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Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I'm shocked, shocked that John "Bad rules you think you want" Morke thinks it's better for a Solar to be able to intuitively stay exactly on the script the playwright put down rather than being able to improvise something as good or better.

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Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Just wanna point out Gleaming Sever is the exact opposite of niche - that's +1 sux (2 motes) and +1 damage (1 mote) plus a bunch of niche effects for 1m 1i. As a wise man once said, That's Value (TM). It's actually a charm so good it expands the 'core three' list of charms any melee stylist should have to 4, because the difference between having it and not is massive.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Shattering Clash is really good if you're in a game where not literally every enemy has an artifact weapon. Like a bunch of DBs with a regular swords or spears can be pretty rude and this lets you just break their weapon and make them rely on whatever unarmed poo poo they've got going on. Being able to do some damage and disarm a guy is a good way of making people stop fighting. Certainly very flashy. I think it's good if you don't wanna kill a guy.

I think it should probably just be a gambit rather than a charm to just destroy someone's weapon, harder than a disarm but making it so they can't recover the weapon would be worth it? I guess maybe there's Sledgehammer Fist Punch but that's Brawl.

Speaking of breaking weapons, there's the cool picture of Panther having a hammer break as it hits him and I don't think there's a way to recreate that other than with a weird craft charm that instantly breaks things?

KOGAHAZAN!!
Apr 29, 2013

a miserable failure as a person

an incredible success as a magical murder spider



EthanSteele posted:

Speaking of breaking weapons, there's the cool picture of Panther having a hammer break as it hits him and I don't think there's a way to recreate that other than with a weird craft charm that instantly breaks things?

Mors has been slacking with the art, so I'll post this one:



It's probably one of the better pieces in the core book, but I've always been struck by how washed out it is.

This, for the record, is my favourite:



So cool it makes me want to engage with Craft, every time. :shepicide:

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Yeah! It took me a while to even recognize it was meant to be him because he's so washed out!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



While I actually quite like much of the art in Ex3 in general, I can't easily post it because my work internet blocks most image hosts and Twitter is a poor replacement that I only used when I really need to.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 17: Pain does the body good.




Being a cyberpunk adventurer it’s inevitable that you’ll get injured at some point. Either from being attacked by vicious corporate wrestler ninjas or throwing out your back while trying to punch a ganger. Strap yourself in, this is going to take a while.

Whenever you sustain an injury in N2 you get a number of marks, or points really, of Trauma, Pain and Bleeding. The latter gives you points in blood loss each round as well.


The pain! Again!

Each time the points you gain flow over to a new row the harder your Shock and Death rolls becomes. Failing a Shock roll means that you go unconscious while the latter, unsurprisingly means that you’re dead.

Let’s do a slight rules refresher since it’s been a while since we did character creation. The number of damage columns you get to use in each of those categories is dependant on what your physique score was during character creation. For instance Sylvanus got 32 as his physique score and ended up in the normal range, so he got 6 columns. If he had been weaker he could’ve gotten as low as 4 of them or if he was sturdier he could’ve gotten as high as 8. Then he also got one extra row under the pain section due to to the pain resistant advantage. There are a couple of more advantages that changes the values for those, as well as drawbacks that decreases them.

A character’s shock value is a measurement at how much you can stand pain and how well you can stay conscious. The same value is used for both Shock rolls as well as Death rolls.

The book states that the rules for wounds are fairly complex. If they’re being honest about that then I feel they could’ve tried to redesign them so they’re not as complex. But here we are regardless. So it gives us a breakdown of 8(!) steps you need to do to calculate damage.
  • Roll damage.
  • Roll for hit location
  • Reduce damage if there’s armor or cover present. Any changes turns it into reduced damage.
  • Find the right kind of damage table. Thankfully there’s only three for projectile, crushing and stabbing damage.
  • Figure out where the reduced damage goes onto the damage dable. That’s also where you check if you need to roll for extra wounds. If the the damage is less than 10 it’s counted as superficial and no extra wounds are rolled. For each 10 points of damage you get one extra wound that gets rolled out with a D10. The wounds can stack on top of each other from the same attack.
  • See how much Trauma, Pain and Bleeding is gained. Add those to the sheet.
  • Each time you gain trauma you need to roll a Death roll against your Shock value, difficulty is based how much trauma and blood loss you have. Fail to roll underneath that and you’ve died.
  • Every time you gain points of Trauma, Pain or Blood loss you need to roll against your Shock value, difficulty derived from all three of those section. Fail to roll underneath that and you go unconscious.

The book does spend a bit too many words to run these through in my meaning and I feel it could’ve been trimmed down slightly.
It then goes on to say that the damage system in N2 is more or less compatible with Eon. With the only difference that the term “Number of wounds” is not in N2 as it’s used for calculations on the damage table.
But why is this the case you ask? Only so that you can have the character play in one of the extremely popular VR games that takes place in Mundana, which is the world that Eon is set in. (Slight jerk off motion for having one of their previous games be really popular in another one.)

Neotech posted:

Here is an opportunity for the GM to shock the players – especially if they die in ‘Mundana’
So if you die in Mundana you die in real life?

Trauma takes a while to heal, usually its one point per day. It can be increased to two points per day if you rest for a full day and get medical attention. If you’re active it will go down to one point per every other day, it’s up to the GM to decide at how active you’ve been in this case.
Pain heals faster in comparison, the usual rate is one point her hour. Two points per hour during rest and treatment. One point every other hour if active.

To track Bleeding you don’t need to track any points and simply write up the rate in the box above bloodloss. If the rate is below 10 then each point equals to one point of Blood Loss per minute. So a bleed rate 5 would mean that you gain 5 points of Blood Loss.
Above that the ratio changes to one point per round and then goes up by one per each 10. So a bleed rate for 30+ would mean that you get 3 marks per round.
Bleeding counts for both superficial wounds and internal bleeding. Obviously the latter is much harder to stop without drugs or surgery. Bleeding heals quickly naturally and faster with bandages. Normally it decreases with one point every 10 minutes. If rested it goes down by 5 minutes. If moving around then it goes up to every 20 minutes.

So the book amusingly decides to call out the optional rule to ignore blood loss if your bleed rate is under 10 as unrealistic. Anything under that value could be considered really marginal. It goes on to say that this rule will decrease bookkeeping on the character sheet. Oh no, how awful. But it also makes the game a lot less realistic and the GM really needs to think through if this rule should be used.
What the gently caress ever happened to their initial statement about this game being an action based thriller game when it suddenly starts saying that some rules might be considered unrealistic? Where was the complaint about Hong Kong shooting being unrealistic? Get your themes and motivations sorted before you write the rules, and not afterwards or midway through.

Then we have the complete opposite of that rule where you need to track all of your bleeding wounds individually. The reasoning why you should do a more detailed wound tracking is so that you can see which wounds get treated. I guess this rule is made for those who get off on checking things off on a list then. This rule then makes the treatment process to stop the bleeding more realistic. It doesn’t really add anything because it then goes on to say that the blood loss rate is still based on the sum of all the wounds bleeding rate. So it’s pointless bookkeeping, something which this game absolutely loves, and adds nothing unlike the previous optional rule that they called unrealistic. Probably because it reduced what you needed to track.
Double standards much?
It also gets an example for some reason. I guess the writers really needed to explain that all the rule involved was that you combine numbers to a big number. Absolute waste of space.

Blood loss is regained at the same pace as pain; with one point per hour, two points per hour when resting and one point every other hour if active. The book just repeats itself again about how higher blood loss means higher difficulty rolls and that you need to roll for shock every time your blood loss goes up one row. It does this for all of them, just endlessly repeating the same bunch of information. Feels like they should’ve hired a better editor.

Death rolls is a thing we’ve seen cropped up a couple of times before. Things have pretty much gone tits up for you if you need to start rolling for these. Whenever you gain Trauma you need to roll for one immediately, and they’re always rolled before any eventual shock rolls. But if you gain multiple points of Trauma from various extra wounds then you only need to roll one Death roll after all the Trauma points have been added. To survive you need to roll under your Shock value and you derive the difficulty level from the Trauma and Blood loss sections on your sheet. Although it doesn’t mention what happens when those numbers are different but I assume you go for the one with the highest value.
Considering that Sylvanus only got a 10 on his Shock value his chances of surviving decreases very rapidly above Ob2d6 difficulty. On the first Ob3d6 roll I did as a test I managed to get 16 which would’ve meant he would’ve breathed his last. So the writers weren’t kidding about this system being incredibly lethal. Especially when regular 9mm FMJ round does [5] Ob3D6+3 damage.
Shock rolls work in the same way, only that you go unconscious whenever you fail, only that you gain the difficulty from Trauma, Pain and Blood loss. Once again lots of repetition when it comes to rules.

If you go unconscious you have to succeed with another Shock roll to wake up again or you end up dying. But the book says that you don’t have to roll for it until someone goes to check on you. So for a while you can become an Uncertainty Lich where you don’t know if you’re alive or dead. But as per usual, all up to the GM’s discretion.
If the Death roll would reach ‘ridiculously’ high levels, like Ob10d6, then the GM should demand a symbolic death roll and then, possibly, declare them dead.
Ob10d6 is frankly far too generous for a ‘ridiculously high’ value suggestion when you’re most likely not able to survive over Ob6d6 at best. Even with a slightly above average Shock save.

Lastly for this part we get a couple of optional rules.
As we all know, swords will loving cut you and if you get extra wounds from slashing damage it can lead to the affected limb being removed outright, or a traumatic amputation. To avoid getting your hand or other body part sliced off you roll a difficulty roll against STY and the difficulty is as many dice as extra wounds. So 4 extra wounds is Ob4D6 for example, but this can also be affected by what body part is struck. Arms and legs (all of them broken down into separate sections of course) incur no penalty while the neck is -Ob1D6 or the chest is -Ob3D6.
Funny enough there isn’t any risk for amputations in the damage tables so it’s suggested that the GM rolls for that risk if you gain two or more extra wounds. The table also has a bunch of damage information. Oddly enough decapitation is ‘only’ +500 Trauma, +10 Pain and +50 Bleeding. While head or face is the same but +10 bleeding. Why they didn’t just say instant death there I’m not really sure.

Our second optional rule is that initiative will be affected by how much pain you have. It decreases by 10 steps for each row of Pain that has been started. If the goes down to 0 it means they’re not allowed to do anything. Other than just sitting there groaning. The example includes a character named Tucker Bandwood. Once again the names feel like they’re from action movies made by Italians or maybe Eastern Europeans.

A wounded person moves slower than a healthy one. This optional rule makes it so that FÖR is decreased by 1 for each row of Pain that has been started. But it won’t affect the two meters step you can take as a free action.

If you attack someone with a natural weapon, like a fist or a kick, and you deal a lot of damage then the attacker gets damaged as well. For each extra wound you cause on an enemy with a natural weapon the attacker gets a point of pain themselves. This rule is ignored if you use something like a knuckle-dusters, sap glove or similar.

The damage rules continues the trend in force with a lot of pointless bookkeeping, considering you have three different damage trackers to keep in mind. Also death feels really easy a cheap as well considering how frequent the death rolls seem to be and how quickly the difficulty ramps up. Also needing 8 steps to calculate damage shouldn’t really be needed for that part.
Sadly this was only the first part.

Next time: Unfortunately, his spine is now clearly visible from the front.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

Mors has been slacking with the art, so I'll post this one:

Sorry but the best piece of art in the Ex3 corebook will always be Crocodile Goldilocks and the Three Two and a Half Bears.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





That bear in the background is demonstrating the fear effect of the Dawn Anima Banner. And will never know true, unburdened joy again.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Thesaurasaurus posted:

Sorry but the best piece of art in the Ex3 corebook will always be Crocodile Goldilocks and the Three Two and a Half Bears.



Those are the eyes of an extremely traumatized bear.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Nimble Reaving Wind is the "I flail at the villain's friends before then poking the villain, after which they explode in a gory mess". I don't think that's the intent, but combined with Thunderclap Rush Attack you can zip around getting your Initiative to ridiculous levels as long as there are mooks around, and then you can make something die very much.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



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


Part 23c: Two Minutes To Midnight

At the end of the last Act, the PCs were vaguely pointed towards New Orleans, which is currently housing an Orrorshian reality tree. They were also given some other vague clues to seek out a "one-eyed king" seeking refuge in the city, and two monstrous women waging war there.

quote:

The atmosphere in New Orleans is a mix of old and new. Gaslights and electric street lights stand side by side, horse-drawn hansom cabs jockey for road space with automobiles and motorbikes, and gentlemen in silk top hats and ruffled shirts associate freely with leather jacketed and denim-clad partygoers.

The Cyberpapists are here in force, drawn to the French population, and Nippon Tech still controls many offshore Gulf oil rigs. Voodoo now works all too well in this area.

Gamemasters should play up New Orleans as an easy-going, friendly,seductive place, with many secrets that could lead to danger and death. There is Southern hospitality and the well-known New Orleans party atmosphere, but there's also a sinister undercurrent, thanks to the presence of Orrorshans.
Due to the presence of Orrorshian Horrors here (oops, spoilers), the Perseverance rules are in effect for this Act.

So now the question is: how much of this Act is going to be pointless dead ends? Let's find out!

Act Three starts with the PCs being stopped just outside the city, regardless of how they're arriving. At least this time it's a valid roadblock, because the cops are investigating a rather gruesome crime scene.

quote:

The damp chilly air is filled with the crackling static of police radios and the orders and commands being shouted out to several of the law enforcement members. Here, at this lonely railroad crossing, a gruesome scene awaits.

Three bodies lie at the side of the road, near the gravel of the railroad bed. Two of the bodies appear half-covered in webs. The other body appears somewhat shrivelled, as if drained of fluids. Strands of webbing hang from gnarled shrubs and low-lying tree branches.

However, that is not the worst of it; strewn about haphazardly are the bodies of four giant spiders, each two meters long, and three gray blobs covered with dull red eyes. The giant spiders have human skulls for heads.
Players who're familiar with the game line will recognize all this as the handiwork of two of Orrorsh's known Nightmares: Basjas, were-spider and member of the Hellion Court, and Sabathina, vampyress from a destroyed reality. Both women know that something big has been brewing with regards to the Gaunt Man, and Sabathina has been trying to oust Basjas and take her place. The Gaunt Man, for his part, got sick of their fighting and banished them both to New Orleans to settle it amongst themselves.

The cops, for their part, are trying to figure out what happened while trying not to throw up. If the PCs offer assistance (given that this is the kind of thing they're used to), the sheriff in charge (J. T. McAllistar, stereotypical Southern cop) can be convinced to let them look around.

By making a bunch of rolls, the PCs can gather the following clues/remember the following things, all of which are missable:
  • The skull-headed spiders are minions of Basjas.
  • The eye-blobs are "bloodthirts", and are Sabathina's minions.
  • Basjas and Sabathina are at war with each other.
  • The bodies in the web died of poisoning.
  • The other bodies have large holes in their necks, and the victims were completely drained of blood.
  • All three victims are African-American (thankfully there's no need to roll to notice that, you just do).
  • One of the victims had a small talisman that, upon closer inspection, is a voodoo charm used to ward off danger.
  • A business card for "The Southern Gentlemen" with an address on Canal Street in New Orleans.
If the PCs screw up completely and miss everything, Sheriff McAllistar will tell the group that they can get rooms at the La Bon Vie on Burboun Street (really, he'll tell them that anyway, but I'm guessing this is a "we need another lead" thing).

