Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Highly illogical population numbers are honestly a staple when it comes to RPGs.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Baku
Aug 20, 2005

by Fluffdaddy

Jerik posted:

I guess maybe I'm naïve, but I actually don't get what they're alluding to.

Zereth posted:

EDIT: Wait, Vagrants, which are restricted to Orcs and Elves, get bonuses against female humans only? :raise:

Half-Elves and Half-Orcs (with the other half being explicitly or implicitly Human) are the two mixed race species that are traditionally core/canon in D&D.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Cooked Auto posted:

Highly illogical population numbers are honestly a staple when it comes to RPGs.
I've always really enjoy the combination of really precise numbers that are also completely nonsensical.

"This isolated mountain town that can't feed itself and has no economic reason to exist has a population of 81,794"

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

FMguru posted:

I've always really enjoy the combination of really precise numbers that are also completely nonsensical.

"This isolated mountain town that can't feed itself and has no economic reason to exist has a population of 81,794"

There's a reason only the Empire book tried to do this in Hams, and that it was dropped for pretty much everything else in the game's line.

That reason being that I never tire of mentioning that officially, the teeming, populous state of the Empire, which is known for its wealth, international military power, and the fact that it rarely suffers famine or food shortages due to the magic priesthoods and the powerful Jade Magisters, has less than 500,000 residents.

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



No. 1 Apartheid Fan posted:

Half-Elves and Half-Orcs (with the other half being explicitly or implicitly Human) are the two mixed race species that are traditionally core/canon in D&D.
Ahhhh. I knew that absolutely couldn't be going anywhere good but I wasn't sure exactly where it was going.

Night10194 posted:

There's a reason only the Empire book tried to do this in Hams, and that it was dropped for pretty much everything else in the game's line.

That reason being that I never tire of mentioning that officially, the teeming, populous state of the Empire, which is known for its wealth, international military power, and the fact that it rarely suffers famine or food shortages due to the magic priesthoods and the powerful Jade Magisters, has less than 500,000 residents.
Hell with that level of support they probably wouldn't have much trouble with plagues either if it wasn't for the efforts of Nurgle's devotees.

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009



Soiled Meat

Cooked Auto posted:

Highly illogical population numbers are honestly a staple when it comes to RPGs.

Just came up on the latest System Mastery on Amethyst. A 4th Ed licenced book that features a Mendel heirarchy for inter-fey breeding results. The most famous fey race that every human can recognize and generally know the customs and traditions of have a population of 30,000.

KingKalamari
Aug 24, 2007

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back
My ship of love is ready to attack

Jerik posted:

That's one thing that's always bothered me about the Ravenloft campaign setting (for which, despite its many flaws, I retain a great deal of affection). Its population figures are ludicrously low, even for a setting that didn't have loads of undead and other horrors running around and killing off good numbers of its inhabitants. It's the mention of Paris and London that especially reminded me of that, because there's a city in Ravenloft called Paridon; it's basically supposed to be a Victorian-era metropolis that's reminiscent of Paris and London (well, despite the name it's far more London than Paris, really), and it has a population of 11,600. Other standouts:

  • Port-a-Lucine, a highly cultured city with a sharp divide between a wealthy aristocracy and a much more numerous struggling underclass. It has a grand opera house, a major university, a great library, numerous theaters and galleries... and a population of 5,400.
  • The cities of Nova Vaasa are described as all being densely populated "nightmarish scenes of dreadful urban squalor". Given that their populations range from 3,940 to 16,520, this seems unlikely.
  • Muhar, the only city in the Ancient-Egyptian-flavored desert domain of Har'Akir. It's a thriving city with several exports including dates and gypsum; a good proportion of its population are slaves (1/3 of the population according to one sourcebook; 2/3 according to another); its people follow a complex polytheistic religion whose priests make up the ruling class; it's the home of a major secret society. And according to its first description, it has a hundred inhabitants. Apparently as the city got further developed, the creators did decide that was too low, so they increased the number... to three hundred. (That's including the slaves.)

