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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




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.
The ones that do tend to be more out-there, borderline wacky stuff like Underground and the Judge Dredd RPG. Granted, my feeling on Underground is that it's firing satire in so many different directions at once that it would be difficult to put myself in the mind of an "average" person in this setting--who regards commodified religion, cloned slaves, and keeping an assault rifle in your kitchen "just in case" as totally normal.

In Neotech's case it's downright cute, because they're Swedish. They've never really had to grapple with austerity neoliberalism or being a white supremacist empire well into the 20th century like the US and UK. Their main capitalist hellscape issue seems to be the far-right rising up in response to all the dang foreigners, which is what happens when you're a model social democracy but your finance industry is still sucking wealth out of the Global South.

jakodee posted:

They’re written by people who have never left their suburb except on a school field trip once.
Pretty much. You can say that in your game the city is a "concrete jungle" where office buildings are full of "drones" and the streets are filled with "urban predators," there are homeless everywhere, the crime rate is 1000%, everyone has a gun...whoopty poo poo. That's my mother's paranoid fantasy about Richmond, VA in 1999.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

It's not like there isn't precedent for a capitalist hellscape, y'know, the Great Depression? And that's just in the USA.
You ever notice how all these cyberpunk dystopias are strangely devoid of any actual political movements fighting the dystopia? It's more evidence that box-standard cyberpunk is mostly dreamed up by comfortable middle-class suburbanites: they can only imagine resistance to megacorporate dystopia taking the form of some small fringe quasi-terrorist group with a punk rock aesthetic.

As opposed to, say, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people organizing strikes under the banner of the Knights of Labour.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Apr 22, 2019

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: The Armor of Being A Giant rear end in a top hat

Five Edicts Dominion is 4-dot soulsteel articulated palte. Legend has it that it was the first soulsteel artifact ever made, dating all the way back to the Divine Revolution. Whether it was first or not, it’s certainly ancient. It was forged from the laws of the ancients, as they tumbled from the lips of dying titans. Indistinct wraiths of long-extinct races shift across its black surface, and wicked spikes protrude from its great pauldrons and crown-helm. It was worn into battle only one time by the Solar assassin Khour-Rudjek before he sealed it under a mountain for several millenia, fearing what its corruptive influence might do. The mountain is now in the midst of a shadowland, and the dark agents of a mysterious necromancer-king have been seen delving into its ruins. Over the millenia, the restless dreams of the Old Laws have woken something in the artifact. The dying breaths of beings that were never meant to die are far too potent to be silent, and they have formed a strange consciousness over time. The armor itself is sentient and may speak to its attuned Exalt even when not worn – or anyone nearby, when unattuned. What it wants is unclear, but the wise are wary of its promises. It has two hearthstone slots.

When Five Edicts Dominion is unattuned, it makes a 10-die bargain attempt at anyone within Long range capable of attuning to it as soon as they see it, attempting to convince them to attune. Once attuned, it fills the wearer’s head with the words of the ancient dead, giving a bonus to all Occult rolls about the undead or the Underworld and to all Linguistics rolls to understand archaic or dead languages. On Your Knees is gained free when you exploit a Major or Defining Tie towards you that takes the form of subordination or inferiority in order to lower someone’s Resolve, or when you discover such a tie with a read intentions roll. This may include a soldier’s loyalty to a commander, a peasant’s awe towards a warrior or the hateful fury of the oppressed against a tyrant. When you are hit by an attack but take no damage, you may activate this to channel the whispers of the dead gods into a single incomprehensible word that knocks the attacker prone as invisible weight forces them to their knees (or, if resonant, you may knock them back one range band first). You then gain or strengthen a Minor Tie of contempt towards the attacker.

10,000 Years Humiliation lets you speak a word of denial when an enemy within Short range attempts to rise from prone, reflexively rolling a Presence-based threaten action against their Resolve. If you succeed, they do not dare to rise from prone until their next turn. Beyond Your Reach increases your Defense against an attacker you have a Tie of contempt towards or who is prone, and increases it further if both are true. Even if the attack hits, its damage is reduced. Absolute Terror Mantle improves the Solar Charm Majestic Radiant Presence, reducing its cost and making prone enemies unable to resist it with Willpower. It gates nothing off. Dread Majesty Command is gained for free if you aren’t dissonant with soulsteel when you defeat a character you have a Major or Defining Tie of contempt for. It lets you shout an ancient word, sending forth a torrent of anima and force. All enemies within Short range must roll Resistance with a difficulty based on your Linguistics or be knocked back one range band and sent prone. If resonant, you also reduce their Initiative (but don’t gain it).

On a Pedestal of Your Bones can’t be learned if dissonant with soulsteel. It can be used when a prone foe or one whom you have a Tie of contempt towards hits you with a Withering attack, allowing you to make a Presence-based threaten action as a counterattack. If you succeed, the attacker gains no Initiative from their attack. If resonant, it also reduces the damage. You Groveling Fools upgrades the Solar Charm Worshipful Lackey Acquisition, allowing it to trigger whenever you achieve a goal by defeating your enemies in battle, and making it harder to resist if you have a Tie of contempt for a target. It gates nothing off.

The ultimate power, Covenant of the Old Laws, can only be learned if resonant with soulsteel. It can only be used once per story, and only by spending at least five minutes meditating in the Underworld, a shadowland or an Abyssal-aspect demesne or manse. The world crumbles around you to reveal the all-devouring void beneath Creation, where you may bargain with the ancient dead. Anything gained through this Evocation has a GM-defined price. It may be a Minor, Major or Defining Pact. Minor Pacts are relatively simple to accomplish within at most the next session. Major Pacts require effort equivalent to a major character or story goal. Defining Pacts require effort comparable to a legendary social goal. If you fail to uphold your end of the bargain or renege on it, you suffer the curse of the void, as if you had broken an Eclipse-consecrated oath. You can learn the location of an artifact that is free to claim, no more than 5 dots, with the pact level based on how many dots it has. You can gain the favor of a specific undead, treating them as having a Defining positive Tie in a context of the GM’s choice towards you as they see the bloody mark of the void on you, and a Major Tie from their retinue, for the duration of the next scene you’re in with them. This is usually a Major Pact, but may be Defining for very powerful characters such as Deathlords or undead Exalts. You may call forth an Abyssal manse from the void, raising it as a lesser manse if in the Underworld or a lesser Abyssal demesne, or a greater manse if in a greater Demesne. This is a Major Pact. You can gain any kind of Story-tag Merit that could be drawn forth from the Underworld, such as an undead army, lost wealth of the grave or so on, with a pact level based on how many dots the Merit you’re gaining is. You may call forth any Charm the GM allows, as well, ranging from custom Evocations for Five Edicts Dominion to any native Charm that resonates with its themes to spirit Charms with the Eclipse keyword known by undead. You must meet all prerequisites, but spend no XP. This is a Major Pact, or Defining if the power is particularly strong.

The Quincunx is a 4-dot orichalcum breastplate. It was made in the First Age by the sorcerer Devon, who believed that all secrets of the universe could be understood by careful math. When Devon’s Circlemate Kati dived into Malfeas alone to fight a demon lord, Devon saw no choice but to ready himself for battle and follow, wearing the Quincunx as a sorcerous defense against the alien powers and geometries of the Demon City. The breastplate was buried alongside Devon, and it remains in his tomb, awaiting its next wearer. It consists of two perfectly symmetrical pentagonal plates of orichalcum, both inlaid with crystals aligned to occult patterns and inscribed with runes. The front plate has a single hearthstone slot in the center of the large quincunx pattern the armor takes its name from. It is worn over a long, high-collared tunic with flared sleeves, lined with the fur and mystic power of five haruka. It allows a sorcerer that wears it to calculate their foe’s next move and capture their occult energies.

Anyone attuned to the Quincunx gets a bonus to Defense while shaping sorcery, attempting countermagic or distorting a spell. A Twilight at bonfire anima may pay 6 motes and 1 Willpower to harmonize their anima with the armor, causing both to stack their Hardness for the rest of the scene. Aegis of Geometric Perfection allows you to spend Essence to reduce the damage of an incoming attack, with a higher cap if you’re shaping a spell at the time. Harmonic Crystal Vessel boosts a countermagic attempt, allowing you to steal the motes you disperse and store them for the rest of the scene, to be spent on your own spells or on Evocations of the Quincunx. If not used before the scene ends, any motes left over are lost. Resonance of Sorcerous Essence improves the Solar Charm Supernal Control Method, allowing it to generate sorcerous motes in the armor as per Harmonic Crystal Vessel for every 10 on an enhanced Occult roll. It gates nothing off.

Sorcerer’s Crystal Aegis lets you reflexively use Occult to clash an attack against you. If you succeed, you deal no damage but you bank sorcerous motes in the armor based on your roll instead. This doesn’t count as your action for the turn. If resonant, you also drain some of the attacker’s Initiative if you win the clash. Brilliant Backlash Cascade lets you, once per scene, make an unblockable Withering attack via Occult against all foes in Short range, with damage based on your Intelligence and Essence. Any enemy that takes damage is also knocked back one range band and sent prone. If they are Crashed, they are knocked back an additional range band. Creatures of darkness (still undefined, :sigh:) cannot apply soak against the damage. However, you only gain Initiative from the highest damage in the blast.

The ultimate power, Celestial Anima Harmony, upgrades the Solar Charm Spirit-Drawing Oculus. Whenever you gain motes from it, you also bank that many sorcerous motes in the Quincunx.

Next time: Sozen and Mela’s Coil

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Halloween Jack posted:

In Neotech's case it's downright cute, because they're Swedish. They've never really had to grapple with austerity neoliberalism or being a white supremacist empire well into the 20th century like the US and UK. Their main capitalist hellscape issue seems to be the far-right rising up in response to all the dang foreigners, which is what happens when you're a model social democracy but your finance industry is still sucking wealth out of the Global South.

You say that but so far I've yet to be able to really pick out any major issues because it's all so incredibly bland. I mean the main issue is overpopulation but even then there is no real mention of immigration being the cause of that and just people loving and not dying in the more industrialized countries. My biggest issue is that it wants to have a hellscape but never seems to spend much detail into it. I know there is a timeline but that never shows up in the actual book. Only in one that showed up like four years later or something. :v:

That is not to say the writing can have some racist connotations to it. I know I've ragged at least a couple of times in the current posts about the games view on the third world and I know it's going to show up as we go on as well.

I mean I won't deny it's incredibly Swedish at times.
Although one point I was going to rag on them making a big deal about the subways not closing around midnight thinking that was a thing only we did. But turns out only the NY Metro runs 24/7.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Someone should run with this capitalism hell as imagined by cushy living petit bourgeoisie.

:rolldice: that's a critical fail, your job has been shipped overseas and now you'll now have to live on the public housing and rehabilitation project for the next year or so.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Key Armor

Sozen, the Cataphract of Keys is 4-dot orichalcum articulated plate. The name Sozen is spoken in a whisper in Malfeas, for even Hell has laws and locks, and the Cataphract of Keys is the mistress of breaking them. She is the queen of the Malfean underworld, a thief and legend. And she doesn’t exist. When the first Solar Deliberative collapsed, its embassy to Malfeas vanished entirely. Thousand-Named Orphan pledged to search Malfeas for his lover, who was lost with the embassy, and so he went to Zakhar of the Yellow Lamp for help, as the old drunk was said to be the greatest crafter of the age. Zakhar made for Orphan a suit of armor containing the Essence of a demon that never existed, forging it with such skill that the world itself forgot there was no Sozen. Thus armored, Orphan stalked Malfeas for seven years, undetected. The armor is a mass of spiked orichalcum plates, tarnished green with demonic Essence. It covers the wearer entirely, and each plate’s underside is coated in a filigree of occult glyphs in starmetal and black jade. The faceplate is an exaggerated demonic mask, and even when worn, its eye and mouth slits appear empty. While worn, it renders the wearer’s anima colors unnatural, full of greens and purples and demonic shades, with only the iconic manifestation left normal. It has one hearthstone slot.

While wearing the armor, the wearer appears to be Sozen in all ways. No one can distinguish your true identity while wearing it short of perfect magic such as Eye of the Unconquered Sun, and any power that reveals creatures of darkness will detect you as one, though any other magic does not treat you as a creature of darkness. While in Malfeas, you get access to the familiarity effect of the Solar Charm Seasoned Criminal Method, even if you don’t have that charm. If you do know it, it also gives the benefits of a Major Intimacy. Sozen also generates ominous phenomena. Shadows twist and writhe around you, and where you walk, vegetation rustles and standing water bubbles as if it flowed. When you speak, the strings of musical instruments vibrate in tangled echoes. At your touch, tarnish spreads across mirrors like frost.

