Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Halloween Jack posted:

I don't want to make assumptions about who wrote Destiny's Price, especially since four of the six co-authors never contributed to another roleplaying book in their lives. (Gee, I wonder why?) But what are the odds this is a middle-class straight white guy telling us about the HARD STREETS, YO?

This feels much like the same text used in Cthulhutech. Are you sure Matthew Grau didn't write this...

Halloween Jack posted:

Somebody could write an entire book about the weird aesthetic of the 90s and how it was obsessed with conspiracies, apocalypse, subculture, and crime. Why all the crime? Crime was dropping when this book was published.

I had this discussion with a friend when I was rewatching Wild Palms. The closest I can come to an examination is that the zeitgeist at the time had a lot to do with the end of the Cold War. Suddenly, there were no more Big Bad Russians read to invade America and it opened up the nation to a sort of introspection into what was wrong with the country. Even tinpot dictators like Saddam were no match for American-led Western military might and what that spelled out was the Pax Americana was here, straight out of Francis Fukuyama's The End Of History. You no longer had international communism around to provide as a distraction or as a counterpoint to American exceptionalism, so a lot of people tried to go into diagnosis mode. It's why you had a lot of books and films examining the American psychological malaise like "Infinite Jest", "Fight Club", "American Psycho", etc. In the war for the soul of the world, consumerist captialism won.

Unfortunately, following Ruby Ridge and Waco, a lot of folks latched on to the federal government and that precipitated the rise of the conspiracy culture during what was probably the most transparent administration in recent memory. If Reagan had ordered something similar during his administration, almost no one would have batted an eye. It didn't help that Clinton ended up declassifying a bunch of stuff, like the DoD-DoE human radiation experiments and Operation Northwoods, which drove those folks insane.

The same kinda goes with this book. At the time, especially indicated by the Ice-T song, the only way someone from a middle-class suburban life would have contact with crime was on TV or radio. They knew that there was a problem, but don't know what the solution is, so they try to come up with one inside their paradigm of life in the suburbs. Usually that means "bootstraps". But since they are also rebelling against that suburban lifestyle, they think that's the only alternative to it.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 18:33 on Jan 9, 2014

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Robindaybird posted:

There's a lot of little things I like about WW, but sneering at scientific progress, the worship of the Noble Savage-archetype (and not understanding it's a racist concept), and the idiotic idea that Art and Science are just incompatible is rage inducing (EXPLAIN THE RENAISSANCE THEN, JACKASSES).

poo poo, you can see this now with modern artists from an engineering or architectural background like Richard Serra or artists who dabble in biomedical fields like Stelarc or Orlan. You have to know how things how things fit before trying to put them together in new and interesting ways. It's why modern art is so infuriating to a lot of folks because they don't know what actually goes into producing that work.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



theironjef posted:

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

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

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Baofu posted:

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

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

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



pkfan2004 posted:

I'll take a look at Hot War later because that does sound sorta neat. And on a related note, the people behind Unhallowed Metropolis made another game called The Day After Ragnarok, where the Allies nuke Jormungandr after the Nazis try to cause Ragnarok and the resulting giant snake corpse lands on the Earth and poisons most of the Americas and some of the ocean. So it's pretty safe to say that the Atomic Overmind wheelhouse is history-derailing apocalypses where the world is being slowly poisoned to death.

Hey now, The Day After Ragnarok is cool. It got reviewed here at one point and from what everyone has said who's read it, it's like Thundarr The Barbarian in the 1950s.


pkfan2004 posted:

Anyway, Unhallowed Metropolis Chapter One.

First off, where's the rest of the world? There's been transatlantic submarine cable for at least fifty years prior to the Plague Years. Also, with the Royal Navy being mentioned, you'd think there would at least be some word about the Continent and the British holdings around the world.

Edit: didn't read your last bit, sorry.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Kavak posted:

I assume the lack of Russia and Scandinavia means they're hosed, but what happened to Japan and Korea? Did they get their poo poo kicked in like everyone else?

Of interest, is that Russia and Japan had a major war around the time of the start of Unhallowed Metropolis' Plague Years. If Russia imploded, then Japan would probably remain unchecked in it's following expansion of East Asia.

Also, always have to wonder if a zombie epidemic could even affect a country that cremates all of its dead. Granted, you'll still have the unburied dead to worry about but you're not having every graveyard opening up with shamblers.

Also, the thing I'm noticing is that they're really hard trying to push this steampunk thing throughout the text. There's no technological breakthroughs like you'd saw in the World Wars, despite a lot of the weapons actually getting being developed in the late Victorian age. We had automatic rifles like the Mondragón and the Mauser Selbstladers that were in development or even released (like the Mauser 1905/06). Self-loading pistols were the rage in the armed forces during the pre-WW1 period, with the Mauser C96 broomhandle in wide distribution, John Browning's M1900 series of pistols enjoying good sales (and would lead to the M1911), and the Luger pistol entering Swiss service in 1900 and German naval service in 1904 (the more common and P08 entered German infantry service in 1908, natch, but a world-ending calamity were you need to throw out lots of bullets in a short amount of time might have brought it in earlier, just saying). The automotive industry began getting into commercial production around the 1890s and mass-production in the 1900s (although it didn't really boom until Ford entered in 1914). The Wright brothers flew their first airplane in 1903 and that set a lot of fires under a lot of asses. The concept of the armored tank came about a decade before WW1. I can see zeppelins being flown, they design was actually well-known because Zeppelin had talked about it since 1874 and had been patented in Germany and the U.S. since the 1890s, and the first Zeppelin being flown in 1900. Even in a state of emergency like the Plague Years, you'd probably see lots of rushed-into-development projects to help defeat the Animate hordes.

