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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

This book is gay. Like, super gay. I think the new team put in something like twenty gay pairings and one token heterosexual (unrequited). This trend will continue in future books, presumably to infinity.

Also, the next artifact is best of all, because it's the one I came up with. (I'm still not completely sure about Vance's ruling that a naginata is. mechanically a kind of axe, though.)

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Paint Axe

Sunís Brush is a 3-dot orichalcum grimcleaver (read: axe). Legend says that once, the sun shone with a pure, stark white light, with neither yellow warmth nor the colors of sunset. It is said that the god of art, Arajati, fell in love with the Unconquered Sun, and so he painted the light of the sun with many colors in an effort to woo him. The Sunís lover, whose identity changes depending on the telling, slew Arajati for his actions, sending his brush falling to Creation. There, the brush was found by a Twilight Caste philosopher, who forged it into a weapon in an effort to preserve Arajatiís passion. Specifically, the brush was made into a naginata that is also still a brush. The weapon is a teacher for its wielder, granting wisdom and revelation, and its true power can only be unlocked by a scholar. Sunís Brush is currently guarded in a monastery of scholars that tend to one of the greatest of Creationís libraries, hidden in the frozen depths of an ancient, ruined tower. It is said that they await the coming of one that can pass their trials of knowledge and claim the brush. It has 2 hearthstone slots.

Sunís Brush is both a weapon and a writing implement, with an infinite supply of gold ink. Its blade-tip can write on any surface not warded by extremely potent magic, and it can be used to perform a foe-scribing gambit to write on an enemy. Any social influence written by such a gambit gets a bonus to its roll. Its markings can be washed away, but only after a few days. The first evocation, Filling Blank Pages, is gained for free if you arenít dissonant when you get at least 5 successes on a roll to introduce or challenge a fact. It can be activated reflexively to introduce a fact, and any attack you make that turn that takes advantage of the fact gets a bonus, as can other actions at the GMís whim. Radiant Brushstrokes Flourish lets you make a foe-scribing gambit to write a single word Ė Falsehood, Ignorance or Wickedness. It shines through your targetís disguises as if it were a Solar caste mark. Falsehood glows when the target lies, Ignorance glows when the target attacks or makes opposed rolls against people with a higher Int+Lore pool and gives a penalty when it does, and Wickedness can only be used on creatures of darkness (still undefined!!!) and deals aggravated damage when it is painted on. Also, anyone who sees it instinctively knows the bearer is a creature of darkness.

Battle-Scholar Sagacity upgrades Cloud-Wreathed Scholar to let it introduce a fact in mid-combat once per scene even if youíve used your once-per-scene introduction already, even if you arenít advancing any goals. It can be reset by successfully introducing a fact and making a Decisive attack via Filling Blank Pages in the same turn. Incomparable Savant Surety lets you, once per day when you succeed at introducing or challenging a fact with at least 5 successes, gain Willpower or 5 Initiative (as long as you arenít in Crash).

The ultimate technique is Whirling Sunfire Calligraphy. Once per story, this lets you paint with the sunís light, as Arajati did. Tongues of sunlight flow from the brushís blade, and for the rest of the scene, when you roll to introduce a fact, the roll also serves as a social influence check to threaten all foes that can see you, intimidating them with your knowledge. Further, you get extra Withering and Decisive damage, and when you make a foe-scribing gambit, you can make a Decisive attack instead and apply the gambit as long as you deal enough damage. Also, anyone you deal Decisive damage to catches on fire.

Tusk of Galaech-Ma is a 3-dot moonsilver direlance. The story of Galaech-Ma and the Snow Hunter is well known. The Snow Hunter was a man, at least until the six-legged, massive beast that was Galaech-Ma came for his village. The Snow Hunter was the only survivor, swearing on the blood of his kin that he would take down the great behemoth or die trying. For ten years, he sought the monster in blizzard and Wyld alike, and on the day he finally tracked it down, Luna gave him the power to at last avenge his people. Given new life, the Snow Hunter forged Galaech-Maís tusk into the head of a terrifying lance, plated with moonsilver and cooled in the monsterís own blood. The moonsilver haft is shaped around one of its bones and ringed in braided grips of its fur. With the Tusk, the Snow Hunter slew countless beasts from the Wyld, awakening powers to slaughter giants and hunt monsters. Over centuries, his obsession with ridding the land of unnatural creatures made the weapon uncompromising and eternally dedicated. Today, it sits idle, an heirloom of a remote Northern tribe that has forgotten what it was made for. Each generation, it is wielded by a holy man or woman, but for centuries, none of them have had the power to actually use it. It has a single hearthstone slot.

The Tusk adores the chase. Its wielder, after making a successful roll to follow a foeís tracks, lure a foe out of a place of safety or catch a foe in a (literal or figurative) trap, may declare that foe to be their quarry. Against its quarry, the Tusk has a bonus to accuracy and getting past armor. However, it may only have one quarry at a time. The first Evocation, Hide-Splitting Thrust, waives the Initiative cost of a piercing attack, allows it to pierce the natural soak of behemoths, animals and similar foes, and makes it ignore more soak against the Tuskís quarry. Bloodthirsty Hunterís Focus gives a bonus to Awareness, Investigation and Survival checks against the quarry, but not Join Battle rolls.

Giant-Felling Stroke is automatically learned if youíre not dissonant with moonsilver when you Join Battle against a non-trivial quarry after you track it to its lair or otherwise hunt it down. It lets you make a Decisive attack that seeks out the weak point of a foe larger than a human, ignoring a good chunk of Hardness and dealing extra damage Ė especially if theyíre Legendary Size. Implacable Hunter Spirit gets rid of the cost to use Unshakeable Bloodhound Technique against your quarry and tracking them gives you Willpower once per session. (Fortunately for Lunars, this is not a prereq to anything. Unfortunately, all of the Charms from here are still branching off Solar Charms.) Flashing Spear Strike removes the Willpower cost of Godspeed Steps when used to rush your quarry and make a Decisive attack. Hunting Otherworldly Horrors makes Light of Judgment Stance always consider your quarry a creature of darkness, without any extra cost for hated creatures, and gives a bonus if they already were one. Legend-Slaying Strike lets you pay extra Willpower to use Hungry Tiger Technique against your quarry even if theyíre not in Crash.

Next time: Asphodel and the start of the 4-dot weapons

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Rand Brittain posted:

This book is gay. Like, super gay. I think the new team put in something like twenty gay pairings and one token heterosexual (unrequited). This trend will continue in future books, presumably to infinity.


Oh my god shut up. Queer rep is still really hard to find in media, don't you go throwing "token heterosexual" around. gently caress you.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I mean, that's why I like it? I am gay, you know.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

Oh, I see

So, Renegade Crowns is consistently one of the lowest rated books for Warhammer Fantasy as a line when you look at reviews in the wider world, right next to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Companion. Unlike WHFRPC, I don't actually think it deserves this, but I see why it happened. You see, where there would normally be a half a book of intriguing and detailed fluff and history about the culture in question in a Warhams 2e book, that isn't here this time. Because Renegade Crowns isn't about a pre-existing subsetting, it's about making your own. You remember the interesting political setup with 3 well detailed Princes and the ancient menaces stirring in their lands in Lure of the Liche Lord? Renegade Crowns is about making that setup for yourself, for your own small campaign setting. The entire book is concerned with generating geography, settlements, historical hooks, and colorful Princes to oppose, work for, or replace. It also contains a Realm Management system, except the entire Realm Management system is based on spinning plates by having adventures to keep from being overthrown and to keep the lights on (which is actually a decent idea for a Realm Management system).

In the intro, David Chart (author of Knights of the Grail, so keep in mind I may be predisposed to be kind to his work since he wrote my absolute favorite book in the setting) talks about this being an opportunity to make a subsetting where yes, the PCs can overthrow rulers and massively change the status quo. Sure, it's an 80 mile by 80 mile stretch of unstable lovely borderland, but here is a place where you can freely determine the fate of nations (which contain one actual town and a few pig farms). Combined with how the Adventure Books are usually written and how their endings usually go, I wonder if this wasn't an attempt to get around an apparent dictate from on high that PCs never move the story forward at all in pre-published adventures. I actually think this book is quite worth exploring and that it's an interesting project for the setting. Also, the writing that does exist still has a lot of color to it, and does a good job of getting across the general tone of an unstable country where people continually try to touch the hot stove that is declaring oneself a Lord even though it usually ends in dagger parties and fire.

Also I really like Mount and Blade and this can be used for basically Warhammer Fantasy: Mount and Blade. It's a good set up for a free-roaming game about a free-company that slowly ends up ruling territory and entering the war of all against all.

For the review, we will obviously be creating our own majestic piece of lovely borderland. The Border Princes are the region that sits south of the Empire, southeast of Bretonnia, and east of Tilea, full of poor land and ancient ruins, and with only the Black Gulf standing between it and the full on Badlands, which is one of the places orcs come from in numbers. It is also just north of the Land of the Dead, Khemri, and thus was once one of the major frontiers of the Nehekaran Empire. The ancient ruins are because throughout the millennia, people have tried over and over to actually settle this place and it has never really worked out long term. Araby gave it a shot. Nehekara gave it a shot. Dwarfs gave it a shot. The combination of the constant hostility of the orcs, the sheer number of hidden ancient menaces (and treasures), and the scarcity of resources usually puts a stop to large scale organized settlement by 'real' nations.

However, it's the perfect place to go if you lost a major political struggle back home, or you're a wanted criminal, or you're a woman who wants to get the gently caress out of Bretonnia and rule a fief openly (The eventual Example of region creation written by Chart naturally includes an adventurous Bretonnian woman). Or you're a vampire, that can always happen, as you might remember from the cool Strigoi Prince from Night's Dark Masters. Most of the people fighting over the fate of Yon Hill are doing it because they couldn't fit in anywhere else. And in every age, and every place, the deeds of men remain the same; if you were kicked out of the Empire for failing to unseat your older brother for the Elector's seat, why wouldn't you think you still deserve to rule Yon Hill? Even if everyone who tries to rule Yon Hill gets stabbed in the back. The Princes are people who, for one reason or another, just cannot resist trying to catch the falling knife of princedom.

The stakes are also very small, which is what makes the fighting so vicious. Politics are always personal, but when the two 'Princes' have like 50 men at arms between them politics become even more personal indeed. When the fights are more like gang wars and everyone can remember exactly who killed their mate and when and why things can get ugly. Not to mention most Princes don't have much room to 'give', so to speak. When you only rule a single small town and its outlying farms, giving up the swamp that gave edible snails and frogs in a peace treaty with your neighbor is an outrage and people will die for this insult. When some bastard steals your pig, it can start a 'war', by which I mean two groups of mercenaries/bandits having a couple nasty skirmishes before someone shoots the pig and nobody comes away with anything.