Hell-Soul Masquerade veils you in the identity of the Cataphract of Keys. While this is active, you get a bonus to Guile, and anyone that fails a roll to read your intentions or Intimacies sees only Sozen. Sozen’s intentions are always mercenary, and her Intimacies are a Defining Principle of “I am the greatest thief that Hell will ever know,” a Defining Tie of Vanity towards herself, a Major Principle of “I will abide no disrespect for my skills and achievements,” a Major Principle of “I take what I desire,” and a Major Tie of covetousness towards precious things. Further, you are considered to have a specialty of demons and the Demon City in every Ability. A repurchase at Essence 3 lets you spend Willpower to use Sozen’s Intimacies to boost your Resolve or in a Decision Point, but doing so causes you to gain that Intimacy at Minor or increase it if you already had it, capped at the intensity Sozen has it. You may not voluntarily diminish it for the rest of the session.

Infernal Omen Shroud intensifies your ominous phenomena. It may be used when anyone attempts a Perception roll against you or anything in arm’s reach of you, and it lets you turn their successes into failures based on how many 1s they rolled, as long as the environment allows for your phenomena at all. The Orphan’s Key boosts the Solar Charms Lock-Opening Touch (it makes it easier to pick magical locks and reduces the cost for picking mundane locks), Master Plan Meditation (it gives a bonus to the roll) and Door-Evading Technique (it reduces the cost once per day). Evanescent Omen Body lets you dissolve into the ominous manifestations around you, increasing your Evasion against an attack and then reforming back in your normal location. If resonant, you may instead reform anywhere in Short range that has an appropriate environment for your ominous phenomena, as long as you successfully dodge, without it being your movement for the round. Ever-Thieving Demon Hand is gained free if you aren’t dissonant with orichalcum when you successfully steal a useful or valuable treasure from a demon or other being of Malfeas. It boosts a Withering attack, allowing you to reflexively make a pickpocket roll against your target as well, and you may choose not to gain any amount of Initiative from the attack to get an equivalent bonus on the pickpocket roll. Empty Scabbard Portent upgrades Ever-Thieving Demon Hand so that whenever you successfully dodge via Evanescent Omen Body while at Initiative 10+, you can spend 4 motes to counterattack with a Larceny-based disarm. If you hit, the target’s weapon dissolves into your ominous phenomena, and you can have it reappear in your hand or anywhere Evanescent Omen Body would let you reform. If nonmagical, you may leave it dispersed and gone forever. If you know Summoning the Loyal Steel, you may instead banish a mundane weapon to Elsewhere and recall it to your hand later via that Charm.

The ultimate power, Heart-Seizing Legerdemain, can only be used once per story and taps into Sozen’s legend as a master musician and lover, able to steal any heart. It can only be used in a place conducive to your ominous phenomena. You dissolve momentarily into chiaroscuro and music, your hand flickering into an opponent’s chest to steal their physical, actual heart as a difficulty 7 gambit. If the target has a Tie to someone or something that they think you’ve stolen from them or vice versa, the difficulty is reduced based on that Tie’s strength (or just the highest, if multiple qualify). A stolen heart still functions and beats and somehow keeps its owner alive, but there is a constant ache of its absence, causing a -4 wound penalty instead of whatever penalty they’d normally have for their current damage. If you wish, you may crush the heart. This is treated as an unarmed attack against a trivial foe, dealing all damage to the heart’s owner directly. When you end this Charm or die, the heart returns to its proper place in the owner’s chest if they are still alive. Creatures that have no hearts are immune, and those that have multiple hearts or whose heart is not useful (such as a zombie) may take lessened consequences at the GM’s whim. Additional restrictions may apply in some cases – for example, you may need to be able to touch immaterial beings to steal an immaterial being’s heart, while the heart of the behemoth Mostath, the Living Mountain, may be too large to steal without use of magic similar to Nine Aeons Throw.

Mela’s Coil is five-dot blue jade articulated plate. It was made during the earliest days of the Shogunate, a period rife with short-lived Immaculate heresies. The smith Aulan Kevia was an adherent of Mela Ascendant, and she made Mela’s Coil together with a Sidereal to celebrate this idea of a martial dragon, wearing it in battle against many during the Five-Dragon Crusade. Despite the armor’s power, however, Kevia was slain by the crusader Righteous Fire, who took the armor to the Pagoda of Pasiap’s Footstep as a prize. It has since been used by many Immaculate champions of the Wyld Hunt to face all kinds of foes, from insect-winged devils to Raksha storm-riders to flying Lunars. When Righteous Fire died in battle against the vulture-headed Devourer of Graves, his killer deliberately enraged his ghost by casting the armor into the sea, and the legend of the lost armor is still spoken of by Immaculates in the Realm and Lookshy, with many pilgrimages attempting to reclaim it. The armor is crafted to resemble a dragon coiled around the wearer’s torso, with the vambraces and gauntlets serving as its forelimbs and the helmet as its head. The dragon’s eyes are each a hearthstone socket.

Air Essence suffused the Coil, and despite its being heavy armor, it has no mobility penalty whatsoever, and its wearer is as buoyant in water as someone unarmored. Further, it produces a thin layer of fresh, clean air at all times, rendering the wearer immune to drowning, airborne poisons and diseases, and environmental hazards based on corrosive agents such as acid. The armor can also extend dragon-like claws from its gauntlets, which have the stats of razor claws. Wind-Rider Swiftness can be used to dive forward at a foe out to Medium range, causing the wearer to advance one range band towards them and then make a reflexive roll to rush them. This counts as your movement for the turn, and if you attack that foe before the end of your next turn, you get a bonus to damage. Clutching Dragon Coil causes blue jade coils to unwind from you and hold an opponent close, giving a bonus to a grapple control roll when you start a grapple. If used on the turn after rushing with Wind-Rider Swiftness, it also gives a bonus to the grapple’s Initiative roll.

Spread the Dragon’s Wings is learned free if you know the Solar Charm Eagle-Wing Style. It causes a pair of blue jade wings to unfold from the armor, 20 feet in wingspan. As long as you have enough clearance for them to spread, you fly as swiftly as a horse can run, functioning as per the five-dot Wings merit in all ways, but with a bonus to movement rolls while flying. If dissonant with jade, it is as per the three-dot Wings merit, and if resonant, it ignores the penalty to aerial actions caused by the Wings merit. If the wearer is Crashed, this Evocation ends. If this happens in the air, you plummet to the ground, but suffer no falling damage. Prince-of-Clouds Descent lets you, once per scene, swoop down one range band vertically and two range bands horizontally. If this puts you in Close range of a foe, you may make a Decisive attack with a bonus to attack and damage. This counts as your movement for the turn. Thousand Storms Exhalation lets you, once per fight, breathe out a typhoon-force wind, making a Withering attack based on Athletics, Brawl or Performance against all foes in a 90-degree arc in front of you out to Medium range. Typically this means one Close foe, three Short range foes and five Medium foes at maximum. All targets hit take a ton of Withering damage, but you only gain Initiative from the one that loses the most. Anyone that takes at least 5 damage is knocked back one range band and sent prone. At Essence 4 you can repurchase to be able to spend 2 anima levels to fill your breath attack with lightning, which means all foes hit also suffer a one-time nasty environmental hazard.

The ultimate power, One with the Blue Jade Dragon, can only be learned if resonant with jade, and only used once per story, while at 15+ Initiative and both hearthstone slots are full. You vanish in a sphere of wind and debris shot through with lances of blue light, which disperses to reveal a massive dragon made of blue jade, as you merge with the armor. This uses most of your stats, but replaces your health track and dicepools with those of a lesser elemental dragon, as well as gaining all of the dragon’s Charms (even those that lack the Eclipse keyword) and its Legendary Size and Soaring Dragon Flight merits. For any action the dragon has no listed pool for, you roll dice based on your Essence. You use your base traits for maximum dice from Charms and any other Charm calculations. Any items incompatible with your dragon form (like armor or weapons) are sent Elsewhere for the duration, but you may still use any Evocations of Mela’s Coil. You use the stats for Fakharu, but without his Censor’s Geas, Clothed with Humanity, Dematerialize, Measure the Wind or Seven Venoms Exhalation Charms, and all water-themed effects become air-themed. Also, you gain a Defining Principle of “I am the storm, raining destruction on my enemies” while in dragon form, and when the Evocation ends, you gain this at Minor, or increase it if you already had it. Damage to the dragon is not applied to your health when this Charm ends, but instead becomes battle damage on the armor, requiring a Major Project to repair. If not repaired, any damage persists to the next time you become the dragon. If the dragon is Incapacitated, this Charm abruptly ends, and the dragon carving is mangled beyond use, rendering all Evocations unusable until repaired as a Superior Project via the artifact repair rules.

Next time: Unison

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




By popular demand posted:

:rolldice: that's a critical fail, your job has been shipped overseas and now you'll now have to live on the public housing and rehabilitation project for the next year or so.

That is pretty much the Neotech career system since there is an unemployed career that also gives you psychosis points. :v:

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




:rolldice: Aaaaaannnd get this: you no longer can afford to eat meat and fine cheeses every day.
:confused: -What about my imported wine habit?
:rolldice: that's fine, I'm not inhumane.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

jakodee posted:

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

With respect to NeoTech being a Swedish game I think it's especially worth noting that the US city/suburb divide is pretty particular to exactly that political and geographic area. Scandinavian urban hellscapes are going to have a distinct look to them. (Probably endless rows of dilapidated public housing blocks.)

Skellybones
May 31, 2011






Fun Shoe

As a follow up to Petit Mousillon, I did mutations and rewards for Amanda and Jonas based on hypothetical successful careers as Chaos buddies and they got very different paths onwards.

Jonas got the typical kind of increasingly mismatched body parts and monsterism wrapped up in Chaos Armour. Just a normal guy with a hand growing out of his forehead, whip tongue, poison fangs, that kind of thing.

Amanda became a tiny, flying mechanical snake-person with stupidly good strength, agility and toughness, and up to 12 Movement (depending on how you would allow combining increasingly improbable mutations). :staredog:

They both got about 15 mutation slots each and I didn't get halfway through before deciding to put it to rest.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Mutation tables were never good for anything but creating goofy poo poo for the party to dismember and burn.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




By popular demand posted:

:rolldice: Aaaaaannnd get this: you no longer can afford to eat meat and fine cheeses every day.
:confused: -What about my imported wine habit?
:rolldice: that's fine, I'm not inhumane.
This revives unhappy memories of when I reviewed Tradition Book: Hollow Ones, and it became apparent that to the viewpoint character, magick is a synonym for being independently wealthy. If he had a trust fund magick powers, he could live like a foppish gentleman from a previous century all the time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Fashion Armor

Unison is a five-dot moonsilver reinforced buff jacket. At first glance it appears as ordinary stylish black clothes. Only when charged with Essence does it assume its true shape. It is, however, no mere accessory – it is an extension of the self, made by the defeated Lunar queen Kirka of the Empty Palace, whose terrifying Simhata Legions were slaughtered by the endless Raksha hordes. For decades, she labored alone in her underground fortress to make a suit of armor that would be part of her very being, and she seethed for vengeance against the Wyld. She made Unison so it could never be taken from her without killing her, and together, she and the armor slew thousands of Fair Folk before finally falling. The dormant artifact still sits on her rotten corpse in the entry hall to her manse, now trapped out in miles of bordermarches and forgotten by time. The armor layers black silk and thin leather under a hauberk of knit chain that glimmers subtly. The chainmail is form-fitting and made from a dark gray alloy of moonsilver, steel and liquid mercury, infused with Kirka’s own blood. Fingerless chain gloves and sleek greaves complete the set. However, as its true power is unlocked, it transforms both itself and its wearer into a growing synchronization of form. After being attuned to it for a while, its master will start to think of it as part of their being, even when not wearing it. It has a single hearthstone socket.

