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.
 
MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


well I'd also accept blue, green, or black?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Animals big enough to ride sometimes have a little note of how easy it is to tame next to its Speed bonus. Tyrant Lizard is basically "pretty much impossible unless you're a player character"

Death Moa don't have a listed speed bonus (rideable still says +0 normally), but they "tower over men and horses" and you can ride a Claw Strider which are as "tall as a man" so gently caress that. Death Moa are based on the bullockornis (aka, Demon-Duck-of-Doom, for real, look it up) and their bodies are pretty much the same size as a camel's body so I can't think of a reason you couldn't ride them in terms of physical size considering people ride ostriches in real life.

SirPhoebos posted:

Given how much Exalted tries to pretend it has nothing to do with it's actual inspirations, I'm going to guess that yellow is explicitly not allowed.

Credit where credit is due on this one: The Austrech is the chocobo and are available in all the expected colours.

EthanSteele fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Apr 10, 2019

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Okay but do the austreches say wark, or, kweh?

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


There is no mention, so I believe the cowards saw this coming and left it to the player.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Exalted 3rd Edition: Animal Universe

Emperor Sloths are ground sloths the size of elephants, feared for their power. They eat a mix of leaves and scavenged carrion meat, and their immense strength and large claws mean they can, if they feel like it, kill and eat fresh meat, usually deer, cattle or humans. They are extremely tough, but they’re not very brave and will flee quickly if hurt, unless they’ve turned carnivore, in which case they take a bit more work to force into running away. While emperor sloths are quite slow, they grow more and more damaging as a fight goes on. A familiar can be trained so that the first time it gets Crashed in a fight, it can instead go into a frenzied magical rampage that cancels its normal slowness. They have excellent noses and get a bonus to smell-based Perception rolls, are Legendary Size, and can see well in the dark.

Gorillas are found throughout the mountains of the Northeast, the Eastern lowlands and the Blessed Isle. They are found in groups led by the oldest male, the silverback. While gorillas are normally peaceful herbivores, a silverback will respond to perceived threats with attempts to intimidate via howling and chest-beating, attacking if they see weakness. Humans in gorilla territory are often killed because they try to flee from the silverback, but a display of force can make them back down and cause acceptance by the gorilla troop. Many legends exist of children raised by gentle, intelligent gorillas. Gorillas, while tough, will usually flee if wounded – except the silverback, who will die to defend the rest as they flee. Gorillas get a bonus to attacks and damage against Crashed foes and can use their intimidaton dicepool to Join Battle. They can also act before anyone they scare that way, even if their Initiative is lower. Gorillas do bonus damage against grappled foes and can be trained to be better wrestlers and grapplers in general. They can also be trained to wield weapons, as long as they don’t require much finesse, and their sense of smell is excellent.

Great Cats are common in the North, East and South in various forms. They tend to be ambush predators that avoid human settlements except when forced near by hunger or divine curses. They’re fairly tough and take a decent amount of damage before they’ll run away. They get bonuses to attack from stealth and can grapple smaller foes easily, much like smaller cats. They’re just bigger. They’re also good at moving while stealthed, especially in their native environment. They have excellent noses and hearing, and they can be trained for battle, which makes them better at dodging slower or ranged foes.

Hellboars are some of the most feared animals in the East or Blessed Isle. They are omnivores able to crack bones with their jaws. Their bite tears ligaments, allowing them to stomp their foes to death before they devour them. Few hunters are fool enough to try and take a hellboar, except perhaps some Dynasts. Hunters will sometimes follow in their wake, however, waiting for the boar to eat its fill and scavenging from what remains. Hellboars are very tough, but will usually wander off if hurt decently. Their Decisive bites cause Crippling penalties to physical action, and their stomps do massive damage to prone foes. They can send people prone by charging them, too, and can be trained to target their bites for maximum crippling by trying to break the spinal cord. Their wound penalties are actually a bonus to attacks, and they can eat just about anything without getting sick. Their noses are excellent, and they get much faster if they haven’t eaten recently and think they can eat their foe. They can be trained to associate battle with feasting, allowing them to be fast all the time.

Horses are high-strung but fast and graceful. They’re easily stressed out and will die if pushed too hard, but they’re fairly clever animals with good senses. Domesticated horses are raised from birth to serve humans in various capacities and come in many breeds, ranging from 5 to 6 feet tall and ranging from half a ton to a little more than a ton in weight. Their hooves are shod with leather, bronze or iron to prevent damage, and they need lots of grooming and exercise. Feral or wild horses and similar equines, like zebras, move in either small or large herds, and they tend to be smaller and lighter than domesticated horses. Breaking them to the saddle isn’t easy, but it’s doable. While horses are decently tough, they tend to flee easily. Their kicks are able to send people flying and knock them prone if they hit hard enough, and horses are very good at disengaging or withdrawing from battle. They can be trained to also get a bonus to Rushes.

Ox-Dragons are gigantic quadrupedal lizards, over 12 tons and 30 feet long. They have two long horns and a bony skull frill, which makes them more than a match for most predators. They are ill-tempered beasts, easily provoked, and their main feeding method is to push trees over and strip them of bark and leaves with their powerful beaks. Like boars, however, they are omnivorous and will happily eat carrion or attack smaller animals if hungry. They are exceptionally tough and brave but will not fight to the death except in defense of their young. Their charges are extremely deadly, as they build speed and momentum over distance and then unleash it for massive Decisive damage. Their horns deal extra damage against slower foes, and they are also able to knock enemies over with their stomps. They can be taught to reflexively grapple and slam foes they catch on their horns, too. They have Legendary Size, too. They’re just nasty to fight.

Pestletails are hard-shelled herbivores of the East and Northeast. They are ten feet long and weigh up to two tons, with a turtle-like shell covered in bony, armadillo-like plates. Their head and tail are also plated. They’re mostly inoffensive creatures that eat foliage, shrubs and small trees, and most predators leave them alone, as their shells are hard to pierce and they’re more than happy to fight back with their clawed limbs and beaked snouts. Human hunters like them, though, as their shells are valuable for making waterproof shelters when hollowed out. Pestletails are remarkably tough and take a middling amount of damage before trying to flee. They can be taught to stomp with their claws to do extra damage to prone foes or to use their hammer-like tails to send foes flying on par with the Charm Heaven Thunder Hammer. They can withdraw into their shells to go on full defensive easily, making them very hard to hurt, and their armored shell reduces damage even when they don’t. They are nearly impossible to knock back, throw or knock down except with magic or really big creatures, and they can be trained to position themselves so that they gain Initiative when attacks bounce off them.

Next time: Quoll-Lions, Raitons, River Dragons, Siege Lizards, Tyrant Lizards, Venomous Snakes and Yeddim

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Let's not forget the Gold Austrech (of Autochthon).

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Alien Rope Burn posted:

Let's not forget the Gold Austrech (of Autochthon).
Who would win:

Chosen of the Sun, Eternal Warrior, Hero of Creation, Resplendent in his Blades and his 13-regiment supporting army of fedayeen panda-person death commandos

OR

A couple red bois

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Nessus posted:

Who would win:

Chosen of the Sun, Eternal Warrior, Hero of Creation, Resplendent in his Blades
Severian the Austrech

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Halloween Jack posted:

Severian the Austrech

:pusheen:

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Exalted 3rd Edition: The Unstoppable Giant Yak

Quoll-Lions are vaguely feline, stocky, bear-like critters a bit bigger than a jaguar, but much deadlier. It has jaws on par with a lion, can stand on its hind legs and has massive forelimbs tipped in immense, retractable claws. They hunt by night in the East, certain Western islands and the jungles of the Caul, using their striped fur to blend with the shadowed trees. They spend much of their time in the trees, well above ground, and leap from them to land on prey from above, dragging their kills into the branches to feast. They’re pretty tough but will flee if a middling amount of damage is dealt to them. They are ambush hunters, with a bonus to attack from stealth, and especially prefer to attack by falling out of trees onto people, from which they take no falling damage. Such attacks usually stun everyone that witnesses them, delaying their actions. They are excellent climbers when in trees or other foliage, get a bonus to stealth while in trees, and have excellent noses. They are also marsupials, which allows their kits to be protected in their pouch, but they can’t really carry anything larger than a housecat that way, so it’s not much good to anyone else, though you could train them to accept other ‘passengers’ of that size.

Raitons are kind of like ravens, but they’re not birds. They’re black-feathered reptiles with clawed wings and sharp teeth, instead. They hunt rodents and other small animals, eat fruits and seeds, and scavenge dead meat wherever they can. Flocks of them can be found around battlefields and slaughterhouses, driving off other carrion-eaters with vicious attacks. This has made the raiton an ill omen, a symbol across Creation of future strife or death. They’re very weak and scatter if so much as approached, even if they aren’t hurt. They are excellent at tracking down dead flesh, however, and at spotting if carrion will make them sick. They are also Tiny Creatures, so they’re pretty dodgy and sneaky.

River Dragons are a ferocious beast found in the river mouths and freshwater bays of the East and Southwest, thirty feet long and with hundreds of teeth. They eat large fish, seals and small whales that get trapped in fresh water, but they’re also happy to lurk just off shore and grab any animal that stops by. Once they have caught a victim, they twist around until they break their prey’s limbs and spine. Humans avoid them whenever possible, and the rumors of a river dragon can make a bay deserted. This doesn’t stop them from occasionally attacking and capsizing fishing boats, though. They’re exceptionally tough and take a lot of damage before they’ll flee, and will absolutely not let go of anything they’ve latched onto if they can avoid it. They are excellent at “grappling” by just latching down on someone, and once they’ve grappled, they can perform a death roll as a Decisive savaging attack that deals massive damage and always causes a Crippling injury. They are also able to Rush out to Medium range on land from underwater, can hold its breath for an entire scene, has an excellent sense of smell, and is Legendary Size. It also has good night vision and a bonus to stealth while underwater. Giant crocodiles are nasty.

Siege Lizards are immense reptiles found in forests ranging from the East to the Cinder Isles. While herbivorous, their tails are tipped in three-foot spines, and their spine has a ridge of interlocking armor plates in a distinctive kite shape, making them impressive and terrifying. They are rare, found in small herds that graze on ferns and low vegetation. Few animals are powerful or big enough to prey on them, and humans often view them with awe. Several remote tribes take them as a totem beast or attempt ritualized hunts in an effort to gain their strength. Siege lizards are stupid, stubborn and extremely independent, so they’re nearly impossible to tame, and most who try to use them for war end up trampled by them. They are extremely tough, but will flee if hurt badly, even if protecting their own young. Their stomps deal extra damage to prone foes, and they can go into full defense to make a Decisive counterattack against nearby foes, especially if they’re airborne or climbing the siege lizard. Their tail slams at high Initiative can send people flying as per the Charm Heaven Thunder Hammer, and they can knock people over with their charges and stomps. Their armor is very tough to get through, and their nose is excellent. They have Legendary Size, and they can’t be knocked back or sent prone except by magic or creatures of equal or greater size.