From here, the PCs can either check out "The Southern Gentlemen" or the La Bon Vie. However, the next scene is designed to slot into the Act anywhere, and it's another one of those "we need to have a fight scene I guess" moments.

quote:

A lot of the changes also affect the so-called average person, and you see evidences of this everywhere: gentlemen in Victorian dress, shadows flitting by which mayor may not be ninja, and Cyberpapal street preachers warning about the dangers of New Orleans' style hedonism.

Another interesting change is heading towards you right now. It starts with a low rumbling, like a flight of demons on the wing. Next, you see many spots of bright light, diffused in the New Orleans' evening mist. All at once, you see the source of the light and noise: a pack of young women on motorbikes, riding recklessly through the streets. They're all wearing distinctive plaid skirts, dark green blazers, and black patent leather shoes. Some of them have blades coming out of their knuckles, while others seem jacked into their machines. Many of them have a tell-tale red glow in one eye.

The girls cast malevolent glances at you and gun their throttles, bearing down on you.
Yup. CyberCatholic Schoolgirl biker gang. I'm actually amazed it took this long.


At least they're not Bikini Girls With Machine Guns.

The girls are just out screwing with people for kicks; they'll start a fight but will retreat if they take half their wounds or if half the group gets wounded. That's literally all this encounter is.

So "The Southern Gentlemen", then!

The Gentlemen are a recently-formed Victorian secret society dedicated to defending New Orleans from all the weird poo poo that popped up recently, "but with a sense of class." When the PCs arrive at the mansion, the door is answered by Reeves, the butler. If the party can convince him they're here on business, he'll let them in. Oddly, the book doesn't say what happens if they can't.

The PCs will be greeted by Sebastian Orwell, leader of the society, who acts like a Southern gentleman; muttonchops and all. He'll make small talk to try and determine if he can trust the party. He does know the victims from the start of the Act; they came to him for help, but were too scared to give any details. If the subject of Roxanne's vision of a "one-eyed king" is brought up, he'll point the Knights towards a bar called the One-Eyed King, which is near St Louis Cemetery #1. He also knows about the turf war between Basjas and Sabathina, but won't talk about it unless pressed or Roxanne's other vision is brought up. If the PCs show him the talisman, he recognizes it as coming from a voodoo practitioner called Sister Trinity.

If the PCs are respectful, they can use Orwell's library for occult research. That said, he won't sell them stuff or let them crash here; this is home, not a motel. On the plus side, one of the members of the Gentlemen is a doctor who can be called on to patch people up.

The Gentlemen have also invited a few Gaean Gypsies to the mansion as a consultation to see if they really can predict the future. The only one of them who can is Grandmama Kella, who charges 10 Sterlings to read someone's future. She's here to perform a seance, and if the PCs stick around they can ask her some questions. Before they can, though, she goes into a trance and gives the following three prophesies:

quote:

"Once on high,now one in many, it walks the Earth in rage and defeat, looking for blood. A tool it is, to be used by he who would take all."

"Unholy Horror within arbor prison sleeps, changing all we know into its own twisted vision. Strong it grows, rooted where the trumpeter is honored."

"Metal priests of heresy, failing, fading, have no part in this part of the play of horror and pain."
The second clue is referring to the Orrorshian reality tree in Louis Armstrong Park; the creature that was originally trapped inside was freed once the tree fully took root. The third clue means that the Cyberpapacy has nothing to do with anything in the rest of the adventure, and the first clue...well, I'll leave that as a surprise.

The PCs can ask their questions now, but if they ask more than three, there's a wobble in the Warp or something and a Chthon pops into existence and starts attacking everyone because fight scene. Once this thing is dealt with, the scene ends and the PCs don't have to go home but they can't stay here.

Checking out La Bon Vie takes the PCs to another Victorian mansion, but this is actually a theme hotel, not something that transformed. The clientele is a mixed bag; there's Sergeant-Major Crawford, who's leading the 7th Regiment, Victorian Royal Order, and are here on a goodwill misson for the Empire. There's also Reverend Montague Winter, a Sacellum priest who is here to eradicate as much sin as possible. Pere Gastoneau is the representative of the Cyberchurch here, and always has a half-dozen Church Police with him. There's also a freelance journalist here named Cassandra Riley, who is here to get in the way. Oh, and Sheriff McAllister is also staying here while he's assisting with the crime scene.

At some point while the PCs are present, Reverend Winter and Pere Gastoneau (who have been arguing the whole time they've been here) start getting further into each other's faces to the point where the Victorians and Church Police are about to draw on each other. Sheriff McAllister will draw and tell everyone to stand down, but neither side listens to him (they say this is an "inter-cosm dispute" and he should mind his own business. McAllistar repeats his demand.

Unless the Storm Knights figure out a way to get everyone to calm down, a big ol' fight will break out as both sides try to kill the poo poo out of the other. If a fight does break out, all the generic background patrons will take off, and Cassandra will hide behind the bar and take pictures.

Regardless of how that shakes out, later the same night a group of four vampyres who stumble in drunk after hanging out at the One-Eyed King and are looking to kick some rear end.

Again, no new information is learned here. This is just a place to work out of and for fights to happen because adventures need fights.

Eventually, the PCs should head to the One-Eyed King and hooooooooooooo boy get ready for this.



Oh god, I think I used to hang out here in the early 90s.

quote:

Regardless of the room, the clientele is the same: young people, ranging from late teens to late twenties, sit at tables or lean against the interior walls. Most are clad in black: trenchcoats, leather jackets, blazers, jeans. There is a preponderance of jewelry with skull, dagger, and ankh motifs.

You've been in everything from the gangster-owned speakeasies of the Nile, to the raucous taverns of Aysle, and the smash clubs of the Cyberpapacy, but never have you seen a club where the mood is so deliberately subdued, even depressing. Most of the clientele appear to be posing, overacting, or overdosing on angst.

You might be tempted to just laugh and dismiss the whole place as a gathering area of preening, self-absorbed, pseudo-intellectual losers, except for the fact that there is definitely an underlying sinister current of evil. The place has many shadowy corners, and you could swear that sometimes you can catch the glint of a badly concealed weapon, the flash of cyberware, even the hint of a fang or two in a mouth opened wide with sarcastic laughter.

Maybe you will be a little more careful in here.
The clientelle here include goth kids, an actual vampyre (who introduces herself as "Skarlet...with a K"), an angsty werewolf, and a tenchomage from Tharkold. The technomage is actually someone the PCs are supposed to meet because he's the link to get them to the final Act of the adventure, but the book only mentions this pretty off-handedly. If the PCs don't come here, the GM is instructed to have him show up somewhere else.

Shortly after the PCs arrive, a poet takes the stage and reads what may be the worst prose ever in an RPG adventure since Tomb of Horrors:



Once that happens, Basjas sends a bunch of her spider-kin into the club because she knows Sabathina's followers hang out here. Apart from that, there's no further leads; the PCs are basically here to hear the lovely poem and make themselves know the the technomage.

The last lead available is to the voodoo practitioner Sister Trinity. Trinity knows that when people come to buy voodoo trinkets, real or otherwise, they expect a show. As such, she leans heavily into the French accent and weird preistess act.

Trinity will identify the talisman (after being paid $5 for her time); she sold it to a guy named Albert to protect him from winged demons. The talisman does actually work, just not against the things Albert and his friends got jumped by. That's all she knows, but she can sell the PCs various basic occult and monster-hunting tools; holy water, corpse dust, crucifixes, and so on. She also sells medicine bags for $100 a pop: two that add +5 to the actions of any spiders or spider-like creatures that act against the carrier, and two that do the same for vampritic creatures. That's pretty convenient! She also has a bunch of zombies in a back room in case the PCs try to start something.

From here, all that's left are the final wrap-up fights. This Act really has two "boss fights", although technically I guess the first one is optional if the PCs don't want to get involved. I mean, they're both optional in a way because neither has anything to do with the greater plot of the Gaunt Man ending the war, but whatever. Why ask why at this point?

The first of these scenes is the final battle between Sabathina and Basjas. Note, again, that the PCs don't have to get involved with this. Nothing they've learned about their conflict points to them being directly involved with the end of the War. Then again, the PCs probably barely know that's happening so let's just get to it.

The two Nightmares are having their final confrontation at St Louis Cemetery #1. The PCs can get there early and set up whatever they want, because when the action starts we're back into cutscene territory.

quote:

Near the middle of the cemetery, where there are fewer tombs, two women stand off, a distance of ten meters separating them. One is old, perhaps in her early 60s. Her skin is wrinkled, and her short hair is grey, but she radiates power, nonetheless. Swirling around her are a flock of amorphous grey blobs, covered in hideous red eyes. Many of them hover in the air above her.

The second woman is a tall, attractive woman in her early 30's, clad in a flowing Victorian dress with a high collar, her long brown hair piled atop her head in a bun.

Sheer hatred burns in both women's eyes. A host of spiderkin, huge spiders with heads that resemble human skulls, crawl around her, clacking their mandibles impatiently. As both small armies crawl towards each other, the women step forward as well. "It ends tonight," the older one hisses, and you see fangs glistening when she opens her mouth. "That it does," the younger one says, "And it ends with a stake of ice through your heart!"

Suddenly, the older woman pauses. "Hold," she says, raising her hand. "We have visitors!"

Both women unerringly turn and look at your group. Evil smiles, frightening in their similarity, spread across their faces. "What say, Sabathina?" the younger woman laughs. "A little snack before we settle this once and for all?"

"Aye, Basjas," the woman you now know as Sabathina nods, licking her blood-red lips. "And a contest as well. Whoever collects the most Stormer hearts gets to strike the first blow when we resume our due!."

"Done!" Basjas replies. Both women close in as their armies, still obeying their respective mistress' last orders, clash in a horrible fury of webs and blood. Before your eyes, Basjas' form changes from an attractive woman to a bloated spider form three meters high.
So now the Storm Knights have to deal with two powerful Nightmares, each of whom have very high stats, numerous passive attacks and defenses, as well as Fear values. For those who don't remember, Fear is a threshold that PCs have to overcome though research and good deeds, otherwise the Horror gets to buy extra powers for the final confrontation. On top of that, Basjas has seventy Possibilities, and Sabathina and 36. As a reminder, NPCs can spend Possibilities to counter the use of Possibilities spent by players, as well as boosting their own rolls. So that's fun.

On top of that, there's also twenty spider-kin and eighteen blood-thirsts. These things are nasty, but on the plus-side they're not P-rated. There are a lot of them, though, and they all have the Resistance to Normal Weapons trait (as do their mistresses), which turns the first five Wounds dealt by an attack into shock instead. The mooks will fight each other at first, but will change targets if their boss starts having trouble.

Also on the battlefield are two bags, each of which was brought by one of the women. Each bag contains the weaknesses of one of the Nightmares, as well as the tools needed to inflict the True Death on her foe. If the Storm Knights can fight their way to the bags they they can use these items...if they know how. There's no instructions.

For the record, Basjas' weakness is gold, and her True Death is inflicted when she is wrapped in her own webs for three days. Sabathina's weakness is the holy symbol of her homeworld (a circle with a triangle in it), and to kill her for good you have to drive a stake of ice through her heart.

The way this combat is supposed to be run is that each round, the GM rolls a d20 and divides by 2. The result is how many casualties the mooks inflict on each other, splitting evenly between the two sides. As soon as one of the Nightmares falls, her forces will swarm the Knights. The survivor will fight until she takes two Wounds, at which point she'll declare herself the victor and have her critters cover her escape.

Regardless, however the fight shakes out doesn't matter. Presumably one of the women escapes to do stuff another day, but since this is probably the end of most people's campaigns I can't imagine anyone cared.


What're you looking at?

The other end of the act revolves around destroying the reality tree that's affecting the city. The tree itself has fulyl grown, which means that the creature that was inside (a ghoul) has left and the zone is self-sustaining. "Defeating" the tree involves uprooting it, which is actually pretty tough. It's got a very strong grip on the ground and an insanely high Toughness stat. It also leaened the intimidation skill from the ghoul it housed, and will use this every round(this is represented by it having a weird moaning face and swaying in an "unnatural" way). For those who don't remember, intimidation can make targets stymied (lose their next free bonus roll-and-and) or have them suffer a setback (prevents them from taking action against the user of the skill).

The tree also has two defenders: Mr. Koar from Act One and Randolph Chapman from Act Two, assuming they're both still alive. One thing I missed in Act One is that Mr. Koar does have a True Death (being stabbed in the heart with a knife while seeing his face in a mirror), but since the PCs have no way of knowing that he's a capital-H Horror they probably didn't inflict his True Death, not that they'd have a way (or reason) to find out what it is. So at the very least they'll have to fight Koar.

Once dealing with those two, it'll become clear that just punching the tree to death won't work because its Toughness is so high it's probably immune to any form of attack the PCs can bring to bear. To put it in mechanical terms: in order to damage the tree, you'd have to get a damage total higher than its Toughness of 50. For reference, a torpedo is damage value 34.

Rather than just spend the next three sessions attacking the tree, the PCs can also defeat the tree by nailing a ghoul to it with four silver nails. Why? No idea. The players are supposed to learn this by researching it at the New Orleans public library, begging the question "why would this information be at the public library, let alone available anywhere?"

Thankfully, there's a pack of eight ghouls "hanging about", and by an amazing coincidence the ghoul originally in the tree is one of them! Not that you need that specific one, but whatever. The PCs can also buy silver nails from the gypsies staying with the Southern Gentlemen for $20 each.

However they do it, when the tree is destroyed the following happens:

quote:

The tree collapses on itself, smoldering, dying. Suddenly, it heaves to life again, pulsating as if it were breathing rapidly. At last, it explodes like an overripe melon, except that instead of pulpy fruit matter, a hurricane laced with red and blue lightning erupts from within.

Call for Dexterity totals. On a 12, the character has found something to hang on to and avoided being buffeted about. Failure means the Act Three
character suffers damage value 20 from the shockwave.


Read aloud:
You grit your teeth and narrow your eyes as the violent wind slices into you. Managing to turn your heads and look toward the city, your hearts leap with excitement as you see hansom cabs and gaslights vanishing, to be replaced by electric street lights and automobiles. Top hats, waist coats, bonnets, and hoop skirts change back into baseball caps, leather jackets, berets, and blue jeans.

You realize that thanks to the fact that Core Earth was already present here, no story seed needed to be planted. You hang on for dear life for what seems like an eternity, but in reality is only about 70 seconds. Finally, the wind dies down to a light breeze, then stops altogether.

Shaking, you pick yourselves up, brush yourselves off, and look around. All is quiet. Apparently, the hurricane was limited only to the confines ofthe park. You leave the place on wobbly legs, eyes wide. New Orleans seems none the worse for the experience; all traces of Orrorsh are gone. You did it. You freed the city.
Good job all around, but now the PCs don't know what they're supposed to do next. Or do they...

quote:

Yourjob in New Orleans is done. You have been through hell, but it's over, and you've emerged triumphant, though probably a little shaken. Staring off at the western sky, you see dark storm clouds gathering, with what you'd swear are forks of blue and red lightning. You know that your destiny now lies out there, in California. After over five long years, at last you have come to the end of it all. The Gaunt Man must be stopped, one way or another, and it looks like it's up to your group to do it.