Unison has three stages of transformation, called miens, which draw it ever closer to its master. When shifting from one mien to another, all motes committed to the old one are transferred towards the cost of the new one. For 3m, you can get the Argent Handshake Mien, which transforms the clothing into battle armor. On rolling Join Battle, you can activate this mien to give the armor extra soak and Hardness, as Unison sends its Essence through your chakras. Quicksilver Host Mien costs 5m, 2i and can be activated as a miscellaneous action while in Argent Handshake Mien. The armor becomes a skintight suit of compact, scale-like rings that conform to your body, removing the armor’s mobility penalty and boosting your Evasion. You may revert back to Argent Handshake Mien as a miscellaneous action. Final Unity Mien costs 7m, 3i and causes the armor to merge with your body, coating you in moonsilver and showing cosmetic characteristics of your anima banner or spirit shape. You can shift into this as a miscellaneous action while in Quicksilver Host Mien, increasing the armor’s Hardness and your unarmed attack Decisive damage, as well as making you immune to being knocked back or prone by smash attacks. You weigh twice as much as normal and automatically sink in water. You may revert to Quicksilver Host Mien as a miscellaneous action, and if you are dissonant with moonsivler, you can’t enter Final Unity Mien.

Evolving Quicksilver Body gives a bonus to actions upholding a Defining Intimacy. In Quicksilver Host Mien it can also boost actions supporting Major Intimacies, and in Final Unity Mien it can even boost actions supporting Minor Intimacies. Fluid Battle Evolution upgrades the Solar Charm Increasing Strength Exercise, allowing you to use it reflexively when entering either Quicksilver Host Mien or Final Unity Mien. It gates nothing off. Shared Passion Outburst is learned free if you aren’t dissonant with Moonsilver when you uphold a Major or Defining Intimacy while in any of the three miens. To use it, you must be in Quicksilver Host Mien or Final Unity Mien, and you pick an Intimacy that represents why you are fighting, gaining a boost to your Withering attacks for the rest of the scene based on its rating. Indestructible Body Adaptation reduces the cost of Adamant Skin Technique based on which mien you’re in. It does not gate anything off. Unleashed Fury Mantle upgrades Steel Heart Stance to let you use it cheaper when overturning influence that would stop you from fighting, and doing so doesn’t count as your once per story use. It doesn’t gate anything off.

The ultimate power is Soul Fusion Arsenal can’t be learned if dissonant with moonsilver. When you enter Final Unity Mien, you fuse your weapons with your armor-body. You cannot be disarmed, and the armor’s bonus to unarmed attack damage applies to your weapons. If resonant, you can also fuse a two-handed weapon with a single limb, allowing you to use it one-handed for as long as you are in Final Unity Mien.

That ends the armor chapter, and moves us into the miscellaneous magic poo poo chapter. First we get a bunch of stuff you can buy with Resources because it exists in natural form. Bright Morning (Resources 3) is also called vision dust, a purple powder made from a mixture of exotic Eastern herbs, including skullweed, which is found only in shadowlands. When smoked, it causes euphoria and hallucinations, but also allows you to perceive Essence flows and the immaterial. However, you get a penalty to all Perception- or Wits-based actions. One dose lasts about three hours. Overdose allows you to touch and be touched by immaterial beings for eight hours, but also poisons you for eight hours and causes the drug’s normal effects for the rest of the week. Using the drug more than once a week or taking an overdose also requires a Resistance roll to avoid becoming addicted; breaking the addiction takes a full month of abstinence from the drug, which probably requires an Integrity roll.

Dawnflower is Resources 3 in the far East, Resources 4 anywhere else. It is also called firstflower or eastern gift, and it is a golden flower said by the Ixcoatli to come from a single tree a mile tall, the first thing the sun touches each morning. It is hard to get even in the East. Fresh dawnflower withers quickly, but even dried, it is still potent. If crushed to powder it can be used to make lines on the ground that bar the passage of all creatures of darkness, in the same way salt blocks ghosts. If burned as incense, it gives a bonus to exorcism thaumaturgical rituals. If made into an oily paste to coat a weapon, it is a poison that only harms creatures of darkness. Still not defined.

Dreamstone is Resources 3 for a small one or Resources 4 for a big one. These are rare green opals primarily from the pit mines near Gem. If held while sleeping, they store and preserve your dreams. Small stones are about the size of an acorn and will catch the first dream of each night. Large gems are about the size of an apricot and can capture all dreams in a night. Anyone can then take the stone and touch it to their forehead to experience the stored dreams the next time they sleep, or may hold it for a time in a peaceful place to see the dreams as visions. The stone will hold the dreams until purged via a special meditative technique.

Seven Bounties Paste is Resources 4 and is the greatest remedy known to Creation. It is made from the roots of seven medicinal plants mixed together with alcohol to form a spicy and bitter red paste. Typically, this is mixed with rice and broth to make it not taste like poo poo. When administered by a trained physician, it is able to cure any mundane illness except leprosy. The remedy requires seven days to work, and it gives a boost to disease recovery rolls.

Sweet Cordial is Resources 4. It is a syrupy, sweet purple elixir made from the glands of a deep sea fish from the far West, tubers from the Imperial Mountain and orchids from the jungles near the Dreaming Sea. It is a very potent narcotic that leaves its user in a haze for half a day, but also serves as a potent cure for physical damage. It requires an easy Resistance or Medicine roll, but if it succeeds, you heal from any infected wounds and, if you get enough successes, heal 1B. It remains in the body for a full month, and if taken again before that ends, it becomes a toxin that sends its victim into 12 hours of maddening hallucination and deals damage if you fail a very hard Resistance roll.

Next time: Artifacts

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Something to remember about mutation is even Champions and such are intended to usually only have around 3-5 mutations, and often get a pile of rerolls and a more specific table for a reason. After all, the 'win condition' for a Chaos game is 'less than 6 mutations, 6 rewards, roll Eye of God', which is insanely unlikely.

It's sort of fitting that the Chaos default campaign win condition is a massively unlikely pile of RNG that the designers didn't think through entirely, given how insanely likely Mutation is as a result from the Reward table.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Mors Rattus posted:

Arms of the Chosen: Mount Baldy

I admit the sheer number of these makes my eyes glaze over a little, but the diplomatic protection armour actually sparked my imagination. I like the idea of the PCs finding a group out in the wilderness still maintaining the rituals of some long-forgotten nation-state, just to keep the envoy's status intact.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





A lot of this stuff in cyberpunk probably runs into some form of the Hollywood issue, where even the child who is poor and being raised by a single parent still lives in a gorgeous suburban California home, because anything else would look filthy and ugly (to the camera, or the director, anyway). I remember looking in the backdrops of the Karl Urban "Dredd" film and thinking, "hey, this place doesn't look so bad, although admittedly the Judge gunfighting the drug gangs would be a pretty big negative."

Of course, these are all fictional settings, so you can in a sense declare what the lifestyle is like to your discretion, and even if the average "poor" person lives in materially better conditions in the CyberDystopia, they may still be oppressed, lack political rights, lack the affluence the cybertechnology brings them, etc. As Paranoia XP said, there are many people in real life who would, with full knowledge and acceptance of its flaws, move to be an INFRARED in Alpha Complex - because they would be guaranteed pleasant indoor labor, a comfortable place to sleep, and three square meals of Algae Chip-based dishes a day.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 27: Warriors, come out and play.




We start this chapter with two bits of advice. First up it’s more important with style over substance in Neotech. Because the world has partially collapsed there is a lack of things to believe in or identify with. This is why there are so many different styles and subcultures because it’s important what image you emit to others, who you are is a lot less important in this case. The easiest way of accomplishing who you are and what ideals you have is to dress accordingly to a certain style that is adopted by whatever subculture you consider yourself a part off. The right kind of hairstyle is also important. But your attitude is also very important. It can be the way you speak, because many of these have different vocabularies and ways to speak, or what opinions you have. It’s everything from your political alignment to what brands of clothing you buy or where you decide to go to hang out.

That is followed by advice dealing with brands. While most would’ve said that making up various brands would give more flavour to the campaign, the text instead goes on to say that it makes the world a bit more realistic and also gives you a feeling for “the megacorporations manipulation of their customers”. Okay, thanks.
Both the GM and the players are encouraged to come up as many unique brand names for the goods and services they purchase. For instance ‘Green Garden™ Delicious Prepacked Meal™’ sounds a lot more interesting than ‘freeze dried food’. Not the worst idea but should probably be done with some restraint so as it doesn’t wear itself thin. Another nice flavour suggestion is to have some PC’s only buy certain brands of items.
To come up with a brand you can either take a look at existing companies in the setting that work within that specific sector or you just make something up. You are encouraged to slap on trademark symbols to make it look more authentic whenever you come up with a product name. Although I feel they might’ve listened to their own advice a bit too much in this case and overdone it. Another way of doing it is to look at the various designer houses in the setting. We’ll get to those later on.

But now it’s time to take a look at just what various styles and subcultures exist in 2059. The text mentions that styles change over the years and lots of variations and hybrids exists. Subcultures within subcultures is more a rule than an exception in these cases.

