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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

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.

There is something amazing about it having an actual 'make Perception test to proceed' built into the final combat.

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SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Leraika posted:

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

Came out in 2013, so quite possibly that was inspired by that.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Night10194 posted:

There is something amazing about it having an actual 'make Perception test to proceed' built into the final combat.
If Deadlands colon Hell on Earth colon The Unity didn't exist, this might be the most 90s-est bad game writing moment ever.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




I can't find it now (because OPP/WW always has lovely forums) but I'm pretty sure it was on the OPP forums concerning the Picard Maneuver Charm, where either Mørke or the backer complained about the Charm. It turned out that, according to Mørke, the backer was bad at communication and he did his best, whereas according to the backer Mørke was weird and stubborn and they eventually gave up e-mailing him back.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





SunAndSpring posted:

Came out in 2013, so quite possibly that was inspired by that.

I'm pretty sure it was, as well as perennial favorite 2e Sorcery 'Unity of the Closed Fist' - the basic concept of combining your brightly colored heroes to form a bigger, more brightly colored hero can work in Exalted, as long as the presentation is good.

There's a much better version of Steven Universe Fusion in Arms of the Chosen, as well.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Specifically it is in my last post and is crazy powerful.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Joe Slowboat posted:

I'm pretty sure it was, as well as perennial favorite 2e Sorcery 'Unity of the Closed Fist' - the basic concept of combining your brightly colored heroes to form a bigger, more brightly colored hero can work in Exalted, as long as the presentation is good.

There's a much better version of Steven Universe Fusion in Arms of the Chosen, as well.
Two versions of Steven Universe and no potara OR dance fusion? Some gold-glowing anime boy simulator THIS is.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I mean it's pretty darn easy to reskin the fusion effect from Arms, if I remember correctly. Have it as the only Evocation of a powerful pair of artifact earrings, or a Performance Charm.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


It was very funny to see just outright better versions of the charms that Morke made for this show up in Arms, Dragon-bloods, and Lunars.

The thing is, I don't think DBs and Lunars are outright and complete changes in direction, so much as they are what Ex3 is probably best off as, with devs who can write charms with effective language and who don't have a proclivity for charms that are solely dice-boosters.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Cults: Anubians

Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 3: Cults




ANUBIANS



Swan Song

Under the title of probably the least cool song by Dua Lipa rests our introductory bit of fluff. It starts with a young Anubian woman (female Anubian?) in her ossuary watching over a graveyard. The jungle isn't that far off and there be jackals around. She covers herself with a simple cloth.

quote:

The tattooed white Circles around her navel remained unwrapped.

The Anubian is going outside since the villagers had left a dead dude the previous night and the wailing kept her awake. It's a dead warrior and the Anubian is sad to see him cut down before his time.

quote:

Her arms and legs were now blackened with resin, and an Anubis mask covered her head and shoulders.

The Anubian – and believe you me it, it's a struggle to not write “Anubite” - embraces the corpse before putting a scarab in his mouth. She then pours Anansi spiders over the body, as their web is said to catch the soul – only Anubis can free it then. The spiders take two days to spin a cocoon around the body (as spiders, known for their love of teamwork and funerary rites, are wont to do). The Anubian then wraps it in bandages marked with runes and slips in a few amulets.

We then switch to talking about how the runes are the same as found in the depths of Anubian temples. They mention dead technology laying in the corners and we get the first inkling of suspicion that Anubians might just be a cargo cult that found a bunker somewhere.



I first became aware of Degenesis on a /tg/ thread that was wanking over how mature (read: shows boobs) it was. So click for NSFW if you're interested.

The Past

Anubis! He stalks the city of the dead and reaps golden-winged souls, sending them to Osiris. Some souls are “foreign to him” and escape – it might be an alusion to Aberrants, or to Europeans. Or maybe it's just an errant bit of flowery language.

quote:

Once he had blessed humans with the Ka. For generations, mothers passed it on to their children. But like a corruption, the Ba entered the human soul and poisoned it. The Ka’s power waned. In every cycle, the Ba roamed the earth, and things got worse and worse. Anubis lost soul after soul.

Only the Anubian tribe had Ka powerful enough to withstand it, but not even they remained untarnished. So some of them sleep under the desert while their children are searching from the way to awaken them and ooooh gently caress, this is just about a bunker with some frozen doofuses, isn't it? Is it Palers 2: Africa Edition?

Do note that I'm writing this fairly blindly and I'm paranoid.

Hi, it's future me, doing an editing pass: the truth kinda like that, but maybe more annoying.

Written History

On the other hand, this bit makes it feel like there might be more to it than just another Fallout 3 gimmick Vault.

quote:

The caverns in the Anubian Desert are inaccessible. Once they were a haven for the ancient ones. Hidden in the tunnel systems’ eternal night, the Anubian history survived there on scrolls in sealed clay jugs. Now the jugs are retrieved and opened one by one. The Anubians work carefully to avoid losing one of the secrets already considered lost for good. The veil of the past lifts from the Anubian desert, reveals the true history of one of the world’s most ancient cults.

The ancient Egyptians had actually exiled the Anubians to Kerma in the kingdom of Kursch. However, they actually loved the symbols of their death cult:

quote:

they tore the organs from their diseased’s bodies and senselessly mummified the empty shells, buried them under tons of stone afterwards. The Anubians of that time pitied their ignorant siblings but did not want to enlighten them.

Diseased – or deceased? The difference is kind of moot in the times before germ theory! :v:

Nevertheless, Egypt was successful while the Anubians waned. It wasn't long before the former crushed the latter in the 18th dynasty (I guess the knowing true funerary rites only lead them to be good at burrying their dead and not, well, winning).

Anubis Syndicate

Side section! Some of the texts in Cairo speak of Anubis Syndicate, “a mysterious group of eight African scientists, doctors, and philosophers dedicated to the reawakening of the body after death.” Not much was known about them even in the Bygone era. However, shortly before the Eschaton, Norman Thorn, one of the founders of Recombination Group, fled to them due to a case of industrial espionage.



Maybe SENS Research Foundation would be taken more seriously if they had such kickass branding.

The Eternal Cycle

Much like you drop a stone in the water and it creates waves, Anubis created life in the endless oceans. But he wasn't the only one, the waves from the impact circles enmeshed together.

The important thing to know here is that the imagery of waves and circles is going to become really obnoxious.

quote:

The Anubians had to rise, to free themselves from the wave and the cycles. They had to be like Anubis, to help him in his striving for perfection. He had inscribed them with the key long ago, and now they had to perfect this Thread of Life and become like him: a mortal race was to become an immortal species between life and death.

Skirting awfully close to panspermia or some Eva poo poo there, book.

Ka And Ba

Ka is the thread of life passed down through the ages.

quote:

Call it soul or genetic foundation.

Those are extremely different things, but OK, you do you, book. :byoscience:

Ba, however, corrupts Ka and diminishes its power.

Eschaton messed things up, like a big rock crashing into the water and creating new capitlal-C Circles. The Anubians had almost managed to reach their goal via centuries of preparation and the use of Bygone tech, but the world just up and ended.

Psychonauts in Europe and Psychovores in Africa are what made the Anubians act fast before all is lost.

Next time: real Ka poo poo 4 real 4 u

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Nessus posted:

Two versions of Steven Universe and no potara OR dance fusion? Some gold-glowing anime boy simulator THIS is.

They'd be kinda redundant really. Steven Universe is basically DBZ with more girls and more feelings. And singing. And girls singing about feelings.

Jarvisi
Apr 17, 2001

Green is still best.


Bieeanshee posted:

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.

That's not even the worst thing I've seen for an adventure to.be honest.

