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.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011


kaynorr posted:

I fully endorse this concept - commanding a literally solar-powered sandship across the great dunes of the South is good and cool. There is one Charm in the Sail tree that is explicitly about water, but everything else is readily portable to sand or air or the treetops. A campaign aboard ship is a way of life, and a pretty good one at that.

I totally forgot that the South has sandships, and that the North has airships, both of which are controlled with sail! Do any of the solar charms make mention of these alternative methods of sailing anyway, since ride mentions unusual mounts (or atleast did in 2nd ed iirc)?

Though my fascination with the land ship was about an earth aspect terrestrial using it to live out his dream of being actually a water aspect.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

kaynorr
Dec 31, 2003



Communist Zombie posted:

I totally forgot that the South has sandships, and that the North has airships, both of which are controlled with sail! Do any of the solar charms make mention of these alternative methods of sailing anyway, since ride mentions unusual mounts (or atleast did in 2nd ed iirc)?

Though my fascination with the land ship was about an earth aspect terrestrial using it to live out his dream of being actually a water aspect.

They're not specially called out in the Charm text, but don't need to be as it's all pretty sailing-medium-agnostic. I'm not sure what the equivalent to the current is for air, sand, or anything else (there is a separate Charm to deal with opposing currents versus headwinds), but everything else ports over just fine. Hazards, winds, maneuvering for position - it all works the same. Any notion that the three-dimensional aspect of airships deserves special handling should be taken out back and shot.

The mentioning of special mounts is as much about making it explicit that OF COURSE you can gore a man on your auroch's magnificent horns - why else would you have raised him from a young bull?

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Flavivirus posted:

Man, I really thought it was a lot more ambiguous than that. My apologies for arguing about that earlier - I guess my brain must have edited the memories of the game into something a lot more palatable.
It is more ambiguous than that. While "demons" are a thing in the game, they're never characters in their own right but instead exist to drive people to go against church teachings. There's a quote early on about this:

GMing Character Creation, pages 28-29 posted:

3. How much supernatural effectiveness are we building into our characters? Don’t judge whether it’s too much or too little— you’re to keep an open mind and follow our lead. The supernatural in the game will be somewhere on a continuum. At this end, barely any, where the demons are really just bad luck and the pressures a town has to struggle with to survive, and the ceremonies of the Faith only reassure the Faithful and remind them of their commitments to one another. At the other end, lots and lots, with the Dogs as powerful exorcist-gunslingers battling demons, sorcerers and ghosts, where calling a person by name can restore him to life and bullets slide off a Dog’s coat, striking sparks. Look at the Traits we give our characters, and you’ll begin to see where on that continuum this particular game will fall.
Similarly, in play Demonic Influence serves as the stakes against the players when there's nothing more concrete to present against them. The exception to this is that a sorcerer can use the stat as well, but a sorcerer is basically an agent of anti-faith and thus Demonic Influence would represent some sort of crisis of faith in that situation. And as for changes to the possessed...let's just say that people can still look "off" in the real world as a result of various mundane things.

That said, the religious doctrines are very much something I won't be an apologist for except to note that to a certain degree they're supposed to drive conflict. In what manner they should drive conflict is something you can take them to task about, but they aren't there for no reason.

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007



Kavak posted:

Yeah, TNG and onwards the Prime Directive is interpreted in an incredibly dumb dogmatic manner- like the writers seem to think it's the Federation's divine law, rather than just one of Starfleet's General Orders.

"We'd have to contact at least one of these aliens to tell them how to prevent their planet from exploding? Then I think we need to consider whether its part of the divine plan of the universe that all of these innocent people die and that we shouldn't violate it."
The prime directive was dumb and dogmatic even in TOS. It only exists to be a plot contrivance so the heroes can struggle against it to do the right thing, or at least provide a reason for avoiding an obvious easy solution.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I just find myself wondering why every monster list feels the need to include animate severed hands. I know there have been a surprising number of b or c-grade horror films with them, but does anybody use them? Because... animate hands.

I'm pretty sure I could beat one up, is all.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Asimo posted:

The prime directive was dumb and dogmatic even in TOS. It only exists to be a plot contrivance so the heroes can struggle against it to do the right thing, or at least provide a reason for avoiding an obvious easy solution.

No, it worked just fine there. There were also plenty of examples of what happened when it was totally ignored to back it up. Some of those examples were a little silly, but the idea was sound in TOS. There were no examples as to why the "Let them all die" interpretation of TNG and later was a good idea, probably because it's basically indefensible.

Covok
May 27, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 29 days!


Kavak posted:

100 years isn't long enough for that to happen- secular law transforming into religion sounds like a good basis for a Star Trek episode, though.

To be fair, TNG only treated it that way in 2 really bad episodes- "Who Watches the Watchers" and "First Contact" were much better Prime Directive episodes.

While my brother is a big fan of both, I'm a Star Wars guy, not a Star Trek guy. I just assumed more time passed between the series. My bad.

SirPhoebos posted:

That was my reaction as well "I'd play this game if I had the option to go all Black Crusade on these not-Mormons".

I get why people are uncomfortable and all that, but, as a bi mixed raced non-binary individual, I just want to say that calling for violence (which is what I assume the Black Crusade is) isn't exactly something I'd be doing. I can only speak for myself and I know this is just a lovely internet forum and I know some of it could just be be stress relief from b.s. you deal with in real life, but violence is something people in my position only ever subscribe to when all peaceful avenues have been blocked off and, as someone who idolizes MLK more than MX, I find that even engaging in such rhetoric and thought tends to be more harmful than good. Of course, I can only speak for myself.

Roland Jones
Aug 18, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


NGDBSS posted:

It is more ambiguous than that. While "demons" are a thing in the game, they're never characters in their own right but instead exist to drive people to go against church teachings. There's a quote early on about this:

Similarly, in play Demonic Influence serves as the stakes against the players when there's nothing more concrete to present against them. The exception to this is that a sorcerer can use the stat as well, but a sorcerer is basically an agent of anti-faith and thus Demonic Influence would represent some sort of crisis of faith in that situation. And as for changes to the possessed...let's just say that people can still look "off" in the real world as a result of various mundane things.

That said, the religious doctrines are very much something I won't be an apologist for except to note that to a certain degree they're supposed to drive conflict. In what manner they should drive conflict is something you can take them to task about, but they aren't there for no reason.

Yeah, while I skimmed some parts of DitV and these memories are a year or more old, I remember it being a lot more ambiguous than it's being made out to be here, and also an explicit part of it being that you could actually go against the teachings and such, because it turns out you have ultimate religious authority and everyone else has to deal with it. It could cause more conflict later, but the struggle between the text of the faith and one's own belief that such and such isn't right or whatever was supposed to be a big part of it.

Keiya
Aug 22, 2009

Come with me if you want to not die.


Kavak posted:

No, it worked just fine there. There were also plenty of examples of what happened when it was totally ignored to back it up. Some of those examples were a little silly, but the idea was sound in TOS. There were no examples as to why the "Let them all die" interpretation of TNG and later was a good idea, probably because it's basically indefensible.

The Prime Directive is great when it's "Break this and you will have your rear end dragged in front of the court and you'd better have a drat good explanation". I mean, you can do an episode where someone is defending themselves and we only learn about what happened as they explain it! That's awesome!

I think I'm getting a bit off topic though.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




You know, you can play and enjoy a game without having to agree with everything in it the whole time. Playing a game that requires you to adopt an alien or even oppressive ideology does not mean you explicitly endorse that ideology. I can see how someone who was raised in a fundamentalist home might prefer to play something else, which is fine: to each their own. But it's not really a strike against DITV that it exists in a particular moral structure. Games like Exalted or even traditional D and D require you to adopt pretty alien moral viewpoints that I would argue are much more repugnant than DITV's patriarchal Mormon analogy, but DITV is just close enough to our real lived experiences to be uncomfortable. Its hard to hate someone like a traditional Gygaxian murderhobo since you've never met someone like that but it's all too easy to hate Jerry Falwell: the Game.