This is it. The final battle of the Possibility Wars. Maybe the last battle you'll ever fight.
They just know what's happening and where they have to go. By the way, the last battle takes place in California so that's gotta be a hell of a storm cloud to be seen from almost the other side of the country.

But before we go the final act, there's the flash of light again, and now it's time to learn the final fate of 3327, a.k.a. Ryuchi Kanawa, High Lord of Nippon Tech.

Back in the Nippon Tech sourcebook, we learned that 3327 had five back-up clones to serve as body doubles or backup bodies as needed. Here, we learn that Jezrael has replaced all five clones with ones loyal to her. This is because back in the start of the War (in the first game novel) the Kanawa Corporation was directly responsible for Tharkold's reality bridge being destroyed by Russia before it could touch down. Now that the poo poo's hitting the fan and 3327's Darkness Device having vanished, the clones are moving in for the kill while the Kanawa Corporation packs up and prepares to head back to Marketplace.

quote:

All five men stood impassively in the elevator as it shot up to the penthouse offices of Ryuchi Kanawa, their images reflecting in each other's mirror shades. As one, each tugged on the collar of their black turtlenecks, then straightened the lapels of their grey sports jackets.

The elevator door opened, and a dozen heavily armed and armored MarSec troops leveled their Impala Chain Guns. The squad's leader began to ask for identification and verification of the visitors' appointment with the now very reclusive High Lord, when his jaw dropped in a most uncharacteristic fashion. "Im ... impossible," the commander gasped. "What trickery is this?"

"You're all fired," the CEO of Kanawa Corp announced as five lasers blazed away at the MarSec troops. In seconds, all twelve men lay dead.

Satisfied, the clones walked up to the ornate steel office door. 3327 placed his palm on the reader. The door hissed open smoothly, and the five men walked through the secretary's office. It was empty -- Miss Mikuma had already gone back up the maelstrom bridge, back to Marketplace.

This time, the High Lord of Marketplace had the honor of placing his palm on the reader. The door opened, granting them access to the sanctum of none other than Ryuchi Kanawa, aka 3327, aka the High Lord of Marketplace, aka the CEO of the megacorporation known as Kanawa Corporation.

The man who sat at the desk, Ryuchi Kanawa, frowned as he stood up, hands resting on the desk. He knew, of course, what this tableau meant. "Computer!" he barked. "Initiate program Judo One!"

The clones raised their laser pistols and took careful aim. Five beams lanced out and struck the High Lord, who was blown backwards by their sheer force. He was bloodied and burnt ... but still alive.
Program "Judo One" sends a high-powered electrical pulse through the clones, overloading their weapons and rendering all but one of the clones temporarily disabled. The real 3327 has just enough time to taunt the clones before more MarSec troops show up...

...and this is the point where the PCs pop in. I don't know if they're supposed to know everything that happened up to this point, and this time the people here can see them. When the 24 MarSec troops arrive, they'll naturally assume they're here to deal with the Storm Knights and open fire. Likewise, the clones will assume that the real 3327 hired the PCs as extra security and will also open fire. Ryuchi, for his part, will yell at the MarSec guys for attacking the wrong targets and try to kill the clones.

quote:

At this point, gamemasters can take it one of two ways: Apeiros can take the Storm Knights back to where they came from, or they have to get out of the building before the bomb blows (what bomb, you ask? The one 3327 is going to set off in the second half of the fiction, below). If the latter is used, the Storm Knights have four rounds before the explosion goes off. Once they clear the building, Apeiros takes them back to the spot they started from.
If the players run or get zapped out, then the remainder of the solid page of fiction happens. If they stay, I have no idea what's supposed to happen. I guess they get to kill Kanawa?

What's supposed to happen is that Kanawa "prime" activates program "Kamikaze One" at the same moment the last remaining clone shoots him in the head, killing him. The clone realizes that he could take the real Kanawa's place as head of the Kanawa Corporation, and was just about to arrange the real Kanawa's body with the fakes when he realizes that Ryuci's chest is beeping. Turns out that all high-ranking Kanawa personnel have heart monitors implanted in case something bad happens so medical and MarSec teams can be dispatched.

quote:

Frowning, Ryuchi couldn't help but to wonder why it was beeping. It wasn't supposed to beep.

And shouldn't MarSec and the EMTs have been here by now? Was something wrong with the computer?

The computer!

Suddenly, like a thunderbolt, Ryuchi remembered the dying High Lord's last words: "Computer - initiate Kamikaze One!" His mind raced. What command was that? Kamikaze meant divine wind ... kamikaze was also the name of the Japanese pilots on this world who, in their last major war, committed suicide by ramming their planes into the enemy ships. The pilots died ... but they took the enemy with them.

Ryuchi's eyes went wide. He dropped the corpse and realized there was nothing more to do now.

Nothing to do but die.
With that, the bomb goes off, and the top three floors of the Kanawa building are destroyed.

When the PCs pop back to where they started, they again have the implanted knowledge of the end of another realm. Oddly, it's not Tharkold, the only realm unaccounted for, but what happens to the Ravagons.

I know I never really talked about Ravagons, but they were mentioned waaaaaay back at the start as a race of flying lizard people from a dead world that the Gaunt Man tricked into serving him. They barely show up anywhere, and even then only as enemies to be punched. Why John Terra thought it was more important to close this off than say what happens in Tharkold is beyond me. Maybe because Jezrael figures prominently in the final Act, I guess?

Anyway, that's most of the major players now dealt with. All the High Lords are off the table except for the Gaunt Man and Jezrael. The party has a big ol' arrow pointing them to California. It's time to put this whole drat mess to bed.

It's time for the final confrontation with the Gaunt Man, and the end of Torg.

--
One act left.

NEXT TIME: And I feel fine

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Nimble Reaving Wind is the "I flail at the villain's friends before then poking the villain, after which they explode in a gory mess". I don't think that's the intent, but combined with Thunderclap Rush Attack you can zip around getting your Initiative to ridiculous levels as long as there are mooks around, and then you can make something die very much.

Yeah, it does seem like a charm you use to just immediately frag somebody at short once you're done dunking on their troops or subordinates. Still no idea why it's in Melee instead of Dodge. Really the big advantage of ranged attacks like Archery and Thrown is that you can just immediately target someone else with your decisive attack once you're done shooting at a softer target with withering blows.

Anyway, I'll probably concede that Gleaming Sever's base effect is good, but I still think its secondary effect is very niche.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





There's plenty of competition, but personally I think the champion for Most 90s RPG Thing Ever is reading "prophecies" at the player that are just direct statements of what is happening or what they should be will be railroaded into doing now, except with all the words run through a thesaurus and all the names awkwardly paraphrased.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




megane posted:

There's plenty of competition, but personally I think the champion for Most 90s RPG Thing Ever is reading "prophecies" at the player that are just direct statements of what is happening or what they should be will be railroaded into doing now, except with all the words run through a thesaurus and all the names awkwardly paraphrased.
I can see this being played for comedy in something better, though. Go see a tarot card reader, and she goes through the rigamarole and flips over the first card, and it says "GO TO 1418 HARBOR STREET."

"Well that's odd."

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Zereth posted:

I can see this being played for comedy in something better, though. Go see a tarot card reader, and she goes through the rigamarole and flips over the first card, and it says "GO TO 1418 HARBOR STREET."

"Well that's odd."

Monkey Island iirc kinda does this.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




I liked how American gods did that:
spoiler I guess Shadow got "Your lucky number is dead" obviously referring to his undead wife, the only person who's not playing him.
Dead Wife got a blank card, either meaning she's making her own fate or that she isn't making it to last round of this game.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


SunAndSpring posted:

Yeah, it does seem like a charm you use to just immediately frag somebody at short once you're done dunking on their troops or subordinates. Still no idea why it's in Melee instead of Dodge. Really the big advantage of ranged attacks like Archery and Thrown is that you can just immediately target someone else with your decisive attack once you're done shooting at a softer target with withering blows.

Anyway, I'll probably concede that Gleaming Sever's base effect is good, but I still think its secondary effect is very niche.

Strong Base Effect with Niche Extra seems like exactly the right way to design a charm. People complain that some charms effects are too niche and "why is this a separate charm?" comes up all the time, this is the way that solves both of those issues.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Magic Metal

Orichalcum: still super-gold. It gleams at all times as if sunlight were shining on it, and it is more vibrant and richer in color than normal gold. Its nature resonates with the Solars and the Unconquered Sun, and it is primarily found high on mountain peaks and alpine plateaus, as if drawn to the sun. While ancient scholars knew how to distill it from gold using lava and sun-focusing mirrors, that knowledge has long since been lost, as have the tools to do it. Orichalcum's mystical powers draw largely from its associations with the sun. It is able to channel raw power, great strength, excellence of skill, light and shadow, revelation, healing, divine judgment, purity, majesty and glory. It channels Essence and sorcerous power more efficiently than any other material, and while it lacks in the elemental power of jade, it can harness the energies of powerful or vibrant natural events, such as floods, earthquakes or volcanos, and is able to channel, absorb and redirect elemental force, though it cannot create it. Most orichalcum artifacts are highly direct and unsubtle; its nature is not to be oblique. Pre-First Age orichalcum artifacts especially often have a greenish patina due to channeling overwhelming amounts of sorcerous Essence. Between this and its long association with the Solar Anathema, some Dragon-Bloods refer to it as "demon gold" and reject its use as tainted by infernal power. Dynastic military forces that work with the Wyld Hunt often guard known orichalcum deposits in the anticipation that Solars will attempt to gain access to them.

Moonsilver is harder than steel, never tarnishes, and is especially brilliant in moonlight. While it is the same color as normal silver, it reflects light in the same way rippling water does, its surface slowly shifting and pulsing as if alive. Lunars are attuned to it especially. Moonsilver is mopst often found at the edge of the world, on the border with the Wyld's chaos. Its ore is usually found at liminal places, where land and water meet - lake shores, sea craves, undersea chasms. Moonsilver lodes are rare of late, as the Realm has sealed off many of them, while others have been mined out. Moonsilver's nature is feral, and some artifacts of it bristle with barely restrained fury, while others are subtle and cool. As with the ever-changing Luna, the metal is associated with transformation and inconstant things - it is used for shapeshifting, malleability, cyclical changes, reflection, opposition, duality, purification, emotion, creativity, secrecy, wisdom, intuition, dreams, madness and otherworldly realms. Like Lunars, it also has affinity for beasts, predation, pair bonding, adaptation, strength, vitalty, trickery and witchcraft. Many of its effects manifest as internal changes to either the artifact or its wielder. Some moonsilver artifacts can modify their own shape or substance, usually subtly but not always. Its sorcerous power tends towards internal strength and transformation, of the self or others.

Starmetal is never found below the surface - it comes from the sky. Creation's own anima, formed from the Essence expenditures of gods, gathers in the constellations, like fish in a net. Masses of divine power fall from the sky as meteors, and while this meteoric ore appears identical to normal iron and is refied by the same techniques, it is not iron. Purified starmetal resembles polished steel, but harder and lighter, and it flashes with the colors of the Five Maidens when it catches the light. Starmetal is by far the scarcest of the magical materials, as the meteors fall rarely and their size is tiny compared to veins of ore. Sidereals claim most of it, led to it by their astrological predictions, and it is used sparingly, primarily in slim and undecorative designs or as inaly or filigree to other materials. Because it gathers in the constellations, starmetal has an affinity for the Loom of Fate and for Sidereal power. It is associated with fate, destiny, luck, time, knowledge, mysteries, foresight and esoteric or ephemeral things. Some meteors also retain qualities of the constellations they fell from, or the wider astrological Houses - Journeys, Serenity, Battles, Secrets or Endings. As it comes from the heavens, starmetal also holds influence over the gods and spirits, and some of its artifacts possess Evocations that greatly resemble or replicate spirit Charms.

Soulsteel does not appear naturally in Creation. It can be found sometimes in the depths of the Underworld, where many ghosts have sunk into oblivion or where necrotic energies naturally gather in Abyssal demesnes. Writings from the First Age, when a rare few Exalts made use of the metal, mention primeval soulsteel veins where the blood of dying foes of the gods seeped into the earth. However, most soulsteel is smelted in the soul-forges of the Underworld, made from alloys of shadow-ores of death with the souls of the tortured dead. While soulsteel resemble black iron, further examinatiuon will reveal the faces of the ghosts within, writhing and wailing. Battle and rituals intensify their torment, allowing their moans and screams to be heard. Abyssals have an affinity for soulsteel, and its power is associated with suffering, emptiness, endings, blood, silence, cold, darkness, death, disease, violence, weakness, pain, fear, despair, rage, greed and hate. Further, it is the foremost of all substances in commanding, banishing, binding or killing ghosts and other undead, due to its strong Underworld nature. Soulsteel is good for channeling sorcerous energies towards destruction, and is also an ideal focus for necromantic power.

Jade is the most common of the magical materials, though still far rarer than mundane metals like silver. It can be found throughout Creation, and it is tehcnically speaking stone, not metal, though powdered jade is usually alloyed with steel to make weapons and armor. It is a smooth, glossy stone in either alloyed or natural states, with rich and brilliant colors. The Realm uses jade both as currency and in artifact creation, and the Empress' foreign policy was heavily dedicated to controlling the jade mines of the Threshold. With her disapperarance, the Great Houses and other factions now squabble over control of jade. As with the Dragon-Blooded, it comes in feve elements. As a stone, it has endless patterns and gradations of shade, though jade-steel alloy loses many of these variations. Each color has its own character, rooted in one of the elements.

Black Jade is the color of sea at midnight, sometimes shot through shadowy swirls and whorls. It is most often found near rivers or coastlines, or on the sea floor. Its power is that of water, drawing on the subtle motion of currents, the ebb of tides and the pull of the depths. It has affinity for aquatic life, resilience, fluidity, elusiveness, deception, illusion, mystery, intuitiom, emotion, indirect force, change, adaptation, acid, corrosion, spirits and dissolution. Blue Jade is the color of the cloudless sky - sometimes pale as a winter's dawn, sometimes rich as a summer evening. It is lighter than other jade and cool to the touch, with veins appearing atop snowy mountains and in the frozen lands of the North. Its magic is that of air and winter, with affinities for wind, cold, ice, weather, lightning, flying things, speed, precision, intellect, understanding, memory, language, philosophy, music and silence. Green jade appears in all the colors of vegetation, even brown. (It's still technically called green.) Even when worked, it appears more grown than shaped, and can be found in forested hills, under jungles or in the roots of ancient trees. Its powers draw on the Essence of life, giving it affinity for plants, animals, wilderness, fertility, growth, vitality, interconnection, pleasure, nourishment, healing, drugs and poisons. Red Jade is blazing scarlet, often shot through with fiery orange or yellow, or sometimes smoky gray. Its colors shift in the light, and it is warm to the touch. It is usually found in places of great heat, like volcanic islands, lava tubes or under desert sands. It has affinity for flame, smoke, heat, light, illumination, revelation, warmth, passion, zeal, unpredictability, quick movement, violence, destruction, purification and renewal. White Jade is heavier and denser than others, most often ivory in color but sometimes the white of mutton fat or ash gray, especially if mined in the Underworld. It is found in mountains and deep underground, and it is associated with the bones of the earth, solid and stable in stillness, unstoppable in motion. Its affinities are for earth, stone, solidity, stability, harmony, strength, momentum, gravity, resistance, inertia, magnetism, stubbornness, tradition, history, passivity and sleep.

