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gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Mors Rattus posted:

Well, I mean, some of the setting material had political stuff in it, like the declaration that binary gender was inherent to existence.

Oh God, Celestial Bliss Trick and other related charms among the many other problems with it is basically a giant case of denying that asexuality exists. -_-

EDIT: The arguments over this lead to one of the devs for Exalted 3e (can't remember for sure which one) claiming that asexuality in Exalted would be a superpower.

There's a lot of reasons I have some ingrained negative emotional reactions torwards this game...

gourdcaptain fucked around with this message at 22:14 on Mar 28, 2019

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

gourdcaptain posted:

Oh God, Celestial Bliss Trick and other related charms among the many other problems with it is basically a giant case of denying that asexuality exists. -_-

EDIT: The arguments over this lead to one of the devs for Exalted 3e (can't remember for sure which one) claiming that asexuality in Exalted would be a superpower.

The idea of asexuality and nonbinary people existing were both foreign to Morke. (Oddly, he was fine with the idea of trans people. Just not NB people or ace people.)

e: the new devs do not have this issue, and indeed, Lunars explicitly states that whatever your gender identity is, Luna transforms your body to conform to it. Period. No questions asked. Luna says trans rights.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Nessus posted:

There were 13 werewolf tribes which were typically pretty derivative and strongly rooted in either human ethnicity or in essentially human-oriented political divides, with the exception of the one all-lupus tribe.

I think WTA hit some good notes; you have a diverse range of opinion and most of the tribes did indeed have distinctive flavor even if sometimes that flavor was bad or dumb. While it was rarely done the idea was also that a given sept (Garou culture-unit) might have three or four tribes out of the thirteen in it, which would allow for stronger and more distinct cultural flavors.

They also had a lot of bad and weird ideas. Even so it would be interesting to see something like that rather than just "here are the five types of immutable soul on the elemental magia wheel of your splat-power charts.)

During its Revised period the developer Ethan Skemp did his best to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and drag it into something not quite appropriation-y, but even on his watch some things slipped through (which to his credit he apologized for).

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, Morke sucks. New devs are way better.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Uh, why would he think being asexual is a superpower in the context of Exalted?

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:

Uh, why would he think being asexual is a superpower in the context of Exalted?

Think of the "Unshippable" trait from AdEva. Presumably because it makes you resistant to seduction-based social attacks.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Night10194 posted:

Uh, why would he think being asexual is a superpower in the context of Exalted?

Because you can ignore seduction and that's clearly an unnatural ability if you can do that. -_-
It's both claiming that being asexual is unnatural and even creepier coming from them in retrospect!


Also there are charms that don't respect orientation and that also is incredibly gross.

Rand Brittain
Mar 25, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
I mean, it was a joke, based on the idea that the source material, such as Tanith Lee, is full of incredibly-powerful beings getting dunked on because they're petty and lust-addled; therefore a genuinely asexual being would stand astride the Flat Earth like a god, untouchable and unhorny.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013

EthanSteele posted:

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, Morke sucks. New devs are way better.

Think of the Abyssal charm preview alone. There are 25 abilities in Exalted. Twenty-five. Out of all the abilities they picked the one ability that would let them write rape ghost charms. That is - and I am using the word in the Classcial sense - an awesome commitment to being a creepy sex pest.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

PurpleXVI posted:

Think of the "Unshippable" trait from AdEva. Presumably because it makes you resistant to seduction-based social attacks.

Yeah, I should have guessed as much, but goddamnit.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Rand Brittain posted:

I mean, it was a joke, based on the idea that the source material, such as Tanith Lee, is full of incredibly-powerful beings getting dunked on because they're petty and lust-addled; therefore a genuinely asexual being would stand astride the Flat Earth like a god, untouchable and unhorny.

Given the devs in question and their output and noted sexual harassment issues, it's the kind of joke that doesn't really feel like it's not aimed at the expense of asexual people now especially. Then again, it didn't at the time they made it either...

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

gourdcaptain posted:

Given the devs in question and their output and noted sexual harassment issues, it's the kind of joke that doesn't really feel like it's not aimed at the expense of asexual people now especially. Then again, it didn't at the time they made it either...

It's not as if 'God, can't you just take a joke' isn't a common strategy by shitlords.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 18, 2013



gourdcaptain posted:

Given the devs in question and their output and noted sexual harassment issues, it's the kind of joke that doesn't really feel like it's not aimed at the expense of asexual people now especially. Then again, it didn't at the time they made it either...
Was that the guy who thought the harassment quotes were due to people not being able to handle his raw animal magnetism, or was that someone else?