Weird population figures have been a tradition of D&D since the very beginning! Take for instance the city of Specularum from module B6 - The Veiled Society. It's described as the trading centre of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, is the current residence of the Duke and is generally presented as the most populated and important city in the area with a thriving population of 5,000 people! And that's 5,000 in the city AND surrounding area!

It makes more sense when it crops up in pre-2000s modules back before the internet was commonplace but is absolutely baffling when it shows up in an era where a prospective designer could just hop on Wikipedia and look up the population of a similar city in a similar era.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




KirbyKhan posted:

Just came up on the latest System Mastery on Amethyst. A 4th Ed licenced book that features a Mendel heirarchy for inter-fey breeding results. The most famous fey race that every human can recognize and generally know the customs and traditions of have a population of 30,000.

Funny enough I was initially going to list that as an example I was listening to that episode today. :v:

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

yeah, for most D&D settings, if you need numbers, increasing them by ten fold is is the way to get more sensible ones.

The only city in Ravenloft that makes sense for low population is Port-a-Museau (Richemulot's capital) as it's a back tidbit that the city clearly used to hold a much, much higher population, so it ends up being eerily sparse for it's size, but it's still too low to sustain the wererats' predations.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



I think Glorantha has decently realistic population numbers for a bronze-age setting?

Wapole Languray fucked around with this message at 20:16 on Aug 2, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
That looks reasonable to me. My understanding is that Glorantha isn't exactly Bronze or Iron Age, or even comparable to Earth at all, what with all the shenanigans and goings-on. But yeah, that's comparable to 1000-0 BCE.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
Honestly Ravenloft is the only D&D setting where the wonky population numbers make sense, because itís a handcrafted Disneyland of suffering instead of a place where anything could be said to be naturally occurring.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Halloween Jack posted:

That looks reasonable to me. My understanding is that Glorantha isn't exactly Bronze or Iron Age, or even comparable to Earth at all, what with all the shenanigans and goings-on. But yeah, that's comparable to 1000-0 BCE.
Nochet is unusual at 100K population, but it IS the biggest city (and most important port) in all of Glorantha, and it does have ridiculously productive farmland surrounding it (that little town of Ezel to the northwest is the largest and most important temple to the earth/fertility goddess on the entire continent, so there's crop magic out the wazoo).

On another note, I always found Harn to have pretty reasonable demographics.

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009



Soiled Meat
Glorantha also seems to try real hard on those historical details. They try REALLY hard, much harder than necessary.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



FMguru posted:

I've always really enjoy the combination of really precise numbers that are also completely nonsensical.

"This isolated mountain town that can't feed itself and has no economic reason to exist has a population of 81,794"
Legally they have to include the inhabitants of the Black Lodge and White Lodge for census purposes, even if they moved into their own township over sewerage/garmonbozia issues in '64.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
No medieval setting is tryharder than Harn. There's like a whole supplement if you just want to model the cabbage output of a manor without ever running a campaign.

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009



Soiled Meat

Halloween Jack posted:

No medieval setting is tryharder than Harn. There's like a whole supplement if you just want to model the cabbage output of a manor without ever running a campaign.

BRB found my first F&F entry

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Man, it's like I'm the fuckin' reeve around here

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012

Flavivirus posted:

Jesus, I was a big fan of EP 1e but that section on trans issues is loving yikes. Even just the assertion that the non-trans population is totally a-ok with different gendered bodies is completely tone deaf. Not to mention the old faithful of immediately conflating trans issues and drag :doh:

It reads so bad it could've been written by bad old White Wolf: the transhuman version of the Magical Hermaphrodite

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Mr. Maltose posted:

Honestly Ravenloft is the only D&D setting where the wonky population numbers make sense, because itís a handcrafted Disneyland of suffering instead of a place where anything could be said to be naturally occurring.