Tyrant Lizards are rare, but found in jungles and grasslands across Creation – and feared. The mere rumor that one is nearby can panic entire villages, who will flee alongside flocks of birds and stampedes of beasts to get away from the tyrant’s approach. They are huge, fast and ravenously hungry, but too dumb to fear anything but fire – not that they’ve much need for fear anyway, given their might. They have two powerful hind legs to run with, using their clawed forelimbs, heavy tails and massive teeth to hunt anything nearby. They are solitary creatures, and they are happy to eat literally anything. The stomachs of tyrant lizards dead to old age or great heroes have been found to contain anything from river dragons to elephants to daiklaves. They are extremely tough and won’t flee unless they take a real beating, and even then, if cornered or defending their young, they’ll keep fighting. They can reflexively grapple anyone they knock over by standing on them and stomping, or they can viciously fling anyone they’ve grappled with a bite, mixing a Decisive savaging attack with a followup throw or slam. Their bites deal immense damage to slower foes and they’re extremely good at rushing and attacking those in Crash. Further, they can reflexively drag any smaller foe they have grappled with their jaws, just kind of picking them up and carrying them around. They only lose rounds of control in a grapple from being attacked if they get damaged by the attack. They can be trained to make a terrifying roar to intimidate foes and force them to flee in terror, or to use their bite to decimate entire battle groups and make them break and run. They regain Willpower by killing or Crashing non-trivial foes and are immune to non-magical fear and intimidation. They are extremely good at feats of strength, have Legendary Size, are extremely skilled scent trackers and ignore wound penalties to Defense. They’re also very hard to hurt from range due to their thick scales and large body making their vitals hard to hit.

Venomous Snakes come in thousands of varieties across creation, from cobras and asps in the South to rattlesnakes and coral snakes in the East to sea snakes in the West to adders in the North. They tend not to be very large and to eat small animals, but if startled or provoked, their bites can be very dangerous. They’re weak and pretty cowardly, fleeing if they take any damage. They’re also quite sneaky in their natural environments, have excellent senses of smell and are Tiny Creatures.

Yeddim are giant, shaggy idiots. They are widely domesticated as beasts of burden as a result. They’re eighteen feet tall, weigh upwards of fifteen tons, and can last for a very, very long time on relatively little food or water. They don’t tire easily, making them ideal for long-distance caravans hauling lots of goods. Wild yeddim are usually found on savannas, grazing cheerfully, and are no less stoic or calm than their tame cousins. The main difference is that the lineage of tame yeddim has been bred to smell less bad. Yeddim are exceptionally tough, but it only takes a few wounds before they decide to go elsewhere, unless their young are threatened or they haven’t figured out where the damage is coming from yet. They’re really good at hauling loads and being strong, and they can last for a week without food before they start to get deprivation penalties, and eight weeks without food before they starve to death. They can also last a full week without water before they die of dehydration, and they’re highly resistant to poison and disease. While they are usually too dumb and slow for their Defend Other to be very useful, they are very protective of their young and are able to let their children benefit from their own toughness when defending them; they can be trained to do the same to their master. They have Legendary Size, so their defenses are pretty hefty, which makes it worth doing, even if they’re slow as hell.

Next time: Equipment

KOGAHAZAN!!
Apr 29, 2013

a miserable failure as a person

an incredible success as a magical murder spider



megane posted:

Exalted has some excellent monster / animal / spirit designs. Lots of weird giant prehistoric animals and gods with actual personalities you can interact with.

"Little weirdnesses" is definitely a strong point of the line's. Some lingering influence of Jenna Moran's, maybe, two editions removed.

Which reminds me.

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!


KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

"Little weirdnesses" is definitely a strong point of the line's. Some lingering influence of Jenna Moran's, maybe, two editions removed.

Which reminds me.

...honestly I'd rather have this "martial art" in Exalted than any of the existing ones. Because it doesn't seem afraid to accept that the setting is kind of silly or at least capable of being so.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Halloween Jack posted:

His character gimmick is "every type of person who's had their brain poisoned by Online rolled into one," so that's hardly a general indicator.

Like all good gimmicks, it's just an exaggeration of his own personality though. Like it's clear it wasn't magical realm bullshit and a joke, but a joke they jumped into more to just as much mock themselves and their idiosyncrasies than the two timing friend who is jealous of you getting laid


EDIT: One Thing that bothers me about Exalted in every edition, is the importance of Gods and Elementsals, but the inability in the text to create them at least as GM. Huge part of the Wheelhouse of DBs, Solars, and Sidereals and there isn't an actual focus on them from a mechanical stand point

NutritiousSnack fucked around with this message at 23:34 on Apr 10, 2019

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Mors Rattus posted:

Exalted 3rd Edition: The Unstoppable Giant Yak

I'd like to add to this: Legendary Size is a VERY powerful advantage. Creatures with it don't take Onslaught penalties from smaller attackers without magic that specifically inflicts them, can't be reduced below 1 Initiative by them (meaning they can't be Crashed) unless the post-soak damage is at least ten dice, can't be grappled by smaller foes, make their own rolls to control grapples UNOPPOSED, and Decisive damage is capped at (3+Attacker's Strength) levels before Charm bonuses. If two characters with Legendary Size go head-to-head, they're both treated as if neither has it.

What this means is that Legendary Size makes a creature EXTREMELY dangerous. It won't go down in one hit, is very hard to Crash, and getting grappled by a gigantic foe is basically a death sentence unless you're a Solar Brawler or your allies are quick to focus fire down its rounds of control so it can't sacrifice them to squash you like a bug. That Tyrant Lizard blurb about Daiklaves in their stomachs isn't hyperbole.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Oh yeah, Legendary Size is definitely a massive power boost, and a lot of the things that have it also really want to grapple you! Like the death fish, or the tyrant lizard.

Fortunately for everyone, our good friend the Unstoppable Giant Yak yeddim is a mildmannered sort that doesn't want to grapple you and probably thinks a grapple is a type of fruit.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

It's Exalted. A grapple probably is a kind of fruit, alongside the badger-moles.

Also, somebody said "make elementals," so I'm going to take that as another excuse to plug the draft of my elementals homebrew in hopes of getting some mechanical criticism before it goes into layout.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





NutritiousSnack posted:

EDIT: One Thing that bothers me about Exalted in every edition, is the importance of Gods and Elementsals, but the inability in the text to create them at least as GM. Huge part of the Wheelhouse of DBs, Solars, and Sidereals and there isn't an actual focus on them from a mechanical stand point

There was a complete spirit creation system in Exalted 2e, in the Rolls of Glorious Divinity book on gods and elementals. I used it once to create a major antagonist, who actually worked quite well.

The rules themselves I would rate 'OK.' They did the job.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Sucks how much homebrew there is needed for 3e. I guess that's just a consequence of it not having every splat out yet and coming about into the modern RPG era where people don't really put out a billion supplements a year anymore, but still, I really wish they would've added some basic charm advice. I've no idea what things should cost, how high things should punch, and so on. That's really the biggest flaw of Arms of the Chosen, which is the artifacts book that came out after Vance and Minton became the leads; there's plenty of stuff in it, but if you want something personalized, there's only a few lines about what to do.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Apparently the Exigents book is meant to fix that particular hole, and is forgoing all martial arts, artifacts and sorcery to have more room for charm design advice.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!






Neotech 2
Part 12: Everyone was Kung-Fu fighting



That seems like a really terrible location to sparr on.

The bullets have finally run out and now it’s down to fisticuffs. Unlike the previous chapter we don’t get any optional rules for his.

If you know the Melee fighting skill then you have a number of different actions you can do while fighting; Punching, Kicking, headbutting, biting, tackling, block, dodge, grapple and grab weapon. Out of these all but dodge and block are active actions. But at the same time Grapple and Grab Weapons are both responsive and active actions. If you know any specific martial arts then you can use those. The book once again directs us towards Neotech Offensive for any more details.

All melee combat damage is calculated using the base damage we derived during character generation.

Punching deals crushing damage and it’s equal to the base damage. You also roll high on the hit table. Apparently punching is also allowed if the target stands right behind you so now I’m imagining a character just cold clocking someone else with a backwards swing as they charge in with a knife.
Kicking deals crushing damage as well and is equal to base damage +1.

Headbutting is done at a level higher than the previous attacks but hitting means an automatic hit to the opponents face. The damage is Base damage +2 but if you hit the head then the damage is halved. You will also get +1 point of pain yourself from doing this. It says that a helmet with a visor will nullify the attack but nothing if wearing a helmet yourself will nullify the damage you take.

A bite is also done at a difficulty level higher and the damage is equal to base damage. I’m surprised to not see anything about infections due to bites. At least not yet. Either way you need to roll on the stabbing damage table for this one.

Going in for a tackle is a surefire way to unbalance an opponent. First in order to be able to tackle someone you need to have either begun running or sprinting the round before that. Then you need to roll a skill check at hard difficulty, while the opponent has to do a normal skill check. Both using their melee fighting skill. Why they didn’t just say an opposed roll I don’t know. Also what happens when the opponent doesn’t have any ranks in the melee fighting skill? The book is quiet on that.
Either way, if you succeed the tackled person is moved one meter. But in order to tip them over we now need to roll an opposed roll of STY+TÅL/2 from both sides of the fight. The difficulty is Ob2D6 and Ob3D6 for the tackler and the tackled. Success leads to the opponent toppling over while they remain standing if it fails. The tackler will fall on their face if they fumble the roll. It says that you take no damage from being tackled but I can see that changing depending on the circumstances.

Blocking can be done against all attacks except ranged ones. So sadly no blocking bullets with your cyber katana in this case. If you do an unarmed block you will take damage, but the book is mum on how much that might be. If the one trying to block is grappled that increased the difficulty by one step.
In order to dodge you will first need to be aware that you’re being attacked. Even if it says blocking. Either way it’s a hard roll and if you’re grappled then the difficulty goes up by a step.

Grapple rules are always a mess in roleplaying games, and to be honest Neotech isn’t far off from that. But only slightly.
To initiate a grapple you first need to succeed a Melee fighting skill check. Normally the difficulty is Ob3D6 due to the fact that you’re grappling with both of your hands. But if you’re feeling bold you can do it with only one hand, but that means that the roll is upgraded by one level. Grappling someone from behind is one level easier. You are obviously not allowed to grapple anyone if you have something in your hands, something which the book considers so important it repeats itself after a sentence.
So the roll succeeds and we now have initiated grapple, what next? In this case you need to roll 1d10 (oh hey, another one) for the grapple hit table. You also need to roll on this table if you’ve already grappled someone and try to reassert your grip. You’re also allowed to aim for a specific area, which makes the initiation a level harder but success will lead to an automatic hit.
A lot of the things you can do with a grapple are dependant on what hit location you manage to get unless you aim.
But in this case you have now grappled your opponent. Any attacks you do on the one you have grappled becomes one level easier but only to a minimum of Ob2D6. The GM is advised to reconsider any hit table rolls to reflect the situation as well.
There are also four new actions you can do with your opponent; release, move, lock and tip them over. But these actions are exempt from the difficulty decrease previous aforementioned. So probably just better to go for the jugular with a bite attack instead.

