy is basically impossible without a hyper-efficient AI managing it. But say you want combat. Terrorism is unfortunately common, because it's possible for people to slip entirely through the world's cracks. Someone with a bad SPI score might find themselves socially isolated, with few friends (who wants to associate with someone who might hurt their own prospects?) and no job. Sure, they survive, the system will take care of them, but the crippling boredom and the existential emptiness common to the settings' knowledge that its people are a created people drives some folks insane and into nihilism. Radical movements spring up among people who have to live less on-the-grid. The Net is always watching you, assessors are always taking your measure, news from the colonies is often depressing and terrible, and it's possible for people to snap under the constant pressure of the surveillance state. At other times, terrorist organizations spring up around the grievances of the colonies or as plants from the ILR. Legitimate protests and conflict abound, too, as people advocate for policy change or risk their political capital to speak out against the system. At every stage, what looks like a paradise on the surface is full of opportunities for counter-terrorist tactical missions, intrigue, politics, and spying. There's poo poo To Do! And that's in the safest part of known space, where everyone is automatically fed, monitored, and tended to!

HSD is too afraid to admit it's built on a house of cards and too uncomfortable with its own premise to ever have self-reflection like that.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




The latest System Mastery makes me sad I didn't get on the Gamma World train when it was at the station. Sounds like a blast.

FATAL & Friends Episode IV - A Few Dopes

FATAL & Friends: d4 abandoned reviews per page

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

What in the gently caress again. Does this idiot have no understanding of the differences in biological plumbing required to lay an egg vs nurturing a living fetus? This isn't just some poo poo you handwave away, you gently caress. It's also explicitly described as something that the idiots who first made the Vectors implemented on purpose despite the extra difficulties. loving why.

Don't google 'oviposition fetish'. Just don't.

Kurieg posted:

The problem is that a lot of the oWoD corebook fluff is presented as gospel and not being spoken by any narrator. The splatbooks are where you get the unreliable narrator (Or in the case of Tribebook: Stargazer, ten of them).

The CofD books is where you start to see them literally stating "All of these things could be true, or none of them could be".

I may be giving the oWoD writers far too much credit, but I seem to remember passages with definite disconnections between things as practiced and things as preached, across the corebooks for different product lines. Not that any of it really matters when you end up with metaplot churning things up beyond recognition.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



God drat it I forgot I was doing Leviathan: The Tempest. Oh well. I'm pretty sure I burned myself pretty hardcore on NWoD over the summer because I basically spent most of my shifts at work devouring books for different lines to kill time until my eyes melted. I might or might not return to that. I should get back on Necropolis, though, but after this one is done.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Bieeardo posted:

I may be giving the oWoD writers far too much credit, but I seem to remember passages with definite disconnections between things as practiced and things as preached, across the corebooks for different product lines. Not that any of it really matters when you end up with metaplot churning things up beyond recognition.

Oh they had definite in character sections, but I remember Werewolf's history segment being presented as more or less Gospel. But like you said, metaplot churns it up and it rapidly becomes "Well it was sort of gospel but there's no way a werewolf would know these things so it's sort of in character and oh god please put the knives away."

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


FATAL & Friends: Let's Face It, You're A Loser If You Write One, You're A Loser If You Read One, You're A Loser If You're Here At All

FATAL & Friends: I Know I Sound Crazy, But My Roleplaying Game Is The True Word Of God

FATAL & Friends: People Desperately Trying To Avoid Facing Reality

FATAL & Friends: Rip-Offs, Crazy, And Crap

FATAL & Friends: If You Make Homebrew For My Game, I'll Sue Your Pants Off!

FATAL & Friends: Like, Really, When Was The Last Time Anyone Talked About FATAL

FATAL & Friends: Beating A Dead Horse, 1d6 Damage At A Time

FATAL & Friends: Running This Train Straight Into The Ground

FATAL & Friends: Deriving Enjoyment From The Unejoyable

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Man. I don't even get why you want reptiles and mammals to be able to interbreed - oh wait, right, weirdass furry OC races.