Another nice thing in this book: It's extremely open about being a series of writing prompts and creative aids. It talks about how the random tables for geography, etc should be used as much or as little as you actually need them. You should never be shy about rerolling results that don't seem cool, or just overriding them and placing down something you really want to put in your campaign. You know that feeling; sometimes you don't know exactly what you want so you roll on the table then realize you're disappointed with what you rolled and wished you'd rolled some other result? Just put in that other result! Randomization is presented as a way to get ideas flowing, not an end in and of itself. Similarly, some super rare results aren't on the tables but you're encouraged to just pick one or two, rather than feeling bound to hitting a 1% chance for an element like a Cathayan Prince or a hidden Demon ruling a Princedom through a possessed body to be in your subsetting. I like this because it's a good indicator the author understands the actual purpose of randomization in RPG writing.

Randomization is there so that you can write in the 'connective tissue', so to speak, and see if something jars your thoughts and gets you coming up with ideas when you're just brainstorming. Some of my favorite PCs have been concepts generated this way, and some people find these kinds of prompts really helpful. If you don't actually need any of the randomization elements, the book is totally cool with you not using them, and is happy to just provide flavor and suggestions that will help you get a solid writing prompt instead. If lots of the stuff you read jumps out at you and gives you a story without needing to roll a single die, that's just as good. On the other hand, I know people who absolutely adore making a bunch of points of data and then coming up with logical ways they fit together to build a story and setting, and this book looks pretty for someone who likes to do that. The example setting Chart rolled up (and described what he did with the dice and why while he did it; it's very detailed and honest) turned out pretty good, so I have high hopes that our own lovely borderland will be a fun place. In the same spirit, I'll be telling you everywhere I ignored or overrode or rerolled the dice while making it. Chaos Lord generation and Mutation could have used similar reassurances, I think; many of the randomization elements of the books can be quite good, but sometimes they could use these guard rails.

I'm also a fan of actually making it clear to players and GMs that they have 'permission' to gently caress around with the rules, setting info, tone, etc. I know it's silly, but given the arguments I've seen on the internet about 'oh you're playing it wrong' or whatever, I much prefer a couple sentences of 'Hey, here's why this is written this way, and talk it over with your players and see if you like it. And if you don't, change it! It's cool.' Which is another really good mark in this book: It emphasizes an awful lot that your game is a collaboration between the players and the GM and that your goal is for everyone to be comfortable and to have a good time. Tone, theme, etc should all be adjustable to something the whole group can enjoy. After AdEva, that kind of advice is really nice to see.

Also, the book is just funny. It plays up the dark humor aspects of the setting a lot, and a lot of the writing has pretty good jokes and is fun to read.

So yes, this is going to be a weird one, but I think it's going to be fun. For the general organization of the writeup, I'll do one post on what we're randomizing and how the systems work, and then the next post will be describing the results of generating our glorious realms of grim and perilous adventure. It's time to make (a tiny part of) the Fantasy Balkans!

Next Time: Geography

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 20: But we're never gonna survive unless, We get a little crazy




A characters mental value is how well they can handle traumatic or horrible situations. If its low then you run the risk of suffering from a psychosis from the trauma and shock. Tracking it works exactly the same as tracking health or exhaustion, you have a block of ten rows and you mark out the ones you donít have and so on.

The book goes into a side tangent about the rules being limited, but for a good reason because theyíll stop any excessive violence from ruining the GMís campaign. So essentially this whole chapter is a slightly ham handed way of preventing murderhobos from ruining everything by slapping them with psychosis is that Iím reading from that. Wonder if this whole ruleset was a knee jerk reaction to the writers thinking people played the previous version wrong or not. Hard to say really.

So there is a number of various situations that might trigger you getting psychosis points. The book mentions a couple of them, and there is a table, but the GM has per usual the final say in what happens on a case by case basis. All but the first one has you roll a D6 to see what kind of defense reaction you get from when you get a panic attack.
  • Character creation: As mentioned way back you can get psychosis points during character creation through various actions on the event table.
  • Combat: If youíre in a warzone fighting you gain 1D6 points per week at the front.
  • Phobia: 1 point initially, prolonged exposure might get you more.
  • Social: For things like getting fired from an important job or a nasty divorce. 1D6 points.
  • Witnessing death: Only when seeing friends and family pass away suddenly. 1 point.
  • Killing someone: 1D6 points when you kill a someone or a being the cause for a friend or family member dying. Killing in self defence is 1 point. Hurting someone without any due cause is 1 point. Killing someone for fun is 2D6 points. Killing someone in an extra sadistic way is 1 extra point. Every time the number of victims are doubled you gain 1 extra point.
  • Long term isolation: 1D6 per month if in an cell, 1 point per month if stuck on an isolated island.

One of the defense reaction for the panic attack is escape. Not sure how youíre supposed to accomplish that if youíre in an isolation cell. Also Iím wondering why this is even in, how many campaigns have ended up with a character left alone on an island for months at a time?

  • Cryogenic suspension: For each year that youíve been frozen down you gain 1D6 points.
  • Torture: 1D6 points, but the GM can decide to give you more if they feel itís necessary. Great.
  • Drugs: Each time your dependency on a drug increases you get 1 point. The GM can also let this be the case for the Boozing skill.
  • Cybertech: We went over these last time.
  • Long term VR exposure: If you use VR for a whole day you gain 1 point.
  • Large amounts of stress: 1 point per situation.

Too much exposure will lead to slight desentization. To simulate this the GM can decide that the you gain points only at twice the actions, events or victims. So one point each first, second, fourth, eight time and so on. But it would only happen if the same situation is repeated.
So depending on the campaign the characters would either turn into massive nervous wrecks or be incredibly desentized. Iím really dubious about making all this a gameplay mechanic. At least something that you need to keep track off.

Neotech posted:

ďCyber psychosis is not an exotic phenomenon in the news - it happens on the street and the street is a place where the police has a task to keep order in.Ē
-Captain J.D. Bridgewater, cyber psychosis division NYPD.

Every time you gain a psychosis point you need to roll a panic check to see if you get a psychologic shock, or a panic attack. This roll is made against your mental value and the base difficulty is derived from the psychosis and exhaustion sections on the sheet. The difficulty can also be modified by drugs. Failure means that you get a temporary panic attack and you also have to roll a psychosis roll.
If you fail that roll then you fall into a much more severe psychosis outside of the effects the panic attack has. In order to snap out of your panic attack you need to succeed on a second check and you can do one every minute. Failing this roll doesnít mean you have to roll for a psychosis.

We get both a section, and a sidebar, talking about the four stages of mental health. Healthy, Neurotic, Panic and Psychotic. To be considered healthy you can only have one row of points in the psychosis section. Neurotic is when you start the second row. Panic is when youíve failed your check and get a panic attack and the last one is when you get a psychosis.

Neotech posted:

The effects of the psychosis is the same as the causing panic attack Ė except more long lasting. The usual is that the game master Ďconfiscatesí the psychotic players player sheet. The player can then make a new character. If the game master thinks that the player can handle to roleplay the psychosis in a believable way then the player can in some cases keep their character.
gently caress everything about this.

A character that is suffering from a panic attack is unable to do anything but to be controlled by the defensive reaction that gets rolled out depending on the trigger situation. The various reactions are Escape, Amnesia, Catatonic, Confusion, Paranoia, Depression, Hyperactivity and Rage. None of these any rules to them and are just general roleplaying recommendations of what you should do.

Neotech posted:

ďPsychosis in all of their forms is a serious mental state caused by the person canít identify themselves with the rest of humanity. The psychopaths behaviour is characterized in many cases by irrational actions and an extreme suspicion against other people..Ē
-Dr. Wilhelm Richter, leg. psycho pathologist.

You can recover psychosis points in two ways. The first method is having a normal day without any stress or resting, then you regain 1 point per month or 1 per week. The other way is going to therapy at psychologist or psychiatrist. You can go to one session per day and if they last at least an hour you recover 1 point.
There is also a way to recover from a permanent psychosis but itís a three stage process that takes times. First phase is you suffering from acute panic disorder, it works the same way as the panic attack but you can only roll once per hour instead of minute. The second phase is the reaction phase where you try to defend yourself against what has happened but this is also the point where recovery starts. You regain one point per day of treatment and it requires an hour per day. Normal point recovery is not possible at this stage and to get out of this you need to succeed on a psychosis check that you roll after each treatment. The third phase is when youíve managed to get rid of your psychosis and just suffer from a neurosis. However, the risk for relapsing is big but you can now act normally. And also regain psychosis marks as per usual (funny enough there is a see table N2-ēēē error here). At this point youíve accepted what has happened and realize that you need to do something.
My suggestion would be to stop playing Neotech.

All I can think of for this section is the Dark Heresy Insanity rules but a boatload of more simulationism injected into it. Canít say Iíve ever been a fan of systems where it might end up with the GM taking your character away from you.

Next time: Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your rear end the result is the same: addiction.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








At least it meaningfully goes down. Dark Heresy, Call of Cthulhu, and AEG L5R all had the problem that their badness meters only went in one direction.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Same for WHFRP2e where the only way to remove IP is to find a powerful Gold Wizard or to ask our extremely overworked friend, the 3rd tier Shallyan.

I suspect the sheer amount of bullshit the Shallyans could get rid of is a big reason some people writing for the game hated them so much. They kick most of the game's most annoying systems in the dick.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

I suspect the sheer amount of bullshit the Shallyans could get rid of is a big reason some people writing for the game hated them so much. They kick most of the game's most annoying systems in the dick.

And yet, it's the first fantasy setting I've seen where "I'm the person who's really, REALLY good at healing" is a distinctive, flavorful, and useful character that the game doesn't assume will always be available.

If I were to play another game of WHFRP, a Shallyan is at the top of my list of characters I'd want to play.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Oh, I love them. Though it'll be interesting to see one in play in a full group game; I'm curious how useful her healing will be when the party's got an especially tough Soldier as a front-liner. Her d10+2 heal spell undoes a *lot* of work in what I can throw at him each turn once she gets it. Even her basic Heal skill +Divine Mark for +2 Wounds healed each time already saved one fight.

Also I've made most of our region of the Balkans and it turned out really well, I think. I'm looking forward to writing it up tomorrow.