Credit to dark sun, where the PCs get to watch the characters from the dark sun novels kill the main villain while they do nothing

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Is there a way to lose that fight? For some reason I remember inexplicably it still being possible to bad end there although that may have been one of the other godawful dark sun things. Seriously that line just wanted to be as naff as it could

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 18: The Doctor is in.


In a first we get a chapter summary this time around as an introduction. Something which hasn’t been seen before, a nice change of pace. It also mentions that one of the key factors in all of this is how much rest you’ll get. Also all the pictures are just stock images of people doing medicine things.

Unconscious people who are still bleeding, that is to say they have a bleed rate of above 0, runs the risk of dying of blood loss unless they get help fast. As mentioned an update ago you don’t need to roll for Death until help arrives.and someone starts treating you. But then you also need to calculate how much blood has been lost during the period that you’ve been unconscious up to the point they’ve gotten help. Great.

There’s also a sidebar dealing with this, called “Screaming Players…”. The fact that you might wait rolling for Death might make some players nervous. Then it delves into a weird metagaming approach that I feel deserves to be quoted:

Neotech posted:

A smart player will maybe think that they could exploit the rules and never help a bleeding character because you’ll only roll the Death Roll when they get hep. If he then doesn’t get any help then you don’t need to roll the Death roll – and the character survives… Now this isn’t really the case.
That is such an insane Rules as Written reading of the rules that I’m wondering if it’s something the writers have actually encountered during a session or just something they might have pulled out of their asses.
Then it just repeats the stuff about symbolic death rolls if the difficulty is too high. This time using Ob15D6(!) as an example. That is hilariously over the top and really unnecessary as well when as I mentioned before it’s very unlikely that you’ll survive an Ob6D6 difficulty check due to the Shock save being low on average.

In some cases you can be brought back from the brink of death. But only if your heart has stopped and you have access to a competent and well equipped medical care unit.

In order to regain consciousness you need to roll with a Shock roll, you get to roll every time a row on the damage columns clears out. If the bonus drops into the negatives you still have to roll to wake up. I would assume this is more of a symbolic thing than an actual check you have to make. The Shock value can also be affected by various kinds of drugs that makes it easier to wake you up. Usually once the drug kicks in you will need to make a Shock roll.

We get optional rules for being in a Coma. The trigger for this is if you fumble your Shock roll to go conscious. To wake up from that you need to roll a hard check underneath your Shock save, fumble that and you’re dead. You can try to wake up once every 24 hours, and there are drugs that can make it easier for you to wake up as well. While in a coma you heal Trauma, Pain and Blood loss normally but you can’t roll to wake up as you might otherwise. At least not before the coma check has succeeded.
A person who is in a coma needs assistance to survive. If not they will die automatically within a week. Otherwise a qualified doctor with the right kind of equipment has to roll an easy skill check against Medicine to take care of them. One roll per week is required, if they fail the check two weeks in a row or fumble then the coma victim dies.
Or I guess you just put them in a hospital and not bother rolling a check? What’s the point really for making that? Beyond the need for simulationism I suppose.

Getting treatment for Trauma at a hospital increases the healing rate to 4 points per day compared to 1 or 2 points per day. The same goes for Pain as well, but at the rate of per hour instead of per day.

You know what this game needs? More realism!
Our next optional rule deals with the difference with how Trauma and Pain heals. Due to the rate the second heals there is a possibility that you might regain all of your Pain and still have several points of Trauma left. This rule intends to deal with that when healing injuries the number of Pain points can never go under the number of Trauma points you have. So in effect the Pain points decrease in the same rate as the Trauma points, and if there is a difference between the two then the Pain won’t decrease until Trauma has gone beneath that amount. Thankfully this rule is only for healing and nothing more and doesn’t come into effect for when recovering from teargas or other things that provides a different kind of mark on the sheet.
But in a strange way this rule makes sense because it’s far easier to keep track of both of Pain and Trauma when they go down at equal rates. Instead of having to keep track of them at different intervals. The injury system is a massive clusterfuck anyway so making the tracking simplified is a better option I say. Staying as far away from fighting as possible is perhaps the smartest thing you can do in an N2 game.

Lost blood regains at the same rate as pain, one point per hour or two points per hour if resting. Getting treatment at a hospital won’t make you regain it faster though, at least not higher than one point per half an hour. But you can do is get blood plasma or transfusions to help you. It takes half an hour to recover one row of blood loss, which equals a quartz liter of blood. You’re also limited to using it an hour a day so that means you can recover two rows per day. In order to use it though all you need is an easy check against medicine or first aid.
On the other hand if you have access to synthetic blood things will go a lot faster, at a rate of 1 row per minute. With synthetic blood there is also no limits to how much or how long you can use it. But it has a limited durability, but on the other hand all hospitals have large quantities of it. Blood transfusions count as an operation.

We get two sidebars at this point dealing with the different between the first aid and medicine skill and what they entail as well as another mention that this game has drugs that helps healing. But this game also has a lot of drugs in general.

Bleeding decreases at a rate of 1 point per 10 minutes but can also be stopped via various kinds of dressings. When you use them you roll a check underneath difficulty levels. If you succeed then it works as intended. If you critically succeed then the time to stop the bleeding is halved and the bleeding rate is decreased by 1D6. If you fail nothing happens except you’ve wasted time and resources. A fumble means that the rate increased with Ob1D6 and you’ve wasted what materials you used. But you’re still allowed to try again afterwards regardless if you fail or fumble.
Slight oversight in the next paragraph where it states that the Bleed rate reduction is 1 point per 20 minutes. Whoops.
In this case your actual Bleeding rate is the lowest of the temporary and the permanent rate. If you’re dumb enough to use the optional rule for individual wounds then they can only lowered down to a rate of 0. But multiple people can work at the same time to help.
So if you don’t use that rule does that mean only one person can bandage another? Weird.

We get a list, and a table detailing the various kinds of dressings available. You can also use your hand to apply pressure onto the wound. The in-setting option is Stikk-plaster™. All in-setting items mentioned get a trademark symbols I should mention. Not sure if the writers actually trademarked these terms in real life or not.
Other methods are using medical stapler or a device called a centipede. The latter being a plastic strip that has a number of claws that clamp the wound together. Both of them give you Ob1D6 and Ob2D6 points of pain when used and leave nasty scars behind them. If none of that is available you can sew the wound shut or burn it shut. I’m amazed it doesn’t suggest using gunpowder for that last one and not just a red hot iron or warm knife. The last method gives you Ob1D6 points of Trauma and Ob2D6 points of pain as well. If the wound is on a limb you can use a tourniquet to stop the blood flow. But no more than 10 minutes before tissue damage occurs which gives 1 point of Trauma per 10 minutes. It’s usually used as a preventive measure before treatment starts.

But now it’s time to turn the simulationism dial to 11 and talk about Surgery. While it’s necessary to operate if you have organ damage almost any kind of extra wounds can be done as well. But mainly to decrease the risk of infection or make it less likely for the wounds to scar. The basic equipment needed is sterilised tools, it can be very simple stuff but it has to be sterilised or otherwise there’s no point. To succeed all is required is a skill check for the surgeon or the team doing the operation against what is being worked on. Looking at the table we can see there is an Ob4D6 difficulty check to operate on someone’s lungs while fixing an open flesh wound is Ob2D6 for example. What kind of equipment being used also modifies the difficulty, looking at another table we can see that using improvised equipment increases it by Ob2D6 while if you have top of the line gear then it goes down by Ob2D6.
Regardless of success or failure, each operation gives Trauma, Pain and Blood Loss points to patient. If the points are high enough then you need to roll Shock and Death rolls. This means that it’s fully possible to die on the operating table as the rolls are always done before the good effects of the operation is counted.
Any Blood loss can be countered with transfusions if there is a supply of either blood or plasma, if the rate is lower than one row per minute it can also be ignored.
A successful roll means that the operation worked, a critical success means that the amount of damage taken is halved. A failure means nothing happened while a fumble means that the patient also an increased Bleeding rate and its counted as an internal one.
If the operation fails then you’re allowed to try again but each attempt gives the patient extra Trauma, Pain and Blood loss.
Also you can operation on an extra wound more than once if you succeed. Uhm, okay? I thought that seemed almost obvious.