If I were writing a furry sci fi thing, and this is so bad that I kind of want to just so there'll be one that isn't so terrible, I'd define reptiles as the supersoldier breeds - not because of inherent toughness (scales, while nice, don't do poo poo for bullets) but because adapting cold-blooded traits for control is easier. Outfit your soldiers with heat/refrigeration packs to increase or decrease their metabolic activity. No need for knockout drugs when you can just freeze them into knocking out.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Bieeardo posted:

I may be giving the oWoD writers far too much credit, but I seem to remember passages with definite disconnections between things as practiced and things as preached, across the corebooks for different product lines. Not that any of it really matters when you end up with metaplot churning things up beyond recognition.

True, but was this an intentional writing device to establish ambiguity, or just White Wolf's time-honored tradition of writers never communicating and then the editor just Frankensteins whatever they give him into a book?

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




PurpleXVI posted:

Jesus Christ, I'm almost starting to look forward to when Desborough finishes his stupid Gor RPG so I can review that

PurpleXVI posted:

Desborough finishes his stupid Gor RPG

PurpleXVI posted:

Desborough Gor RPG

God help us all...

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Thesaurasaurus posted:

True, but was this an intentional writing device to establish ambiguity, or just White Wolf's time-honored tradition of writers never communicating and then the editor just Frankensteins whatever they give him into a book?
Are we talking about the unreliable narration of "are you playing Werewolf or Mage" or the different ancient accounts?

I figured that the Garou had the broad outlines of their own past right - the Impergium happened in the past, even if it was likely distorted by folk memory even among the Garou. They did a War of Rage, etc. What should come up, I think, as an interesting complicating factor, is ancestor-spirits, who presumably would know to set things right. And boy, wouldn't that be a gothic punk campaign if you had to go murder some ancestor spirits so your revisionist Child of Gaia historical narrative wouldn't be contradicted at some inconvenient point?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


The problem is that the War of Rage already paints Garou in a very negative light. The revisionism came from some of the Fera books where the other breeds explain their own culpability or provide details that the garou had forgotten or never knew about in the first place. Turning it more into something like if Putin's wife died while visiting the US on a diplomatic mission, and the US' response was "Serves you right you warmongering rear end in a top hat."

That's not even getting into the part where you find out that the person who killed said Garou was one of the Nagah, and the Nagah didn't admit it because their leaders figured that they were the most important fera and admitting their culpability would turn the entire Gaian world against them, so they hid and let everyone else die.

E: You get somewhat of a sense that the reason the Fera are forgiving the Garou now is because they know they're somewhat culpable, but they're keeping the finer details secret because the Current generation are fairly level headed and concillatory and they'd be understandably miffed if they found out they've been hoodwinked for however many millenia.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Jan 6, 2016

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

FATAL & Friends: System Wankery

Thank you also inklesspen for the archive. My batting average isn't nearly as bad as I thought.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Gerund posted:

Hey inkless my last ten or so entries in my habitually delayed C:tL review, all in this thread, don't seem to be archived. Not sure why.

When I click the little question mark to show only your posts in this thread, the most recent post I see from you is in July, subtitled "That which makes you just as special as everyone else here, chump."

That one is in the writeup, here: http://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/gerund/changeling-the-lost/#23

So are at least the three posts before it. If you're referring to other posts, please PM me with the links to the posts or something and I'll get them in.

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man




inklesspen posted:

When I click the little question mark to show only your posts in this thread, the most recent post I see from you is in July, subtitled "That which makes you just as special as everyone else here, chump."

That one is in the writeup, here: http://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/gerund/changeling-the-lost/#23

So are at least the three posts before it. If you're referring to other posts, please PM me with the links to the posts or something and I'll get them in.

I think it might be an issue in my phone's browser then, as I see the text in the link but not the table of contents.

Will check when I get home, thank you for doing a thankless task.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Gerund posted:

I think it might be an issue in my phone's browser then, as I see the text in the link but not the table of contents.

Will check when I get home, thank you for doing a thankless task.

Nah, that's an issue in my lovely CSS design; in order to keep the table of contents from spilling all the way down the page like with Mors Rattus's 221-post Ars Magica writeup, the table of contents is in a "scrollable" content block. unfortunately there's no good UX showing it's scrollable, but if you try to scroll the TOC itself on your phone, it should work.

