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ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



Yeah honestly despite the complaints this is some good poo poo and just needs some tuning and less math to keep track of to make a really fun area. Unless you have really bad luck like I did and even then I got a decent adventure hook out of it even if politics is everyone wanting to murder each other.

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thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth


wanna play in these lovely badlands

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




That is some great stuff and I hope it gets a resurgence with the 4th edition of the game.
Hopefully even updated down the line.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It would hardly need much changing for the 4th edition, just some changes to how you judge the power of a Prince since the career systems are different. Otherwise the settings would work fine in 4th.

Renegade Crowns has been a pleasant surprise for me. I expected to be really disappointed with it, but it's produced material that was fun to use and that I'm going to use in my games (The adventuring archeologist is definitely going to do a dig in Pferdekrieg). Honestly, even though it's not in the Princes, I'm going to do something similar to this for producing the region of the Aeslings up in Norsca that an Imperial Soldier, a Norse Witch, a Norse Highwaywoman, and a Shallyan Missionary adventure about in in 2632. I had been struggling with how to do that general 'players adventure around the frontier' kind of gaming and this gave me the idea I needed for it.

E: Like I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just make a region map and fill it with a bunch of competing Jarls and then let the players wander about and suplex Chaos Champions into bonfires and have adventures on it as the main plot slowly shows up.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 12:33 on Apr 20, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Question Marks

The Forgotten Blade, also called the Sword of Forgetfulness, is a 5-dot daiklave of unknown materials. Its history is lost entirely, and its name is a legend of failing memory. Few know that the Forgotten Blade is anything but a metaphor for the pains and joys of remembrance and forgetfulness. Almost everything about has been forgotten by time, and the very few books and legends that describe it and its actions agree on little beyond its mysterious nature, its power to destroy memories, and its tendency to vanish from the world when its owner dies. Scholars' records of its appearances are cryptic, contradictory things, and even its physical descriptions never much up. The most accessible First Age source, Facet Raven's Twelve Murders in Meru, claims it was a weapon of pure starmetal, a great extravagance, with a bonded edge of black soulsteel. However, the book is also a novel. The sword has two hearthstone slots.

The Forgotten Blade may cut away memories as a memor-excising gambit. This is a Psyche effect, and if it hits, the target loses all memory of a specific person, place or thing of the wielder's choice, which can be "a random subject picked by the GM" if you wanted for some reason. The target loses no stats or Intimacies - even if they don't remember why they feel that way, the meotion remains. Specialties relevant to a lost memory may be unusable until the memory is restored, however. Lost memories do not return naturally, and this amnesia is treated as a Major Derangement for purposes of healing magic. Memory-excising gambits cause no pain and shed no blood, but do leave a fine, pale scar that the victim cannot recall getting. Only the attuned user may remember what the Forgotten Blade looks like when it is not directly in sight, and while it is unattuned, everyone who sees it forgets its existence entirely when it leaves their sight, as per the Evocation To Fall Unmourned.

Faceless Warrior Method reduces the cost of the Solar Charms Easily-Overlooked Presence Method, Mental Invisibility Technique and Vanishing from Mind's EYe Method, and also makes it so the blade is never obtrusive for purposes of Easily-Overlooked Presence Method. It gates nothing off, fortunately. Elegant Fugue Strike can be activated to bless a Decisive attack, making it so that if it hits, the victim loses all memory of the user's technique, giving a Defense penalty against the wielder's Decisive attacks until the next time one hits without using this Charm, which can be stacked a few times. Memory-excising gambits and normal Decisive attacks are interchangeable for this Charm's purposes; if used for another gambit, the penalty applies only against that specific gambit. Death of the Past lets you automatically succeed on a memory-excising gambit whenever you use the wepaon to Crash a foe.

Winds of Lethe allows you to use a memory-excising gambit at a bonus whenever you use a Charm that would normally cause a Decisive attack. If you do so with Iron Raptor Technique, Sandstorm-Wind Attack or Blazing Solar Bolt, you also get a discount to those Charms, but you don't need to know them to learn this. (Or any Solar Charms.) Technique-Dissociating Stroke can be used whenever you successfully block an attack with Forgotten Blade. When activated, you pick an instant-duration Charm, Evocation or spell used in the attack; for the rest of the scene, the attacker forgets they had that power at all, and can no longer use it, though it remains valid as a prerequisite. You can stack this a few times in a scene, but each use must be against a different attacker. It also cannot be used against Excellencies, and it ends if you get Crashed.

Amnestic Desolation lets you make a special gambit that is quite difficult unless you've been stacking Elegant Fugue Strike - like, 'same difficulty as just instantly murdering most people.' If it hits, the target falls unconscious but takes no physical damage. Instead, they suffer total retrograde amnesia of all episodic memory of their entire life. They lose no stats or Intimacies, but may forget they have them unless reminded by circumstance, and all Specialties related to individual places, people, things or ideas are lost until the amnesia is cured. Broader Specialties remain. The victim awakens if they take any damage. Lost memories do not return naturally, and this amnesia is treated as a Defining Derangement for purposes of healing magic. To Fall Unmourned is gained free when you kill an enemy you have a negative Defining Tie towards, and also reduces the cost to use it against that specific foe. This can be used whenever you kill a foe. It causes all memory of that foe to be lost. Theiry body cannot be recognized even by those closest to them, and they fade from the thoughts and memories of all they have ever met, leaving only a nameless gap of memory. Only the wielder is immune to this, and any attempt by anyone else to remember the character in any way fails, period, unless they have an Intimaciy towards the victim or have great Resolve. Even then, they must spend 1 WP to remember for a scene, and can only ignore the power indefinitely if they spend more Willpower than your Manipulation.

Lacunar Mantle lets you use Mental Invisibility Technique at no cost the first time you draw the Forgotten Blade each scene. The ultimate power, Amnesia's Razor, is gated by it, so is effectively Solar-only. It may be used only once per story, and only when you are either at Initiative 15+ or have just used Amnestic Desolation. For the rest of the scene, you get a bonus to attack rolls and several bonuses when you hit people. First, any attack that hits also automatically causes a successful memory-excising gambit. Second, anyone you Incapacitate may have Amnestic Desolation used against them free and without a roll instead of them dying. Third, you can use To Fall Unmourned free whenever you kill someone. You may also strike an inanimate object, structure or location to render it totally unrecognizable and unmemorable as per To Fall Unmourned. However, this ends the Charm's effects. Further, it cannot be used on truly gigantic natural features, like mountains or seas, and against potent magical objects such as N/A-level Artifacts or Manses, though the GM is encouraged to let interesting ideas stretch that.

Gorgon is a five-dot white jade reaver daiklave. It contains an ancient monster, not a god or demon, that once wandered the deep Underworld. Its undying hate for all life was restrained only by its intense laziness, and it was bound by an ancient race of beings, sealed into a weapon where its evil might have some use. That was long, long ago, and its creators, victims and even its name have long since been lost, as has the name of the crafter who remade the weapon into a daiklave. While legendary in the Underworld, it appears in only a few stories in Creation proper, such as when Prince Oye returned from death to turn her seven daughters to stone, only for the youngest to sing the blade to sleep once more. Most recently, it has been wielded by Shards of Basalt, an Abyssal in service to the Walker in DArkness. Her will drives the weapon to action, and with it she has left a trail of petrified corpses. The white jade blade was mined in the shadowy lands of Nhur, and it is the color of wood ash. Blood cannot stain it, for it absorbs and devours all blood, growing paler and brighter with each drop until it turns a bright and unnatural white. While the sword sleeps, its hate is confined, and only violence and blood can stir it. As it wakes, its eye slowly opens, allowing its evil to flow outward. It has two hearthstone slots.

Abyssals are resonant with Gorgon even though it is made of jade. Anyone it kills immediately turns to stone, and the Essence of immortal beings such as spirits are trpaped in the stone until it is broken, as are the ghosts and hungry ghosts of mortal victims. The sword's devil only stirs with the taste of blode, and most of its abilities can only be used at certain Wakefulness levels. Successful Withering attacks while the eye is open get a bonus to damage based on its Wakefullness. When it deals Decisive damage or deals Magnitude damage to a battle group, it gains one step of Wakefulness as long as you roll at least as many tens as the next step's Wakefulness rating, which starts at 0 for closed, and goes up by 1 at each step, from Slitted to Half-Open to Wide Open. Those dissonant with the weapon cannot get it past Half-Open. While the eye is shut, you can spend 1 Willpower to raise it to Slitted, which you can do even if you are unaware of the danger it would be responding to. It can only gain 1 Wakefulness per turn, and it may or may not gain any at the GM's discretion against lifeless foes such as zombies or automata. All Wakefulness is lost at the end of each scene. Further, a sufficiently good Performance extended action can drop Gorgon's Wakefulness or even send it to sleep entirely. If sent wholly to sleep, it cannot be woken for the rest of the scene, but if the attempt fails, it is immediately awakened to its highest past state of Wakefulness in the scene and cannot be sent to sleep for the rest of the day.

Stone-Sinew Offensive causes a Withering attack it boosts to curse the victim with a penalty to all attack rolls, movement and Defense until the wielder's next turn, and it can be stacked to extend and worsen the penalty, though it will always reset back if you don't keep hitting the foe with it. If Resonant, victims cannot take movement actions while suffering the penalty if Crashed. Shackles of Lassitude curses a victim's disengage roll based on Wakefulness, reducing its successes. If this causes a botch for a non-trivial foe, it gains one step of Wakefulness. Granite Venom Strike lets you make a Decisive attack that, if it hits, poisons the victim with a curse that turns their blood to stone. The poison's duration can be increased with Stone-Sinew Offensive. The poison itself has no base penalty, but causes a penalty to all Dexterity-based checks as it does more damage and increases the victim's soak in equal amounts, as they slowly petrify. These penalties and bonuses only go away as the damage heals, and mortals cannot heal the damage naturally. Any Crippling injury to reduce damage from this attack will involve partial petrification.

Life-Devouring Hellion Blade boosts a Decisive attack's damage based on Wakefulness, and if resonant and your attack incapacitates a non-trivial foe, Gorgon gains 1 Wakefulness. Ever-Hungry Devil Sword lets you, when you kill someone with a Decisive attack, boost your Initiative based on Wakefulness after your reset to base. Baleful Gaze: The Dead Eye Opens cannot be learned if dissonant with Gorgon. It can only be used when Wakefulness is at least at Half-Open. The eye stares down a foe as a gambit to catch their gaze, usable out to Short (or Medium, if resonant) range. If it hits, the target becomes paralyzed and can take no physical or social actions, even reflexive ones, except to defend themselves. They get a Defense penalty, too. To maintain the paralysis, you need to keep making gambit checks each turn, but you do not need to land an attack to do so, and they cost less Initiative. The paralysis ends if the view of the eye is blocked for a full turn, if you take any combat action besides moving or maintaining control of the gaze, if either you or your victim are hit by an attack or otherwise harmed, or if you go past the Charm's maximum range from your victim.

Baleful Gaze: Unblinking Eye of Nightmare can only be learned if resonant. For the scene, when you are at Bonfire and Wakefulness is Fully Open, and you get a bonus to all threaten actions, enemy battle groups get a penalty to rally and rout checks. Also, you can use The Dead Eye Opens out to Long range and may flurry other combat actions with maintaining the paralysis, and Granite Venom Strike's damage increases against paralyzed foes. If you drop below Bonfire or Gorgon loses Wakefulness, the Charm's effects end until you get both conditions back in place. The ultimate power is Baleful Gaze: Apocalypse in Onyx. It also can only be learned if resonant. Once per story, while at 15+ Initiative and Unblinking Eye of Nightmare is active, you can unleash Gorgon's full hate. For the rest of the scene, it cannot lose Wakefulness. Regardless of your anima level, you can make ranged Melee attacks out to Extreme range, can use The Dead Eye Opens out to Extreme range and pay no costs to use Stone-Sinew Offensive and Granite Venom Strike for the rest of the scene. Whenever oyu make a ranged Melee attack, you petrify all trivial foes, all battle groups without Might whose individual members would be trivial foes, and all non-magical inanimate objects within Medium range of the target - rain becomes pebbles, snow becomes ash, clouds and fog become dust, rivers become sand, soil becomes stone. At the GM's whim, a dramatic and narratively meaningful botch while using this power may allow the monster in the sword to escape into the world.

Next time: Soulfarer, Stormcaller

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

Orcs, Vampires, and an Angry Ulrican

I also happened to find this book in my local library's DnD section yesterday. :v:

I'm terrible at making up names in fake-German, so sorry. I made up generic fantasy names for everything.


The Bleak Hills are aptly named. This region consists of a fertile river valley flowing to the coast on the west, and a whole lot of hills and mountains further east. The mountains at least are forested, and there's another freshwater river coming out of a lake up in the middle of the mountains.

Tradewind is the only town in the region, at the delta of the western river. It's a natural center of trade and the closest thing to a bastion of civilization in these parts. It has the region's only market, and is a natural hub of farming and commerce, but suffers for a lack of other nearby resources. It is, however, the domain of Princess Aurora a Bretonnian questing knight who got found out, exposed as a woman, and chose exile. She's brought a bunch of knights errant with her, and they rule out of Tradewind. Aurora is a basically honorable woman, but while she's incredibly good at killing things and has access to a number of armored knights who are also really good at killing things, none of them know much about how to actually rule a land. Aurora's chief advisor, who she relies on to do all the actual running of Tradewind and its surrounding communities, is secretly a cultist of Tzeentch and not the priest of Myrmidia he claims to be. Aurora being Bretonnian, she doesn't know Myrmidia from Grugni and lets him do whatever the hell he wants. The advisor knows about the same mysterious ruin on the outskirts of Aurora's land that Erik below is interested in, and has been trying to persuade her to send an expedition in.

Captain Harald Kronn is the ringleader of a large bandit gang that runs the hills to Tradewind's north and northeast, in the shadow of the mountains. These hills have a lot of natural resources, mainly mineral, but the farmland is awful. Kronn's gang has mostly made their living raiding Tradewind's farming communities, but the arrival of Aurora and her knights has made that problematic and Kronn is reconsidering his options. He's decided he wants an alliance with Aurora, she can provide the people to mine the hills and provide some protection. The problem is, Kronn is is incredibly greedy and self-centered. He's always gotten by far the biggest share of the loot in his gang, which he gets away with because he's really quite smart and clever, and he's gotten it into his head that taxing people might be more productive than just robbing them. But unless Aurora makes a deal with him, he's stuck rustling cattle and robbing passers-by.

Kronn's alternative is an abandoned dwarf-hold in the hills, which he's steered clear from since losing a lot of men to dwarf defenses in there. Kronn's sure there must be priceless treasure down there, but the one dwarf he got to read the inscriptions on the hold said the hold was abandoned due to pestilence, and Kronn's canny enough to realize that that might be a problem.

Count Erik lives up in the mountains proper, and his people guard their secret source of fresh water jealously. Erik, no last name thank you very much, is a man with a problem. Everyone knows he's a wizard, and take his paranoia about anyone discovering his secrets as a matter of course (plus they really want to hide the fact that they have one of two reliable sources of fresh water in the region). Thing is, Erik is not the Amethyst Wizard from the Empire that he claims to be. He is in fact a fully fledged Necromancer who once aspired to become a Von Carstein, but inadvertently severely pissed off his vampiric patron back home and had to run for it. He still wants to become a vampire so he can live forever, and conducts secret experiments on his people, claiming that the... results... of his experiments are beastmen raiders. People believe him, and Erik thinks he's getting close to a solution: there's an old Strigoi ruin down in unclaimed territory near Tradewind. If he could only get at the trove of arcane knowledge inside, he might very well achieve his goal.

Lady Elena Karl is the last Prince in the area, and she rules the hills and valleys in the south and southeast of the region. The land's terrible for farming, but the pasture and grazing is good, and there's a lot of villages sprinkled through the area. Elena is a priestess of Ulric, exiled from the church in the Empire due to some violent disagreements about certain obscure points of theology that make no sense to anyone but an Ulrican theologian. Her infamous temper probably has a lot to do with it, though: Elena isn't the badass that Aurora is, but she's certainly up there and has a habit of piking the heads of people who disagree with her. That being said, her people don't seem to mind. She gives them good government, she's organized a decent militia force, and so far she's kept them safe from the greenskins to the north - she was more or less made prince when she saved a village from an orc attack. She's principled for an Ulrican, and dreams of driving the greenskins out of the Bleak Hills for good... and then conquering or vassalizing everyone else.