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


Night10194 posted:

Oh, I love them. Though it'll be interesting to see one in play in a full group game; I'm curious how useful her healing will be when the party's got an especially tough Soldier as a front-liner. Her d10+2 heal spell undoes a *lot* of work in what I can throw at him each turn once she gets it. Even her basic Heal skill +Divine Mark for +2 Wounds healed each time already saved one fight.

Also I've made most of our region of the Balkans and it turned out really well, I think. I'm looking forward to writing it up tomorrow.

I skim-read the book once I learned it was written by Brettonia-Guy and themís some decent region building rules.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Cythereal posted:

And yet, it's the first fantasy setting I've seen where "I'm the person who's really, REALLY good at healing" is a distinctive, flavorful, and useful character that the game doesn't assume will always be available.

If I were to play another game of WHFRP, a Shallyan is at the top of my list of characters I'd want to play.

Absolutely. Shallyan priests are great, and so is playing someone that's a devout Shallian lay-person, simply because it's a great excuse to get some totally badass tattoos and heraldry.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


New thread name is wonderful.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


MollyMetroid posted:

New thread name is wonderful.

I think it's a big old Martianmelon, but that's just me.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


You know, I'm getting really intrigued by this Torg-mania. Should I read the entire oTorg FnF in preparation?

Cults: Anubians, pt. 3



Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 3: Cults


Transformation

Sometimes, a Hogon will come to an Anubian and give him a canoptic jar with a jackal head. There's white fluid inside it.

quote:

The Anubian lifts the canopic jar to his lips; ripples form in the liquid. It flows towards his mouth. Small tendrils shoot out, piercing his lips, hardening and breaking under the pressure of the liquid that follows. There is a crackling and cracking, and the canopic jar has spilled its contents into the Anubianís mouth.

Then the Anubian dies, only to awaken emaciated and with the outermost of his tattoo circles gone. Only Hogons know what happened, but they ain't sharing. :iiam:

Keepers of Secrets

Anubians have been collecting lore for generations, but it's buried under Cairo and unreachable to those who have more than two circles remaining.

Naturally, everyone assumes that Anubians are mysterious and filled with secrets. They reinforce the image via the way they dress. They also guide Scourgers in the ways of keeping traditions, they know how to appease spirits (I bet they can get great modifiers on the length of Month-Long Ritual Of Appeasing Spirits Before Moving A Stone) and they do burials.

Ossuaries

Africans both revere and fear the Anubians, as it is right when you're confronted by a death obsessed weirdo that carries at least one skull at all times. The Anubians all live away from people and prowl their boneyards for bones uncovered by rain and wind. They use those to build ossuaries where they live and mix their drugs.

I imagine that an Anubian who buries bodies too deep is basically homeless.:skeltal:

True

quote:

With every transformation, with every Circle that the Anubian masters, he loses some of the superstition.

Oh boy, here we go! :dawkins101:

This section implies that there's quite a bit of woo that Anubians, the African religious clan, embraces willingly to have more power.

Hecateans are more concerned with catalization of the Duat fruit, but still present themselves as Healers (lower rank) who actually bargain with Anubis.

Ammit is the sickle-armed warrior rank, who listens to the Ancestors and senses Psychonaut Chakras. He tells the Scourgers that he's protecting the wave of creation.

Embalmers and Soul-Seers actively poo poo on the altar:

quote:

He can shut out the whispering of the ancestors and make room for other ancestors Ė not because he prays or meditates, but because he has understood the principle. Because heís the key and the Psychovores are the lock. The people believe that ancestral spirits accompany him to pay their debts to Anubis. They believe that the spirits imbue the Psychovores. He lets them believe whatever they want to.

Hogons are the top dogs of the conspiracy pile. They observe the changes in those that drink from the canoptic jizz jug. They even discuss such changes with the Spitalians.

quote:

How could he speak out against the white doctors for the last decades? What a lack of knowledge! Aside from the Anubians, no one is closer to the secrets than them.

Hogons understand the tattoos as indicators of transformation (duh) and that the molecules in paint are destroyed by change in the body. But why are they mutating themselves? Well, you still have two circles to go before you learn the truth.

The Sickle

Side-section! Anubians actually sense Psychonauts as a pain in their body; there's a different pain for each kind. And those pains just happen to coincide with (non-gloving) weakspots that Anubians can attack for great damage! Their blade is guided by what they feel, opening, I dunno, Chakra ports on the Psychonaut's body. If all goes well, the pain goes away and the mutant collapses as a soulless (yet still breathing) husk.

The Ancestors

Did you know that Psychovores are nearly literally the Warp?

quote:

The Psychovores are amplifiers. They receive human aspects and emotions, channel and filter them through the network and into that which Anubians and Spitalians call the Aethyr. Soul Seers know how to superimpose those waves with their own emotions and channel them back into the extraterrestrial vegetation.

However, Anubians rarely do that. The source of most whispers lies somewhere in the jungle, and the Anubians are looking for it. They follow the whispers, poring over old maps, and staging expeditions. Sometimes, they find nothing. Other times...



quote:

Down into prehistoric vaults, into labyrinths made of glass and polished sandstone. Behind false walls, protected by pitfalls and dead ends, the first people slumber, preserved in beautiful sarcophagi made of gold, lapis lazuli, and chrome eons ago.

What's in the box? Recombination Group? Ancient Astronauts? Warframes? Walt Disney's preserved head? You be the judge.

No Anubian that has more than two circles left has ever met these ancient popsickles. Any such discovery is immediately secured by Hogons, who bring the sarcophagi to Cairo, where the higher ups (NPCs?) open them.

quote:

The long chain of the script of life is said to be impeccable in them, inscribed into them by Anubis himself. No wrong letter, no errant passage disturbs the perfection. They are like him. In them, he will one day walk the earth.

Obviously, it's all about genetic purity. So pyramid Nazis, then?

The Solar Cross



SwastikaSide-section!

The higher-up Anubians don't really care about their common symbolism. However, the solar cross Ė even the book describes it as a made from four fours Ė is important. Apparently, it holds some answer to life's great questions. The Jackal's Prophecy is based on it.

Books of the Dead

The ancient Egyptian beliefs relating to afterlife? All giberish copied down from Anubians. Here's how the judgement of the soal really went:

quote:

The Egyptians copied this practice from the Anubians. The books contain the complete listing of the deceased personís life essence Ė in a language illegible to the living. Legend has it that only Anubis himself was able to decipher the script, and he was also the one to read it to Osiris and his demons. If the passages pleased the God of the underworld, he had the books sent to Yaru. If Osiris was bored, he destroyed the writings with a simple gesture. Afterwards, even Anubis could not decipher them anymore.

Degenesis, are you pulling an Assassin's Creed on me? Are we gonna discover that humanity was made by aliens? :tali:

Anyway, the books of the dead are found in the vaults of the first people. They're thick black slabs that only two-circle-or-less dudes know how to make. It is said that they will only be read once Anubis walks among the people again.

Hogons apparently favor people who find these books, as the books let themselves be found. Very mystical of these SSDs holding genetic imprints of some long-dead Anubian. :v:

The Forbidden City

Cairo is overgrown by Psychovores. The city and the Nile are abandoned. Only Hogons are invited to visit. Other Anubians who want to find the city will return sratched and Raze-stricken, and die, since Cairo doesn't want to be found.

Next time: you the jackal now, dog!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018



Arms of the Chosen: Dead Hammer City

Asphodel is a 4-dot soulsteel goremaul. (Hammer.) Before the height of the First Age, Kesuth Amaldui bound the soul of the mortal sorcerer Shou Ren into a gemstone. In exchange for Shou Renís wisdom, he made a secret world inside the gem for the sorcerer to rule over. He then set the gem into the heart of a mace. Kesuth became an enigma, seeming to converse with his weapon or even vanishing into its depths for months at a time. From it, he drew forth ghostly soldiers to staff Hollow in the war against the Forty-Fourth Immortal, and within it he bound dark forces as he plumbed the Underworldís depths. Centuries later, after the Dragon-Blooded slew Amaldui by burning him to death in his library, Asphodel came into the hands of the Eastern daimyos. From the prince of the jewel, they learned great secrets of magic and the location of First Age relics, but they lost the weapon and their lives to their rivals quite often. Asphodel last appeared in records dating to the Contagion, wielded by Merach Ivira as she led the forces of Samisen against the invading Raksha. Asphodel is a seven-flanged mace of soulsteel, airy and light, with each surface inlaid with white jade scrollwork. Where the flanges meet, they hold as a cage the fist-sized smoky gem that houses the city in its irregular facets. It has a single hearthstone slot.

Whenever the wielder is touching Asphodel, they may converse with Shou Ren, calling him for advice on lore, and he can also serve as a useful tutor for sorcery and any skills he knows; he knows a lot of occult lore and academic stuff in general, and he was alive in the First Age. Outside of his life in a grand city of carnelian and gold, ruled by the tyrannous Queen of Eyes, and his times in lost libraries of Beriah, most of his knowledge is secondhand, however. He knows a lot of Terrestrial Circle spells and can teach them, and he wears a soulsteel crown that grants him total authority in the hidden world of the gem, which cannot be taken from him unless he is destroyed. (Also he canít leave the gem; the crownís only purpose is to turn a powerful ghost into the prince of the jewel, unable to leave but able to rule.) The wielder can make bargain actions at Shou Ren to gain the support of his ghostly servants for a night in exchange for some lost lore, or possibly a new ghostly servant if the Evocation that allows the mace to capture ghosts is awakened, or a specific sort of mortal pleasure if the one to send stuff into the gem has been awakened. As your Essence increases, you can get the ghost servants for longer periods, or get entire battle groups. It should be noted that the game says that Shou Ren isnít really meant to be hard to bargain with Ė his requests are mostly to push the game towards interesting places and stories, and it is highly likely that the wielder will eventually have the guy basically eating out of their hand. He will use his Willpower to resist intimidation, unreasonable persuasion or manipulation of his Intimacies, and he can and will cut off contact for a few days if he wants to regain Willpower or punish rudeness, but heís generally happy to bargain if treated with the respect he feels heís dude as king of the jewel. The GM determines the size of his ghostly retinue and household, and any ghost that gets destroyed in service is gone forever, leaving the place diminished until restocked with the Evocations.