Eh... I don't think that excuses the ridiculous populations. Regardless of the origins of the cities, even if they were artificially created, they just can't possibly fit the descriptions with the given population numbers. If the books said, for example, that Port-a-Lucine's grand opera house was always almost empty because there just weren't enough opera-goers to fill the seats, and its galleries and theaters stood unused and unvisited, then okay, sure, that fits with the tiny population, but no, it's supposed to be this bustling city full of high culture and all these busy establishments and that just isn't remotely possible with the given population numbers, even if the Dark Powers did create the place artificially as a prison for the darklord.

Besides, as the line went on, the initial use of the setting as just a weird place that PCs were brought to for a single horror adventure and then escaped from afterward was increasingly downplayed, and it was more and more emphasized that despite its artificial origins Ravenloft was still a place that had native inhabitants who lived relatively normal lives despite the horrors around them. The third-edition books, especially, were designed to focus mostly on native PCs, and went in considerable detail about the cultures and economies of the various domains and tried to paint Ravenloft as a place that, despite the darklords and all the monsters, still had people going about their ordinary lives and keeping up their societies. And yet they kept these absurdly low populations that absolutely did not work with the way the societies were described. (The quote about the ďnightmarish scenes of dreadful urban squalorĒ in Nova Vaasa comes from its third-edition description.)

So yeah, you could sort of try to justify the Ravenloft populations by saying that, well, it was all just created artificially by the Dark Powers; it doesn't have to make sense... but I don't think that justification really works, and I think it pretty clearly wasn't the developers' intent.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
I canít really speak to the third edition version of Ravenloft as I havenít read any of it, but for a setting that is explicitly a horror game world the fact that this city is always bustling and filled with urban press but thereís just. Not enough people to do that. Is pretty creepy! I doubt there was any sort of developer intent in making that happen but that doesnít invalidate the potential of this packed city where there are demonstrably only eleven thousand and some people in it, and so on and so on.

Mr. Maltose fucked around with this message at 23:45 on Aug 2, 2019

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


The right way to do it would be eeery poo poo like seeing people in multiple places that happen to look the same or have q passing familiarity. Like an inn runner running Every Single Inn

psudonym55
Nov 23, 2014
The only thing I remeber about 3rd edition Ravenloft.
Is the terrible extra weakness rules it added to each class.
That basically forced you to make powers checks for stupid reasons.
Some of which include.
Want to play a fighter? I hope you like making a powers check just because you leveled up.
I hope you don't plan to learn any evocation or enchantment spells as a wizard. That's another powers check.
Are you a druid who happened to walk near a tainted area of land? Powers check!

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

PoontifexMacksimus posted:

Lest we forget,
https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/hyphz/eoris-essence/


Someone should really complete a review of it...

Yea, sorry about that one. The main thing is that once you get past that sheet and the crazy term-spraying, what's left just.. isn't all that interesting or funny really, it's just a regular game with a ton of the annoying WoD tropes like bizarre ongoing storylines that have no relationship to anything the players can do. Honestly, I've had a few things I considered F&Fing that I ended up dropping because they were just bad but not interesting-bad.

At least Eoris had the Power Of Cosmic Sincerity which was legitimately a drat cool idea. Like, that in a low-level supers game would be more interesting than 90% of the powers those have.

hyphz fucked around with this message at 23:14 on Aug 2, 2019

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Mr. Maltose posted:

I canít really speak to the third edition version of Ravenloft as I havenít read any of it, but for a setting that is explicitly a horror game world the fact that this city is always bustling and filled with urban press but thereís just. Not enough people to do that. Is pretty creepy! I doubt there was any sort of developer intent it making that happen but that doesnít invalidate the potential of this packed city where there are demonstrably only eleven thousand and some people in it, and so on and so on.