While I can see life extension programs causing that Victorian presence to extend into the 22nd century, technologically things should be almost the same yet with different names. Assault rifles might not be called assault rifles but something like raid rifle or just automatic rifle and be based off some Maxim, Mauser, or Winchester design instead of Kalashnikov or Stoner. poo poo, I might even have to call BS on the Victorian stuff, because Brutalism came about during the post-war period because concrete was cheaper to build than masonry and Italian-style Futurism, which would have spawned during the early part of the Plague Years, would have been delayed by a century. History is nothing but a series of actions and reactions.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 16:15 on Jan 18, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

It is really good and worth picking up, and you can get either Savage Worlds or Fate versions.

For those who aren't aware, the basic idea is as follows:

In 1945, the results of Hitler's obsession with the occult comes to a head, and the Nazi empire manages to summon forth the Midgard serpent, ushering in the age of Ragnarok. 350 miles wide and of unknown length, the serpent arose out of the Atlantic Ocean and immediately began destroying everything it could reach.

President Truman, not having any other options, orders a nuclear bomb to be flown into the serpent's eye in a desperate attempt to save the world. Joseph Westover, captain of the bomber The Strange Cargo, succeeded and drove the nuke straight through Jörmungandr and into his brain, killing it.

What nobody thought about what what would happen when the world serpent died.

A few highlights:
  • America is mostly a radioactive wasteland, everything within like 100 miles of the east coast is hosed, and the rest of the nation is small city-states of survivors. This is the "Thundaar" part where you can roam the land fighting mutants, or try to manage a survivor colony.
  • The British Empire is now the biggest power in the world, and is engaged in all kinds of spy games against Russia and China, complete with mystical spy gadgets.
  • Russia has gone into full-on Evil Empire mode, and has conquered most of Europe. As an added bonus, Stalin managed to get the frost giants that awoke during Ragnarok on his side.
  • China and Japan have allied into one empire, and as one of the few places on Earth not directly touched by the Serpentfall they're rapidly growing in power.
  • Nazis are still around for you to punch.
  • Magic has returned, and people have learned how to make techno-magic-ish devices out of the flesh, bone, and blood of the corpse of the Midgard serpent.

Thinking about it now, because the F&F review didn't cover this, but the game makers either have to be British or have a serious case of Anglophilia because I don't see the British Empire not just prospering but even surviving the Serpentfall considering that they were in bad shape through a good portion of the war. England pretty much surrendered it's colonial assets like India following World War 2 because the war and especially unrestricted submarine warfare wrecked so much havoc logistically it was too much of a strain to keep the Empire running. Without the home islands and especially since the bulk of their armed forces was mobilized there, I'd see the British colonies reverting into their own sovereign states, even if they still had their governors.

Also, Japan would have routed by a resurgent Red Army and allied Chicoms. Remember, the A-bombs weren't just for the Japanese, but the Russians as well, since they had planned to invade the islands just like Manchuria and the Sakahlins. Seriously, most of the world should either be afflicted with Serpent taint, under the serpent, or under Communist control.

I don't know, maybe France would be a major world power, since they're in the position to recover, have central organization, exploit the Serpent's corpse, and still maintain a control over their colonies.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 18:17 on Jan 18, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Kellsterik posted:

Literally lol at the prospect of the USSR allying with the Chinese communists.

You're really laughing at something that actually happened? They were close allies, both kicking out the Japanese at the end of WW2 and aiding fellow Communist North Korea, up until the Sino-Soviet split happened in the 1960s.

Halloween Jack posted:

The ocean! Think of all the steam you can make outta that baby!

Think of all the corrosion.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 18:45 on Jan 18, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



dwarf74 posted:

You heard it here, folks. The God of Israel loves his longswords.

Jesus did say he didn't bring peace but a sword.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Day After Ragnarok sounds less cooler the more I'm hearing about it.

Seriously, why are the British king shits when 10% of the population of the British Empire that controlled the other 90% was under the Snake when it impact the ground? Also, you'd think the Welsh would be screaming "oddi ar ein tir" at English refugees and putting up signs in Welsh.

Edit: I know I keep harping on this, but London was literally the center of the financial universe for them. With the destruction of the Bank of England and the American dollar in freefall from the devastation of the East Coast, the British pound is worthless. That means the colonial militias aren't going to get paid defending white foreigners, or the colonies revert to local currency that the British elite in the country don't have.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 23:55 on Jan 19, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Kavak posted:

Then scroll out as far as you can.

Space owns.

Oh man. The Traveller Imperium is kinda small.

Especially when compared to the Warhammer 40K Imperium. :commissar:

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Robindaybird posted:

My god, he actually ripped off Videodrome for his lovely TTRPG, and most his evil is just petty or bizarre "Dance the goat dance"

That doesn't sound like Videodrome. Videodrome means letting the TV signals spawn a mangina grow in your abdomen so you can store your gun that shoots cancer bullet in it.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Down With People posted:

Oh, I forgot to quote the thing that prefaces the Social Standing text.