Releasing someone from a grapple is automatic but also counts as an action. It’s also counted as both as an active and a responsive action.
To move your grappled opponent you need to have a grip around their torso first. After that you need an opposing roll against STY+TÅL/2 and is counted as an active action. The difficulty is normal unless you’re not using both your hands, then it increased by one level. For each positive effect on the roll the opponent is moved 0,5 meters. A failed roll only means that the movement has failed by the grip remains. Instead of resisting using their strength or weight the opponent can also use their balance, in that case they need to roll on their melee fighting skill or a martial arts where grappling is used as a technique.

If you on the other hand has managed to get a grip around the opponent's head or arms you can instead try to lock them down in such a way they can’t reach you without first breaking free. A police grip is an example of a lock. If you have a grip around their throat you can also start choking your opponent but the rules for that comes later on. Either way, this counts as an active action.
In order to succeed with this you need to win an opposed check using the Melee fighting skill. If you win then the opponent is unable to do anything but trying to tear themselves free. Once again the layout demons strike and it says see below for what that does but it’s also the next paragraph on the same page.
Tearing yourself free from a lock will always give you +Ob1D6/2 points of pain for the one trying to get free. Regardless if they succeed or not. Their initiative order is also at zero during this.
I could see this being used to great effect by a dickish GM by locking down players and watch them get more and more damaged as they try to break free. But then I also imagine it’d require some very specialised NPC’s to pull this off. But if corporate ninjas are a thing I’m sure corporate wrestlers are a thing too.


Nunchuck cops, on the other hand, is a thing that does exist.

If you’ve managed to grapple onto your opponent’s legs or torso you can try to tip them over. This is also counted as an active action.
This requires another opposing skill check with the Melee fighting skill against the opponents STY+TÅL/2. Once again if you decide to do this one handed the difficulty goes up by one level. If you succeed your opponent has toppled over and you can decide if you want to let go or if you want go down with them. If the roll fails that means both sides remain standing and you have also disengaged the grapple. Much like tackling you take no damage under normal circumstances.
It is possible to tip over an opponent that has counter grappled you but then you go down with them. Also much like tackling the opponent can use their balance to remain standing.

If you’re the one being grappled instead then all movement based actions are done at a level higher. Some actions might even be impossible depending on how you’re being grappled. Your initiative is also halved during as well. But in return you’re allowed to tear yourself way or grapple back.To which I’m wondering if you can initiate a grapple loop by either side counter grappling each other.
Both of those actions are exempt from the difficulty penalty imposed by being grappled.

Breaking free involves an opposition roll involving STY and it can be done as both an active and responsive action. If you’ve managed to counter grapple then your roll will be one level easier, the same goes if you’ve been grappled with one hand.

So you’re grappled and decide that enough is enough and you decide to grapple them back. If you’ve been grappled from the front then you can counter-grapple automatically, but it’s counted as an action. But if you’ve been grappled from behind then you need to roll a grapple check at normal difficulty to turn around and get a grip. If you then manage to counter-grapple you need to roll on the grapple hit table to see where you got them. Either way it can be done as either a responsive action or an active action.
The way I’m seeing it is fully possible to essentially get caught in a grapple loop where both opponents counter-grapple each other. The only obstacle here would possibly be the stacking penalties for actions but even that should be manageable if you limit yourself to only countering.
Cyberpunk Wrestling sounds fantastic in a way. This is also before you include the supposed wrestling martial arts in Neotech Offensive.

But some people are not looking for gentleman fisticuffs and before long the melee weapons come out.
Here you’re restricted to simply attacking or blocking as an active and a responsive action respectively. The only requirement for the former is that you have enough hands free and space to move in. I like the phrasing of that since it implies that you can get multiple arms and then go full General Grievous with a couple of swords. Even if in reality it would probably not work all that well. But the mental image is funny anyway.
Damage is base damage plus weapon damage, the type of damage you do is also dependant on which weapon you’re attacking with.
Blocking or parrying is simple normal difficulty level check using your relevant melee weapon skill.

We get a much too early sidebar discussing some terminology for tables that won’t appear for another 30 pages.

Lastly we can also try to grab someones weapon as either an active or responsive action. First you need to roll a Melee fighting check, the difficulty to that is increased by the fact you have to aim for the weapon specifically which increases it by one. Also I thought aiming for specific parts was an optional rule but I guess not. Also if you decide to be cool and only use one hand the check also goes up by one. If the check succeeds that means that the weapon can’t be used until its been released. At this part both sides can choose to either release, remain or pull away.

Usually you can’t grab onto any weapon with a sharp edge unless you’re willing to take Ob1D6 in stabbing damage, base damage not included, for each round that it’s being grabbed. If the damage goes through the armor on the back of your hand the grip will be lost. This phrasing seems odd as it implies that your hand is armored. To which I’m almost assuming they mean cybertech hands or something. Either way it goes on to mention that using cybertech means that you can keep holding onto the weapon if that happens.
Frankly I’ve would done it so that if you’re trying to grab a bladed weapon with a cyberware hand you wouldn’t need to roll for damage unless the weapon has a mono edge. Something I’m sure this game has.

Letting go of a weapon is automatic but does count as an action, otherwise the rules for letting go of normal grapples still count. To keep grappling is not an action and requires no concentration. Something which yet again isn’t elaborated if it actually means anything in terms of game mechanics.

Both combatants can try to pull the weapon out of the others grip. This counts as an action and thusly has to be decided ahead of time. To succeed you need to roll an opposing STY check where the one holding the weapon gets one level easier on their check. If anyone happens to use one handed instead of two then the difficulty goes up one level. If the one grabbing onto the weapon wins and pulls it out of their opponents hand they need to spend an active action, that is an automatic success, to turn it around before they can use it against their opponent. Unless it’s a staff weapon or something that can be used either way.

Compared to the tangled mess that is the firearms rules these are surprisingly neat and simple. The grapple rules aren’t that bad either for that part, outside of the extra actions dependent on where you manage to grab hold of them. So I can see why using a melee weapon or just fisticuffs is a far more desirable option than grabbing an assault rifle and having to deal with that massive roadblock of rules. Not to mention it makes fights go a little bit faster as well. In fact you’re better off using that automatic rifle as a club and beat people senseless rather than shooting them.

Next time: Boom! Here comes the Boom!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

They had way more fun shooting those photos than anyone would have playing with this system, goddamn.

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013





Part Three: Skills and Talents

So, as discussed before, Skills come in two parts, Expertise and Focus. Expertise is mastery of the skill, while Focus is deeper insight or innate genius. Skills also come with Talents, little tricks and uncommon expressions of the skill developed by specialists. They're a lot like Exalted's charms, except most of them don't require any sort of resource expenditure, simply being active all the time.

Acrobatics handles jumping, tumbling, and other whole-body movements, as well as dodging enemy attacks. The Talent tree starts with a reroll, and then splits into three branches. One enhances dodging attacks, one makes it easier to clamber over obstacles and through hindering terrain, and the third enhances jumping and falling, including jumping out of the way of area attacks.

Analysis covers all forms of data handling, as well as code-breaking and other pattern recognition. The Talent tree starts, again, with a reroll, and then branches out four ways. One branch reduces difficulty in breaking codes and ciphers, while another assists in detecting biological warfare and similar threats. The third tree lets characters substitute Analysis for Observation, as well as notice enemy advantages. The final branch improves data analysis, both alone and with assistants.

Animal Handling is for care and feeding of any domesticated animals, use of riding mounts, and placating wild animals. The first Talent in the tree rolls additional dice on a success, giving chances at extra success. The branches of the tree cover riding animals, the care and feeding of your animal companions, and training and interacting with animals.

The counterpoint to Acrobatics, Athletics is strength and endurance, including running, climbing, lifting and breaking obstacles. The starting Talent grants bonus Momentum on Athletics tests. One branch enhances swimming, while another increases climbing ability. The final branch aids with feats of strength as well as melee combat.

Ballistics is the pew pew skill, as well as weapons maintenance. The opening Talent gives rerolls on damage dice based on the number of Talents you have. One branch of the tree improves drawing and reloading your gun, culminating in making multiple attacks against one opponent easier. Another tree increases the ease of hitting multiple targets with an attack, while the final increases accuracy at different ranges and making precise shots.

Cose Combat is the sister skill to Ballistics, and like Ballistics, the Talents start with a damage dice reroller. One branch of the tree enhances blocking, including learning a riposte ability. Another improves drawing your melee weapon (which crosses over with the same talent in the Ballistics tree) and gives the ability to parry bullets. The final tree boosts Momentum spends in melee combat.

Command measures how a character can manipulate groups of people, particularly those of lower rank or caste. The Talent tree starts, as usual, with a reroll, and then splits into three branches. One branch gives those following the character extra soak against social attacks, while another lets you substitute Command for Observation when dealing with crowds of people and provides rerolls for others working with the character. The final tree increases the character's ability to make social attacks, and even have other characters take attacks for them.

A character calls upon Discipline to resist fear, coercion, and other social attacks. After the ubiquitous reroll Talent, the branches increase defense against social attacks in various ways. Extra soak, extra social HP, and bonuses to dice rolls all feature, as well as reduced difficulty in recovering from attacks.

Education is a general catch-all skill, covering history, politics, and knowledge of foreign places. Like Animal Handling, the first Talent gives bonus dice on a successful roll. Branches give bonuses to knowing trivia and current events, specializing in certain knowledge, and conducting research on any topic, as well as hiding the fact that you are doing the research.

Anyone familiar with outer space will have ranks in the Extraplanetary skill, which covers zero-g survival, as well as survival on worlds without habitable atmospheres. It's noted that characters attempting Acrobatics, Athletics, or Close Combat rolls in such environments have their skills capped by the Extraplanetary skill. The tree starts with a reroll Talent, then branches out into three paths. One branch substitutes Extraplanetary for Stealth in alien environments. Another branch increases resistance to suffocation and radiation, while the last gives bonus d20s, gives a chance to avoid using up oxygen Loads, and eliminates penalties for working in non-Earth gravities.

Hacking covers all advanced computer usage, and forms the backbone of the Infowar rules. The first Talent lets a character reroll damage dice for hacking attacks. The following branches give a reroll, bonuses to making Fake IDs and remote hacks, increasing the ease of hitting multiple targets, and improving the hackers own defense.