For what it's worth I've played DITV with a group that ranged from lefty to super-mega-lefty (and I'm closer to the latter than the former) and we loved it. We found the moral questions it asks of you fascinating.

DAD LOST MY IPOD fucked around with this message at 02:59 on Jan 24, 2018

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


SirPhoebos posted:

That was my reaction as well "I'd play this game if I had the option to go all Black Crusade on these not-Mormons".

Years ago in a long-forgotten thread I saw a panel from a furry 40k webcomic where the author's badass self-insert inquisitor OC is about to burn some Mormon missionaries for heresy, and I deeply regret not saving it.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Kellsterik posted:

Years ago in a long-forgotten thread I saw a panel from a furry 40k webcomic where the author's badass self-insert inquisitor OC is about to burn some Mormon missionaries for heresy, and I deeply regret not saving it.

Gonna be honest, 'I fantasize instead about the mass slaughter of the Mormon people' is more offputting than Dogs in the Vineyard.

E: Like, incredibly more.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 22:46 on May 16, 2016

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Thinking about it some more, DiTV becomes less objectionable if you play it as a more "magic is real and your Dogs are superheroes" way. If your characters really can sweep bullets and bolts of fire launched by villainous sorcerers out of the air with their many-colored coats, then the strict laws of their society are more of a Glorantha style ritual to defend the community against outside forces. They still suck, but you can see why they're there, as opposed to a more realistic setting in which you're basically the white guy Sharia police.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Alien Rope Burn posted:

I just find myself wondering why every monster list feels the need to include animate severed hands. I know there have been a surprising number of b or c-grade horror films with them, but does anybody use them? Because... animate hands.

I'm pretty sure I could beat one up, is all.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Alien Rope Burn posted:

I just find myself wondering why every monster list feels the need to include animate severed hands. I know there have been a surprising number of b or c-grade horror films with them, but does anybody use them? Because... animate hands.

I'm pretty sure I could beat one up, is all.
I'm pretty sure that the answer is "Evil Dead/50's B Movies".

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Mors Rattus posted:

Gonna be honest, 'I fantasize instead about the mass slaughter of the Mormon people' is more offputting than Dogs in the Vineyard.

E: Like, incredibly more.

I know, right?

kaynorr
Dec 31, 2003



DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

You know, you can play and enjoy a game without having to engage in bog-standard progressive virtue signaling the whole time. Playing a game that requires you to adopt an alien or even oppressive ideology does not mean you explicitly endorse that ideology. I can see how someone who was raised in a fundamentalist home might prefer to play something else, which is fine: to each their own. But it's not really a strike against DITV that it exists in a particular moral structure. Games like Exalted or even traditional D and D require you to adopt pretty alien moral viewpoints that I would argue are much more repugnant than DITV's patriarchal Mormon analogy, but DITV is just close enough to our real lived experiences to be uncomfortable. Its hard to hate someone like a traditional Gygaxian murderhobo since you've never met someone like that but it's all too easy to hate Jerry Falwell: the Game.

For what it's worth I've played DITV with a group that ranged from lefty to super-mega-lefty (and I'm closer to the latter than the former) and we loved it. We found the moral questions it asks of you fascinating.

My problem is not with the ideology of not-Mormonism, it's the fact that this ideology is the real, no fooling objective truth of reality. Messing around with someone of the same sex is the equivalent of dumping toxic sludge - an action that stands a very good chance of endangering the community as a whole. The whole point of the metaphysics isn't that it's the usual Bigotry: The Othering nonsense. This isn't about people not getting along or taking matters on faith - you don't have to take matters on faith because GODDAMN DEMONS ARE RISING UP OUT OF THE GROUND because you wanted a promotion. DitV isn't about faith, it's about conviction that you're doing the right thing even thought what you're doing is awful.

Move the whole demon thing from certainty to "we don't know why demons keep loving with us, let's just say it was because of the gays" and you're dealing with a very different game. I don't think that game is Dogs in the Vineyard as written. It's also a better game, for what that's worth.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Mage the Awakening: 2nd Edition

Liches are...well, what you get when a mage decides to live forever. It's not actually that rare an idea, especially among those who Awaken in their late teens or early twenties, or who have suffered a great loss. These mages tend to view death as something to cure, a Mystery to be overcome. It's an interesting thought experiment, but most mages don't actually end up going for it - they're still human, and most have no desire to outlive their children...or their grandchildren. That's a sign that you have bigger issues than a healthy fear of death. Those mages, the ones who never let go of immortality? They're the ones you call a Lich. For many, it's a chance to prove that mages don't have to be human at all. If magic can defeat death, surely they are superior to mere humans. Others are fearful, hoping to never face the death that claimed their loved ones.

Immortality is certainly possible via magic, but it definitely isn't easy. Indefinite Life and Death spells can stave off death, bound to one's body by scars or tattoos used as Yantras. But all it takes is one dispellation to end those and let time catch up to you, or a blade or bullet ruining your patterns. So you need more options. Maybe you transplant your mind and soul into a new body, stealing it from a stranger or even your own child, if you want to keep family resources. Maybe you give up a physical form altogether, transforming your body, mind and soul into the form of a ghost mage, a spirit mage or a Morphean, a sort of Lich that lives in the Temenos. The only thing a Lich won't do is accept death. The real drive is fear, for all the posturing they might have. Humans can accept mortality. Liches live in constant fear of their magic fading and their immortality being severed. Liches lose none of their magical power, of course, and continue doing what most mages would, with the added exception of...well, being a spirit, a Morphean or a body thief. They often become quite expert about their new state of being, and while few would admit to communing with a ghost-Lich to learn more of the underworld or learn how best to bind dying souls, it happens...and in the process, they learn how to become a Lich. Many find Liches repulsive and would never do it, but some take heart in knowing they need not be human.

Mechanically, a body-thief lich or a lich that binds their soul into their body is effectively a longlived mage that believes they've overcome human nature. Those who become spirits, ghosts or Morpheans ratain their Gnosis and Arcana, using the systems for Supernal beings noted later.

Reapers are technically normal mages. But they do what you shouldn't. I mean, sure, you can do a lot...but even the Mad, Banishers and Scelesti have limits. One limit almost all mages accept is that it is wrong to use magic to steal and destroy human souls. Those who do are the Reapers. It doesn't take a lot of knowledge to harvest a soul, and the benefit can be great. Reapers often claim the taboo on soul theft is not a matter of morality, but that soul use causes a mage to gain power far greater than any mage that does not partake. This is...partially correct. There's a lot of power in a soul. You can consume one to use any of the Subtle Arcana related to the victim. You can drink deep of good fortune from a victim steeped in Fate, steal the intelligence by Mind, bind a ghost with Death or even drain their soul to extend your life.

Some Reapers try to conceal their actions and claim the victims should know better, that a mage should naturally take precautions against the theft of their soul, that people should know not to cross a Reaper. This is a lie. Reapers are the purest expression of magic used selfishly. To them, no one else matters. They don't care whose soul they use, just that they have one to fuel their power. Mages sitll seek out Reapers, albeit only with protection for their souls. Only the Mad who focus on soul usage know more about the extraction and binding of souls. Some make soul jars to trap the souls of their foes or to gather talents. A few sell souls to more squeamish mages, who want the power without the danger of harvesting. That rarely lasts long after the first hit - anyone who really wants to use souls will find their own supply.