The Drum of Secrets! Ooooh scary.

The Bucket of Truth sounds far more menacing.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 04:21 on Jan 23, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Am I getting ahead of you by bring up that Kadandra, the cosm that the Cyberpapacy's cybertechnology actually came from, has a backdoor into the GodNet?

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



pkfan2004 posted:

You automatically fail impossible tasks because, uh, they're impossible. This is a common sense thing and depends on what you're trying to attempt. An example:
SIMPLE TASK: Buying cocaine from your dealer friend Sampson.
MODERATE TASK: Making your own cocaine because Sampson ran out.
COMPLEX TASK: Convincing a policeman to let you go because you tried to sell him cocaine, idiot.
HARD TASK: Getting a guard to let you into a higher society party so you can sell your cocaine to aristocrats.
VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TASK: Convincing Princess Lotte of Prussia to do cocaine with you because sex is better high.
IMPOSSIBLE TASK: Convincing her mom, Queen Nadja, to join you.

Are these the actual examples or something you made up? Because, I'm torn about the first couple task examples.

Also, everyone knows it should be marijuana Sampson sells...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj6aIK_WXhU

pkfan2004 posted:

COMPLICATIONS: Hoo doggy. So Incapacitating Wounds are a pain in the rear end because they leave behind long-term effects that kick in when the wound is treated. You roll on a chart depending on where you've been wounded. Sometimes they happen automatically depending on what happens, like a man with a bat breaking your knees. Basically the best way to handle a Complication is to see a doctor immediately and do your best to get what you need fixed. And even then actual medicine is gonna disable your character for a spell depending on the damage done. I'm gonna share these because they can range from minor issues to "whoops your arm is gone".

I've got no problem with Complications to wounds, but randomizing the whole thing is some meaningless assholery right there. A character should not lose a limb with a Flesh Wound role.

And there's an easy way to fix it, just make the damage thresholds the roll and rearrange the complications so stuff like Broken Fingers and Torn Muscle are in the Flesh Wound category and leave Amputated Arm and Amputated Leg in the 20 position.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Halloween Jack posted:

There is a whole section on how to stop PCs from ruining the campaign with guns. The most sensible bit of advice is to emphasize that it’s difficult to get away with carrying and firing guns in a modern setting. There are decent suggestions specific to the fact that the PCs and their enemies are largely magical creatures--have guns do less damage, emphasize that amputation is more effective against creatures that regenerate, and remember that guns can only fire so many shots in a round even if you have superhuman speed.

Yes, because you can't blow someone's limbs or head off with a shotgun or spitzer-tipped bullets like the 5.56mm NATO cartridge don't have a tendency to tumble when striking human flesh and cleaving limbs off. Nope, just doesn't happen.

pkfan2004 posted:

But then there's the combat corset, which is actually a somewhat effective form of armor. Sorta. See, the combat corset either has leather or rubber on top of spiraled steel and shifting plates that let the wearer be able to move and be flexible on top of having some chest protection. Mourner corsets are a guild secret and their design is kept a trade secret. The majority of combat corsets go from under the breasts to the top of the hips and provide a relatively solid form of protection for the torso. They're also not really nearly as tight as the fashion corsets; they're tied to fit and squeeze a little so you can have the look and flexibility. They're not perfect, of course, but they exist to help protect from disembowelment or lower attacks from Animates, Vampires and Thropes. See, Thropes tend to attack with punches and swings of their hands and Vampires might claw at a stomach or an Animate might grab someone's torso and if those fingers break the skin well you might get infected. Or maybe a thug is going to punch you in the kidneys or shiv you in the guts and you don't want them to know you've got armor. Or maybe someone is going to shoot you in the stomach to disable you for a spell. The point is that yeah combat corsets are actually kind of handy. If you want full-body protection, you want to invest in Deathwatch armor or getting a good set of gear an Undertaker would appreciate. Combat corsets are for people who want to conceal their armor and get a little protection for a really reasonable price compared to armor. Because armor is kinda drat expensive.

:what:

First off, most of your attacks are going to be to the upper portion of your torso or head and neck. Their combat corset isn't going to poo poo because it's not designed for practicality but for fashion. Secondly, it sounds a lot like brigandine armor, which was also known as jack-of-plates or plate-jack, which was strips of plate armor attached to leather or canvas.

They know that silk bulletproof vests where a major thing at the time before their Plague Years, right? They were super-expensive, about $10,000 by our standards, but they were scientifically-proven to at least stop pistol bullets. Supposedly, George Goodfellow from Tombstone found this out in the 1880s and theorized that gambesons like those worn in the medieval ages made out of 15-30 layers of silk would reliably stop bullets. After Kazimierz Żegleń and Jan Szczepanik their vests in the late 19th century, a varied clientele of dignitaries and nobility and wealthy gangsters and industrialists were already paying those prices for bulletproof silk vests. Remember, Archduke Ferdinand was wearing one when Gavilio Princip shot him in the unprotected portion of his neck. Alfonso XIII of Spain was saved by a bulletproof vest when an assassin attempted to shoot him. On a related note, supposedly the Josen kingdom in Korea had their own bulletproof jackets made of 30 layer of cotton that were relatively effective against military-issue cartridges of the French expeditionary forces and later the U.S. Marines in the 1860s-1870s.

pkfan2004 posted:

Vickers Machine Gun: needs a bunch of people to operate, highly illegal, highly expensive, only for military use. It's the everyone's favorite trench-mower, alive and well.