Why doesn't anyone settle along the eastern river out of the mountains? Orcs, and lots of them. They have free reign of the north and east of the region, and it's mostly a matter of luck that they haven't overrun Erik's mountains or Elena's pastures. They don't have a strong leader, and inter-clan rivalries keep the orcs divided and occupied fighting each other. If they do unite, though, the whole region's in trouble.

There aren't many ruins in this part of the not-Balkans, but those that are, are concerning. This land was once ruled by the Strigoi vampires and the dwarfs, and for a time they managed to coexist relatively peacefully. Until one Strigoi got it in his head to turn dwarfs into vampires, and started with the main dwarf hold in the region. It was even looking to work, until a high priestess of Valaya cried out to the goddess, and the goddess responded with a terrible plague on the infected and the Strigoi responsible. A whole lot of killing later, and the dwarfs and Strigoi mostly wiped each other out. The surviving dwarfs abandoned their hold, inscribing warnings of plague-bearers (vampires) on the hold's entrance, and trapping the hold extensively against any surviving vampires. One Strigoi survived the fracas, too, and still waits in her former capital for her subjects to come back.

Should Erik find the ruins and reach the old Strigoi, he quite likely will become a vampire himself. Meanwhile, Kronn has the issue that the pestilence in the abandoned hold works quite well against all non-dwarfs. If he presses too hard into the tomb, the whole region could be in danger. And of course the Chaos cultists in Tradewind would dearly like to uncork all of this.

The region's surprisingly light on monsters beyond the orcs and vampiric creatures lurking around the old Strigoi ruins, though. Most prominently, some pegasi live up in the mountains in Erik's land. He pays them no mind, but if Aurora learns about them, she'll probably want one.


Diplomatically speaking...

Aurora and Elena are loosely allied, mainly on the principle of gently caress greenskins. If the orcs do attack, they'll probably join together to try to stop them, and Elena's been trying to convert Aurora to Ulric's faith. Given Aurora's bitterness about Bretonnia, it's working. Aurora's advisor really hates this, naturally, and is trying to have Elena assassinated.

Aurora and Kronn are more or less at peace, on the basis that Kronn does not want to gently caress with a Bretonnian questing knight and her buddies, but Aurora refuses to have any formal negotiations with a mere bandit.

Aurora and Erik also are informally at peace, for the moment. Erik actually knows that Aurora has a Chaos problem under her nose and has been trying to warn her about it, but Aurora doesn't trust him because death mage and male mage.

Kronn and Erik hate each other, and the absence of open war between them is mostly because of the intervening terrain. Erik is genuinely attracted to Kronn, but Kronn was horrified at a death mage guy who's way too into studying the undead and firmly told him no thank you. These spurned advanced, coupled with Kronn's habit of raiding into Erik's territory, has lead both to treat the other as kill on sight even if they're not actively trying to destroy each other.

Kronn and Elena have recently become very standoff-ish with each other. Kronn used to graze his horses in the lands that are now Elena, but Elena has told him on no uncertain terms to stop unless he can guarantee his men's behavior. Converting to Ulric would be helpful, too. Kronn has taken these demands as a personal insult, and their border is very tense.

Erik and Elena despise each other. Erik sees Elena as a bloodthirsty barbarian, and Elena distrusts arcane magic of any kind intensely.

If Erik succeeds in his plan to become a vampire, there's a pretty good chance all three neighboring princes would unite to destroy him.

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 14:58 on Apr 21, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns

This time will be different!

So, you want to seize power. First, start by asking yourself why you want to do this. Is the Prince a dick? (Probably) Do you think you're significantly better? (Unlikely) Do you just really, really want a good excuse to wear a crown and refer to yourself as 'we'? (Valid)

Now, start by asking yourself how you want to do this. You have three general options outlined here, though these are far from the only ways you could become a Border Prince. These are treason (extremely popular, perhaps even the regional favorite), assassination (significantly less polite treason), and actually being a big hero such that a settlement asks you to become their Prince when they didn't have one (alternately, forcing the settlement into terrified acquiescence, but shush). You may notice the latter is significantly tonally different! The issue is that the former methods could get you a Principality that has a town and castles and poo poo, while the latter gets you a single unaligned village to start with. That isn't to say there aren't benefits to the latter; it's the easiest and safest method of becoming Prince. It just leaves you in the weakest starting position, surrounded by outside assholes who want to murder you. As opposed to the other methods, which leave you surrounded by internal assholes who want to murder you and a realm that's wondering who the hell you are and why you're giving it orders.

You're in for a rocky road whichever one you take. But you wanted to be a Prince.

Treason is actually significantly more involved than you'd think. It isn't simply betraying someone. To betray someone, they need to trust you to begin with. This is less impossible than you'd think, despite the region: A Prince has to trust someone or they're not a government at all. They can't run the 'country' by themselves. They need ministers, trusted warriors, marshals, bailiffs, and all sorts of other officials. At this point, your PCs are probably Tier 3 or so (or far into Tier 2) and are the kind of people who can solve serious problems. Convincing the Prince that they need you isn't easy, but it's step 1. Convincing them you're loyal takes time and patience, and several adventures fighting on their behalf. You also have to deal with other courtiers who may not know you're trying to become the Prince, but DO know you're trying to become High Justicar of New Altdorf and are super pissed off about that. These people will try to see you discredited or killed in the process, and may even falsely accuse you of treason (you haven't actually committed any yet! How dare they jump the gun!?). Navigating all this is an adventure in and of itself, as is laying some groundwork and making friends with other courtiers. It actually takes a lot of effort, time, and advancement to set up a smooth betrayal.

Perceptive players might also note that by the time you are in position to betray the Prince if you're doing it properly, you're actually in a high position in government that may have significant perks even as you aren't the number 1 target for every ambitious climber. Stopping here might not be the worst idea, depending.

I appreciate the book reminding the GM that if you're at the point where you're in position to move on the Prince, by all likelihood they don't actually know the PCs are planning to betray them. Having a prescient Prince suddenly turn around from awarding honors and rewards to the players to just 'knowing' they're plotting their downfall would be a bit of a dick move. Some of the scenarios for moving on the Prince are neat: If the players dump the Prince into a fight they can't win, the game suggests switching things around and having the GM play the Prince and their bodyguard while the players take control of a monster encounter and try to kill them, thus letting the players be directly involved even if the PCs only got the ball rolling. In general all the adventures do a great job of keeping the focus very firmly on the players and their decisions. Still, the primary aim in this phase is to get rid of the Prince. You can't become Prince if there's still another Prince, that'd be silly. You can also frame the Prince, or maybe even actually discover the Prince is a Chaos cultist or something. But whether they are or not, successfully finding and manufacturing evidence to accuse them of being such is just as good as assassins.

At the end, your position (and even if you become Prince) depends as much on the groundwork as on the big dramatic 'deal with the Prince' stuff. If you have allies, no direct enemies, and the Prince went down fairly smoothly, you waltz in, you're crowned to great ceremony, and your trouble gauges both start at 0. Your enemies abroad are impressed with your political acumen and you intentionally set things up to have relatively few opposition figures at home. Good job. Long live the Prince!

However, if you still had enemies, they rush for the throne and you now have an adventure revolving around civil war or even just a big brawl in the throne room. People who don't think they can get the throne NOW flee to try to grab it later. If you let them get away, or only drive off all your foes in this phase, your trouble gauges start at 10 External (they might flee to enemy courts) and 20 Internal (there are major figures to organize opposition around). This is Bad. Don't let them get away with opposing you! If you stop them and let them live, trouble starts at 10 and 10, because you're seen to be somewhat weak for the region. Who overthrows a Prince and then doesn't crush their enemies at court? Major regional faux pas. Killing them brutally or publicly starts you at 5 External, 10 Internal. You may note that making an example of the people who opposed you only helps with the foreign audience; people at home will grumble just as much. This is because a lot of the brutal options in these adventures only actually impress your enemies, who are obsessed with the destructive and nutty idea of 'strength' popular in the region.

Killing the Prince without doing any groundwork leads to the court trying to pick a successor without realizing you were even in the running. This leads to needing to fight the entire court. Not doing your homework is very bad for seizing a principality! If you fail but control the castle, you immediately face a 25 point Internal Trouble as the escaping courtiers rise in rebellion while having a 20 External score because your enemies rightfully recognize you as kind of slipshod murderhobos who bumbled into the throne. If you kill the entire old court, that's actually pretty impressive but also tremendously weakens your realm, so you start with 15 on both trouble gauges. Do your groundwork! Do not attempt to seize power without setting it up!

If your GM is a dick large fan of Richard the III, the Prince can have a child heir when you overthrow them. Until the heir is dealt with, rebels use the heir as a rallying point and make the important threshold of Internal Trouble 15 instead of 25. If you become excited for party times and throw the heir a dagger party, however, you are a total bastard and have also committed one of the few crimes even the Border Princes don't shrug off; if you're caught or connected to the murder of a child heir, your Internal Trouble goes up by 30. Immediately. This also happens if someone proves it (or even just credibly suggests it) later on. Probably at the worst possible time. There is no winning in the child heir situation. It is presented solely as a sort of 'hard mode'.

You might thing assassinating the Prince is very similar to Treason. It is, in many ways. You still need to do your homework and set up the murdering properly, as well as prepare yourself to seize power in the aftermath. But the difference is primarily in not becoming a courtier. You instead become guards and servants at the castle, plotting to poison the Prince and annoying members of the Court (or stab them after smuggling in armor as a laundry worker and swords as a cook) and befriending the rest of the castle staff. The idea here is to have the 'little people' ready to take over at your command, rather than taking over via the court. You can alternately prepare to coerce some useful members of the previous court, but functionally the eventual adventure is pretty similar to Treason but riskier, with less required groundwork.

If you kill the Prince and have some dirt on the right people, you come out of an assassination at 10 and 10. If you get into a fight with the old court and win (without killing everyone), you come out at 15 External (realm weakened) but 5 Internal (No-one left to oppose you, and the locals don't care, those were just courtiers). In general, it is actually better to have External than Internal problems, so this might even be to your benefit. If you actually kill the entire Old Court in open combat, though, you scare the hell out of everyone and start at 0 and 0. People who can just...get into a castle and win a pitched battle with the guard and the hardened warriors who make up a Border Prince court scare the hell out of everyone. How the hell did you do that? That's nuts. If you kill every noble via careful poisoning and assassination and name the servants your new court, you start at 0 Internal Trouble (people like this!) but 25 External (The other Princes can't just let the HELP take over a castle!) and immediate foreign crisis.

Finally, you could actually just become Prince of an unclaimed area. This can even happen by accident, with a village proclaiming the PCs their lords after they rescue it from some terrible danger, at which point it's up to the PCs if they want to make the mistake decision to accept the crown they are so graciously offered. Alternately, they ride into an unclaimed area and start actively working to convince people they'd be a good choice, helping with matters of justice, throwing money around the community, and fighting monsters until people realize it might be good to have these lunatics move in. PCs who are trying to muscle into an area and 'convince the locals of the benefits of a Prince' by force may have to maneuver local leaders out of the way and will have a tougher time. In general, this method is going to involve the least villainy, as it does not inherently require any treason or murder. As above, PCs might simply be offered the crown at a time when the PCs want to try running a Principality but didn't want to put in the time to overthrow any other regional Prince yet.

The nice part is if you take over smoothly by popular acclaim, the people start at 0 Internal Trouble. The bad part is the other Princes think you're weak and need to be stamped out before you unite more independent villages or threaten any regional towns. Thus, you start at 20 External. How well you did at convincing people to let you rule switches up how bad the Internal Trouble is to start; killing the local mayor and priest because they said you were bad starts you at 15. Negotiating down opposition starts you at 10, because you did talk them into it, but you had to talk them into it; they're still grumbling. If you got rid of the local leaders quietly but don't have many friends, you start at 5. People can still point to things getting a bit weird when you came around. You are, naturally, better off starting this kind of adventure with the consent of the governed.

You may notice taking power requires a lot of work and adventures! It's meant to be a serious objective that takes real effort. Principalities might have high turnover, but they don't have that high of turnover and often the last Prince was someone who was capable of pulling off all this bullshit against the last last Prince. They are not necessarily fools. They are also not omniscient, though, and they need servants, courtiers, and aides. From hence, you can slip in and put a knife in their ribs. And of course, no-one's going to manage to get the drop on you the same way. This time, it will be different!

Next Time: IT'S NOT DIFFERENT AT ALL, IS IT, HANS!?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



A fourth option seems to be missing, which is to rustle up a sufficient number of malcontents and misfits to create a new settlement.
Of course this puts you in an even weaker starting position than #3.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



It'd might as well be 3 but even worse yeah. Building a town would require a good amount of time and I'm sure the princes would be VERY interested in what's so valuable to actually build a brand new settlement and why aren't you swearing loyalty first?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



What software were y'all using to make those maps?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Another thing is a lot of these examples of where the gauges go are provided in such detail to give guidance on how to manage them when you do adventure types not listed here, because you're obviously going to. They're meant to be a general 'total success looks like X, partial like Y' sort of thing to guide a GM designing their own messes.

So similarly, starting your own village probably looks a lot like #3 effectively. It would be really interesting if you settled and rebuilt a ruin to do it, I think.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Evil Mastermind posted:

What software were y'all using to make those maps?
Googling "20x20 graph paper" and MSPaint.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




The Lone Badger posted:

A fourth option seems to be missing, which is to rustle up a sufficient number of malcontents and misfits to create a new settlement.

A spite house isn't enough, I want a motherfucking spite-town!

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 24: Everybody wants to rule the world.



I think I’ve found the worst picture so far.

This is it people. We’ve finally reached the lore chapters and we can finally get an idea of how the world in Neotech works.

Neotech posted:

The world is not a nice place, but sadly it’s the only play you can live on…

I thought this setting had space colonies and space expeditions that has gone far as Pluto. That’s a thing in the Space Worker event table in this case. Didn’t notice that until much later.

Either way, the world in 2059 isn’t very nice. Nations have lost control to megacorporations who have exploited natural resources and severely decreased the living conditions for millions upon millions of people. The resources that the companies have exploited has the rich used to create excellent conditions for themselves and a chosen few.
The abandoned rural areas is now a lawless wilderness. People living there support themselves via looting, raids, murder, extortion and all other kinds of crimes. Here bandits and nomads roam. Living off nature and what robbing unfortunate victims can offer.
As cool as this sounds the book goes on to say that this doesn’t happen everywhere but mainly in North and South America as well as Africa. Kind of a buzzkill to be honest. I was fully prepared for European wilderness adventures to a thing.

The wave of urbanization that gained resurgence in the beginning of the 21st century has led to many sparsely populated places have been even more depopulated. Many smaller towns have been completely abandoned. The decreasing importance of the rural areas as well as their growing issues have further accelerated the urbanisation spiral.
Not every place is suffering, there’s still rural places that are still prosperous. Located mainly in Europe and New America these have with the help of modern communication technologies and cheap transport manage to make it fairly advantageous to live and work there. But this mean there mainly two kinds of people out there, either they’re fairly rich and prosperous. Or they are poor and fight for their survival. Anything in between is fairly rare to see.
By the 2030’s the agricultural industry became heavily mechanized and by this point all arable land have been used. With most of the people gone no one really cares about the machines on the fields. More effective fertilization and agricultural methods have also meant that more land can be used. But critics have raised their voices and calling the growing fields ‘The Growing Death’. Sure, more and more of earth's inhabitants are fed, but at what cost?

Interesting to see that Neotech doesn’t have a technological solution to the food issue like Shadowrun has with soy, krill and mycoproteins.

A major problem that people living in rural areas has to deal with is the crime that spreads out from the major cities with poor and homeless people sometimes moving in search of food and to loot. These events usually result in outright battles. The people in power have been unable to do something about it and are forced to see how the enmity between the people living in the cities and those outside having grown to absurd proportions.

Another big issue for rural inhabitants is the lack of fresh water. In many cases the needs of the city are prioritized and a lot of the farms devour huge amounts of water. This has led to many rivers no longer reaching the sea. As a result of that many places that once were irrigated have now been abandoned and turned into deserts. The desertification is still a growing problem in Africa, with the Sahara continuing to grow larger and larger. The end of all fertile land in Africa was at one point predicted to happen 2100 but things have changed somewhat. At some point Oasis managed to transform the desert country of Tchad. Into what isn’t mentioned but it’s generally to be assumed that the lands are arable or something. What this actually means for deserts isn’t known yet but in countries threatened there is a renewed sense of hope.
I wonder if this is going to come all crashing down later on or not. We’ll have to see.