Reapers obviously often specialize in Death, to steal and manipulate souls. Many also develop Legacies to focus on using those souls with a different subtle Arcanum. Reapers have no other special mechanics - their nature is from use of souls as power, nothing more.



Scelesti are mages that call on the power of the Abyss. While it's an easy way to commit suicide, the Abyss is also a place of power. Scelesti claim many reasons, but they always give up their Supernal ties for power, and that's why any Order - even the Seers - will kill them on sight. The trick si finding them. The marks of the Abyss are not always obvious, and there are Scelesti infiltrated in every Order, at some level. Other Left-Handed mages can survive alone, because they have use. Scelesti must hide to survive. They are no formal Order - each has their own reason for calling on the Abyss. Maybe they want to control Paradox as a sign of strength. Maybe they need the power to accomplish a goal. Maybe they yearn to slip the shackles of the Fallen World. Whatever the reason, the Abyss gives them an answer, a power that frees them from doubt and solves the unsolvable. Some Scelesti have no noble reasons. They just know that the Abyss is the antithesis of what is, real in a way the Fallen World is not, and they want to hasten its coming. By placing faith in the Abyss, they fall prey to the urge to destroy all.

Abyssal magic comes in three broad forms. Many Scelesti use only one, others all three. First, you can deliberately invoke Paradox. Any mage can do it, though no Order will teach you. Many learn only by secret writings or suggestions from others who have done it. The rush of this power can be addictive, and some cabals will try to rehab these Scelesti...but, you know, after a while it's like telling an alcoholic to just choose not to drink. Other Scelesti reject the Supernal and its Watchtowers entirely. The Abyss is the antithesis of everything, including the Watchtowers. A Scelestus can abase themself before the Abyssal Zigguart, their Path warping into its opposite. This warps their Yantras and Oblations, but gives some control over Paradox. The third and final kind of Scelesti make bargains with the astral reflections of the Abyss, communing directly with it to bargain for command over Pradox. They sell their soul to the Abyss to become a conduit for Paradox, twisting other mages' magic against them or infecting them secretly with Paradox.

Mechanically, any mage can invite Paradox, but doing so is addictive. You choose not to contest the Paradox roll, but instead roll Gnosis. Each success lets you control one Paradox Reach. Scelesti who take the other two paths get even more control, but the details are left to the ST.

Next time: Strange places.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Covok posted:

I get why people are uncomfortable and all that, but, as a bi mixed raced non-binary individual, I just want to say that calling for violence (which is what I assume the Black Crusade is)
I think Black Crusade is refrring to the Fantasy Flight Games RPG with that title, where you play forces of Chaos in the Warhammer 40k setting.

Which, uh, does involve a shitload of violence but so does doing almost anything in that shithole galaxy.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I think there used to be tons of anti-Mormon propaganda. Like the original Sherlock Holmes stories have him fighting the KKK, supporting a mixed-race child, and still hating Mormons.
The whole fire and brimstone religious tone is great for a Southern Gothic/Old Weird America/Flannery O'Connor/And The rear end Saw The Angel game, and that's something I've wanted to play for ages... it works better for it than my alligator friend Vampire idea.


quote:

The House of Ariadne (Ruling: Time). One of the oldest yet most metropolitan Legacies, they use random travel through a maze as a divinatory tool in modern cities. They read the past and future of a city via secret signs and walking hidden paths.
Sisterhood of the Blessed (Ruling: Fate). A Silver Ladder Legacy, they began as a group of Awakened noblewomen in the Middle Ages, and now take on any role that influences the powerful from the shadows - though still mostly women. They use Fate in social situations, for the most part, to influence the people around them.
The Pygmalion Society (Ruling: Mind). A group of artists who have some talent but not enough for their tastes, they seek out and sponsor true artistic genius. Through the art they patron, they guide others to inspiration.
The Blank Badge (Ruling: Mind). An exclusively Libertine Legacy of collective, anonymous action. They use the techne of group responsibility and shared consequence, taking on a sort of collective nimbus that allows them to hide their identiteis and even, with power, share Paradox.
Carnival Melancholy (Ruling: Death). A Left-Handed Legacy of showmen and charlatans born of the Depression. They sought to escape the dustbowl's sickness by conning others out of their souls. Now, they are Reapers that trick souls out of people and harvest them for their luck.

Are there books with more info on the Ariadne flenur/psychogeoraphy legacy and the Carnivale legacy?

As for animate hands, China Mieville's Handlingers are the best.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

House of Ariadne is in Legacies: the Sublime. Carnival Melancholy is in Silver Ladder.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Kavak posted:

No, it worked just fine there. There were also plenty of examples of what happened when it was totally ignored to back it up. Some of those examples were a little silly, but the idea was sound in TOS. There were no examples as to why the "Let them all die" interpretation of TNG and later was a good idea, probably because it's basically indefensible.
I actually can't recall it ever being quite that literalistic, though I do think you could contrive a situation where a planet is in a wholly internal situation where intervention would be logical. There's a TOS-era novel, Prime Directive by title, which even goes through this (albeit with a shift of tracks along the way). The point here I guess is more that this is a clear ethical argument that you can take multiple stances on, adhere to even when it's hard, and so on - which is a lot of what's up in DITV, it's just that DITV is using a close map of literal Mormon theology to do it.

As for why Holmes hated Mormons, I thought they were seen as some kind of polygamist cult in most of the world that was aware of them at all. I mean hell, Holmes' stories are less than twenty years after the civil war, aren't they?

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

When I first saw DitV, my immediate impulse was pretty much complete revulsion for all the reasons listed above. This world is a terrible place, with the deck stacked against anything we'd view as decency by the author himself. The only thing I would ever want to do in this setting is Tear It All Down - it occurs to me that you might be able to make a playable game with a similar core mechanic of escalation only as investigators coming from the East to find out who this rear end in a top hat the King of Life is and how he cursed the land into his own personal despotic playground.

I've seen all the versions of The Wicker Man. I know this won't turn out well.
You could flavor the game to any dogma, from needing to engage in Communist auto-critique to Fox News...whatever.
One of the unexplored aspects of oMage was that if belief really shapes reality, there should be a bunch of creepy Bible Belt towns where religious dogma is real.

And I like that the demons are coded as real in DITV since they give all the dilemmas teeth, instead of being things you handwave away with your personal mortality. How would a human really react if they believe that? Besides, it's only a few steps away from Pendragon or Lawful Stupid Paladins.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Nessus posted:

As for why Holmes hated Mormons, I thought they were seen as some kind of polygamist cult in most of the world that was aware of them at all. I mean hell, Holmes' stories are less than twenty years after the civil war, aren't they?

Correct. The War is actually commented on in one story as this kind of peculiarly American event.

Double Plus Undead
Dec 24, 2010


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

You know, you can play and enjoy a game without having to engage in bog-standard progressive virtue signaling the whole time. Playing a game that requires you to adopt an alien or even oppressive ideology does not mean you explicitly endorse that ideology. I can see how someone who was raised in a fundamentalist home might prefer to play something else, which is fine: to each their own. But it's not really a strike against DITV that it exists in a particular moral structure. Games like Exalted or even traditional D and D require you to adopt pretty alien moral viewpoints that I would argue are much more repugnant than DITV's patriarchal Mormon analogy, but DITV is just close enough to our real lived experiences to be uncomfortable. Its hard to hate someone like a traditional Gygaxian murderhobo since you've never met someone like that but it's all too easy to hate Jerry Falwell: the Game.

For what it's worth I've played DITV with a group that ranged from lefty to super-mega-lefty (and I'm closer to the latter than the former) and we loved it. We found the moral questions it asks of you fascinating.

I just don't want to play a game where my existence would cause people to start ritually murdering each other. I don't think that's a weird reaction to have?

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!