When it comes to buying things, fitting in with other social classes, and a general measure of someone's status and social influence, you want Lifestyle. As usual, the Talents start with a reroll. Later Talents increase a character's Earnings, assist with making bribes, help blend in to different social classes, and build up contacts and black market sources.

Medicine covers the whole gamut of biology, anatomy, and short- and long-term care. After the reroll Talent, there's a branch for operating on one's self, a branch for assisting another doctor, and a series of Talents improving various aspects of the character's skill at treating wounds.

Observation is the skill of noticing things. Checking for ambush, searching for clues, and knowing something is out of place is all covered by this. The branches of the Talent tree after the reroll cover detecting ambushes, having a perfect sense of direction, having an improved or near-perfect memory, or general improved senses.

Like Hacking is the backbone of Infowar, Persuade is the driving force behind the Psywar rules, covering intimidation, seduction, and deception. After the reroll, the Talents split into four branches, equating to better intimidating, lying, seducing, and haggling.

Unless it's a space ship, Pilot is what makes it go. Talents beyond the reroll include boosting ground vehicle usage, boosting watercraft usage, piloting while damaged, ramming other vehicles, working past a vehicle's limits, and using Pilot to shoot airborne vehicle weapons.

Psychology serves not only as the social equivalent of Medicine, but also serves in assessing social interactions. The reroll Talent leads into multiple trees that enhance the ability to provide aid to shaken and broken characters, a Talent for working with alien species, and a general ability to detect lies.

Resistance covers general hardiness and enduring damage and drugs. Beyond the reroll, Talents cover things such as increasing recovery speed, using drugs or alcohol to sub Resistance for Discipline, and resisting the negative effects of the aforementioned drugs and alcohol.

Another catchall knowledge skill is Science, covering everything from mathematics to botany to wormhole topography. The reroll leads into Talents making checks easier, providing bonus momentum, specializing in a particular branch, and substituting Science for Education, Tech, or Medicine in certain situations.

Spacecraft covers all vehicles outside of an atmosphere, although the detailed rules for Spacecraft actually don't show up until the Gamemaster's Guide. Most of the Talents beyond the reroll allow for substituting Spacecraft for various skills, along with a difficulty reducer.

Stealth not only covers physical concealment, but hiding your presence online, or disguising the source of social attacks. It also covers other methods of discretion, such as camouflage or disguises. Talents include a reroll as well as improving physical concealment, technological concealment, disguises, and camouflage.

Wilderness skills are handled under Survival, from finding food to following tracks. Talents other than the reroll include specializing in a particular environment and learning to substitute Surival for Animal Handling and Stealth in that environment, improving your tracking skills, and the ability to locate useful supplies.

While Science is mostly theoretical knowledge, Tech is the applied side, covering repair and design. There's a reroll Talent, then Talents covering explosives handling, designing new equipment, and various improvements to making repairs.

Finally, Thievery covers a wide swathe of less-than-legal activities, as well as knowledge of how criminals operate and the ways of the criminal underground. Naturally, there's a reroll Talent, as well as Talents covering various thiefly arts, as well as interacting with criminals.

And that's it, all 24 skills.

Next up: Time to get to the meat of the system

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The storm has a name... - Let's Read TORG


Part 22f: Biology and related sciences

Time to get through the final parts of the book, because as always, once we get past the new subsystems there's very little left to really talk about.

The Locations chapter is just a bunch of maps where you can have adventures. Black market warehouse, biotech lab, prison where infected are being held, whatever. The only location really worth mentioning is Machu Pichu, but that's really only because it's the Akashan's main landing site. Even then there's not much here apart from mentioning that there's a cryo facility and big biotech lab.

So moving on! Like any good sourcebook worth its salt, Space Gods has certain things it needs to include to check them off the "Standard Sourcebook Chapters" list. Which is why we have a Creatures chapter, because I guess the aliens and psychics and hive-mind zombie plague just weren't enough for players to deal with.

But wait, I hear you say, isn't this just a bunch of spaceships coming to earth, not a full-blown invasion? This is still just mostly Earth, isn't it? Where'd monsters come from?

The answer is "from bullshit".

quote:

A large number of strange creatures have made their appearance on Earth since the creation of the Akashan realm. Some of these were brought from the Star Sphere by the lightship armada in a form of ark, others are the result of the unleashing of airborne gene spores in the realm by unethical bioengineers, which resulted in mutations of Earth creatures. Finally, there are a few which went into dormancy at the same time as Those Who Wait and were roused when they were awoken.
Okay, maybe "bullshit" is unfair of me. In a setting where biotech is common, you're going to get mutated critters and people. That's fine, fits the setting as established.

But instead of, say, making templates that can be applied to existing animals, we get whole new gribblies to deal with. On top of that, why would the Akashans, who are supposed to be very intelligent and are here to ask for our help, bring a bunch of dangerous animals and just dump them on our metaphorical lawn?

Such as the Dinsendas, which are three-meter tall carnivorous lizards that the Akashans brought here from another planet because, when psionically domesticated, they're used for lifting blocks around during temple construction. When not psionically domesticated, they're cunning pack hunters who have a sonic screech attack. The book does state that the Akashans brought them here because they're sure they can control them, but it also states that dinsendas are susceptible to the comaghaz virus.

You know what the nice thing about forklifts is? They don't turn into pack hunters when you turn your back on them. That said, can you imagine what a video like Shake Hands With Danger would be like if these things had to be OSHA approved?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BxD66YRpVw

The appearance of the Akashan axioms has also had a few mythological critters show up, such as the [url="https://"https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Iemisch"]"]Iemisch[/url], which is a mythological Incan creature that's basically part cat and part fox. The Incans hunted them to extinction back in the 16th Century, but they've begun popping up again for no given reason.


Kitty!

I'm not going to cover all the creatures here, because really there's not that many and they all fall into one fo three categories: "dangerous animal brought by the Akashans because this is what they use instead of work vehicles", "lost cryptid that's reappeared for some reason", and "giant version of normal animal, result of unethical bioengineering". The best example for the last one is the Piranhax, which are AND I QUOTE

quote:

Resulting from one of the more abominable experiments conducted by Akashan bioengineers, piranhax are amphibious cousins of the dreaded piranha fish, with the limited ability to launch themselves from the water and glide a short distance.
The reason I'm bringing these guys up is because this is straight up the plot of Piranha 2: The Spawning.

Besides, moving past this takes us to the Equipment chapter! Finally we can start learning about what biotech actually does!

quote:

Biotech weds carefully bred living creatures to small amounts of nonliving substance to create a device capable of performing a specific function at the will of the user.

The major appeal of such equipment is that it produces no harmful waste materials during manufacture or while in use. Nor does it require fossil fuels to power it, enabling the Akashans to be virtually self-reliant.
It's worth noting that the Akashans as a race prefer biotech, but the various client races (as well as the Monitors) still use what's referred to as "standard" tech.

Biotech is still uncommon in the realm, due to the complexity of biotech manufacture. Large-scale production requires a lot of setup and support, and in the short time the Akashans have been here they haven't gotten anything huge up and running. Smaller-scale manufacturing still happens, of course, but Rotan Ulka has forbidden the exporting of biotech to Core Earth until things settle down a bit. Not that this stops the more unscrupulous engineers, of course.

The main thing about biotech is how its powered, and everything falls into one of three categories: living, which requires nutrient packs as battery equivalent; living/inert, which can generate their own food-fuel (basically plants); and symbiotic, which feed off the user. There's no universal mechanic for this, but is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes biotech have wound tracks, and yes you can disconnect while using this stuff in other realities. When biotech takes one wound, it's -3 to use, and any further damage renders it inoperable until fixed. When biotech disconnects, it takes damage every round until it dies.

With that out of the way, let's gear up.

First off is protective gear.

quote:

Biotech protective suits are generally made from unicellular creatures with microscopic control devices which allow the wearer to regulate their function. They enclose the wearer from head to toe in a thin, transparent membrane. and are almost undetectable by visual means (Perception or find difficulty of 18 to spot on the wearer).

Most biotech suits tend to be symbiotic, drawing nutrients from the waste products of the wearer's body. Barring damage through disconnection, the suit will remain functioning for as long as the wearer is alive. If the wearer dies, the suit will expire one hour later. If the wearer should disconnect, the construct will become inert and cease to be effective until he reconnects.

The user may will the suit to remove itself at any time, at which point the biotech construct will become dormant until it is donned again.
The provided protective gear isn't really that useful. There's stuff like the chameleon suit (+3 to sneaking), the cloaking suit (+5 to sneaking), and the protective suit (really high defense...against gases and radiation). There is an actual "armor" in the pressure suit, which is as strong as plate mail but drops all your Dex-based skills by 3. There's also a flight suit that does indeed let you fly, and has to be fed once a week.

Physical Enhancers are a little more interesting. These are all microorganisms that are injected into the recipient's bloodstream and provide a permanent benefit. On the plus side, having these in your body doesn't cause contradictions so at least you don't have to worry about that, but they'll still die off if you disconnect for too long. There also doesn't seem to be any downside to jamming all these things into your body, which is actually surprising.

Just to give a few highlights of the kinds of things you can jam into your body:
  • Amninatral helps your body heal, giving others a +2 to any medical rolls made on you.
  • Gutadatl lets you boost your Strength and Dex-based rolls by 2 for an hour, once per day.
  • Hatsur gives you infravision.
  • Herat is a "millimeter-long centipede which makes its home in the inner ear of larger creatures", and gives you +3 to any roll involving balance, up to and including riding animals.
  • Lomos pumps pheromones, giving you a +3 to charm rolls against the opposite sex.
  • Psionic Enhancers give you a +1 to your psi skill, but dies after 24 hours.
At first glance these are all nice bonuses, sure, but the fact is that there's no limit to how many different things you can have swimming around inside you with no worry about stat hits or some cyberpsychosis equivalent. As long as you can afford the items, you can get some good bonuses to like half your drat skills with no downsides.

Game balance!


"That's weird, my gun isn't shoving an ovipositor into my arm."

Now we come to weapons, and this is where things get weird.

There's only five melee weapons available, since at the end of the day there's only so many ways you can hit someone with something. The Bhelablade looks like a stone knife, but can extend thorns that are coated in a poison that keeps doing damage if you manage to hit with it. It's also the only one that's not an actual critter you're expected to swing around.

The Calaki, for example, is a snake-like creature that resembles a "chain mace".

quote:

It is serpentine, with a large, angular head and a long, thin body. At its tail end, it is joined to a non-organic hilt from which the user can control its actions.
How does the user control it? Good question! Regardless, the Calaki is wielded like a whip. It can entangle foes, then heat up to burn them. It also needs to be fed once a week, just FYI.

The Volent is basically a retractable staff. When "dormant" it contracts down to about 25 cm long, but when "activated" it extends out to a full meter. Similarly, the Whipfang works pretty much the same way, but is a whip rather than a staff, and has a two-meter reach.

And lastly, there's the Tentacle Sword.



The jokes just write themselves, don't they?