There are places even worse off, dotted all over the world are disaster areas. Mainly created from accident involving nuclear reactors or attacks using nuclear weapons. The most prominent ones are the ones in Tanzania and Moçambique, both of which were caused by the mad dictator of Madagascar, Disanagi. In these radiated areas previously unessential forms of flora and fauna have become dominant. No mutants or anything exists but the usual forms of life have been driven off and replaced with others. Rats, cockroaches and scorpions has had a chance to grow and thrive exceedingly well in places like this.

I can’t help but to call bullshit on that since normal types of wildlife are thriving rather well in the areas surrounding Chernobyl last time I saw. Or is this just an excuse to have Rodents of unusual size alongside oversized scorpions?

The environmental destruction at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century has made it so many forests have disappeared. Things have stabilized by now but in an average forest one out of five trees are dead. Dead leaves and bushes cover the ground and the vast untouched swathes of forest you could find on the northern hemisphere are, at the turn of the century, a mere memory. The rain forest has faired a lot better. Several clashes have happened in the Amazon among other places between government forces and international units that have sought to defend the forests from greedy companies.


boomdeyada, boomdeyada

We get the world map mentioned all the way back in the character creation section with a couple of sidebars detailing the state of it. First up is that Europe is once again the centre of the world. With the United States breaking up in the beginning of the 21st century Europe on the other hand united to a federated state, one of the world's richest and most powerful countries. Suddenly French made a comeback as the global language and Paris and Berlin got equal position in people's consciousness as New York and London had during the later half of the 20th century. Rock musicians now need to make a name of themselves in Berlin if they want to succeed globally. Meanwhile, Paris is the place where the intellectuals of the world go to see their works published and analyzed. But not all is well, outside the fashionable city centres rise grey and dreary suburbs of concrete. Where poverty, boredom, unemployment, drugs and crime dominates the daily life. The fight for survival is as brutal here as anywhere elsewhere.
I’d say they’re laying it on a bit thick here but that might just be me.

The Union is what is left of the United States. That its official name but to many it’s still USA, mostly out of patriotic or nostalgic purposes. It consists of five different American states: New England, New America, New Mexico, The Federation and Arizona. The latter does not have full membership status.

Then we also get population numbers. Lots and lots of population numbers. I’m just going to mention the more specific countries that exist in N2.
  • The California Free State consists of California and Nevada.
  • The European federation consists of most of the countries in Europe with the exception of Switzerland, Belarus, Russia and Scandinavia.
  • The Federation consists of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Puerto Rico.
Uuugh, of course the south has to rise again.
  • The United Arab Republic consists of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordania, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Arab Emirates and Oman.
I’d love to hear an explanation at how all these managed to unite together. Remains to be seen if that happens though.
  • New England consists of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.
  • New America consists of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
  • The United States of Scandinavia consists of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
  • The South African union consists of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.
  • West America consists of Washington Oregon, Montana Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.
They get the least of other towns mentioned so I guess they ran out of ideas here.
  • West Canada consists of British Columbia and Alberta.
Hong Kong is a separate state in Neotech. Also going by the map it seems like India has been balkanized with Maharashtra being one of the regions but it doesn’t actually go into it more than that mention. Africa has the Nigerian Union and Quebec has claimed independence from Canada as well. Siberia has split away as well and formed the Siberian Socialist Soviet Republic and has occupied Kazakhstan. Also yes, Texas did in fact secede and is its own state. Because that always has to happen in these cases. Also Utah is its own state interestingly enough. Mormon state maybe? Obviously not something mentioned either. Same goes with Arizona but why isn’t elaborated either. Looking at the remaining chapter headers I doubt it will be mentioned any point later on.
I’m slowly starting to sensing a theme here.

But now, we’re escaping to the one place that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism…
SPACE!

Well okay, that’s a gigantic lie. Capitalism has its claws deep in space. While space exploration is still its infancy it has completely halted after both the moon and mars have been colonized. While the colonies are still being expanded and the volume of shipping is increase it’s still a far cry from the rapid development during the 20’s and 30’s. Mankind took a few stumbling steps before they decided to settle down on the two nearests bodies. Conditions are pretty harsh and if you live in orbit you tend to get exposed to pretty hefty doses of radiation. Outside of the countless various satellites there are several large space stations in orbit around Earth. The oldest of these is simply known as Space Station and despite being over 50 years old by this point and has been expanded upon constantly it’s still being used as a transit station for shuttles coming to and from Earth. Despite all the constant repairs it’s still a very lucrative place. Then there’s the Shipstone Orbital Facilities, most of those are owned by the Exospace company. The most important of these are SOF 3, a highly guarded station where interstellar probes are being built. And Exospace is keen on interstellar exploration with SOF as the jump off point.
Located in geostationary orbit above Keyna is InterOrbit, inaugurated in 2009 its old and run down but still has a lot to offer. The station is owned by InterWorld and remains profitable due to its strategic location. It is currently undergoing repairs from a collision the previous year, but with what is not mentioned. At lagrange point 1 there is the Crystal Palace that was opened in 2028 and is a very popular tourist location for rich people and a free port for companies. It’s a 500 meter long rotating cylinder where its rotation produces artificial gravity. Almost identical to the crystal palace, and located at Lagrange point 5, is Station L5. Or as it was called in advertisements: Ellfive. It’s slightly longer and more modern, inside you can find comfortable apartments and a well established industrial production. By L2 there is the Orson Research base, located in a stable area beyond the Moon it was launched commercially with a rovercade cover of the old ditty ‘On the fire side of the moon’.
Also by L2 Exospace has the Shipstone Exploration Base, where the main goal is further exploration of interstellar space.

The moon was the first celestial body that mankind started colonizing. Across its surface various research stations, mining colonies and military installations are scattered. Armstrong Down, or A-Down, was finished in 2032 and it persists mainly on mining and industrial production. Life’s hard and there’s plenty of trouble and mysterious deaths. A bit way from the colony itself convicts from Mars are busy building a prison, it has been boasted as the only completely escape proof prison.
Why did they have to ship them all the way over from Mars to the moon? Hadn’t it been more effective to just build a prison there instead?
Luna City is a vacation resort for the rich. But its reputation took a beating after the so called AI-catastrophe that happened in 2048 that killed 500 people. But through massive advertising campaigns and a new tropical dome has managed to turn this crisis around.
I’d almost want to know what happened in that case but nothing else is really mentioned.
Tycho II is the oldest remaining base on the moon. Completed in 2018 its main industries are mining, tourism and space trade and it has several prosperous industrial domes. Orbiting around the moon is Luna Space Port that is used as an transfer station for cargo. But its maintained rather poorly and looks somewhat neglected.

The first people landed on Mars in a joint NASA and ESA expedition in 2009. One of the first colonies there was Marstown that started in 2036 and was finished in 2048. It’s run by the European Space Agency but has of recently been into conflict with another colony, Red Sands, about who has control over the planet. Martial law is still in effect and its citizens are being tightly controlled. This has led to resentment growing amongst the colonists and the liberation movement MarsLib has nowadays no problems with recruiting members. The area outside the colony is also radioactive after one of its nuclear reactors were blown up by an unauthorised group from Red Sands.
Red Sands on the other hand is a luxury vacation resort for the really rich, its safaris across the Mars grand landscape are incredibly popular. Since it opened in 2048 it has also expanded into mining, research as well as various undertakings. Its owners has increased the military presence in and around the colony to protect their interests from the European soldiers stationed in Marstown.
So suddenly it’s Red Faction? And the first game wasn’t even out for another two years.
Eldorado is one of the newer colonies on the planet and run as a joint European and Japanese venture. But recently there’s been issues with finishing the construction and by this point the work has more or less stopped completely. No one knows why this is the case, some say it’s a dispute about money while others say its MarsLib sabotage. The current prediction is that it will be completed within the next five years. Phobos station is an ESA run station that is built inside the moon. It has been hollowed out over the years in the search of frozen water, this has then been sent back to stations in orbit around Earth to be turned into liquid oxygen and hydrogen. But as the supplies diminished most of that were taken from Mars instead. The station is also known for its cagejutsu tournaments. Whatever that might be.

War…has changed.
Traditionally it was the government's who waged war against each other but as they lost more and more power it is the multinational corporations that has taken over. That has led to other kinds of war with different kinds of motives. The means of fighting modern warfare has changed but not to the point that they’ve revolutionized. The biggest change is that you nowadays rely on precision and quality instead of quantity. A nuclear war is still one of the greatest threat to mankind. But that very same threat has also led to no global war breaking out. For while wars are fought at a smaller scale, their numbers and intensity have increased. Nuclear weapons, both tactical and strategic, have been used several times mainly in the third world. The global superpowers have all developed space based defences against this kind of small scale nuclear attacks and have therefore been spared. Nuclear proliferation is high, many third world countries now have nuclear weapons in their arsenals. This in turn has led to that smaller wars have sometimes escalated to a nuclear conflict. The catastrophic results of these wars are scattered across the globe. Larger ones are located in Tanzania, Jordania, Pakistan, southern Brazil and the Ural mountains. But smaller ones can be found in parts of Florida, Mozambique, Northern Mexico, Bonn and Tel Aviv. While the larger superpowers might be safe from nuclear attacks the threat of nuclear armed terrorists still remain.

This sidebar really likes repeating itself because it has the same mention about space defences within a paragraph of each other. Not to mention it has a separate section for nuclear weapons despite discussing it in the modern warfare part. Really sloppy editing there. Also it just suddenly drops the fact that nuclear weapons have apparently been used in the US but doesn’t really mention why.

The one thing that is effectively putting a stop to a global thermonuclear war is the threat of one and its consequences. The Mutually Assured Destruction principle that was kept the Cold War in check is very much alive in 2059 as well. The balance was rocked in the early 2000’s when the space based defences came online but the relations between the US and Europa was at that point good. China however remained a threat for the next two decades. But during this time development moved towards advanced nuclear equipped aircraft as well as space based nuclear weapons to circumvent the defences. But the balance was kept because the biggest countries that invested in this also maintained aggressive foreign politics against the smaller nuclear armed countries. The balance is nowadays considered restored but has taken on a wholly different shape. Space is now the new battlefield where missile defences, satellites and deltaplanes are used. All of these have the goal of protecting the more developed countries against nuclear attacks. The arms race has also moved skywards where new and improved satellites and deltaplanes are being developed in order to defeat the opponents defense systems. Both countries and megacorporations have under the last decade stationed regular military forces on both Mars and the Moon. Mars is wracked with internal strife with rebellion and uprising while on the moon the main source of conflict is between the corporations and nations vying for power. Conventional warfare has been greatly assisted by the advancement of technology. Electronics, combat vehicles and aircraft have all been a lot more powerful but also firearms and bigger guns have gotten more powerful and precise. By now almost all military equipment contains some kind of advanced electronics. But what hasn’t changed is the tactics and strategy, but it has on the other hand been boosted by advanced surveillance equipment. This has led to warfare being far quicker and more intensive and commanders have become more and more dependant on computers for coordination.
Low intensity warfare has gotten a resurgence in the last 50 years as it’s a very cost effective way to combat both nations and corporate interests. With the help of military, economic and social means you aim to break your opponent. Assisting already existing dissidents and combining that with other surprising measures. But it’s hard to win a low intensity war, the main purpose is really to weaken the opponent to such a degree than they can be defeated by an ordinary guerilla war, direct assault or economic actions. The recession of nation states have given rise to many opportunities, which has led to mercenaries gaining a resurgence as well. Especially the corporations have a need for small military units at various locations has turned into a very lucrative business.

Not even a single mention of Private Military Companies in this case. But then again they wouldn’t really rise to prominence for another couple of years.

Due to the ever growing class divisions between the rich and the poor the number of guerilla wars have steadily increased across the globe. Not to mention there is always foreign states or companies that have a lot to win if the power shifts inside a country. Ever since the nationstates have become less powerful the companies have waged smaller wars between each other in order to seize market shares or trying to eliminate competitors. Company wars are different from normal wars because the goals are purely economical. This has also changed their nature because neither side is interested in major operations and prefer doing low intensity wars instead. In many cases they try to use existing conflicts in order to damage their opponents. It’s very common that they economically support countries, resistance movements or organisations that directly or indirectly act against their opponents.

Neotech really, really wants to be a military RPG. Feels like everything else is just a side thing.
So that’s our introduction to the fantastic world of Neotech. A bit cliché overall I think. Also it’s a whole lot of things mentioned but where are the hooks?
There’s mention of conflicts on Mars for instance, then there’s a whole page about war and conflict. But there’s really nothing about the players in all this. We still haven’t really been told what they’re are supposed to be doing in the setting. Not even a slightest hint. You’d think the section about corporate wars makes a mention that they might hire mercs or freelancers to mess with other companies but no, that isn’t really mentioned other than perhaps vaguely. Also for all the talk about the corporations having the real power it really doesn’t show all that much.
It’s a whole lot tell but don’t show.

Next time: In the city, you must fight to survive. He sold tortillas on the street. And the mob wanted in.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



Evil Mastermind posted:

What software were y'all using to make those maps?

I used Hextml which is pretty okay until you need to mark borders between squares. Comes with a bunch of generic symbols and ability to recolor backgrounds as well. http://hextml.playest.net/

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Night10194 posted:

It would hardly need much changing for the 4th edition, just some changes to how you judge the power of a Prince since the career systems are different. Otherwise the settings would work fine in 4th.

Renegade Crowns has been a pleasant surprise for me. I expected to be really disappointed with it, but it's produced material that was fun to use and that I'm going to use in my games (The adventuring archeologist is definitely going to do a dig in Pferdekrieg). Honestly, even though it's not in the Princes, I'm going to do something similar to this for producing the region of the Aeslings up in Norsca that an Imperial Soldier, a Norse Witch, a Norse Highwaywoman, and a Shallyan Missionary adventure about in in 2632. I had been struggling with how to do that general 'players adventure around the frontier' kind of gaming and this gave me the idea I needed for it.

E: Like I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just make a region map and fill it with a bunch of competing Jarls and then let the players wander about and suplex Chaos Champions into bonfires and have adventures on it as the main plot slowly shows up.

That might be me and I remember this supplment being very different and only good for Prince generation. My Bad.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also, I'm currently starting on reading WHFRP 1e and man, it's some uncanny valley poo poo seeing the version of the setting that's as old as me. It is loving weird to see Bretonnia without the Knights or to see the ancient aliens stuff put front and center in the main book's timeline. Instead of just hinted at a bunch.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




By popular demand posted:

A spite house isn't enough, I want a motherfucking spite-town!

I'm entirely sure there's historical precedent for this.

Border Princes seems like a setting that's absolutely perfect for the kind of game they're running there; a chaotic fantasy Balkans that's basically ungovernable despite every single power in the setting having had a presence there at some point and as a result you can find anyone and anything there both old and new because it's seen as a tabula rasa.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





CookedAuto, why is half of that worldmap in English and half in what I assume is Swedish*?

Are chunks of North America in English in the untranslated text?

Also lol. Who on earth would nuke Bonn? They caught that The Wall fell and no one cares about that place now right? To give an American comparison it’d be like nuking Albany, NY. Why?????


*As determined by my very rigorous method of “It kind of looks enough like German I can recognize bit (also because I know what maps look like)”

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Someone's clearly not a fan of steamed hams.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011

yospos



By popular demand posted:

A spite house isn't enough, I want a motherfucking spite-town!


Ghost Leviathan posted:

I'm entirely sure there's historical precedent for this.

When Khosrow I, Shah of Shahs of Persia, conquered Antioch, he deported all the survivors of Antioch and forced them to build a new city along the Tigris river. The new city was named Wēh Antīōk Khosrow, or Better Than Antioch, Khosrow Built This.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





Ghost Leviathan posted:

Someone's clearly not a fan of steamed hams.

It’s strictly a Utica term.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Xiahou Dun posted:

CookedAuto, why is half of that worldmap in English and half in what I assume is Swedish*?

You'd be correct in that assumption that it's Swedish yes. As for why its split up like that?
:shrug: That's just a thing Neotech does. There's plenty of proper English sounding names scattered throughout this book. I mean all of the example characters names are either English American ones, German or Russian.

Xiahou Dun posted:

Are chunks of North America in English in the untranslated text?

Might wanna elaborate on this one because I'm not sure if you're meaning if there's more info on North America or not.

Xiahou Dun posted:

Also lol. Who on earth would nuke Bonn? They caught that The Wall fell and no one cares about that place now right? To give an American comparison it’d be like nuking Albany, NY. Why?????