I'm not sure what it would even mean for a place to be packed and full of urban press with not enough people for it... unless you're going with what ChaseSP suggests about having the same person inexplicably turning up in multiple places. Regardless, though, that's not really the kind of horror Ravenloft is... at least, not the Core domains, though that could maybe work for an island domain. In Ravenloft, at least in the Core, and especially in late second edition to third edition materials, the cities and towns—and even most wilderness areas—are not overtly horrific, at least not in an unnatural sense. There may be urban squalor, severe class inequality, and government oppression, but there's little or nothing obviously supernatural. (The Mists that surround the Core being a big exception, I suppose.) The supernatural horror lies hidden beneath the surface, or erupts suddenly and by surprise in a previously quiet community. The people of most of the domains may believe in vampires and ghosts and werewolves, but very few of them have ever (knowingly) seen one... those monsters are there, of course, but they're not a part of most people's everyday lives. With some exceptions far from civilization, there just aren't a lot of obviously creepy areas the way you're describing. That's a completely different flavor of horror than most of the Core domains of Ravenloft are going for.

If you're only familiar with the earliest Ravenloft adventures that were all about PCs being drawn into Ravenloft, having a horrific adventure, and then returning home, then yeah, maybe that kind of nonsensical weirdness might not seem so much out of place... but from the 2E Domains of Dread on, Ravenloft was presented as a much more naturalistic place that was a suitable setting for entire campaigns with native PCs.

Anyway, I should probably shut up about Ravenloft; sorry if this has turned into a bit of a derailment. Ravenloft is one of the D&D settings I'm most familiar with and that I'm most fond of—second only to Planescape—and I'd actually considered starting my reviews here with the Ravenloft line, until I decided to go with Planescape instead. (I still am leaning toward reviewing the Ravenloft line after I'm done with Planescape... though if I don't pick up the pace from my current rate with the Deities & Demigods review, that'll probably be, oh, some time around 2030...)

(For what it's worth, though, psudonym55 is 100% correct about the ridiculous powers-check-by-class rules in 3E Ravenloft... though I completely ignored those rules when I ran a 3E Ravenloft campaign, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't alone in that.)

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012

juggalo baby coffin posted:

the hypercorps are just hypercorps, i could point to altered carbon again, because all the problems around a shortage of sleeves and the poor having restricted access to new bodies is lifted from there, but that setting (as far as I remember) wasn't post scarcity. it also makes no sense having hypercorps be a major factor in a world they do not have complete control over. what leverage do they have on people when effectively replicator tech is out there and other factions are giving away their poo poo for free?

all of this being set up inside of 10 years is insane too, but that's been covered already.

the problem with taking a grab bag approach with your influences is you need to understand the implications of the technology and setting you are copying from. you also need some understanding of how real-world societal systems operate. capitalism operates on scarcity, real or enforced. look at the real life diamond industry. we figured out how to make artificial diamonds years ago at this point, but the diamond mining companies used their power and influence to require artifical diamonds to be marked as such, ruining their aesthetic value.

but if they did not have that level of influence over every country with the technological base to create good quality artificial diamonds, they would be hosed. someone in another country would be making bucket loads of diamonds, saturating the market, and killing those companies stone dead.

That's a question, is there any indication of trade between the political blocs, or do they all just exist in solipsistic bubbles of post-scarcity? If so, what exactly do the hypercorps... do? Just endlessly exploit infugee slave labour to extract wealth from... something, somehow? Manually calculating Bitcoin hashes?

hyphz posted:

Yea, sorry about that one. The main thing is that once you get past that sheet and the crazy term-spraying, what's left just.. isn't all that interesting or funny really, it's just a regular game with a ton of the annoying WoD tropes like bizarre ongoing storylines that have no relationship to anything the players can do. Honestly, I've had a few things I considered F&Fing that I ended up dropping because they were just bad but not interesting-bad.

At least Eoris had the Power Of Cosmic Sincerity which was legitimately a drat cool idea. Like, that in a low-level supers game would be more interesting than 90% of the powers those have.

No problem if it's more trouble than it's worth, it's just interesting to see oddball heartbreakers gone over, in case they accidentally sneak in interesting and fresh mechanics in some random subsystem.