Improved page layouts would be greatly appreciated, if anyone here is good at webpage layout.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



loving HSD.

I'll get back to Elric soonish, but first let's do something entirely different and much better than Lolbertarian Furries With lovely Understanding Of Everything From Biology To Economics (LFWSUOEFB)

Stars Without Number: Transhuman Tech

Oldschool RPG Stars Without Number has a supplement for transhuman sci-fi gaming as well. It is part of the Mandate Archive series, small free lumps of rules and fluff that Kevin Crawford didn't feel like they would sell on their own. The PDF notes that transhuman SF has its own kind of flavor that isn't always compatible with SWN's oldschool sensibilities, so all the rules here should be treated as optional additions. Sure, okay! Then it launches into a description of the sample setting, the Threshold Sector. Ever since the Scream that killed the psychic jumpgates as described in the corebook happened, a metadimensional energy storm - the Tempest - has kept the Threshold isolated from the rest of human space. The Tempest prevents any spike drive ship from travelling out or in the sector, and the storm is harsh enough that no ships smaller than cruisers can even attempt to move within the sector. However, that very same Tempest has allowed the realization of technologies impracticable outside of the Threshold: nanobots and matter compilers are powered by taps into the sector's metadimensional energy, and the wealth of local raw materials prevented the Scream-induced collapse of civilization that happened elsewhere. No one knows why the Tempest happened: perhaps it is related to the Scream, perhaps it caused the Scream, or perhaps it is a natural effect of space. Interestingly enough, the actual physical space between the Threshold and other sectors is perfectly calm, in appearance - but there's the titanic distances and the dangers of uncharted space to contend with, so only the most zealous even think of building the necessary slowships.

Speaking of matter compilers, they're exactly what they sound like: devices capable of converting any amount of mass into a molecule-perfect replica of an object. The compilers pretty much eradicated material want from the Threshold's citizenry, but they soon found new things to fight over. Between this and the creation of the Hulls, artificial human bodies, along with the technology to store a human mind into a specially prepared quantum tablet and copy them into new Hulls, many different factions have appeared: for instance, the Restrictionists want matter compilers to be handled solely by a trusted elite, lest any jerk misuse them (given that many small colonies and habitats were wiped out by said misuse in the early years of the compilers, they do have a point); the Abundants believe that every person should have access to their own compiler and that any damage was a small price to pay to fight the tyranny of the elites. The Egoists believe in "one mind, one body" and that wanton copying of minds was an affront to the sanctity of self and certain to result in the implicit slavery of the copies; the Selfless believe that the mind is the possessor's own property and that they can do whatever they want with it to explore the limits of human potential. And so on! Given that material wealth is a non-issue, most factions generally fight over space (valuable habitats or worlds that can support minimally enhanced Hulls), data (new discoveries, technology, and a way out of the Tempest) and people (every person can be a potential convert to the cause, Hulls need to be grown instead of replicated, and some factions think nothing of genociding entire habitats since they can always reinstantiate those egos to new Hulls and this way they cannot be exposed to harmful creeds :v:)

A section on creating new factions follows, with a table to roll on for ideologies: there are the ones already mentioned, along with others like the Architects (let's build poo poo and be :science: as gently caress!), the Psionicists (transhuman psychics, woo!) and the Xenophiles (gently caress homo sapiens sapiens, we can make better!) The GM should always strive to build factions that are in conflict with each other, even if not necessarily military conflict, though it's fine to have some peaceful factions for PCs to use as sanctuaries. And then it's on to the Hulls themselves! Most of them are recognizably human, if sometimes looking as if they had gone through intense postech cosmetic surgery. Hulls breed true, resorting to basic reproductive protocols if they're not compatible enough, and almost all humans start as the natural product of two ("or more") Hulls. Some, however, look really alien, and of the rare alien species in the sector there are several that were once-human, their minds now changed by living from birth in bodies that are not human anymore. The more extreme the modifications to a Hull are, the greater the risk of Alienation: a feeling of dread and tension, ramping up to phantom limb syndrome and even partial or complete paralysis. Most Hulls are meant to accomodate baseline human cognition, but some Hulls push the boundaries to load up on mods. In game terms, as Alienation grows characters can lose actions on a natural critical failure, lose the use of skills on a failure, gain System Strain from tense situations, and eventually go catatonic.