Next up are the missile weapons, and again there's not many options. That said, they're all pretty loving nasty. The coar spear can adjust its flight in mid-air, the jiros is basically a two-headed-snake/boomerang, the Larendi Bow fires critters that burrow under your skin and eat you from the inside out, the Salend Sling fires little critter that latch on to the target and spew acid, and the Starshredders are thrown items that also burrow into your skin, but instead of eating you they expand inside you.

The Akashans are loving psychopaths. This poo poo feels like it should be in Tharkold, not alien-Inca-land.

Now we get to the actual biotech guns. Compared to the stuff we've seen, these are practically benign.

Well, mostly. Some of these are just "gun that fires weird energy" (the Electronus fires electricity, the Gravitic Ray fires pure force, the Mindlance fires psionic energy), but some of the others...

Well, there's the Cell Jammer, which disrupts the cellular structure of the target. Or the Mitositer, that traps the target in a giant porous gelatinous bubble. Or the Shatterer, that actually damages the user as well as the target.

Hmm. Maybe the guns aren't really that much nicer.

The Akashans also have "standard" tech guns, mainly to sell to client races or to impress people who don't know what biotech is. These mostly fall under the "plasma energy weapon" category to varying degrees. The blaster shoots plasma shots, the bolter is the same plus explosion, smash guns are effectively shaped charges, and so on. I'm not going into details here because really there's not much to tell, especially compared to the biotech.

The chapter closes out with some vehicles (two bio-hovercars and a tech dump truck) and adventuring gear. Surprisingly, there's not a lot of non-weapon biotech listed. There's biothings that can act like flashlights, or communication systems (small psionic critters housed in earbuds), translator pods, a biotech repair kit, and a "volent rope" that's based off the weapon and that's it. Normally I'd say this is a problem, but really you're not going to want a ton of stuff on you that you can only use in this realm without causing a contradiction. I don't need a Tech 30 bio-flashlight when I can just use a loving wooden torch.


Sometimes lower-tech is better, is what I'm saying.

The final chapter is Character Creation. Akashan characters are built like normal PCs; 66 stat points, 16 skill points, at least one add in reality. They also have to pick an alignment, but don't have to buy the matching faith skill if they don't want to. Akashan characters can start with psionics if they buy the appropriate skills, and as previously stated get one free power group to start with.

Aliens, though...aliens are a different story.

There's no list of alien races for PCs to use outside of the general races displayed earlier in the book, and even then you don't get simple stat adjustments to play them. Instead, the book goes the same route as the way the Aysle book handles non-humans, where you have to buy an "enhancement package" for your stats. This time around, a package gives you four attribute points to put wherever you want. The downside is that there's a cost: you either have to pay out one Possibility each session or set a max of 7 for one of your stats. Problem is, if you disconnect or can't pay the one Possibility (assuming you chose that option), your enhancement bonuses go away, and you have to reconnect both your character and your stat boost.

Note that there's no racial powers or anything. The only thing you get out of playing a non-human is the extra stats.

Lastly, we come to the character archetypes. There's more here than in most of the books, which isn't surprising given how late this came out. There's also characters from other realms to fill in the gaps.

The Archaeologist was just working a normal dig in Peru when the War first started, and happened to be at Machu Pichu when the ships landed. Since then he's been like a kid in a candy store; the Akashans were happy to share their history and knowledge with a fellow scientist, and now he's dedicated to stopping the High Lords from repeating history. His tag skill is science (archaeology), and he starts with a magnifying glass, brush, pipe (with tobacco) and a Glock 17.


The Akite Engineer spent most of his time in his lab, feeling that exploration only drew everyone's attention away from the internal problems of the Star Sphere's cultures. This dedication to his work made him one of the first to see the spread of the Comaghaz, as well as one of the first to see it wasn't just a normal virus. The Signal Fire was a glimmer of hope, but now he has to deal with the conflict between his aka beliefs and his desire to save Earth's fascinating biodiversity. He starts with gravitic ray, an amninatral implant, and the dumbest quote possible.

quote:

"Oh dear, I'm sorry. I thought you said you wanted designer genes."
Shockingly, his tag skill is science (biotech).

The Coar Council Member was born into the aristocracy, and grew up knowing the importance of his lineage. He also felt that the ancient abandonment of Earth was a mistake, and as such was one of the first to volunteer to answer the Signal Fire and "fix" the mistakes of the past. He doesn't see the current situation as a source of political power, but more as a way of proving the superiority of his coar beliefs. That said, he wouldn't be adverse to staying and "helping out" once the War is over. His tag skill is medicine, and he starts play with a protective suit and a handful of enhancers.


The Draygaak Scholar comes from a world where his people used to be warriors. The key phrase is "used to", as now they've worked hard to suppress their violent natures in pursuit of knowledge. They've been mostly successful; while very advanced, the Draygaak still have the tendency to fly into berserker rages. This is why the scholar hasn't managed to advance too far in his career: he's very bad at holding his temper. He's fascinated by Earth, the other realities, the High Lords, all of it. And hey, if he can use his knowledge to help blow poo poo up or kill some assholes, all the better. For what it's worth, he does feel guilty when he tears someone in half.

He starts with a few basic items and an attitude problem, and his tag skill is evidence analysis.

The Gaucho lived his life pretty much to himself, even after the invasion started. It wasn't until the Argentinian government started using the arrival of the Akashans as an excuse to push their own agendas. His family was "arrested" and contained a penitentiary due to claims that they'd become Comaghaz victims. It wasn't long before he realized that only the elimination of the virus would save thousands from the same fate as his family. His primary goal is finding where his family is being held and freeing them; everything else is secondary. His tag skill is fire combat and he starts with some general cowboy gear.


The Gudasko Hunter led a content, simple life on the plains of his home planet until an infected cadre of Monitors came and started killing everyone and burning his village to the ground. The Comaghaz began to spread, but he managed to escape the planet and found a living as a guard for a high-profile Akashan noble. The noble was chosen to aid in the war effort on Earth, but succumbed to the virus. After killing his former master, the hunter now runs with a pack of Storm Knights. His tag skill is tracking and all he needs is a spear.

The Knight Templar is from the Cyberpapacy, and was part of a renegade order that was dedicating to stopping Malraux's long-term plans to take control of Central and South America. The arrival of the Akashans threw a huge monkey wrench into everything, and his comrades were killed in one of the initial Comaghaz attacks. Rather than returning to France, he's stayed in South America to try and help the civilians caught in the middle of the entire mess...and avenge the deaths of his brothers in arms. He starts with a bunch of cyberware, an Armor of God suit, and a power sword. His tag skill is energy weapons.


The Larendi Chieftain saw his homeworld fall to the Comaghaz, and it was his responsibility to put down his brethren when they succumbed. What made matters worse was learning that some of his infected peoples managed to smuggle themselves off-world to infect others. He feels responsible for the acts of his infected peoples, even as he knows they're not responsible for their actions. He has joined the War more out of necessity; he sees it as something that pulls him away from his goal of wiping the virus from his species. He starts with some bioweapons, and his tag skill is flight.

The Monitor has been a soldier all his life. He's fought in countless wars against countless foes, but still feels that akite decrees limit his effectiveness. He jumped at the chance to answer the Signal Fire, hoping the conflict would spur the High Council into more definitive action. Unfortunately, it seems that the Council doesn't appreciate the potential threat of the High Lords and are more focused on the virus. In the end, though, what matters is the battle. His tag skill is biotech weapons, and he starts with a bunch of 'em.

The Nippon "Economic Adviser" worked for the South American Development Trust for Kanawa for over a year, despite not having a business degree. That's because the advice he generally gave people was "do what Kanawa wants or I'll shoot you in the head." But loyalty only goes so far, and in his case it stopped when his brother was executed for costing his company several million yen. He's working as a free agent now, but keeps the "adviser" cover since it makes people underestimate him. He starts with some business gear, a bulletproof vest, and a 9mm. His tag skill is fire combat.


The New Ager has been globe-hopping since the invasion started, seeking the hidden truths she knows to be missing from her world. Time spent in Aysle attempting to learn magic were fruitless, and her studies in Orrorsh were an even bigger mistake. She happened to be in Guatemala when the Akashans landed, and immediately packed up and headed to Peru. Her dedication has finally paid off, and now she's beginning to learn to use her latent psychic powers. She starts with some guide books, a Tarot deck, some crystals, and other New Age bric-a-brak. Her tag skill is scholar (occult lore).

The Smuggler did not have a good life. He ran everything across every border he could find, all in the name of profit. And that was enough until the Possibility Wars started. Then he realized that money doesn't really matter when all of existence is at risk. After all, where would he retire? And so he started running guns and supplies into every realm, ducking the agents of the High Lords at every turn. Now he's in South America fighting alongside what may be the strangest people he's ever run across. He starts with some weapons, a forged passport, and chewing gum. His tag skill is fire combat.

The Priestess of Zinatt is dedicated to the idea of balance and the importance of it in Akashan society. She's spent most of her life working as a mediator, but like many was forced into battle when the Comashaz appeared. In the back of her mind, she wonders if the virus is a punishment from Aperios for the sins of the Akashans' past. Both the virus and the High Lords are agents against balance and the natural order of things, and at the end of the day her job is to protect that balance. Her tag skill is faith, and she starts with plasma armor, a Larendi bow, and a first aid kit.

The Soviet Psychic is a remnant of the Soviet Union's old psychic research project. She was one of the people called to action and helped repel Tharkold's original bridge, but once that was done the government kept her hidden away, not knowing what to do with her. The arrival of the Akashans gave her a goal, and now her task is to evaluate how much of a threat the aliens are to the Motherland. Personally, she's hoping they can increase her powers. Her tag skill is psionic manipulation, but she still needs to buy psionic resistance if she wants to actually use powers.

And with that, we finally reach the end of the book. But now that they're here, what effect do the Akashans have on the Possibility Wars?

The answer is "not a whole hell of a lot." Well, wait, no. The answer is "make everything measurably worse."

Shortly after arriving, the Akashans get into serious conflicts with Nippon Tech and Tharkold. Bioengineers were supplying Storm Knights on the west coast of America with bioweapons to help fight the cyberdemons, and it wasn't long before said demons managed to track the things back to their source. Sarila led the Council in declaring war against Tharkold, which backfired almost immediately when the first conflict was a loss and Sterret got his hands on biotech. As such, he's looking to see if he can combine it with occultech, so good job there.

On top of that, the Gaunt Man gets his hands on a reality tree seed and sets up a mixed zone in North America centered on New Orleans, making Aysle the only reality to never have a foothold in the States.

About the only good thing the Akashans do is start bringing verious edeinos tribes that were against Baruk Kaah into the fold, giving them a new home in Akashan territory as the Living Land slowly dwindles down to nothing.