KingKalamari
Aug 24, 2007

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back
My ship of love is ready to attack

PoontifexMacksimus posted:

That's a question, is there any indication of trade between the political blocs, or do they all just exist in solipsistic bubbles of post-scarcity? If so, what exactly do the hypercorps... do? Just endlessly exploit infugee slave labour to extract wealth from... something, somehow? Manually calculating Bitcoin hashes?

As near as I can tell that's mostly glossed over. That sort of problem of viewing all the factions in the solar system as isolated entities becomes really apparent when dealing with the Jovian Republic: They're supposed to be this big overarching villain faction you can use in the game, but the fact that they're all bio-conservative and reliant on pre-transhuman technology means that they're completely and utterly ineffectual when compared to every other faction in the setting. Even within the setting there's not really any reason for them to still exist as a relevant faction: Everyone else in the solar system hates them, but none of the other factions ever do anything to try and oust the current regime despite the disparity in technology meaning that doing so would be a cakewalk.

This even crops up in the styles of gameplay the book outlines: The "every planet we reach is dead" conceit of gatecrashing campaigns seems like it belongs to a completely different setting from the "We're trapped in the solar system with the remnants of the TITANs" of your system-bound, Firewall espionage campaign

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



KingKalamari posted:

As near as I can tell that's mostly glossed over. That sort of problem of viewing all the factions in the solar system as isolated entities becomes really apparent when dealing with the Jovian Republic: They're supposed to be this big overarching villain faction you can use in the game, but the fact that they're all bio-conservative and reliant on pre-transhuman technology means that they're completely and utterly ineffectual when compared to every other faction in the setting. Even within the setting there's not really any reason for them to still exist as a relevant faction: Everyone else in the solar system hates them, but none of the other factions ever do anything to try and oust the current regime despite the disparity in technology meaning that doing so would be a cakewalk.

This even crops up in the styles of gameplay the book outlines: The "every planet we reach is dead" conceit of gatecrashing campaigns seems like it belongs to a completely different setting from the "We're trapped in the solar system with the remnants of the TITANs" of your system-bound, Firewall espionage campaign
In Schismatrix the viewpoint of the protagonist started moving towards terraforming and resettling new transgenic forms of humanity, including a visit to Earth (which was not destroyed but was under some kind of Interdict; he saw some of their structures but didn't bother to talk to the locals).

It would seem as if any "corporation" would rapidly just become a "high tech oligarchal city-state." And hell, that's fine. There are historical parallels and you could do worse than to look at the days of ancient Greece or medieval Italy for some broad inspiration.

Also, are these planets dead in the sense of never having been lifebearing or in the sense of a grim reference to the inevitability of mortality? Because in either case, hell, no reason why you couldn't stake a claim! A collapsed biosphere is probably still really rich in nitrogen etc. and I think free nitrogen is about the only thing you couldn't readily find laying about in space, susceptible to your God-given completely euphoric and rational powers of imagination and unleashing autonomous mining spiders. Your big worry would be that you'd come out of your extended session of virtual gaming and find that the spiders formed the greatest horror of all... a labor union!!

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012




Buglord
Eoris: Essence feels like it has about a million words, and frankly seems unreviewable. It's dense, often boring, and impenetrable as hell.

Art's gorgeous at least.

KingKalamari
Aug 24, 2007

Fuzzy dice, bongos in the back
My ship of love is ready to attack

Nessus posted:

In Schismatrix the viewpoint of the protagonist started moving towards terraforming and resettling new transgenic forms of humanity, including a visit to Earth (which was not destroyed but was under some kind of Interdict; he saw some of their structures but didn't bother to talk to the locals).

It would seem as if any "corporation" would rapidly just become a "high tech oligarchal city-state." And hell, that's fine. There are historical parallels and you could do worse than to look at the days of ancient Greece or medieval Italy for some broad inspiration.