Implanting a Hull into a mind requires some four hours of uploading by a trained technician. It can be hurried, with a Tech/Medical check and the risk of Alienation. Backing up a mind requires 24 hours of work, and can be likewise hurried with a skill check and the risk of failure. People under 20 years old make the Tech/Medical check mandatory, since their minds are so malleable that it is hard to get them recorded properly. A PC uses their natural rolled stats if they're in their birth body (a Basic-type Hull by default), but when rolling HP they should record the unmodified roll for when they switch bodies. They keep their natural Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma upon transfer, with any augmentations that the body may have. Strength, Dexterity and Constitution are determined by the Hull. HP is retained by the PC through bodies since most of the HP total is a combination of luck, wit and combat savvy, but they must apply the Hull's CON bonus/penalty to it. Skill, experience, class abilities and other traits are retained, but psychic powers are not transfered unless the Hull is especially prepared to house a psychic mind, and torching (from the corebook, burning stats to fuel powers) can only be done in the birth body. A PC that is killed can be restored from their backup, but they lose all XP they have accumulated so far.

The base Hull types are Basic (Basic Immunity, no alterations), Containment (maintaining a mind instantiated electronically is nigh impossible, so "enhanced" interrogations are made by downloading an ego into one of these, they have Regeneration and Stabilized Systems to help them survive :gonk:), Xenohull (inhuman looking, up to 6 points of alterations, maximum of 9 by adding Alienation points) Tailored (human looking, 3 points of alterations, maximum of 6 with Alienation) and Bespoke (best of the best, 6 points of alterations and maximum of 9 with Alienation, +2 Alienation to any ego that isn't the intended owner) The list of possible alterations includes Additional Limbs (up to 8 additional arms or tentacles, they don't give extra attacks though), Altered Reactions (automatically gain initative once per hour) Body Armor (natural AC 3, or -1 by foregoing concealability), Boosted Attribute (one attribute is set at 14, or 18 for a 2-point major boost) Environmental Adaptation (Hull can survive in an environment otherwise fatal to baseline humans), Integral Hardware (for each point, two pieces of non-weapon or armor gear become permanent parts of the Hull), Regeneration (1HP/minute regeneration) and Stabilized Systems (upon reaching 0 HP, the Hull automatically stabilizes and revives at 1HP minutes later) There's a list of sample ready-made hulls to choose from, like the Atlantean (a Tailored underwater Hull), the Ripper (a Xenohull combat morph) or the Tyrant (a Bespoke combat freak that commonly mounts a mag rifle and heavy body armor as a matter of course)

So, Hulls are expensive. How do people pay for them (or anything else) in this post-scarcity world? Status. This is a generic measure of all the different ways in which factions trade among each other and with other factions. The exact shape of Status varies, it can be a running tally visible to all, physical tokens or a sense of universal assistance that just-so-happens to serve the useful first and the burdensome later. Status is faction-specific and can be permanent or temporary. Permanent status comes with pertenence to a faction and/or long-lasting bonds of mutual help. Any person can expect sustenance and shelter from their faction simply by belonging to it, for instance. Temporary status represents recent services made with the obvious intention to be "cashed in" for assistance later. A character may have a high temporary Status with a faction by performing services for them, but they'll have to trade in favors to gain assistance that someone with permanent Status can get by default. Status is gained by doing stuff for the faction, lost by going against the faction or its beliefs, and spent into favors and goods. All characters start with 1 permanent Status with their faction and one ego backup, and that one Status point is enough to get them any non-artifact piece of gear from the corebook, up to TL5. It's recommended for beginner characters to start the game with their birth bodies, however, or let the GM design their Hulls the first time around - they'll have time to muse on what exact type of tentacle monster they'll want to turn into later. There's some new Threshold-specific gear later, like the Ammunition Compiler (literally generate bullets from thin air), the Eternal Cell (like a regular power cell only, you know, it never runs out) or the Emergency Backup Scanner (put it on the head of a living subject or one dead for no more than five minutes, and it will scan their ego for later retrieval, though it's a difficulty 8 check to get something usable out of it)