Other, more exotic materials may well be used to make artifacts, and while magical materials are usually the core ingredient, exotic materials and supernatural ingredients are often incorporated to draw on their distinctive affinities that can synergize will with the intended abilities of the artifact. The time-twisting wrackstaff Gnomon uses starmetal and celestial peachwood, while the moonsilver armor Ey ebright used seventy-seven star sappires to function as eyes for its blind wearer, Ophiune, while the core of the Tuysk of Galaech-Ma was behemoth-ivory. Most artifacts made by Exalts will use at least one magical material, however, as few non-Solars can resonate properly with exotic materials alone, leaving them unable to tap the deepest power of such artifacts. Spirits and other inhuman crafters will more often use exotic materials, such as Ligier's blade of demonic bronze, Siakal's armor of sharkskin or Ahlat's bow of lion bone and gold.

The Evocations of artifacts now have two unique keywords that only Evocations may have - Dissonant and Resonant. The Dissonant keyword restricts or limits the Charms' power for Exalts that do not resonate with the material of the artifact, while the Resonant keyword grants extra power to those that do. Solars are resonant with all materials, being masters of Evocation. Lunars are resonant with moonsilver and neutral towards all others. Sidereals and Getimians alike are resonant with starmetal and dissonant with all others. Dragon-blooded are resonant with jade, dissonant with soulsteel and neutral towards all others. Abyssals are resonant with soulsteel and neutral towards all others. Liminals are neutral towards soulsteel and dissonant with all other materials. Exigents are unique; some may resonate with a specific material or even multiple, while others are resonant with none, or with specific exotic materials only. Gods, demons and other non-Exalted beings are either neutral towards all materials (if powerful) or dissonant towards all materials (if weak). There are many exceptions, however, and the GM has final say.

All artifacts with 3+ dots may now have Evocations, not just weapons and armor. The Evocations draw on the affinities of the material it's made from, but also its history and purpose, especially the legends of past wielders and the actions of the current wielder. 3-dot artifacts typically channel their Evocations to enhance skills and allow supernatural feats of skill, and while they can be quite powerful, they are still feats of skill rather than raw expressions of supernatural might. They may have up to 10 Evocations. 4-dot artifacts typically create a unique playstyle for their wielder that redfines their abilities, and their capstone powers are incredible miracles, though usually of no greater scope than the current scene. They may have up to 15 Evocations. 5-dot artifacts have powers that define their legend and raise it beyond normal scope, with immense might that can be evoked in many ways. Capstone evocations are usually on the same immense scale or power as Solar Sorcery, and they can have any number of Evocations. Artifact N/A are plot devices that can do just about anything the GM allowes, and their Evocations allow for hte performance of feats nothing else can do, with the only limits being no true resurrection of the dead and no time travel.

As with normal Charms, PCs can have custom Evocations, as long as they fit the artifact's power level and legend. In theory, every Evocation is a custom power, unique to its wielder, but in practice, a published list can just be treated as the unique versions of the PC wielding it. Dissonant and Resonant keywords are needed only for artifacts intended for more than one character to wield, such as an artifact stolen from an antagonist. Evocations are, design-wise, broken into three types - Core, Charm Enhancement and Ulktimate. Core Evocations are the majority, function just as normal Charms and are used to define the main powers of the artifact. Many will be Simple Charms, but they don't have to be. They are typically less potent or more expensive than a similar Solar Charm would be, but the Resonant keyword can narrow that. Charm Enhancements upgrade or alter one or more of the wielder's native Charms in a way fitting to the theme, which can be used as prerequisites to gate off effects that would be disruptive in the hands of, say, a non-Solar. Ultimate powers are typically only the capstone Charms of the Evocation tree, which provide overwhelming advantages or narrative-defining powers. Typically, they are limited on how often they can be used.

We also get errata on two Solar Craft Charms, to fit the new Evocation rules. Design BEyond Limit now only lets you buy one free Evocation from the artifact per story but can extend a tree past its normal limits, and Celestial Reforging Technique lets you remove Charms from the tree to replace them with new ones.

Next time: Courante and Galliard

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Design Beyond Limit is basically the Craft equivalent of the training Charms, and let you pour spare white XP into giving your circlemates new Charms. It's a great way to become very popular.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Rand Brittain posted:

Design Beyond Limit is basically the Craft equivalent of the training Charms, and let you pour spare white XP into giving your circlemates new Charms. It's a great way to become very popular.

This is why I'm basically ok with the training charms, though I wish the EXP return function was less random and awkward. Because playing a support character can be very rewarding, and playing a support character who directly grants character sheet elements to the rest of the circle is very much Solar Tier Support Character-ing.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Joe Slowboat posted:

This is why I'm basically ok with the training charms, though I wish the EXP return function was less random and awkward. Because playing a support character can be very rewarding, and playing a support character who directly grants character sheet elements to the rest of the circle is very much Solar Tier Support Character-ing.

It would definitely be nice if it was simpler — some people read the Charm and didn't even realize you were supposed to get all the invested XP back eventually!

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 17-2: The intense pain of having a leg removed causes him to quit.



It’s back!

Hit tables! Neotech loves them as much as they love guns. From being an example of just how much this game love tables we’re now dealing with these directly. Both the melee and ranged combat tables come with columns for high, low and normal hits to reflect the three different attack levels. Aiming high means that the chance of hitting the levels decreases rapidly and so on. You’re allowed to aim either high or low without difficulty penalties with guns on normal and short ranges while automatic weapons can only go high or low on short ranges. It seems odd but I’m assuming it’s their way of simulating recoil climb. But they’re not really stating their motivation as to why and I can’t recall if it cropped up during the firearms rules or not on the top of my head.

So let’s break down the table since I imagine most people have no loving clue what it says. First three columns as mentioned is the Normal/High/Low range of there your attack might go. Then after that you have the hit location like say head, left or right arm and so on. After that you have the sub hit area like face, head or throat. As to what the code part refers to I have no idea. The book haven’t gotten into that as of yet.

We get an optional rule about how to count buckshot hits. If shooting at targets on the far or very far target range then you need to roll an extra 1d6. If the result ends up being 1-2 then the nearest lower body part on the hit table has also been hit. At 3-4 then only one hit location has been hit and if it manages to hit two then both has to roll damage separately. At 5-6 then the nearest highest body part has been hit going by enumeration. Doesn’t count at short or medium distances nor does it work for slugs or flechettes.



If you thought the hit tables were cluttered, then think again because the damage tables are an absolute nightmare too look at. They’re also, unlike any other table in the book, arranged sideways due to their size. There are three of them, dealing with the three primary kinds of damage: Projectile (P), Crushing (K) and Stabbing (H).

So each of these tables are broken down into general areas. Face, Head, Throat, Arm, Chest, Stomach, Groin and Legs. First field after that is how much Trauma, Pain, Bleeding you get from being hit in that area. No need to roll for extra wounds. After that comes the 1d10 table for what specific extra wound you can take. The remaining fields deal with how much damage you get within the damage ranges and how many extra wounds you have to roll.
Yes, you can in fact get hit in the reproductive organs. That’s the 1-3 result on the groin section.

The tables are have some limitations as you might see, you can’t for instance do more than 30 damage to an arm or a leg and the damage caps out at 50. Any wound effects would essentially lead to overpenetration. Explosive damage is an exception to this.

If you get really unlucky you can sustain organ damage. Any damage ther means an extra point of Trauma and Pain per hour if the damage hasn’t been operated. Which is also the only way to heal that is through surgery. Even if they will heal Trauma and Pain normally despite this. Also infections can prevent Trauma healing.
I can’t imagine trying to do battlefield surgery in this game and so in some cases your character is pretty much hosed if they get that result for being hit in the stomach. Unless the GM feels gracious in some way or another. Also yes, this game has rules for surgery. Because realism! Or simulationism for that part.

A sidebar (spanning most of a page) details all the various kinds of extra wounds you can get. For instance, getting shot in the chest can mean that you can break one of your ribs that can then puncture a lung. Getting shot in the reproductive organs means that going to the bathroom is extremely pain for the next month and all other intimate activities are impossible unless you undergo surgery. Is there a cyberdong available? We will have to wait and see because the cybertech rules is another chapter away. You can also break your spine and get paralyzed. And so on and so on.
There isn’t even any fun critical hit tables like in Dark Heresy, it just lists various grievous injuries you can sustain.
We also get organ damage table, a d10 table detailing all the organs in the abdomen so you can be hit in the colon or gallbladder for instance.

Whenever the damage from an extra wound says BR it means that there is a risk for a bone to break. The number next to it is how many ObD6’s you need to roll against STY. BR4 for instance means that the difficulty is Ob4D6. If you win, then it’ll just hurt. If you fail, it goes snap and you can’t use that body part properly. Break a leg and you can only move forward by hopping or crawling. If you fumble on the other hand, the bone is shattered. But that can only happen with legs.

So we’ve dealt with the three main types of damage you can take. But wait, there’s more! There is also burns. This game has a skill for flamethrowers so it was just a question of time until we got to this. Burn, due to their large surface area, has a much higher chance of infection than the previous kinds of damage we’ve seen. They can either affect one body part, as in one of the seven hit locations from before, or several. Each turn an area is exposed to fire or something that is incredibly hot you roll once for Trauma and Pain. The burn is calculated at the end of each turn but before you roll any Death or Shock rolls. How many dice that need to be rolled is wholly dependant on how intensive the fire is or how hot the object/fluid is. If multiple areas are affected then you roll combined checks for Trauma and Pain.
There’s a chart, which for some reason decides to include nuclear detonations. And napalm.
If you stand very close to nuclear detonation you take Ob5D6 Trauma and Pain. How close this might actually be is not mentioned so it’s feasible that you can survive a nuke going off in N2. But I highly doubt that. Napalm is Ob2D6. Both of these also have an combustion value of 12.

If you happen to wear clothes in the affected areas then they’ll protect you for a while, but it’s only temporary as before long your clothes are going to catch fire as well. If you’re wearing multiple layers of different difficulty then those effects will stack.

Each round that something is exposed to fire and heat there is a chance that it might catch fire. Every time of fire and heat has its own specific combustion value that is the chance at how easily it can combust something else. The value in itself is equivalent to skill ranks. Then we get another table of various modifications we need for our combustion roll. If that check succeeds then it starts to burn as well, if it fails then the roll is repeated the next round. The difficulty does decrease for each successive attempt.

Apparently the book has never heard about the term stop, drop and roll as it says the only thing that someone can do while they’re on fire is scream as loud as possible and run around. Most likely flailing their arms as much as possible to complete the picture. While the book continues on to say that you need to be mindful of what can be used to extinguish different fires, it doesn’t really provide any rules to this. We do however get rules how to use a blanket on someone to extinguish a fire, which is a normal difficulty roll under RÖR for each bodypart. Doesn’t say anything about how you accomplish this if they’re meant to run around like the human torch. A fire extinguisher does the job in a round, unless the target is moving away from it.
It feels like these section is an afterthought in a way, which is weird for a game that is incredibly simulationist and takes great pride in being realistic.

Acid damage is more or less equal to fire damage. The main difference is that protective clothing is different. Each layer of clothing or armor lasts for one round before they’re ruined but special protective clothing can last longer. But that’s up to the GM on a case by case basis. Concentrated acid gives Ob1D6 Trauma and Pain and will continue to sizzle for three rounds unless washed away. Larger amounts will obviously last longer.

Explosive damage gets its own, much smaller, damage table. On my PDF copy however its a artifacted mess and neigh on unreadable but for all intents and purposes it looks like the previous ones.

Electrical damage can go as low as Ob1D6 to Ob20D6 points of Trauma and Pain. These are recovered at one per round. There is also a chance to get stuck. Roll against luck with either an average difficulty or very easy depending what part is in contact with the source. Failure means that you’re still holding onto the source and keep getting damage. Going by RAW this means that you can technically get stuck onto a taser or an electric prod, since there is no mentioned exception for either of those.


No comment.

Falling from great heights is probably one of the greatest killers in RPGs. Neotech, being the simulationist game it is, is no different. The relevant table lists a number of heights, time, speed and terminal velocity outside of damage and how many hit locations.
Let’s use the extreme as an example:
1400 meters and more has a fall time of 23 seconds, a speed of 85 m/s, a terminal velocity of 306 km/h, damage is Ob17D6 and hits 7 different locations.
There is also a second table with extra modifications for what kind of surface you land on or if you manage to use RÖR, Freefall, Jump or Acrobatics. Or land in water and use Freefall or Jump. A footnote mentions that if the height is between two different mentioned ones then you should use the highest one. Just to make someone splatter extra hard I suppose.

The cherry on top is the comment about the table can’t be used in vacuum and instead used the formula v=sqrt (2 * a * s) where v is speed in m/s, s is the falling distance, (m) and a is acceleration. On earth its a09,8m/s^2 and on the moon its 1,52m/s^2.
If you need evidence that the game has obviously been written by engineers then look no further. Good grief.

If you at the same time manage to fall through glass and it’s the kind that can splinter then you get Ob1D6-5 points of Trauma and Ob1D6-2 points of Pain as well as a Bleed rate of Ob1d6-4. All results lower than zero is counted as zero.

The fall table is also used when you manage to get hit by a car without any major modifications.The book has to state that it’s not used if you’re sitting inside the car for some reason. Haven’t seen any rules about being launched out of a car yet though.
Jumping out of a moving vehicle you take from both falling, if the height is sufficient, as well as from the ground stopping your momentum. To which we get two more tables.
Sliding across the ground is relatively safe but things change when you suddenly collide with something else. For that you use the falling table again but the GM is encouraged to decrease your velocity as well as consider if the object might be considered soft.
I’m going to quote the example just so see how convoluted things can be in this case:

Neotech posted:

Example: The Adventurer Jace Ryker jumps from the roof of a burning lorry that without a driver is going across a lawn in Central Park. The lorry is travelling at a speed of 80km/h and the height of the roof is 4 meters.
The fall from the roof is counted as 5 meters which means that Jace gets Ob2D6 damage in two different body parts. But because the lawn is counted as a damping surface that is reduced to Ob1D6. Jace as per usual gets to roll against RÖR, Freefall, Jump or Acrobatics. He selects Jump, but fails the roll. Jace must then take Ob1D6 in two separate body parts. The damage is counted as crushing.
After Jace lands he starts sliding. This caused Ob4D6 Trauma and Ob4D6 Pain, that is reduced because of the dampening surface (-Ob1D6) as well as Jace has normal clothes on him (-Ob1D6). Jace then gets Ob2D6 Trauma and Ob2D6 Pain from sliding over the lawn.
Unfortunately there is a park bench with a horrified drunkard in the way for Jace. The GM judges that the speed has been halved to 40 km/h. The collision with the park bench is calculated as a fall from 8 meters. This causes Ob3D6 damage in three different body parts. The damage is however reduced to Ob1D6 because the GM decides that the loose park bench is considered as ‘dampening surface’. Jace must then take Ob2D6 in three different randomized body parts. The damage is counted as crushing.
Jace gets up rather bruised, but can walk away.