For all I know it could be a nuclear reactor that hard a meltdown or something instead of a nuclear attack or nuclear terrorism at play. Because there's one of those later on located in St Nazarene in France.
But like pretty much anything when it comes to setting the book refuses to elaborate.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




golden bubble posted:

When Khosrow I, Shah of Shahs of Persia, conquered Antioch, he deported all the survivors of Antioch and forced them to build a new city along the Tigris river. The new city was named Wēh Antīōk Khosrow, or Better Than Antioch, Khosrow Built This.

The average PC party will do that repeatedly.

anyway that expension is definitely the best campaign generation tool I've heard about, good on you WHFRP.

Skellybones
May 31, 2011






Fun Shoe

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns
A little death in a little swamp, using tables

Most of this was done by the book, with only a few rerolls. We've got: two feuding siblings locked against each other, one looking to Tzeentch for answers and the other just getting weirder. A bandit wandering in and deciding to be the best dashing rogue ever, with the help of Slaanesh. And last but not least, a Tilean noble who came in with a solid plan to get rich, is following through perfectly, but is probably the most doomed out of all of them.



Petit Mousillon is so named because of the swampy ground dominating much of the area, though that is not the reason anyone cares to live and kill there. In a region of arid plains and rocky hills, underground springs break out from the hills and have created a shallow valley filled with woodlands and grassy pastures. Between the hills, plains and swamps, this is an oasis in an otherwise inhospitable land which has drawn increasingly ambitious waves of settlers looking for a better life. Many of the current settlements were built and protected by the Bretonnian warlord Jean Terrehaute, who took the long view and decided to build something to be proud of. Unfortunately for his legacy, heirs Amanda and Reginald are still squabbling over the realm that he built.

Rolling gave me 9 Barren Hills, 150 Barren Hills, 26 Barren Plains, 100 Scrubland Swamps 56 Forested Plains, 160 Barren Plains and a Whirlpool. All those Barren Plains and Hills makes the area quite dry and rough, and the Swamps are just nasty, but the Forested Plains are pretty prime territory. The Whirlpool demands the inclusion of a River, so that helps explain the presence of the woodlands and swamps in the middle of an otherwise dry region. There's not much rain in this area but the Hills are the source of underground springs that have greened the lower reaches of the hills and spawned the River, which goes on its way before becoming a broad Swamp. This is borderline uninhabitable and very difficult to march troops through, so the Swamp makes a natural barrier in addition to the River and the extensive Hills. The smaller patch of Hills gets thrown in at the border between the Plains and Swamps, a very unappealing patch of rocky ground that hasn't had natural springs make it fertile. Petit Mousillon is a little patch of green in between mud and rock.

Ashpar
The oldest major ruins is the Khemrian fortress of Ashpar, sinking silently into the muck at the center of the swamps formed by the Blue Fountain river. Nobody is quite sure what it's all about, but a band of skeletons periodically emerges from it, plows through the swamp in an orderly march, and eventually returns about a week later. Although everyone agrees undead are bad news, the area is borderline uninhabitable and the patrol route hasn't changed in decades, making it easy to avoid. The disquieting part is that people still ocassionally go missing, and some of the undead seem to be zombies, rather than ancient skeletons.
Ashpar is still active, in a sense. The undead are obviously ancient Khemrian soldiers still on patrol, but what the local rulers are missing is that any humans they kill are brought back and reanimated as reinforcements by a long-forgotten ritual. An ambitious and unscrupulous lord could learn a lot about necromancy from this ruin, or even try to take control of the undead.

Only two ancient ruins rolled, and the first is a typical Khemri fortress, housing a Weapon. I put it right in the middle of the swampland on the river, so imagine huge stone ruins jutting out of the water. Back in the day the watercourse would have been different and the area well-maintained with canals and flood control, so the whole region could have been lovely fields and pastures instead of stinking swamp. There could be the remains of roads and other structures around it, but it's been thousands of years since they were repaired.

Ghazi
The other major ruin is the old Arabyan fort-city of Ghazi, perched on the dry hills overlooking the river and swamps. Long overlooked by settlers due to the inhospitable terrain and distinct possibility of vengeful Arabyan ghosts, it's only recently gained more than the passing treasure hunter. Although still uninhabited, the lands around it are being built up by Brando, the heart of what could be a new empire in these lands. Brando is planning to send explorers into the ruins, both to make sure it's completely safe and to bring out any treasures.
Ghazi was razed in war after the summoning of a great daemon of Slaanesh. The daemon remains locked beneath the ruins, forgotten for centuries. Since Brando's arrival, it has been influencing him and others with dreams of glory, and tainting the water supply with euphoric passion. It's gone unnoticed amid the general frontier optimism, but with years or decades it could cause mutations or madness.

The second ruin is an Araby Fortress, housing a Daemon, and destroyed by a Military Attack. Since this would be built well after Ashpar was abandoned, the swamps would have expanded and made the region much as it is now. A commanding position on the high ground just outside the swamps, overlooking the river and the Frothing Mouth whirlpool is a fairly decent place for a watch post, and if the aquifers are accessed there will be no shortage of water for a growing community. The Daemon makes the end of the city more dramatic, presumably the inhabitants turned to Chaos and were destroyed by their neighbours while binding a daemon for some purpose. On the surface the ruins appear ordinary and empty, but beneath it you have a classic dungeon of traps and whatever else got locked away with the Daemon.

Frothing Mouth
Below Ghazi in the river is the most perplexing feature: the Frothing Mouth. The otherwise placid river becomes incredibly turbulent as it approaches the hills, eventually becoming a whirlpool. This inexplicable wonder of Manann might be impressive, but it renders river passage impossible. There's no apparent solution, so river cargo has to be ported overland, making the teamsters very happy.

The Whirlpool makes the region just a little bit more inconvenient, since it means you can't sail the length of the river. Ghazi was built overlooking it and any portage goes on here. It might be purely natural, or it might be related to the Daemon under the city.

Captain Amanda Terrehaute, Grand Hauteurs
Elder daughter of Captain Jean, Amanda took to the sword and bow as readily as her father. His untimely death at the hands of Greenskins left his land without a designated successor, and as the eldest and most martial Amanda leapt for the role. Based out of her father's keep at Semillon in the north, Amanda's lands consist mostly of the fair forested foothills and riverside. Although small, the land of Grand Hauteurs is easy to defend and run for the aspiring tyrant, who runs the realm similarly to the military company her father raised her in. Despite her best efforts, she has been unable to beat her brother Reginald. Her father, a consummate tactician and student of war also invited an order of Myrmidian knights to his realm, who were willing to assist him in building a peaceful, martial kingdom. They insist on keeping out of her feud with her brother and would only fight humans for a very good reason, preferring to build their forces for a campaign against Greenskins and other monsters. Amanda is driven to distraction by having an entire corp of skilled knights who refuse to actually serve her, and wishes she had the political skills of her brother to get everyone moving in the same direction. The Myrmidians are even sitting on one of the prime river crossings, helping enforce the stalemate with her brother!
Secretly, Amanda has fallen into the worship of Tzeentch, struggling to find any scraps of forbidden lore that might give her an edge against her brother or anyone else, with the ultimate ambition of becoming a powerful witch, or perhaps just immortal. The Khemrian ruins at Ashpar are her current project: if any place has ancient lore, it's ancient ruins. Putting an end to the undead emanating from the ruins is an easy enough public justification, but she's unwilling to throw away good soldiers on what could well be a pointless deathtrap.

Our first Prince is a Bretonnian Mercenary with the following: This power is mine, What’s that, Follow your instructions, Chaos Cultist, Moral Rule. So, she's quite invested in being a Prince, has no real compunctions about doing terrible things to stay in control, doesn't brook dissent or questioning of orders, worships Chaos, but has at least one strict rule she won't break (yet). A bloodthirsty Khornate is a bit passe, Slaanesh can't be everyone's favourite, and Nurgle doesn't quite fit. So she's into Tzeentch, hoping to get access to secrets and powers beyond her own limited mundane means, whether that's battlefield success or ascending to a higher form. Progress is slow because she's no scholar, doesn't know who to trust, and is stuck in an isolated backwater, but that just means she has to try harder. Maybe she'll get to grow up to be a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince someday? Adventurers could quite easily end up working for her, since she acts professionally, appears to be on the winning side, and will pay them well for investigating the Ashpar ruins.

Grand Hauteurs is a fair but small realm, Semillon is an extremely good town with 2700 people, a Stronghold, Copper Mine and Smith. There's only one village and four notable Homesteads, but Semillon and one of the Homesteads have Templars as well. This must cause quite a bit of stress for Amanda, being a Chaos Cultist and all. She NEEDS to get rid of them or subvert them one way or another, but one wrong move will have dozens of pissed-off holy warriors tearing her apart. She could send them against the Undead or Greenskins, but it's unlikely that Myrmidians would get themselves trapped and destroyed so easily.


Emperor Reginald Terrehaute, Exact Hauteurs
Younger son of Captain Jean, Reginald learned the aspects of the court better than his sister. He managed to use his influence in court to 'steal' the southern and western reaches of his father's domain, twice the size of his sister's share but also twice the headache. Although the forests around Beaujolais are good land, the farmsteads scattered around the swamps and hills to the south demand his attention as well. He refuses to abandon the people under his charge, but patrolling such a wide and treacherous land is extremely taxing. The sudden arrival of Jonas the Spider snatching away his northern march was the greatest disaster since he crowned himself, and he isn't sure if he can win out against both his sister and this new aggressor. Still, he has loyal soldiers and loving peasants, and is willing to let his enemies make a mistake first.
Reginald is extremely stressed and in over his head. He's developing strange habits and beliefs, but every setback just makes him dig in harder to defend 'his smallfolk'.

Reginald is a Politician, and because he's Bretonnian and (via relationships) has an Inheritance Dispute with Amanda it gave an interesting possibility that the two were directly related. Amanda emulated their warlord Mercenary father, while he learned politics and realm management. He's got Give me liberty, or give me a moment to run away, Save the children, I wouldn’t expect you to understand, Strange Hobby, and Religious Fanatic. He's not cruel or greedy, but running a spread-out realm while fending off attacks isn't doing him any favours. He's trying to keep everything together, but there's too much to do and not enough soldiers to cover everything. He expects a terrible fate if his sister captures him and genuinely wants the best for his peasants, so he's focused more on survival than glory. While he might be the most qualified person to administer Petit Mousillon, everyone else is against him and adventurers probably won't back the losing horse. He's also the most likely to be attacked by two of the Greenskin hordes, which could cause the Myrmidian Templars to come to his defence, even though they technically work for his sister.

Exact Hauteurs is almost twice as large as Grand Hauteurs, but all that extra space is Hills and Swamps. Land is land, but a couple of extra shepherds and frog-catchers don't quite make a realm. Beaujolais is only 1900 people, but there are four Villages and five Homesteads. Two of the Homesteads are Strongholds, so his father left him a couple of small keeps or fortified towers that he's been using to stay alive. He also has the largest village of all at 270, which is unfortunately infested with Cultists. He really can't get anything good, can he? Overall he has a good economic base, his subjects like him, but he's politically isolated, militarily overwhelmed, and is have a bit of a long-term mental breakdown due to everything going wrong. And he doesn't even know about all the daemons and cultists yet.


Margrave Jonas, Free March
Jonas the Spider rolled into Petit Mousillon over a year ago with his train of bandits and refugees, fleeing an unfavourable situation elsewhere. Arriving from over the inhospitable hills, he raided deeply into Reginald's lands, capturing the headwaters and a large amount the forests and hills that once belonged to Reginald. The idea of settling down a bit and ruling as a benevolent tyrant appeals to him, since it seems like a bit less work than desperately looting farms and running away from angry warlords. He only has a small realm of scattered foresters and shepherds, but the Free March has an old keep to serve as his palace for now. The isolated vale seems to have attracted other unusual groups, as he also 'obtained' a Shallyan-run hospice and a small order of ascetic Verenans. He's not entirely sure what to do with them, but is very proud of having such unique people in his domain.
Not only is Jonas a bandit warlord, he's also an aspiring Slaaneshi cultist. On one of his patrols through his land to personally inspect everything, Jonas encountered what the local shepherds called the 'Wishing Glade'. This otherworldly window showed him possibilities and dreams that he had never considered, all his if he just worshipped a new, loving god. Growing from his personal aspirations, Jonas doesn't wish to destroy and despoil everything to satiate some vice. He simply wishes to possess all of Petit Mousillon, have everyone acknowledge his superiority, and prove that he's simply the best Prince in all the world. This will probably change with time, but for now he's just an exceptionally ambitious, heretical bandit lord.

Jonas is an Imperial Bandit, the perfect man to suddenly appear in a situation when you least suspect it. This fellow has Marvel at my wondrousness, Save the children, Honestly, you’d embarrass a snotling, Chaos Cultist, and Compulsion. Is everyone a Cultist or Daemon around here? He's getting Slaanesh because wealth, glory and luxury are all things a bandit aspires to, and a brutish Khornate jerk is no fun at all. He's actually more principled than the more civilised Amanda, and he's got strong delusions of being a genuinely great ruler if only everyone else got out of the way. He's slaughter anyone who tries to stop him, of course, but he considers everyone under him to be more like treasured children or possessions, to be protected and nurtured.

The Free March, as Jonas has whimsically named it, takes up the northern end of the river valley and forests, plus all the surrounding hills. There is no Town, but two Villages and six Homesteads, making it quite undeveloped compared to his neighbours. I imagined it as him suddenly invading Reginald's lands from behind, snatching up all the places he could before running out of steam. One of the villages has a Stronghold, which suits him quite well as a home base. The other Village is tiny, only 40 pop, but contains Hospital likely run by Shallyans. There's also a Homestead which is a Monastery, another a Weaponsmith, and a family of Cultists. Another Homestead has a 'Magical Effect', which I took to be a weak spot in reality that inspires dreams and visions. It just so happens that it gave this guy a faceful of Slaanesh, and he's very easily influenced.


Baronet Brando Davagio, Novi Torri
The Tilean explorer, adventurer and gentleman Brando Davagio had recently arrived in the area as well, bringing with him the biggest changes since Jean Terrehaute's generation. Following scholarly study of the Arabyan ruins that had been overlooked till now, he deduced that the city of Ghazi could not normally thrive in such a place, and searched for aquifers and wells around the city that could still be used. It was possible that Ghazi was built on and added to older Khemrian designs, but that was immaterial to the fact that a previously barren landscape could be turned into a green paradise.
Using all his wealth and influence in Tilea to bring forth colonists and materials, Brando has built his new city of Cometo on the hillsides, naming his land Nova Torri and spreading his grasp across the plains. With the underground springs watering the crops, rich veins of minerals being discovered, and growing control of the Blue Fountain portage, Brando might well come to overshadow the other Princes in the region. His peasants are certainly happy to have a safe and stable home, and he's even begun drawing peasants from elsewhere in Petit Mousillon through sheer reputation. Overall, Brando is very happy with the ease at which he is amassing power and wealth.

Brando is a Tilean Knight, and is a man with a plan. He's got Money can too buy happiness, Death to monsters, Let’s get to business, Foul Murderer, Religious Fanatic. I take this to mean that he's really pragmatic and no-nonsense, here to get wealth and power at any cost. He's got a strange interpretation of the Myrmidian faith which might have encouraged him to leave Tilea, and might cause problems with Amanda's Templars should they find out. The Foul Murderer secret is a bit tough to figure out because he's otherwise pretty sensible, but perhaps it ties into the Death To Monsters feature. Brando could have come across a settlement with mutants or a cult, and he overreacted a little and had hundreds of innocents butchered just to be safe. Unfortunate then that he and everyone else in Cometo is bathing in Daemonic energy!

Besides Cometo as the biggest town (2800!), there's two Villages and eight Homesteads. The settlements in the hills have Stone, Tin and Lead mines. Although the map says it's all barren, he's taken advantage of Ghazi's springs and aqueducts to irrigate fields and supply his people with water. Since he's separated from everyone else by swamps, there's not much risk of conflict and wants to consolidate his power while the other three headbutt each other. A mysterious Wizard has set up shop in his northernmost territory, claiming to be studying the Ashpar ruins and the undead. Brando is fine with this, and hopes that cooperation will lead to the Wizard working for him more directly in future, particularly if there's something mystical under Ghazi (there is).


Unclaimed
Two villages and a number of homesteads are in between allegiances, either predating the modern borders or having fallen out of control due to the recent political changes. One village possesses a Copper Mine and is growing rich from it, while the other is secretly home to a Chaos Cult.
Sure are a lot of Chaos Cultists around here!

Relationships
Amanda and Reginald really quite hate each other. Though siblings, they won't rest until they have taken or destroyed the other's lands.
Bitterness/Stolen Inheritance - This inspired the whole political situation and joined the two characters as siblings.