A Vickers Machine Gun?! You're loving kidding me!?

I was going to go through each on these listings and comment on them, but it came out to be the same thing: "Why are you still using something like this?" In the centuries of strife and war and no one has come up with a lighter-weight, less-man-intensive alternative? The Germans found out in a year of fighting in WW1 that you could take their version that Maxim-designed MG off the tripod, give it a stock and come up with more man-portable machinegun usable for small unit fighting. This wasn't goddamn rocket science, it was just something they noticed. The MG08/15 supposedly became so famous that it's the basis for a German idiom describing "cookie cutter".

Seriously, have they discussed why technological development just stopped at a certain point? Remember the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention"? Even during World War 2, the Russians' need for cheap automatic weapons went from their cantankerous and expensive copy of the Finnish Suomi, to the robust, high-firepower, and inexpensive Shpagin PPSh-41, which could be made at 3,000 per day, to the even lighter, cheaper-to-manufacture, and easier-to-use PPS-43, all with in the span of 3 to 4 years. Three of which the Soviet Union was fighting for it's life in similar conditions. Even the other Allies did the same thing, it's why we went from the woodstocked Thompsons, but since wood takes more time than machining, we went to guns like the Sten and Grease Gun made of almost all-stamped-steel construction.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Rockopolis posted:

Let's starve, with
Twilight 2000 v2.2 (1993)
Frank Chadwick, Game Designers Workshop
Part 1; How this Mess Started


1992 rolls around, and it's mostly bad poo poo going down, but in a local sense; unhappy rebels everywhere, continued civil war in Central Asia, that kind of thing.
In the US, unhappiness about drugs, trade, and military demobalization means the Republicans are out and Democrat John Tanner is elected President, with Deanna Pemberton as Vice President.

I am almost for certain that John Tanner is supposed to be a reference to Tanner '88, a HBO mini-series by Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau, one of the first long-form dramas original programming the network put together in the '80s (most of HBO's programming were comedy sketch shows or episodic television like Phillip Marlowe, Tales From The Crypty, and The Hitchhiker) and the one that gathered a lot of outside acclaim. It's about a Democrat representative from Michigan named Jack Tanner who was running for the Democratic nomination for president in 1988 and actually featured a lot of real life personages like Bob Dole, Bruce Babbit, and Linda Ellerbee.

Rockopolis posted:

The chapter ends with a sidebar of two characters reminiscing about TV, and how it made dictators look crazy.

You need to post this, either as a scan or as put it in quote text. This is a legit interesting piece, not just about the psychology and philosophy behind Twilight 2000, but also in general.

I've been thinking about recently about Twilight 2000 and the missed opportunity that Twilight 2013 was. I'd love if someone made a new version but call it Twilight 2000, but fill it with the alternate history weapons that Twilight 2000 touched upon instead of the stuff that we're using now.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



pkfan2004 posted:


Smart vampires are a different breed. See, all vampires are heavily territorial and they will gladly fight each other over turf disputes or if one becomes too powerful. Smart vampires will let you know that you are in their territory and therefor their property. They fall in love and tend to kill their lovers after falling into fits of melancholic violence, convinced their lovers want to leave them and kill them. They hang out with the rich and powerful and mark aristocratic families as "theirs". They're as social as they are vicious and because aristocrats love them it's not hard for them to find a steady source of blood and money to live comfortably. And all the while they hurt and torture people. They nurse blood from hookers and cut them with their claws and knives, using them as sex objects to mark and disfigure as they see fit. They become the center of attention at "Cirques du Sang" parties where aristocrats fawn over them, experience a gentle feeding from their party guest and watch the vampire hypnotize a cleaned-up abducted youth from the slums and feed from them violently and fatally. They even tend to get their pain and pleasure centers mixed up and delight in being tortured and hurting people around them.

In short, they're sadistic, undead rear end in a top hat rapists.

Okay, this might sound like a broken record at this point, but why aren't these smart vampires pulling something out of Blade and running the whole show from the shadows? Unless all this talk about France is actually a nation the vampires took over.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Lynx Winters posted:

:ssj: Hold on to your asses, rear end-holders! :ssj:

YES.

Lynx Winters posted:

Much to the surprise of anyone who doesn't seek out disappointment, R. Talsorian made a tabletop RPG out of Dragon Ball Z in 1999. Written by Mike Pondsmith of Cyberpunk fame, the game was an attempt to cram an already-shoddy cartoon into a simplified version of their Fuzion system. Fuzion was a mix of Cyberpunk's Interlock ruleset and some edition of HERO, and R.Tal used it for a few different games. It wasn't the first anime-based RPG the company had released, but I can hardly imagine that it wasn't their worst.

Nope. There was only three games in R. Talsorian's Animechanix line and DBZ is still the worst. Bubblegum Crisis was mostly warmed over Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset with hardsuits and Boomers thrown in and that realiest of the real robot anime VOTOMS still has significance because it's the only English-language material that covers that anime in such a deep manner, largely because of the involvement of Tim Eldred, a VOTOMS and Yamato superfan and comic artist who now works at Marvel Studios as assistant director of things like Avengers Assemble. Seriously, the book is less a game and more of an episode, setting, and character guide for the VOTOMS universe.