Planescape Monstrous Compendium: Yugoloths



The Yugoloths are the Neutral Evil Fiend race. They can be found throughout the Lower Planes, but mainly inhabit Acheron, Carceri, Gehenna and the Grey Wastes. They act as mercenaries in the Blood War, but they are notoriously treacherous. The intro section opens with a fluff writing describing while Sigil society loves Heroic Rogues (as in the character trope, not the class), the extent to which the Yugoloth do it is not cool. Yugoloth will betray their current employer for greater payment by another. The setting justification for why the rest of the Lower Planes hasn’t set aside a day to wipe out these assholes is because the two sides of the Blood War are afraid that if they don’t hire them then the other side would get an advantage by using them. Also, “battle reports rarely return to Baator or the Abyss” which given the abundance of Telepathy and Teleport without Error on both sides I find kinda dumb.

Like the other major Fiend races, Yugoloth are subdivided into Greater and Lesser.

  • Lesser: Dergholoth, Hydroloth, Mezzoloth, Piscoloth, Yagnoloth
  • Greater: Arcanaloth, Nycaloth, Ultroloth

The Marraenoloth from the campaign box are Lesser. Greater Yugoloth are officers, while Lesser Yugoloth are the rank-and-file “serve diligently for promises of wealth and power”

Because they are mercenaries, a Yugoloth appears 40% of the time when a mage summons a Lower Planar being. Otherwise he gets a Gehreleth. There is a tome that can greatly facilitate summoning Yugoloth known as the Book of Keeping. The book even contains the personal names of several Greater Yugoloth. Only a Conjurer specialist is able to use the Book of Keeping. Using it is risky even for a skilled Conjurer, but no actual mechanics are provided in the MC. Because of course.

Overheard at a Yugoloth Training Camp posted:

Tanar’ri. Baatezu. The only difference is you collect before the job from the first, and after the job from the last.

All Yugoloth have a common core of spell-like abilities which includes Teleport Without Error, but also Cause Disease, Charm Person and Improved Phantasmal Force. Yugoloth are vulnerable to silver weapons, and actually take double cold damage. Like the Baatezu and Tanar’ri, Yugoloth can try to Gate in their fellows. There is a 25% chance that these reinforcements will betray their comrade, so they are reluctant to use this ability. Yugoloth are described as individually ferocious, but poor formation warriors. In later Planescape books, the Yugoloth become the favorites of the writing group, and are totally controlling the Blood War behind the scenes. But that’ll be discussed when we get to it.



Dergholoth (12000 xp) have 5 arms and 3 legs. They have a 20 Strength (+8 damage) and sometimes carry weapons-a table is provided for randomly rolling a Dergho’s arsenal. If a Dergho hits with 2 claws, it can grab an opponent, gaining +2 on subsequent attacks. A Dergho has the option to parry with weapons rather than attack, which improves its AC by 2. Once per day, can cast a Feeblemind effect on any creature with 7 HD or less that hears it’s chatter. Dergholoths are dumb, and only fight because because stronger ‘loths compel them to. It’s speculated that Ultroloths turn subordinates into Dergholoth as punishment.



Hydroloth (14000 xp) are used in ambushes and amphibious attacks. The flaps on their arms allow them to glide, and they can swim in the River Styx without losing their memories. Hydros can spit a stream of sleeping piss from their mouth (1d10 damage, poison save or fall asleep for 1d8 rounds). Victims can only be awoken by magical means. Their spell-like abilities include Dimension Door, which they use to gain altitude to glide. A Hydro can also cast Conjure Elemental to summon a 12HD Water Elemental, but this ability only works in the presence of a large body of water. Hydros are respected for their ambushing skills, which they leverage into wealth and prestige. A Hydroloth can also be used for magic item making. Though no specific application is given, the entry says that a live Hydro can bring 2500 gp in some parts of the Prime Material “or even (perhaps) in Sigil.” I cannot begin to describe how dumb that is.



Mezzoloth (21000 xp) are the most common Yugoloth, and serve as the rank-and-file of the ‘loth armies. They have 18/00 Strength, and attack with either claws or weapons. Mezzoloth can use any magical item without penalty “except those restricted by alignment or class”. A solitary Mezzo has a 5% chance to have a magic item. In groups, there is a 10% chance Mezzos have a magic item for every 3 of them. Their spell-like abilities include Cloudkill 1/day and Flame Strike 1/day. They are immune to Charm and Suggestion spells, and cold attacks do normal damage as opposed to double. Mezzoloth are the lowest form of Yugoloth, and they have little motivation when not fighting in mercenary armies. Sages think they were originally brought to Gehenna from some other Plane.



Piscoloth (19000 xp) serve as sergeant in Yugoloth companies. They can never be surprised. A Pisco’s pincer attacks have a chance to sever a limb (nat 20, victim gets Save vs Petrification with bonuses for metal armor and magic enchantments). The mouth tentacles have a poison attack (poison save at -2 or die in six turns unless magically healed. Slowed for 1d6 rounds on save). Their spell-like abilities include Emotion, Meld Into Stone and Phantasmal Killer 2/day. Piscos try to maintain order in the ‘loth armies, and tend to have short life spans either from easily angered superiors or “friendly fire” from abused subordinates. Piscos are one of the few Yugoloth types to cooperate with each other.



Yagnoloth (20000 xp) are incompetent nobles. Their fiefdoms are propped up by the Ultroloths. Attacks made with their huge arm are treated as 22 Strength and can stun opponents for 2d6 rounds (petrification save to avoid). Yagnos can also use a weapon with their small arm, which has a 30% chance to be magic. 3/day, A Yagno can breath a cloud of acidic gas that does damage and stuns for 1d6 rounds (two separate saves to halve the damage and stun duration). Yagnoloth can feed on an unconscious victim’s life force. Basically energy drain, but also lowers ability scores. Yagnoloths are massive assholes and use their undeserved power to order the execution of higher-station ‘loths and leech off the efforts of the mercenary armies.



Arcanaloth (20000 xp) are the record-keepers of the ‘loths. Arcana can cast spells as a level 12 mage and have a large suite of spell-like abilities to complement, including Advanced Illusion 1/day, always active Fly, Shape Change to any humanoid form, and more. Physically, their claws have a poison that imposes a cumulative -1 penalty to hit. Arcanaloth are immune to mind-affecting spells, and can only be destroyed if killed in Gehenna. Arcanaloths are responsible for negotiating the contracts between the Baatezu and Tanar’ri, and will openly discuss the other sides offers to raise the stakes. Arcanaloth can speak and write all languages, and are comparatively civilized for fiends.

ecology posted:

An incantation in The Book of keeping describes the creation of a potion that grants success in any venture. The potion requires a shred of flesh from the heart of an arcanaloth. Its efficacy is unknown.
Regarding an Arcanaloth’s spellbook, the Combat section says “They commonly memorize destructive spells, but they keep a wise eye on their escape and defensive spells for good measure.” but under Ecology, it says that the spellbook is randomly determined.



Nycaloth (25000 xp) serve as reporters and observers in the Blood War. They are armed with a two-headed axe that’s enchanted 90% of the time (and has a special enchantment 20% of the time). While their strength score isn’t mentioned, the stats do list a +8 to damage, which corresponds with 20 Str. It also says they get +3 rolling to hit, but whether this has already been included in their THAC0 isn’t given. Alternatively, a Nyca can attack with its fist, which cause an additional 1d6 bleed damage a round. Nyca have a large list of spell-like abilities, including always active Comprehend Languages, Detect Invisibility and Detect Magic. They can also cast Reverse Gravity 1/day and Wraithform 1/day. Nycaloths provide the Arcanaloth the information they need to successfully negotiate contracts. Despite being Greater ‘loths, Nycaloth have relatively low power because their work is profited from by others. They are very bitter and jealous because of this, and have destroyed companies of Mezzos and Derghos in a fit of rage. The Ecology bit goes into Nycaloth breeding habits. I’m not kidding.