Should also be mentioned that these operations are extremely expensive. That lung operation? 75000 euro. Open flesh wound? 2000 euro. If you gently caress up your spine that’s 100 000 in costs. Better have a lot of money on the side if you get really unlucky during a fight. That is to say if you survive in the first place.

But just because the operation has been counted as a success that does not mean the patient is in the clear. As an optional rule the patient has to roll against their Shock save to see if they might get some kind of complication. The difficulty is two levels lower than their current Death save at that point. If they fail then they need to roll on the relevant 1D100 table. The complications range from such things as internal bleeding, coma, blood poisoning or cardiac arrest. A successful roll means that nothing happens and neither a critical success nor a fumble will do nothing special to the roll.

After the operation has been done then the patient is rolled into the ICU for observation for at least 12 hours time. If they’re unconscious they remain there for as long as they unconscious and then 12 hours after that. Once that is done they’re moved to a regular daycare position where they get to rest until they’ve recovered. That is to say they have no difficulty increases from Trauma, Pain or Blood loss.
My first impression from all this is one of those moments where the PC is forcibly removed from the session or campaign for an extended period of time. Or huge amounts of downtime to heal from various grevious wounds. Better hope the campaign doesn’t involve a race against time or something. Just what are you supposed to do in this game?!

Whenever you get shot it might be interesting to see if the bullet stayed in the body or not. I’m leaning towards no in this case, but that’s just me. Either way with this optional rule you roll Ob1D6 in this case. If the results end up being equal or lower than the bullets PEN value, can also be reduced with SKY if it went through body armor, then the bullet has gone right through you. If it’s higher then it has gotten stuck in you. This requires surgery or else you run the risk of getting infected. We then get another difficulty table because that is all dependant on what kind of bullet you need to get removed.
How much this costs is dependant on the location and to find that out you look at what area the bullet is in and divide that by 10 with an extra 1000 euros on top of that.

To heal broken bones requires rest and the bone not being put under any pressure. Limbs are usually encased in FoamCast™ and in some extreme cases it can be replaced with cyber or biotech. They all heal at different rates.
Broken ribs heal after Ob1D6+10 days and any physical activity during this point is done at a level higher.
A broken sternum heals after Ob1D6/2+3 weeks with the same penalty as before.
A broken cheekbone heals after Ob1D6+10 days, plastic surgery might be required if it doesn’t heal correctly.
Broken limbs heals after Ob1D6+6 weeks and you can start using the limb after half the time but at a difficulty. If a leg was broken then FÖR is decreased with 2 meters to a minimum of 1 meter.
Shattered bones takes Ob1d6+6 months to heal, so in the range of half a year to a year. Same penalties as before.
I feel if you got that it’s either better to pay through the nose to get cybertech or simply retire the character because having them out of the campaign for up to a year is awful.

Surprisingly enough the infections talked about so much previously turns out to be an optional rule. I had expected otherwise with how much they were being mentioned across both the injury and healing chapters. Every time you gain Trauma there is a risk that you might have gotten an infection. To avoid this you need to roll against TÅL with the difficulty derived from the Trauma section but also how clean the wounds are. Yes, it’s another table you have to look at. Want to know how far we are with those? N2-160 in this case. You only need to roll once for all your wounds. Each time the check fails you get an infection with the effect that no Trauma can be healed and you gain 1 point of Trauma per infection each day.
Then every 12 hours you need to do another TÅL check for the infected wounds. If that fails that means the infection is spreading and you get another one. If you succeed then the infection is healed.

Resuscitation is possible, with the only condition that the cause of death wasn’t an extra wound caused to the brain. The most important factors are how long the person has been dead as well as their Bleeding rate. Each attempt always takes a minute to do and you can use either First Aid or Surgery skill if you attempt open heart massage. The difficulty is determined by the victims current Death roll level, that is to say how much Trauma and Blood Loss they have. A successful roll means that they’re alive but unconscious, critical success means they regain consciousness, failure means they’re still dead and fumble means that they’re still dead but also gain Ob1D6 points of Trauma.
The difficulty can also be modified by two other factors, time and equipment. For each minute that has passed since the victim failed their Death save the difficulty for each revival attempt is increased by 1 level. Some medical equipment can however improve the chances for success. Things like defibrillators, metadrenaline or Resuscitation equipment can all increase the chances for survival.
You know what we’ve been missing? Suggestions for GMs to be absolute dicks. In this case it’s possible brain damage if it has been without oxygen for more than five minutes, which means minus points on PSY.

Neotech posted:

Exactly how the eventual brain damage shall be portrayed is up to each GM and situation.
Great.

If the victim continues to bleed and that reaches a new difficulty level then they need to roll for Death to see if they die again. This obviously means they will need to be revived again so it’s a really good idea to make sure they’re stabilised before any attempts to revive them are done. Most doctors tend to give up reviving a dead person when the modified difficulty reaches around Ob7D6.
Wait hold on, does that technically mean that doctors in Neotech are aware of the difficulty levels certain actions?
Player characters can keep going to try to revive someone but need to be mindful that each fumble hurts the dying even further.
Whoever wrote this section feels keenly aware at how awful the dice mechanics are and how many times you’re going to fumble.

Unlike Cybertech, which gets a whole chapter, the rules for Biotech comes right at the end of this chapter. Rather disappointingly it’s just cloned organs and not like the Biotech of Shadowrun which gave you various benefits and drawbacks. Plastic surgery is also counted under biotech. One of the examples for that is of course breast size increase. Biotech is pricey, but not as pricey as the operations from before. A new pair of lungs is ‘only’ 7000 euro for instance. On top of that is the clinic’s fee, which isn’t all that high going by looking at the pricing table. While it might be expensive, on the other hand it lets you heal pretty much any kind of damage. Another drawback is of course that it can’t be used on emergency surgery as the organs has to be grown over time, takes 21 days to grow a new set of lungs for instance.

Hell, you can even grow a whole new body if you so want. With our without a head for that part. Those are also the two most expensive options in this case, going for 70 000 and 120 000 euros respectively.

The operation is a check again for Surgery. But at this point the book throws in a bunch of terminology in the tables from the cybertech section so why is it at the end of this chapter and not the next one then?
Either way, if the check is a success then the organ is fully functional and all damage is considered healed. But if the check fails then the organ is destroyed and you need to wait for another one to be grown. A reliable clinic will cover all any extra costs but you might not be so lucky at a black clinic. High class ones usually recommend paying for a reserve organ in case the operation fails. Doesn’t say anything about may putting that in the freezer for another day if the operation fails though. A fumble means an infection as well.

This entire chapter has just been another massive dumpster load of simulationist mechanics layered on top of each other into one unfun mess. If you have the money for it it’s almost more cost effective to go for replacement organs rather than natural healing or surgery. Then again, it feels like a lot of PC’s wouldn’t probably survive most fights if they get heavily injured to the point where they would need to go under the knife. Either via emergency operations or simply grabbing a clone organ.