DBZ fails because the Fuzion system can't scale to those "over 9000" power levels that the show is famous for. Both BGC and VOTOMS allow characters to play other than hardsuit-wearing mercenaries or Armored Trooper pilots and can still be reasonably effective and have a good chance of survival against Boomers and other ATs. In DBZ, if you're not aren't an alien supersoldier, you're that goddamn bald guy who sits on the sidelines giving commentary. You have no chance. You're totally hosed if you're not a Saiyan, a Namekian, or an android.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 06:21 on Feb 5, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



dwarf74 posted:

Oh god that show. I watched with roommates but watching Goku do nothing but power up for like a whole week was the most :allears: thing ever.

I thought about looking it up recently, but then realized I like myself too much for that.

I'd avoid the original show, but Dragonball Kai, which is the show remastered and largely edited down to a third of it's running length, is a surprisingly good clip. A lot of the filler was removed, so you don't have episodes where nothing happens and power-ups take three episodes. Now, you have beginning, middle, and endings to episodes and arcs become more evident, as well as follow the manga more (a lot of the filler came when the TV show went faster than the manga publication). There's even newer animation for the fight scenes, so you no longer have the "third-string animation team" effect mentioned in ButtLord GT happen again.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Selachian posted:

Buck Rogers XXVc is fairly well balanced too (despite some issues with distribution of skills). But then it's just 2nd Edition AD&D with a skill system bolted on, so Pondsmith doesn't really deserve much credit for balancing it.

IIRC, one of the biggest examples I can think of is that none of the player races wasn't better than the other. There's no baseline humanity in the 25th century. Even the Terrans, who would be penalized in any other sci-fi game with no bonuses, receive a different set of bonus to their constitution because the harsh post-orbital-war and subsequent occupation by the Russo-American Mercantile's Martian forces than the other human variants.

Even the Desert Runners, the genengineered wolf-human hybrids that work herding livestock on Mars' partially-terraformed surface, have weakened saves to offset their Strength and Dexterity bonus because human-normal air pressures (i.e. 90% everywhere the players will go and fight in) is oppressive to them, so much so that they usually have to wear oxygen masks like they're going up the Himalayas.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Selachian posted:

People keep promising to and never following up. Maybe I should. (promptly disappears for six months)

I'm not really sure your characterization is accurate, though. Pulp adventure back in the day wasn't necessarily "light." XXVc was, however, a weird melding of '30s pulp sci-fi tropes (rocket ships! jetpacks! jungles on Venus!) with '90s cyberpunky tropes (AIs! sinister megacorporations! environmental devastation!), resulting in something that was neither fish nor fowl.

Yeah, a lot of the "aliens" are just genetically-engineered, mutant, or rapidly-evolving existing lifeforms. What we consider humans are differentiated due to their planetary conditions and cultures: the aforementioned Terrans have increased endurance from surviving and thriving in horrible near post-apocalyptic conditions, the Martians have eugenically-bred and -engineered themselves for social standing with RAM, there's even the Belters, asteroid miners, who are more machine than man. Need "natives" to Mars? Gene up some wolf-lion-human hybrids to round up GMO livestock and patrol the expanses of the Martian surface. Need invading Martian "aliens"? Genengineer some shark-bat people, condition them like Sardaukar from Dune and release them on occupied Earth to root out insurgents. Venusian lizardpeople are merely some sort of GMO slave class that have broken free and trudge around the lowland terraformed jungles.

In a way, XXVc is like Eclipse Phase before there was transhumanism.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Goddamn, I'm pissed now that there was more than one book for Dragonball Z. I can understand why there isn't a VOTOMS expansion, even though I would have killed for an Armor Hunter Mellowlink sourcebook, but it would have been nice to see some competition against Heavy Gear (which takes its inspiration heavily from VOTOMS). I would have at least expected another BubbleGum Crisis sourcebook covering the AD Police Files (manga and OVAs), as it's was relatively popular, just not as popular as DBZ. At least you could play those two games.

Also, the whole issue with Block comes from the fact that R. Tal during that they were pulling a Siembedia and copy-pasting stuff from other books, without double-checking. This got real bad when the company went on hiatus for a few years and then released Cyberpunk V3.0, which copy-pasted whole sections from the original book but left out important poo poo like the cyberware section in the PDF copy.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Tasoth posted:

It just dawned on me that if London is literally Hell on Earth and Wales/Ireland are pretty okay places outside of the blight and occasional monster horde, there'd be a huge exodus towards those areas. If the maps are right, Wales is 100-200 miles away, something like a four hour drive. Taking a train through horrorville would probably be safer, but the point is it isn't an arduous journey that will take weeks. poo poo, you can probably be in Ireland within twenty four hours if you plan it right.

What I'm getting at is that it'd make more sense that the people still in London are either batshit insane, soul crushingly poor and ill or slaves. Because even the poor folk with two working feet would probably flee towards a near by city even with zombies around.

Yeah, exurbs would be totes a thing (kinda like now). Be easier for the army and whatever private security rich neo-Vickies would have to maintain security of their clients' estates in open terrain than in close quarters urban environments. Packs of zombies are easier to kill at open range and you'd have less restrictions on pulling out the heavy stuff like machineguns and artillery in stomping them down.