The Ultroloth (26000 xp) are the generals and rulers of the Yugoloth. When fighting personally, they can either use two fists or a weapon, and have a 21 Strength (+9 damage). An Ultro’s weapon is always at least +2, and 40% have special properties. “A very few of these special weapons are extremely powerful; choose their specific abilities, including restrictions or curses.” Anyone who meets an Ultroloth’s gaze must make a spell save or be affected by the Hold Person spell. If the intended victim makes his save, “the ultroloth can use a special form of alter self to appear as a person whom the victim loves or respects.” no further effect is listed, but at least Alter Self is part of the standard ‘loth spell package. Speaking of, Ultros have a yuuuuuge selection of spell-like abilities, including several always-active Detect spells, always active Know Alignment and Pass Without Trace, Geas, Wall of Fire, Firestorm 1/day, Mass Suggestion 1/day, and Symbol (any type) 1/day. Like Balors and Pit Fiends, Ultroloths automatically succeed when they use their Gate ability. Ultroloths control the Yugoloth (and effectively any mercenary company in the Lower Planes) through maintaining an air of mystery force of personality, and knowing everything that happens within their forces. The most infamous Ultroloth is the General of Gehenna. Many Ultroloth seek the General out for the opportunity to serve under him, but no one finds him unless he desires it. Not even the Book of Keeping has the General of Gehenna’s name in it.

Next Time: Virtue is not its only reward

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 00:13 on May 17, 2016

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

The idea of a demon training camp teaching proper daemonyness to new recruits is crazy. It's like a human school for having flesh.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


So a question. If demons are real-as-poo poo and being summoned by behavior against the tenants of The Faith, why isn't the East overcome with demons? I figure this is probably something for the group to decide during play, but it definitely plays into why Dogs do poo poo we find heinous in order to preserve their way of life. And those acts are even just treating the symptoms, not the cause. And the reason for that is again, probably, up to the group.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Tasoth posted:

So a question. If demons are real-as-poo poo and being summoned by behavior against the tenants of The Faith, why isn't the East overcome with demons? I figure this is probably something for the group to decide during play, but it definitely plays into why Dogs do poo poo we find heinous in order to preserve their way of life. And those acts are even just treating the symptoms, not the cause. And the reason for that is again, probably, up to the group.
Well they didn't call 'em "Dark, Satanic mills" for nothing.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


The list of Legacies was chosen to give an overview of the 108ish Legacies named (96 written up) in first edition, one Left-Handed one per Path. I went for ones showing the different things you could do with a Path over strict Ruling Arcanum or Order restrictions.

Anyways, the books they're all from;

  • The Walkers in Mists: 1st ed corebook
  • The House of Ariadne: Legacies: The Sublime
  • Sisterhood of the Blessed: Silver Ladder
  • The Pygmalion Society: Legacies: The Sublime
  • The Blank Badge: Free Council
  • Carnival Melancholy: Silver Ladder
  • The Clavicularius and the Bene Ashmodai: Legacies: The Sublime and Silver Ladder, respectively
  • Bearers of the Eternal Voice: Guardians of the Veil
  • Cryptologos: Free Council
  • Brotherhood of the Demon Wind: Adamantine Arrow
  • (Legion) (Ruling: Death): Left Hand Path
  • The Uncrowned Kings: 1st ed corebook
  • The Stone Scribes: Legacies: The Sublime
  • The Bokor: Tome of the Watchtowers
  • Forge Masters: Legacies: The Ancient
  • Votaries of the Ordained: Guardians of the Veil
  • Logophages: Legacies: The Sublime
  • The Perfected Adepts: 1st ed corebook
  • Daksha: Legacies: The Sublime
  • The Thrice-Great: Legacies: The Ancient
  • The Tamers of Fire: Legacies: The Ancient
  • Transhuman Engineers: Legacies: The Sublime
  • Echo Walkers: Legacies: The Ancient
  • The Orphans of Proteus: 1st ed corebook
  • Dreamspeakers: Legacies: The Ancient
  • The Illumined Path: Keys to the Supernal Tarot
  • The Keepers of the Covenant: Silver Ladder
  • Chrysalides: Seers of the Throne
  • Tamers of Blood: The odd one out! Mentioned by name in Legacies: The Ancient and Left Hand Path, but never written up.

Covok
May 27, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 29 days!


Tasoth posted:

So a question. If demons are real-as-poo poo and being summoned by behavior against the tenants of The Faith, why isn't the East overcome with demons? I figure this is probably something for the group to decide during play, but it definitely plays into why Dogs do poo poo we find heinous in order to preserve their way of life. And those acts are even just treating the symptoms, not the cause. And the reason for that is again, probably, up to the group.

While a lot of it is up to your group, I do recall the F&F mentioning the east is overrun by demons. Likely, metaphorically.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!




Planescape Monstrous Compendium: Aasimon

The Aasimon are angels. While it seems silly that they would have been renamed because of the satanic scare, I suppose if you’re giving a bunch of blokes in the Outer Planes proper names, you might as well be thorough. Unlike the three fiend races from my previous posts, Aasimon can be of any Good alignment (except Agathinon are specifically Neutral Good ). The general info page opens with a story of a drunk scribe describing how he witnessed an army of Baatezu got nuked when it tried to invade Mount Celestia (or Arborea-the writing mixes the two up. Maybe that’s intentional since he’s drunk). Aasimon act as the Proxies to the Powers on the Upper Planes. And just because they are Good-aligned doesn’t mean they can’t be bastards.

Like the fiendish races, Aasimon have a common package of spell-like abilities, including Teleport Without Error. Aasimon can travel freely through the Upper Planes, and can enter the Astral and Prime Material Plane at the behest of a Greater Power. Aasimon have an extra powerful Detect Evil ability that reveals a whole bunch of info about a creature that triggers it. Aasimon get an ability called Celestial Reverence which can make Good creatures love and protect them while weak evil or neutral creatures flee, but they don’t like to use it because free will yadda yadda. They cannot gate others of their kind, but instead are able to send out a distress call that causes the closest enchanted good beings to come to rescue them. Aasimon get several elemental resistances, and are not particularly vulnerable to silver or cold iron weapons.

There are seven types of Aasimon. Agathinon are soldiers and make up the fighting forces of the Upper Planes. The description in the intro section is actually sort of grim:

Aasimon posted:

Warriors also face each other in endless cycles of “holy” wars. Gathering a vast host of agathinon warriors and whipping them into ideological fervor, one pantheon wages devastating campaigns against another, slaughtering thousands, even millions in the name of its particular brand of goodness. Despite their goodness, aasimon can hold a grudge; had feelings still exist between pantheons over holy wars fought thousands of years ago.
Yeah. In early Planescape books at least, there are plenty of reminders that Good != Nice. The other six types of Aasimon are collectively known as Celestial Stewards, directly serving the Powers of the Upper Planes. They serve the Powers and Messengers and Scouts, and sometimes will render aid to mortal worshippers.

]

As mentioned above, Agathinon (8000 xp) are the soldiers of the Upper Planes. They only appear in their natural on the Upper Planes, but honestly given the proliferation of elf subtypes, I don’t think most mortals in a D&D setting would bat an eye if one appeared. In human form, they fight with non-edged weapons and have the spell ability of a level 7 cleric with a Wisdom of 18. “At any sign of danger, they assume another form.” They get all the attacks and spell-like abilities form, but keep their THAC0, HD, Intelligence “and other statistics.” An Agathinon can also turn into a magic item. This has all the items usual benefits plus the ability to cast any 1st level priest spell at will and turn undead as a 7th level cleric. Evil individuals can not use these items and take damage for trying, but a neutral character can use it as long as it serves the Agathinon’s needs. Agathinon are immune to life-draining spells and abilities, death spells, disintigration and “energy from the Positive Energy Plane” (does that mean they can’t be healed? ) The fluff section says that when part of an army, Agathinon most often fight in human form, but in special circumstances fight as powerful magical creatures. I would think that any serious battle on the Outer Planes would be a special circumstance.