Just what happened to the preface claim about this game warning about the dangers of gene manipulation? Biotech is possibly one of the best options to heal from all the nasty extra wounds you can get. Or be a whole new character for that part. Because there’s nothing about getting a whole new body and keeping your old attributes. But maybe that shows up in the cybertech part because it feels like the Biotech section belongs to that chapter instead of the healing one.

Next time: I’m a mechanical man.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



That paragraph calling out players for never healping a friend to avoid a death roll was written for me because thats the literal first thing I thought of.

If you realize that, though, maybe you should write different rules?

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


That loving Torg thing.

I still can't get over the fact that Kaah turns into a cyberdragon with a katana riding a motorcycle while dual-wielding a katana and an uzi.

It feels kind of wasted that he's an enemy there, he should be a goofy sidekick instead.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Barudak posted:

If you realize that, though, maybe you should write different rules?

It's been a thought that cropped up occasionally as I've gone through the rules. Pretty sure I've pointed it out before as well.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Cooked Auto posted:

It's been a thought that cropped up occasionally as I've gone through the rules. Pretty sure I've pointed it out before as well.

I think its the forwardness with this one thats getting me. Like they know its an issue but instead of fixing it behind the scenes in a way no one would ever find out except in an "inside stories" post-mortem of some kind they took the effort to leave it in the game and show you that they thought about it.

Its like if Spielberg not only showed you the lovely shark prop in jaws but paused the movie for a moment to show all of its flaws and explain how he could have worked around it before then continuing the movie

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




That is very true. I think this is the first instance where they specifically point it out instead of alluding to it like with the 8 steps of damage calculation for instance.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




:slowclap:
Torg has left the building.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Man, Barak Kaah starts getting dunked on almost immediately, becomes the joke High Lord for the line, and then flies in like the world's most obnoxious mini-boss only to be killed by an NPC. One almost might feel bad for him.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



PurpleXVI posted:

That loving Torg thing.

I still can't get over the fact that Kaah turns into a cyberdragon with a katana riding a motorcycle while dual-wielding a katana and an uzi.

It feels kind of wasted that he's an enemy there, he should be a goofy sidekick instead.
It needed to be something set up way earlier. If he had come back as a spell-and-cybersword-swinging biker dragon, then yeah it's still goofy as hell but at least there's a lead up to it instead of "this is happening, I guess".

Dawgstar posted:

Man, Barak Kaah starts getting dunked on almost immediately, becomes the joke High Lord for the line, and then flies in like the world's most obnoxious mini-boss only to be killed by an NPC. One almost might feel bad for him.
He actually can be killed by the PCs; it's just if they subdue him without killing him because they think the Gaunt Man needs him to be dead, the Gaunt Man snaps his fingers and kills him anyway.

By popular demand posted:

:slowclap:
Torg has left the building.
Almost. I have one more post in the pipe.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Evil Mastermind posted:

It needed to be something set up way earlier.

The funniest thing to me is how much Metaplot there is for Torg, yet how much this still must be said.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Reading the finale for Torg makes me want to see an analysis of the four books that WW used to end their various World of Darkness Lines in the early 2000s. Those books at least gave the GM a handful of different scenarios for each line, though odds are good that a healthy proportion of them were the GMPC wankfests we're seeing from War's End.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Just Dan Again posted:

Reading the finale for Torg makes me want to see an analysis of the four books that WW used to end their various World of Darkness Lines in the early 2000s. Those books at least gave the GM a handful of different scenarios for each line, though odds are good that a healthy proportion of them were the GMPC wankfests we're seeing from War's End.
A lot of them were. Vampire built the whole book around a cosmic phenomenon that weakens powerful vampires, so that you could engage them on a somewhat even level. But they didn't stat them out for you, and Vampire doesn't have good tactical rules anyway.

So one of Gehenna's major flaws is that multiple scenarios call for big street fights with boss vampires, with little guidance on how to handle it, and with many outcomes predetermined. (At least, there's no suggestion on what to do if the PCs lose.) And multiple scenarios have pivotal scenes where you either watch Antediluvian NPCs talk, or watch them fight.

For example, there's a scenario where Lilith comes back, with a squad of Super Secret Antediluvians to help her kill Caine. Also she has some sort of Christlike avatar that the PCs need to protect. Lilith is set to win her showdown with Caine. The PCs can join in but don't make a difference; all that matters is that they're smart enough to pick the winning team. So the whole scenario is basically "Side with this GMPC, do her bidding, and you go to New Age heaven at the end."

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Apr 15, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Arms of the Chosen: Silk Sword

The Distaff is a 3-dot moonsilver daiklave blunted by silk. Stories speak of the ancient Prince Aridara of Cynosure, who was born with a knife in her hand. With it, she cut her way free of a breech birth, and as she grew, so too did her blade. At first she named the sword Dragonfly, and she used it for actions of grace and beauty. She cut flowers, trimmed goose feather quills. Then, war came to Cynosure, and she turned the blade towards battle, where it became as cruel as those it slew. At the end of the war, however, Aridara swore never again to take a mortal life. She wrapped the blade in silk, that it might no more draw blood, and she set out on a pilgrimage, traveling until she reached the Dreaming Sea. There, she gave up the works of the mighty and became a traveling peddler, aiding the locals with small gifts and subtle magics. Dragonfly swept in the silks it was swaddled in, learning gentle things anew as its mistress made it into a distaff, from which she wove many wonders. Only when the Prince of Fallen Fire personally begged her aid did Aridara return to Cynosure – and that doesn’t really matter to the tale of the Distaff. It has the shape of a blade, but it is tangled in silk complete, from hilt to tip. A moon-gray, shimmering outer layer is shot through with silver, as though it had leeched the moonsilver from the blade, and it conceals veins of many other brilliant colors of silk. When wielded, the silk moves like a thing alive, weaving itself into cloth or entangling foes. It has no hearthstone slots.

The silk of the Distaff is spun from its Essence, and its threads move as extensions of its wielder’s will. They may assume intricate patterns of any color without loom or needle, and so the weapon functions as an exceptional tool for weaving-based Craft or similar. Further, the threads wrap around the wielder’s wrist to prevent the blade from being taken. This gives a bonus to Parry against Disarm gambits and increases their difficulty when used against the wielder. The blade has 8 Evocations, from Essence 1 to 4. Also, unlike most daiklaves, it deals Bashing damage and can be used easily to disarm or grapple.

The first two are largely unrelated to the rest. Silkworm’s Nostrum allows you to use the Distaff with a number of Solar Medicine Charms by using its threads to make bandages, wound dressings and compresses, reducing the cost of the Charms, and allows you to use Wholeness-Restoring Meditation to weave a patient into a cocoon of silk, the Panchrest Chrysalis, that greatly increases healing speed by sending the patient within into a healing trance in which they need not eat, drink or breathe. Tinker’s Cobweb lets you spin Essence silk from the Distaff to reduce the cost and increase the power of a number of Craft Charms for repairing or strengthening objects. Fortunately for everyone, neither is a prerequisite for anything else on the Distaff.

Tarantula’s Grip lets you make a Disarm or Grapple gambit as a counterattack by catching the enemy’s limb or blade in the silk of the Distaff. Wrapped-Fly Atemi is usable when you’re in control of a grapple and it lets you entangle your victim in silk, inflicting the effects of a Flaw such as Blind, Amputee or Mute by rendering part of their body useless due to the bindings. However, it’s not a Crippling effect and the victim can break free as a feat of strength, with a bonus if they have something sharp to use.