  • Corporate: Nearly obligatory for any official working in the megacorporations. Clothes is always suit and tie in traditional colours for me while women can dress a bit freer, but it has to be neat. Usually people adapting this style also dresses similar in their free time. The Corporate style also means that you behave respectfully and speak calmly and correct. The boss is meant to be obeyed but sometimes you can take the chance to say what you’re thinking to be able to climb the career ladder. You’re not supposed to carry any weapons, that is the job for your bodyguard. But it’s acceptable to carry a pistol in your attachécase.
  • Cyberpunk: Mainly an American style that have managed to grow popular all over the world. It began as a protest against society from it’s more less fortunate youths. It expresses itself with quick adaptations of new technology, exaggerated individualism and problem solving through violence. Plenty of hackers are cyberpunkers. The number of criminals amongst its numbers are usually higher than elsewhere. A cyberpunker thinks that the means and the message is better than the results and it’s important to do things with style. Even if the results aren’t always perfect. How you dress and where you spend your time is very important and a true cyberpunk dresses elaborately and as ostentatious as possible. The same goes for the hairstyle. Cybertech is obviously very popular within the culture but the modifications shouldn’t be too extreme because it’s the individual behind the technology that counts.
Having a subculture called cyberpunk in a self acclaimed cyberpunk game isn’t even on the nose. It’s just dumb. Not to mention it feels like it’s thumbing its nose at so many things it just flips over to silly.
  • Gothic: Closely related with the cyberpunk style is the long lived gothic style. The most distinguishing feature is you have to dress in black from head to toe, especially in real leather if you can afford it. A long coat and boots are more the rule than the exception and the clothes are often adorned with rivets and rings of various sizes. You should also have a fatalistic view on life itself and a negative view on society as a whole. The preferred weapon is a shotgun, usually slung in a holster underneath the coat.
I’m really wondering in what goth circles the writers hung out in, or if they did at all because it’s so incredibly cliché.
  • Eurostyle: Primarily seen in Europe’s capital cities but also in Australia, Scandinavia and Canada. It takes its expression in a sophisticated lifestyle and a worldly behaviour. This is then accessorised with a nice apartment and a nice european sports car. Costume and long coat is granted and any weapons are carried in a shoulder holster. Not too surprisingly this style is only achievable for people in the upper levels of society and who can afford everything necessary. Even then its imitated in the lower classes as well where people instead wear cheaper imitations.
  • Hitec: When you’re part of this one you love everything about the latest advancements in technology. The style itself is rather varied because the main focus here is wearable technology. Pocket computers, smaller cyber implants, new clothing materials and all kinds of useful and less than useful equipment. The most important thing here is that the things don’t really need to be useful, they just need to be advanced. The richer a Hitec tends to be the more advanced the various things they wear are. With this style also comes the attitude of that the various gadgets are more important than other, more necessary things. This usually means that Hitec’s usually have a hard time keeping their social contacts.
So did N2 predict Apple fans ahead of time or what?
  • Academic: Like the name implies this subculture’s biggest interest lies in the field of knowledge. It also needs to be as theoretical as possible. Usually followers of this has developed an intense Besserwisser or know better attitude against everyone else. It’s preferable to have been to one of the finer universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford or Strasbourg to be considered as part of the group. Usual dress style is jacket, shirt with pullover, loose pants and italian leather jackets.
Part of that dress style feels somewhat unacademic, especially the leather jackets. Where’s the tweed suits for instance?
  • Jetset: The main caveat for this one is that you need to be rich. Beyond that you need to be successful, snobbish, well dressed and a capability for making quick deals. The majority of the hangers on are newly rich who think that their new way of living is the best one possible. International contacts and travels to all the most important cities in the world are a must to be considered a true jet-setter. If you need to have a weapon it should be a hunting rifle hanging on the wall over your fireplace.
  • Nipponstyle: Most japanese, but even some westerners, life in close symbiose with their corporation. This means that the person is usually loyal, courteous, using group think and fixated on results. The key words are honor, duty and loyalty. Means of dress is suit, kimono or dress, anything else is unthinkable. The great benefit with this culture is that everyone has a chance of climbing up the career ladder, provided that you work hard and never forget the key words. If you’re going to have a weapon it should preferably be a japanese close combat weapon.
Gomenasai, my name is Ken-Sama...
  • Orbital: A culture grown from isolation; such as in space or on the moon or mars. But also colonies on the ocean floor. The environment is usually very claustrophobic and there’s huge pressure on people’s ability to cooperate. Its followers are peaceful, honest and more often than not trusting to the point of naivety. Dress style is almost always overalls and soft rubber shoes. The clothes are also covered in various pockets, velcros and cloth patches. Some of them are even designed as underclothing for space suits, which gives others the impression that they’re walking around in baggy underwear. It’s also not rare to see various tubes and electric contacts sticking out at places. No weapons though, because regardless if you’re underwater or in space those are dangerous for everyone involved.
Wait, there’s underwater colonies now?! Why does this get a minor mention in this part all of a sudden? This loving book at times. Also this feels like a really limited culture to deal with since its restricted to mainly space and underwater. The no weapon clause feels like odd since the previous one mentioned getting a melee weapon so why wouldn’t that be the case here?
  • Retrotech: For some people the technological advancements and social changes have simply become too much for them and they’ve suffered from future shock or technoshock. This subculture is for those who simply can’t handle it and want to go back to simpler times. Many followers refuse to use something more advanced than a simple computer or a credit card. In order to express their dismay they also regularly do demonstrations and protest actions, which has barely helped all that much. Many serious followers are also upset at the corporations exploitation of this culture, with household appliances looking like they used before the turn of the century, for their own gain. This has sometimes lead to violence. On top of that there is also retrotech gangs who dress up like followers but don’t really follow any of their opinions and principles. The preferred weapon is something simple like an axe or a club.
  • Streetsmart: Another close associate with the Cyberpunk style, this one is also known as ‘gangbanger’ sometimes. It has more focus on street gangs and crimes and is usually seen in the major cities. Most common in the US but also Europe and Japan. Unlike the cyberpunk style there is less focus on individualism, with the gang leader’s word being law a lot of the time. Members of this style almost always subsist on organised crimes or gang activities. Daily activities involve violence, trouble with the police and drug abuse. Dress style consists mainly of jeans, leather and rivets. While weapons are usually knives, pistols or SMGs.
  • Gangsta: A variant of streetsmart that is widely seen amongst the lower and middle class. For a real gangsta it’s important to dress correctly and have a tough attitude. Baggy pants with exaggerated pockets is a usual feature. Otherwise it’s very much the same as streetsmart, an armed gangsta should preferably have an SMG or a revolver.
Good lord, this one is dated as all hell also reads like someone in their 60’s complaining about the kids today.
  • Bikers: A typical middle class phenomenon that are tied to the biker gangs. To be considered a real biker you obviously need to have a motorcycle, preferably a real Harley. The dress code is black leather or blue jeans. Hair needs to be either long or completely shaven, long beards are encouraged as well. A biker never back away from a fight and can sometimes resort to extreme measures. Many bikers deal with collection and racketeering. Weapons are usually shotguns, knives, knuckle irons or chains.
I don’t think you can get more cliché than this. This is just your usual Hells Angel and so on biker gangs and nothing else. There’s absolutely nothing interesting or special about this. Where are the bike gangs obsessed with speed and only use sports bikes or the ones that use dirt bikes so they can drive around making crazy stunts?
Where is the goddamn flavour?!



  • Nomad: This culture can be found in a lot of places across the world. Such as Arizona and the american midwest, England’s Blightlands and the Siberian countryside. Nomads roam around in caravans and plunder whatever they need. Life is short and violent. Dress code is ragged uniforms, leather and bizarre hairstyles. Big guns are also a requirement, as it long daggers for close combat. Rugged all terrain vehicles without windows and reinforced with grates, armored plating and large bumpers are required as well.
These are just lifted right off Mad Max. I mean they have the ragged clothing and armored up hunks of junks most likely covered in spikes and other things.
Also, Blightlands in England? You can’t just drop something like that out of the blue and not say anything else about it. What the hell.
  • Survivalist: They’re preppers who hate governments and corporations, weapon manufacturers excluded. They sure love guns and many have them. Some of them work, while others want to work, as mercenaries. But in truth most of them have some kind of normal job. Some have bunkers and fortified communities where they wait for the next great war to happen.
Sure, preppers fit really well within a cyberpunk setting this is also the most vanilla way to include them.
  • Skinheads: They’re skinheads and they are racist fucks who love beating people up. Moving on.
  • Cowboys: Yeehaw pardner. Bring your cowboy boots and hat, don’t forget your revolver and then come on down to Texas. Just boring, regular rear end cowboys. Big whoop.
  • Superskins: More than a fashion trend rather than a style. By dressing up in cling tight stretch overalls or similar garments you develop a sense of community with equal minded people. Common in Japan but also in Europe and America. No other real distinguishing trends exist here outside of a need to keep the body at good physical health. Workout and bodybuilding is common amongst its followers. For those who can’t really put up the effort there is of course special drugs. This trend is mainly for young and relatively active people.
I’m amazed they didn’t include a mention about masks to complete the whole Kigurumi doll image. Or I guess it’s meant to be a zentai thing more. Probably the most stand out subculture so far. Even if it does smell a bit of “Japan is weird guys.”
  • Sports: You like sports and like to exercise on your free time.
  • Junkie: You do far too many drugs and you commit crimes to feed your addiction.
  • Barefooter: It’s hippies.
  • Mutie: A more extreme variant of the junkie style that emerged in the 30’s and is prevalent in the bigger American and European cities. Many of the initial supporters were junkies who sought a need to develop the style a bit further so they underwent plastic surgery to mutilate their faces or bodies so they look like hideous monsters. The goal in this case is to look like a mutated monster, or just a freak. Some groups even go as far as using cybertech, but it’s not very common because that’s expensive. On the contrary the surgeries are cheap, you can even do yourself with a sharp knife. Anthropologists talk about this subculture stems from a person’s disappointment with the world.
Encouraging self mutilation? I feel dubious about that getting a pass in this day age. Also that last sentence talks about subcultures in general for some reason.

Let’s talk about fashion for a change of pace. As established, trends are very important in 2059 since people are desperate for an identity. Both amongst gangers and celebrities there is a huge difference between being in or out. Even for the common man it’s important to wear the right brand. While there are several different fashion designers there are only five that really count: Saunders, Feldheimer, Mariposa, Fleurelle and Petitsac.
Saunders has their headquarters in BAMA, right on Manhattan and own among other things the Levi Strauss brand.
Feldheimer are located in Tokyo and is owned by the German Georg Feldheimer. They are the leading designer and retailer for business clothes in both Japan and elsewhere.
Fleurelle and Petitsac are both located in France. The latter has their office in Paris and are notorious for being very anti-american, while Fleurelle are located in Dijon. They speciality is clothes suited for rich, fashion-aware women in the European Federation and the US.
Mariposa’s central office is located in Milano but is more of an umbrella corporation for a number of smaller Italian designers.
Beyond those there are designers like Rask, Caryn Allen, Sun Yo, R-Galvini, Porter, Eric Nordenstjerna, Jasper Mac-Millan, Billy Katushi, Charles Nam, Rico Diaz and so on. What all unites these is that they are part of various nische companies that have large shares in a certain market. But that doesn’t stop them from creating more routine creations elsewhere.
Large clothing manufacturers, or more normal clothes, are: EuroProducts, Bruce, Asahi Clothing, Frank Chen, Qeentine and Mitsui Apparel. Beyond those there are a myriad of other brands and manufacturers in the middle east, Russia, Siberia, Australia, Africa and the USA. In comparison the european production of dozen clothes has died out with the exception of Scandinavia and the Baltic states where some production of the basics like pants and shirts occur.

  • Slacker: Teenagers who have given up on things. Usually become junkies due to a growing drug habit.
  • Geeks: Being a geek is now cool. This includes having a really poor sense of fashion, intentionally, and be a massive know it all.
  • Teens: You are a hip teen who is popular and listen to all the latest music and gets invited to the coolest parties.
  • Grrls: The only subculture that consists only of girls and young women. Ostentatious clothing and hairstyles are a common trend. Memberships to various feminist organisations is also common or some other kind of girlpower. Teens are looked down on while Geeks and Goths are more acceptable.
I’m getting major high school vibes.
  • Bimbos: Dressing as provocative as possible has over time developed into its own style. The more vulgare and sexier the better. Plastic surgery to change appearance and the body are very common. To work as a as a model, actress or singer are usually the main aspiration for any members. But failure is a bit more common than success, many end up working as waitresses, dancers or in worst case, prostitutes. Many do have normal jobs.
For some reason they decided that the best descriptor to use for these are babes going by the final sentence. Also slightly surprised to see no mention about them working in porn despite that being a thing that exists in the setting as mentioned before.
  • Seniors: You are old and you think things were a lot better before.
  • Muslim: There is a mention that people of colour in America have converted to Islam but have mixed this up with some radically opposing style such as street smart and gangsta. Why is this a subculture?
  • Environmentalist: You are a nature lover and are usually a part of some organisation fighting to preserve it.

Stereotypes and yet more clichés ahoy. Everything about this chapter reads like a list to pick your gang affiliation from. Do you want to be a goth or an academic and go beat up Skinheads? Feels like you could free up several pages from this chapter by either removing the more boring styles or just listed them off elsewhere because almost all of these are lifted from today. There’s nothing really cyberpunk about Teens or bikers so why did they have to dedicate several pages detailing them? Past a certain point most of these are just afterthoughts. There is no real flavour to be found anywhere. Also all the random world setting mentions are infuriating as well because it’s all just glossed over so fast. What happened in England to cause the Blightlands? Where are they located? What is up with ocean colonies? Why didn’t they get any mentions before until the orbital section?

Next time: This is your 12 O’Clock news.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Nessus posted:

A lot of this stuff in cyberpunk probably runs into some form of the Hollywood issue, where even the child who is poor and being raised by a single parent still lives in a gorgeous suburban California home, because anything else would look filthy and ugly (to the camera, or the director, anyway). I remember looking in the backdrops of the Karl Urban "Dredd" film and thinking, "hey, this place doesn't look so bad, although admittedly the Judge gunfighting the drug gangs would be a pretty big negative."
I don't think the issue is that things aren't ugly and dirty enough, but how power and conflict is framed. Like, the characters in Bronx Warriors and Class of 1999 look way prettier than is realistic for a bunch of impoverished teenagers, but the way the movies deal with corporate power, the police state, the carceral state, etc. is remarkably lucid.

Shart Carbuncle
Aug 4, 2004

Star Trek:
The Motion Picture




Part 6

Let’s unabandon this poo poo! (Note to inklesspen, my username used to be Wikipedia Brown.) I really ran out of steam when I realized that I don’t like this system, but gently caress it, I’m going to finish what I started. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a story of redemption, like that Klingon episode called Redemption. I’m going to start breaking these up into smaller chunks, and I’m going to lay off the graphics a bit. That poo poo is time consuming!

Chapter 5, continued

Last time, we talked about the generalities of what comprises a player character in this game. Now, we’re getting into some of the steps to actually make one of these jerks. There are actually two methods: Lifepath Creation, and Creation in Play.


05.20 LIFEPATH CREATION

This isn’t a new idea. You’ve seen it in Traveller and the Mechwarrior RPG among other places. In this case, it’s nowhere near the complex flowchart of life events that you’d get in the former (and you can’t die in the process); it’s more of a short questionnaire to take you through the standard steps of character creation.

I think it’s well-organized, and would make things less intimidating for someone new to RPGs than the usual stat buffet. Even if you don’t know what the stats do, you’ll have a gut reaction to whether you want your character to be a Vulcan from Vulcan with a Starfleet family legacy, or a Human farmer from a remote colony. Or, you can roll for everything and see where it takes you.

Each little decision adds a few things to your overall stat package. The first one is a biggie: species. There are eight examples provided, with a rule for mixed heritage characters, and some guidelines for creating your own species. (Naturally, you can expect to find more in other supplements.)