Envoy to Stygia awakens free when you attune, as long as youíre not dissonant. It allows Spirit-Detecting Glance to spot ghosts even when itís not turned on, and lets All-Encompassing Sorcererís Sight detect deathly Essence flows, the magic of ghosts and other undead, and the borders of shadowlands even while not active, as long as you know the Charm. Non-Solars can instead have this Charm benefit any similar Charms they have; Dragon-Bloods, for example, can explicitly learn to to boost Spirit-Detecting Mirror Technique. Shade-Revealing Radiance causes Asphodel to glow, all nearby immaterial undead to become visible and material while the dark light touches them. They glow from within, reducing their Guile as their inner fire shines through. Shadow-World Snare lets you make a special gambit against undead whose Essence isnít too high above yours, allowing you to banish them into Asphodel to be dealt with by Shou Ren (or whoever has replaced him). It should be noted that truly potent ghosts such as nephwracks might be able to fight and defeat Shou Ren, so be careful with that. Undead Exalts and Deathlords are immune to this, as are any undead that the GM rules are uniquely potent.

Psychopompís Specter lets you, whenever you kill a human, spend Willpower to draw their hun soul (thatís the part thatís mostly rational and intelligent) into Asphodel as a ghost, per Shadow-World Snare. You may also do this by touching Asphodel to someone who is on the brink of death. Midnight Jewel Mastery reduces several Solar Charm costs and lets you use them to send undead into the gem or allow them to possess people rather than the normal ways those Charms are used. The ultimate power is Enter the Hidden World, and it can only be learned if youíre resonant with soulsteel. It causes black fire to engulf you from Asphodel, along with any willing characters nearby. You all appear inside the jewel, vanishing from the normal world Ė as does Asphodel itself, because it can go inside itself. The city inside is a lifeless, beautiful place of cold mist and quicksilver, with high crystal spires. At its heart is the onyx and silver palace of Shou Ren, where he rules over hundreds of ghosts. The hidden world is secure against intrusion, but may be entered while you are in it as if it was a spiritís sanctum, and makes for a good safe base for anything you feel like doing. When you want to leave, you and your companions reappear at the next midnight at the same location you entered the gem from. You may not use this in combat.

Burning Branch is a 4-dot green jade longfang (read: spear or trident). In the first war of conquest by the Scarlet Empress, the hero Shirazi Ako was slain by a Lunar. Akoís daughter, Atena, planted her signature weapon, a javelin, by her memorial. After a century of being watered by the tears of mourning family, it become the core of a massive, unbreakable branch that grew up around it. Her descendants uprooted the branch, forging it into a longfang with vicious tines and blades extending from its head, vowing to wield it against the Anathema that slew Shirazi Ako. Their vow became a spark at the core of the weapon which blazes with flame, allowing it to defeat many foes. Burning Branch has, ever since, been passed from master to apprentice among the shikari of the Immaculate Order. Its last known wielder, Cathak Dimas of the Sisters of the Dragonís Claw, has been missing for the last year. Her fate is unknown, and some theorize that the famous Anathema hunter has gone renegade or was perhaps finally slain by one of the creatures she hunted. The weapon has two hearthstone slots.

When a Fire-aspect Hearthstone is set into Burning Branch, its wielder may spend a mote to ignite the weaponís head for a scene, making it better at getting past armor. Further, any weapon disarmed while Burning Branch is ignited overheats, dealing minor Decisive damage to the first person to touch it during the scene. Blade-Seizing Defense lets you make a disarm as a counterattack after you parry an attack at Close range, as the spear entangles weapons and, if ignited, also makes the attacker lose Initiative in a shower of sparks. Conflagration Lance Technique lets you boost the damage of a Decisive attack on the turn you ignite the Branch. It is also gained free if you arenít dissonant with jade when you first put a Fire-aspect hearthstone in Burning Branch. Cleansing the Bloodís Bane lets you touch someone willing with the spear, burning them for minor damage in order to remove poisons. Impenetrable Bramble Snare can be used whenever you successfully disarm someone, causing Burning Branch to latch onto their weapon and forcing foes to make a gambit to get them back, and if ignited, the superheated weapons deal extra damage when touched.

Sweeping Firebrand Attack can be used whenever the spear is ignited. It fires off a giant firestorm at battle groups as a Decisive attack, setting the enemy fighters on fire as a recurring environmental hazard and reducing its Drill or making it have to check for rout each round if its Drill already sucked. The enemyís commander can make a special rally action to get the battle group to put out the fire, lowering its damage each time they do until it goes out, and magic can also put out the fire. Otherwise, though, it keeps going until the scene ends or the battle group dissolves. Torch-in-Gloom Inspiration lets you, once per scene, raise the ignited spear, causing you and all allies in Short range to gain Initiative at the start of each round, as well as giving you a bonus to commanding battle groups and increasing the Drill or Might of any battle groups you command. This ends if you get Crashed. It cannot be learned if you are dissonant with jade.

The ultimate ability is Blazing Dragon-Ancestor Exhalation. To use this, unless you are resonant with jade, Torch-in-Gloom Inspiration must be active. Once per story (unless reset by upholding a Major or Defining positive Tie towards a family member by defeating a formidable foe) you can boost a disarm gambit to make it set the target weapon on fire, harming the wielder as you disarm them. Mundane weapons are utterly destroyed, and artifacts take enough damage to render them unusable and breaking their attunement. Artifacts require repair as a superior project. This is actually pretty dang powerful if you can pull it off Ė taking out an enemyís artifact weapon from a fight can mean a huge reduction in their ability.

Next time: Flying Silver Dream, Gnomon

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

This land is mine! The Gods gave this land to me! This brave and ancient land, to me!

So first, you start painting your 20 by 20 map with randomly generated terrain. Every time you don't roll any kind of 'special' terrain feature (which requires rolling over 100 on d100), you add 10 to your 'running total' to make it more likely your next roll goes over 100. Any roll that ends in 0 creates a river, and you decide how the river runs through your map and links to other rivers already rolled. As you roll terrain, you choose how you fill it in; so say I roll 46, and get d100 squares of Grassy Hills. Then I get 24 of those. I would then fill in 24 squares of my map as I wished with a region of grassy hills. Each square represents a 4 by 4 mile square of terrain, so the region comes out to 80 by 80. Epic adventure and war awaits you in a land half the size of Rhode Island!

You can roll all kinds of terrain, but one thing you'll notice quickly is that most of it is sort of lovely for farming. Scrublands, badlands, swamps, etc. Forested hills and plains are at least a bit more fertile, but Beastmen live in any kind of deep forest. Grassy plains, hills, and mountains can potentially be farmed. Still, the Borderlands are not the nicest land in the Old World. Hills and plains hold most of the population of the Border Princes, but people can live anywhere. The major concerns for people living in the region are fresh water, arable land (or pastoral land for herding), and defensible terrain. Unlike the relatively settled Empire, almost anyone in the Border Princes could face battle at all times. Like all random tables in this book, you should feel free to alter your rolls a little if they're not getting you land that looks like it'll be fun for adventuring; if you ended up getting nothing but lovely scrubland, for instance, in a huge flat field with no interesting terrain features? Reroll! My main issue with this step is that it's a little too easy to potentially roll something that fills in too much of the map at once, which leaves you little room for rolling Special Features or rivers; the high rolls on the table can get you stuff like 'd10x50 squares of grassy plains' instead of d100. I wish they'd stuck entirely to d100s, or maybe occasionally d10x10. It's not a large risk and the 'don't let the rolls rule entirely' advice keeps it from becoming too much of an issue, but no-one wants to adventure in a totally flat and featureless plain!

For special features, these go on top of normal terrain and most only occupy a single square. Remember, a square is a 4 by 4 mile area, it's not that small. You can get d100 square cave systems underneath the surface of your existing terrain, 1 square sudden cliffs, 1 square fertile valleys that provide great farming and livable terrain, geysers (which also produce a river), a sudden, isolated mountain, a volcano, a large pool or lake of stagnant or fresh water, a natural fortress called a tor, a beautiful waterfall (put a river on the map to provide a source if you don't have one), or a whirlpool that fucks with river or sea travel. Note there's no roll for Coast, so you have to decide for yourself if you're near the sea (parts of the Borderlands are). As you might imagine, Fertile Valleys and Tors will do a lot for settlement once we get to that down the line.

The really interesting part comes when you start establishing the ancient history of your region and what kinds of hidden, age old menaces lie in wait for your PCs. You roll d100 to determine how many ancient ruins lie among the 400 squares of your map. Ruins fit in a single square. The Border Princes have been inhabited by an awful lot of people, and have been the grave of more than one would be Empire. Yours isn't the first, and it won't be the last. Araby took over the whole region 1200 years ago before withdrawing. Recent human settlements might have collapsed only a few hundred years before you got here. This used to be part of the Nehekaran Empire and the kingdom of Khemri. Dwarfs lived in the are and not just the Holds up in the mountains long ago. Chaos Cults have long fled to the Border Princes to try to start their own civilizations (the book notes that ones dedicated to Khorne and Nurgle don't usually last long as civilizations, for obvious reasons). And even stranger things can show up. You'll determine from 1-10 how many of these there are (I also appreciate that Chart weights the charts, so there's a reason you're using a d100, not a d10. 4-6 Ruins is about average).

Once you've determined how many ruins you have and what kind each is, you roll for ANCIENT MENACES. These are things that will serve as major plot threads and adventure seeds for the PCs later. Demons can infest a ruin. Undead can show up. An ancient robot or golem could be in certain kinds of ruins. The ruins could be the source of a plague or swarm. It could be a weird community of twisted survivors (I don't really like the term they use, 'Degenerate Tribe'). There could even be an ancient weapon (or just the rumor of a weapon) that throws the region into strife as people scramble to recover it. There's also a small chance a ruin is just an interesting archeological remain and contains no horrifying menace, but really, what fun is that? (It's only a 5% chance generally. This is Hams).

You don't roll the ages for ruins, you pick an age. Also note, while the age of Khemri ruins can post-date Nagash, it's actually accurate that that's the case. He killed everything south of here in what's known as the 'Land of the Dead' when he turned the river Vitae (Nile) into poison (they call it Mortis now, thanks GW) but successor states and things did survive in border regions like this. You also roll to see what the ruin was; is it a Tomb, a Fortress, a Settlement, an Outpost or a Temple? Oddities (the really weird results) are too individual to roll on this table. You make up what they were, since they could be anything. Finally, you either roll for or pick what killed the place. Plague, abandonment, civil war, military conflict, etc. Then you sit down, look at what you've got, and write the ancient history of your new land.

All in all, it's actually a pretty good procedural region generator! I really like the focus on plot hooks and the idea of seeding it with cool ancient ruins to establish its early history and what sorts of dark menaces wait for the PCs in the shadows. Especially because that can be used for either a normal Warhammer Fantasy campaign (or shorter adventure series) set in the area or for the full on 'try to become a prince and rule this land' campaign. The amount of filling in and flavoring you do personally lets you give the land something of a sense of character, and it works well enough to produce someplace that feels like a lovely plot of borderland half the size of Rhode Island.