The Deva come in three variety, depending on where in the Multiverse they operate: Astral (15000 xp), Monadic (14000 xp) and Movanic (13000 xp). All Deva have a good selection of support and healing spell-like abilities, and enhanced resistances. Also, Interestingly, the charisma score are given in these entries. Astral Deva (20 Cha) are sent on missions to the Lower Planes. Astral Devas are armed with a +3 Mace of Disruption (3d6 base damage) and can attack twice a round. Anyone hit twice in a round must make a spell save of fall down senseless for 1d12 rounds. Astrals can cast Blade Barrier 1/day and are immune to vacuum, level loss and death spells. Monadic Deva (19 Cha) go on missions to the Inner Planes. They have a strength of 20 and fight with a +3 Rod of Smiting (3d4 base, 2 attacks/round). Monadic are also immune to level loss and death spells. They can cast Hold Monster and Charm Elemental. Movanic Devas (18 Cha) perform missions on the Prime Material and can travel there freely. They can use a variety of weapons, but most often have a +1 Flametongue two-handed sword that they can use twice per round. They can forfeit one or both attacks to parry, which automatically succeeds and even works against magical attacks and even spells that normally always hit. Movanic Deva get the spell-like abilities Spell Turning and Anti-Magic Spell, plus they can cast any Invocation/Evocation spell at will once per day. Movanic Devas get a double-strength Protection from Evil and regenerate 2 hp per round.



Light Aasimon (10000 xp) serve as familiars to high level worshippers, or sometimes companions on a quest. If a Good- or Neutral-aligned character tries to attack a Light, they must make a Paralyzation Save every round or miss. Light attacks ignore non-magical protection. Lights get a few useful spells (including Hold Person 7/day) and have a long list of spell and effect immunities, but otherwise they’re underwhelming. Details are given for how an adventurer can obtain the assistance of a Light. However, “less than 1,000 Lights exist” so they never stay with someone after one mission.



Next we get Planetar (20000 xp). Planetar fight with a +3 Vorpal two-handed sword. They can attack 3 times a round with it, and use it with a 19 Strength (+7 damage). Planetar also get a poo poo-ton of spell-like abilities, including Limited Wish 1/day, and can cast spells as a 7th level priest with major access to all spheres. Planetar have a bunch of spell immunities and can regenerate 4 hp a round. According to the fluff, characters of at least 12th level on a mission directly related to a good Power have a chance to gain the attention of a Planetar.



Finally, we abandon all pretense of balance and get the Solar (32000 xp). They get all the immunities and resistances of Planetars and more, and regenerate 7 hp per round. They get a Protection from Evil that also can act as Protection from Normal Missiles and Minor Orb of Invulnerability if the Solar so desires. A Solar can lay on hands to bestow the ability to survive in any environment for up to 100 years. Solar can actually summon Good Magical Beasts at a 75% success chance. On offense, they can attack 4 times a round with a 2d20 +5 Vorpal Dancing Sword. Or they can use a +2 Composite Bow and have a magical quiver that produces an Arrow of Slaying for whatever type of creature the Solar is attacking. Finally, Solars has the spells of a 15th-level Priest with major access to all spheres and even more spell-like abilities than the Planetar, including Wish once per day. The fluff is brief: “Solars are mighty enough to be deities themselves, but they choose to serve rather than have worshipers." Oh and despite having a composite bow no strength score is given for Solars, but really it’s not like they’ll miss it.

So in summary, Good can afford to be dumb, because it’s going to kill the gently caress out of you anyway.

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 18:48 on May 21, 2016

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Mors Rattus posted:

they're still human, and most have no desire to outlive their children...or their grandchildren.

You know, this is always a pet peeve of mine. Not because it's an unreasonable desire, but because so very few things that use this argument see the obvious solution: make your children and grandchildren immortal too. I know that paradox and such make that hard to do for non-Mages, but that just means the Silver Ladder has to get creative

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Double Plus Undead posted:

I just don't want to play a game where my existence would cause people to start ritually murdering each other. I don't think that's a weird reaction to have?

Then don't. If anyone tries to force you let me know and I'll fight them.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Double Plus Undead posted:

I just don't want to play a game where my existence would cause people to start ritually murdering each other. I don't think that's a weird reaction to have?

I don't know, it's pretty gangster:

N.W.A. posted:

They put out my picture with silence
Cause my identity by itself causes violence

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



As we will get into whe. Quiescence is discussed, in Mage 2e the effect of doing this will be destroying their minds from the inside.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Yeah, I think immortality in Mage is less "bad" and more "will wind up being bad because of all the complications, and if you pursue it in spite of those complications it says something about your priorities."

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Midjack posted:

I don't know, it's pretty gangster:



This is nowhere near on the same level, but I was a bit weirded out when I first skimmed through oMage and found that one of the Paths got its name from my family name and the sample setting map included my tiny college town.
That's more of an 'oh cool' abstract thing than something that's linked to things happening right now.

I do think that DITV is designed from the ground-up around that moral dissonance, the same way Mad Men and other shows set in the past are. Without that tension it's just a kickass Western game with detailed longcoat rules.

Which is cool, and would probably be really fun to play. Like Dark Tower, actually. And that also has weird sex/sin/boundary demons. But I think there is a bit of criticism of DITV for being really good at its intended purpose.

My only experience of that time period is Cannibal: The Musical. Are 'cannibalism' and 'being in love with your horse' sins?

Rand Brittain posted:

Yeah, I think immortality in Mage is less "bad" and more "will wind up being bad because of all the complications, and if you pursue it in spite of those complications it says something about your priorities."

I can't imagine a priority more important than defeating Death, tho if I lived in the nWoD with all its afterlives I'd probably change my tune. The easiest route seems to be just getting turned by a vampire.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 01:48 on May 17, 2016

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





CHAPTER EIGHT: WHAT MAKES A DELTA A DELTA

There are ten different packages for a Delta to pick except if you want to make your own power package because why the gently caress not, let’s say that here and now (please send us your power packages if you make them and they’re good). See below for rules about making your own powers (send them to us please).



There are also zero Alpha power packages included because ha ha maybe in a later book, who knows. If your character dies, oooooh maybe hold onto the sheet, you don’t know if they’re really dead but make a new character and hold onto the sheet just in case.

BARGAINER

Bargainers talk to demons, summon them and force them to put their powers into a totem item to call upon their powers by cutting a deal with them. Their main power is pretty much just being able to hear the voices of demons and call them. Bargainers are vastly different from the other deltas for two big reasons: there’s an order of Bargainers who have probably trained you with how to use your powers and they were started by the first Bargainer, Harry Houdini. So if you’re a Bargainer, you are literally a stage magician. The other big reason is that because you were trained by the order, you have skill requirements in order to be a Bargainer: Academia (Occult) 3, Escaping 2, Performing (Public Speaking) 2, Sleight of Hand 3.

Bargainers can have as many Totems up to their Spirit stat but can only be used one at a time. Totems have to be bigger than a pistol and visible in use (so like a wand, gigantic bling, a mask, actually a totem mask would be rad). It has to be made of jewelry, wood or stone. You can only use a Totem you’re attuned to and you start play with just one. If you lose a Totem and need to remake one, it takes a week of preparation and crafting capped off with a TN 30 Spirit roll. To attune someone else’s Totem to you, TN 20 Spirit roll and three days of prep. There are no actual rules for making a new totem (in this book, that is. The Bargainers sourcebook hasn’t come out yet at this point in time).