Your species gives you a bump to three Attributes, a Trait (which is just a catchall for the various quirks of your species) and a choice of one Talent out of a list of two or three. For example, if you’re a Vulcan, you get +1 to Control, Fitness and Reason. The Vulcan trait reads:

quote:

Due to the harsh, arid, high-gravity world they come from, Vulcans are naturally resistant to extreme heat and dehydration; they are also extremely strong, with keen auditory and olfactory senses. They are also telepathic, though this takes training to properly manifest, and they learn mental discipline and emotional control from childhood. However, this control takes regular meditation to maintain, and their controlled nature and desire for privacy can distance them from others, and make interactions awkward.

The available Talents are Kolinahr (lets you resist mental attacks more easily), Mind-Meld and the Famous Spock Neck Pinch.

After your species is sorted, you determine the type of home you come from, the nature of your upbringing and your course of study in the Academy. Then you get to choose whether you are a young officer, an experienced officer or a veteran officer. Experienced is sort of the default, while the others give special talents:





Finally, you get to roll a couple of times on the fun table:



By the time you’ve applied the effects of all these dinguses, your sheet is looking pretty differentiated, with a bunch of bonuses spread around, and some special Traits and Talents and Values.

At the end of all this is the Finishing Touches section, where we get to shift Attributes around a bit to taste, pick a final Value (here’s one for free that I just came up with: “When Pizza is on a Bagel, You Can Have Pizza Anytime”), outline an appearance and personalty, pick a name, and also by the way I guess your rank and role on the ship.

It seems a bit odd the way your job is wedged in at the end, though it makes sense that you’d want to choose it after going through the rest of the lifepath stuff, now knowing where your strengths are. It’s pretty obvious stuff, from Chief Engineer to Science Officer to Ship’s Counselor, and each has a mechanical benefit (which acts basically as yet another Talent).

Rank:



Congratulations, you made a person. I haven’t run through it myself, but it doesn’t seem too bad. Characters in this game seem to be a pretty unwieldy pile of numbers and Nouns and Adjectives, but at least the lifepath gives it to you in digestible chunks, so you’re never overwhelmed with options.

05.30 CREATION IN PLAY

Creation in Play is an alternative method, where you start with your role and a basic skeleton of a character, and then you fill out the rest during play (they suggest starting with a simple mission for everyone to find their footing). During play, if you need to fix a computer, you can be like “I’m smart and good at computers!” and, voilà, you’re good at computers. It’s kinda like having a gizmo in Toon or GURPS.

I like this as an idea to hit the ground running, but I worry that you’d get hung up a lot when it comes time to define abilities mid-game. Like, maybe don’t play this way with people who agonize over everything.

There we are! Alright kids, next time, let’s rap about Supporting Characters. I think they’re pretty hip!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Stuff That Doesn’t Get Made

First, a note on First Age Artifice – these are artifacts that utilize sorcery and infrastructure that is not replicable in the modern world of Exalted. Most Artifacts, even those dating all the way back to the First Age, are not First Age Artifice, in the sense that they are still able to be produced with modern techniques. First Age Artifice is mostly things like powered armor, warstriders, airships, linked portals, automata with human intellect, sophisticated siege weapons and…well, anything that, out of game, would render the setting too advanced and outside of what the devs desire it to be if they were able to be produced with relative ease and frequency. You can still make ‘em, but it’s much harder and requires more resources and knowledge, especially if you lack the special infrastructure for them. Anyway, now for our artifacts.

Audient Brushes are 2-dot artifacts that were mainly used by calligraphers in the First Age and remain in use by Dynastic bureaucrats, poets and scholars now. The brush hairs are silver, and the shaft may be wood, ivory, metal or jade, always around an orichalcum core. It takes only one mote to attune to, and doing so renders the silver brush-hairs soft as rabbit fur yet tough as metal. An attuned brush produces ink of any color the user desires, always of the finest quality, and may change color between strokes at its master’s whim. It is considered exceptional equipment for relevant Craft and Linguistics checks. For 3 motes, it can be brought to life, functioning as a scribe for a scene. It will hover over a page, transcribing all speech in the immediate area, using different handwriting and colors to distinguish speakers. It can even pull fresh sheets or open blank pages of a book as needed for more space. Its master may instruct it to ignore specific speakers or to strike specific statements from the record.

Clockwork Birds are 2 or 3 dots, but the 3 dot version is First Age Artifice. They are blue jade automata that resemble songbirds, small enough to sit in the palm of your hand. They only take one mote to attune and once attuned, they move as if alive. Most can sing and flit about as entertainment, but their more common use is as couriers. Given the name of a person and their location in the same realm of existence, the bird will fly unerringly to that person at 100 mph to deliver any message no more than a minute long and can also carry a small, light object such as a paper or necklace. The bird will then land near the recipient and deliver the message in its master’s voice, complete with any social influence, though it cannot convey any Charms. It will repeat itself twice if needed, and will listen for a return message. The rarer 3-dot version is banded in orichalcum around its feathers and were made solely in the current age by the god Vanileth, Shogun of Artificial Flight; all others were made by Solars in the First Age, as the infrastructure for them has been lost. This version of the clockwork bird has human-level intellect, making them unusual but effective envoys and secretaries. Their clockworks are made of sorcerously hardened ice, kept frozen by rarefied air Essence, which also makes them buoyant. These birds are most commonly known as Vanileth’s Birds, and can speak all major languages plus several dead First Age ones. They have two Intimacies – a Defining Tie of loyalty to their owner and a Major Principle of “The beauty and power of speech is exceeded only by that of music.” These cannot be altered in any way by social influence, and they cannot raise any new intimacies above Minor, as for all their intellect, they are still robots.

Lorestones are 2-dot artifacts, fist-sized aquamarine orbs. Each contains the knowledge of a First Age scholar on a highly specific subject, such as math, geology, First Age cuisine or so on. Their manufacture is largely a lost art, but they are not actually First Age Artifice. It’s just that they’re primarily made via sorcerous workings. Spending 3 motes lets you access their knowledge by closing your eyes and mentally moving through clouds of mental imagery and knowledge. For one scene, you gain a temporary specialty in the stone’s particular subject and treat it as exceptional equipment for relevant rolls.

Lotus-Blossom Cups are 2-dot artifacts. They are chalices of pure white jade carved to resemble lotus flowers, each with a peach-sized mystic pearl from the deep Western oceans fused to their inner surface. These pearls are known for their ability to change salt water to fresh water, and similarly, the cup has powers of purification. Any mundane poisons or drugs placed into it turn into pure water, and any liquid put in it is likewise purified of disease. It is, however, less useful with supernatural poisons or diseases. It halves the duration of magical poisons and drugs, and halves the virulence and morbidity of magical diseases rather than getting rid of them outright.

Solar Seals are 2-dot artifacts. They are meant to protect communications, and each takes the form of an orichalcum signet ring or seal, blank unless attuned for a mote. If attuned, the owner’s name appears in Old Realm, but can be changed at will to any insignia the owner can rightfully claim as theirs. When using it to seal a document, the user may select a specific person, either by name or unique title. If anyone but that person breaks the seal, the document’s contents vanish before they can be read. There are jade variants of the seal favored by a few Dynasts and Lookshyan magistrates. Most are blue jade, but House Iselsi preferred black jade seals which turned their writing into water, while the hero Cathak herself used a red jade seal that set the tampered document on fire. Seals recognize the reincarnation of an Exaltation as the same person as their past life, allowing them to open their past life’s correspondence safely.

Stoneheart Coffers are 2-dot artifacts. They are white jade boxes, used by merchant princes to transport fragile goods. Scavenger lords love discovering them in ruins, because they often contain First Age riches. The boxes are lined with the rainbow skins of immortal seven-colored serpents of the East, and each is practically indestructible – as is anything they contain, no matter how fragile normally. While the coffers are closed, even the roughest treatment and most extreme temperature do not harm the contents, and breaking them is a very, very difficult feat of strength that requires effective Strength 10+ to even attempt – harder, if you want to break them with one blow rather than slow crushing. The magic does not, however, stop the flow of time – you can’t put fruit in them and expect it to stay fresh. It just won’t bruise. Coffers range in size from ‘jewelery box’ to ‘sea chest.’ Each is opened with a jade key, though First Age keys are usually long lost. Picking a coffer’s lock is fairly difficult, and making a new key requires a Major Project and Craft (Artifact).

Ultimately Useful Tubes are 2-dot artifacts. Normally, they look like foot-long wooden tubes about the width of a finger, but with one end rimmed in red jade and the other in blue. The shaft itself is actually cut from the Liar’s Tree near Lake Greyglass and inscribed with extremely tiny sigils in a language that does not exist. They do not require attunement, and can be used in many ways. If used as a snorkel, they automatically adjust length between 1 and 6 feet to match your depth, avoiding waves and spray. Used as a straw or breathing tube, it halves the duration of any airborne or ingested toxins. You can even twist it around to produce holes that make it usable as an exceptional flute. The tube may also be used as a weapon, as a simple tug will extend it to six feet in length, letting it serve as a mundane staff. At three feet, it can be used as a mundane blowgun, which you can spend 1 mote on to create and fire a poisoned needle. If blown from the blue end, the darts are poisoned with curare, and from the red end, arrow frog venom.

Winterbreath Jars are 2-dot artifacts. They are jugs, casks, trunks or amphorae made from blue jade, with sealed compartments containing supernatural sources of cold, usually sorcerously condensed freezing fog from the White Sea or unmelting ice from the Pole of Air. Master artisans then carve hundreds of hair’s-width channels in the jade, to confine and circulate the cold. These artifacts chill and preserve any perishable contents at a constant temperature of just above freezing. The average jar is big enough to hold around 3 gallons of liquid or one large melon or meat haunch. Some have a hearthstone socket, and slotting an air hearthstone into one will drop its temperature to well below freezing. They require no attunement.

Next time: Arete, the magical prosthetic.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*



Okay, forget the rest of this game -- I want to know about whatever this black dude is getting up to in a tac vest and cycle shorts and nothing else. That's where the game is.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Alien Rope Burn posted:

What the actual gently caress. Yes, it's just a magical creation that doesn't seem to be properly alive, but having it referred to as "this thing", "this monstrosity", or "it" feels telling and gross. I don't even have it in me to ... ugh.

Hey, uh, should I throw a warning banner on this review, maybe?

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




potatocubed posted:

Okay, forget the rest of this game -- I want to know about whatever this black dude is getting up to in a tac vest and cycle shorts and nothing else. That's where the game is.

Probably flailing around ineffectually before getting shot once and then nearly dying I imagine. :v:

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


inklesspen posted:

Hey, uh, should I throw a warning banner on this review, maybe?

Thanks for bringing this up. On reflection, if you feel the need to ask me this, I'd go with yes.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Arms of the Chosen is a good book but also makes me sad that there's no bows that go beyond Artifact 3 dots in it and that each of them is super specific to one play style, and that trend has continued with the following books.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Going to say: Strong Disagree with the Star Trek Adventures game. 2d20 is pretty elegant

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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






Neotech 2
Part 28: 15 seconds of fame.




Neotech posted:

“The police has notified that the compilation of this weekends riot is delayed… They are estimating at least three hundred and fifty dead. What can you say? But the weekend isn’t over yet… there’s still a chance to beat last weeks peak!”
“And now for news from Madagascar. Everyone’s favourite madman, Disengani, has announced that he wants a new series of the revolutionary Ronin IV combat cyborg.”
-John McMurdoc, news anchor, CityNet.

The by far most popular entertainment medium in Neotech is the TV. The ether is jam packed with digital channels and cable tv has access to almost as many. As long as you select the right channel you can get all kinds of programs in most major languages. You can easily pick whatever you want to watch, either by order or simply flicking through the channels. One thing is certain though, you can’t escape the advertising.

Movie rentals are done online. Either you buy whatever you want to watch your you can become a member to one of the countless sites that deal with movie rentals and get to download a number of movies for a time period. or become a subscriber.
I guess N2 managed to predict something at least. Not sure if movie subscription services was really a thing in 1999 and that generally happened a few year down the line.

There is also special tv-channels which provide you with a specially designed viewing evening. Each week you get to fill in a questionnaire with general opinions about how your tv schedule should look like. You don’t really decide exactly what it might be, mostly because most people find that too much of a bother. Instead you pick various categories of what you want, or don’t want. to watch as well as what time slot. Most tv-companies do have standardised schedules but reruns of the same program are shown several times every day. Commercials constantly wash over the viewers from all channels but for the pricey fee of 50 euros per month you can get that replaced with cartoons or less intensive material.