Metropolitan London would be such a polluted urban death maze that you'd have to be poor, enslaved in debt or indentured service, or insane to stay there.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



InfiniteJesters posted:

Those crit charts are like Dark Heresy's, except with all the fun and :black101: sucked out of them.

The damage charts look almost exactly like Phoenix Command. :stare:

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hulk Smash! posted:

Here's the damage chart from Living Steel which is based on Phoenix Command, for comparison.

Click for big:


It was all those Ks showing up in the damage tables. That's what caused me to have traumatic flashbacks

Trigger warning: simulationist gaming

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

That is the most ridonkulous hit location chart I've ever seen, and I've played Battlelords of the 23rd Century, which had a % chance to hit the genitals.

What's real bad is that, at a certain point, they become superfluous. Even without getting into how the Health attribute effects things (not much), Living Steel/Phoenix Command has you make Recovery Rolls, essentially save vs. death, at certain levels of injury in time frame called the Critical Time Period. At 800 total Physical Damage points with no medical aid, you have to make a Recovery Roll of 1% chance of survival every 5 minutes. At 20K PD (or 2T) total PD, you don't even roll, you're dead at the end of the phase.

Now, look at that damage chart and look at how many PD some of those injuries are.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Mors Rattus posted:

...and I've just realized, there's literally nothing on African philosophy - which does exist, people have thought about thinking wherever there have been people organized and well-fed enough to support philosophers. Islamic philosophy, of course, was (and still is) a huge thing, especially around northern Africa and the Middle East. Ignoring the work of Islamic philosophers is stupid at best. Ethiopian philosophers had their own thing going on, headed up by a genius theologian named Zara Yacob who developed his own brand of theist philosophy that was pretty accepting of most stuff. The people of sub-Saharan Africa developed a very unique philosophy that I want to read about more, involving a focus on dynamic reality and the forces of reality being primary to existence itself, rather than deriving from things existing.

And then you have modern stuff, which I admit I haven't studied at all, but a quick look shows that modern African philosophy definitely exists. It has a communal focus and likes to examine the beliefs implicit in African cultures and languages. Not to mention, of course, the philosophical works deriving from the African diaspora - philosophers like Malcolm X, W. E. B. Du Bois or Frederick Douglass.

Yeah, it's pretty racist. I'd at least think the "Asians" would be replaced with Orientals or Orientalists, which would cover stuff like post-Colonial, post-Imperialist, counter-Western philosophy by stuff like Edward Said, since it covered Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Xelkelvos posted:

The concept needs to be reworked from the ground up and the D&D concept needs to be thrown out until the mechanics are more settled. It would probably be better served with stats based on a series of polar philosophies (Leftism vs. Rightism, Libertarianism vs. Authoritarianism, etc.) with each giving a penalty/bonus depending on the stat and roll. The philosophies should also be broader so as to be compatible with all sorts of philosophies.

Actually, the way the alignment system works in D&D, I could totally see that being reskinned using those concepts.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Rockopolis posted:

Oh yes, one of the special rounds is CHEM. Chem hand grenades are available in smoke or tear gas (double price).
On the other hand, basic rounds are available in 122mm for only $350. If you already dropped $50,000 on a howitzer, you might as well go wild and pay pay $1400 per round so you could start with loving NERVE GAS! That's right, you can start the game with enough nerve gas to wipe out a major city.

Considering how well even seasoned marksmen shoot in this game (terrible even with 10s) and how effective automatic weapons are (which are essentially noob-tubes that will score at least one hit regardless of skill), you'll need all that nerve gas just to make it through a single combat.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



LatwPIAT posted:

I saw some posts earlier in this thread talking about the horrors of Phoenix Command and Living Steel. Would there be interests in doing a commentary on Phoenix Command and its derivatives? I'm actually quite fond of the system in spite of its major flaws, so I would perhaps not mock it as relentlessly as other people might, but I imagine myself as having a fairly deep understanding of how it actually works and what absolutely hilarious interactions there are in the rules. I could write mockingly about that, at least.

Like how smarter people run faster, or how putting scopes on a rifle will make it more accurate when fired from the hip. Or just how incredibly poorly written some of the rules are.

Or more pointlessly detailed things like how the creators created an incredibly detailed system for modelling firearms ballistics, and then made up numbers because their favourite guns didn't feel right...

Would there be any interest?

Do this. I had never heard the stuff about making up the numbers before, so please enlighten me.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Mutant Headcrab posted:

From what I understand, the aliens take the back seat in that book. The primary antagonists it sets up for are other human forces. Space communists and what-not, I think.

There's also other aliens other than the Giger Xenomorphs, since you can have a bughunting campaign without encountering the Xenos from the film series.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hulk Smash! posted:

Move faster as in "go from point A to point B faster" or "think on your feet" i.g. Initiative rank? 1st one makes no sense but I could sort of see the 2nd.

My guess is that the book either uses the 1st thing or makes no mention of which one it means. :v:

He actually mentions why he brings up INT means "Move Faster". He means you get more actions. The tl;dr of it is that your STR vs. Encumbrance determines your Base Speed, then your Base Speed is cross-referenced AGI to determine your Max Speed, which when cross-referenced with the sum of your INT score and SAL/GSCL determines how many actions your character gets. Which, because the way actual movement works, more actions = faster speed since a 2-yard hex takes one Combat Action to move through.