Amanda and Brando respect each other, seeing the other as tough and clever enough to survive in these lands.
Respect/Cunning - Brando sees Amanda as the proper heir, being older and more martial. Amanda doesn't see Brando as a threat, rather a buffer against threats to the east and a potential ally.

Brando and Jonas have secretly entered an alliance, despite being completely separated by the Terrehautes. Should one face a serious existential threat such as invasion, they will aid each other. This might also develop into a shared campaign against Reginald.
Alliance/Diplomacy - They have little in common, but they are both recent arrivals. While they're establishing themselves and assessing the potential dangers of the region, they might as well promise to help each other.

Brando has naught but contempt for Reginald, seeing him as a delusional and weak leader who's already lost much of his lands.
Contempt/Military Defeat - Brando simply doesn't respect Reginald, and would prefer to see Amanda and Jonas finish the job.

Jonas is an interloper into the Terrehaute situation, but he's not making the situation easier by publicly falling in love with Amanda's boyfriend Maxi. It's making the diplomatic meetings very uncomfortable.
Envy/Beautiful Consort - Amanda is too busy and driven to get distracted right now, but Jonas is entertaining ideas of love and grand romances. Perhaps Maxi is feeling neglected by Amanda, who's getting increasingly distant as she tries really hard to become a wizard.

Jonas has made his current goal the capture of Reginald's remaining lands, or at least the good parts. They deserve a better ruler, really.
Envy/Vast Wealth - Jonas simply wants what Reginald has, very simple and direct for a Bandit. If he takes much more of Amanda's inheritance then they might come to blows.

Monsters
Three independent hordes of Greenskins have appeared on the horizon recently. The Squigfangs are the smallest, and have set up to the east of Brando's lands. They are content for now to raid travellers, particularly on the river where there's nowhere to run. The Backsnappers and Morkgang are to the south, and it's not clear whether they will attempt to destroy each other first, or just get straight to raiding. Either way it's likely to end poorly for Reginald.
These mobs are about medium-sized, big enough to require a proper army response but not too big to effortlessly roll over a Prince. If two of them combined that would be a big problem, but they might just wipe each other out or wander off in different directions. They're still the biggest and most obvious threats to Petit Mousillon and could cause the political situation to change massively.

A reclusive hippogriff has been spotted in the south of Exact Hauteurs. It seems content to snap up goats and sheep, so the shepherds have given the area a wide berth. Reginald takes it as a good omen, and (perhaps desperately) a guardian for his southern border.
A giant flesh-eating monster isn't ideal, but this one isn't too aggressive so Reginald is fine with leaving it in place. The Greenskins might want to try to eat or tame it, and Amanda might try to obtain it for a ritual.

A daemon clothed in the flesh of a possessed victim was accidentally summoned in an isolated swamp village, and now rules the terrified survivors like an angry god. It's only a matter of time before it strikes out to expand its dominion and makes itself known to the local Princes.
This roll initially gave a single Gor beastman. Not very impressive! A reroll gives us a Daemon, but it's not trapped like the one under Ghazi. It has to be able to exist in the material world, which would imply it's possessing an object of some kind and manipulating people, or wearing someone as a suit and causing carnage more directly. I prefer the Edgar Suit version.

The Khemrian undead from Ashpar are simply following ancient patrol routes around a land that has long-since turned swampy. Killing anything they encounter, the recent settler effort has given them a few more fresh recruits.
This mob of skeletons and zombies directly inspired the type of 'Weapon' in Ashpar. They don't even have a commanding officer Khemrian, they just patrol and bring back intact bodies.

Potential Developments
Brando is content to sit out the current conflicts and build power, but Greenskins could ruin his ambitions. Uncovering what happened at Ghazi could lead to the unleashing of the Daemon within, while leaving it untouched will all but certainly lead to the destruction of his realm via madness and mutation. He's also a little interested in the Ashpar ruins, but it's well beyond his present concerns.
Jonas is most interested in conquering Reginald's realm and becoming a 'Real Prince'. As a bandit he's already on thin ice, but should his devotion to Slaanesh be known both Reginald and Amanda would stop fighting to get rid of him, and Brando wouldn't honour the alliance. He's not as careful as he should be, and will probably accidentally reveal himself at some point.
Amanda's attentions are split between war and lore, and wants to uncover what's in Ashpar. She'll do almost anything to succeed, and is likely to become more of an overt tyrant. It's unlikely, but it's possible she could actually find some dark artifacts or learn some kind of magic. Far more likely is frustrating failure, and potentially mutations. If it were to become known that she's a Chaos cultist she would almost certainly be deposed, unless she can get rid of the Templars breathing down her neck.
Reginald is the most likely to suffer and fall. Faced by Amanda and Jonas, two Greenskin mobs, and a growing Chaos cult, he's most likely going to be executed and his lands split up between conquerers.
The various Chaos cults and the actual Daemon walking around are all unaware of each other for now, but as borders shift and secrets are uncovered, they're going to be forced to act overtly.

Skellybones fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Apr 22, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I'd like to ask the people posting their own doomed borderlands to go back and edit their posts to include Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Renegade Crowns and a short subtitle in italics below so that the Archive can add those to the review; I think having all the extra material other people produced as additional examples of Region Creation will help the archived version.

I'm also really happy to see other people enjoying playing with it, too.

SirFozzie
Mar 28, 2004
Goombatta!

Fight! The Fighting Game RPG: Character Creation exampleStep One: The concept

Unlike games where you roll dice for stats, Fight works the other way around, it has you come up with the idea of the character, and then work to create it from your concept.

The Big Four when it comes to concept are:

Appearance
Martial Arts Style
Training Background
Reason to Fight

So, for the sake of this post, I'm going to bring back a character from my "Throw every fighting game into a blender, hit puree, and don't take too seriously" setting from Fight Unlockables Arenas: KING OF THE FIGHTING STREET MEGAMIX ALPHA ZERO XII SPECIAL EDITION. Introducing...

IVAN THE TERRIBAD!

The concept for Ivan is that he's a deep-south Texan who idolizes Russian fighting, so pretends to be Russian. He doesn't quite pull it off (and anyone who mention the faux pas when he says "Dasvidaniya, y'all" usually ends up being crushed).. but he is a weird mixture of the prototypical cowboy, and Zangief.

Appearance: Again, this is Texas-ized Zangief (and everything is bigger in Texas), so he wears the furry hat, and furry cowboy boots as well. (People who mention that cowboy boots aren't quite russian.. well we mentioned him crushing people who make "fun" of him, right?) But yeah, big hulking character, slow, powerful... that will help in determining attributes.

Martial Arts Style: This helps you visualize the type of special moves you're going to be creating for your character. Since the concept is "A Texas Zangief", that means he fights in a style similar to that Russian Fighter's style. Lots of grabs, lots of powerful hitting moves (There's that Crush thing again. It's a reoccurring concept with ol'Ivan)

Training Background: This helps realize the skills you're going to be taking, as well as "What do they do besides fight?". So, since Ivan is a Texan who acts russian, obviously he saw one too many Russian fighting movies (are there many Russian Fighting Movies? well, in Ivan's case there are), so decided that since Russian Fighting is #1 and the best, that obviously, he must train to be the ultimate Russian-style fighter, no matter what it takes, even if it involves wearing furry hats, furry cowboy boots, and crushing people who make fun of the first two. I make a note that he probably will take at least some levels of the thug trashing skill.. he's probably started (and starred in) more bar brawls then he can count. (Usually started by a sentence like "What's with the Russian get up? You some kinda commie?")

Reason to Fight: Obviously to prove that Russia is #1 and the best! He doesn't mind helping others (usually while proselytizing about the glory of Russia), so he's not a bad guy, but he just wants to seek out the toughest fighters of all other styles and nations and CRUSH them. (and then help them up afterwards, and share many glasses of vodka and beer afterwards with them)

So, now, we've got a concept, and it all looks good in that part, but now we need to convert Ivan's concept into game stats. Without insulting him, of course (I'm not sure if Ivan can reach through the fictional world of my brain and CRUSH me, but you know what? I'm not going to take chances)

Step 2: Basic Qualities

There are three main Basic Qualities (or attributes) in Fight!, and all of them are fighting focused (fitting for fighting games). Strength, Speed, and Stamina. So, for this step, I'll guide you throw on how to cover your character's SSS. (I'm sorry for the pun. I would have mentioned that Speed breaks down into Control and Initiative, but that would have ruined the SSS pun)

Stats are relatively basic (Just remember, these stats are compared to the average fighter in your universe, not the average person)

-1 (below game average)
0 (Game Average)
+1 (Above average for the game)
+2 (Excellent)

With Strength and Stamina, a positive rating means that die rolls against that trait will be adjusted in your favor. For example, if you have a 0 strength, you would roll 1d6 damage, if you have 1, it would be 1d8, if you have 2, it would be 1d10!). Stamina works to lower the dice the opponent rolls against you for damage. (Of course, if you have a -1 in stat, you would reduce YOUR rolls to damage by 1 size, or your opponent would increase THEIR damage rolls against you by 1 size)

Speed is the same, but breaks down into two categories: Initiative and Control. if you have +1 or -1 speed, you can increase (or decrease) your initiative die one size (moving faster), or your control die one size (allowing you to do a bigger move when it's your turn). If you have +2 Speed you can either add +1 to each, or +2 to one of them.

This is very important to note: These attributes DO NOT GET CHANGED DURING GAMEPLAY WITH EXPERIENCE. so, make sure you have a good concept of what your character's going to be (most wise and benevolent GM's will allow you to retcon your character should you find yourself playing a character type that you don't really like.

There are two sets of attributes you can assign, depending on if you want a balanced or unbalanced character setup.

A) Balanced: This means your character has two stats at +1 (Above average), and the third at 0 (Average). This allows your character to be a jack of all trades, and has no glaring holes in their basic setup.

B) Unbalanced. This means your character has one stat at 2 (Excellent), one at 0 (Average), and one at -1 (Below Average/Weak)

So, getting back to Ivan. Obviously, he's a big hulking character, so I probably want an unbalanced attribute set. That means that I'll have a stat at 2, a stat at 0, and a stat at -1. So, let's look at his concept. I decide since he's big, hulking and slow, I probably want to make speed his weak spot. I put the -1 in Speed (so I have to either take a die size penalty in either Initiative or Control. I decide that I'll put it in Initiative. That fits in with a slow plodding character. Usually his opponents can run circles around him, but when he catches them, the aforementioned CRUSH-ing begins). So, I have a stat at 2 and a stat at 0 left to spend, and strength and stamina left to assign. Once again, let's look at his concept. Is he a good fighter because he can take all kinds of punishment before CRUSHing them, or does he just decimate them with a few big hits? I decide that his Stamina is average for the game (he takes about the same amount of damage as other fighters would from moves), but he's a heavy hitter, so I put the 2 in Strength.

So, this is what Ivan the Terribad looks like so far:


IVAN THE TERRIBAD

Strength 2
Stamina 0
Speed -1 (Initiative)

(as an aside, I love Ivan. He's only my second favorite character from that game/setting/campaign/whatever however. (My favorite? The Dan-equivalent, Eric. My description for him is: Has been zapped, pummeled, bent, spindled and in one case disintegrated... but for whatever reason, he always comes back in the next tournament, and promising that this time he will win the tournament! (Spoiler: He won't))

Step 2: Choose four additional Qualities.

Basically, the breakdown for this section would be "Name some words that would describe the character if you were describing them to someone who didn't play the fighting game involved. This can be physical qualities (Big/Tall/Short etcetera) , Social qualities (Charming, Fame, Followers), Character descriptors (Lucky, Connections, Gun Expert), or personal appearance (I'll avoid that part right now, because from what I understand, that's getting a rework in 2nd edition, so I don't want to get into a sidetrack that won't reflect the changes for 2nd edition)

But, let's see what are Ivan's qualities.. looking at the list of qualities in the book well, I mentioned several of them in the character concept. I don't know if people want me to mention the in game effects, but right now, more than creating a super-fighter, I just want to show how easy it is to pull qualities from the character concept above


Big: A character with this Quality is huge. He is often as broad as he is tall and covered with bulky muscles or fat. Sometimes the character is tall as well. The character’s proportions are definitely beyond human. This Trait is often possessed by wrestlers and bruisers who rely more on force than technique.

Tall: Some fighting game characters tower over their opposition. This Quality represents the effects of this height. Such characters are not necessarily huge, just tall. However, many characters that have the Tall Quality also have the Big Quality.

Intimidating: The character is intimidating, whether through a cold stare, a disturbing presence, or a demanding demeanor. This has nothing to do directly with the character’s appearance, though an Intimidating character often has a “look” about him.

Driven: Characters with this Quality are dynamos of self-motivation. They tend to be rigid in their habits and utterly addicted to training.

Weaknesses are major flaws to the character (for example, for those of you who are a fan of the anime Ranma 1/2, in Fight! terms, he has Phobia: Cats, and Akane would have the quirk: Cooking). Quirks are again character descriptors, for example, the Street Fighter Movie version of Zangief would have the quirk: Clueless (any one remember "QUICK! CHANGE THE CHANNEL!")

I'm going to add a couple of quirks for Ivan (you get a story point when you roleplay your quirks). Distinctive Appearance (Large, hulking Texan dressed like a Russian? Yeah, that's going to be easy to spot him in a crowd Short-Tempered (Wait, did he make fun of my boots? CRUSH THEM!)

Now, I could select Weaknesses and quirks to earn more qualities, but I'm pretty satisfied with what I came up with.

Next: Skills

Our first thing is five points of Combat Skills

Defense: This is the default "Defend against attacks" skill, how well you block/parry/endure attacks, Evasion and Tactics are more powerful (they can come with bonuses in Combat), but there are circumstances where the Fight GM may disallow one of them)

Evasion: The character's ability to dodge, duck and side step attacks

Tactics: The ability to maneuver your opponents to restrict their attacks (or to counter attack their missed strikes on your next turn)

Combo: The number of moves you can string together (you can combine basic attacks with your special maneuvers during combat, but can only do a combo equal to your Combo skill:

Ki: This is mostly aimed at characters that have special moves with the ranged element.

So, I think, with all due respect to good ol' Ivan.. we can all agree that Tactics, Ki, and Evasion are not things that he's really proficient at. So, we're going to split those 5 points between Defense and Combo. The character concept is firming up here, where Ivan will just stalk his opponent down, and hope to corner him, so I'm going to put three points into Defense, making him pretty hard to hit (at least at the beginning power level), and two points in Combo (so he can hit someone long enough to grab them, at which point,t he crushing will begin)

The next step is 15 points in "Other Skills" Now, a lot of them DO have possible benefits in Fights, but they are not specific to fights. Pulling from his concept, and looking at the skill list, these are some of the things that jump out at me.

Thug Thrashing: Did I mention the Bar Fights? Yeah.. I did. Ivan gets into a lot of them, which means he's pretty good at beating up non-fighters (like, the average Joes that he meets at the Bar, shortly before the bar fights begin)

Property Damage: Some of it is because well, he's big and tall and strong (and inclined to crush people who make fun of him). the other part is well, when he gets involved in CRUSHING people, things usually get damaged. That gives him a good idea on how to bust down a door (even if it's not by grabbing some poor soul and throwing him through it)

Intimidation: "My Yankee Imperialist friend, in my world, there are two types of people in places like this. People who I would be glad to have a drink of strong Russian Vodka with, and those I crush. Would you like to reconsider what type of person you are?"

Occupation: Cowboy "Unfortunately, Texas does not have Russian Bears to train with. I make do with bulls instead. Is not traditional, da, but it works"

Animal Handling "Bull, you will do what I say, or I will crush you"

The Fighting World (Mostly for keeping up with his favorite Russian Fighters, and those that defeat his favorite russian fighters (which inevitably go on his "To Be Crushed" List.)

Skill checks are 1d10+Skill Level (Trivial is 4, Average is 8, Challenging is 12, etcetera)

So, I decide on the following skills, Thug Thrashing and Property damage at 4, Intimidation, Occupation: Cowboy, and the Fighting World at 2 each, and Animal Handling: 1)

Since all characters at the same power level have the same base stats, we're just about done creating the character.

So, all that's left to do is create 10 Levels worth of special movesbut, here's Ivan's character sheet leading up to adding his special maneuvers:


IVAN THE TERRIBAD

Strength 2
Stamina 0
Speed -1 (Initiative)

Power Level 1
Life Bar 30 Fighting Spirit 10 (Max Defensive Skill: 3)
Glory: 0 Full Defense +1
Combat Bonuses: 0 Super Moves: 0

Qualities: BIG, TALL, INTIMIDATING, DRIVEN
Weaknesses: None
Quirks: DISTINCTIVE APPEARANCE (Texas Sized Russian), SHORT-TEMPERED (Ivan CRUSH!)