Finally, some notes on running a transhuman sandbox game: the PDF plugs Eclipse Phase, Transhuman Space and Freemarket as games that explore the topic in greater depth, and notes that characters should be driven by ideology - the oldschool standard motivation of "getting filthy rich" doesn't quite apply since characters are, essentially, filthy rich. It is entirely possible and even encouraged for PCs to set up their own factions (the Faction subsystem from the corebook can be used with some names changed around) and get involved into ideological warfare, and there is always the lure of finding a way out of the Tempest in the back of all faction's heads: after all, whoever gets to escape first gets to spread their ideals and memes to the rest of the human cosmos before the others.

And with a player handout for PCs to get a grounding on the Threshold Sector, that's it! No art, I'm afraid.

Traveller fucked around with this message at 16:13 on Jan 6, 2016

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Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man






I've got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is giving a high five

Seeming Contracts are the WoD-ism of giving access to an entire ladder of superpowers at a discount to every shard of monster available. This, of course, doesn't prevent anyone that really needs a clause or three to truly complete "their concept["super]1[/super] from spending experience points on them. These are the powers that you can be fairly certain to encounter or use constantly- especially as characters are asked to have some number of Clauses from their personal Seeming (or Court) Contracts.

Again, you must have first purchased the first clause of a contract to get the second cause later. No dip'n'skip around here!

Wizened Seeming - Contracts of Artifice
The contract of tinkering. This is where Changeling: The Lost gets its reputation for steampunk gadget gags and being a game more about gear than superpowers.2

Brief Glamour of Repair
You fix something, with a catch of it being something that isn't yours. Usually a day, but can be durable if you achieve an exceptional.

Touch of the Workman's Wrath
You're a gremlin, 'arry! This is where the spiteful Wizened stereotype comes to roost. A single success disables a "device" or vehicle for at minimum of a minute. What counts as a device is best decided before arguments arrive.

Blessing of Perfection
A really ugly mandatory extended action to add your Wyrd (or half-Wyrd, rounded up) to an item's bonus for a length of time. This is also one of the few Clauses that specifically mention a Goblin Fruit ("Promise Leaves")

Unmaker's Destructive Gaze
The second Clause, but at a distance and more explicitly of a combat use. Even works on items that have no moving parts such as knives. Take THAT, reality!

Tatterdemalion's Workshop
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You basically create a Gilligan's Island palm tree device of whatever you need for a scene or longer. The catch is dead simple, but requiring it to be your own workshop makes it harder to break out of prison with.

Darkling Seeming - Contracts of Darkness
Tim Burton horror pastiche. A bunch of powers that don't make any sense together and aren't even that useful outside of very specific scenarios.

Creeping Dread
Reduction of resolve or composure rolls against "fear or intimidation" equal to Wyrd, and can be used in a burst. Catch of "frighten intruders into your your dwelling" is pretty goddamn pointless and/or a mistake. You're either a trapdoor spider or a grumpy loner, choose one.

Night's Subtle Distractions
A really, really bad obfuscate power3 that depends on "environmental factors". Still written in a less wordy and assumptive manner than your typical copy of obfuscate, so it has that going for it.

Balm of Unwakeable Slumber
For when you want to rob an entire children's ward of their things / dreams. Also useful for kidnapping but... we don't mention that.

Boon of the Scuttling Spider
You can move on walls and never trip, even fight on walls... for no stated benefit. A better narrative-control power than actual effect.

Touch of the Paralyzing Spider
Another save-or-suck Clause, halving most rolls that matter in combat.

Next time: Contracts for the Elements and Beasts.

1 - Strange how often someone's character concept involves being King poo poo of Murderhobo Mountain, but so it goes.
2 - An artifact of Changelings not having the same power scale as your typical White Wolf splat, along with "cold iron" being a strong counter to everything.
3 - As in the classic "You aren't actually invisible, you're just ignorable." Do you screw up cameras? People walking in late after you popped the magic? Do people remember what happened afterward? How ignorable are you, really? Another argument waiting to happen if you don't decide it now.

Gerund fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Jan 6, 2016

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