Also, are these planets dead in the sense of never having been lifebearing or in the sense of a grim reference to the inevitability of mortality? Because in either case, hell, no reason why you couldn't stake a claim! A collapsed biosphere is probably still really rich in nitrogen etc. and I think free nitrogen is about the only thing you couldn't readily find laying about in space, susceptible to your God-given completely euphoric and rational powers of imagination and unleashing autonomous mining spiders. Your big worry would be that you'd come out of your extended session of virtual gaming and find that the spiders formed the greatest horror of all... a labor union!!

Dead in the latter sense: A lot of the gatecrashing material is about how the people through the gates keep stumbling on the remains of advanced, near-singularity systems that just sort of...died out. The metaplot heavily hints it's a case of them befalling a worse version of The Fall. There's at least one exo-planet that has an advanced AR system set up capable of holding millions, if not billions of egos that's just completely empty when humanity discovers it. It's a really cool concept, it just seems really at odds when it exists alongside the mostly-solar system bound constraints of the rest of the game.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

PoontifexMacksimus posted:

That's a question, is there any indication of trade between the political blocs, or do they all just exist in solipsistic bubbles of post-scarcity? If so, what exactly do the hypercorps... do? Just endlessly exploit infugee slave labour to extract wealth from... something, somehow? Manually calculating Bitcoin hashes?

In the various location sourcebooks, especially Sunward, there's occasionally mentions of large-scale interplanetary trade. Water to the Inner System is one thing that's mentioned, antimatter from wherever it's produced is another, and Mercury and Venus are metal producers so presumably someone buys it. It's not spelled out in full, but the Jovian Republic also controls an interplanetary shipping lane because they can toll everything that uses Jupiter for gravitational slingshotting.

The broad picture is therefore that the Inner System sells metal and buys water, the Outer System sells water and buys metal, and the Jovian Republic sits in the middle and takes a toll. (In my own variant of the EP setting I portray them a bit as a Gulf nation, fat on oil antimatter money and shipping tolls.)

(For more speculative detail: Titan probably sells volatiles to the Martian terraforming project and the Jovian Republic can sell antimatter and possibly also electrical power, metals, and water.)

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



Halloween Jack posted:

That looks reasonable to me. My understanding is that Glorantha isn't exactly Bronze or Iron Age, or even comparable to Earth at all, what with all the shenanigans and goings-on. But yeah, that's comparable to 1000-0 BCE.
I think even the "Bronze" they have isn't the same bronze we have in reality, for that matter.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Zereth posted:

I think even the "Bronze" they have isn't the same bronze we have in reality, for that matter.

Gloranthan Bronze is made out of the bones of Storm gods that died during the Gods' War, and is found native in the Earth. Properly worked bronze is roughly equivalent to high quality iron or low quality steel.

Gloranthan Iron is a magic metal made out of solidified death and invented by the Mostali. It is endowed with special power to cut through magic and harm the Elves and Trolls, and to this day the Mostali regret not giving it the same power against humans. The skill and knowledge to work Iron is a closely guarded secret held by powerful smithing cults; it has no relation to our iron.

If you see a human with an iron weapon, especially a magical one, you should tread carefully. They are rich enough to afford the best equipment and powerful enough to earn it.

wiegieman fucked around with this message at 00:56 on Aug 3, 2019

Flail Snail
Jul 30, 2019

Collector of the Obscure
Knights & Legends - Good GMs don't need more than this

The update title this go round is a paraphrased version of what the author said in response to criticism.

I'm going to make a bit of an exception to my "no images" thing and include a map.



Here we have the entirety of the adventure sheet tutorial. I can make a few guesses but they would probably be incorrect in some way. Just guessing, but green probably represents unlocked doors and red is likely doors tied to a switch. They can't be secret or locked doors as nowhere have we been informed on how one might locate or unlock them. The numbers appear to possibly indicate the intended path through this dungeon.

Traps? What do those do? How do they work?

Enemy encounters and a boss fight? No guidelines on suggested enemies?

Interactive Object? The gently caress? Having read several of this game's supplements, I'd be tempted to suggest that this is a pile of cloth with nothing in it or a pit toilet or something.

Treasure Room and Treasure Chest? No suggestions on what they contain?