Since you can have 8 CA in a half-second impulse, that means you can move 32m/s. Despite what it says about Max Speed, it really doesn't have an effect on anything, since none of the movement rules ever mention them.

Evil Mastermind posted:

That's honestly news to me, since all we did was hunt Xenos for four sessions.

Yeah, looking through the book now, there's at least two types of indigenous life forms the Colonial Marines or Mercenaries can run across other than Xenos: native Arcturians, who are platypus-insect-bat humanoids with a primitive culture, and Harvesters, which are titanic subterranean armadillos. Since both of them have hive hierarchies, with Queens and Drones and the like, they're pretty much wannabe Xenos.

If you treat the Colonial Marines Technical Manual as a sourcebook, then you have various colonial rebels and other Corporations that rival the USCM. Sorry, there's apparently no Neo-Soviet Cosmospetsnaz equivalent.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Mar 31, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



LatwPIAT posted:

"she", actually. Also, in basic PCCS you can't get more than 6 actions per impulse, for a running speed of "only" 22 meters per second. That is to say, 80 kmh. Running. At these speeds you can expect to run across a lake and not sink from the sheer force of your feet pushing up from the water. A rather peculiar feature for a game that claims to model extreme realism...

I apologized, I assumed that you were male.

The 8 CA per impulse I mentioned is something that popped up in an example, so I had thought it was a feasible goal.

LatwPIAT posted:

This part of the game is actually quite clever. When you fire a gun in real life and in PCCS, your shots will follow a Guassian distribution. It's most likely that your bullets will go straight forward, but it's also fairly likely they'll deviate a little to the either side of "straight forward", and slightly less likely that they'll deviate even more to either side, etc. The probability of hitting your target is the probability that you shot will fall within some distance from of the centre of your aim. The Odds of Hitting Table is basically this Guassian probability distribution made into a table. It actually conforms quite nicely to the probability distribution for hitting of US Army soldiers. Which I know because there are tables of to-hit probabilities at different ranges and skills for US Army soldiers in the US Army Rifle Marksmanship field manual. Which I have studied extensively and compared to PCCS values...

...I really like gun prawn, OK?

I've done this a lot, since those training manuals give you a better idea of the capabilities of modern warfighters, especially if you're trying to replicate that in game. A lot of the qualification tests are designed to be percentage-based so it's easy to find what level of skill that a TRPG character should be. It's why Twilight 2000 kinda dimmed in my eyes because there's no way a character can actually replicate the same hit ratio needed in game.

The other thing is that you can easily replicate the same Gaussian curve without complicated math, tables, and such by using opposed dice rolls. The percentages of success scale logarithmically depending the difference in modifiers. For instance, I'm trying to build a game off the OpenD6 system, and if you add a single die between two even die pools, the chance for success is doubled. 4D6 vs. 3D6 has a 75% chance of success, 5D6 vs. 3D6 has something like 88% chance, and 6D6 has an almost 95% chance of success. But you can use single dice or different dice and gets something similar.

Evil Mastermind posted:

Would it be spoilery of me to point out that Leading Edge Games also put out an RPG based on the "Lawnmower Man" movie, and said game was "fully compatable" with Aliens and Living Steel?

That's nothing. LEG licensed a game based off of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Yes, the Francis Ford Coppola movie where I don't think there was any guns and if there were, they're not very effective.

hectorgrey posted:

I get the feeling that that bit of Phoenix Command would make for an awesome Jagged Alliance type of computer game.

Oh, yeah. I created a Phoenix Command framework for MapTools at some point, but largely abandoned it. I took some effort because of the way MapTools reads tables, which forced me to create tables references inside tables to get the cross-referencing down. But yeah, the framework plays almost like a tactical turn-based game. You could chose a shooter, have them select a target within range, and click on them and instantly get results on how they've been wounded, if they made their knockout roll, what their physical damage was and automatically set their state to dead if they failed their Recovery Rolls. I even managed to rig it so that explosives can be spawned on the field, locate objects within range and it's line of sight, and automatically trigger a damage test them.

Also, I know when people were poking around inside the Shadowrun Returns engine, there was per-hex incremented range tables per weapon. So, yeah, there's a bit of that Phoenix Command in actual tactical computer RPGs because it has no problem running major calculations quickly.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 15:56 on Apr 1, 2014

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



LatwPIAT posted:

A much better method is the one invented by Rebecca Borgstrom for Weapon of the Gods (which is also used in the new World of Darkness books), where you pick a flaw at chargen, and every time that flaw becomes relevant during the game, you get extra XP. If you're wheelchair-bound, you don't get any XP when you spend the entire session researching stuff in a library, but you do get extra XP when the bad guys take you out of a fight by tipping your wheelchair over.

I'd have to see which came first, but this sounds very awfully like how FATE handles disadvantages.

LatwPIAT posted:

Hmm. Interesting. The only problem with this is that dice-pool-systems where you add the values of the dice are objectively among the slowest dice-roll systems in common use; it simply takes time to add all the numbers up, no matter how small they are or easy the mental arithmetic is. I'll keep it in mind though - it might be a good way to trick lookup-table-adverse players into playing PCCS. :v:

It's not just dice-pools. Underground used opposed 2d10 rolls and it's almost bone simple in it's math.