Next Time: Our Land!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

A new land!

So, our plot sits at the foot of the Black Mountains, with forested mountain dominating the northwest of the map. South of those forested mountains lies a strange, small area of totally barren hills, with no real explanation for why the verdant mountains of the Black Mountain foothills suddenly become a 3x5 square area of totally barren hill. Well, none the locals know. We'll get to that. A river flows down from the forested mountains and cuts southeast through the entire map, and nestled near it are both a spectacular waterfall and a stable, fertile mountain valley that serves as one of the seats of power for the region. One of the princes definitely makes her home in that square, we'll get to that later when we get to the princes. The mountains mostly terminate into a series of forested plains, with small bands of scrubland giving way to gentle, grassy plains with occasional hills in the south and a vast and lovely scrubland in the east. There's also an area of surprisingly scrubby mountain sticking down past the border in the northeast, among the northeaster scrubland, before it eventually turns back to proper grassland. Two more rivers flow onto the scene, and where they overflow their borders in the southeast you see a vast swamp before it turns into gentle, pleasant grassy hills and another fertile valley; another prince lives up there, or will, once we get to the settlement step in a few chapters.

Another obvious spot for a natural settlement is the tor in one of the barren plains squares in the south of the map, on one of the river branches. It's surrounded by normal grasslands, so it's a great place for people to fall back to while farming the surrounding floodplain from the river. There are also pools of fresh water (lakes) in the area south of the swamp (another good reason for a prince to live there; there's water) and one in the western plains.

The main things I rerolled while making the map were that I ended up with almost nothing but forest originally, and I wanted more variety in terrain (and didn't want to fill in too quickly). I ended up kind of taking the number of squares I rolled as a sort of 'maximum allowance' instead while I painted and filled in my Excel sheet with all this stuff. I also changed a roll of a Cliff to a Waterfall at one point because I thought a waterfall just below the fertile valley in the mountains near the river source would look cool as hell and make a great domain setpiece. The interesting terrain for the region is the way it's relatively nice for the area except for these sudden, small bands of barren hills or scrubland, which feels like some kind of scar on the land. The giant swamp with nicer hills south of it and a nice fertile valley and lake also gives a defensible, natural place for one of the principalities to form.

Now, I am not a visual person, and maps are usually a bit tough for me. But you actually get a neat sense of what the land looks like as you roll and place terrain. I really like that you don't roll the shape of the terrain, just how many squares you have to work with; it feels like painting the map. Making it was actually a lot more fun than I expected. But the really fun step was definitely the Ruins.

I rolled for number of ruins and ended up with the dead average 5. On rolling those, I got 2 Khemri ruins, 1 Dwarf, and 2 Oddities. This was going to be a weird region. Generating the ruins themselves, I got the Khemri ruins were a fortress infested with a demon and destroyed by magic (one seems to follow the other). The other was a tomb abandoned due to famine and full of undead. I decided it would instead be a mass monument to losses during a famine; that made sense as a context. The Dwarf one was a Temple that was destroyed in a mysterious accident with no sign of what happened to the inhabitants and also infested with a manifest demon. Well! The Oddities don't have a direct form, but they contained a Golem and a Weapon. So these ruins look like very old magitek of some kind. Also, like there was really no settlement until humans come back and resettle this area recently; with no recent ruins there's probably been no inhabitants in this region for a long time.

Now, talking it over with a friend, he suggested an idea I liked a lot: The Oddities represent ruins of the old elf and dwarf alliance, back before the War of Vengeance. Thus, they're two outposts that were working on extending the old Waystone network into this area, abandoned when the war happened but containing some of the wonders of that age. The Dwarf Temple has a nice, sinister feel to it with the 'Enigma' destruction and demon infestation, so I had a good idea for that, too. It becomes the centerpiece of the Ancient Menace plotline for this area. This was once a great temple to Grungi and dedicated to producing mighty Runesmiths and runic items. Something that stuck around after the original elf-dwarf outposts collapsed in the war. During the earthquakes that collapsed the Underway (Thanks Mazdamundi, you stupid gently caress!) the proud Runesmiths of the region sought to save their people and stop the quakes, and made the same mistake the people who would become the Chorfs did by calling out into the void for power to try to match the sorcery of a Slaan (not knowing it was a Slaan, of course). They found something even worse than Hashut, and now an ancient horror demon has manifested in their old temple, stabilizing itself by corrupting and feeding on the magic of the Runes and plotting to escape. It knows the two more powerful Outposts are there and wants to get out into them and the Waystone network, so it can spread itself and its minions and cause wide damage.

The Khemri settlement in the area was during the very old periods pre-Nagash. They built a border fortress against attack and several settlements, none of which survived. One day, explorers from the fortress came upon an old dwarf temple and opened it up, and...well, that went badly. The warriors and priests of Khemri managed to contain the demon they had unleashed by accident and to destroy the people it had influenced and infected, but they had to seal the pieces that escaped into their old temple and ward it with the words of their Gods. The devastation of the region in that conflict is what causes the weird bands of barrenness and scrubland; those are spots marked by the demon's passing and its minions, and its great battle with the Nehekarans. The famine this caused destroyed the hopes of rebuilding the region, and the people of Khemri raised a great tomb-monument to the dead in the conflict and abandoned the area. For ages, the area was too blighted to bother settling, but thousands of years have let the land recover. Now it's a relatively pleasant and habitable place, for the Border Princes, thanks to its long rest. Humans are moving back into the region as recently as a hundred years ago, starting to resettle and wondering why no-one took a place with plenty of fresh water and decent arable land before now.

They have no idea the old temple still stands, hidden deep in the forested mountains, and that within, the demon plots. It still wants the beautiful and powerful things that sit hidden in the swamps and the seemingly worthless scrub-mountain foothills, and it wants the magic of the Waystones for itself. The new settlers and princes and their conflicts, or a couple unwitting adventurers, might be all it needs to take another stab at its terrible plans.

So yeah, it wasn't that hard to produce a whole campaign seed out of the Ancient History phase. Now you've got this region that's been abandoned until pretty recently, with people wandering in and wondering why no-one actually lived here until 100 years ago. There's powerful ancient secrets and wonders hidden away (and heavily warded) in the seemingly uninhabitable parts, but also a terrible and dark adversary that's been plotting in the shadows and waiting so long for the land to recover enough for pawns to come back. I was able to tie the place into what I know of the ancient history pretty well, and there's nice and varied terrain full of plot hooks and natural borders. I expected to hate doing this part but I actually really enjoyed rolling up the geography of the campaign setting. The dwarf temple was a huge surprise, and makes a great sinister final dungeon for a campaign.

Now I just need a name for the region. And maybe for the three rivers. I will gladly take any suggestions.

Next Time: On Princes

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



The Border Region of Pferdekrieg and the rivers Hundenhemd, Katzenhosen and Alpaka-Schuhe.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 15:33 on Apr 17, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Hostile V posted:

The Border Region of Pferdekrieg and the rivers Hundehemd, Katzenhosen and Alpaka-Schuhe.

Thank you for respecting the long traditions of Warhams German and its Horse Wars.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Night10194 posted:

Thank you for respecting the long traditions of Warhams German and its Horse Wars.
German is a beautiful language to mash together two stupid words and make them into something way more dignified and cool.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Degenesis posts are odd reading as the game cares a lot about tons of different proper name cultural groups and then suddenly "pyschovore" out of nowhere

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

Renegade Crowns is probably one of the best RPG splats if you're a turbonerd like me and my group. Like you showed you can get entire campaigns out of just 'let's roll up a border region' and it really sells the epic-ness of Warhammer you normally can't see in the RPG perspective what with 90% of that being playing randos who can get merc'd by a Very Angry Rat

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Self-Wielding Silver Surfboard

Flying Silver Dream is a 4-dot moonsilver daiklave. When Leynon Hundred-Wings died, Ciel Seratta (of Courante and Galliard, before) was inconsolable. She would accept no replacement as guard or companion, and instead traveled alone no matter the danger, suffering terribly for it. Frey Irenio, the sorcerer-smith that made Irenioís Bell, refused to allow his friend be so imperiled, so he made her a sword that would wield itself, a companion who could not die and leave her. Seratta named it Flying Silver Dream, putting her trust in it and slowly losing her pain in place of joy as she crossed the Plain of Wings and Fangs and had a legendary duel with Etar of the Endless Ride. She eventually did rejoin society Ė just in time, in fact, to attend the Calibration Feast that marked the start of the Usurpation. Flying Silver Dream fought on for three days after she fell before it finally allowed the rebels to place it in her dead hand. Serattaís tomb was looted in the Shogunate period, and Flying Silver Dream passed between various hands for a thousand years. Daimyo Meraj of Senedin wielded it against the waspfolk hordes, while Wyra Moondrinker used it to defeat and claim a boon from the dragon Threefold Emerald, and Finder-of-Folly wielded it when he survived the gauntlet of Mad Queen Raksi of Mahalanka. The weapon was then seized in a Wyld Hunt and claimed by House Ledaal, being wielded by many of its members. Rumor has it, though, that the blade was recently stolen, and its whereabouts are currently unknown. It has one hearthstone slot.

Flying Silver Dream is extremely close to its wielder and has a sixth sense for danger, which gives a bonus when it is incorporated into stunts for Awareness rolls. The wielder always knows the swordís location if itís within a few miles of them and may spend a mote to know what direction itís in if itís anywhere in the same realm of existence, or a Willpower to get a vision of its surroundings. There is no Defense penalty to draw or ready Flying Silver Dream, as it actively leaps to hand, and it can be drawn reflexively even against a surprise attack. Arise, Moonlight Blade allows the blade to fight independently, flying through the air on its own, though its Decisive attacks use the lower of its or the wielderís Initiative for damage. It can fly freely, but its range from the wielder is limited and if forced out of range it will do nothing but try to get back. It can be reflexively called back to hand without ending the charm. It has no health; Decisive damage to it lowers its Initiative instead, and if Crashed, it flies back to the wielderís hand and the Charm ends but it is not damaged.