As for Sarila...well...she's not doing great. Early on she's still convinced herself that she's in control of the virus, but it's not long before she hears a new voice in the hivemind, one that isn't subservient to her will and might pose a threat to her control. While she's still managed to get the virus to a few other realms (notable the Nile Empire and Orrorsh), the spread isn't anywhere near as fast as she'd like.

It would be a year before Sarila loses control of the virus, but it's only for a few moments. Her rival is a Lorbaat named T'ky Z'tkl, who's managed to link to the Comaghaz hive mind despite not being infected with the virus. While Sarila did manage to sieze control back, she doesn't know if T'yk can do it again. For his part, T'yk wants to free his people from the virus (everyone else can go hang, apparently), and to wipe out the Akashans for allowing this drat mess to happen in the first place. This puts Sarila in a pretty bad postion; she doesn't know exactly who is trying to take control away from her (just that it's a Lorbaat), and she doesn't have anyone she can go to for help. She can't even go to the Council to ask for help without blowing her cover.

Oh, and as for Torg Eternity? The Akashans are pretty much wiped out before the game began. It turns out that, in exchange for not being attacked by the Gaunt Man's forces, the elves of Aysle sold out the Akashans. They told the Gaunt Man of the powerful reality-mixing weapons the Star Sphere have access too, and agreed to point the Gaunt Man in the right direction for their own safety.

The Gaunt Man agreed, left the elves to their own devices, and destroyed the Star Sphere and drat near every being in it.

Now the Gaunt Man has twisted reality trees into "Nightmare Trees", which not only create Orrorsh mixed zones, they also allow his forces to teleport between them. The elves are now feeling the weight of their actions, and are trying to fight alongside the other good guys without giving away the fact that they directly made the Gaunt Man stronger. There's been a few hints that there are still some Akashans floating around, but outside of that they're not really a going concern anymore.

--

So there we are. The Space Gods.

This whole thing was almost a good idea. Which is to say, the core idea of "benevolent aliens arrive, need our help with a mind control virus" is great, and is something you could probably hang a game or TV property on. And like I said way back, I love seeing Anti-Life-ish concepts in other media.

But here, in Torg, it's one concept too far. There's already a ton of stuff going on for everyone to deal with, and in the scope of that this just becomes background noise. It doesn't really fit themeatically (like the Land Below), and feels like they just put this in because someone, probably Greg Gorden himself, really liked Incan and Aztec imagery.

What's worse is that they don't do anything. They arrive so late, with so many other drat things going on, they're just...there. Reality trees pop up from time to time in adventures, but in the grand scheme of things they might as well not bothered writing this book.

Ah well. At least we got psionics out of it? That's something, right?

Right?

Regardless, like the Akashans themselves, we're done here.

--

Wait, do you know what this means?

I've finally, after all these years, finished reviewing all the cosm books! That's the last one! Nobody else shows up after this! Holy crap!

On top of that, there's no more metaplot updates after this. No major things I need to cover.

Which all means...there's one book left. The final book. The one that wraps up over five years of books and metaplot.

Get ready.

The end is near.

NEXT TIME: The beginning of the end

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Trust me, as somebody whose favorite Exalts are Sidereals, Infernals, and Alchemicals, I'm in for a long, slow, painful series of waits.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Holy poo poo. Are we running out of Torg?!

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Night10194 posted:

Holy poo poo. Are we running out of Torg?!
I have one book left to review.

One.

Then the curse will be lifted...and I'll be free...

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Trust me, as somebody whose favorite Exalts are Sidereals, Infernals, and Alchemicals, I'm in for a long, slow, painful series of waits.
Have you tried eating more fiber?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



SirPhoebos posted:

Given how much Exalted tries to pretend it has nothing to do with it's actual inspirations, I'm going to guess that yellow is explicitly not allowed.

Just use a Sorcerous Working to make one grow literal golden feathers.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




The Rifter 9½, part 10: "Hummina-Hummina Factor: 16."

Crazy Accoloth's Discount Alchemy Summer Catalog
Rare and Inspired Magic Items and Spells for the Distinguished Adventure? Priced to Own!?
by Allison Coffin Priscilla Ferkelberger


We get a Q&A that boils down to "no refunds, pal", and then... magic items.
  • Runic Bikini Armor: Because it protects you with magic runes and not actual armor. Women only. It provides a "Hummina-Hummina Factor" that prevents the "opposite sex" from attacking you first if they fail the save, but gives a 50% chance of them "attempting to pick you up". "Only applicable to hot mamas with a P.B. of 12 or higher." However, if worn by an orc, ogre, troll, or anyone with a P.B. below 6, it instead inflicts Horror Factor 15, because ugly is evil is scary. Gives a bonus to charm males or lesbians, but a penalty against straight women. Bis are unmentioned, and presumably erased. Also lets you cast spells to resist heat or cold because.
  • These Boots Were Made For Fighting: Thigh-high boots with high-heels, magical protection, perfect balance, speed boost, bonus to kicks, leave no footprints, bonus to prowl, reduces your weight, lets you levitate, float, go even faster, or walk on water.
  • Thumblers: Cursed silk gloves that change color to match your outfit, but then change all your fingers into thumbs so you can't pick up or use anything. Gives a penalty to pretty much anything combat related, even dodge, because... thumbs? I dunno.
  • The Ugly Stick - A Lesser Rune Weapon: A intelligent weapon that wants to make people ugly and reduces Beauty by 1 or 2 on most hits permanently, no save, no obvious means of recover.
Wizard Spells

We get some spells, along with items that let you cast them.
  • You're It: Makes people flee from the target. There's a permanent version in case you want to make somebody really suffer and have 5,000 P.P.E. to throw around.
  • Base: Makes an item, when touched, render somebody immune to You're It. Get it? Well, I suppose you don't have to with this amazingly niche spell.
  • Banana Peel: Makes somebody slip on a comical fashion, and witnesses also have to save or "lose initiative" due to laughing at the fallee.
  • Speaking in Tongues: Basically babels a target so they can't speak clearly. Has overtly long examples and a "permanent" upgrade that takes a remove curse spell to remove. The target is unaware they've been tongue-scrambled for MAXIMUM COMEDY.
  • The Deviator: Lets you change a target's alignment, so you can convince them to do things they normally wouldn't "such as convincing a scrupulous character to allow a prisoner to be threatened, beaten or tortured". Funny torture, no doubt.
  • Shout: Forces somebody to shout instead of speaking normally. Has a permanent version like Speaking in Tongues does.
  • Ears of the Bat: Gives the target superhuman hearing but penalizes them when there's any loud noise.
I suspect many of you are having to roll against Eyeroll Factor of 18 at this point. Wait, no- Palladium, you can't have it. You can't have my Eyeroll Factor™.

Next: I wear your grandpa's jokes.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Halloween Jack posted:

They had way more fun shooting those photos than anyone would have playing with this system, goddamn.

I refuse to believe any of the pictures feature the people responsible for the book.
Except maybe the out of place Vampire Larper in chapter 4.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Cults: Scourgers, pt. 4

Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 3: Cults




SCOURGERS



This would have been the perfect opportunity to insert an illustration to show the iconic Scourge. It wasn't used.

Stereotypes

quote:

ANABAPTISTS: A white man’s warrior clan, guardians of Purgare and Southern Borca. They don’t consider us enemies – and will regret it one day.

ANUBIANS: We bow our heads to those who know what once was and what will be. The Anubians are our brothers in spirit; their thoughts guide our Scourges.

APOCALYPTICS: Beautiful, sensual white people that can be sold for handsome sums on Tripol’s markets.

CHRONICLERS: It is said they talk in riddles like ancient spirits that time has passed by. As long as our paths are not destined to cross, we void contact.

CLANNERS: Wandering Clans are easy prey. The quality varies, but the Neolibyans take anything they can sell to the plantations.

HELLVETICS: They have always been standing between the Lion and the Crow, trying to make some profit with this position.

JEHAMMEDANS: To face the Jehammedans is like walking through the Psychovores naked: you come back scratched and pricked.

JUDGES: Too many Crows can even endanger a lion. The Neolibyans throw Dinars at them to buy their mercy. Maybe we can do better.

NEOLIBYANS: Lazy buggers in colorful garments with a touch of ink on their eyelids. If you shake them, it rains Dinars. Go ahead and try.

PALERS: Worms crawling through the body of the earth. They are sick, outcasts satisfying their hatred for everything that is healthy with bloody cruelty.

SCRAPPERS: They dig in the dirt like pigs. They flee from every battle. They cannot expect any mercy from the ancestors.

SPITALIANS: They are in Qabis. The Neolibyans actually dared to open the gate for the Crow. should we listen to the Anubians’ warnings now or trust the Neolibyans?

AYUBU THE BLOODHOUND



Culture: Africa
Concept: The Ruler
Cult: Scourgers (Dumisai)

He used to be Simba, killing Hibrispanian champions left and right. Then his Chaga made him a Dumisai. He lead his pack deep into the Warpage to find a route to strike at the Hybris. I don't know what you're supposed to do with him; have an encounter in the anomaly?

EPHREM



Culture: Africa
Concept: The Seeker
Cult: Scourgers (Dufu)

I'll post the whole Ephrem bit and you'll tell me what kind of bigotry this is supposed to be:

quote:

Ephrem is a hermaphrodite: half man, half woman. That means she is nothing in the community of Scourgers. Thus, she furiously tackles any danger to impress others by her deeds and rise in her pack’s pecking order. To no avail.
She is and will remain a Dufu.

I have no clue why this should disqualify Ephrem from being accepted into the higher Scourger ranks when she was still able to join.

AGU



Culture: Africa
Concept: The Disciple
Cult: Scourgers (Kifo)

Agu was a good Hondo, but the endless war in Hybriaspania broke him; he wanted to go home, find a wife and settle down. However, he fell in love with a slave in al-Andalus – and she was a slave to Neolibyan.

Being declared the Moyo by his Dumisai was the straw that broke cammel's back (I mean, the whole thing is bullshit anyways). He betrayed his pack, grabbed his lover and ran away... into the Warpage.

Now that's almost an adventure by itself; a former Scourger on the run from both his pack, possibly his Kifo'd Dumisai and a jealous Neolibyan, trying to live in the Warpage and not piss off the Hybrispaniards.

In conclusion: It feels as if there is a lack of enthusiasm when writing up Africans. There's certainly not much effort put into their rank trees which are barely branches (compare it to the nonsense that happens when you play a Spitalian or Hellvetic). I don't know if we really learned anything new and important about the Scourgers that we didn't know before: they fight, they take slaves, they're the claws of Africa. The whole “reverse slavery” angle gets tiresome, too. The upsides are that Scourgers look cool and give endless amounts of poo poo to Neolibyans.

Next time: the :iiam: Africans!