Poppet-Knitting Practice can only be learned if you have Craft (Weaving) 3+. It allows you to weave a humanoid silhouette from silk, turning it into a fabric servant for you. It has the strength of a mortal human, needs no nourishment or sleep, and while it cannot speak, its gestures are extremely expressive. It is not creative or independent and it has no soul, but it can obey complex instructions. It takes a full scene to weave a fabric servant, but use of Craftsman Needs No Tools can reduce that to a single turn. The servant cannot fight, but you may choose some specific role that determines what it’s good at doing. It has a pool based on your Craft for that stuff, and 3 dice for anything else. A fabric servant is utterly loyal, and will obey anyone else you tell it to with equal loyalty unless your instructions override theirs. It will not accidentally destroy itself but has no particular self-preservation instinct. If you are resonant with moonsilver, you can spend some Gold XP to make the Charm Instant instead of Indefinite, allowing the servant to last until destroyed without any committed motes.

Snarled-Silk Pankratiast allows you to create a wiry, bipedal silk creature to entangle your foes. If you hit with a grapple, you can then roll this creature into combat, allowing it to handle the grapple for you. It uses your dicepools, but has its own Initiative, and can do nothing except take Savage, Restrain or Release actions. It’s not especially tough but is fairly dodgy. It lasts until killed or Crashed, or the grapple ends, whichever comes first, at which point it becomes a pile of unraveled thread. At Essence 4+, it can use Throw or Slam actions, and at Essence 5+ it can use Drag actions.

The Silken Army cannot be learned with XP. Instead, it is gained free when you encounter a crisis that threatens a person, group or place to which you have a positive Major or Defining Intimacy, as long as you aren’t dissonant with moonsilver. Once per story, for the duration of a crisis and its immediate aftermath, it removes the cost for Poppet-Knitting Practice and a number of Solar Medicine and Craft Charms as long as you are using those Charms to help fight the effects of the crisis. At the end of the crisis, all fabric servants created this way disintegrate.

The ultimate power is Quicksilver Rebirth. It cannot be bought with XP. To learn it, you must have wielded the Distaff for an entire story, and then you must confront an obstacle beyond the power of the Distaff, which only a true weapon can overcome. Also, you can’t use it without GM permission due to the work it entails. When the Charm is activated, the silk around the Distaff is ripped open, setting Dragonfly free. The sword is reborn as an Artifact 3 moonsilver daiklave, with new temperament, powers and Evocations based on how the wielder has used the Distaff. The old Evocations are gone, and all XP spent on them is refunded. Any or all of it may immediately be spent on Dragonfly’s Evocations; if the Distaff was used compassionately and with little violence, these will be beneficent, while if the Distaff was used to brutally beat people or choke them, they will be vicious and bloody.

Next time: Fist of Titans

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Lure of the Liche Lord

Bad End

So, the writing in Liche Lord has actually been pretty good! There's been a good set up, the Tomb had some really neat concepts like giving you lots of opportunities to learn about ancient Nehekara and to use that information to protect yourself during the adventure, the characters have mostly been interesting people outside of the Slaaneshi guy in Vitrolle. The Tomb is good about supporting multiple objectives and playstyles, the various setups for the main plot give you a lot of variety in how and why you get there, the plot has deployed the Tomb Kings and their fluff really well in making Karitamen an ambiguous figure, things have been good up to this point. We got our first hint it was about to go a little off the rails with the 'if you ally with Karitamen you will be a traitor hated to the rest of your days.'

The 'suggested endings' section is easily the worst part of the book. Let's have a look at them.

Ending 1: The Players Kill Karitamen: They destroy the tomb, defeat the king, and the region rejoices that there are no more skeletons. Haflok stops being crazy because he stops seeing 'Sigmar'. However, Chaos grows in power and threatens the region because Karitamen is no longer in its way. Strykseen gets ever closer to success and Vitrolle gets more powerful and worse. Wait, are they just...assuming the players leave those loose ends? That they just beat Karitamen and ignore the entire rest of the plot? This is about as close as it gets to a 'good' ending.

Ending 2: The Players Help Karitamen: Karitamen goes to war with the three Princes. They come together to try to beat him, but it isn't enough, so Artilli listens to Strykssen and gets the gauntlet and goes full Chaos. A Greater Demon steps forth, and the whole region is destroyed in the battle between Karitamen and a powerful demon. So...despite so much of the adventure setting up that you have a real choice in dealing with Karitamen, if you do decide you like the idea of being made a Lord of Nehekara and helping the mummy, everyone gets wrecked by Chaos. Yay! So much for actually having a choice!

Ending 3: The Players Ignore the Tomb and Help a Prince: If you help Artilli, he becomes a puppet of Styrkssen because Chaos. If you help Haflok, he becomes the puppet of 'Sigmar' and works to free Karitamen. If you help Fatandira, you can potentially actually make the region not suck and get to other approximation of a Good Ending, but they point out she has the weakest forces and this will be the hardest objective. Either way, Karitamen is excited; now he'll only have to subvert or defeat one Prince to take over later because you apparently never bother going to the Tomb afterwards?

Ending 4: Chaos Wins: Strykssen manages to summon his Daemon without a freed Karitamen to oppose it. Rather than just destroying this region, it takes over, and begins to plot attacking the rest of the world. There is nothing the PCs can do to stop it according to the book. The end, no moral.

Ending 5: Chaos Wins (Slaaneshi): Those inexplicable douchebags in Vitrolle manage to get some Macguffins and grow powerful enough to turn the entire region into a sex murder party. The PCs, again, can do nothing to stop this. The end, no moral.

Ending 6: Sidebar Description of the Original Novel: Hey, the original characters of the novel actually get a better ending than you can, apparently! In the original novel, the protagonists actually beat the demon after it's summoned! You know, that thing they won't allow your PCs to do according to these ending suggestions? Vitrolle is demolished, Chaos is defeated utterly, Karitamen is still there and stirring in his tomb, and the Princes are all acting more rationally. Haflok gets over his hatred of Fatandira and learns to respect her as a person, they ally, Artilli is no longer listening to Strykssen on account of him being really dead, and things are looking up. Gee! That sure would have been an exciting adventure for PCs to have.

This is what annoys me: Up until this point, the book has actually done a really good job of transforming the premise for a novel into an open-ended RPG adventure concept. Then we get to their suggested endings (though they emphasize these are just suggestions and that your ending is probably going to be different) and the author also includes 'what happened in the novel'. And the latter is way more complete and in many ways more satisfying than any of the suggestions for the former. Frankly, all the suggested endings are terrible partly because they all assume you only do one plot arc and then leave.

The thing that really pisses me off, though, is that the entire book has built up to there being a real choice in who you side with, even having a sidebar about how it's an intentional thing that Karitamen can be read and written as a sympathetic character. This is a great use of the Tomb Kings fluff and the way they're actually still people, with good and bad at the same time. And then it ends on 'but if you pick him you made the wrong choice and you're an evil traitor and the region will be destroyed in the fighting'. You wrote the entire adventure around this concept! You'd think it would get treated as a legitimate possibility, especially as the 'setup' sections are full of 'Maybe the PCs will want or need the Tomb King's help to defeat Chaos completely'. Similarly, the author apparently has his adventuring archeologist protagonist defeat the demon after it's summoned in the book; why would you assume PCs absolutely can't do the same? Why is 'the Demon is Summoned!' not 'Here is an option for a final climactic combat in case the players didn't fight Karitamen and you want one!' or something? You don't have to just plop an unbeatable Bloodthirster down. You could make up a tailored demon boss for PCs to trick or defeat in combat.

Now, this doesn't ruin the adventure; I still think this is overall the best of the pre-mades/adventure books I've read so far. The setup is really good, it does some really fun stuff with its characters, the Tomb is interestingly designed even if I'd scale back a couple of the traps (specifically the ones that inflict permanent injury and bypass the Wounds system immediately) and change around a few things. Up until the 'if you side with or aid Karitamen you are a monster' ending stuff the Tomb Kings are used well and there's a lot to learn during the adventure. There's also good support for multiple playstyles, up until the friendlier one ends in failure according to the author.