Winged Argent Guardian lets the blade use the Solar Charm War Lion Stance for free on its turn to protect you or someone you have a Major or Defining positive Tie to, and doesnít require you to know War Lion Stance yourself. Furious Dream-Sword Assault lets the blade use the Solar Charm Excellent Strike for free against any foe that has done Decisive damage to you this combat or against any foe you have a Major or Defining negative Tie to, and you donít need to know Excellent Strike yourself. Flickering Lunar Protector allows it to spend Willpower to use the Charm Solar Counterattack when someone it is using Defend Other on is attacked (again, you donít have to know it), to spend Willpower to use Unassailable Guardian Posture (same) and it is permanently under the effects of Calm and Ready Focus (same).

Moonbeam Razor Flash lets the sword spend Willpower to use Sandstorm-Wind Attack (same as the others) against anyone that has done at least 1 level of damage to you this combat or against anyone that you have a negative Major or Defining Tie to, and it regains the Willpower if it does damage this way. Sword-Soul Unbinding lets you activate Glorious Solar Saber for free if you know it when you activate Arise, Moonlight Blade, drawing your solar saber from its shadow. The ultimate power is Eternal Moonsilver Champion, which you canít learn if not resonant with moonsilver and which you get free when you become Incapacitated. Once per story, it causes Arise, Moonlight Blade to activate for free whenever you become Incapacitated if it isnít active, and for the rest of the scene, the blade canít be Crashed or sent below Initiative 1. It resets to 10 Willpower, gets a full Peripheral Essence pool equal to yours, and gets access to any of your Charms that could enhance an action it is capable of taking as a flying sword. If you die, it remains active for as long as the GM deems appropriate.

Gnomon is a 4-dot starmetal wrackstaff. Heaven speaks with both anger and reverence about the Solar Seven-Finger Wu, the only thief that ever got into Yu-Shan and stole the peaches of immortality. He cut off a single branch and fled with enough of the sacred fruits to survive for a long, long time indeed. He then carved the branch into a walking stick, disguising himself as a hermit and breaking into Heaven a second time. Using his great nerve and cunning, he disguised himself as an elder Sidereal and tricked a young Exalt into banding the wooden staff in starmetal, completing the artifact for him before he got away again. This was Gnomon, and with it, Seven-Finger Wu cheated time itself. He stole the ruby eye of Hesiesh from a Solarís wedding band as it was being put on her mateís finger. He broke into the private offices of Anys Syn to leave a poem praising her efforts in chasing him on her desk. When the Ichneumon Aeon came from the Wyld, he worked together with his pursuers to destroy this monster of time, sacrificing his own life to save Anys Syn from a century-blow that would have destroyed her. Out of respect, she had Gnomon buried in Wuís tomb, its location lost to all but her. However, legends of the peach tree of immortality taking root in Creation have caught the interest of both scholars and scavengers now seeking Gnomon. It has a single hearthstone slot.

Due to Wuís trickery, Gnomon has the illusion of celestial legitimacy. Any Sidereal or god working for the Bureau of Destiny believes that the wielder is a legitimate agent of Heaven, with the effect of treating them with a Minor Tie of trust. Step Between Seconds slows the flow of time, giving the wielder a single moment in which to act when none other can. To use it, you have to win Join Battle and activate this on your first turn, but you can then take a single action in frozen time, as long as it is not to activate a Simple Charm. Once time restarts, you then get your turn as normal, and your time-frozen action doesnít count as your action for the turn even if you attacked or moved during it. Outside of combat, you can activate this to take a single action in frozen time. If you attack during frozen time, time starts just a split second before your attack lands, making it a surprise attack but not an ambush. If you make an opposed roll, similarly, the opponent gets a -3 penalty but still gets to roll as time resumes just as you act. Also, some stuff, like social influence, isnít really usable in frozen time because no one can actually perceive you doing it. If resonant with starmetal, an Essence 4 repurchase lets you make a Decisive attack during frozen time without resetting to base Initiative.

Heaven-Defying Tricksterís Staff canít be learned if dissonant with starmetal, and it lets you use your time-frozen action to reflexively activate any Martial Arts Form Charm you know. Final Hour Hastening lets you slow down time for yourself so that you can unleash a blur of attacks against a foe, treated as a single unblockable attack against slower foes and giving a Parry penalty to foes of equal or greater Initiative, plus doing extra onslaught penalties. It is free if used as your time-frozen action via Step Between Seconds. Moment-Stealing Rapacity lets you slow time as you make a disarm gambit, making it count as a surprise attack and letting you reflexively move into range and back if theyíre at Short range from you without counting as movement. You can also use it outside of combat when making a Larceny check to steal or pickpocket to give the target a penalty to notice and get the same movement trick. Tilting Eternityís Axis lets you, once per day, stop time and reflexively clash any action with a custom gambit that gets a free full Excellency on its attack roll, allowing you to do stuff like put manacles on a brawler or throw dirt at a speaker or so on to interrupt their action; it wonít do damage but it will do whatever effects the GM allows otherwise, and it doesnít count as your action for the turn.

Sealed in the Frozen World lets you make a Decisive attack against someone slower than you, and the more damage you do, the more you delay their next action. If you drop them past tick 0, they lose their turn for the round entirely. You canít use this against the same target two turns in a row. Aeon Wheel Turning can only be used once per scene, either during Step Between Seconds or while at Initiative 15+, letting you make two rolls for Decisive attack or gambit and keep the better one, though you only have to pay Charm costs once for any Charm thatíd enhance your attack. Drowning in Moments canít be learned unless youíre resonant with starmetal, and it lets you use Step Between Seconds on the turn after you land any Decisive attack with Initiatve 15+.

The ultimate ability is Eternity-Reaping Renewal. It can only be learned if you are resonant with starmetal, and it causes the staffís head to bud and blossom, then grow a single peach of immortality. You can do whatever you want with it. Once it has grown a peach, Gnomon requires a full decade to grow a new one. You can make this go faster by accomplishing a legendary social goal via an epic heist, legendary crime or similar. Each time you do this, you reduce the time needed for the next peach to grow by one year. A peach of immortality takes 3 bites to eat. For mortals, Dragon-Blooded and similar, each bite undoes ten years of aging, and eating an entire peach restores you to your physical prime. For Lunars, Solars and Sidereals, a single bite undoes a century of aging, and a full peach undoes a thousand years, but no matter what, a peach will never send you back to before the physical prime of your life. Sidereals cannot use this to live beyond their allotted lifespan Ė it merely reverts them to physical youth.

Next time: Mistweaver, Nightmare Shard

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





sexpig by night posted:

Renegade Crowns is probably one of the best RPG splats if you're a turbonerd like me and my group. Like you showed you can get entire campaigns out of just 'let's roll up a border region' and it really sells the epic-ness of Warhammer you normally can't see in the RPG perspective what with 90% of that being playing randos who can get merc'd by a Very Angry Rat

The closest I've come to it is the 'role your house and holdings' for the Song of Ice and Fire RPG. And that's fun, but I'm way more invested in making a mark in the WFRP world.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

Aye, we've a prince. Why, we've 'ad a dozen just this year. They're popular in these parts.

So, obviously, this is one of the most important parts of the book: Making Princes! These are the people you will work with, overthrow, thwart, replace, or ally with while you live in your 20x20 grid of madness together and fight over parking lot sized plots of land. Because almost anyone could flee to the Border Princes, they can be almost anyone, but they fall into some broad and general outlines. On average, a Prince is someone in the middle of or just completing their Third Career, though they can vary. Several things are required for a Prince: A reason they're a Prince, what kind of Prince they are, what they want out of touching the stove that is Princedom, how they generally Prince, and a whole bunch of foibles and dark secrets. You should decide how many Princes are in your region. If you don't want to, you can roll for number of Princes the same way you rolled for Ruins, using the same table; rather than generating Ancient Menaces, you are generating current ones! It's efficient. I'd recommend keeping the number down to 3-4, though. 10 Princes running around doesn't give you much space to characterize them, unless you intend for a bunch of them to die very early to reduce the excess Prince population.

Each type of Prince also provides a generalized, concrete example of a Prince's stats for their 'type', but the book is clear that you should customize them. These are the big NPCs of your region; taking a little time to roll them out and build them is just good sense. I recommend having the Career Compendium for this; I probably have a skewed notion of how long building a 3rd tier NPC takes because I've been working with this system intimately for years and I can do it in about 10-15 minutes, but that would take much longer if I had to flip through multiple books for Careers. The first thing you do is roll for the general sort of Prince you're making.

The two most likely Princes are Mercenaries (35% chance) and Bandits (30% chance), which most people in the Old World would say makes sense given what anyone knows of the Border Princes. A skilled bandit leader isn't that different from a Prince leading an 'army' when it comes to the Border Princes, and over time a bandit might start thinking of the protection money and tribute as taxes and start ruling the land they've been terrorizing. The thing is, running a group of bandits preying on travelers isn't as applicable to running a settled stronghold and governing as you'd think, so they also have a very fast turnover due to rebellion, mismanagement, or being stomped on when they can't just run and hide in the trees. Bandits tend to run their realm in two ways: Either as a total kleptocracy where they don't so much have a 'realm' as 'mine', or by getting really, really into it and making up all kinds of fancy titles and trying to be cool lords. Neither generally goes better than the other. Still, sometimes someone will make it stick and hold on as a bandit overlord, if they can get past thinking of the area as their piggy bank and learn to build stuff rather than just take it. The ones who get really into it and make up dumb titles actually tend to do better; honoring themselves tends to involve thinking about their realm as a 'realm', so to speak, and that's the first step to making the jump to government rather than roving force of violence and theft.

Mercenaries have access to force, just like bandits, and organization. Force and organization mean a successful mercenary company can often overthrow their employer or grab a free settlement and declare its captain a Lord. Sometimes, a mercenary doesn't even overthrow their leader; they might have been marshal of a small fief before (as the best soldier in the area) and named an heir on purpose. Sometimes, they aren't even responsible for the death of the Prince they succeed! Stranger things have happened. These are the most common sort of Prince in the area, because an organized military force is the backbone of regional government. The problem is that mercs tend to be military strongmen first and foremost. They're used to only having to worry about military and financial concerns, and logistics in this era include a lot of 'foraging'. Trying to deal with being a settled government can be as difficult for them as it is for the bandit, and a merc who took over to get rich quick on tax money can run their realm into the ground very quickly. They also have a habit of neglecting the concerns of 'civilians' to focus on their troops. Grandiose military titles like High Marshal or Generalissimo are common, and they like to promote underlings to impressive sounding ranks despite commanding an 'army' of fifty guys and one very angry pig as a mascot.