Rand Brittain
Mar 25, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
Wasn't it Lea that said that, anyway?

The one going on about his intense gaze was Colin Suleiman.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Terrible Opinions posted:

Was that the guy who thought the harassment quotes were due to people not being able to handle his raw animal magnetism, or was that someone else?
That's Suleiman, the harasser who worked for Green Ronin and on Mummy.

Rand Brittain posted:

Wasn't it Lea that said that, anyway?

Right. I now know who to dislike on that, and still hold Holden and Morke accountable for all the stuff they did.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that
There's also the Red Rule, which says that players can declare that any seduction or sexual influence of any kind fails on their character whenever they want. If you want to play an asexual character, you can just declare that you are asexual by the rules and seduction no longer works on you. If you want to play a character with strict sexuality, same thing. It could definitely do with better presentation and integration, but the game does have mechanical support for seduction not working based on the target's preferences.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine

Rand Brittain posted:

I mean, it was a joke, based on the idea that the source material, such as Tanith Lee, is full of incredibly-powerful beings getting dunked on because they're petty and lust-addled; therefore a genuinely asexual being would stand astride the Flat Earth like a god, untouchable and unhorny.

Oh thank god, they were otherizing and fetishizing minorities as a joke, which is a much better position to be in, erasing peopleís experience but as a jest.

Also Ďgenuinely asexual beingí gently caress all the way off.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Kaza42 posted:

There's also the Red Rule, which says that players can declare that any seduction or sexual influence of any kind fails on their character whenever they want. If you want to play an asexual character, you can just declare that you are asexual by the rules and seduction no longer works on you. If you want to play a character with strict sexuality, same thing. It could definitely do with better presentation and integration, but the game does have mechanical support for seduction not working based on the target's preferences.

It still indicates things about the game, can I at least say that, please?

Mr. Maltose posted:

Oh thank god, they were otherizing and fetishizing minorities as a joke, which is a much better position to be in, erasing people’s experience but as a jest.

Also ‘genuinely asexual being’ gently caress all the way off.

Also, this, Rand Brittain.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
Rand Brittain nobody likes you or your bullshit takes go home

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

The Red Rule felt a bit awkward at times because, yes, it's nice to formalize the fact that players shouldn't have their characters exposed to sexual acts they are uncomfortable with, but why was there so much to be uncomfortable about in the first place?

Especially because the rules often seemed to encourage some of the uncomfortable stuff, and the ~Red Rule~ was often used by fans as a defence of this: yes, the game encourages creating really nasty situations at the table, but don't worry, if you don't like that you can always invoke your out-of-game right to say "please stop"!

(And also the way it was called ~The Red Rule~ annoyed me for reasons I can't articulate.)

Oberndorf
Oct 20, 2010



I just assumed it was an rpg.net thing. Holden at least was a mod there once upon a time and if they were speaking in their official ďvoice of godĒ role they used red text. I figured it was just a fairly in-group way of saying it was an inviolable rule.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
One of the things I like about the X-Card in Spire (and I know they got it from elsewhere) is there's no explanation. You just toss the card on the table and the scene's done.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Rand Brittain posted:

I mean, it was a joke, based on the idea that the source material, such as Tanith Lee, is full of incredibly-powerful beings getting dunked on because they're petty and lust-addled; therefore a genuinely asexual being would stand astride the Flat Earth like a god, untouchable and unhorny.
https://twitter.com/dril/status/638936294937227264

But on the other hand,

https://twitter.com/dasharez0ne/status/1070847610250903552

I appreciate that Exalted has at least tried to grapple with having sexuality exist in the setting, but after what, fifteen years? Morke gains no points, especially if he is going to go ahead and tack into the gender binary and all that happy crappy. There are many desires other than the sexual.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Rand Brittain posted:

I mean, it was a joke, based on the idea that the source material, such as Tanith Lee, is full of incredibly-powerful beings getting dunked on because they're petty and lust-addled; therefore a genuinely asexual being would stand astride the Flat Earth like a god, untouchable and unhorny.
Wrong one

https://twitter.com/dril/status/687446125457096704?lang=en

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine

Night10194 posted:

One of the things I like about the X-Card in Spire (and I know they got it from elsewhere) is there's no explanation. You just toss the card on the table and the scene's done.