To that end, I'm going to propose an ending idea that stuck out to me as I read through the book.

The PCs end up friendly with Fatandira, which doesn't seem a stretch since she's the most sympathetically written Prince. They go into the Tomb, explore, learn a bunch about the guy running it, and end up hitting on a brilliant plan. When they meet Karitamen and hear his plans after learning what happened to his family, they convince him the Prince he wishes he had an excuse not to kill is actually a living descendant of his. Fatandira IS written as having more knowledge of old Nehekara than any of the other Princes, and the book mentions that Karitamen will believe anything that suggests his daughter lived because he wants to. They make an alliance between the Border Prince and Bone Daddy, and accept the offer to be made regional Lords. If you want a big climax, Strykssen manages to summon his demon, and now you have the PCs decked out in the finest lordly gear of Nehekara marching to war against Chaos alongside ragged Border Prince mercenaries and ancient Nehekaran soldiers as an alliance of the living and the dead opposes the devil.

Similarly, it's completely reasonable for PCs to decide Karitamen is a dangerous tyrant and try to destroy him, even if they're out to be heroes rather than just trying to rob him blind. But the assumption that they'll just do one thing and then leave is really weird when there's a bunch of plot set up for the campaign to continue beyond just the Tomb. Say they beat Karitamen, what do they do when Artilli backstabs them? Or when their chosen patron ends up on the back foot or Chaos seems to be gaining strength in the region? PCs becoming Lords in service to a Tomb King isn't a place to just plop down 'bad end', either! It's an excuse for a really cool new campaign arc where they deal with the consequences and try to make sure this doesn't turn into the wrong choice. Especially as it isn't like Karitamen demands they become Undead. A Tomb Kings-centered campaign set after these events would be fun.

So, write your own ending, based on what your PCs do with the many options presented to them, and the plot of Liche Lord is genuinely good. Just don't use the pre-made endings. Also rewrite Vitrolle; they're basically irrelevant to the plot and they suck.

I would genuinely have liked to have seen more adventure books based on this 'toolbox' concept rather than strict linear narratives as a model for the line. It works much better with the sheer variety of PCs you can have showing up in WHFRP, and it does a good job of working with the strengths of the gameline's writing: It's always been really good at generating hooks and coming up with writing prompts that are exciting to write about. Much moreso than actually writing full narratives on its own. Sadly, this is a 2007 book, so this is about where WHFRP 2e ended with the shuttering of Black Industries. The earlier adventure and campaign books are for the most part not as interesting.

Next Time: Appendices and New Tomb Rules for General Tombs

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Just Dan Again posted:

Reading the finale for Torg makes me want to see an analysis of the four books that WW used to end their various World of Darkness Lines in the early 2000s. Those books at least gave the GM a handful of different scenarios for each line, though odds are good that a healthy proportion of them were the GMPC wankfests we're seeing from War's End.

Werewolf was probably the best out of all of them for not doing that. There were NPCs, sure, but at least in on instance they were killed so it was the PCs job to step up and finish things. Honestly Apocalypse is probably the best in general, even if admittedly it's simpler to write variations of 'and then there was a big fight.'

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Arms of the Chosen: Bringing the Hammer Down

Fist of Titans is a white jade grand goremaul (read: giant fuckoff hammer), longer than most men are tall. Its massive head is in the shape of two enormous, symmetrically arranged fists, their fingers adorned with rune-carved rings and their wrists bearing jeweled bands at the point where they meet the handle. Legend speaks of the Nameless Hero of the Divine Revolution, how she fought the Cavern That Devours Cities, using the weapon to pound flat the hills that rose to devour her. It is said to have been forged by the nameless Exigent apprentice to the Elemental Dragon of Earth during the Divine Revolution, and in the modern age it was merely a legend until it was found by a Guild tomb raider and sold to the Realm as a treasure of the Immaculate Order, bringing in more silver than the local merchant prince’s entire caravan. None can say if the stories are true, and Realm versions claim the Nameless Hero was a Dragon-Blood, not an Exigent, but whatever the case, the hammer’s power is undeniable. It draws strength from the land under its wielder’s feet and can send that strength back to its source with devastating effects. It is dangerous to use indoors, as most of its Evocations will destroy mundane structures it is used in. The immense weapon has three hearthstone slots.

Fist of Titans has 9 Evocations. Once attuned, you get the first Evocation free at no charge. This is Chambered Fist Charge, which allows you to draw power from the ground as an Aim action, building one charge. Each charge you have increases your Withering damage, and you are limited by your Essence, plus one per Earth-aspect Hearthstone in the goremaul. If you are resonant with jade, you can repurchase this at Essence 3 to get 2 charges per use. From here, you can learn Mammoth Slam Quake, which lets you expend your charges to smash the hammer on the ground and cause an earthquake, which knocks down and removes Initiative from everyone in Short range – or Medium, if you’re resonant and spend at least 3 charges.

Unstoppable Hammering Blow is learned for free when you defeat a significant foe with a smash attack, as long as you aren’t dissonant with jade. It increases the accuracy of your smash attacks and removes their Defense penalty. Avalanche Hammer Attack improves the Solar Melee Charm Rising Sun Slash, allowing it to boost smash attacks at slightly extra cost without needing a full Melee excellency. (Fortunately for DBs, it is not a prerequisite for anything.) Bone-Crushing Strike lets you spend charges to reduce your damage to cause a Crippling effect that penalizes the target’s attacks and movement for the scene when you hit with a Decisive smash attack. Crater-Gouging Blow lets you make your Mammoth Slam Quake send chunks of earth upwards to strike victims, allowing for a withering attack after the quake knockdown.

Colossal Whirling Strike lets you spin around when making a smash attack, attacking twice in a row – either rolling damage twice for Withering or getting bonus damage for Decisive attacks. It also causes the smash to knock foe back twice as far. However, it can only be used once per scene unless reset by spending at least 3 charges on Mammoth Slam Quake and knocking down a significant foe with it. It cannot be learned by users dissonant with jade. Idol-Toppling Shockwave upgrades the Solar Charm Whirlwind-Tempest Deflection, allowing it to be used against Decisive attacks with damage under 17 by spending 2 charges. This, again, is not a prerequisite for any other Charms.

The ultimate power is Titanic Fist Devastation. This spends charges and causes the Fist to radiate the unstoppable gravity of the Omphalos, the Imperial Mountain itself, to make an unblockable Decisive smash attack without the normal Initiative cost. The attack also cannot be clashed, even with magic, because of the sheer power of the Fist. Any attempt to clash is instead delayed until after the attack happens. You get double 10s on the damage roll and if you deal at least 3 levels of damage (which is likely, the Fist hits like a train) you can reflexively use Mammoth Slam Quake at reduced cost, and all charges spent on Titanic Fist Devastation count towards the quake, too. However, you can only use this once per scene, unless reset by gaining at least 15 Initiative from a single Withering attack.

Next time: Frost-Thorn Knuckles

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

aka, Sardonyx's hammer.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011



I legit wonder if this was handed down from on high and not the author's fault. The guy who wrote the Terror in Tableheilm has gone on record the PCs wheren't supposed to be shanghied out of town, and instead that was going to be the moment the Empire admitted the Skaven existed...and didn't really care, as it turns out Orks and skeleton armies at their doorstep kinda diluted the fear factor and they were told to change it into something more depressing.