Combat Skills: Defense 3, Tactics 0, Evasion 0, Combo 2, Ki 0

Skills:
Thug Thrashing 4
Property Damage 4
Intimidation 2
Occupation Cowboy 2
The Fighting World 2
Animal Handling 1

So, we've created the Power Level 1 version of Ivan the Terribad.

If we're starting at a higher power level, then we would use the rule on page 24 where a fighter gets an additional 3 points to be spent on Combat Skills, another 10 points to spend on Non-Combat Skills, and another 10 points to spend on Special Moves for each Power Level. So if I was creating the level 5 version for Ivan (4 Power Levels higher), I would add 12 more combat skill points, 40 more non-combat skills, and another 40 points of special maneuvers. (I would also increase his Fighting Spirit, Life Bar, etcetera to that of a Power Level 5 fighter_

As he grows in power, he learns new and exciting ways to CRUSH all that oppose him (even super moves), and learns new things that might be useful to the group (for example, when NOT to crush people).

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 25: Big city life.




When a city can be classified as a megacity the population need to exceed 10 million people. In 2059 there’s plenty of those around. Nowadays the city centres are made out of countless complexes of steel, glass and concrete while the outlying areas have decayed. Ethnic ghettos, slums and even right up abandoned areas makes up the large parts of the city. Industrial districts, suburbs and shanty towns surround the inner parts. All the while the city’s outer limits have grown as suburbs and slums have slowly expanded. Many megacities have grown together with other cities nearby and formed into massive metroplexes.
The megacity is of interest in particular because that’s where the PC’s will spend more of their time as the book says.
Doing what exactly I wonder still.

In the centre of all lies the city with its skyscrapers, office complexes and government buildings. Prices usually means that you have to utilize every square meter to the fullest. Buildings are often built hundreds of stories high or built over the streets when they’ve reached some ten meters. This makes city visits a slightly claustrophobic experience at times. Only the biggest companies can actually afford to build inside the city, which means that almost every skyscraper is down by a company. Some public buildings remain such as city halls, police stations, hospitals, courts and universities. These buildings stand in stark contrast to the new office buildings because those are older and sometimes poorly maintained. Oddly enough, not corporate owned or anything.
Inside the city there’s luxury shops, theaters, cinemas, subway stations and other things that has remained from the time the city was perhaps not as big. Maglev trains usually work in conjunction with the subway to bring people in and out from the subways and airports. On the streets you can see all kinds of vehicles, traffic jams are more a rule than an exception. This despite car tunnels and viaducts between the buildings. Nowadays it’s not rare to see glassed walkways above ground, usually walking is the best way to get around. The city is also safe, the police makes sure of that. It’s also very well maintained compared to elsewhere.

Centrally you can also usually find various shopping malls. Containing hundreds of various stores, businesses and restaurants they can spann whole city blocks. The streets are glassed in and fairly well maintained. But it’s not uncommon for the police to be called in to deal with robberies, burglaries or even firefights. Above them you can find apartments that are decently affordable and for the people not living there the public transport is usually well developed, all in order to lure in possible customers.

Ghettos are where you usually find the largest concentration of people with a common heritage, it can be anything from language, skin colour to religious beliefs. A visit to the ghetto is sometimes like visit another place in the world. You might not even be able to understand the language being spoken there. Also they’ll notice very quickly that you don’t belong there. While it’s not an issue in the most ghettos it can be in some. Here you can find stores and restaurants with foreign specialties and you can find various scrupulous businessmen that can arrange a lot of things to suit your needs. These places are usually also the headquarters for the organized crime movements. The Mob lives in the Italian districts, the triads in Chinatown, the Yakuza in the Japanese parts and so on. Streets usually have a national touch to them and there’s plenty of alleys and large streets and houses are usually old and rather decrepit. Walking around in a ghetto is a different experience depending on if it’s night or day. Crime rate is high and it’s generally a good idea to be cautious when moving around at night. The police doesn’t call all that much to keep any resemblance of order and only really goes over there if something major has happened.

Old housing areas and suburbs can quickly turn into slums. The construction projects done during the 20th have result in old run down high-rises that many lack electricity, drains or even running water. The living conditions are deplorable, bordering to unbearable. Any attempts to demolish the old houses are stopped by the people who live there, who risk becoming homeless since the chances of them getting replacements are incredibly small. This means that the buildings remain standing and decays even further, no one wants to care about them anyway. The streets usually lack any lights and are covered in trash. Wrecks of cars, old furniture, barricades and other unmentionable things makes it hard to navigate while in a vehicle. What has worsened the situation is that these places are lawless. Anyone living there is forced to arm themselves to protect themselves from looters, robbers and maniacs. Youth gangs fight each other over control for street blocks. Firefights happen several times per day. Travelling in the street is usually associated with mortal danger, especially if you don’t know the area. Whenever the police show to clean up their methods are usually brutal. Making them equally as dangerous as the armed gangs.

Whenever a slum has decayed to such a point where the buildings are uninhabited, they’re usually abandoned completely. In some cases construction companies move in, demolish and build new. But usually that’s too risky or costly to do. Especially when you can simply expand upon the more livelier suburbs. Homeless, criminals and other castaways live in the abandoned zones. The streets are often used as battlegrounds between gangs and other maniacs. If the police decides to start cleaning up they usually do so by shooting anything that moves. Any patrols are either heavily armed or done via the air. Another way for the police to hand with the problems in the abandoned zones are to declare a place as a ‘Free combat zone’, where you’re allowed to shoot freely or visit at your own risk.

Outside the urban areas there are the suburbs or dormitory suburbs. It’s here where most people tend to live and they commute into the city itself where their jobs are located. The suburbs are nice places to live in. Business and department stores are located at a decent distance. The houses themselves are usually newly built apartment buildings. There’s also terraced houses or villas in the nicer areas. Order is maintained and the police makes sure that most obvious crimes are prevented. That is not to say it’s not trouble free as thieves, dealers and other suspicious elements from the adjacent slums usually show up alongside gangs who usually cause trouble.

A sidebar talks about Arcologies. But it just describes what an arcology is and doesn’t list any examples of where some of these might be located.

In a ‘gated community’ you can get a residence that lies within an areas that is surrounded by walls and gates. Entry gates are manned by hired guards and the whole area is patrolled by private police. Unless you live or know somewhere who lives inside there you’re not allowed to enter. The houses are usually villas or terraced buildings, but there’s also insert houses for those who want to live simpler. The streets are meant for cars but there’s usually walkways that passes by parks, tennis courts and common buildings like the stores, police stations or administration buildings. The houses are well maintained and most larger ones have their own swimming pools. To live in one of these communities is safe, but not particularly exciting. For anyone growing up in these areas it can be extremely boring, which can cause problems whenever teenagers leave to seek entertainment or excitement elsewhere.

Another major factor that has influenced the city’s appearance is the growth of the megacorporations. Any major office complex located inside or in the edges of a city usually have their own industrial parks. These districts can in many cases make up a major part of the city. It’s not unusual for the corporations to put up high-rises with apartment for employes that are located within the industrial zones limits. Within these sectors it’s the corporations who decide, this rule of law enforced by their own police forces. All entrances have security stations that never let someone in without a pass.

If the city lies next to the sea there’s usually always a harbor. But unlike the 20th century the amount of traffic has lessened, nowadays it’s rare to see more than the occasional ship berth by the harbor.
No, the book doesn’t explain what brought this on or what has actually replaced huge cargo ships for the terrestrial cargo transport role.
In the harbour area there’s also various magazines and warehouses that are usually used by less than serious companies. One can find both one and the other in these premises. Usually there’s always plenty of bars and restaurants by the harbor. It’s a very traditional entertainment district where sailors usually amused themselves and nowadays people from all over the world go there to have fun or to make business. It’s not unusual for prostitution and drug trade to be located to this area but it’s dependent on city to city.

All major cities have at least one international airport and it’s not unusual with several of them located nearby each other. Since the 30’s the airports are considered international territory and more often you can find an ‘airport city’ there with residential areas, businesses and office complexes. Roads and public transports connect them to the city.

Police stations exist in all parts of the city with the exception of the abandoned areas. They are usually well defended and placed strategically so that you can deploy within their district as efficiently as possible. In these stations you can find pretty anything from vehicles, aircraft, weapons and computers.
Hospitals are often big and relatively centrally located. There are several in each major city, of which at least one is a public one. The rest usually are private, which means that their costs and standards may vary heavily. Meanwhile, in the public hospitals you usually know what kind of treatment you get, cheap and slightly poor. That is to say if you get any treatment whatsoever. The buildings tend to be very well guarded these days and usually built in such a way that they’re hard to break inside.

If someone from 2059 had been able to look at the traffic situations we have today they probably would’ve just laughed. The cars are numerous and pedestrians live dangerously. Public transportation are usually driven by private megacorporations and they dictate what lines should be used. This usually means the most lucrative routes. Less trafficked places usually never have any public transportation at all. But it’s always possible to take a taxi wherever you need to go. But many drivers might not exactly drive into the more dangerous areas. Europe, USA as well as Japan has invested heavily in other transportation methods such as track rails, subways and shuttles. These have worked fairly well but in the slums there is no such luxury, instead you’ll find the fuel guzzling and exhausting spewing monstrosities from the early 21st century. Because the police have no real control it’s not rare to see gasoline or diesel driven vehicles. The guidance system TransNet is usually missing as well in the poorer districts of most cities.
So apparently gasoline and diesel vehicles have been outlawed or something but the book has yet to say what has replaced them. Electric cars? Hydrogen? No idea yet.

While there were several laws that came into action in the 2010’s and 2020’s where most countries began prohibiting private cars in most major cities it wasn’t a painless process. Major car manufacturer and petroleum companies, I thought gasoline and diesel cars were banned, protested heavily to the point where a compromise was reached in some cities. This entailed that the cities road nets were built out with and also autostradas were built. An autostrada is a large underground highway that goes underneath the city and from these various on and off ramps go into the actual city or large parking garages. Who usually take exorbitant sums for their parking spots, usually between 10 to 50 euros per hour.
While you can drive your own car inside the city centre that is usually very expensive as it requires special permits that can be incredibly expensive to get, sometimes up to a 1000 euros per month. The most common method is tolls whenever you enter the city centre. The cost can vary from 10 to 100 euros and sometimes you also have to pay as you leave, usually depending on how long you’ve been there. This is why you usually see taxis, police vehicles or limousines on the roads.
As a slight reprieve the city usually allows free transports during low season, which is usually between 02:00 to 06:00. During this period the majority of the cargo transports happen.
The large garages usually are closely tied together with subways or skyways and, if you’re working corporate, it’s not far away to bus stops either. Most major cities also have InterCity trains that transport people from the outskirts and in. This also tends to be a corporation sponsored thing which is why you usually find stations in the corporation suburbs.

The book admits in the introduction that this chapter is mainly generalizations about the cities. Probably to cover their own rear end about not actually bothering to spend time and effort investing into some actual loving flavour with their setting. Neotech is quickly shaping up to be more milquetoast cyberpunk setting I have encountered because everything here is so loving boring and bland. There’s still nothing you can use to hook the players in without having to look extra hard. At most I could see an adventure hook about the players being hired to find some errant rich kid that managed to get lost in the slum or get kidnapped because they found the gated community they lived in boring.
Nothing is ever explained. Why are the harbors underutilized? Did the setting reach peak oil at some point and that’s why gasoline and diesel vehicles banned?
Outside of some general misery and so on there’s barely anything cybertech about all this. The huge corporations don’t seem to control much of anything. Neither of them seem to have the cities under their beck and call. They’re just there.
A friend who has some experience with the game mentioned that the setting for it was utterly forgettable and two world chapters in I can see how right they were. So far Neotechs beating heart is utterly mechanical and driven by its rules and the setting is just a wafer thin veneer over everything.
It does even have the loving gall to have a metaplot or anything.
Going through these sections actually infuriates me with how boring they are.

Next time: Circle of life.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Arms of the Chosen: Soul Train

Soulfarer is a five-dot soulsteel grand grimcleaver - that is, giant-rear end battle axe. It is a two-headed axe with grooves traced into it that lead to its twin hearthstone sockets, designed to channel the blood it spills. The haft is carved of the dread bones of Locus Moon, a hekatonkhire of terrible power - that is, a behemoth of the Underworld. The weapon is said to be the last relic of a necromantic empire that warred with the Exalted during the First Age. After the rebel ghost-princes were defeated, Soulfarer was claimed by the sorcere Yasha Vol. She soon found it hungered for blood. Every battle, it emanded ever more of her life essence, even as she became renowned for both her mystic and martial prowess. In the early years, she used it for noble causes - slaying vicious criminals and great beasts, enemies of Creation. As time went on, however, she grew more indiscriminate, joining wars of conquest or even murders of passion, as Soulfarer whittled away her resolve and made her its tool. At last, Yasha Vol was ultimately killed by her own Circle, who had become horrified at what she became. They decided the cause was the weapon, and they sealed it in the depths of the Underworld. Just five years ago, the axe returned to Creation in the hands of the Abyssal Daughter of Wisps Unremembered, who swears loyalty to no Deathlord and instead pledges her victories to the Unconquered Sun.

The wielder learns the first Evocation free on attunement: Soul-Drinking Hunger, which gives a bonus to Decisive damage for a scene and, if used on the instant that you land a Decisive attack that deals Lethal damage to an enemy with blood, requires no health level cost, as the axe accepts the victim's blood in place of the user's. The Evocation ends after you go more than a single round without dealing DEcisive damage. If dissonant, the health level cost increases with each subsequent use each day, regardless of who ends up paying it - the user or their victims. Blood-Stained Secrets Imitation causes the user to gain sorcerous motes for the Decisive damage dealt while Soul-Drinking Hunger is action, which last until the scene ends or they are used. Further, using Shape Sorcery actions is considered to count as dealing Decisive damage for purposes of maintaining Soul-Drinking Hunger. If resonant, you also learn a free Terrestrial Circle spell when you learn this, which you can use as long as you wield Soulfarer. If you pay XP for that spell, you may learn a new free spell through the axe.

Sorcerer's Reaving Strike lets you flurry an attack with a Shape Sorcery action. It cannot be learned if dissonant with soulsteel. Soul-Devouring Axe upgrades the Solar Charms Ghost-Eating Technique and Breath-Drinking Method, allowing them to produce sorcerous motes if used while shaping a spell. It doesn't gate anything off, not that this helps most people anyway. Pain-Eating Empowerment cannot be bought with XP. It is instead gained when you kill someone you have a positive MJajor or Defining Tie towards, accidentally or deliberately. This can be used once per scene, and enhances Decisive damage and causes Soulfarer to absorb the soul of any mortal enemy slain by the attack, denying them any chance to either become a ghost or reincarnate. Spirits slain with this attack are permanently destroyed. Gaining a new soul for the axe in this way causes a surge of power, allowing you to roll Join Battle after resetting to base Initiative.

Soul Reaper Enlightenment grants power whenever you incapacitate a non-trivial enemy, allowing you to gain sorcerous motes based on their Essence, which last until used or the scene ends. If resonant, it also lets you get a free Celestial Circle spell through the axe, as per Blood-Stained Secrets Imitation, but casting the spell costs you 1 lethal health level on top of its normal cost. Agony Mandala Meditation can be used when you incapacitate a non-trivial enemy with a Decisive attack, and it lets you take another action for the turn, but that action may only be used to begin shaping either a spell you know through Soulfarer or one of your control spells. If resonant, you can also do this when you Crash a foe.

The ultimate ability is Void Rite Awakening. Whenever you take Decisive damage, you also gain sorcerous motes based on the wound penalty each damaged health level has. These last for the rest of the scene or until used. Further, you gain one free Solar Circle spell through Soulfarer, as per Blood-Stained Secrets Initiation. However, casting it costs an additional Aggravated health level on top of its normal cost.