Of course, thatís also one of the major weaknesses of the X-Card as a single method of handling these situations, but thatís a much deeper discussion and is way off the topic of Exalted being bad at things.

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019

Hunt11 posted:

What was edgy/stupid about those wolfs?

I mean they were parodically incompetent, hyper-violent Captain Planet side characters, described by their own creators as eco-fascists. But the reason 4chan likes them is that they are older and therefore better.

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019

Halloween Jack posted:

Many of the Tribes are based on real-world oppressed groups, and they all practice some form of shamanism. Even worse, it was the 90s. So right off the bat you've got a lot of Problematic fantasies about playing colonized people with magic powers, and 90s Neopaganism with all its foibles including ahistoricity, cultural appropriation, a fairy tale understanding of feminism, and borderline fascism. Even worse, some of the Tribes also have nasty associations that are presented in a neutral tone, like the Red Talons (who want to cull the human population), Black Furies (see "fairy tale feminism" above), and the Get of Fenris, who have a Nazi problem. It's very much shaded by that vague attitude of "Christianity and modernism and technology are bad and evil, New Age mumbo-jumbo is liberation" attitude you also see in Mage and even Vampire to some extent.

The Black Furies arenít so much ďFairy Tale FeminismĒ as just a straight up mix of homophobia and misogyny. Also lol ďborderline fascismĒ. They did clean it up quite a bit in later version though.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Old werewolf also leaned hard into furrydom.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
plus old werewolf's problems with bestiality

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS
Just going back a bit to the question about decision paralysis (and further reasons dice tricks suck):

When we played, the one player who always has trouble with rules did have some with the charms, but we helped her pre-write some combos with some notes on what they'd be good for and how to decide how many motes to use, and she was fine after that. That's pretty standard for our group, so it wasn't very notable.

On the other hand, I and one other player did get a shitton of questions and requests for advice when considering different charms to buy, because of those stupid dice tricks. I use stats regularly at work, and said other player is an engineer. And sure, we could eyeball some of those dice tricks and see what kind of benefit they'd give. But then it'd go beyond "9s count as 2 successes" or "reroll 6s" where you'd be rolling until none of those number appeared or whatever else, and players would be asking how that stacked up compared to working on this other skill where it had a different dice trick, and suddenly my piece of scratch paper is full of numbers and arg this is so dumb.

When that first started happening, on a slow day at work I got it in my head to map out all the dice tricks and their relative benefit and see if/what the underlying logic to them being in different skills at different places were. I don't remember if it was 3 or 4 charm trees in that I realized I had better things to do with my life, but how they expected your average gamer to try to evaluate different dice tricks beyond "more chance for success = GUD", I dunno.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011

Desiden posted:

how they expected your average gamer to try to evaluate different dice tricks beyond "more chance for success = GUD", I dunno.

Dungeons: The Dwhatevering and Exalted are both good examples of the last gasp of these dice tricks so complicated that nobody could actually figure out how good a bonus was supposed to be.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman, it's more Stupid Dice Tricks.

I've always hated dice tricks, even normal-rear end exploding dice, because they do exactly two things: they make it harder to understand the outcomes involved, and they make it harder to understand the probabilities of those outcomes.

The common justification is "but it means there's a tiny chance of chain explosions and then w a c k y s t u f f happens!!" But you can get functionally the same experience by just having the player roll 3d6 and having the aforementioned w a c k y s t u f f happen on an 18 or whatever. The difference being, of course, that calculating the chance of an 18 on 3d6 is easy. Calculating the chance of getting at least four 7s, 8s, 9s, and/or 10s when you roll nine dice and keep six of them but also you can reroll twos and 10s explode and you can spend a willpower to add a die is not.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I'm okay with exploding dice in very, very specific circumstances, like when you've already got the equivalent of a crit in Hams and you're seeing how hard you hit in your big heroic moment. Or the exploding Action Dice in Spycraft, where you're checking to see how effective a really big moment turns out to be. But as an actual base resolution mechanic they can go to hell. Like take the Paragon's 'Your dice explode on 9+ when Stunting' thing in DtD. Not that the Roll and Keep system has ever had anything approaching dice math, but that throws it off even further.