The whole example almost feels like Jace’s player doing something dumb and the GM trying to not have his character killed with how many various small modifications are stacked on top of each other. All to lower the damage he might take from this. Also gently caress the homeless as well I suppose.
This is also an absurd amount of rolls for doing that as well. In Neotech it seems like every 5 seconds of ingame action is followed by 5 minutes of dice rolling, cross referencing tables and doing various calculations. Repeat ad nauseum until either the players or the GM has had enough and you play Feng Shui instead for their cinematic action campaign.

We get rules what happens when someone gets strangled, something which we briefly touched upon in the melee combat chapter. In order to initiate this you need to have successfully grappled someone and put them in a lock.
If you want to do anything but to try to get free you need to roll a hard check against Combat Experience. There is of course a specific damage table for this as well.
At the same time the victim gets as many points of asphyxia as the reduced damage. These are tallied in the Blood Loss section. What this does we’ll deal once we get into the drowning rules but one difference is that you don’t gain any extra Trauma and Pain if you fail a Shock roll. Large amounts of damage leads to a crushed throat which gives you four points of asphyxia per round. In order to fix this then you need to intubate, which is an easy difficulty check against Surgery and takes 20 seconds (or five rounds) to do if tools is nearby.
Once again an absolute mess of simulationist rules that I’m pretty sure I didn’t even manage to convey correctly.

This might just be an ever bigger annoying mess of a chapter than the Exhaustion rules. The automatic weapon rules are a league of their own though.

Each round that you don’t breathe you get 2 points of asphyxia. As mentioned previously those points are tracked in the same section as Blood Loss but with a different mark. The rate is increased to 4 points during strenuous activity. Whenever the difficulty for Shock roles increase you need to roll for it to see if you can manage to keep your breath. Difficulty is equal to the Shock roll but can be modified somewhat. If you fail you want to get up to the surface as soon as possible and unable to do any other actions. It doesn’t say what happens though if you fail the check while holding your breath while not trying to breathe something in but I assume that’s just you gasping for air.
Every time the difficulty increases you need another Shock roll, if you fail that means your lungs are beginning to fill with water. You gain Ob1D6 points of Trauma and Ob2D6 points of Pain for each round where this is happening. This is followed by yet more Shock rolls until you go unconscious which is then followed by increasingly difficult Death rolls until you either get saved or reach the pearly gates.
If you stay under water voluntarily you need to roll against VIL each round to not resurface and catch your breath. If they’re swimming in a tunnel then they need to turn back. Sucks to be you if you’re at the halfway point in that case, or right at the end.

We get an optional rule about if you’re trained you can hold your breath for longer. If you have points in the Diving skill, with a speciality in freediving you can use the ranks in that instead of your Shock value to roll to hold your breath. The Diving skill can also be used instead of VIL when you need to resist to go back to the surface for air.

For each round you breathe normally you gain one point of asphyxia. If you’re bleeding at the same time and end up with different types of marks then you might be forced to move bleeding marks downwards to make sure there aren’t any empty squares in the middle of them. Oh joy, even more bookkeeping.

Unlike D&D this game as rules as how to recover someone from drowning. So in order to get the water out of someone’s lungs you need to succeed a normal difficulty check against First Aid. Each attempt takes two turns to succeed. If they’re conscious and try to it themselves then it’s either against their TÅL of First Aid. A minor oversight is that this sentence also mentions that you can use the Medicine skill.

If you remembered the career section I mentioned that both the Officer and the Soldier could get an event where they were survived a nuclear blast. Absorbed radiation is measured in gray or Gy, but there is also centigray or cGy. Each dosage you get exposed to is stacked upon the previous ones. To see the effects we need, once again, two different tables. One lists how many periods you need to go through for the second table as well as the intervals between them. So at a radiation level of 100 cGy that means you have to do two periods with a weeks gap. This moves us along to the second table that deals with the radiation sickness itself. You always start at the top and note down the effects of the first period. Then the gap time happens and you move down a row to the second period. But you’re not meant to exceed the number of periods based on the ones listed in the previous table.
For example in our previous example we note that period 1 involves Ob1D6 Trauma points, TÅL and STY gets lowered by 1D6-5 while you feel a bit ill.
Then we wait a week and move down a line to period 2 where we gain another Ob1D6 points of Trauma and lower TÅL and STY by 1D6-5 again while feeling even worse.
If you reach 8 periods then you 100% dead. Even if you’re still meant to roll for Trauma, Pain and attribute decrease for some reason.

gently caress this whole chapter, it’s all an insane and over complicated mess from start to finish. Possibly one of the worst ones in the book and has so many different roadblocks you need to roll dice in order to do things.

Next time: I’m a doctor, not a cyberpunk.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Arms of the Chosen: Sword Sisters

Courante and Galliard are a pair of daiklaves, one orichalcum and the other moonsilver, which are together a 3-dot artifact. However, unlike most paired weapons, they are not intended to be wielded by the same person. In the early First Age, Ranika of the Joybringers forged the two swords for her comrades, Ciel Seratta of the Crowned Suns and Leynon Hundred-Wings. The pair were inseparable as they established trade routes across Creation and into the WYld on behalf of the Exalted, and Ranika wished for them to have weapons that would fit their unshakable trust. The blades were quenched and tempered beneath the constellation called the Pillar, the astrological sign of a partnership tested and found to be stable. The blades proved to be as true as the pair wielding them, and they were used to defeat countless threats, from the winged serpent plague of Zerit the Devouerer to the beastly forces of the Nine Foxfires to the ghost assassins of the Tower of Dust. When Leynon fell in battle, Ciel was inconsolable, and she buried both blades with her dear friend.

The blades remain entombed in the Threshold. Leynon's ghost wields Courante now, while Galliard is borne by the hungry ghost that rose from his corpse. Together, they await a pair of heroes worthy of the two swords. The bones of those who have failed their tests lie around them, dusty and cold. The two blades are identical in nearly every respect, each inlaid with a stylized solar eclipse, but Courante is orichalcum with moonsilver inlay, and Galliard is moonsilver with orichalcum inlay. Destiny draws them together if separated, so that their wielders may always be allied, as is their nature. Each has a single hearthstone slot.

The real power of Courante and Galliard can only be drawn forth by a pair of companions that treasure each other deeply. When each wielder has a positive Tie to the other, they are sword-siblings, and most Evocations of the blades only function when fighting alongside a sword-sibling. As long as the wielder of each blade is in Close range of their sword-sibling, they get a bonus to Parry and may ignore a small amount of onslaught penalty when defending against attacks from foes slower than the sword-sibling. Further, each wielder may use the bond of the swords to tell how the other is doing. For a single mote spent, the wielder knows if the sword-sibling is in pain or wounded, and may feel any inflamed passions or other strong emotions the other is feeling. If the sword-sibling dies, the wielder is instantly aware in the form of a pang of agony and grief. Once per story, the wielder may protect the sword-sibling from a Decisive attack while in Close range by intercepting the blow, taking its damage without a chance to defend, and must take a Crippling injury to reduce the damage, though doing so doesn't count against the normal limit of Crippling injuries per story. Together, the blades have 8 Evocations from Essence 1 to 4.

Galliard's first is Argent Defender, which lets you gain Initiative when you succesfully defend your sword-sibling with a Defend Other action, and if you are resonant with moonsilver, so does your sword-sibling. Courante's first Aureate Avenger, which lets you gain Initiative whenever you hit someone that attacked your sword-sibling since your last turn, and if you are resonant with orichalcum, so does your sword-sibling. From there, they both head for Shared Battle Instinct, which you learn for free when you uphold a Major or Defining Intimacy by defeating a significant foe with the aid of your sword-sibling. It lets you reduce failures on your Join Battle roll by piggy-backing on 10s on your sword-sibling's roll, or if resonant, just lets you set your Initiative to be equal to theirs if they're faster than everyone else.

From there, you can learn Together Triumphant, which lets you gain Initiative once per round when your sword-sibling Crashes a foe. However, you can't learn this if you're dissonant with the material that the blade you wield is made of. You can also learn Shining Eclipse Strike, which lets you make a Distract gambit to help your sword-sibling and make the target have a penalty to defend against your sword-sibling's attack. From Together Triumphant you can grab Sparks Fly Together, which allows you to, when your anima is at bonfire and your sword-sibling is in Medium range and gets targeted by an attack, jump into your anima and teleport to your sword-sibling, allowing you to use Defend Other on them. If your sword-sibling is also at bonfire, you can do this out to Extreme range, limited only by line of sight ot their anima. Courante, if resonante, lets you make a counterattack, while Galliard, if resonant, gives you bonus Parry against attacks on your sword-sibling.

Shining Eclipse Strike leads to Celestial Union of Blades, which allows you to link a conduit between your Essence and your sword-sibling's. As long as you remain in Long range of each other and at least at burning-level anima, you can draw on each others' anima banner level as a bonus to attack rolls and movement actions. The conduit is visible as a line of Essence as long as your animas are bright enough and you are in Long range. The ultimate ability is Electrum Divinity Fusion. This allows you and your sword-sibling to literally merge with each other as long as you both know the Charm and are at 10+ Initiative. You each dissolve into your animas and flow together, becoming a ten-foot-tall, four-armed warrior made of gold and silver that resembles both of you. This has a number of effects.

First, you each ratain your own Initiative, Essence pool and Willpower, and whenever one of your Initiatives comes up in the turn, the composite being gets to act, allowing each of you take your turn, but using the higher of any relevant ratings between the two of you and with access to all Charms, Evocations and other magic that either of you knows. Second, you treat each other as sword-siblings still when using Evocations to enhance your actions, and you may in fact still Defend Other each other against Withering attacks directed at the other's Initiative track or all Decisive attacks, effectively meaning your Parry is basically doubled. Each of you retains your own health track and damage, but these are temporarily set aside. The composite instead has its own health track, using the higher number of health levels of either member, plus a bunch of extras at -1 and -2. If the composite is incapacitated, all of its damage is divided among your pair's health tracks as you separate, rounding down. Withering attacks against you choose which Initiative track to target. If either Crashes, the composite ends immediately and you both go prone. Half of the damage in its health track, rounding down, is transferred to each of you. The two swords fuse into a single electrum blade coated in multi-colored light, becoming a massive moonsilver grand daiklave. Other artifacts you each wield combine into a single composite weapon or armor using the best traits of each artifact involved, typically in the form of spectacular and exotic combinations of each artifact's most striking features. Ongoing effects from active Charms, poison or other things applied to either character are applied to the composite. The GM may adjudicate other effects, such as shared Limit triggers or whether you can keep secrets from each other, at their discretion based on what makes for the better story. Electrum Divinity Fusion can only be used once per story, unless it's reset by upholding a Defining tie towards your sword-sibling by making a significant sacrifice to protect them.

Next time: The Distaff

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Where did they even get the term 'daiklave'.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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2014-2018



Night10194 posted:

Where did they even get the term 'daiklave'.

Klaves are from oWerewolf, they are the name for the weird silver swords the werewolves use for ritual purposes.

Dai means 'big' in Japanese.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ah, the ole 'Daikatana' special.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I figured it was for the same reason that 'glaives' keep turning up in games as the damndest, most impractical weapons imaginable, not the very normal and effective blade at the end of a long stick they were in reality.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Mors Rattus posted:

Klaves are from oWerewolf, they are the name for the weird silver swords the werewolves use for ritual purposes.

Dai means 'big' in Japanese.

so an artifact from when they really had considered making Exalted the origin for oWoD's setting?

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Honestly, I like the word. It's a nonsense fantasy word but it has a nice ring to it and it sounds good and it's a way to refer to 'big magic sword' that isn't just 'big magic sword.' Also, while some of the non-daiklave names like 'powerbow' and 'grimcleaver' are fine, the conjoined-word kennings are a lot less iconic for a reason.

The best artifact class name remains God-Kicking Boots, though.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Cythereal posted:

I figured it was for the same reason that 'glaives' keep turning up in games as the damndest, most impractical weapons imaginable, not the very normal and effective blade at the end of a long stick they were in reality.

I think that's entirely on Kull the Conqueror.

I remember nothing about that movie except the dumb three-bladed frisbee 'Glaive'.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Robindaybird posted:

so an artifact from when they really had considered making Exalted the origin for oWoD's setting?

I mean, there're plenty of elements that are lifted from oWoD just because they felt like it, so it's not necessarily that it's because of that specific abandoned starting point. The Underworld retained a lot of stuff from Wraith just because they liked it, well after the "backstory of oWoD" stuff was discarded.

Night10194 posted:

I think that's entirely on Kull the Conqueror.

I remember nothing about that movie except the dumb three-bladed frisbee 'Glaive'.

That was Krull. And it had five blades. Liam Neeson's finest role, too.

Kull is from the ancient past of Conan and the movie version is pretty lame.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Miracles of the Solar Exalted, the End

Let's get this thing done. I'll amend my rating of Gleaming Sever from the last thing to a 3/5, since the main effect is quite good, although I still am a little annoyed by its side effect being something you have to haggle with your GM to get a difficulty settled.

RIDE

Storm-Racing Destrier lets you extend the effects of two Survival charms from core, Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit and the later Element-Resisting Prana, to protect your steed from harsh environments. You can just ride your horse in the desert all day and then take it into a volcano and it'll be fine. 3/5, should've been in the book, to be honest, although maybe this would be better off as just a pure Ride charm with its own stand-alone horse-defending effects rather than a hybrid of Survival and Ride.

SAIL

Sail has the most Apocryphal charms in this book. Only one of them deserves it.

Skiff-to-Scow Method lets you disguise an entire boat. You can change its size slightly and make it look of a different type of vessel, and change around its ornamentation, flag, name, and so on. This disguise is perfect so long as you or the crew don't do anything suspicious. If someone is suspicious and within Medium range of your vessel, you must roll off your Manipulation + Sail vs their Perception + Sail or Lore. Failure causes the whole disguise to unravel. 4/5, the backer wanted a charm to disguise his ship on pirate raids and got something pretty useful.

Ash and Storm Aegis is like that Ride charm in that it's also a Survival charm; you extend your Element-Resisting Prana out over the boat to protect your crew from environmental hazards. The effect is lessened to only 3 less damage rather than your (Resistance), but only one member of your crew gets affected per round. 3/5, I'd rather this be its own unique Sail charm than have to make a character double-dip for something that'll probably come up often in a Sail-based campaign, but I suppose the backer got what they wanted (a charm to sail into a storm, volcano, or sandstorm without killing the poor crew).

Perfect Reckoning Method lets you, uh, do something rolling Intelligence + Sail could probably do on its own; you know your exact position on the water and can plot a course without a roll. Hell, Morke later goes on in the comments to say that the difficulty to navigate is 3-4 (3 if you've a Sail specialty in Navigation, 4 otherwise) if you've got the proper tools. Chances are you could pop 4m of excellency rather than 4m on this charm and get exactly the same effect and keep your XP. 1/5, not worth it.

Mast of Everything Situation gets the Apocryphal tag in the only time it's probably correct to do, as it's a joke based off the time the backer opened up a fortune cookie and saw a very funny typo that became an in-joke among his gaming group. If your mast goes kaboom, you can assemble every boot, wrench, pet parrot, peg leg, and more into a new mast in a few seconds once you gather everything up for the scene, after which it then collapses back into your various ship cargo. Not going to rate this, but hey, the backer got what they wanted.