Knights are actually the next most common sort of Prince (20%). Knights are a little less common primarily because the average knight has enough wealth and better things to do than come to the Borderlands. However, a knight has military force, great equipment (they're the only people in the region who commonly own plate armor), knows how to use it, and already comes from a tradition based around holding small regions of land by force. They actually tend to be pretty successful Princes. They also usually think they're better than anyone else, hold to all sorts of Noble nonsense from their homeland, and are often brutal. Still, following an ethos based around holding land against threats and using it to support a military is actually really successful in the Borderlands. Many of the local knights are deposed or outlawed lords from Bretonnia, so rejoice, for a Knight of Bretonnia provides thy shield! And thy oppressive boot, but hey, it's better than the orcs. They tend to be very concerned with establishing succession, wanting to pass their lands on to their sons.

Merchant Princes happen but are very rare (5%). This is because while money can get you a long way anywhere in the world, in the Borderlands if all you've got is money someone is probably going to kill you with a knife and take the money. That's just how it works. Most of them will find a way to leverage money to get military force, then to leverage more money to get opposing military force to keep the first military force in check. Most merchants who come to the Borderlands to set up a mercantile empire do so because they can't do the business they want to do in more developed areas, because they tend to be slavers, dealers in dark magic, or crime lords. They try to organize their realms like a business, often calling it a 'free city'. In the book's own words, when these types use the word 'free' it usually means 'expensive and oppressive'. Merchant Princes often struggle to hold their lands because they have to keep the plates of who has access to the force to overthrow/defend them spinning at all times, and if the money stops coming in that ends pretty quick.

Politicians are more likely to be followers or courtiers than Princes (4%), but sometimes a courtier steps into the shoes of a (recently poisoned) Prince to take over. Most of the time, shortly after that happens, a Knight, Mercenary, or Bandit kills the politician and takes over. But in some cases there's still enough of a military to prevent that happening and the politician is good enough with people to keep the plates spinning. If that happens, they actually make really good rulers; someone adaptable enough to handle the original crisis of legitimacy and acquire access to military force is usually adaptable and able enough to manage a principality, and they already have experience with governing. As you might notice, the lack of experience at actual governance is one of the things that sinks mercs and bandits most of the time. The greater threat for politicians is that they were usually very skilled at manipulating the system that got them into power in the first place, so they don't really like to change things. Over time, this can lead to decline and get them killed.

Priests (3%) aren't rare because they're bad lords. Priests are highly educated men and women with a wide range of skills, they know how to defend themselves, and the Priest entry assumes this is a Blessed Priest with actual magic. The issue with Priests is the same as with Knights, but moreso: The average Blessed Priest has a great job waiting at home in the Empire or some other nicer country. Why the hell would they bother leaving their cushy or important posting to come out and rule a shithole in the middle of nowhere? The ones dumb enough to come here tend to be the kind that can't take a Princedom, but every now and then you get a driven soul who believes they can save the Border Princes or a very unusual type who wants to preach their new sect somewhere away from the politics of their cult. Myrmidians are the most common sort, trying to recreate her campaign and unite the region. Sigmarites are normal enough. Ulricans are common in the area but often stay wandering badasses instead of Princes. "There are no Principalities headed by Priestesses of Shallya. Strange, that." Once they're in power, they tend to be very successful; divine magic, charisma, and combat skills will get you a long way.

Wizards (2%) are the rarest Princes, for the same reason as Priests. An Imperial Magister usually has better things to do, Grail Damsels are too busy serving the murderous aims of the Wood Elves of Athel Loren as they try to make Bretonnia their puppet slave state the good of the Bretonnian state and the Lady, and an Ice Witch would think it's too hot. It's almost always out of favor Imperial Magisters or Renegades. They also have a hard time taking over because people don't especially like or trust magic out this way. But once you're in power, you have magic! People are scared to death of magic! That lets magic help you rule over your lands. Also, Magisters tend to be well educated, which is a nice side bonus. Wizards tend to hold small Principalities, just enough to support their research and keep them safe, and they find it's fairly easy to hold onto them even if it was difficult to take them. If you have Realms of Sorcery and want to generate an evil realm, use one of those idiot dipshit Warlocks. Their mixture of overconfidence and ridiculous self importance and black magic is sure to cause problems! Hilarious, murderous problems!

You also roll for the race of your Prince. Dwarfs are the most common non-humans, at 8%. They obviously can't be Wizards, but a Dwarf Wizard or Priest Prince is a Runesmith. Halflings are extremely uncommon (1%) and people think they want to turn an entire realm into a pie shop (this only actually happened once!). Elves are also extremely rare at 1%. Most Princes are humans. 30% come from the Border Princes themselves, either coming up from the same region or fleeing from another one. 15% are Bretonnians, either fleeing being outed as a woman or peasant or just leaving Bretonnia's ridiculous and wonderful lie-based society behind. 25% are Imperials, boldly declaring they're founding New Altdorf in yet another tiny swamp hamlet. 15% are Tileans, usually mercenary commanders who decided they wanted to try being The Prince. And 15% are humans from anywhere and everywhere else you can think of. Anyone could end up here.

You can also pick one Prince from the region to be Really Weird. There's no table for this; the idea is these are sort of 'hey this would be cool' kinds of things that you only want one of per region. This is for stuff like a Vampire Prince, or a Mummy Prince, or Wight Prince, or a demon wearing a possessed human and pretending to be normal as the Prince. It can even be used for a Cathayan or Indian Prince, someone from so far away that people don't know hardly anything about their homeland.

You also generate a general goal, personality, and principles for your Prince, along with dark secrets and odd habits. Very few people out this way are totally normal. Only 30% of Princes truly have no principles. I love the touch where the 0 principles Prince goes on about how only the strong survive before noting they don't actually live any longer than people who have a couple actual beliefs. The writing for the prince personality sections is genuinely funny. I'll be trying to get some of it across when I go into our Princes next update, because they turned out pretty great. Which is another mark in favor of all this: Making your Princes is actually really fun! Then you generate their principality (usually a d100 squares) by rolling as if it was a terrain feature. Princes do not have huge realms. You can also generate Princes from out of your region that your region's Princes hate, but the 4 Princes of Pferdekrieg ended up wild enough and the region is isolated enough that I've decided not to bother. Then you generate why they all hate one another (or get along, but that's rarer). We'll get into that in detail when we get into our Princes. You can also generate courtiers and staff if you wish, though aside from a few treacherous chamberlains I'm not certain how necessary detailing all the palace (shed) staff really is. Now you have Princes for your Border! Go forth!

Next Time: The Princes of Pferdekrieg

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Gnomon is a very very fun artifact, and I hugely enjoy First Age Wuxia Arsene Lupin. That's all, I just wanted to express appreciation for a very interesting and weird master thief weapon.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





Now I want a Prince whoís a Morrite Priest right smack next to a tiny, dilapidated Tomb King Princedom.

Theyíre like if the Odd Couple had a dozen armed thugs. Aggressively passive aggressive hijinks ensue!

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Xiahou Dun posted:

Now I want a Prince whoís a Morrite Priest right smack next to a tiny, dilapidated Tomb King Princedom.

Theyíre like if the Odd Couple had a dozen armed thugs. Aggressively passive aggressive hijinks ensue!

And the one keeping peace between them is an Amethyst Wizard who just wants both to leave her alone.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

Frogs Legs. Love. Magic. Violence.

This is going to take awhile. Our first prince is a Bandit, and I flipped a coin for male or female for each of them and she got female. According to the dice she's 2/3 of the way or so through her 4th career, so she's kind of terrifying. She's also a 'Human: Other'. Her driving goal is to be an individual, free to do as she wishes in the world. She's very business-like and down to earth, and she hates Chaos (any Prince who rolls ANY Principles also has the Hates Chaos one. The one thing people in the Princes agree on is 'gently caress Chaos') as well as really enjoying monster hunting. Her dark secret is that she's committed crimes or been part of something that would be beyond the pale even in the Border Princes, and there's some unusual thing that sends her into bizarre rants and rages. She calls herself a Warlord.

Looking at all this and thinking for a minute, I decide she's going to be our Unusual Prince for the area. She's unusual in that she's a survivor from the army of Vardek Crom, the dumbass who tried to flank the Empire through Sylvania during the Storm of Chaos. Li Na tells people she's Cathayan. She's actually Hung, and a former Chaos Marauder who decided 'sod this' around the time she saw a vampire break two of her buddies in half and beat a guy with the halves during the 'easy' flanking maneuver. She uses my group's revised fluff for the Hung, where instead of filthy savage barbarian liars who lie and roll in poo poo they're a Cathayan-adjacent people who were converted by the sword by Chaos, hence the reputation as constant traitors. So her first career is Marauder; that's a kind of bandit. Next she goes Warleader. Then Champion. Then Captain. She's slowly followed a path where she first ruled and gained strength as a powerful mountain bandit and has slowly become more and more of a ruler as she's tried to make the jump. Her stats are terrifying, due to having finished Champion (and used the Kurgan/Hung character stats, which favor WS, S, and T but penalize Int and Fel), and she's an astonishingly dangerous fighter. Also recently learned to read. She rolled average on just about everything, except very well on Int and Fel, the two things her stat set are supposed to be bad at. So she's an unusually clever and charismatic raider who decided 'gently caress Chaos and its horseshit, I'm living for me' and adapted to a new land. She's nicer than a Chaos Warrior but she's still a ruthless mountain bandit who dreams of being a greater warlord still. The thing that pisses her off is horned helmets: Any reminders of Archy and his boy Crom. She rules the forested mountains and lairs in the fertile valley near the waterfall most likely. Her dark Secret is obviously thus 'Right you were part of a loving Chaos Army once'.

Our next Prince is a Mercenary, and originally rolled Elf but after the rest of the Princes I wanted a straightman so I rerolled him. He got Bretonnian Human, 3rd career, and thus was born Marcelle of Mousillon. He rules the lovely swampland on the southeast of the juncture of a the Hundhemd and Aplaka-schuhe rivers (and the nicer land just south of it). He was a Man at Arms, then a Yeoman, and now that he's trying to be a ruler his model for it is being a Faceless with his 'merry men'. He wants to rule a stable enough realm to have a family and pass it on to his children. He likes to treat everyone like they're friends, with little formality and a lot of charm. His dark secret is that he's actually a genuinely nice guy. Yes, that's an option for dark secret; other Princes will think you're weak! He grew up a Bret Peasant. He knows there's no blood from a stone. He knows sometimes the growing season really was that bad. He also knows when his wily peasants are bullshiting him. He IS a peasant. He knows their tricks. His weird habit is an uncontrollable appetite for actual genuine Bretonnian wine, which will win great favor with him if you bring him some. He calls himself a Captain.