Dear Satan, get me off the ceiling please.

There are two types of Totems provided in this book, the Mimic Totem and the Delta Totem. The Mimic Totem lets the Bargainer mimic another delta’s power set with some rules. First, you have to touch them with the totem and if they’re not conducive to being mimicked, it takes a close combat roll and an opposed Spirit roll. Second, you get the whole package, no choosing parts, but only for one hour. Third, it can only mimic one package at a time. Fourth, if you lose the Totem while copying the powers are gone and they don’t come back when you get the Totem back. The Delta Totem is just one power set bound to that Totem (like say flight). It lasts as long as you want it to, but it’s only that power set.

Their main power is Bargaining (call demon, use them to create totem) and get the following Tricks they can choose:

Jinx: Using extra successes on an initiative roll and a contested Spirit roll, make an enemy lose one of their actions.

Make It Look Easy: With an extra success on a TN 5+ roll, you do what you’re doing with style, adding +2 to attempts to persuade anyone watching.

Other Tricks: Learn tricks for any power package you can imitate but you can’t do them without the totem being active.


Ladies and gentlemen, nothing up my sleeve but this promo flyer for my NEW SOLO BOOK!

Thoughts on the premade character and the Bargainer: Jesus loving Christ you’re the first hero in the book and you’re a loving mess. First of all, you don’t fit tonally in the slightest compared to the other deltas and as a result what the gently caress is it that you do. You’re a lovely Rogue from X-Men/Parasite from Superman dressed up as Zatanna or you’re just a guy who can become a different guy when he needs to be that different guy but only that guy. You can either theoretically be any other delta for only an hour at a time as long as you can touch them, or you can enhance yourself in one way only. And if you don’t take the first one boy I hope you like being a one-trick pony because second, you can’t make any new Totems according to the book as-written. If you lose your Totem, congrats! You’re hosed!

Let’s take a specific look at the premade character. He’s equipped with guns he has bare-minimum training with and doesn’t have a lot of ammo for. He is only slightly better at doing kung-fu. What can he do well? Criminology and escaping. This is just…ugh. He’s spread very thin and is definitely in a Master of None situation, especially because he has a Mimic totem. He’s not even really particularly excellent at being a face. He brings nothing helpful to the table besides that computer and his money and he can’t actually hack or do anything notable with this computer. Ostensibly he’d also be good at supernatural poo poo but the rules and world for that just don’t plain exist at this time.

The final main problem with the Bargainer is that I want you to look at how much I spent explaining what the Bargainer actually does. They have substantially more depth, info and attention than any of the other Deltas whose powers can be summed up by their name. There’s just so much stuff to them that doesn’t amount to poo poo and the Bargainer is the biggest hint at feature creep to come.

BLASTER

Blasters are walking, talking weapons. They shoot energy blasts from their hands and the source of power that lets them do this also gives them a skin-coating energy shield. Boom, loving done. That’s it to Blasters.



Blasters get the powers Armor: 5/- (which means they reduce all damage by 5 across their body but their armor doesn’t absorb wounds) and Energy Blast that they need Shooting to fire. Energy Blasts have unlimited ammo reserves, don’t need to be reloaded, take one action to shoot a blast, have a rate of fire of 3 (for up to 3 shots per attack), has a range increment of 10 and deal 5d6+10 damage per blast. Energy Blasts ALSO ignore armor unless it’s part of their skin or their powers.



This is really loving good. Your energy blasts have the range limitations of a rifle, burst-fire like an assault rifle, shoot faster than a rifle, loving pierce armor 90% of the time and hit like a .50 caliber bullet. Now, granted, you’re supremely lethal. You can’t hold back the damage in the slightest. But oh man there’s more to Blasters because there’s still Tricks.

Superblast: Spend an extra action per round to gather energy for a single blast, adding +5 to the damage bonus per action spent up to +20. You also need to use an extra success on the attack to initiate the superblast. If you’re stunned while charging, it’s lost.

Blast Punch: With an extra success on an unarmed punch, deal Strength roll+15 damage with the punch. That’s hitting harder than a chainsaw. Literally no other melee weapon comes close to that damage. You can also Superblast a Blast Punch, which is loving insane and costs two extra successes to do and follows the same rules as Superblast.


She's got the touch, she's got the power.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Blaster: Have you ever wanted to play an earth-bound Super Saiyan by way of a City of Heroes Blaster? The Blaster is for you! Actually I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up inspiring the City of Heroes Blaster to a certain extent because they get melee secondary powers. I like the Blaster; I sincerely like how bugfuck powerful it is. It gets some decent armor that makes them immune to getting wrecked immediately by another Blaster and energy blasts are hilariously good and powerful.

There are some problems with the premade character but as a whole she’s decent at what she’s supposed to be doing: blasting. Shooting at 4 is a good choice, she can at least Dodge, she’s got some ability to actually find things she’s looking for. She could be better, though, and I honestly mean that. First of all, she doesn’t even come equipped with a knife so why have Martial Arts: Blade when she has Blast Punch. Drop that, beef Martial Arts: Barehanded to Blast Punch together. Second, drop The Natural because that’s incredibly limited and situational. Replace it with First Move so she can drop an extra action and charge all of her Superblast shots in one go on her turn to loving nuke the next thing she shoots. The main downside of Superblast is if someone interrupts you while you’re doing that as actions cycle, you lose that charge. First Move is wonderfully imbalanced for a Blaster.

BOUNCER

The Bouncer has augmented speed and strength and knows how to use it. It’s honestly a nice little package and I wouldn’t call them the Bouncer but they have a reason for it. Most Bouncers prefer to use melee weapons or their fists.

Bouncers get +3 bonuses to Strength rolls and they also get +5 to Pace and Speed rolls for Initiative and Dodging. Their Tricks are:

Bounce Attack: Use an extra success on an attack to leap off the enemy and attack another with +6 to TN. This is all the same action and if you get ANOTHER extra success on that next attack you can bounce again with another +6, the TN adjustment being cumulative.

Flip-Toss: Use an extra success on an attack to flip and pull your enemy with the momentum, throwing them into their air with 6 feet for every point of Strength the Bouncer has. If the enemy fails a TN 10 Strength roll, they hand on their back and take the Bouncer’s Strength in damage plus damage from what they landed on.


Til a Delta comes along on a mission and yells BITCH!

Thoughts on the premade character and the Bouncer: So basically they’re Bouncers because they homing-attack from target to target like Sonic the Hedgehog or flip them like Spider Man. The main problem with Bouncers is that…melee fighting isn’t the best way to cause damage or defeat enemies when you consider how you just deal Strength Roll damage with your bare hands. Hitting people isn’t the problem, hurting them is. Aside from that, they have a really good edge in the form of Dodge and Initiative. They can’t fail initiative rolls and can only get extra attacks and they’re harder to hit, period. That’s pretty good.

I can’t scrutinize the premade Bouncer too much. I would enhance their Strength more and lower Spirit, they’re an annoyingly-written character dressed like the lovechild of Eminem and Jim Carrey, they need some armor and most of their gear is just useless. What’s nice is they took the Bouncer in a way I’d take them to give them more of an edge in combat. First Move is a good choice and so is Knockback for Tricks. I would take Knockback and Flip-Toss and give them a focus on Speed and Strength to flip people up in the air and knock them off of high places. That way they take massive damage from falling and deliver wounds across the whole body, just punt people off rooftops in the name of justice.