Things for stabbing, preventing stabs, healing stabs, and things to stab

You ready for some lists?

Me neither. But I've made a commitment so let's go. Every table from here on out has three columns - Name, Price (or Affinity for the last), and Description. Up first, the armory.

quote:

The armory is a suggestive list, feel free to create your own!

We've got a listing of various types of arms and armor. Daggers, katana, bows, axes, swords, metal and leather armor, robes, clothing.

What's the difference between an iron sword and a damascus sword? About 60 Kescs and an immediate breaking of the lore. Iron swords are "brittle and require constant sharpening." Damascus are "the finest grade of steel, folded over 8 times by Vancroft's blacksmiths." But I thought Kenjiwah was renowned for its folded steel...

And that's the armory. Nothing makes it easier to shank your enemeies or shrug off damage. At least until the supplement that adds "Advanced armor stats" and special weapons.

The next list - inventory. HP and MP potions. "Elixer of the Gods," a slightly weaker health potion that heals your entire party. "Icaru's Draught" for a short levitation effect. "Devine Wings Ale", which is just beer but somehow more expensive than an actual health potion. A box of chocolates. Some of the items are marked "Quest Item" and thus don't have a price. At least some of these have some sort of mechanical effect.

quote:

The Inventory list doesn't have to end here, feel free to create your own!

And the final list - enemies. The description column doubles as an indicator of which creatures are boss monsters. No numbers to be seen here.

quote:

The Enemies list isn't limited to those displayed here, let's get creative!

The last section before we get into the "add-ons" is titled "Recapitulation". It's the ToC again, but with a descriptive sentence for each section. Oh, and sample enemy stats. Because this is where one looks for that sort of thing. Here's that bit in its entirety.

quote:

A foe's vitals should be drafted according to the number of playable characters in the game.

Example

Health: 10 ~ 150
Magic: 1 ~ 35
Strength: 5 ~ 25
Endurance: 5 ~ 25
Wisdom: 3 ~ 25
Spirit: 3 ~ 35
Speed: 2 ~ 15

Higher Stats should be reserved for bosses only. Don't be afraid to go over the threshold should you believe it is needed.

Yeah. Balancing is hard, so let's have the GM do it all.

Finally, there are a few add-ons. Because changing page numbers is hard, I guess?

quote:

The Adventures...
Will Never End...

That sounds like a threat.

The first add-on is a short list of "support classes" that you can, get this, add on to your character. Each gives 1 or 2 attribute points and a trait (enumerated right about now).

Musician: Get above a 40 on d% to... use persuasion and charisma.
Illusionist: Get above 50 to use distraction and confusion.
Martial Artist: Get above 50 to use a debilitating special move.
Acrobat: On a 40+, you're agile and flexible.
Beastmaster: Control and manipulate on 50+.

Gods, the beastmaster is OP. 50% chance to make a pet at will, as opposed to the acrobat's 40% to... do that handcuffed jump rope trick?

Following the support classes is a short list of new features. Selective targeting nets you a 50% chance to break someone's limb, reducing Str, End, or Spd by 1. Two limitations are also provided - the beastmaster's OP ability is reduced to one beast at a time for a max of 5 minutes or 2 turns (turns haven't really been defined; surely they're not two and a half minutes each...), and the acrobat may only jump 1.5 feet higher than normal but may jump off walls.

Totally worthwhile additions.

The final add-on is a selection of dungeons. The dungeons themselves are similar to the one I shared earlier but they at least have suggested enemies (though you must still come up with their stats) and treasure.

We wrap up the book with a very short CYOA section that gives us a hint of things to come (namely, you may make choices in the published adventures but those choices never change the story in any manner).

And there we have it. K&L in its entirety. I would suggest staying away, unless you've got a group that'd be okay MST-ing bad games. Its one and only claim to fame is the Misogyny class and that's really not something anyone needs to experience.