The biggest companies, such as Network 43, Five Circles or ONN, all compete for the viewers attention. By offering the most popular shows they get the most numbers and thusly more advertisement money. The stiff competition has however lead to that the salaries for some popular personalities have spiraled out of control, sometimes up to 25 million euro per episode.
I feel this is some weird reference to the later seasons of Friends but my memory might be a bit disjointed about when all that happened because it’s been so long since. One popular entertainment program is Channel Threes long running “What is Fun in Life?” where the comedians Ziff Ruben and Boris Jacobi entertain the viewers by telling stories about embarrassing situations in everyday life.
The most popular game show is the American “Bet your wife” where husbands can win cars and other prices by betting their wives, marriages or for the ultimate price, their children.
How would that even work? What are they wagered against in this case?

Amongst the soap opera genre there are several shows that never seem to end. Such examples are Urban Jungle which is about a family in BAMA:s most run down block. Another popular one is San Tropez Paradise, a far more luxurious series about the families von Due and Montgomerie’s struggles over who controls a vineyard on the French Riviera. Max Mauser is the king amongst debate and reportage programs, his show “The Week in Focus” airs every week on the Orbital News TV-channel. He’s famous for pushing the penetrating journalism to new extremes and is most famous for unveiling the Prometiac scandal.
Would’ve honestly been neat to see what it might’ve been about but nah. Ain’t going to happen.
A popular talk show is “The Harry Morrison Show”, where gang members, criminals, businessmen and dictators from the third world gets to talk about their problems in front of their enemies. Every episode inevitably ends with fights that sometimes that escalate to real bloodbaths. Several lesser wars in the third world says to have started because of the show.
Jerry Springer managing to start small wars is kind of a fun concept to have, good on you N2.

Outside of the megacorporations and the government control over the ether there are also many more independent stations. Most of these are illegal pirate stations that are driven to expound a message about how things really are. As a counterpoint to the propaganda that the established channels broadcast. This means that both the corporations and the governments constantly try to stop these stations. But through the usage of a mobile transmitter, the internet or use a satellites make itself difficult to be shut down.

In 2059 the telephone has gone beyond a regular one. It can work as a videophone, home computer, modern fax, news media, telephone directory, encyclopedia and so on. There is no real upper limit to how a phone can be used. Two very important changes have occured: firstly most phones are mobile, second is that you can dial an number to reach someone without having to care about which phone you arrive at. Not sure what they really mean by that. Most pocket phones have a picture capability these days, for the video call function to work you need to call someone who also has a videophone, either a mobile or a stationary. The camera lens follows after whoever speaks without issue. Most screens are only 4 x 3 centimeters but there are also more expensive variants with a small holoprojector. The ringtone can be a sampling, a voice, vibrations or blinking lights. Whoever calls gets identified with ID code, name, picture or even their own unique ringtone. The ability to block certain calls as well as sending messages with or without pictures as well.
All pocket phones also come with a DNC connection which means that they can be connected to a computer or a headset. The transfer speed is however pitiful, you can barely run a VR interface with it. For an extra fee the phone can be equipped with an alarm function that sends an emergency puls to the owners ambulance service if they’ve been massively injured. It can also be activated through voice commands or the DNC link.
Translation programs are also readily available, even if they are not perfect and have issues translating subtext and such. News databases in the phone are updated constantly, entries can be either read on the screen or read aloud by a digitized voice. There is also interactive entertainment available as well.
Thanks to the camera and microphone it can also used for remote surveillance. If someone steps into view and is not automatically identified within 30 seconds, the phone calls the police. Or another specified number.

It’s both weird and interesting with how accurate this part is at describing modern smartphones. Especially interesting considering that smartphones as we know them today weren’t really a thing back in the mid to late 90’s. While there were some early models they were pretty basic. Although doing some basic research I get the feeling most of that is based on the Nokia 9000 Communicator that came out in 1996. Mostly because it also had a fax function. The other likely contender, the Qualcomm “pdQ Smartphone”, came out in June 1999. By which point I imagine the book was already due for printing or something. The other landmarks in this case came out much later.
Granted, they’re a bit off the mark with the screen sizes compared to today. For instance my Nokia 5 has a roughly 12 x 7 centimeter screen. In fact they’re way off as the Communicator had a 640x200 screen while an N2 phone would’ve had a resolution of 118x88. I’d be amazed if you were able to see anything with that.

Speaking of dated, turns out the newspaper in Neotech didn’t die out. Instead they got thicker. The average newspaper is easily on 300 pages while weekend issue can reach 800 hundred. But luckily, to spare the trees, they have all migrated to a digital format that was initially developed in Japan and then spread globally. This does have the advantage of being able to multiple editions in a day and keep the news updated as well. In 2059 the newspaper consists of a flexible 45x62 centimeter screen that uses a special kind of mini chip as storage. The recyclable chip can only be used in those screens and in news terminals as well. On the terminals you can upload whatever paper you’d like to read. But it’s also possible to download and read them on a normal computer as well. We a list of various newspapers, most of them are ones you’d recognize from today such as Asahi Shimbun, Le Monde, New York Times, The Daily Telegraph or Washington Post. Most interesting thing to note is that the The Daily Telegraph is an ultra conservative british paper that fully supports the British government in their “endeavours to secure law and order in these evil times”.

Whenever a mobile phone is turned on it sometimes sends out signals so that the net knows where the phone is. This means that the operators always know where the subscribers are. Less scrupulous operators usually sells this information to the highest bidder, and in many cases the police have a right to track people they’re looking for this way. Some law enforcement agencies, and major corporations, have specially made computer programs that listen in on a large number of calls at the same time. They’re made to listen for specific key phrases or names, which usually involve names of known criminals, illegal gods or past crimes.

There’s also a mention of automated phone switchboards, but I would’ve thought that was already a thing when this book was written so why make a big deal about it?

Screamsheets, or fax news is another medium that has secured a small niche amongst newspapers. Using a fax terminal the reader decides on what news they want to see and then tear off the printed sheet once they’ve gotten it. The name comes from the sound the first kind of terminals made when as they worked. For some reason the text starts with calling it a new medium but then goes on after describing it by calling it dying because its ungainly and wastes resources. Make up your mind. They’re mainly popular with the older generation.

Simstim is a genre that is on the rise in the entertainment business. Nowadays it’s a very common sight, unlike ten years ago when only the rich had access to it. Like most weird but new means of entertainment it comes from USA but has quickly spread to the European Federation and the rich far east. Would’ve expected something like this to come from Japan with the game’s fetish of it being so technologically advanced.
Active simstim, or Active Emotion Processing, is sensory/emotional booster that is used in conjunction with VR glasses via the usage of dermatrodes. Normal TV’s won’t give you any different experiences while watching. But when using VR equipment it lets the viewer react on what they are watching and take impressions and thoughts from the actors, but also actively affect the action.
In comparison to the old more passive simstim, where the viewer was just a backseater, the new kind lets them affect the outcome of whatever movie or series that they watch. Depending on the subscription the view can play the part of the main character.
Of course it’s all a big sham, to make them think they have a sense of free will. Because while there are multiple options to pick from, they all lead to the same result at the end. Something the regular viewer obviously don’t know.

Although I figure they would’ve figured it out before long since the set number of options per scene has to be limited and if you end up rewatching the same movie or series enough times you’d be bound to notice that the options don’t really matter.

This is obviously done to make sequels that are able to fit with all viewers wishes in the most cheapest and most effective way. To enable free actions would mean that they would have to record as many actions as there are viewers.

In a way this feels like a weirdly constricted version of the Shadowrun Simsense. It’s more “Choose your own Adventure” deal rather than more proper VR experience.

It’s mainly soap operas and similar programs that use the simstim technology and there are special subscriptions that work like normal pay per view channels. In Tokyo there is also attempts with special simstim cinemas where only special movies made with that in mind are shown and the audience actively participates.
Not really sure how that would work in reality. Is it via voting or does everyone then get their own individual movie experience?

You know what’s also big market for simstim? Porn. The change to simstim has gone so far that most older products are either thrown away or changed to be simstim compatible. The porn industry has earned large amounts of money the last couple of years and voices have been raised to stop this exploitation, but the driving forces within the industry are far too strong to be affected.
At least they’re accurate about porn being very good at embracing new technological media considering how big VR porn is these days. But then again this was written during the era where porn helped boost the internet so it’s not like they didn’t have any examples to go on.

The legislation for the simstim business is hard and it’s tightly controlled by several government authorities, mostly because it’s a rather sensitive market considering it deals with manipulation of human emotions and moods. There have been times where more unserious businesses have bribed simstim companies to add commercials that affect the viewer subliminally.
But that’s not all, researchers have for a long time warned that prolonged usage of AEP and simstim is dangerous for the user. In particular they can develop an obsession in the series or a movie and there have been cases where people have ended up believing that they were someone from the series. But the text points out that this has mainly been people with a low sense of self esteem.
Some sequences, in particular those containing intense violence, have made some viewers apathetic and also induced psychoses. The feeling of being someone else is also very addictive and many of the viewers are more or less dependant on ‘their’ series or movies. People with poorly developed social skills are usually the ones that get caught in the ‘simstim swamp’.
There’s also rumors that the simstim actors themselves also become mentally blunted over long periods of time. The rumored reason for this is because various unsafe and experimental recording techniques are used that use unproven cybertech. All production companies and studios fiercely deny this while the stars themselves has no comments. But gossip and rumors circulate all over about how the stars have various problems in their lives.
I know for a fact that a pre-written adventure deals with a Simstim movie shoot so I wonder if that might have more details about this. But I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Outside of the slightly dubious cover.


Yeah…

Whenever a Simstim movie is recorded regular video cameras are used as well as a special cybertech simstim camera that is operated in the actors. This allows the recording of their emotional moods and is either saved onto a minichip or sent to a large databank wirelessly. A simstim recording is very demanding for the actors as they not only have to act in a believable way but then also has to have the right emotions as well. While it’s possible to fix such things in post but issues with believability start creeping up if there is too much editing going on. This is one reason why being a simstim star is a highly paid job, another reason is the previously aforementioned risks.
During the editing work both parts of the movie are cut together to make it into a complete simstim program. The actual simstim impressions also need to be adjusted and polished so that they are just right. After that the finished material needs to be finely tested on testing audiences so that it doesn’t come with any nasty side effects. Because there is a veritable army of lawyers that have specialised in simstim cases that are more than ready to pull any producers to court.

Music is still around, but nowadays it’s rare that you buy records with popular music and just download whatever you want online. You can either pay a small sum to listen to the song directly through a site from a database. A special encryption method makes it hard to copy the music with any decent results.
I call so much bullshit on that.
The alternative is to pay for the download, it’s pricier but lets you save them onto a disc or a standard card. But it’s fairly standard for people to have made modifications so they can save the music and pay the much lower price.
Any records that you buy obviously have a better sound quality than what you can download or listen online with. There are rumors circulating that it’s the record companies that are behind it. But everyone denies that as no sensible person can of course understand why records are better. Outside of the fact that the companies should make money.

I sense a slight bitterness from the writers towards people who like their music on vinyl or CDs here. Or it’s the opposite in this case, the sentence was kind of tricky to wrap my head around.

New styles of music comes out regularly and it’s pretty common to see artists releasing three to four albums per year. This is mostly true for popular dance music where trends can reverse really quickly and bands who were hot today can be ice cold the next day. So it’s important to push as many sales as possible while you still can.
One of the most popular music genres is rovertrance, something which developed from the Japanese Rovercade and is an ethnic light techno. In comparison though Rovertrance is far more uptempo and has borrowed its baseline from the Wristwave genre. Something which makes it really popular in discos and dance halls. Popular rovertrance bands are Nightheads, Works of Wonder and Secret Mystery.
The latest craze that is predicted to grow big in the upcoming years is Boosterfunk, a genre which is headlined by the members of the group Delacroix and the Boosters.
Amongst the underground music the Goth Rap genre is big, especially amongst the black clad youth of the slum that are objecting to urban oppression. The headline bands in this case are Black Nightmare, Urban Enemy and Necrotech Vampires. The genre is closely related with Angst Reggae, but that one is far more destructive but partially life affirmative.
Older genres like Hellchrome and Screamdance are still fairly popular. The champions of Hellchrome are undoubtedly the veterans Slash Dalmatians, who their recent song “Forgetting about Satan” broke numerous sales records after it came out. On the screamdance part the infamous boosterband Ground Zero with Jacey Striker is still playing with the megahit “Nuke it out!” coming out last year. It’s rumours that Jacey Striker is going to release a new album later in the year that says to be something unique, but no one has any ideas what it’s about.
Meanwhile, other older genres are completely out of the limelight. For example Wristwave, Speed Deep and Eze-rave are goners in the eyes of the public. That is not say there are listeners but the chance of hearing them being played in the media or at various clubs is low. The most famous band from the early 50’s, Screaming Nosferatus, are still popular for instance. But seeing as all the band members died during a mysterious bloodbath in 2055 their groundbreaking music is considered more to be an old classic.