They should never ever be any kind of core mechanic. But we haven't gotten to what's so loving crazy about DtD's dice tricks yet and I'm saving that one. I need at least a little excitement in reviewing this thing and the way it doesn't come up until chapter 14 after they've already told you everything else in the game is hilarious to me.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

D&D should have used a 3d6 instead of a d20 and Gary shouldn't have been allowed to use d4s, d8s, or d12s.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.





O gently caress it letís just get this puppy rolling. (Note bene : Iím unemployed and have like super mega-death depression so updates will be at an unknown frequency.)

Anyway, Torchbearer.

Torchbearer is an RPG by Thor Ovalsrud that is basically a love letter to old school dungeon crawling, but is also coming from a more narrative style. Ish. Sort of. Itís working off of the Burning Wheel engine, like Mouse Guard, but is a bit more crunchy. Yet also more abstract. Those two words are gonna come up a lot. Itís like conceptual peanut butter : crunchy abstract.

My go to elevator pitch for this game is if The Things They Carried had goblins. It is entirely unapologetic in being Fantasy Fukken Vietnam. You will track individual torches and how long they last. You will track every minute bit of inventory on an abstract (drink!) little paper doll on your character sheet. You have to not go hungry because, hey, being hungry gives you stat penalties. You will spend a lot of time thinking about the logistics. It has combat sure, but it might as well also be an RPG for playing through the plot of The Hatchet.

The first game I ran, about halfway through, I informed the party that they were Hungry and Thirsty, their torch had run out and they needed to light a new one, and that the elf was Sick. I might have cackled. My players asked me if everything was okay at home.

And Iím not a gross groggy GM. I really love making my players feel like being big drat heroes. loving love the stuff! But this ainít that game. And thatís part of why I like it. It really wants you to be grimey and gross (no not like in a weird piss-wizard way ; the good part of ďgrim darkĒ). And it has a lot of mechanics to back that up. Itís gonna be a hard scrabble for the PCs, but when they get through it and they win, it feels amazing.

You remember how D&D 4e encounter design actually did, you know, math so you could kind of be a dick DM and really go after your players but be sure that the math worked out and theyíd be okay in the end so it was cool? Or like the first time you played a *World game and got the GM rules that you really were a fan of the players but also the system told you to stir poo poo up and cause drama? Itís a very similar feeling. Youíre basically making life hell for your players, but in a very structured way that is designed to give tense conflict and not a TPK.

The system is quite abstract (drink!), with alternating between different phases that Iíll outline as we get to them (adventure, camp, town, winter, etc.), but basically everything is a die-pool of d6s where 4+ is a success and everything else isnít, modified by some situational stuff and you need to get a certain number of successes. All conflicts are basically resolved the same or at least in parallel, whether theyíre fighting or debating or fleeing or riddling. Yes, riddling. Cause The Hobbit. And the book mentions that Riddling doesnít get penalties for being in the dark. Every. Single. Time. It comes up.

Just a heads up : Iím gonna try to be as clear as I can in this review, but this game is crunchy (drink!) as hell and super dense. Like, itís not badly written ; itís just a lot. Iím gonna be going through it section by section as presented but Iíll jump around a bit to help make things clear. And Iím still gonna gently caress up. Apologies in advance. It took me like 3 tries to get the system when I first read it and I read Noam Chomsky professionally. Itís just really, really dense and takes a while to click. (Although in my experience itís much faster in play.)

Anyway, welcome to my dungeon full of spiders! And also cholera.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

jakodee posted:

The Black Furies arenít so much ďFairy Tale FeminismĒ as just a straight up mix of homophobia and misogyny.
Like I said.

quote:

Also lol ďborderline fascismĒ.
One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements. The most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge ó that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

I would describe the Furies as 'straw feminism' myself. Feminism as written by people who have no idea what feminism is.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Werewolf probably has more cringeworthy splats by weight than any other mainline WoD game.

The Lone Badger posted:

I would describe the Furies as 'straw feminism' myself. Feminism as written by people who have no idea what feminism is.

Battle Mad Ronin
Aug 26, 2017

Xiahou Dun posted:



O gently caress it letís just get this puppy rolling. (Note bene : Iím unemployed and have like super mega-death depression so updates will be at an unknown frequency.)

Anyway, welcome to my dungeon full of spiders! And also cholera.

Glad to see the first installment of the Torchbearer review. Been looking forward to it since you announced it earlier in the thread.

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Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



megane posted:

Eagle Fish Transition Prophecy.
what the HELL does this one do

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