Stormcaller is a five-dot Orichalcum reaper daiklave. One of the greatest foes of the Exalted during the Divine Revolution was the storm demon Akavadra, who trampled entire armies with dancing feet of lightning and slew even Exalted with her lightning spear. Stone Leaf Kon, however, walked her storms unscathed, for her terrible fury could not harm him as his heart was too pure. He could not slay her, for he had sworn to never kill, but instead bound her in a sealing circle and spoke to her. He could not convince her to follow his own path, but he convinced her to allow herself to be bound into a blade, that she might witness the deeds of heroes over the many years and finally make a decision. Broken Thunder, one of Kon's Circle, folded layers of orichalcum around the Essence of Akavadra, perfecting the weapon's composition to seal her away. The blade was slender and elegant, yet far heavier than it should be, even in the hands of its attuned master, thanks to the pressure of Akavadra's malice. To handle this, Broken Thunder made a scabbard of white jade to contain Stormcaller and ground it. Even so, the blade must still be purified with rice wine at every new moon to prevent the demon's wrath. Stone Leaf Kon himself never drew the blade. Instead, he passed it to the reincarnation of one of his Circlemates, Rusal Ji, in the hopes that the two might learn from each other. Rusal became one of Akavadra's favorites, for he used her power indiscriminately to satisfy his own fury. He once burned a sacred grove of Jupiter to the ground to drive out a foe of the gods that hid there, cut down the armies of two nations in one battle to win the heart of a lover, and drove the six-eyed Karsi mystics to extinction to satisfy his fury at being rejected. He died at the hands of one of his own Circle, who could no longer stand his atrocities. Heartbroken and feeling guilty, Kon sealed Stormcaller inside a one-ton puzzlebox of white jade, buried in a dungeon of death traps, wards and bound demons. The Sidereals hunted for the weapon frantically before the Usurpation, but they never found it. They still keep an eye out for signs of the seals being broken and Stormcaller returning. It has three hearthstone slots.

Stormcaller can be wielded while sheathed, dealing Bashing instead of Lethal damage if so. Anyone attuned to it is immune to environmental penalties from wind, rain and other weather. Further, only they can draw the blade from its scabbard, and when they do, the sky grows dark in seconds, and the wind and rain begain to fall out to four range bands around it. The storm's Intensity starts at 0, rising by 1 each time the wielder lands a Decisive attack while at Initiative 15+. Some of its Evocations also generate Intensity. Anyone not resonant with orichalcum is limited in how high they can get Intensity, based on their Essence+3, and dissonant users are capped at their Essence. Intensity 0 is a weak rainstorm, giving a minor penalty to all sight-based rolls and ranged attacks. Intensity 1-3 is heavy rainfall, increasing both of those penalties. Intensity 4-6 is a downpour, increasing the penalties and making all ground count as Difficult Terrain. Intensity 7-9 is gale-force winds, causing all aerial creatures to treat flying through the air as Difficult Terrain. At Intensity 10+, the winds are hurricane-force and flight is impossible. Sheathing the blade causes the tempest to disperse in a final blast of lightning. Intensity drops to 0 and the wielder makes a special unblockable Decisive attack with a free full Excellency against everyone within 1 range band per point of Intesnity, with a cap of Essence+3 range bands, including allies. The attack's damage is based on its Intensity and is devided evenly among all characters that get hit, rounding up. It ignores Hardness. Trivial foes and battle groups automatically just take damage based on Intensity. The wielder's Initiative is not included in the damage and does not resert to base, and no magic can be used to enhance the blast. Every new moon, Stormcaller must be ritually cleansed with rice wine in a ritual requiring OCcult 3+, or 1+ and a demon-related specialty. The ritual takes a scene and an Occult roll, and while Stormcaller is properly purified, the sheath blast will not harm allies or anyone the wielder has a positive Tie towards.

Fulminating Edge Flash can be used once per scene. It boosts Withering damage and, if the attack hits, lets you gain Intensity, but you do not gain any Initiative the victim loses. Storm Binding: Lightning Cleaves the Heavens lets you sheathe the blade to concentrate the storm's fury into a single bolt of lightning you control. Rather than the normal sheath effect, you make an unblockable Decisive attack at a foe out to Medium range, with bonus damage based on Intensity. You can only use this once, then must successfully purify Stormcaller under the new moon to use it again. If resonant, you can instead reset it with a scene in meditation with the bound demon, spending Willpower and rolling Presence to try and subdue it by will alone. If you fail, you can't try again until after purifying the weapon. Sleeping Devil, Wake! gives a bonus to a Decisive attack, and if it deals any damage, you get +1 Intensity - or more, if resonant and you roll 10s.

Divine Tempest Blade lets you use Hungry Tiger Technique against foes not in Crash as long as the storm is at least Intensity 6. Storm Binding: Falling Sky Strike can only be used if at Intiative 15+ and Intensity 6+. You sheathe the sword, but instead of the normal effects, you send out a barrage of lightning, making a number of unblockable Decisive attacks based on Intensity at one or more foes out to Extreme range with a single attakc roll. You dividedamage evenly among all foes hit, rounding up, to determine raw damage, and you ignore Hardness, and you inmcrease damage based on how well you hit. This Evocation may only be used once before purification, following the same rules as Storm Binding: Lightning Cleaves the Heavens. Once once is used, neither can be until purified, one way or the other.

The ultimate power is Storm Binding: Tempest of 10,000 Hells. It can only be learned if you prove your will superior to Akavadra's and get her to admit you are her master. This is typically done by succeed on the pruification roll for every new moon over an entire year, though other narrative conditions may allow it as well. Akavadra may, alternatively, grant use of this power to someone that earns her favor via great and heartless violence. To use this Charm ,you must spend a full scene in meditation, honing your intentions, then draw the blade. You unleash an ultimate, devastating storm on the area, which the GM may use Rain of Doom's effects for or make a unique effect. As long as you have succesfully purified the blade every new moon for the past year, you may ensure the storm will not harm your Circle or anyone you have a positive Tie towards. However, if you have failed in the purifications, have an Intimacy formed by interaction with Akavadra or are in Limit Break, the storm goes entirely out of control and often does terrible collateral damage. This can only be used once per story, but can be reset by upholing a Major or Defining Intimacy via the monthly purifiaction, or by spending a scene in communion with Akavadra and accepting a Major Intimacy reflecting her corrupting influence.

Next time: Armor Chapter

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I'm surprised there aren't more vampiric border princes actually. It seems like an excellent opportunity to rule over the foolish mortals without your drat cousins getting in the way. And once your brilliance unencumbered by their meddling inevitably causes the principality to rise into towering glory you can raise an army from it and seize your birthright. Deathright?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Arms of the Chosen: Mount Baldy

Baldaquin is a 3-dot orichalcum lamellar armor. It was forged by Broken Thunder as a gift for Shadow-of-Mars, to protect her on the Eight Directions Embassy, a mission in which she would travel all the land as an emissary of the Exalted. It was worn to treat with the Western Fair Folk in order to gain their endorsement of the Formless Concordance and as she sailed ot Old Stygia to offer her respect to the Dual Monarchs and even across the Endless Desert to seek audience with the princes of Malfeas. Through it all, no matter what, Shadow-of-Mars was loyal to her mission, and the armor was always true. Centuries later, she set aside her travels to live in Asmay, on the Isle of Nine Cities, near Luthe. She passed the armor on to a new generation, that they too might be protected as they sailed the Great Western Ocean and beyond in service to the newly made Deliberative. Each rondel and plate bears the insignia of the Eight Directions Embassy - eight arrows radiating from the Imperial Mountain. It has a single hearthstone slot.

Whenever the wearer travels in order to be an intermediary or advocate for another, they get a bonus to all rolls to endure or bypass hostile environments and hazards. Austere Ambassadorial Mien is gained free as long as you aren't dissonant with orichalcum when you successfully influence or read the intentions of a spirit or raksha. It boosts the wearer's Resolve and Guile and those of their allies for a scene, as long as they are guests of or guided by spirits or Fair Folk. Further, the host and their retinue cannot attack the party without just cause unless they pay Willpower. Upright Nautical Envoy enhances the Solar Charms Fathom-Fed Spirit, Tide-Cutting Essence Infusion and Tide-Carried Omens. The first can be used more times per day, the second increases a ship's speed when traveling as an intermediary, and the third makes bonus dice into bonus successes. It isn't a gate of anything. Faultless Emissary Method lets you reroll failures on a bargain or read intentions roll made while being an intermediary.

Iron-Compass Soul lets you gain Initiative and motes whenever you resist influence used by demons, undead or Wyld-born creatures or energies. Part the Winds of Chaos reduces the cost of Integrity-Protecting Prana, Wyld-Dispelling Prana, Chaos-REplling Pattern or Chaos-Cutting Galley a few times per day. It doesn't gate anything off. Golden Negotiators Voice boosts the use of Enlightened Discourse Method and Semantic Argument Technique when you are acting as an intermediary, and gives extra Willpower from Empowered Barter Stance while acting as an intermediary.

The ultimate power is Celestial Safe-Passage Compact. Obce per story, it allows you to forge a pact between any two rulers or governments. Once such a pact is made, all envoys and their entourages traveling on official business from one ruler's court to the other's get the benefits of diplomatic immunity provided by the Eclipse anima power. This pact will persist through succession, usurpation or civil war as long as some continuity of government remains. Once either ruler or ruling body officially forswears the pact or once either government ceases to exist in tis current form, the benefits are lost for all future envoys, though any out on official business retain its protection for the duration of their embassy.

Heartsbalm is a 3-dot orichalcum reinforced breastplate. Its tale is the love story of Laughing Sky and Oak Ring Prince, a romance still told of millenia beyond their deaths. It's a long and storied cycle, but the seventh part tells of how Oak Ring Prince sustained a terrible wound defending his husband from the venomous talons of a behemoth. Laughing Sky swore not to rest until he'd made armor that could protect his beloved and return the beauty the scar of the wound removed. From then on, Oak Ring Prince always wore Heartsbalm into battle, making him invincible as his love. Their stories speak of the perils he withstood for love, ranging from singlehandedly fighting off the legions of the Chatoyant Sovereignty to diving into the Thousand Razors Labyrinth to rescue Laughing Sky from Malfeas. After Oak Ring Prince's final battle against the Usurpation forces, Laughing Sky took up the armor to go on a vengeance-fuled rampage against the killers. The armor has two hearthstone slots.

To attune to hearthstone, you must have a positive Tie of love towards someone else. From then on, that person is your beloved. Romantic, familial or other forms of love all work, as long as the relationship is emotionally significant. If your beloved is killed or the reciprocal love between you ends, you may designate a new beloved at the start of the next story. Until then, you lose access to all of Heartsbalm's Evocations. You can spend 2 XP to designate a beloved early, getting them back when the next story begins. When you use a defend other action to protect your beloved, or your beloved uses a defend other action to protect you, whoever is being protected gets a Defense bonus.

Heart-Forged Aegis increases your soak and the defend other boost based on the strength of your Intimacy towards your beloved. Furious Guardian Reprisal makes it so you can use Essence-Gathering Temper, Willpower-Enhcancing Spirit and Fury-Fed Ardor in response to damage you witness being done to your beloved as if it were being done to you. It doesn't gate anything off. Indomitable Guardian Ardor is gained free if you aren't dissonant with orichalcum when you and your beloved defeat a powerful foe together. It increases your Resolve in combat and if you're fighting to protect your beloved or your relationship with them, it gives a bonus to Hardness and to resisting environmental hazards based on the strength of your Intimacy.

Orichalcum Hero's Heart can be used once per day, and only while fighting to protect your beloved or your relationship with them. After you get hit with a Decisive attack, you can roll a pool based on your Willpower and the strength of your Intimacy to oppose the damage roll; if you win, you take no damage and your attacker resets to base. If resonant, you can force the enemy to have to roll damage against themselves if you negate their attack and their attack roll beat their own Defense. All-Conquering Love upgrades the Solar Charm Strength From Conviction Stance, so that in a Decision Point, you can call on the sacrifices you've made to protect your beloved or your relationship, even without a supporting Principle. Once per story, you can also lose Limit when you use this to resist a life-changing task. This does not gate anything.

Divine Tempest Blade lets you use Hungry Tiger Technique against foes not in Crash as long as the storm is at least Intensity 6. Storm Binding: Falling Sky Strike can only be used if at Intiative 15+ and Intensity 6+. You sheathe the sword, but instead of the normal effects, you send out a barrage of lightning, making a number of unblockable Decisive attacks based on Intensity at one or more foes out to Extreme range with a single attakc roll. You dividedamage evenly among all foes hit, rounding up, to determine raw damage, and you ignore Hardness, and you inmcrease damage based on how well you hit. This Evocation may only be used once before purification, following the same rules as Storm Binding: Lightning Cleaves the Heavens. Once once is used, neither can be until purified, one way or the other.

The ultimate power is Trust Beyond Doubt, which upgrades the Solar Charm Transcendent Hero's Meditation, reducing its cost based on the strength of your Intimacy when invoked in response to influence that opposes your Tie to your beloved. If the influence would cause you to harm or endanger your beloved, you may break free of it instantly, without any need for time in meditation.

Next time: Kaijin, Midnight Thorn

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The Lone Badger posted:

I'm surprised there aren't more vampiric border princes actually. It seems like an excellent opportunity to rule over the foolish mortals without your drat cousins getting in the way. And once your brilliance unencumbered by their meddling inevitably causes the principality to rise into towering glory you can raise an army from it and seize your birthright. Deathright?

I think it's mostly that Von Carsteins feel they'd be mocked for 'settling', Blood Dragons don't usually care about ruling stuff so much as continuing to be wandering shonen antiheroes martial artists, and Lahmians usually have better things to do. There are several Strigoi ones in fluff, at least. Sure, the Prince might be a weird as gently caress mutant vampire monster, but he just took out an entire gang of ogres by himself and doesn't eat anyone from town so he can't be that bad.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



The Lone Badger posted:

I'm surprised there aren't more vampiric border princes actually. It seems like an excellent opportunity to rule over the foolish mortals without your drat cousins getting in the way. And once your brilliance unencumbered by their meddling inevitably causes the principality to rise into towering glory you can raise an army from it and seize your birthright. Deathright?

Night10194 posted:

I think it's mostly that Von Carsteins feel they'd be mocked for 'settling', Blood Dragons don't usually care about ruling stuff so much as continuing to be wandering shonen antiheroes martial artists, and Lahmians usually have better things to do. There are several Strigoi ones in fluff, at least. Sure, the Prince might be a weird as gently caress mutant vampire monster, but he just took out an entire gang of ogres by himself and doesn't eat anyone from town so he can't be that bad.

This is why I went with the Strigoi for the Enigma in my slice of the not-Balkans. Had ruins of the right age, and a death wizard lord with a horrible secret so I decided the death wizard was actually a full-on necromancer here specifically for the old Strigoi ruins in the hopes of becoming immortal that way. Sure it's not the flavor of vampire he'd hoped for back home, but immortality is immortality in his book.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 26: It’s a hard-knock life for us.




Life in the 21st century did not go the way people really expected it. It’s even dubious to say if it has gone anywhere. As much as technology has developed, civilization has gone back. The world in the year 2059 is brutal, malicious and high tech. But it can only partly be called civilized. The gaps between the poor and the rich have increased, the same goes for the difference between the ruler and the ruled. On all levels of society there is a struggle for wealth, prosperity and survival. Multinational companies compete about market shares through influence over states and natural resources. The states themselves fight for survival in a world where almost every country has access to, or have, nuclear weapons. Crime syndicates fight about income from all parts of society. Most streets are ruled by gangs who fight against each other and a corrupt police force.

It’s a multifaceted and varied world. For while the distances have shrunk, people in different parts of the world have completely different situations. Some have reached a relatively decent level of prosperity, but most states stand on the brink of bankruptcy. The increased urbanization has created huge divides between the rich and the poor. To some the progress of technology, medical care, communication and information technology has led to an increased living standard. But for many life is nothing but suffering. Survival is on a day to day basis, trying to avoid getting killed on the lawless streets while get something to eat. People in 2059 accept conditions that would be unacceptable by today’s standards. The problems are almost innumerable. Pollution, overpopulation, crime, corruption,violence, oppression, lack of water, starvation, epidemics and drugs are simply some examples of the major issues plaguing society. Many people have simply given up hope about a better future and think their own situations will never improve.

Things that aren’t meant to happen are usually the ones that happen. Several scientific and social developments that initially looked promising later spiraled out of control and made life even more bizarre. The great population boom that many expected during the last century never happened, or perhaps it simply choked on itself. Famine, epidemics and war in the third world lead to population growth stabilising. Instead unemployment has become one of the bigger issues. The previously stable, but rather high, unemployment rate has spiraled out of control and its wake comes poverty, criminality and social dissatisfaction. The unemployed masses have become an easy victim for new and exotic drugs that are both easy and cheap to manufacture. The profits gained from these have only helped strengthen the crime syndicates power positions. These have grown so big that nations and corporations no longer have any real ability to defeat them. Outside of this the addictions have led to the poor being forced to commit crimes to afford another dose for a day.
Data technology, something that was initially seen as very promising has now been turned into a tool for rulers, corporations and criminals to control more and more of earth’s resources. The nuclear wars caused by the rampant proliferation of warheads have damaged large territories. In combination with the pollution and now very thin ozone layer, this has led to large parts becoming virtually uninhabitable. It’s also become more and more complicated to use farmlands, which means that large parts of the food sold today is artificial. The technology to efficiently produce foodstuff was simply forced to improve dramatically.