Death-Daring Method also gets the Apocryphal tag, but for dumb reasons. The charm lets you introduce a hazard (such as an unexpected whirlpool, waterfall, cliff, angry kraken, etc.) that threatens you and an enemy ship. You then roll off against your foe. Success means your opponent eats poo poo and wrecks, failure means your boat takes two hull damage. This charm can only be used once per story, but may be reset by using Sail to overcome a distinct disadvantage that threatens you, the ship, and it's crew. You can reset it with itself; so long as you keep winning, you keep the charm active. Morke says this is "very powerful" and thus this is why it is Apocryphal, but this is baffling. For starters, you could just not have it be able to reset itself and just be a once per story thing, and that would be fine, or nerf the damage done (maybe the enemy ship only takes 2 hull damage), or something. Morke has shown a willingness to nerf other backer's ideas as shown by this F&F, and there are far more powerful effects in the Solar arsenal in core (such as the infamous God-King's Shrike) that are allowed. 2/5, what the heck.

Master and Commander Method is also Apocryphal, and the reasoning for this is just as insipid as the first. When you turn this on, you begin tracking all the 1s and 2s on enemy captains' rolls during the scene. When 15 of these get accrued, you can do a special sail stratagem where you teleport out of the way of a broadside maneuver or other attack, winding up at a different position relative to the attacker but not much farther or closer than you were before. You get to reflexively roll to position yourself, uncontested, and use any momentum gained from that to do a broadside stratagem of your own instantly. This can only be used in one scene per story, although you can do it as much as you like or can in that scene. Buying it again at Essence 4 lets you counts 3s as well as 1s and 2s. This charm can be reset by overcoming a significant foe while sailing under a penalty not easily rectified by your Sail charms.

Morke says the backer wanted a charm close to the Picard Maneuver from Star Trek, and says the reason this charm is Apocryphal is because "Solar Charms tend to depict one single action and this one depicts several", which is baffling coming from a guy who made a game utterly choked in multi-attacks and attacks that let you proc some other action; hell, his big original Brawl charm in this book where you Shoryuken people and then drop like a cannonball is certainly two separate actions. Morke than complains, again, that "Solar charms are skilled based" and thus a teleport is stretching the limits of their themes, but that really comes short considering we've had charms that let you magically lure people to your office, charms that let you create a magic credit coin, charms that let you write down a character description and will make someone who fits that description show up, and more stuff that isn't really an extension, as well as charms in core that let you move so fast it's perceived as teleporting. One could easily just fluff this charm by using the Solar's dominion over light and dark to make an illusion of another ship or making the ship go super fast because you're that skilled. 1/5, what a loving rube.

SOCIALIZE

Viper-Scenting Method lets you do what your own dang eyes and ears do, letting you automatically know while you have Mastery of Small Manners up if people are expressing disfavor towards you, directly (which in that case you probably don't need a charm) or indirectly through gestures or whispers to other people or so on. Since the prior charm makes it impossible for you to commit any social faux pas, you can deduce it is because of xenophobia or personal distaste towards you, for which you get one whole non-charm success on any read intentions rolls to find out. The backer wanted an upgrade to Mastery of Small Manners in order to make sure their character can really make a lasting role for themselves in a culture, but I just generally think this can already be sussed out via rolling Perception + Awareness. 2/5.

Energic Influence Technique supplements an instill action to raise a Minor intimacy to Major, or Major to Defining. If you're successful, this lets you make another minor tie linked to the context of the one you were raising, so long as it doesn't directly contradict any of their existing Major or Defining intimacies, and you must pick the intimacy you want to add on before you do this and make it part of your pitch. So, for example, you could raise someone's duty to their country to Major, and then add on a Minor Tie of respect to the country's army. The backer mentioned they wanted a charm to take a Defining Principle of a character and make them take a Defining Tie to another character tied to that Principle, but Morke believed that was too strong and so we get this alright effect. While I don't want to say that Lunars or Dragon-bloods are completely different from core, I will say that if Vance had designed this, the original effect would've been totally fine as a once per story effect. 3/5 as it is, it's alright if you want to load a character up with intimacies for future social shenanigans.

Rancor-Raising Spirit is the last charm, but in reverse; if you erode an intimacy, you give them a negative intimacy that reflects what you eroded. The example given is eroding someone's respect for the Guild and then giving them a hatred of slavery. It has the same rule about this not being allowed if the minor intimacy proposed contradicts an existing major or defining. 3/5, same as before.

Soul-Testing Method lets you try to convince someone who shares a Major or Defining Intimacy with you to not take an action you disapprove of, putting them into a decision point to decide if they want to go through with this or not. You can do this even if they used that intimacy in a decision point before. There's a bit about using a stunt to use a shared experience as a reason not to do this, but you're not rolling anything in this, I think, so this is probably just for roleplaying. This charm can only be used once per story. The backer wanted something to use to reason with their enemies, but Morke expanded it to be more useful on a broader set of characters, which I agree with. 3/5, it's fairly useful.

STEALTH

Stalking-Shadow Spirit lets you patrol an area, searching for basically every place to hide within it. You rolls Wits + Stealth with your Essence in bonus successes, and you bank those successes for later use on Stealth rolls in that area, adding them how you please to your rolls, even after you've already rolled. This charm usually covers the size of a warehouse or small park, but the Storyteller can add difficulty for bigger areas covered. You can spend five points from Master Plan Meditation to use this charm retroactively. This sounds cool, and it still is, but there's a huge mistake made at the end; Morke states, after the usual bit about what the backer wanted (a charm to get Matrix-like knowledge of his surroundings to know where to hide or be) that all charms that stockpile successes for later use should treat those successes as non-charm unless stated. There is a charm that lets you join battle and simulatenously conceal yourself with Dexterity + Stealth. I want you to imagine someone adding like 15 successes to a join battle roll, because I've seen that happen before because of this charm. 4/5, it's a cool charm that rewards prep, but also if your players try to combo this with Blinding Battle Feint, don't allow them to go past their dice cap.

Killing Shroud Technique lets you grapple someone out of concealment who has failed their Awareness check to spot you, getting one non-charm success on the attack roll and the Initiative roll. On success, you drag them into the shadows. This is impossible to notice, your foe simply disappearing into thin air. Your victim is hidden for as many rounds as you rolled for control, although you let them go. You two essentially fight it out in the shadows, no one able to hear or see a thing, with you taking -1 to any Stealth check during this. If you kill them, their body can't be found for your Essence in rounds, and after that only with a difficulty 3 Awareness roll. The backer simply stated they liked Night Castes and Stealths, and they got a pretty fun assassination charm as a result, although I do wish you just kept ahold of them as though it were a normal grapple. 3/5.

Shadow-Striking Way supplements a decisive attack made from concealment, letting you use the extra successes from that as non-charm successes on a roll to conceal yourself after that attack. If successful, you move one range band away. If there's absolutely nowhere within one range band to hide, this charm can't work.There's a weird bit about how the extra successes from this attack can't be used by other charms that might use them; I guess you can't use Fire and Stones Strike with this? If you combo this with Shadow-Crossing Leap Technique, you lower its cost to 1m and 1wp and double the automatic successes on your Stealth attempt. The backer wanted a way to attack and immediately re-enter concealment, but there is a funny bit about how Morke talks about future charms building off this, and well, that's not happening. 3/5.

SURVIVAL

Harmony with Nature Approach lets you, once per day, roll Charisma or Wits + Survival plus one and bank those as motes only used for Survival charms. They vanish at the end of the day if not used. Morke seems to be, uh, preemptively getting annoyed with people getting annoyed with him for having the starter charm to gather food for you and pals as a requirement for this.

quote:

On Harmony with Nature Approach
Free motes to fuel your familiar’s Donkey Kong Rampage? Love me. Gotta learn Food-Gathering Exercise first? Curse me. Such is the life of the Exalted Developer.
4/5, it's not flashy but it's very helpful for a Solar beastmaster.

Elements-Sculpted Avatar is an odd one that feels more like a Dragon-blooded or Lunar charm, perhaps. You activate Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit (god what a long name) and then plop down inside the center of a sandstorm, volcano, blizzard, or so on to meditate for an hour. You emerge with elemental and bestial traits from your surroundings. You raise your Appearance by one for your efforts (breaking the cap of 5 if you've already got it there), as well as one non-charm dice to soothe or comfort beasts, elementals, or Lunars with your social influence. It's indefinite, but uh, for all that poo poo Morke talked about those Sail charms stretching the limits of Solar themes, this really doesn't appear to line up with any. 2/5, I suppose you can use this to pretend to be a god or elemental for shenanigans if you didn't already have Larceny, but Appearance is only really useful to very specific characters (Presence users and the occasional martial artist).

Riotous Cry of the Beast lets you summon all natural animals that match the species of your familiar for Essence miles, forming them into a Size 2 battlegroup. They start with average drill and might 0, but get elite drill if you have a pack hunter like a lion or dog familiar, or get Might 2 if they're a small species such as rats or rabbits. This takes 10 minutes outside of combat, although faster creatures like birds can probably assemble within a minute, and in combat takes eight rounds minus the Dexterity of the average representative of the species (or 1 round if they're all around you, such as if you're in a den of rats). Your familiar leads the group if present, and you have to use Survival charms to tell your familiar to tell the animals within your War commands. If you're at Essence 4, your familiar gets half the successes on the battlegroup's damage as Initiative. This charm has no effect on familiars of other people, spirit animals, or animals that hate your guts with a Major or Defining passion. This charm's kind of overly complex; for example, quick characters (such as animals) don't usually have a firm Dexterity stat, instead having dice pools for common actions such as combat movement, attacks, tracking, and so on. There's a Lunar charm that does this exact same thing, and much better, relying on your own successes on a roll to see how fast they appear, and lets you just use your War charms directly on them. 2/5.

Colossal Rampaging Beast lets you make your pet, under Deadly Predator Method's effects, really big. It also activates Saga Beast Virtue (another pet buff) for free while you're at it. Small stuff becomes rideable, normal-sized things become the size of elephants, and your legendary size creatures can start dwarfing buildings. They also get 3 extra dots of supernatural merits, just for fun, and legendary size animals get 3 automatic successes on any feat of strength, can attack out to short, and force things at short with them to have to disengage to move away. They gain more Hardness from prior purchases of a charm, and gain lots of health. Smaller familiars just get three successes on rushing, disengaging, an automatic success to any attack, and a few health levels. It's a lot of stuff to mark down but I think if you buy this, you know what you're getting into, and the backer did want a charm to make creatures really loving big. 4/5.

Baara-Unleashing Technique lets you activate that previous charm and its prerequisites from anywhere, even different planes of existence, for a familiar you bought Spirit-Tied Pet for after you ride its senses. If you want to send your pet wolf to terrorize a city while you sit around and relax, this is the charm to do it, especially since you can add your Survival charms to it while riding its senses. 3/5, niche but funny.

THROWN

Save for Thunder-Quelling Method, none of these are backer charms. I guess 20 or so charms wasn't enough for humble Thrown.

Spitting Hand Technique lets you reflexively draw/ready a weapon, including any improvised weapon. 3/5, works pretty alright for some character concepts.

Diving Hawk Discipline lets you disarm, distract, or unhorse gambit someone without needing to aim. 4/5, pretty good.

Thunder-Quelling Method lets you reflexively decisive attack anyone who aims at you, without needing to aim yourself, at any point during the round so long as you haven't attacked before, and this counts as your attack for the round. Doing at least one level of damage interrupts their aim action. At Essence 3 and Thrown 5, you can attack without using up your combat action for the round. 4/5, I like the idea of just being quicker on the draw than your foe.

Death-Dealing Diffusion is an oddly violent name for a charm that isn't that lethal; you combine two of distract, disarm, or unhorse into one difficulty 5 gambit that enacts both effects if you hit. 3/5, it has niche value as distract isn't that great of a gambit and not everybody's riding around on stuf all the time.

Whirlwind Hand of the Striker lets you do a difficulty 4 gambit that knocks an opponent prone. If you do this with bolas or nets or so on, you do this as a grapple, rolling Strength + Thrown on a success to establish control, with successes added equal to the extra successes on the attack roll plus one. They're snared for those rounds, falling prone if the control exceeds their Strength, and can struggle to escape by using a miscellaneous action that can't be flurried to remove two rounds of control on their turn, or just do a Strength 5+ and difficulty 5 feat of strength if you're using mundane materials on your snare. If you have them tied to a rope, you can use Brawl's Crashing Wave Throw to hurl them into scenery with a decisive throw. You've got (Essence+1) more strength for this stunt if you do that. Finally, even if you remove all the control, you still have to spend an action to toss the net off, and you can use Diving Hawk Discipline to do this without aiming.

This takes a page to say all this. Too bad there's no bolas or nets statted up in core. 3/5, I suppose I like the idea of a ranged grapple, but no stats for anything to ranged grapple with and the length of the charm leaves much to be desired.

Dancing Steel Symphony lets you target (Dexterity + 2) enemies out to short range with the same gambits that keep popping up here. Each attack is rolled separately (ugh) and each gambit is only difficulty 1. Spitting Hand Technique costs 0 motes during this and Whirlwind Hand of the Striker can be used with this as well. At Essence 4, you can combo it with its prerequisite, Death-Dealing Diffusion, to do combo gambits at difficulty 2 and removing the willpower cost from the charm. 3/5, it seems like it would be very amusing to disarm literally everybody you see in the area the second a fight starts.

WAR

Unstoppable Solar Conqueror lets you give orders with a dice bonus equal to the difference between the Size of your troops and your opponent's forces when your initiative is higher than the one leading your enemies. Their leader has to be rolled into combat or you get nothing. 2/5, it's a pretty dull "win harder" charm that is pretty easy to lock yourself out of if you get hit or do any decisive attack.

One With Five Forces lets you forfeit damage and use the extra successes on a successful attack roll that was augmented by one of your orders to enact a stratagem, or erase one of the enemy's stratagems. You can do this (Essence) times in a fight. The backer wanted a charm that made orders more tactical AND a War charm that went to Essence 4, and I like the way it wound it up. 4/5.

???

Hallowed Bond of Night and Flame (Hallowed Soul and Flesh Merging) is the final charm, and Apocryphal to boot. You learn this charm by having a tender moment with your Lunar mate who you have a positive Defining Tie with and they with you in which you touch and feel one with each other, rolling your combined Essence scores and if you get a 1, the Solar can learn this charm. You fuse with your mate in a very anime moment with this, turning into a four-armed being resembling the Solar, bearing the Solar's anima banner and traits of the Lunar's spirit animal. You boost your mote pool by 25 and get the Lunar's health pool, gain the best stats of both of you, can use Solar and Lunar charms together, and get mutations based off your Lunar's spirit animal. If you get killed, you and your partner both die. You've got to both be defending the same Defining Principle, and can't cancel it until the end of the scene or optionally if you get initiative crashed. This is a backer charm, and I guess the request was fulfilled. I got no idea what to rate this because I don't think anyone but whoever bought it will use it, and the "???" thing seems rude to do to someone who paid quite a bit to back a game.