Also doing a Conan Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of review, because wow those guys did a great job, but there are flaws

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


NutritiousSnack posted:

I legit wonder if this was handed down from on high and not the author's fault. The guy who wrote the Terror in Tableheilm has gone on record the PCs wheren't supposed to be shanghied out of town, and instead that was going to be the moment the Empire admitted the Skaven existed...and didn't really care, as it turns out Orks and skeleton armies at their doorstep kinda diluted the fear factor and they were told to change it into something more depressing.

Also doing a Conan Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of review, because wow those guys did a great job, but there are flaws

I definitely suspect that to some degree. There's a difference in writing for a shared setting versus your own stuff; I'm way more free to have weird and wild poo poo happen in the games I'm in than an official author ever would be. Plus, they're only 'suggested' endings, and everything before them was good, so hey. I'm still giving him good marks for writing.

It's funny because that's exactly what we ended up doing for TiT when we played (a version of) it in place of its official ending. Skaven Exist, but the Empire mostly continues not taking them that seriously because they seem explosion prone and if two wizards, a runesmith, and an elf criminal managed to stop them they can't be that serious of a threat.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



In a way it's entirely true and false at the same time which is pretty great. You can easily portray Skaven as both extremely dangerous Rat Nazis and incompetent Saturday morning cartoon villains and be pretty true to their lore depending on how competent they are presently.

E: More on subject yeah most of those suggested endings are really dumb with how stuff is portrayed and reeks of pressure to make things MORE GRIM and DARK which is a general issue among official or even fanmade Warham Fantasy adventures. Could be worse and give literally 0 positive outcomes. Also disappointed there's no outcome for a power hungry/charismatic party to take power themselves

ChaseSP fucked around with this message at 16:05 on Apr 15, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


ChaseSP posted:

In a way it's entirely true and false at the same time which is pretty great. You can easily portray Skaven as both extremely dangerous Rat Nazis and incompetent Saturday morning cartoon villains and be pretty true to their lore depending on how competent they are presently.

Oh, yes, the implication is the Empire is being pretty foolish in not taking them seriously after they nearly took Talabheim.

We also went with TiT as the ending point of the campaign after going with the 'Actually by this obscure bit of law you own most of the inner city now' bit from the book. The party was able to mostly retire on selling it back/establishing leasing rights instead of the dumb original ending where they lose it all and flee the town ahead of swarms of assassins. I will probably cover TiT next. Alternately, Renegade Crowns.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Heck, Nazi analogues being self sabotaging morons who nonetheless command the most destructive war machine ever fielded is par the course.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Eh, to me it feeds into how boring I find the Skaven. They're like Chaos or the Orcs - they're just there. You can stop their current scheme, maybe kill an up-and-coming champion, but there's plenty more where that came from and there's nothing you can do about them as a whole and it's always the same old poo poo (but now with zany antics!).

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


One of the other reasons I think Lure of the Liche Lord is good is that while it doesn't write the central narrative for a GM, it does an awful lot of the other ground and prepwork. I'd actually find something like this saves me a lot more time than something with a firm central narrative I'm going to probably end up changing when the players go off the rails or we just don't like parts of it. The toolbox approach is really helpful at doing the main thing I see a pre-made doing: Saving you time and giving you ideas.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Arms of the Chosen: Ice Wolverine

Frost-Thorn Knuckles are a pair of 3-dot moonsilver razor claws. They take the form of gauntlets of moonsilver etched with runes, and have no blades. This is because talons of ice the hardness of diamond form when you attune to them. The Northern Lunar huntress Orphan-Maker forged them from the Essence of great beasts, tempering the moonsilver with the swiftness of a hawk, the endurance of a mammoth and the sinews of a tyrant lizard. Using the weapons, Orphan-Maker tore out the heart of the Many-Limbed Queen, slew and drank the heart’s blood of the sorcerer Yevash Jul and drove back an entire army of invading Winter Folk from the Wyld. Orphan-Maker was buried with her weapons in a mountain tomb carved out by her fellow elders of the Silver Pact. It went undisturbed until quite recently, when her newest reincarnation, Cat-Footed Jal, followed her past life memories to the tomb. There, she confronted Orphan-Maker’s hungry ghost and told of her own hunt against the Guild merchants whose heroin dealing had slain her lover. She was given the Frost-Thorn Knuckles with her predecessor’s blessing, leaving a trail of frozen corpses behind her. The final name on her list of revenge, the scavenger lord Lace of Thorn, has hidden herself away in the merchant city Koja, spending a massive fortune on Exigents, outcaste Dragon-Bloods and mercenary spirits to be her bodyguards. She will greatly reward anyone that can ensure she is not slain.

The Frost-Thorn Knuckles have two hearthstone slots, and the ice claws give it the Piercing tag. Further, the claws can be used with Thrown to attack out to Medium range by firing the ice talons like darts and reflexively growing new ones. When first attuned, they also give their first evocation free. The Knuckles have 6 Evocations from Essence 1 to 3. Rimebound Predator Endurance, the first, lets you numb yourself to pain and cold, ignoring cold-based penalties and environmental hazards and gaining soak if unarmored. If you have Survival 4+ or a Survival specialty in cold environments of some kind, you also ignore some wound penalties. At Essence 2, if resonant with moonsilver, you can make the Charm last longer, allowing it to be used as a survival tool more easily.

Glacial Beast Claw lets you knock foes prone with a Decisive attack and freezes them to the ground, giving a penalty to standing up and requiring a roll even if no foes are nearby. Tunder-Striding Stalker lets you use the Solar Charm Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit for free in cold places, and you learn it free when you succeed at a Survival roll in a cold place. Fortunately for Lunars, it also is not a prerequisite of anything. Blood-Freezing Strike is learned free if you aren’t dissonant with moonsilver when you hunt and kill a man-eating predator, giant beast or other monster that poses a threat to nearby civilization. It lets you make a Decisive attack against a prone foe, freezing their blood into a razor to do extra damage and remove Initiative. Anyone Crashed by this is frozen in place and can’t move except to stand up until they recover from Crash.

Ravening Fimbulwinter Approach requires you to be at Initiative 10+ and successfully rush a foe. If you do, you can make a Decisive attack on the person you rushed, with the attack’s roll being based on your rush successes. If you incapacitate your foe with this, you can then reflexively rush someone else nearby. None of this counts as your combat action for the turn. This leads to the ultimate power, Blizzard Claw Swipe. Tis causes your ice talons to explode into spears when they pierce a foe, making a Withering attack more powerful or allowing Ravening Fimbulwinter Approach to be used with a Withering attack that deals Decisive damage if it Crashes the foe, and which can freeze and shatter the target’s limbs or organs as a Crippling effect. It cannot be learned by characters dissonant with moonsilver.

The Hawk’s Star Jess is a 3-dot starmetal sling of distant surprise. It is one of the oldest artifacts known to exist, dating all the way back to the Divine Revolution. Its Sidereal creator tamed the Hawk Star, binding part of its power into a fist-sized piece of starmetal that was spun into wire and woven into a sling. The Sidereal used the Hawk’s Star Jess to defeat many demons and behemoths that served the Primordials. It has been used many times since to face down foes that threatened the order of Creation – the gigantes of Dis, a Solar prince during the Usurpation, a mile-high wolfstag that invaded alongside the Raksha during the Contagion. It is a valued tool of the Sidereals, loaned out to various warriors of Heaven to defeat mighty foes. It has no hearthstone slots; it’s a sling.

When attuned, the Jess unlocks its first evocation free. Doom-Gathering Arc can be used at Initiative 10+ to make a Decisive attack that bears Doom based on your Essence. It reduces penalties and debuffs the target’s Defense and armor based on its Doom and has double 10s on damage. It can only be used once per scene, however, unless reset by taking out a non-trivial foe or routing a battle group. If resonant with starmetal and you have Occult 3+ or Occult 1+ and an astrology specialty, you may meditate with the Jess under the night sky to foresee an enemy’s death in the stars, causing the Charm to have extra Doom when used against that foe until the enxt sunset.