Oh, so there suddenly is artificial foodstuffs. Something which is rather casually dropped in a sidebar in this chapter without further explanation or details.

Life for the unemployed in 2059 is hard, but it’s not impossible either. I most countries people are guaranteed a place to live and food for the day. That the accommodation is 20 square meters per family and the food is one meal a day isn’t too much of an issue. As an unemployed you tend to be thankful even if the apartment is slightly run down, the elevator is out of order and graffiti covers the concrete walls. More oftenly this also comes with state sponsored free television that spews out endless volumes of entertainment, subliminal messaging and propaganda.
The old roman adage of “bread and spectacles” is something that the state has firmly taken into themselves. The worst thing is that it works 99% of the time. The people who don’t accept this are the ones who can afford an education and freer media, which means that they don’t have any reasons to complain. The countries that primarily deal with this way of thinking is Great Britain, New America, China and Japan. All have issues with overpopulation and high unemployment rates.

I guess Japan managed to reverse the declining birth rates trend in N2.

The levels of street crime are also lower in these countries than elsewhere, but then again oppression as well as organized crime and corruption is at far higher volumes. High unemployment leads lots of idleness. But that doesn’t mean that the crime rate is increasing, it’s high enough as it is already, but it keeps itself relatively stable. Mostly because people have grown used to it. Most people keep themselves occupied by queuing for ration cards or for a job. When the family isn’t out on some temporary job they usually sit in front of the TV or mindlessly browses the internet. Daily life in 2059 is characterized by misery, depression and apathy. Substance abuse is common, mainly alcohol or cheap synthetic drugs.
But even then having a home is a luxury to some. Countless homeless people exists all over the world. Most of them don’t even exist within the state registres and no only cares of they live or die. These people only have each other to rely on, but not always. The subsist from begging, small thefts, sporadic trading or digging through other people’s trash. Food can sometimes be gotten through soup kitchens and they usually sleep in hospices. Otherwise they will have to sleep where there is a roof over their head, such as in the subway, inside some empty boxes or in the sewers. All their belongings usually fits inside a shopping cart.

Gangs usually consists of teenagers that have joined together under a common banner to protect themselves, their territories, families or belongings. Most of them quickly realized that their size gives them a large amount of power and this usually leads them into the path of crime. More often they are picked up some major criminal organisation in exchange for complete loyalty. This usually means higher living standards for the gangs and a much higher one for their leaders. Furthermore these gangs are usually assimilated into the world of organized crime. Internal conflicts between gangs are tolerated as long as it doesn’t threaten the organization as a whole. Sponsored gangs need to follow the same rules as their host. For example the omerta or spietezza of the italian mafia. If any member breaks these rules then the whole gang is wiped out as a result.
Disagreements between gangs lead to wars. These can be about turf or resources, but also nothing but simple paranoia, hat or fear. Large wars can rock whole city sections for weeks on end until the police or military is put in to put a stop to it. Gangs usually have special signifier to make them stand out and also to strengthen the sense of unity and belonging. This has different names at places. In America its called ‘color’, in Japan it’s ‘mon’ or weapon shield, in England it is’ ‘flag’ and most parts of Europe it’s ‘badge’. This mark can have a myriad of different shapes; some prefer wearing a special type of cap, others a certain mark on their clothes, some enforce a uniform standard, you might need to have a special kind of cybertech, and so on.

Outside of a country’s army there is also private armies, mercenary armies as well as paramilitary armes. Private ones are bound to a person a company, mercenary ones can be hired whenever for whatever and paramilitary armies usually fight for a particular cause. Soldiers can be divided into two categories, voluntary and involuntary. The former usually have an overdeveloped sense of duty or an all to high sense of adventures. Slogans like “be all you can be” or “realize yourself” are still used today to recruit volunteers to various armed forces. Another reason to join is that you want to escape your past back home. The French Foreign Legion for instance has once again become a getaway for criminals. Involuntary soldiers are drafted or ordered to the army, more often as a punishment. The Federal American Marine Corps usually take in murderers that have been sentenced to life in prison, under the motto of “If you take point and you survive ten years you will be pardoned”. These so called ‘lifers’ are usually as steadygun operators because they have the necessary aggressivity and are often more quick thinking than what you’d expect in a combat situation. Their loyalty is usually secured either through an internal bomb or a moderate addiction to some combat drug.
So what’s a steadygun then? Go figure, last time I think I saw a mention about that was way back in the skill section under weapon systems.

Organized crime has always had a massive influence on things, in some cases it has been turned into a resistance movement against foreign powers, in other cases criminality has always existed. The syndicates take care of their own, which means its an excellent getaway for unemployed. Even regular foot soldiers have it better in a syndicate than unemployed. This, combined with the absolute vow of silence that comes with joining them means that they are very hard to combat.
For some reason the section about organised crime in this case talks about nothing but the Italian mafia despite it has been confirmed that other groups exists. Really weird and kind of sloppy.

The ones who have a job usually live on the same level as the ones who don’t. But on the other hand they have access to their company’s education, medical care and housing. They can also eat several times a day. Their job gives them something to do to break the monotony. There are unions, but usually these act as information channels between employer and employees. In places like England or Scandinavia they can still in their old role as caretaker of the workers. Union representatives in these countries are though harassed by employers and the state. Strikes are still a common feature, but mainly within the public sector. While they do occur in the private sector as well the lack of legal protection means that they’re rare. It’s fully possible to fire someone who goes on strike in this case. The public sector has better terms just because of how much power they have over some things. In an unstable country something as simple as trash not being picked up or the tv-service being turned off can sometimes be enough to kickstart a revolution.
When the Japanese working corps go on strike they do so differently. Before and after working hours, as well as during lunch hours, the workers gather outside the company’s head office with placards as well as red bandanas to show their displeasure. But as soon as the signal to back to work is called they all rush back in and start to work again. However they will still wear their red bandanas to show who is currently on strike. This usually embarrasses the employer to such a degree that they will quickly start negotiations to find a solution for the workers grievances.
Due to the differences in society and culture this japanese model hasn’t managed to spread outside of their borders. Nor does it work in japanese companies in the western hemisphere. But that is because the ultra-nationalistic Japan doesn’t consider westerners worth caring about.

Wow, gently caress that last part so hard. Also the book calls that method “rather funny” as well as if to hammer in the point further.

Officials usually have it better than workers, but that doesn’t mean that their salaries and living standards are usually higher in comparison. In the civil service sector the corruption is rife and there’s plenty of opportunities for scrupulous officials to earn extra money from bribes, kick-backs and other ‘benefits’. Of course it’s all very illegal but the risk of getting caught is minimal. Meanwhile, officials working for companies have a lot better terms. Even if unions have nothing to say about their situation. But at the same time there is a measure of security because of how important their jobs are for the company to run smoothly. Officials have the opportunity to let their kids continue onwards to a higher education and they’re usually offered a normal sized apartment or a smaller terraced house. The bigger issues is the stress, the working hours and the lack of free time.

Despite the fact there are millions of people who live life well they only make up an exceedingly small percent of the total world population. Assets, a respectable name, a well regarded manager job and a luxurious household are all important parts for an upper class family. These always live in the better neighbourhoods, they’re usually very well guarded and any unauthorized guests are turned away at the door. The houses are luxurious and decorated in the latest modern styles, not to mention all the latest technological whizzbangs are installed as well. Domestic help is a common occurrence. Through smart investments or benefits from the megacorporations the upper class can enjoy a membership in a good golf club, eat out every day and participate in a rich social life in the shape of events and parties.

On top of the pyramid lies however the social elite, a small number of exceedingly rich and powerful people. Despite many people claiming officially that they are democracies, almost all power lies within this upper crust of society. Countless business executives, financial sharks and political rules have managed to collect immense wealth underneath their names.
Anyone coming from this part have gone to the finest and most expensive schools in the world or has had the most expensive private teachers to be found. For the rich and the famous it’s important to be seen and hear as much as possible. To be in focus is the most important thing for these people, to care about others or to help them is irrelevant. No one really cares if someone buys the newest high spec supercar that goes for millions of euros. The elite has houses in the countryside, penthouse suites in the central parts of the city, private limousines and aircraft. Their homes are taken care of by countless, invisible, servants. And if the mansion suddenly turns dull there is always vacation homes, luxury yachts or luxury penthouses all over the world, usually at places where media interest is high.
Sure, life is easy and comfortable in the upper crust. But even then there is a careful balance act at play here. As the old saying goes, The higher you climb, the longer you fall. There is always someone nearby that is ready to take over from you. To protect your position you need to live a guarded life, bodyguards and strict schedules days. But on the whole you could say that the really rich life a good life. If they get to live that is.

I find it hilarious that this chapter ends on some weird ominous cliffhanger because it’s complete with three punctuation marks and everything.
Once again the issue is like the previous chapter, there’s absolutely nothing here. It’s clichés stacked upon clichés without anything that mixes it up to make it interesting. The text goes on and on and on about it being miserable for nearly everyone and how everything is poo poo but there’s nothing there. Everything goes together into a bowl of bland lukewarm soup.
The streak of eurocentrism or whatever you might call is boring, everything bad seems to have happened in the third world or outside of Europe. Or the US for that part. The only real mention is that England is overpopulated but that’s about it. Otherwise the west is safe from nuclear weapons from space based weaponry and all the bad stuff happened ‘somewhere else’.

Next time: Cultural victory.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

The dystopian cyberpunk future has universal public housing. I know it’s still terrible but still

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Wrestlepig posted:

The dystopian cyberpunk future has universal public housing. I know it’s still terrible but still

This seems to be a consitent thing in these cyberpunk games, that they struggled to grasp exactly what being a capitalist hellscape would mean.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Barudak posted:

This seems to be a consitent thing in these cyberpunk games, that they struggled to grasp exactly what being a capitalist hellscape would mean.

It's not like there isn't precedent for a capitalist hellscape, y'know, the Great Depression? And that's just in the USA.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Green Power

Kaijin is a three-dot starmetal reinforced buff jacket. Most of it is green leather, made from a patchwork of hides from over a dozen God-Blooded monsters, reinforced with starmetal plates and epaulettes, held in place by opal rivets from the bottom of the Great Western Ocean. The starmetal was excavated from the seabed by a deep-sea diver and archaeologist named Ebony Maelstrom, a Sidereal who used an ancient wonder of Yu-Shan to explore the ocean floors across Creation. In the depths of the West, he found a gigantic meteor that contained the Essence of so many spirits that the only distinct power he could extract from it safely was their shared immateriality. He brought this unprecedented metal back to the workshops of Heaven to be made into an artifact, and to this day, it is still occasionally requisitioned by Sidereals heading into dangerous areas. The armor can trick the Loom of Fate into seeing the wearer as a spirit – and thus allowing them to become as immaterial as a spirit. It has two hearthstone slots.

The wearer of Kaijin gets its first Evocation free on attunement. Hazy Mirage Edge lets you become slightly immaterial, giving a small boost to Defense and soak against an attack that can’t hit dematerialized targets. Flying Phantom Leap upgrades the Solar Charm Leaping Dodge Technique, so that when it’s used after dodging an attack via Hazy Mirage Edge, you teleport to your new location, ignoring obstacles such as walls or difficult terrain that would otherwise prevent your movement. It doesn’t gate anything off. Silver-Tongued Blasphemies upgrades the Solar Charm Ancient Tongue Understanding, so that while speaking in Old Realm you get a bonus to Manipulation-based influence rolls to convince people you’re a spirit. It doesn’t gate anything off, either. Immanent Mantle of Divinity reduces the TN of a roll to oppose a grapple, disengage or withdraw from a foe, or to otherwise escape by 1, to a minimum of 4. If resonant, it also increases the TN of any opposed rolls by 1, to a max of 9. Fateful Shift Evasion can be used when attacked in Close range to clash with a Dodge-based gambit. If it succeeds, you can either reflexively move away from the attacker or cause them to move one range band past you, as well as stealing some of their Initiative. This doesn’t count as your action for the turn.

The ultimate power, Donning the Ethereal Form, cannot be bought with XP. Instead, it is gained free if you’re not dissonant with starmetal when you achieve a major character or story goal by convincing someone significant or an entire society that you are a god. It lets you dematerialize, rendering you unable to interact with the physical world without use of special magic. Unlike most dematerialized beings, you remain visible, though you appear to be a divine spirit rather than a mortal being unless they make a very hard Occult roll.

Midnight Thorn is a 3-dot green jade chain shirt. Its green jade links are all treated with mystic inks used by some far Eastern tribes to camouflage themselves via occult tattoos. It is worn on top of a hooded tunic of black velvet made from the silk spun by rare silkworms found underground below the Imperial Mountain. To complete it are a pair of bracers made from the stripped bark of ironwood trees, carved with symbols of Sextes Jylis and Mela, with a single hearthstone socket in the left bracer. Midnight Thorn was made by the Dragon-Blooded crafter Iselsi Uja, and it was among the arsenal used in House Iselsi’s ill-fated rebellion against the Scarlet Empress. She took it from them and gave it to her elite spies, the All-Seeing Eye. Its last known bearer, sent by the Empress personally to infiltrate Lunar bases in the Caul, wore it to conceal himself in the jungles. However, he never returned with his findings and the armor was presumed lost.

Midnight Thorn gives a bonus to all Stealth rolls made while concealed in forests, jungles or other plant-based concealment. Leaf-Sussurus Mimicry is gained free if you’re not dissonant with jade when you successfully ambush a non-trivial foe. It reduces penalties to Stealth rolls while in plant-based concealment. Razor Bloom Barrier can be used once per round on your turn to grow a flower from the Sextes Jylis bracer, then throw it out to Close range, where it will instantly grow into a bush or shrub that provides light cover. Once the scene ends, the plants fade to nothing. If resonant, you can reflexively take cover behind it with a bonus based on Stealth or Survival, whichever is higher. At Essence 3, you can repurchase this to make the flower grow into a briar wall that gives heavy cover and damages enemies that try to take cover behind It or use it for concealment.

Unseen Dryad Concealment upgrades the Charm Invisible Statue Spirit, making it free to use while in plant-based concealment. It gates nothing off. Blood Thorn Technique can be used whenever you take non-Bashing Decisive damage, allowing you to reflexively activate Razor Bloom Barrier. If the attacker is in Close range, they must make an Athletics roll to avoid being knocked prone by the rapid growth and taking minor Decisive bashing damage. Elusive Forest Shadow can only be used while stealthed behind plant-based concealment and no enemy that is aware of you is within Short range or closer. This causes a layer of bark to grow over the armor, improving its soak and Hardness for the scene. Embrace of Thorns upgrades the Solar Charm Dark Sentinel’s Way, allowing you to reflexively use Razor Bloom Barrier when you use Dark Sentinel’s Way to protect an ally, giving your ward cover. This gates nothing off.

Wilderness-Stalking Wraith upgrades the Solar Charm Traceless Passage, making it even better when concealing tracks in forest, jungle or other vegetation-rich areas. The ultimate power is Shadow Hunter Ambuscade, which can boost any unexpected attack, causing the armor to fire razor blooms and steal the target’s Initiative on a hit, giving them either to you or to an ally within Short range. If resonant it also gives a minor damage boost to the attack.

Next time: 4 dots: Five Edicts Dominion, The Quincunx

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


Barudak posted:

This seems to be a consitent thing in these cyberpunk games, that they struggled to grasp exactly what being a capitalist hellscape would mean.

They’re written by people who have never left their suburb except on a school field trip once.

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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Barudak posted:

This seems to be a consitent thing in these cyberpunk games, that they struggled to grasp exactly what being a capitalist hellscape would mean.

Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun made you pay for that. Shadowrun, in particular, had "Squatter" as a housing option.

TBF, in case of Neotech, what sounds like it was made by Europeans, public housing would largely where you put all the poor people, like Grenfell Tower (RIP), the Ponte Tower block in J-burg, and Cabrini Green in Chicago (also RIP). These days in America, they'd just let them die in the street instead of starve or freeze to death in substandard housing.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 14:15 on Apr 22, 2019

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