In Conclusion

Well, this certainly was interesting to do on the heels of that review of 3e core. I can say one of the trends I observed were that if you had the misfortune to request a charm that Morke believed would be Essence 1, you'd get absolute dogshit in exchange due to the whole Supernal meaning that all Essence 1 charms are kind of underwhelming and boring. Also, Morke has an incredibly arcane perspective on what "skill-based" means that's unique only to him, and generally liked to modify backers requests to meet his vision, not theirs. I can say most of the charms were not very great and this book is really not worth any of the money it asks, and that a lot of the stuff Morke says leaves a bad taste in my mouth since a lot of it came off as contemptuous of the fan base that enabled him to keep working. I'm really baffled by that attitude in general, and it's for the best that he's not designing anything for the line anymore.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



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


Part 23d: The End Of The World As We Know It

This is it. The final Act of Torg, the final face-off against The Gaunt Man. I never thought we'd see the day.


Some people just want to watch the setting burn.

(Before we start, I'd recommend checking out the archived review for the three metaplot [url="https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/evil-mastermind/torg/#21"]updates. A bunch of stuff that's going to happen are introduced in those.)

This Act starts out with "A Word of Warning" for GMs, which is a bunch of stuff about what's going to happen in this Act. Here's a few highlights.

quote:

Gamemasters must exercise extreme caution during this act. Not only are there loads of opportunities to kill off Storm Knights, there is also the unfortunate chance that the Storm Knights could wind up just sitting around and watching the action unfold around them, since some pretty significant things happen in rapid succession in this Act. A lot of loose ends get tied up.

...

The worst thing that could happen in this Act is for the gamemaster to be sitting back, reading longwinded descriptions of all this neat action taking place beyond the Storm Knights' reach, while the players, bored and feeling unable to do anything, tune out. This is THE LAST ACT OF TORG. Excitement should be everywhere.

...

It may seem like this act is rather linear, dragging the Storm Knights from one big bang-up battle to the next. Well, that's because it is. This is the act where the forces of evil and the forces of good duke it out. No quarter, no compromise, no shortcuts - it's now or never, folks. Above all else, have fun with this. This is the last act of the Possibility Wars, and should be a very big deal. It's been five years in the making, and when it's over, the world will never be the same.
I got a good chuckle out of "don't just read long stretches of stuff" after the multiple-page cutscenes.

This Act starts with the PCs flying into L.A., because I guess they were supposed to figure that out from "go to California" at the end of the last Act. Just before the plane lands at LAX, it's attacked by two Alpha Techodemons who're just looking for Storm Knights to kill. Their plan is to rip the hatch off, fight their way to the cockpit, and kill the pilots so the plane will crash. One of the passengers actually has a gun and will start fighting back, and to slow down the Knights the Tharkoldu will throw people out of the plane.

Assuming the players stop the demons, the plane lands at LAX. If they don't, then they need to either land the plane themselves or crash, which deals a ton of damage. Regardless, the woman who opened fire survives. This is Allison Hawke, a fellow Storm Knight who's here to investigate some goings-on in L.A. She knows that occult activity has been on the rise in the area, Kanawa is keeping an insanely low profile (because they left), and that Sidon, Jezrael's son, has started allying himself with Storm Knights and is preparing to move against his mother.

(If they have their own transport, the Alphas will be hiding in the airport using magical disguises, and the PCs just meet Allison.)

For her part, Jezrael knows that the Gaunt Man is up to something, just not what exactly. The fact that her Darkness Device has vanished hasn't disheartened her, and she's convinced that no matter what the Gaunt Man has planned, she can swoop in and take control of it. As such, she's gearing up for a big assault. Thanks to Thratchen and some divination spells, she knows the party is heading into L.A.

Once in the airport, the party can't help but notice some young men dressed in black holding a sign that says "Mr. Sidon's group". The PCs are expected to realize that this is for them and approach these guys, who are indeed part of the Resistance. I guess the technomage the Knights were supposed to befriend in the previous Act was supposed to tell them this, but it never came up.

Anyway, when the party approaches them, they ask "how has Mr. Sidon been getting along with his mother lately?" The answer is something along the lines of "terribly", which isn't exactly a huge secret so is probably not the best spot-check they could come up with. The Storm Knights are ushered to two limos, and the group is split up between them to be brought to the Bellflower neighborhood. The limos stop in a courtyard surrounded by abandoned buildings, the drivers get out, then SUDDENLY IT'S AN AMBUSH OH MY GOD WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING.

Lasers blast out, taking out the drivers and parts of the surrounding buildings, then two vampyre gang members per Storm Knight attack from the buildings. Once the PCs engage, the drivers stop playing dead and join the fight against the PCs. Before this happens, though, one of the drivers will plant a tracker on one of the characters, although it might make more sense for them to try to do this before the ambush but whatever.

Just as the fight ends (or a little sooner if the PCs are getting creamed), the actual Resistance members show up. Turns out that one of the members was a Tharkoldu double agent and managed to intercept the PCs at the airport. Oops.

After the apologies, the PCs are brought to actually meet Sidon for real. Sindon is holed up in a ruined part of the city (which, I realize, doesn't really narrow it down at this point given everything that's happened to L.A.) owned by "Demon-Pruf Home Security Systems".

quote:

The basement of this building is practically one huge room. Partitions are set up, giving groups of resistance members privacy for their various activities. You catch sight of a med area, a cyberlegger, weaponsmiths, hackers, codebreakers, worktables covered with electronics, everything you can possibly imagine a resistance cell needing. The entire place is buzzing with activity.

From behind one partition, a swarthy young man in tom jeans and a leather jacket emerges and walks towards you. His eyes glow green as he looks your group up and down. After a few seconds, he gives a curt nod and walks back to the cubicle, signalling for you to follow, but not the other resistance personnel.

In the cubicle, the young man sits and looks you over. "Word has it that you're here for the big End of the World rumble. I'm Sidon, son of your enemy," he says smiling.


"...theeeeese wounnnnnnds they will not heeeeeeeal!"

Sidon is the first half-human/half-Tharkolku in existence, and as such has Weird Plot Powers. To wit, he's been having visions of a great battle that'll decide the fate of the multiverse. He also knows Jezrael will be there, so the Resistance is gearing up to stop her once and for all. He also knows where everything's going to go down: The Devil's Playground, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Sidon wants the Storm Knight's help in the battle, so hopefully they'll agree to ally themselves with him. Even if they don't, he's going to be there with all his troops regardless so they might as well be on his side. If they agree, the party can rest and restock in the HQ. Oh, and during the night before the battle, 36 P-rated technodemons will attack because of course they will. It's been a whole scene before a giant-rear end combat!

Okay, technically they're attacking because they've been following the transmitter. This is Jezrael's last-ditch attempt to take out Sidon before the final battle, but because he has to be there he can't be killed or anything. The Tharkoldu's goal is to wipe out as many people as possible (PCs and NPCs alike), and confirm that Sidon is indeed in the city.

When the fight's over, Sidon will automatically see the tracker that was planted on the characters, so that should be a fun roleplay moment.

From here on out, everything in this Act is part of the final conflict. Now, there's going to be a lot of loose threads flying around, so everyone please wear eye protection before we continue.

quote:

Taking Interstate 10 East, then Interstate 15 North, three hours of driving finds you at the place called the Devil's Playground in the Mojave Desert. The Tharkoldu axiom wash has changed this terrain into a mixture of desert and rugged rock formations of almost alien shape. You survey the desolation as the wind moans through the rocks, and you can't help but wonder if this is what the entire Earth will look like if the Gaunt Man wins.

Your force consists of your group of Storm Knights, Sidon, four dozen resistance members, and three dozen Race soldiers. The increased numbers do little to bolster your courage.

The ground suddenly shifts and erupts, rocks shatter and crumble, spewing forth a host of gospog. They are all around you, closing in eagerly for kill. You can feel the power of Fear radiating off them, tipping you off as to exactly who sent them.
The Gaunt Man teleported in a ton of gospog as part of his preparations for all this, and hoo boy there's a lot of them. I've mentioned before the ridiculous numbers in this final battle, so let's break this part down:
  • 72 First-Planting Gospog. These guys are effectively mooks; not strong or tough, but they have numbers on their side.
  • 36 Second-Planting Gospog. These are a little tougher; they have blunderbusses, and resistance to energy weapons.
  • 18 Third-Planting Gospog. These are "weretigers"; they have claws, can change between human and tiger forms, and are resistant to magic.
  • One Fifth-Planting Gospog per Storm Knight. These guys are the heavy hitters. These Wraiths have a paralyzing touch, can ignore armor, and are resistant to normal weapons, energy weapons, magical, and physical damage.
So that's 72+36+18+probably 5=131 enemy NPCs, some of which are really loving hard to bring down. On the PC's side, there's 5+1+48+36=90 NPCs.

That's just over two hundred NPCs involved in this fight. And remember: this game was designed before the idea of "mook rules". Every one of these assholes has all three damage tracks: Wounds, shock, and K/O. There's also no mass combat rules. Oh, and these things have Fear ratings, which means that unless the PCs have had a chance to research the enemy and prepare, they can't invoke reality storms or play cards for the critical moment (read the archive to remember what those mean; I'm not stopping here). Since the PCs wouldn't have had an opportunity to do that even if they'd known this was coming, that's just in effect.

How in the gently caress are you supposed to run this? I'm seriously asking. I'm assuming the resistance members will help, but it's not like that's going to make things less complex. The "roll a d20 and halve it, that's how many guys wipe each other out" thing from the last Act wouldn't work here because the gospog force is a hell of a lot stronger than the generic troops.

To make matters worse, the next scene doesn't start until "the last gospog falls", which means that the PCs are expected to wipe out all 130ish enemies! I can't believe I'm saying this, but even Deadlands: Hell on Earth: The Unity had the good sense to make a simple "roll to see how many dudes you blow up per attack" mechanic, and that book thought forcing the party to kill one of the PCs to advance the plot was a good idea!

Well let's assume they win, because otherwise this will never end and as always, the book doesn't take into account what would happen if the PCs lose. Which is especially bad considering the stakes of the battle here.

Anyway, the next scene starts as such:

quote:

The sound of the last attack echoes through the desert as the last opponent hits the gritty sand in a spray of foul-smelling viscera and plant matter. Gasping to catch your breaths, you survey the scene; the desert is littered with scores of corpses, the brown desert sand stained the sick green of spilled gospog blood.

A light breeze puffs out of nowhere, blowing sand onto the remains. The breeze becomes a wind, pushing sand faster and faster over the ruined gospog, until each piece sinks into the desert. In a matter of seconds, all trace of the battle is gone.

The wind doesn't die down; on the contrary, it roars into a huge funnel, whirling in front of your battle-weary group. Suddenly, blue and red bolts of jagged lightning crackle up and down the vortex, as a humanoid form begins to coalesce inside the funnel.

With a loud explosion of red and blue light, the vortex terminates. Your blood turns to ice when you see what stands within. It is the Gaunt Man, his cane in hand, his eyes glowing red. He holds forth one hand, conjuring several globes, some red, some blue, orbiting each other rapidly like mad planets orbiting an erratic sun.

He throws his head back and utters a laugh that echoes across the Mojave.

"Greetings, stormers, and others ... I am pleased to see that you have made it this far. It is good to have witnesses to the end of all things. The power of the combined Darkness Devices now rests securely within my form.

"It is time to end this war, stormers. It is time for me to take my rightful place as Torg. How fitting that those who for the last half decade have thwarted the plans of the various Possibility Raiders, are now here to witness my ultimate triumph!

"Your world now dies screaming, stormers. And so shall you!"

With a wave of his hand, gospog erupt from the sand. The precise same number of gospog you had already dispatched!
Yup. All 130ish gospog just effectively came back to life. Players love it when they have their progress undone, right?

Oh, and at this point the GM is supposed to call for a Perseverance Check, which is a mechanic from the Orrorsh book tied to the Power of Fear. I'm not going to go into the nitty-gritty (again, check the archive) but basically if they fail this roll, the Gaunt Man will be able to spend his Fear Rating to buy abilities on the spot, such as stealing cards from players, cancelling bonus rolls, or preventing a character from spending Possibilities to cancel damage. So that's fun.

BUT WAIT! As soon as the gospog rise, another scene starts! Then what was the point of a scene where all that happens is the Gaunt Man showing up and a single die roll being made? No idea!

quote:

As you stand in the middle of the battlefield, dark clouds gather overhead, like a major thunderstorm forming in fast-motion. The vast gospog host, the ones that you went through all that trouble to kill, stand patiently, obediently, awaiting the last High Lord's word to attack.

Suddenly, a hole opens in the clouds and a vast structure descends from the sky. It almost resembles the Living Land's maelstrom bridge, but not quite; it seems to be a mixture of rock, mud, and tough plant fiber, wreathed in small flames.

Coming down the bridge is a vast horde of humanoid wolves, fangs bared. A ripple moves through the invading army, and you realize that what you are seeing is the effect of scores of shapechangers shifting into more feral forms. There can be little doubt of what you see: the cosm of Kantovia, the Gaunt Man's first conquest, is invading Earth!
Now I know what you're all thinking: "Wait, what?"

Kantovia is indeed an established part of the setting, but like a good chunk of the setting, it was a part that barely had anything to do with anything and was only cared about by Lore Nerds. This is the home reality of Kurst, one of the Gaunt Man's lieutenants who played a major part of the novel trilogy and then just got forgotten.

Leading the attack force is Kurst's former mate, the High Lord of Kantovia, Ayroa. She's also setting NPC "The Guildmaster", who was a Mysterious Figure With A Mysterious Past who could be a patron for Storm Knights. Again: nobody cared by Lore Nerds. It's also worth pointing out that she became High Lord after the events of the adventure High Lord of Earth. This was one of the first adventures for Torg, but we don't learn about this until this moment because again who could possibly care.

Ayroa is here for the Gaunt Man, and will ignore the PCs. The Gaunt Man, for his part, will use magic to shatter the maelstrom bridge (dropping a few hundred werewolves to their deaths) and summon forth Kurst to fight Ayroa even though Kurst broke free of his control ages ago.

At this point, all hell breaks loose. Kurst and Ayroa attack each other, and Ayroa's retinue of 200 P-rated werewolves will attack anyone who threatens Ayroa. Whatever resistance shmucks are still alive will open fire on the gospog, and the Gaunt Man will begin stalking the Storm Knights across the battlefield. The Gaunt Man is powerful enough to crush most PCs like Coke cans, but now he's drawing out the pleasure of scaring the PCs. Assuming they're scared of him, of course, and don't try to attack because that'd be suicide.

Oh, side note: previously, the Gaunt Man could only truly be killed by using an eternity shard, but now that he's absorbed all the Darkness Devices he's removed that weakness, which means that he can't be killed at all anymore. So yeah, suicide.

While he chases the PCs through the carnage, he does take advantage of the moment to monologue.


Oh, and if any characters have ranks in the corruption skill, which you get by doing evil things in Orrorsh, the Gaunt Man just kills them.

quote:

If there are one or two Storm Knights who do have the taint of corruption (or who for the entire adventure thus far have been completely wretched and uncooperative), kill them. It would hardly be dramatic if there were not one or two demonstrations of the Gaunt Man's power, right?
What is it with game-line ending adventures autokilling PCs? Do people actually like just having their characters getting killed just before the end of the game line and I never noticed?

The way this is supposed to work is that the Gaunt Man advances on the PCs while they're fighting a small group of enemies, forcing them to move away to a different group, and so on until they're cornered and the Gaunt Man runs out of things to say...AND THEN A NEW SCENE STARTS GO GO GO

quote:

The Gaunt Man raises his walking stick at your group and whispers in a sepulchral voice, "Farewell, stormers."