Flail Snail
Jul 30, 2019

Collector of the Obscure
And that's it for K&L. I don't think I'm going to do any of the supplements unless I'm sufficiently deep in the cups. If anyone decides they want to figure out what Revelation V is and then let me know, that would be... depressing?

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012

LatwPIAT posted:

In the various location sourcebooks, especially Sunward, there's occasionally mentions of large-scale interplanetary trade. Water to the Inner System is one thing that's mentioned, antimatter from wherever it's produced is another, and Mercury and Venus are metal producers so presumably someone buys it. It's not spelled out in full, but the Jovian Republic also controls an interplanetary shipping lane because they can toll everything that uses Jupiter for gravitational slingshotting.

The broad picture is therefore that the Inner System sells metal and buys water, the Outer System sells water and buys metal, and the Jovian Republic sits in the middle and takes a toll. (In my own variant of the EP setting I portray them a bit as a Gulf nation, fat on oil antimatter money and shipping tolls.)

(For more speculative detail: Titan probably sells volatiles to the Martian terraforming project and the Jovian Republic can sell antimatter and possibly also electrical power, metals, and water.)

Thanks! But the logistics of that just made me realise the absurdity with the 10 year time span: if the setting lacks any magic space travel, there have literally only been like 3-4 round trips between the outer and inner system since The Fall, and a ship from say Mercury might still be en route!

You can't really claim to be hard sci fi and have extensive space travel, even just within the solar system, on a sub-decade time scale.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



PoontifexMacksimus posted:

Thanks! But the logistics of that just made me realise the absurdity with the 10 year time span: if the setting lacks any magic space travel, there have literally only been like 3-4 round trips between the outer and inner system since The Fall, and a ship from say Mercury might still be en route!

You can't really claim to be hard sci fi and have extensive space travel, even just within the solar system, on a sub-decade time scale.
Depends how you mean by hard sci fi. You could have a drive that puts out a lot of power without having FTL or whatever.

juggalo baby coffin
Dec 2, 2007

How would the dog wear goggles and even more than that, who makes the goggles?


RPG setting designers should check out a book on medieval demography from the library. Europe had like 60 mil people in the early 1000s, and that was after a major plague epidemic. there are pretty good census records from the 11th century onwards, depending on where your setting falls from the bows <> guns continuum. if your setting has magic boosting crop yields and poo poo then population statistics should be basically industrial revolution levels.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007

Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952




Nessus posted:

Depends how you mean by hard sci fi. You could have a drive that puts out a lot of power without having FTL or whatever.

A proper fusion torch drive able to provide 1G of acceleration for weeks on end is only marginally more possible than an actual FTL drive. It's all about ion drives and solar sails and that poo poo takes months or years to get anywhere, and you're in *almost* zero-g the whole time. Not enough weight on you to avoid the health impacts of free fall but enough acceleration that you can't just leave something in midair and not have it on the aft bulkhead when you come back.

The physics in this setting suck for going anywhere but this one dumb rock we're about to ruin for habitability.

e.

juggalo baby coffin posted:

If your setting has magic boosting crop yields and poo poo then population statistics should be basically industrial revolution levels.

That's when your food problem becomes transportation, not production. Big cities would need a reason for people to not move back out to where the fresh food is, and healthy sized towns would be pretty common.

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 04:38 on Aug 3, 2019

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

juggalo baby coffin
Dec 2, 2007

How would the dog wear goggles and even more than that, who makes the goggles?


without reactionless drives you're looking at laserbeam-boosted solar sail setups, or orion nuclear bomb drive derivatives. both are pretty fast but both also require a big infrastructure to maintain. the first needs a fuckload of energy generation at the laser end, and restocking an orion drive requires uranium enrichment.

orion (depending on which of the numerous variants you go with) could reach pluto in around 2 years. that's months to reach jupiter from earth, so trade would be feasible, but to put it in easier to understand terms with those sort of travel speeds the solar system would effectively be the world during the early age of sail.

if europe was destroyed by a meteor, would the people who escaped be able to set up an independent USA inside of 10 years?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5