Out of the world lore chapters this one is at least fairly interesting because there’s some flavour here and there. Also some vague attempts at plot hooks as far as I’m getting it out of the music genre information, as well as the Simstim section. Otherwise it’s a bit too much “Things have survived for almost 60 years virtually unchanged”. Seems like whoever wrote this decided to go nuts on the music though, which is nice. But I would also want to see more of that spread across this whole section. Once again there’s just barely any flavour to things, outside of the general “Pop culture is the drug that keeps people going in the misery” cliché.

Next time: The real power. Supposedly.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




By popular demand posted:

Someone should run with this capitalism hell as imagined by cushy living petit bourgeoisie.

:rolldice: that's a critical fail, your job has been shipped overseas and now you'll now have to live on the public housing and rehabilitation project for the next year or so.

Neoliberal Crime Squad apparently was too close to home to be made.

Probably wouldn't help that the easiest option would be to just join up with the fascists at the first opportunity.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Magic Hands

Artifact prosthetics often represent the best option to handle missing limbs for Exalts that lack access to either sorcery or miraculously skilled doctors. In the First Age, there were a few times and places that having an artifact prosthesis was even considered to be highly fashionable. Artifact prostheses allow movement and sensation equivalent to flesh and blood, whether held in place by straps and buckles or by mystic pins or by surgical graft. Punches and kicks with them are considered to be normal unarmed attacks. Prostheses that allow for martial enhancements such as extending claws or fiery fists do so by offering these as Evocations or powers. Those that incorporate moonsilver or particularly sophisticated designs may reshape themselves, but most prosthetic artifacts are bespoke creations meant only for one person and only fitting them. Refitting such a prosthetic is a Superior repair project. Lunar shapeshifters primarily rely on moonsilver prosthetics, as these are able to naturally change form to match whatever shape they take. Others are not compatible with inhuman forms and vanish into Elsewhere unless they possess a power or Evocation that allows them to shift with their master, as Arete does. These powers are often possessed by black and green jade prosthetics as well.

Arete is a 3-dot orichalcum right hand. It was made for Bleys Morning Sky after he lost his hand in the Sunstrife Wars. Its creator, the sorceress Fireborn, had always loved Bleys, though it was not requited, and she saw this as her chance to earn his favor. She made Arete in a mountain meadow full of sunlight and flowers, infusing it with grace and beauty to match what she saw in Bleys. That way, even if they were never together, a piece of her would be with him always. However, by the time Arete was completed, Bleys had visited Achim of the Thousand Herbs, the greatest doctor of the era, who regrew his hand. Thus, Firethorn decided to chop off her own hand and replace it with Arete. It served her well through the Interregnum as she guarded her domain without any help, and First Age scholars found her perfection in calligraphy remarkable, as well as her uncanny grace in battle. She trained many students, but never married nor named any heir, and she took Arete to her grave along with the rest of her treasures.

Arete may be attuned for 3 motes, and functions in all ways as a normal right hand, with full sensitivity and range of motion. While attuned to an artifact weapon, you can link its attunement to Arete, reducing its attunement cost by 1 mote and allowing you to reflexively ready it with Arete. Arete can be linked to only one weapon at a time. Arete also grants self-sufficiency, providing a bonus to Resolve against all instill actions that would make or strengthen an Intimacy focused on someone or something other than yourself and against all inspire actions to inflame emotions of loneliness or yearning. Because of its affinity for truth to yourself, it will also shapeshift with a Lunar wearer.

Mudra of Perfected Skill is gained for free if you aren’t dissonant with orichalcum and roll 5+ successes on an action in support of a Major or Defining Intimacy and enhances the rolled ability. Whenever you do this for an ability it does not yet enhance, it enhances that ability as well from then on. Once per scene, you can use it to reroll a number of failed dice on any Ability the Charm has access to, as long as Arete’s movements are essential to success – so yes on playing instruments, no on leaping chasms. It also can never enhance rolls to make Artifacts or sorcerous workings or to cast spells. If dissonant, you select a single Ability when you buy the charm and have to buy access to others at 2 XP per Ability. If resonant, you get access to all Caste and Favored Abilities free as well as the rolled ability, and the Charm can reroll 1s as well as normal failures.

Composure in Excellence is gained free if you aren’t dissonant with orichalcum and roll 10+ threshold successes on a roll enhanced by Mudra of Perfected Skill. It lets you gain Willpower when you roll 10+ threshold successes on a roll enhanced by Mudra of Perfected Skill, and if resonant, it can once per day be triggered by a slightly worse roll. Grasp the Self is used once per story when you enter a Decision Point against social influence that was supported by a Major or Defining Intimacy focused one someone or something other than yourself. You may reject the influence by abandoning that Intimacy instead of calling on another one to oppose it, though you must still pay the Willpower cost to resist if not resonant.

Carnelian Phoenix is 3-dot red jade barding for a horse. It was made for the legendary Dragon-Blooded soldier Eldra in the early First Age. Most of her exploits are now lost, but the Realm still sings of her fiery charge against the Shadow-Riders of Wan, whose unholy steeds shied from her attack, or of her crossing of the Burning Sands to gain the aid of the Swan Dragon, when she traveled the Pole of Fire and returned unharmed. The barding is made from overlapping red jade plates with no ornamentation, and they reveal little of their origins. It functions as medium artifact armor for whatever steed wears it, and the rider must commit six motes to attune to it, making it as light as a feather for their mount. It has no hearthstone slots. Horses don’t need those.

Any mount wearing Carnelian Phoenix is immune to any problems from extreme climate, cold or hot. Further, any Charm that protects the rider from environmental effects will be extended to the mount. Fire-Spurning Jade Carnelian is gained free if not dissonant with jade when you attune. It increases both your and your mount’s soak and Hardness against fire-based attacks and reduces the damage of fire-based environmental hazards. Bonfire Hoof Assault empowers your mount’s kicks with fiery Essence, increasing their Withering and Decisive damage. The ultimate power is Carnelian Phoenix Strews Feathers in Her Wake, which causes your mount to leave a trail of flame as an environmental hazard when used to boost a move, rush or disengage action. It also gives a penalty to contesting disengage, and anyone who tries suffers the environmental hazard of the fire as if they’d moved through it. It also applies this effect when using the disengage penalty and damage if you use the 4 mote version of the Solar Charm Coursing Firebolt Flash as a minor bonus.

Dragon Tear Tiaras are 3-dot artifacts, black jade and starmetal circlets with a single hearthstone slot placed over the forehead. The name is because the use of dragon’s tears is required in their crafting – specifically, they must use a mix of tears of anger, sorrow and joy. They cost 3 motes to attune, and grant the wearer extreme sensitivity to Essence flows. This gives a bonus to all non-sorcerous Occult rolls and gives any Occult or Perception Charms that enhance your ability to perceive the unnatural the Mute keyword. It also extends the duration of such charms if they are scene-long, allowing you to use them for as long as you wear the tiara, unless they have Willpower or anima costs.

Next time: Magic shoes and fighting robots.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 12:36 on Apr 23, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Ghost Leviathan posted:

Neoliberal Crime Squad apparently was too close to home to be made.

Probably wouldn't help that the easiest option would be to just join up with the fascists at the first opportunity.
Yeah, that would be a game of Cabal where you play the World Bank.

I thought about F&Fing Millennium's End to talk about its political bent. Turns out, while the premise of playing what are basically Blackwater assassins is morally gross, that premise is just a jumping-off point for the kind of game that's obsessed with precisely statting out the differences between .40 S&W and .357 SIG.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Apr 23, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: Magic Shoes

The Golden Hounds are 3-dot orichalcum boots. When Joyous Lance was young, raiders attacked her village, and she was unable to do much of anything as her family died around her except to grab her little brother, Sand, and run for safety. She fled and dodged beyond the limits of her endurance, and as a result, she Exalted, leaving her mounted pursuers far behind. Years later, when she learned that her brother’s caravan was raided by the Fair Folk, she raced a thousand miles to rescue him, but lost the trail in the Wyld. From then on, she convinced Ruvia, the god of roads, to give her his magic sandals, which she used as the soles of a pair of orichalcum boots that could outrace anything. Armed with these, she went into the Wyld to rescue Sand. The boots are sleek and aerodynamic, made of orichalcum and simhata leather, and they gleam brighter in motion, eventually throwing up red sparks when going fast enough. They cost 3 motes to attune to.

The Hounds rely on speed. Every time the wearer moves a range band, they gain +1 Celerity, capped by Athletics. Celerity is added as a bonus to all combat movement rolls. At the start of each turn, Celerity resets to 0 if you haven’t moved any ranged bands since the start of your last turn. Making a non-gambit attack also resets Celerity to 0 when the attack is ended. The Hounds also remember the Wyld. If you know Integrity-Protecting Prana, you gain its effects for free as long as you are running and taking no other actions except occasional Perception- or Wits-based ones.

Flashing Bloodhound Pursuit gives a bonus to tracking checks and Awareness rolls to oppose Stealth based on Celerity and removes all penalties from moving at great speed. Out of Death’s Jaws can be used when you move into Close range of an ally and lets you reflexively take a defend other action towards them, but using your Evasion plus Celerity instead of Parry. If you successfully defend your ward, both you and they may reflexively move one range band in the same direction, which doesn’t count as either of your movement action for the round. Outrace Steel and Stone focuses your speed. At Celerity 2+, you can flurry movement actions without penalty, and at Celerity 3+, using a drag action in a grapple only uses one round of control. You can also spend Initiative to add Celerity to your Evasion against one attack – unless resonant, in which case you just do so at all times while the Charm is active. Violent Lightning Practice lets you gain extra Initiative from the Charm One With Violence based on your Celerity and lets you regain Willpower when you incapacitate someone with the Charm Lightning Strikes Twice.

The Illusion-Shattering Mirror is a 3-dot mirror, made from a polished orichalcum surface set in a moonsilver frame. If attuned to with five motes, its reflection reveals truth. This automatically sees through all mundane disguises and gives a bonus against magical disguises and illusions. If an effect has no roll to see through it, it allows a Perception roll to do so. A bearer can spend 5m and 1WP to confront a disguises character with their reflection, making a Presence roll against their Guile. If successful, any illusion magic on the target shatters immediately, mundane disguises melt away and personas or similar alternate selves are sent dormant for the rest of the scene. If any of the target’s Principles go against something they know to be true, they are inescapable revealed as false and may be discarded immediately if the target chooses. The mirror can only be used this way once per scene against any given character. The mirror neither reveals nor gets rid of physical shapeshifting, as that is ‘true’ – it’s not a false shape, it’s just a changed one. It also cannot pierce or end the resplendent destinies of Sidereal astrology.

Jade Steeds are 3-dot jade statues of horses, life-sized. They are perfect in all details, and if attuned for 4 motes, they come to life as an animate mount that needs no sustenance, no air, no water and no sleep. It is fearless, has near-human intellect and can understand and obey spoken commands. It has a horse’s stats, but with better soak and Hardness, and its attacks are better at getting past Hardness. It weighs nearly a ton, sinks in water and may break things it walks over such as wooden planks. Clockwork mounts of moonsilver springs and gears under orichalcum outer plates have been discovered in First Age ruins, and function identically to the jade versions.

Resplendent Satchels of Healing are 3-dot bags. While originally made in the First Age, most of them still in existence date back to the Shogunate. Each is a green jade case inlaid with orichalcum, about a foot long, a foot wide and three inches deep, engraved either with the Twilight Caste Mark or the sigil of Sextes Jylis. All have the same contents: moonsilver and orichalcum acupuncture needles, starmetal diagnostic tools, jade surgical instruments, wood spider silk bandages, vials of medicine and so on. When using the contents, you get a bonus to Medicine rolls that use these tools, reduce the cost of all non-Excellency Medicine Charms, never get penalties for inadequate equipment and may staunch and sterilize a wound without rolling. Attunement is 1 mote. At the end of each story, you must make a Medicine roll to refill any supplies the bag is running short on and purge it of dangerous Essence. A failure means you need to restock it with a roll of an appropriate Ability before it can be used again.