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

I want to know what the last bit of africa stuff they wrote is. What was at the point where they went "We should probably stop doing this"?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Exalted 3rd Edition: poo poo You Own

Every item is assigned a Resources value, which is how many dots you need to view that purchase as a significant but non-ruinous expense. The game talks about how some things are based on monthly or yearly income depending on how often you might buy them, or even income for a decade for purchases like…a house or a ship, but frankly, no one cares. No one cares about this or the loans or credit. The main thing to note is that your Resources aren’t a hard cap on what you can get – just what you can get without eating into important life funds. Also, you might own stuff that doesn’t “fit” your Resources if it makes sense – an ex-soldier may be poor, but they probably still own their arms and armor, or you might’ve won your ship in a bet but have no reliable income. You have what’s appropriate for your concept, within reason. In theory, about half of a character’s income goes to cost of living – food, clothes, home décor, basic stuff to make sure people respect you. If you spend less than that, you’re seen as stingy or miserly.

So what kind of weird bullshit can you buy? Well, the game lists a few weird magic things you might get:
Age-Staving Cordial (Resources 5) is made from the sap of a rare Far Eastern vine and the poison of specific Southwestern clam species. It is a drug sold as a red powder that, when mixed with water or wine, makes an age-slowing brew. Anyone that takes weekly doses of Age-Staving Cordial will live an average of 25% longer than a comparable person who doesn’t. Other anagathics exist, but are similarly expensive, difficult to get and effective.
Ghost Flower Tea (Resources 3) is a rare drug made from the dried petals of the ghost flower, a luminous palm-sized flower grown only in temperate Eastern shadowlands. The tea glows faintly and is drunk just before sleep. The first few uses cause the drinker to see and be able to speak with any ghosts nearby. Continued use develops a resistance, allowing you to remain awake while under its influence and communicate with the dead outside your dreams. Taking even more than that in a single season lets you physically touch and be touched by ghosts. However, frequent use makes you pale and sickly, with faintly glowing lips. Ghosts may also take ghost flower tea, allowing them to communicate with the living in a similar manner. Anyone that dies while taking ghost flower tea will rise as a ghost.
Maiden Tea (Resources 2-5) is a common term for a wide variety of drugs which render a woman infertile for roughly a month or a man infertile for a variable period ranging from a day to a week depending on the brew. One dose is enough to be usable as a contraceptive for however long that particular brew lasts for. Three or more doses at once will make you mildly ill, causing minor Bashing damage and a penalty to all rolls until it heals, but will induce a miscarriage. An overdose of six or more doses at once will make you violently ill, doing slightly more Bashing damage and increasing difficulties until that heals, but renders you permanently sterile. Cheaper tea is widely available and usually easy to prepare, but is more variable in how well it works. The best (and most expensive) form involves venomous Western clams. And yes, this has been in every edition of Exalted since the start.
Talismans (Resources 1-4) are mystic charms. Some occur naturally, and many are fakes, but thaumaturgists are able to produce them. They have minor but useful benefits. A disease talisman will give a minor bonus to rolls to resist disease, a lucky charm will prevent a single botch per story, and a ward against something like Fair Folk or demons will cause the warded type of beings to have a minor penalty when trying to affect the bearer for a few rolls per scene. The more expensive talismans typically work better. Talismans with more potent bonuses do exist, but they are very rare and hard to make.

Weapons! There are only a few weapon statblocks – Light, Medium and Heavy, for melee. What differentiates individual weapons are their tags. These are stuff like Balanced (+1 Overwhelming, which means greater minimum damage), Flexible (ignores the bonus to Defense from Full Defense), Improvised (costs 1 Initiative to use in an attack), Piercing (can use piercing attacks, which lower your Defense and cost 1 Initiative but let you ignore some armor soak), Reaching (negates the advantages of being mounted), Shield (lets you use Full Defense in a flurry, as long as the flurry doesn’t have an attack in it, but -2 damage) or Smashing (can make smashing attacks, which lower your Defense and cost 2 Initiative but cause knockback or knockdown). You can dual wield as long as neither weapon requires two hands; if your weapons in each hand are different, all the benefits you get are you can choose which weapon’s stats to use for a given attack or parry. Dual wielding two identical weapons gives +2 to Clash attacks, which is also what the Two-Handed tag gives. Unarmed, incidentally, is considered a single light weapon; you can’t dual-wield being unarmed. Ranged weapons differ slightly – they still are Light, Medium or Heavy, but the stats differ and you can’t parry with them. Thrown weapons have worse range but are usually easier to conceal or get ammo for. Archery weapons have better range, but tend to be less subtle or, in the case of flamepieces or crossbows, be slower to reload and not able to apply Strength bonuses to damage. Also, ammunition is generally more expensive or harder to get.

You can make your weapons out of special materials, which adds 1 to their Resources cost in regions where the material is found, or 2 elsewhere. Materials listed:
Chiaroscuro Glass, which is extremely durable, nearly indestructible. It dates back to the First Age, and weapons and armor made from it require pretty much no upkeep. Not that upkeep has any mechanics.
Feathersteel is an extremely light metal found in the far North, particularly around the Haslanti League. It doesn’t rust, and neither do weapons made from it. They’re also slightly lighter than normal. No mechancis for that. Armor made from it gains the Silent tag.
Ironwood is wood treated with rare Eastern technique, found mostly near Halta, that makes it hard as steel. Ironwood gear requires as much maintenance as normal, but it’s made of wood. Ironwood armor also gains the Bouyant tag. In areas where it’s made, ironwood has no increased cost. Elsewhere, it is only +1 Resources.

Armor likewise is Light, Medium or Heavy if you’re wearing it. Lighter gives less soak but also less mobility penalty. Mundane armor doesn’t give Hardness, which is that stat used for straight up preventing decisive damage that isn’t high enough. Armor takes a few minutes to put on or take off, though I’ve rarely seen this rule actually used. And yes, it has tags. Stuff like Concealable (you can hide it under clothes) or Bouyant (its mobility penalty doesn’t apply while swimming) or Silent (its mobility penalty doesn’t apply to sneaking).

Next time: Artifacts.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Exalted 3rd Edition: Magical poo poo You Own

Artifacts are, of course, your rare and potent magical wonders, charged with Essence and far better than mundane equivalents. Artifact weapons and armor are like mundane ones, but…better. They have the same Light/Medium/Heavy split, but the stats of each one are better than the comparable mundane equivalent. The downside? You have to attune motes of Essence to your artifacts, tying them up essentially permanently. Without attuning to an Artifact, you get significant penalties to using it and lose Initiative whenever you use it to attack or parry. Don’t do that! It’s dumb! The reasoning: artifact weapons and armor are stupidly heavy and huge. Daiklaves are unwieldy surfboards of swords made of magical supergold or whatever. Artifact armor is insanely heavy. Attuning to them, however, makes a spiritual link that allows you to handle them as if they were nearly weightless. Attunement lasts until you end it or you go a full day without any contact with your Artifact.

Most artifact weapons and armor will be Artifact 3 at the minimum. But Artifact 2 objects do exist! These are minor wonders, the most common Artifacts in theory (and in play, the least, because they’re much less useful – they have only minor effects and no Evocations). What are they?
Collar of Dawn’s Cleansing Light: A torc or collar or necklace that ensures that no matter what happens, its wearer is clean and presentable, period. It negates all penalties to Social rolls that would be caused by being dirty or unkempt. Attuning one mote to it also causes its cleansing light to suffuse the body, not just the clothes, and give a bonus to resistance against disease and poison.
Hearthstone Amulet: An amulet (or bracer or tiara or whatever you want). It’s only got one job: you can put a hearthstone in it to get the hearthstone’s benefits. It costs a single mote in attunement, and if it’s made of the same materials as artifact armor you’re wearing, it counts as part of that armor for the purposes of Dependent hearthstones. More on those later.
Traveler’s Staff: A staff made from a magical branch of an ancient tree grown in a mighty Wood-elemental Manse on the Blessed Isle. It can be used as a mundane, non-Artifact quarterstaff in combat, but that’s not its main job. Its job is that at sunset, you can plant it and commit 3 motes to cause it to sprout into a fruit tree (usually apple) that grows enough to feed you and several others for the evening, and you can cut its branches for ready, easy firewood, and in the morning you can chop off a branch to regain the original staff. The tree will then die and rot away by sunset, leaving no trace of its presence.
Yasal Crystal: A yellow gemstone that can trap spirits inside itself. You have to touch the spirit and beat it with a Willpower roll, and it typically has to be a pretty weak spirit. A stone can hold only one spirit at a time, but you can free the spirit at will while touching the crystal. Once a spirit is in it, you can talk to it by touching the stone, but it can’t escape on its own or use any of its powers. Instead, you can use any of its Charms while holding the stone, as long as the spirit allows you to do so. This usually means bargaining with the spirit for a number of uses before you free it, or a set period of use before you free it. You can lie, of course, but an uncooperative spirit isn’t exactly useful, and once they get out they’ll probably try and get revenge. Rare crystals with higher Artifact ratings can hold more potent spirits. Yasal crystals never need attunement.

Artifact 3 non-weapons also exist! They’re powerful, though the lack of Evocations means you’ll want to be sure they’re useful to you.
Belt of Shadow Walking: A black belt made from giant bat wing leather, trimmed with black jade and soulsteel. It requires 5 motes of commitment and can control shadows and conceal you, giving a bonus to stealth rolls. You can also spend 10 motes to turn into a shadow temporarily, allowing you to pass through cracks and go unnoticed, except in brightly lit areas where you can’t hide in other shadows. While you are a shadow, you are effectively dematerialized and can only affect or be affected by other dematerialized beings, or things that can strike dematerialized beings, and you can use such Charms or objects to be able to interact with material things. Otherwise, you’re immune to basically any material threat except being sealed inside a room that has no cracks or doors to slip under. You can take any gear you have with you, but not living beings. Once your scene as a shadow ends, you must spend at least ten minutes in solid form before you can do it again.
Bracers of Universal Crafting: Bracers carved from green and white jade, a quarter inch thick and two inches wide. They must be attuned for five motes, but can then be activated freely. Once activated, they project Essence constructs that can be used as tools or extra hands, giving a bonus to anything requiring fine manipulation, such as lockpicking, surgery or most crafting. The constructs vanish when not needed and can be controlled as finely and precisely as your fingers. They are compatible with all Craft charms, negate the need for additional tools and eliminate any penalties for lacking proper tools.
Essence Glider: A construct of magical materials, feathersteel and Essence, with a wingspan of 20 feet and requiring a commitment of 2 motes. It looks like a delicate, fragile glider frame with no cloth covering, weighs less than half of a normal, conventional glider and can fold small enough to fit under a cloak. When you spend 1 mote, it unfolds and covers itself with a faintly glowing fabric of solid Essence for one scene, which you may extend by just reactivating it. It gives a bonus to Athletics roll to control it due to its responsiveness, massively increases your horizontal jump distance as long as you have room to use it and if activated from a high enough height, can be used for distance travel at a speed of 50 miles per hour.