Marcelle rolled absolute dogshit for his actual fighting skills, but a 20 for Fellowship, an 18 for Int, and Suave. He's not a great fighter and never has been, but he's always been able to talk his way out of most of the worst fighting. He has an easy charm to him and really does seem like a warm and friendly man. He also has the ridiculous accent of a Mousillese peasant, and part of his reason for coming this far is because people in the Princes can't identify his homeland or don't care. He was a minor soldier for a minor lord of darkness back home, until he survived long enough to be promoted to Yeoman by avoiding doing almost any actual fighting. With two whole gold coins stolen from his lord, he quickly deserted and intended to retire to a life at ease, only to find out two gold coins is not as much money as he thought. But it was enough to buy his first couple mercenaries and convince them 2 gold coins was a lot of money long enough to rob someone else, and the path of robbery and war (while keeping himself out of it as much as possible) eventually led him to a Principality in what most thought was lovely swampland. To Marcelle? It's beautiful. It's like home, but with a bit of southern Lyonesse to it, too. Now he rules the swamps and the fertile hills beyond with his merry men, who don't actually understand what that means (they think it means he likes jokes. He does!) and considers this living his best life. He wants to find a charming woman, marry, have kids, and pass on his majestic swamp castle (hill fort).

Our next Prince is a Priest, from the Empire. He is an imperious motherfucker, wanting total command of his new lands and getting 'We Permit You To Rise' for his style. He also calls himself an Emperor; you roll for title and he gave himself the most ridiculous one. I decide he'll be a Myrmidian, and his Principles are that he actually has a firm and normal set of Principles and generally tries to be a heroic and decent person, openly. This means he's going to have some troubles in this land. His Dark Secret is pretty tame: He has a very strange hobby. I decide he's a cat lover and has a bunch of cats that he gives silly names and dresses in clothes he makes himself. The cats hate this, but tolerate it because he also has Compulsion, which I rule is that he always has a cat around for proper petting like a Bond Villain. I name him Alaric Mueller.

Alaric rolled really well for WS and Agi, and kind of meh for everything else, and is in his 3rd Career. Going Initiate gets him a boatload of stat talents that fixes this, though, and he's a Warrior Priest of Myrmidia. He still turns out kind of a badass, if not really a match for Li Na. I decide he's a crusading priest from the Leorican Order of Nahmud's Peace, the people from the Shrine of the Dark Maiden over in Tome of Salvation. He's come to unite the Borderlands in the name of Myrmidia and believes he's a great and chosen hero, a paladin with divine magic who will save this benighted region. He's basically Myrmidian Haflok from Lure of the Liche Lord. Just with a side of loving cats. He fights evil wherever he sees it with righteous spear and shining magic, and is devoted to protecting his people and ruling his realm. His Divine Marks are also pushing him towards righteous fury and a stout heart. He really, really thinks he's the main character. He rules a bunch of the grassy plains in the southwest but grumbles over having no real notable terrain in his territory, eying the tor/Katzenhosen river combo his eastern neighbor owns. She's next

Finally, we get a Wizard Princess! I roll a d10 for fun to see what kind of magic she has (1-8 for Color Magic, 9 for Witch, 10 for Warlock) and get 8, Shadow Mage. She's also actually from the Border Princes. She's also only in her 2nd career, though she's finished it. Her motivation is the wonderfully named Give Me Liberty Or A Moment To Run Away: She wants to live! LIVVVVE! She just wants to get through all this alive and sod the Princedom if it gets in the way. Her only principle in life is gently caress Chaos, and that's probably as much out of pragmatism as it is anything else. Her Dark Secret is being a wanted criminal; she is a super illegal wizard trained by a rogue Imperial Magister who also exploded into a vat of Shadow during something she only refers to as 'The Incident' a few years ago. Magisters Vigilant or Imperial Hunters might come looking for her if she isn't careful, keen to investigate The Incident. She takes a superior tone and tries to appear mysterious, pretending most people can't understand her machinations. She's also a devote Veranan, which is a bit odd for a lying shadow wizard.

Countess Renata Fontaine wasn't supposed to be here. She didn't mean to overthrow the previous prince; his heart stopped when she conjured an illusion to try to distract him and his men and flee. Now he was dead and his men were bowing before the 'mighty wizard lord' and oh Veranan how is she supposed to get out of this one? She's a big, strong, awkward woman who is terrible with all kinds of weapons but very smart. She has people convinced she's a mighty Wizard Lord when she's only a Journeyman, something she tries to use her Shadow Magic and the lack of other wizards in the area to reinforce. Right now being a Prince seems to be a lot safer than not being a Prince, though; the southern region she took over near the Katzenhosen River is well defended and pretty nice. She rules a very small territory because she's just trying to support and protect herself, and she's terrified of overreach. She does her wizardly studies because it's expected of a wizard lord, but also because she's frantically trying to become as powerful or skilled as people think she is before someone realizes she's a weak Journeyman.

Next, I went to generate their relationships, and this is where things became great.

So, Li Na and Renata roll an Alliance as their relationship. If you have an Alliance, you roll for why and I get a 6. This is "The Princes are lovers." This does not care about gender. So the Hung Marauder Bandit Queen and the terrified Shadow Wizard are in a relationship and it's pushed their realms together. I alter a few of their Advances to reflect they spend a lot of time together; Renata taught Li Na to read, and Li Na taught her lover 'Cathayan' (Hung) as an extra Language. The Bandit Queen first met her because she thought maybe getting an allied Sorcerer would be useful (it works great for Chaos Lords) but they found they really enjoyed each other's company, then discovered that went a bit deeper than expected. Li Na is probably the only person in the region who knows Renata isn't actually that powerful, and Li Na is the only person she feels safe with.

Li Na, however, hates the other two princes in the area. Marcelle despises her because he has a prejudice towards A: A bandit and B: A weird foreigner, and thinks she's a lying weirdo. She takes enormous offense at being considered a liar, considering the reputation of Hung. Alaric has Bitterness towards her because of Spurned Advances and she hates him, so I decide that he originally approached her as a friend and told her a lot about Myrmidia. She was originally receptive, liking the idea of a warrior-queen goddess, and the two got to know one another. Until Alaric proposed to her out of the blue. She politely turned him down and explained she was attached, and he flew into a rage about it. Alaric also rolled Contempt towards Renata because of "Decadence", so it fits. So Li Na feels betrayed by a guy she thought was her friend after turning him down to say she was already with another Princess, and he thinks she's being seduced and controlled by an evil 'Slaaneshi' Shadow Mage and wants to defeat Renata and 'save her soul'.

Renata is upset and confused by why the crazy Myrmidian wants to destroy her, but he's also afraid to actually go hard at her because he knows the Bandit Queen will defend her. He's also Afraid of Marcelle, and according to the charts Marcelle wants Vengeance on him, both because of some atrocity. Alaric burned down a hamlet he thought was infested by Chaos. It belonged to Marcelle's realm. Marcelle isn't a very violent man but some day he'd like to run the Myrmidian blowhard out of the region, and Alaric is slowly realizing everyone hates him because he keeps falling down the stairs and pissing everyone off. Renata envies Marcelle's social grace and charm, and Marcelle wants to have nothing to do with the wizard and prefers to leave her alone. Nothing good comes of bothering Damsels. Ironically, his Bretonnian background means Marcelle isn't bothered by her relationship; Damsels can do whatever the gently caress they want.

So your PCs walk into this. A land where one guy just wants to be a happy Bretonnian swamp king, one guy is a shining crusader who has pissed off every single person in the realm with his antics, and a mighty bandit queen and a terrified young illusionist are trying to get along and make a relationship work while an evil demon is stirring in the mountains and plotting to get at ancient magitek. Oh, and there's a tomb full of undead frantically trying to warn everyone about this or scare them out of this territory before they unleash it.

Seriously, this stuff is wonderful to generate.

Next Time: The People of the Land

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Apr 17, 2019

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





This is awesome. I love it.

What are Hung in the fluff? Not-Mongols? Not-Hmong?

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



Extremely racist mongol expies whose defining trait are being horrible traitors nobody like. That's it. The Norse and Kurgen get far more development compared to them in the Tome of Corruption.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Xiahou Dun posted:

This is awesome. I love it.

What are Hung in the fluff? Not-Mongols? Not-Hmong?

Not-Mongols, kind of. There's a weird, weird thing in the Tome of Corruption where the Kurgan (one of the other Peoples of Chaos, they're Scythians/Turkic raiders and nomads) get this whole writeup about how they're an interesting and deep people and then you move on to the Hung and it's like 'they are filthy liars who love to squat in silks because they can't understand civilization but envy it and also they roll in poo poo' and you're like 'whoa that got weird fast when we got to Asia Warhams, what is going on'. Most notably it's like 'Oh yeah you can play Kurgan' and then 'Whoa now baby the Hung are too evil, not even Chaos campaigns should play them but if you can handle it use Kurgan stats' and that was loving weird to me.

Turns out it's partly because the Hung section was copy-pasted out of an older thing from the 80s but it was still loving weird so my GM rewrote them into something closer to Chaos Manchuria.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





O. :stare:

Iím suddenly pretty glad that Hams is generally vague about its equivalent of South East Asia. Wow.

(It is right? Are there more horrible racist terrors I donít know about?)

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



Everything outside of Not Europe is pretty vague/bad. Even Araby which is right there doesn't have much besides not arabia who occasionally deals with tomb kings/dark elf raiders.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I've never seen anything about Hams Vietnam or Thailand or anything so yeah, it's quiet about those. Hams gets really loving weird about Asia for some reason.

For purposes of my group we always just imagine Cathay, Ind, etc are all dealing with the same bullshit as the Empire and just doing it in their own way.

E: That said, like, an actually well done Hams Asia would be good as hell I just don't ever expect it to happen.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:28 on Apr 17, 2019

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Really doesn't help that the national god of Cathay is just Tzeentch in a scaly fursuit.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Hostile V posted:

Really doesn't help that the national god of Cathay is just Tzeentch in a scaly fursuit.

That part we definitely edited out. They're just a powerful state in the east the same way the Empire is in the west for us.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Also, random tables as a jumping off point for tabletop design is one of my favorite things/absolute vices and I'm glad Ham 2e has a nice and robust little drama maker for your own somewhat original adventures in a slice of your own canon.

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I like OSR and indie games with lots of random tables, keeping in mind that I think tables are good for inspirations, not hard-and-fast results. I would never use the spell mishaps from DCC, though I like its stoner metal vibe, and I like Troika and Ultraviolet Grasslands.

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