Suddenly, a maniacal shriek splits the air, and two figures, locked in a deathly embrace, lunge from out of nowhere. Intent on their fight, they crash into the Gaunt Man, actually upsetting his footing. Your eyes manage to make out the combatants: it's Sidon battling his mother Jezrael in hand
to hand combat. Obviously, Sidon had laid low, conserving his strength for the fight he knew he was destined to have. Each combatant has their cybernetic slicers extended, each is taking,out huge chunks of flesh from the other.

A wing of techno-demons, obviously Jezrael's escorts, move forward. Many of them fly off to embroil themselves in the massive melee. The tougher Tharkoldu move to help their High Lord, only to be frozen in their tracks by an icy, defiant glare from their mistress. "Stay back!" she snarls to them. "If you want to make yourselves useful, rip apart my son's friends. That should unsettle him!"
Oh, right, I forgot that Jezrael was supposed to be here.

Jezrael and Sidon will be solely focused on killing each other; given that they both have full stat blocks, I really do wonder if the GM is supposed to roll to have them attack each other and keep track of damage. Well, given what'll happen in a moment, I know you shouldn't do this.

Jezrael has brought 48 regular technodemons and one Alpha Technodemon per PC to the party, and they're going to focus on killing the PCs as instructed. I'd like to point out that these 50 or so enemies are also Possibility-rated, which means they can spend points to increase their rolls or reduce incoming damage. On top of that, the Alphas have a bunch of spells on top of their weapons and cyberware. So that's fun.

Oh, and what happens if the PCs let Sidon worry about his mother?

quote:

If the characters do not intervene in the Jezrael-Sidon battle, Sidon. attempts to move the fight by flymg off. Jezrael sinks her slicers into his flesh and goes along for the nde. Her added weight throws Sidon out of control and they plunge toward a mesa in the distance. When they hit, there is a huge flash of light and the two of them are gone. (Later investigation will reveal no traces of either one of them.)
They just vanish from the game with no explanation. That's it. There's also nothing about what happens if the party ends up helping one of them defeat the other. So it goes.

So, remember when I reviewed Deadlands: Hell on Earth: The Unity, and there was that thing that was the worst part of any adventure ever? This adventure has something similar: on the plus side, it's nowhere near as bad as Unity's. It's still pretty bad, though.

Once the PCs deal with the technodemons, this happens.

quote:

The Gaunt Man watches the huge battle with the delighted countenance of a child watching electric trains chugging on their appointed circuits. The sands of the Devil's Playground are saturated with blood. Tharkoldu, gospog, Dire Wolves, and LA resistance fighters continue their struggle, all sides suffering horrendous casualties.

Suddenly, from behind you, there comes a disturbingly familiar, sibilant voice. "Ssstormerss! Good! I have a bloodlust only you can sssate!" You turn and find yourself staring into the face of Kaah, the denizen of all realities, armed and ready for battle.
That's right. Baruk. loving. Kaah.

Kaah was last seen in the final metaplot update I did, falling into a crystal called the Nexus that was a doorway to all realities when he tried to destroy his Darkness Device. It was believed that Kaah was torn apart by being smeared across the multiverse, but in fact he survived and has now become a member of all realities. As near as I can tell the fact that Kaah survived and turned into this thing was never revealed, so I guess this is a total last-minute decision.


Really?

Kaah was drawn here by the Gaunt Man, and will attack the PCs on sight. He has 100 Possibilities, and powers from every cosm. Ayslish magic, cybernetics, a Fear Rating, pulp powers, occultech, guns, psionics, eye-fire blasts, "any miracle from any cosm", and, of course, a loving katana.



Remember when I started reviewing Torg, and people wondered why the game didn't let people just mix realities on their characters? This is why.

The PCs are to fight Kaah for a while (or until they get bored, I guess), but before they can kill him the Gaunt Man will summon Kaah to his side. At which point, there's a flash of light like the ones that were blipping the PCs around before, and another new arrival shows up.

quote:

A being walks forth from the light. At first, he looks like a young man clad in jeans and a Five Realms shirt. Then he begins to shift back and forth between this form and one of pure energy. In his hand he holds a glowing sword made of red and blue stone. He looks at you after a moment and says, "I hope I'm in time. Some of you have known this body as Jeff Mills - I used that guise, the Five Realms game and later my powers to try and slip you information without drawing the Gaunt Man's attention. But it's too late for games now. So now you see me for what I truly am: the Avatar of Apeiros in this cosm, he who embodies creation.

"You have to listen. The Gaunt Man is planning to use Kaah as the trigger for a massive earth quake along the San Andreas fault. He'll use that to absorb the physical energy he needs to become Torg. Ifhe succeeds, millions will die and then millions more when he ascends."

If one of the Knights points out that they are nowhere near the fault, the Avatar will explain impatiently that nevertheless, this is the ideal point for a detonation. The Gaunt Man is playing his own version of geophysical dominoes.

The Avatar hefts the sword. "This is the only thing that can stop the Gaunt Man ... and I'm the only one who can stop him. You must go and stop Kaah. He's the explosive - the Orrorshan is the detonator. Stop one and you stop the other. Now go!"
Yeah. That happens.


Really?

Jeff Mills (who apparently bears a striking resemblance to Greg Gorden, creator of Torg) has indeed been the avatar of Apeiros this whole time. Which would have been an interesting twist if this had been set up at all.

Jeff is, as near as I can tell, only mentioned in passing in the three setting update books as the creator of the Five Realms RPG, which is the RPG that mirrors the events of the Possibility Wars. I guess he was hiding clues in game books? I'll admit that I haven't read most of the modules but still that's something you have to have a bit more up front. Or, you know, not do to begin with because it's an embarrassing setting element. When he is mentioned in the books, he always seems to vanish when people are looking for him to question him.

As for Apeiros...way back when I wrote the first Torg post six years ago, I included the creation legend. Apeiros is mentioned there as the general force of creation, as the Nameless One is the general force of destruction. Checking the complete works of what I've written about Torg, the name "Apeiros" appears 19 times. Sixteen of those 19 times are in the creation myth in the first post, and the remaining three are part of the Space Gods review.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions here.

So now the PCs have to fight their way across the battlefield, through whatever enemies are left, and take out Kaah while Jeff kills the Gaunt Man. Kaah's probably healed thanks to his miracles and cyberware, so this is basically just a rehash of the last fight. I mean, it's not as good as letting them fight the Gaunt Man, but at least they get to do something important, right?

Once Kaah is killed, subdued, or otherwise dealt with, this happens.

quote:

You hear a sound like the rushing of wind, followed by a terrible scream. Then you suddenly realize silence has descended on the Devil's Playground.

You look around, and realize that the battle is over. In every direction, dead bodies lie stretched out. Flies have begun gathering on the corpses. Gospog, Dire Wolves, techno-demons, Race soldiers, and LA Resistance, all are dead. A single first-planting gospog, missing the right half of its face and its right arm, staggers amidst the fallen, too stupid to know that it should be dead too. A solitary techno-demon, its wings broken, tries in vain to fly, and only succeeds in making its wounds even worse, hastening death.

You see the Gaunt Man grinning madly, and at his feet, the burning corpse of "Jeff Mills," the Avatar of Apeiros. A short distance away from the body, about six meters from where you stand, lies the sword that the Avatar was trying to use. Looking at the Gaunt Man, it becomes apparent that his foe never landed a blow on the High Lord. As you stare at the sword, it. fades from view.

The Gaunt Man looks at you and smiles. "And so it comes down once again to you, stormers, as it always has, as it always must. I commend you for actually surviving long enough to face me ... but all good things must come to an end."
Wait, what?

Yup; Jeff Mills, avatar of the god of creation, created solely to defeat the Gaunt Man, failed to defeat the Gaunt Man. He couldn't even GMPC right.

I said it before, I'll say it again: Jeff Mills is the worst NPC ever.

The Gaunt Man snaps his fingers, killing Kaah if he isn't already dead, and draws a green energy from the corpse. Man, Kaah just can't win for losing, can he?

quote:

"All this death, stormers, all this glorious death. This is the combined life energy - physical energy, if you will - of all those who died on this field. Add to that the energies of this pitiful Avatar, and poor, bedeviled Kaah ... and I have much of what I need. But not quite all ..."

In the air above the Gaunt Man, the dark figure of Ardinay appears. She is not there to attack - merely to observe. On the horizon, the clouds begin to shift madly, and for only a moment, it seems as if a horrible, formless face is looking into this world. This is the Nameless One, preparing for the feast that must surely follow the Gaunt Man's ascension.

"I offer you a choice, stormers, as I have done in the past: crawl to me, beg for the mercy that is mine to give, and your end will be swift. Refuse, and you will live to see your world die around you. You will be the last living things remaining on this barren planet ... and I will make you relive your failure again, and again, and again. I give you a moment-this cosm's last moment-to make your decision."
Oh yeah, Godinay. Forgot all about her. For those who don't remember, she was the queen of Aysle until the Gaunt Man accidentally turned her into an avatar of the Nameless One to be used by GMs to hammer PCs back onto the path the GM set for them.

Before the PCs can make last-ditch attacks or grovel for mercy, they hear Jeff's voice in their minds.

quote:

"Creation can never truly be destroyed, Storm Knights. Though my physical shell is dead, and my spirit quickly dying, I will live on in you. Seek, and you shall find my blade, for only the wicked are blind."
The PCs are fully healed, and get a +5 Dexterity and +10 Strength. Now the PCs must make a Perception check to see the real Sword of Apeiros behind the Gaunt Man, shrouded from his vision. I know I always complain about adventures that have these "make a skill check to see the VERY IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO ADVANCE IN THIS ADVENTURE", but Christ, can you imagine getting this far and having everyone screw up the skill roll? Nobody see the sword and the world ends! Good design, guys!

This is the final scene of the adventure: someone has to get past the Gaunt Man, get the sword, and try to kill him with it. Despite what was set up earlier about the Gaunt Man's invulnerability, the Sword of Apeiros can actually kill him.

The trick is actually doing that.

First off, someone needs to get past him and get the sword. Once someone grabs the sword, it transforms into a melee weapon appropriate to the character's home cosm. Now all you have to do is inflict the standard four Wounds on the Gaunt Man.

Thing is, he's still a very powerful foe. He has very high stats, regenerates, and can silence people to negate spellcasting ability. He also has very good social attacks, so he can easily taunt/trick/etc. the PCs to give them debuffs or get rid of their cards. He's also resistance to all forms of damage that aren't the Sword.

The Gaunt Man also has 225 Possibilities. Fortunately, the power of the Sword of Apeiros prevents him from spending Possibilities to heal. You know what it doesn't prevent, though? Him spending Possibilities on anything else. He's more than capable of boosting his melee attacks and skill use, and given that his melee weapon (he turns his trademark cane into a sword) deals roughly the same damage as a 20mm shell, odds are that he's going to be killing someone every round.


For reference, a 20 in a skill is considered pretty drat high for PCs.

There's also the question of what the other PCs are expected to do while this is going on. Torg does have social attacks and such that can put negative effects on people, so at least they can help out a bit while waiting for their turn to grab the Sword off the corpse of the last guy.

Now, admittedly, it's hard for me to gauge how hard this fight would be just through reading it. I don't know how powerful the book expects PCs to be, and the way Torg's stat blocks mechanics work it's drat near impossible for me to eyeball it. Still, I imagine this battle is going to be pretty goddamn hard. And yeah, I suppose characters dying against the actual final boss is dramatically appropriate. I just wonder because if the fight is too stacked against them, then everything ends with every reality being destroyed and no way for them to really do anything about it, which would kinda suck.

But let's assume that someone lives long enough to land the final blow on the Gaunt Man. Time for the final boxed text!

quote:

As the weapon of Apeiros plunges into the Gaunt Man, a huge blast of red and blue energy knocks everyone down onto the blood-soaked sand. The weapon remains lodged in the High Lord's chest.

Pure white light erupts from the Gaunt Man's eye sockets as his jaw drops lower that any normal person would think possible, and a shrill death shriek leaves his mouth, the sound carrying for miles. Vainly, the Gaunt Man's now shriveling fingers try to pull the weapon out, but it is to no avail. You shield your eyes as the High Lord's body is wracked by a series of increasingly powerful explosions, each one sending a jolt of agony through his frame.

Finally, one last explosion erupts, blasting the Gaunt Man to the four winds, and unleashing a massive rippling pulse of possibility energy. You shield your eyes as the energy wave keeps expanding outward, and something deep within you realizes that the wave will cover the entire earth. Fearfully, you wonder what effect it will have.

As your eyes adjust to the blinding light, the very skies themselves appear to rend open. Something dark and seductive roils within the breach. A huge chunk of black matter flies up from the explosion's ground zero, and hurls itself into the hole. You have this queasy feeling that you shouldn't look into the breach, at least, not if you want to keep your sanity intact.

Have each Storm Knight generate a Mind or willpower total. They'll need a 12 to avoid looking into the breach. If they do look, they see the following:

Within the tear in space, you see a face that is both more and less than human ... something made of shadows and mist and a deeper darkness than any you've ever seen. You feel a tidal wave of rage and frustration pass over you as the entity begins to recede and the wound in the sky begins to heal. This, you know, was the Nameless One ... stopped just short of devouring this cosm.

There is one more scene to be played. Above them, the dark goddess that is Ardinay transforms back to the Lady of the Houses of Aysle, Pella Ardinay, and plummets to Earth. The sands shift to cushion her body as she lands, and though not unhurt, she is alive. The death of the Gaunt Man and the retreat of the Nameless One have purged her of her taint of corruption. In saving the cosm, the Knights have saved a soul as well.

Now, at last, the battlefield is at peace. The sword is no more; the Gaunt Man is no more. It takes several long moments for you to realize the import of what has just happened: after five long years, the war is over.

And Earth has won.



For saving the entire multiverse from destruction, each surviving PC gets twenty Possibilities. Whoever got the killing blow on the Gaunt Man gets another five.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of War's End, the final adventure for Torg, and the end of the Possibility Wars.


NEXT TIME: What the gently caress do you mean there's one more chapter?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The fact that - since the book doesn't know the PCs names - that it just calls them "stormers" over and over feels like the clumsiest damned thing to come out of all that canned text.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


THIS GMPC is too strong to be defeated by THAT GMPC, you FOOLS!

God, this is the most Torg I've ever seen Torg.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



...Was Stephen Universe a thing when Miracles of the Solar Exalted came out

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Night10194 posted:

THIS GMPC is too strong to be defeated by THAT GMPC, you FOOLS!
It's good that the Heroic GMPC gets owned so that the PCs can be the ones to save the day. Maybe it was intended as a joke? Whatever Jeff Smith was, it wasn't worth including at all, especially since his only impact is to add a really corny element to the final showdown with the Gaunt Man.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Halloween Jack posted:

It's good that the Heroic GMPC gets owned so that the PCs can be the ones to save the day. They could have just never had that GMPC, though. Maybe it was intended as a joke, since it's really loving corny, but...well, whatever Jeff Smith was, he wasn't worth including.
He was apparently supposed to be the in-game-universe version of Greg Gorden, Torg's designer.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Jesus Christ. I've had harsh words for TORG's metaplot before, but they really pulled the high-test stupid out for the ending, didn't they?

If I actually managed to sit through that first gospog fight, I certainly would have said 'gently caress this' and gone to play my host's Super Nintendo when they got back up again.

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