Artifact 4 non-weapons are usually quite potent, but we only get one.
Folding Ship: A ship made of gold-tinged wood, with white sails. It requires no crew, handling itself automatically as long as it has a captain to helm it and commit seven motes to it. At the command of its owner, it can fold itself up in a grand spectacle that takes about a minute and ends with a one foot by six inch by six inch box weighing around 20 pounds. It can unfold at the same speed. It has the traits of a normal, non-magical ship, decided when you get the Artifact, as several models were produced in the First Age. It will, however, repair all damage it takes after a full day in box form.

Artifact 5 non-weapons also only have the one thing.
The Wondrous Globe of Precious Stability: A rare, precious First Age artifact in the form of a jade sphere the size of a human head, covered in occult symbols inlaid with orichalcum, moonsilver, starmetal and soulsteel. It has a hearthstone socket on top and mounting brackets that unfold from the bottom. Activating it requires putting a hearthstone in or committing ten motes. A hearthstone used to power it grants none of its normal benefits. Once activated, the sphere starts to glow and rotate, and its owner may order it to orbit themselves or mount it on a vehicle or building. If orbiting, it protects the user and everyone in Short range from all Wyld effects and gives a bonus to resist Fair Folk Charms, as well as preventing the Fair Folk from entering the protected area at all or affecting the orb. If attached to a vehicle or structure, it provides the same protection to the structure and everything inside it. It can protect any vehicle of any size, or any building no larger than the Imperial Palace or one of the sealed towers of Rathess, but cannot be used to protect an entire town or city.

Next time: Hearthstones

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Lure of the Liche Lord

By Ptra!

The entirety of Tomb Level 3 is devoted to the Gods of Nehekara. It's full of offerings, mummified priests, representations of the ancient religion, and things intended to get Karitamen in the Gods' good graces so they let him into the underworld. This is also where Team 1 bit it; the entrance area here on Level 3 has another 2 Ushabti fight and it's harder to get away from them if you gently caress up the History -10 test to know what sign to make as you pass them. Team 1 accidentally activated the Egyptian Mecha and got kicked into paste.

One neat thing: Studying the Gods in the first room of the religion floor actually does give you a bonus. If your PCs either speak Nehekaran or read the monument up top, they can learn the names of the Gods in this room and learn a bunch of the basics of Nehekaran religion. This lets them recognize which Gods often symbolize dangerous traps or spots for secret doors. Speaking of, there are secret doors and extra ways to skip between levels everywhere in the tomb, and both teams are good at spotting them. For instance, in this main hall you can already find a secret door down to the Liche Priest's room, where you can meet a really important NPC, Tetrahon. That's Karitamen's buddy from when he was alive, and he's still fully sentient (if chopped into pieces). His room also has a further secret passage all the way down into Karitamen's own final boss lair. It's actually possible to bypass a huge amount of the dungeon if you're only trying to get to Karitamen and you search everywhere carefully.

Similarly, a lot of the traps and encounters are avoidable; they're much less so if you decide to loot everything you come across. We also get a nice little primer on the Nehekaran Gods, because there's a good chance the PCs learn about them. I really like the emphasis on 'learning about the people who built the Tomb and what they considered important helps defend you from its dangers'. It's a genuinely neat way to bring in the explorer/archeologist feel and make scholars a good part of the party.

Ptra is the Great Creator, the Sun, the first of all Gods to step foot on the earth. He looks like a human (he is the only God with no animal association) but his eyes contain the very void itself and can drive someone mad to look at.

Asaph should be familiar to anyone who likes the Total Warhams Tomb Kings because she is the Goddess of Vengeance, Beauty, and Magic. She is a snake lady. She is also the patron of the famous Queen Khalida, cousin of Nefereta, who asked Asaph to replace her blood with crazy holy snake venom after Neffy tried to turn her into a vampire. It totally worked, and totally killed her. Then the Nagash stuff happened and it turns out being a holy crusading mummy that fights vampires for eternity while full of holy snake venom is great actually. The Khalida stuff isn't in here, of course, I just thought I'd put it in because it rules.

Djaf is the God of Death, depicted with a jackal's head. I wish there was a little more on the Gods' personalities and not just how to recognize their image.

Khsar is the God of the Desert, able to appear as a desert wind rather than an animal form.

Phakth is the God of the Sky and Also Justice, and he is a BIRD PERSON. A big muscular man with a hawk's head.

Qu'aph is the God of Snakes and also Subtlety. He shows up as a hooded human because he is actually a cobra, naturally.

Ualatp is the God of Scavengers. No points for guessing that he has a vulture's head.

Sokth is the God of Scorpions, Poison, and Thieves. However, he hates tomb robbers (approved thiefing only) so if you see his sign on something, watch out. It means that this is going to vomit scorpions all over you. Deadly, deadly scorpions.

Basth is obviously Bast. She is the Cat God, which also means the Goddess of Love and Grace. Nehekarans absolutely adored cats. They had cats everywhere. If you were a Nehekaran noble and you didn't have a bunch of pet cats you were a weirdo. She can appear as a woman, a woman with a cat head, or a very majestic cat.

Geheb is God of the Earth and Strength, and appears as a huge, muscular man-mountain. He can also turn into a big friendly dog.

Tahoth is the God of Wisdom and Learning. He got a birb head. An ibis, to be specific.

Usirian is the God of the Underworld and is never actually depicted, as it was considered sacrilege. There are many invocations to him throughout the Tomb, but he is never actually shown.

A neat thing is, if you learn of the Gods and you enter the Private Chapel room on level 3 and pray to them sincerely, no Ushabti or Tomb Guard will attack your party for the next 3 hours unless you strike first or start stealing valuables. Similarly, when you find Karitamen's personal meditation chamber, you find a bunch of deeply personal items that he actually made himself for some of his transitional rituals when he was declared an adult. They're of serviceable but unspectacular craftsmanship, but if players either leave them alone or bring them with them but give them back to Karitamen when they meet him, they make him happy and will negate some actions that pissed him off previously. The simple bowl, jug, and rug that he made matter to him a lot as a reminder of his late childhood and early adulthood. So much so that he still has the last item he made, a bronze knife, on his person.

Level 3 also contains the loving jackpot for PCs who intend to loot the tomb. The Offertory Room isn't cursed like the eventual main treasure pile will be, but it's still full of vast, vast riches and the only guards are 20 basic zombies with knives. These are slaves Karitamen had mummified to sing his praises into the afterlife. There are many, many traps on the goods and offerings, but if you can get past them, there's 4000 crowns worth of ancient coinage, and then over 10,000 worth of gems, silks, treasures, and weapons. A party that manages to rob this room is potentially set for life! The problem is taking anything here will turn everything in the Tomb hostile. For good. I'd probably add in a RETURN THE SLAB chance where the players can put back what they stole to end this effect. Still, if you're here to crawl a dungeon, kill, and loot? This room is your dream come true. A party doing that might just get to this point, manage to rob this tomb, and then leave.

This one had a particular lot of stuff to talk about, so I'm going to break it up here. Especially as level 4 is also extremely important, because it's where Karitamen has his family entombed.

Next Time: Pathos

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Night10194 posted:

Phakth is the God of the Sky and Also Justice, and he is a BIRD PERSON. A big muscular man with a hawk's head.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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



Now I'm not saying Phakth had a minigun, but I'm not saying he didn't.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Ptra is the Great Creator, the Sun, the first of all Gods to step foot on the earth. He looks like a human (he is the only God with no animal association) but his eyes contain the very void itself and can drive someone mad to look at.

Ra

quote:

Asaph should be familiar to anyone who likes the Total Warhams Tomb Kings because she is the Goddess of Vengeance, Beauty, and Magic. She is a snake lady. She is also the patron of the famous Queen Khalida, cousin of Nefereta, who asked Asaph to replace her blood with crazy holy snake venom after Neffy tried to turn her into a vampire. It totally worked, and totally killed her. Then the Nagash stuff happened and it turns out being a holy crusading mummy that fights vampires for eternity while full of holy snake venom is great actually. The Khalida stuff isn't in here, of course, I just thought I'd put it in because it rules.

Isis

quote:

Djaf is the God of Death, depicted with a jackal's head. I wish there was a little more on the Gods' personalities and not just how to recognize their image.

Anubis

quote:

Khsar is the God of the Desert, able to appear as a desert wind rather than an animal form.

Set

quote:

Phakth is the God of the Sky and Also Justice, and he is a BIRD PERSON. A big muscular man with a hawk's head.

Horus

quote:

Qu'aph is the God of Snakes and also Subtlety. He shows up as a hooded human because he is actually a cobra, naturally.

Meretseger

quote:

Ualatp is the God of Scavengers. No points for guessing that he has a vulture's head.

Doesn't seem to have a clear Egyptian counterpart.

quote:

Sokth is the God of Scorpions, Poison, and Thieves. However, he hates tomb robbers (approved thiefing only) so if you see his sign on something, watch out. It means that this is going to vomit scorpions all over you. Deadly, deadly scorpions.

Serket

quote:

Basth is obviously Bast. She is the Cat God, which also means the Goddess of Love and Grace. Nehekarans absolutely adored cats. They had cats everywhere. If you were a Nehekaran noble and you didn't have a bunch of pet cats you were a weirdo. She can appear as a woman, a woman with a cat head, or a very majestic cat.

Bast, as noted.

quote:

Geheb is God of the Earth and Strength, and appears as a huge, muscular man-mountain. He can also turn into a big friendly dog.

Geb

quote:

Tahoth is the God of Wisdom and Learning. He got a birb head. An ibis, to be specific.

Thoth

quote:

Usirian is the God of the Underworld and is never actually depicted, as it was considered sacrilege. There are many invocations to him throughout the Tomb, but he is never actually shown.

Osiris

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Mors Rattus posted:

Exalted 3rd Edition: Magical poo poo You Own

Artifact 3 non-weapons also exist! They’re powerful, though the lack of Evocations means you’ll want to be sure they’re useful to you.

Clarification: Any Artifact rated at 3+ CAN have Evocations! In-setting, Evocations aren't strictly properties of their weapons...usually. They're borne of the spiritual rapport between an Artifact and its wielder, as well as an Artifact's specific legend. So a Twilight could coax Evocations out of, say, Bracers of Universal Crafting, which would then become part of that Artifact's legend. If another character were to inherit those bracers, they could awaken either the same Evocations (by establishing the same spiritual rapport and continuing the legacy begun by the Twilight) or new ones (by taking an old legend and making it their own), although the new set would likely transclude some of the Twilight's Evocations because those deeds are now part of the Artifact's legend and thus its Essence.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

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


When I first got into Warhammer, I thought the Vampire Lords/Tomb Kings divide was dumb. Thanks to Nights' posts in this thread, it's now one of my favorite bits - along with the possibility that the Undead would make a great ally for dealing with Chaos, and it's not an unfeasible idea either.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5