Second-Shadow Drum is a 3-dot soulsteel hourglass drum, made long ago by the sorcerer Ash of Buyan as a tool to command hungry ghosts. Its intricate frame was carved under the waning moon from yew wood held in place by nails of soulsteel, and its leather heads are made from Ash’s twin brother’s skin. When pounded, the drum’s music exerts terrible sway over hungry ghosts and the po, or lower soul, from which they derive.

It costs 2 motes to attune to Second-Shadow Drum, and it can be played with either Occult 3+ (or a specialty in the undead) and Performance 3+ (or a specialty in drums). For as long as you play, hungry ghosts are treated as having a Minor Tie of obedience towards you, and you suffer no penalties on influence rolls to target multiple ghosts. Its Evocations function only in the Underworld or at night in Creation. Shadow-Soul Enthrallment Rhythm lets you make a single chosen human feel the drum in their lower soul. They are treated as having a Minor Tie of obedience towards you for purposes of social influence rolls that promote feelings or actions tied to base passions such as gluttony, greed or jealousy. Sleepwalker Drumming Method lets you make a persuade roll against a sleeping human as if they had a Major Tie of obedience towards you, and if you succeed, their po takes control of them and they sleepwalk to you, then listen to a single spoken persuade action. Any of their Intimacies that has no emotional content is suppressed for this action, as the po is the seat of unreasoning passion. If possible, they will attempt to fulfill any task you succeed on persuading them of before waking. Taking damage or entering life-threatening circumstances wakes them. They remember nothing of their actions under this Charm’s influence.

The ultimate power is Soul-Disgorging Syncopation, which lets you roll Performance against a willing, restrained or unconscious human in Short range. On a failure, you can’t try again that night. On a success, their po exits their mouth as a hungry ghost, which obeys any command you give that does not conflict with the target’s Major or Defining Intimacies and doesn’t prevent it from returning to the target before sunrise. It remembers sensory data but not abstract ideas, as it has no reason, so it’s not necessarily useful to interrogate. The target remains comatose until the hungry ghost returns. Mortals die if their hungry ghost is destroyed, and more powerful humans such as Exalts or sorcerers instead take a bunch of Aggravated damage that ignores Hardness, as the dispersed lower soul reforms inside them.

Next time: The Brass Legion

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Halloween Jack posted:

Yeah, that would be a game of Cabal where you play the World Bank.

I thought about F&Fing Millennium's End to talk about its political bent. Turns out, while the premise of playing what are basically Blackwater assassins is morally gross, that premise is just a jumping-off point for the kind of game that's obsessed with precisely statting out the differences between .40 S&W and .357 SIG.

Is Cabal any good?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Arms of the Chosen: ROBOT ARMY

Brass Legionnaires are 3-dot artifacts. In the late First Age, Mizhra Starshaper made five legions of brass soldiers for the Southern ruler Her Blazing Majesty. They were made without hearts, and they brutally crushed rebellions and served as cold, clinical police. They had no personal loyalty, however, obeying any that knew their command codes. When Her Blazing Majesty tried to rely on them as protection against the Usurpation, her own Dragon-Blooded lieutenants slew her by ordering the automata to murder her in her sleep. Afterwards, the Brass Legions were disbanded and ordered destroyed, for fear that their creator had, as many others, left a mechanism for revenge in them. However, certain ambitious Dragon-Bloods quietly refused to destroy some of them and instead held the surviving Brass Legionnaires in reserve for future battles. Most were cached in secret places across the South, used only very rarely. In the Contagion, the Legionnaires proved vital, as they were immune to both disease and fae glamour, and they held the line – but at great cost. Of the few that survived, some sought Dragon-Blooded commanders that knew their command codes to serve, others remained forever doing their last assigned tasks as best as possible, and the rest hid themselves and shut down until maintenance and repairs could be performed. At most, a few hundred of the Brass Legionnaires remain in one piece and active. The Realm and Lookshy each control dozens of them, while a few princes of the Threshold and sorcerers maintain small retinues of them. One is rumored to be working as a mercenary warrior in exchange for maintenance, repairs and hints about the location of officers that know its command codes.

The Legionnaires are skilled but mechanical soldiers. They obey orders, fight in formation and have a library of tactical and strategic maneuvers to allow independence in the field. However, while their intellect is the pinnacle for automata not augmented by sorcerous artifice, is limited, as is their memory. Most have forgotten more than any modern soldier ever learns, but they retain less than the average soldier actually knows. Further, they are highly lacking in initiative, and without orders they default to looking for an officer that knows their command codes. However, a few Legionnaires break their limits due to some combination of sorcerous meddling, spirit magic or Wyld influence. These are free-willed individuals rather than tools, appropriate as 2-dot Retainers rather than Artifacts. They must still be maintained and repaired normally, but their mental evolution may not survive if they are damaged to the point of Incapacitation, at the GM’s discretion. The earliest of the Brass Legionnaires appear as perfect replicas of human anatomy, distinguished only by metal skin and hematite eyes, but each successive wave was cruder in appearance and more abstract, such that the final wave had minimalist metal armatures. It is not clear why this was the case, but each generation is equally effective. They wield mortal weapons, but their armor is innate.

Brass Legionnaires have three Intimacies innately – a Defining Principle of ‘A Brass Legionnaire exists to serve its commander,’ a Minor Principle of ‘Creation is a strange place, full of constant change,’ and a Minor tie of loyalty to their fellow Brass Legionnaires. Social influence cannot alter their Defining or Major Intimacies, and they cannot raise new Intimacies to Major or higher, as they are robots. A battle group of them has Might 2, as they are built to be armies. They will automatically obey the orders of anyone that knows their unit’s original command codes, which are elaborate Old Realm passwords, and anyone that doesn’t know them gets a large penalty to all social influence and command actions towards them. Any influence that directly contradicts orders issued via command codes is considered unacceptable influence. Brass Legionnaires are immune to any Fair Folk powers that target Resolve or have the Psyche tag, and resist Wyld taint as per the Charm Chaos-Resistance Preparation. For every week of strenuous or combat operation, a Brass Legionnaire requires maintenance via a Craft check, with difficulty varying by how damaged it is, which takes a scene. On a failure, you can either choose to have to wait a day to try again or deal Decisive damage to the Legionnaire. Damage done to a Legionnaire can only be removed by a repair project, and each level is a Major Project to repair, with difficulty and time requirement based on the wound penalty of that level. An incapacitated Legionnaire is a Superior Project to repair.

The Collars of Dutiful Submission are 4-dot artifacts. They are torcs carved of white jade and starmetal with an internal mesh of god’s hair and demon’s sinew. The owner doesn’t wear them – instead, they are put on other people, which can be done as a pretty hard gambit in combat, and then lock in place. They tighten painfully on command of the owner or whenever the wearer attacks or disobeys the owner. This requires a Resistance roll each round to avoid Bashing damage, which must be flurried with any other action you want to do that round. The collar will only stop when ordered by the owner or the wearer falls unconscious. While attuned, only the owner may remove the collar – well, that or a Solar Circle sorcerous working. Attuning to the collar is 3 motes, and it ends if the wearer ever goes beyond two dozen or so miles from the owner.

The Shadow-Casting Jewel is a 4-dot artifact, a black Underworld diamond the size of a hen’s egg caged in moonsilver and soulsteel rings. It was cut under a lunar eclipse, and its bearer may pay 10 motes and 1 WP, spending the whole turn reciting an incantation carved on the rings. This calls forth a flare of light which makes the shadows of all other beings in Short range come to life and attack their owners. Shadows have their owner’s stats, but no magical powers or Charms, and only a few health levels based on your Essence. Their only Intimacy is an unbreakable and unchangeable Defining Tie of bloodthirsty rage towards their owner, and they consider any social influence that would prevent them from attacking their owner to be unacceptable. They lose their unnatural power of form if they or their owner is slain. After one use, the jewel must spend a full night exposed to the new moon to recharge.

Sorcery-Capturing Cords are 4-dot artifacts, slender ropes about a yard long threaded with orichalcum and moonsilver. They are very strong and resilient, but their true power is that any sorcerer that stands in the path of a non-ritual sorcery spell may bind the spell’s Essence into a knot on the rope, trapping it until the knot is untied. The wielder must be initiated into the same circle as the trapped spell, and they must make a reflexive Occult roll against the sorcerer that cast the spell’s casting roll. If successful, the spell is swallowed into the knot. Untying a knot unleashes the spell within as if shaping it normally, but it uses the lower of Dexterity or Intelligence for the Occult rolls. If you attempt to release a spell of a circle higher than you can cast, it is either distorted or botches, GM’s choice. A cord may hold only one spell at a time, and you can tell what circle spell is bound in a knot with an Occult roll, or what specific spell with a harder one or use of a Charm such as All-Encompassing Sorcerer’s Sight. Destroying the cord will release a distorted or botched version of the stored spell in a random direction.

Wings of the Raptor are 4-dot moonsilver cloaks. The first were said to be made by Teremi Salo out of a wind dragon’s skin, but most are actually made from moonsilver thread and the skins of hybroc or strix, with a moonsilver clasp that has a single hearthstone socket. Attunement is one mote. If you aren’t dissonant with moonsilver, you get the first Evocation free on attunement. This is Raptor Takes Flight, which makes the cloak unfurl into a 20-foot wingspan pair of feathered wings. You can fly as per 5-dot wings if you have enough clearance, and the cost to use the Charm is reduced if you have other Charms about flying or are a Lunar with a flying form. It also counts as Eagle-Wing Style for purposes of using Bonfire Anima Wings. If dissonant, the wings are 3-dot.

Wind-and-Falcon Unity is learned free when you have been attuned for at least one story and, while flying and engaged with a dangerous foe, defeat them or emerge from Crash. It removes the precision penalty from the Wings merit provided by Raptor Takes Flight. The ultimate power, God-Eagle Rules the Sky, can only be learned if resonant with moonsilver. It boosts your Evasion and gives a bonus to combat movement while flying with Raptor Takes Flight, and lets you automatically launch a range band into the air when you activate that Charm.

Next time: Murder Snake and siege weapons

Hypnobeard
Sep 15, 2004

Obey the Beard





Halloween Jack posted:

Yeah, that would be a game of Cabal where you play the World Bank.

I thought about F&Fing Millennium's End to talk about its political bent. Turns out, while the premise of playing what are basically Blackwater assassins is morally gross, that premise is just a jumping-off point for the kind of game that's obsessed with precisely statting out the differences between .40 S&W and .357 SIG.

Oo, I cannot wait to see you talk about the hit location system.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Hypnobeard posted:

Oo, I cannot wait to see you talk about the hit location system.

Is it as bad as Neotech's or worse? Because I'm not sure if you can get worse than Neotech in this case.

Hypnobeard
Sep 15, 2004

Obey the Beard





Cooked Auto posted:

Is it as bad as Neotech's or worse? Because I'm not sure if you can get worse than Neotech in this case.

Does Neotech have a transparent sheet of plastic marked with ~100 numbered dots, which you position over a sihouette of the target to figure out where the shot landed?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Hypnobeard posted:

Does Neotech have a transparent sheet of plastic marked with ~100 numbered dots, which you position over a sihouette of the target to figure out where the shot landed?

For the sake of my sanity, I choose to believe that you have to be making this up.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Hypnobeard posted:

Does Neotech have a transparent sheet of plastic marked with ~100 numbered dots, which you position over a sihouette of the target to figure out where the shot landed?

...Okay. I stand corrected. It doesn't have that and 'thankfully' you just have to roll that out.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



wiegieman posted:

For the sake of my sanity, I choose to believe that you have to be making this up.

I remember Millenium's End.

They're not.

\/ No, it's not. Phoenix Command was nothing but charts.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 20:31 on Apr 23, 2019

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Hypnobeard posted:

Does Neotech have a transparent sheet of plastic marked with ~100 numbered dots, which you position over a sihouette of the target to figure out where the shot landed?

Isn't that Phoenix Command?

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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Someday, someone is going to automate Phoenix Command and create the craziest and least played xcom-like of all time.

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