Falling Star Stone lets you reflexively aim before using Doom-Gathering Arc, and to spend Willpower to do so twice in a row when at Medium range or further if you are resonant with starmetal. Titan-Subduing Stone causes Doom-Gathering Arc to ignore Legendary Size’s damage restrictions and rerolls failed damage dice based on the attack’s Doom as long as you’re not dissonant with starmetal. Stone of the Corpse cannot be learned by those dissonant with starmetal, and it lets you spend Willpower to double 9s on Doom-Gathering Arc’s damage roll – or 8s, if resonant. Stone of the Sword lets you call on the constellation of death by illness, the Sword, to ensure that any wound left by Doom-Gathering Arc becomes infected, even if the target is an Exalt. The infection has morbidity based on the Doom and can’t be cured except by magic.

The ultimate power is Unleash the Hawk Star, and it can only be learned if you’re resonant with starmetal. Once per story while you are at bonfire anima when you use Doom-Gathering Arc, it lets you condense your anima into a fistful of light, which you hurl with the Jess. The light manifests the power of the Hawk Star, spreading radiant wings and shrieking at the foe as it comes down. This increases the attack’s Doom and adds automatic successes to the damage roll, as well as causing aggravated damage to creatures of darkness…which won’t be defined until the Dragon-Blooded book. :sigh: It also reduces the cost of any other Evocations used with Doom-Gathering Arc. The usage limit can be reset by achieving a major character or story goal that involves defeating a powerful foe using the Jess.

Next time: Heartsong

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Lure of the Liche Lord

I said RETURN THE SLAB

I'm not too fond of the section on curses for several reasons. One, it's got some weird fluff where all curses come from the dead being unable to abandon their massive ego Tombs and then slowly Chaos seeps in and takes over because of the ego and that's how you get curses. C'mon, everything doesn't have to go back to those assholes. We can just have sweet mummy curses. Besides, Chaos generally doesn't gently caress around with Undeath. Two, they suggest the main way of getting rid of Curses is to use the Ritual research rules in Realm of Sorcery. If you want to know what I think of those in detail go back and look in the archives, but they were terrible. Rituals in general are a poorly thought out aspect of the magic system, and needing to learn a Ritual (even if you don't have to research it) costs 100-400 EXP which is actually pretty considerable.

Oh, also, most of the example curses just slowly drive you insane and kill you, so you're on a time limit for getting rid of them. The other suggestion for getting rid of one is a High Priest of Shallya. Our poor 3rd/4th tier Shallyan friends remain tremendously overworked. All the curses pretty much happen by slowly giving you worse and worse penalties until they kill you, like a Disease that you resisted with WP instead of Toughness and that doesn't have a duration. They're not very exciting. You can also potentially remove them by, you know, returning the slab. Took a slab? Return it. Alternately, burn the entire tomb down. That might work. Still, nothing should ever bother with the Research Ritual rules because they are extremely bad, and more importantly you actually don't get time to do them if you have a curse. The curses listed in the book will kill you before someone can use the multiple-months-long Research rules.

There's also some new diseases you can get by touching ancient mummies. They are, again, not all that exciting. At least it isn't Neglish Rot!

Also detailed trap rules, including rules for PCs who know engineering or hunting to build and deploy their own traps. These could be fun in the right hands. But traps are usually one of those things that's better prepared against proactive characters (like PCs) rather than put in the hands of protagonists (who tend to be moving around rather than constructing trap-filled lairs to nestle into like a spider).

The new Tomb Guardians are also interesting. The first up is the Elven Wight, which is meaner than a normal Wight (2 attacks, and their sword has Fast). They can turn into normal-looking elves within their tombs, too, and Pass for Human like a vampire. These are high nobles and officers who had to be left behind as the elves were busy getting their poo poo kicked in by the dwarfs after the dwarfs beheaded Caledor II in the War of Vengeance. The elves constructed big hidden temples and tombs for their important dead, to hide them from the bearded ones, and promised to come back. 5000 years later, the wards are starting to fail and people are starting to find the tombs. Inside, the elves are so extremely mad about losing a war that sometimes the dead elf's spirit embraces undeath and becomes a spontaneous Wight. You ever want a good excuse for Ithmilar gear for PCs? Elf Wights. They get the same Wight Blade bonus (Their swords do SB+2 Magical in their hands) as normal Wights, but they're frailer, faster, and more skillful.

Imprisoned are also neat. These are pre-Sigmarite nobles and shamans who got into Chaos. The Pre-Imperials didn't actually know what was happening, but they recognized evil when they saw it. They feared that killing these individuals would lead to horrible death curses, though, so they sealed them in their tombs, alive. That way they wouldn't be responsible for killing kin/tribesmen. They also endeavored to put up wards and warnings, but modern Imperials have a hard time understanding the pre-Sigmarite equivalent of 'This is not a place of honor'. Chaos granted these people immortality sometimes because it thought it was hilarious; this means that the average Imprisoned is not only a powerful dark sorcerer and mutant, they've had 3000-4000 years locked in a cage with nothing to do but practice magic and go insane. When people unleash them by accident, they go on a rampage of spellcasting until they're killed or their magic kills them. They're physically meh, but heavily mutated (3-6 on average), with Mag 4 and a Dark Lore. They never use anything but the full 4 mag and the extra Dark Magic die. Ever. Always. They will keep attacking with magic until they explode and die. Their Gods think this is lovely.

Residue is just spooky madness ghosts that haunt tombs and try to drive people insane. One of the funny things for me is that the Insanity system tells you over and over it's optional, but it's used so heavily in the game's actual rules. Considering how clunky and badly done IP are, I've always just taken them up on 'it's optional' and just ignore the Insanity system entirely, so this monster would be mostly useless.

You thought ancient Egyptian mecha were dangerous? How about ANCIENT DWARF MECHA with BLADES for HANDS. The Rune Guardian is a dwarf golem animated by Runes. It hates you and has a huge amount of Tough (TB 6) but only medium armor somehow (AV 3). It also hits really hard (Damage 7) but has terrible to-hit (33% WS), Mv 2 and is generally easy enough to avoid. Strangely, it's overall weaker than an Ushabti. Dwarfs used to make these as decorations that also kill intruders. To customize them and make them terrifying, their weapons and armor can be freely Runed using the Runes from Realms of Sorcery. This book like referencing Realms of Sorcery.

The Sacrificed are completely crazy overpowered. These are masses of sacrificial victim spirits left to guard Chaos sites, and they completely ignore armor, attack 5 times a round, and are completely impossible to hurt back without magic. Damage 3 sounds weak but remember, 5 attacks at WS 44 and ignore armor. Not sure what the hell they were thinking, this is the most dangerous Ethereal creature in all of Warhams. Most Ethereal creatures that actually attack tend to be relatively weak because it takes such specialized tools to fight them.

Finally, sometimes you just run into an infestation of Tomb Squigs. These are Squigs, except their model of fungus grows on corpses and in damp, poorly maintained tombs. Still an angry ball of teeth and stomach that wants to eat you. Fairly manageable mid-level surprise monster, though they ignore 2 points of Armor on every bite.

And there we have it! That's everything! I hope you've enjoyed Lure of the Liche Lord; I had a lot of fun reading through it and writing it up. It was a pleasure to discover a pre-made for Hams 2e that I don't hate, and in fact actually quite like.

Next Time: Rat People? The Fantasy Balkans? The Return of An Abandoned Project!?

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I vote for Fantasy Balkans.

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