However, it used Value/Measures, so you would need to translate between a real-world measurement to find it's value. TORG is probably a cleaner example, since it used Values based off metric measurements instead of Imperial units like in Underground, which allows anyone to quickly remember a value without having to look at a chart, since it used a logarithm where every 5th Value would be x10 in Measures, so Value 10 is actually 100 m/kgs/anything in a real world count, or 20 is 10,000 and 30 is a million. TORG kinda blew it with how you actually rolled to get Values, since you would roll a d20, consult a chart, then add or subtract that cross-referenced number from your skill

Also, you can use a single d20 instead, but the curve becomes a pyramid and changes take longer. A cool thing about using OpenD6 is that small changes are big starting off. To put it in marksmanship numbers, a character with +1D in firearms would be equivalent of a Marksman-qualified shooter, but +2D in firearms makes them equivalent to a special forces commando or a military sniper and +3D is like Olympic-class shooters.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

I admit that I'm trying to be more positive about gaming and not spend time complaining about game bits I don't like (and also that I'm also way behind on Torg), but I am so glad the whole exponential advancement/huge-rear end value charts died out. I wasn't a fan when those were common, I can't stand them now.

I like the exponential systems because the alternative is RIFTS, where you quickly get to a point were if you aren't a superhuman or in powered armor, you're totally hosed. It's not even if you have a slim chance it's that you have no chance. I can't even take a crowbar to a tank's exposed sensors and damage them because of the way the game works.

Even game systems like R. Talsorian's Interlock, if you get someone who has over +10 points on a roll, you can't touch them. In fact, you might as well not even try to do Very Difficult (25) or Impossible (30) tasks if you're have 5 in attribute and +5 in skill because you'll never hit those numbers.

At least with exponential systems, you have a chance, even if it's a slim one, and that's the important factor. You always want PCs to hold out for the golden BB or the lucky shot.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Valatar posted:

In general I prefer the 'get experience if you inflict the flaw on yourself' flaw system over the kind that gives you points at character creation for disadvantages that will likely be conveniently forgotten within a month. The GM needs to be firm to prevent a more spergy player from picking a flaw that will become tedious for everyone, but aside from that it incentivizes players to be the ones who bring up their characters' flaws rather than relying on a GM to remember to inflict it on the character. NWoD's flaw system works that way, and is one of the things that I feel make it mechanically superior to OWoD.

Yeah, I remembering reading something like that for FATE and how you could use them to power other traits and thought it was the greatest thing to do replicate traits like addictions and compulsions. I've been thinking about that for my cyberpunk heartbreaker, so if you to be able to use reflex booster to give you extra actions in combat, you got to do a line of coke off a hooker's back in the bathroom stall of a club before getting into the big firefight with the Yakuza. Maybe give bonuses to drugs that can only be gotten by burning those points, so if you want to be a human wrecking ball on PCP or some future combat drug, you can, but it'll cost you maybe more than it costs to invoke the flaw.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



J Miracle posted:

I love the repeated Rifts trope of "group of badasses decides to go all in on acting like figures from local mythology."

Rifts is like peak murderhobo.

The players are so overpowered to everyone in the Rifts wilderness, that with their weapons that can incinerate a person, their family, and their house in one shot and armor that makes them the equivalent of walking tanks (or literal walking tanks), it must be a temptation to be God. Because there's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irration, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Halloween Jack posted:

Chapter 1: History of the Imperium

Dune is divided into three “books,” the first being “Imperium Familia,” which contains all the setting, character generation, and rules info that the players will need. The first chapter is a history of the setting, the Imperium.


You're a long way from Hoth.

Halloween Jack posted:

The aftermath of the Jihad plunged the Imperium into a technological and cultural dark age, because faster-than-light travel was largely abandoned. When isolated planets began communicating with each other again, they did so with the shared philosophy that “Man may not be replaced.” The Orange Catholic Bible, a syncretic scripture created for the new Imperium, declares “Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.” What does that mean? No artificial intelligence, no robotics, no cybernetics, no genetic engineering; in short, no transhumanism and no reliance on automation. The Imperium has faster-than-light travel and gravity manipulation, but not Microsoft Excel.

(Although the Butlerian Jihad is a major part of the premise of the Dune universe, Herbert alludes to it many times without ever defining exactly what the conflict was or how it played out, not even in the appendix to Dune which lays out the background of the setting. We don’t even know who Butler was! Multiple allusions imply that it was both a literal war against Space Skynet and a neo-Luddite movement, but Herbert was a master of the “always leave them wanting more” principle. Dune: CotI takes a middle ground by saying that it was both. There’s some technology that seems like it couldn’t work without some computerization being involved, but as far as the Narrator and the players should be concerned, the Imperium is a sci-fi setting with no computers.

I'm not sure if it outright banned genetic engineering because you have the Ixians, but then the Ixians are supposedly something other than the Empire.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Mr. Maltose posted:

Ixians are dudes from Planet Ix, who are the most advanced producers of "machine culture" and are just short of violating the ideals of the Butlerian Jihad.

The Bene Tleilax are the genetic engineers who make poo poo like Gholas and Face Dancers.

Yeah, Bene Tleilax is the guys who I'm thinking of. They're the ones who turn their women into giant biochemical factory wombs for their products and freak out the Bene Gesserit.

  • Locked thread