FLYER

Uh. Fly. You fly because an energy around you allows you to fly. You can stop immediately, zero-point turn, hover, walk on sunshine, do whatever you like up in the air. There’s really not much going on. You can fly and you can fly well. That’s it. If you ever try to carry too much while flying, you immediately just plummet.


I'M SO MAD ABOUT FLYING

Flyers get Armor 5/- as long as you’re flying and you can fly at a pace of 50. This means that when you’re flying, you can just fly 300 feet a round. For Tricks they get:

Burst of Speed: For the cost of an action, you can turn extra successes on a TN 5 Flying roll into +10 Pace apiece for one round.

Flying Dodge: Extra successes on a flying roll or a dodge roll in the air can be spent to add +3 TN to any attacks against them for the rest of the round.


Tracks 1 and 4 on the Space Jam soundtrack.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Flyer: You are a one trick pony and it may sound like I’m being kind of hard on the Flyer for being able to just fly. I am. This is because unfortunately there really isn’t too much to the Flyer in the book! But the thing about flight in tabletop RPGs is that hey, you can now operate in a 3D plane as much as you feel like. You can fly where the gently caress ever within 300 feet. You can fly to a position where you can penetrate an enemy’s cover. I would argue you don’t even have to roll to use a grenade, you can just drop it. You have only one mechanical advantage over all other deltas and it’s a big one, even if it doesn’t make you an accurate murder machine.

Unfortunately the premade hero is kind of as bland as the presentation of the power set. At least she has Flying 5. She can shoot but doesn’t want to hurt people and she can punch even though she’s way safer being up in the air. She can at least do some spotting and exploring and at least her gear makes sense.

GADGETEER

Gadgeteers are like Genuises. They can build things that tweak the laws of physics (not break) but they also have to maintain their creations. They really should be the most broken class in the game, as per any tradition where you have an item-creating class, but.

Every 24 hours, the Gadgeteer has to make a TN 5 Tinkering roll and one hour of time to keep it going for another day. If it’s not maintained, it becomes useless and needs eight hours of reworking and repair to make it work again. The game says that size of the gadget being maintained doesn’t matter, so as a result most Gadgeteers just load all of their toys into one creation so they only have to maintain one gadget a day. Fixing a damaged gadget requires four hours and a TN 10 Tinkering roll to repair a single wound with extra successes lowering the hours to a minimum of one.



So let’s say you want to make a gadget. Do you like power armor? I hope you like power armor. There are stats for power armor. There are no stats for anything else that aren’t guns on your power armor. First, the gadget has to just bend physics or allow the amazing, not break it. Giant death lasers are explicitly off limits. Any weapons on the gadget should be as powerful as a weapon you could buy, if it would let you mimic a power of another delta then it shouldn’t let you be more powerful than the average delta. You definitely can’t make something that should let you be an alpha. Finally, the GM ultimately can say if you can make the gadget or not. In a stunning bit of GM advice, the book advises you to just let a gadget break/fail at a dramatic time if you feel it’s too powerful or breaking the fun of the game. “Word of advice: don’t get too attached to those gadgets you come up with. You never know when they’re just going to stop working for no reason under your control”.

Power Armor is loving heavy and needs a big car trunk or steamer trunk to carry it around. It takes six actions to put on. On the plus side, it has a jet pack that lets you fly at Pace 40, dual wrist-mounted guns, armor 10/3 and +3 to all Strength rolls when it’s worn.



For powers, the Gadgeteer gets Gadgeteering, the ability to build and maintain these items. For Tricks, they get:

Fine Tuning: Burn extra successes on a Tinkering roll to stave off maintenance by 24 hours per success.

Smack It: If your gadgets stop working, beat it and make a TN 5 Smarts roll. Every extra success keeps it running for one round.


With that hook light on the stairs, what's he building in there?

Thoughts on the premade character and the Gadgeteer: This is probably one of the laziest implementations of an item maker I’ve seen in a while. It sidesteps the idea of having a thousand gadgets and selling them to make money forever but then it bogs you down by having literally zero things with stats you can make besides power armor. You’re like a Bargainer with the ability to get your new poo poo together if it breaks or is lost. You are half of an idea, an unfinished character class where you get handed to a player and the player is told “alright do whatever I guess unless I don’t want you to do it”. I cannot sincerely recommend you take this character class because it’s just there and not doing anything interesting. Plus power armor is okay, sure, but it feels like you’re just trying to do everything at once and spreading yourself thin with it but not actually being the best. The more you cram into the armor, the more it sounds like one of Justin Hammer’s idiot robots from Iron Man 2: trying to do everything but not being particularly good at it.

For the character sheet: nice spread of skills to do stuff and do actions. Fast Learner is situational at best, First Move really isn’t the best thing for your class, why the gently caress didn’t you take Fine Tuning it’s the thing that alleviates your goddamn maintenance issues. You literally have zero points in the most important skill for your class: Tinkering. You have to make UNSKILLED ROLLS because you’re a goddamn engineer but this isn’t engineering, it’s super-powered pseudo-science. I can’t call this premade character useless because at least it has 4d6 Smarts but it’s drat near close to useless.

GOLIATH

You’re big, you’re strong, you’re ugly, and you’re slow. The average Goliath is around 8 feet tall and 400 pounds of muscle and armored skin. You are 100% the most noticeable type of Delta on the street and this is game that kind of wants you to be unregistered and fighting the power so hey that’s…fun.

Because Goliaths are stronger than the average delta, they get some installed drawbacks because they get 3 powers. Goliaths get Armor 10/-, +2 to their Size and +5 bonuses to their Strength rolls. For Negative Quirks they get Obvious, Ugly and Slow (-2 to Initiative rolls). For Tricks they get:

Rock Your World: Punch the ground with a TN 5 Fighting: Barehanded roll to knock people to the ground if they fail a TN 10 Strength roll. With a regular success, this effects people 12 feet away and you can burn extra successes to keep extending the effect radius by 12 more feet.

Superjump: With a Strength roll, jump 12 feet in the air and 12 inches in any direction. Every extra success adds 12 more feet for both directions. Landing on an enemy counts as a charge and if you’re 4 sizes larger than your target, the impact deals massive damage.


Yare yare daze, y'all, mah name is Jimmy John Joestar from Any Town, USA and I'm here to beat up DIO for the troops!

Thoughts on the premade character and the Goliath: Unfortunately for our friend the Goliath delta, they are in a game where Speed rules everything around them. It doesn’t really matter how hard you hit when extra actions are king and guns can fire up to X bullets for just one action. Strong Hops are cool, I’ll admit, and so is being able to just ground-pound. Also frankly making ALL Goliaths ugly is just plain ol’ bullshit because people still wanted to gently caress The Thing. The other problem is that being eight feet tall and four hundred pounds of muscles is a pretty clear RP/IC reason for the GM to just hassle the gently caress out of you and the other PCs because you’re totally a delta and do you have papers.

As for the premade Goliath, he’s got a good grasp on keeping an eye on his environment and he’s got his muscles and punching maxed. He’s pretty functional and equipped to do what he does well. My one complaint is: why does he have knives if he has no skill with using them?

GUNNER

You shoot people until they’re dead. You’re really good at shooting people. The game says that you’re probably not going to get arrested for being a delta but for using a gun to kill people. There’s really as much to say about the Gunner as there is the Flyer.


Welcome to the wrong end of the Surprise Round.

Gunner powers are +5 to all Shooting attacks and +5 to Speed rolls for Initiative. Their Tricks are:

Mercy: Pull your…bullets. Use an extra success to limit how much damage you do with a shot by defining where the bullet goes. Roll damage, apply stun to the target and then cut the actual wounds they receive by half.

Pierce Armor: Spend two extra successes on a Shooting roll to find a weak spot in their armor where the armor does not protect them from the bullet. This has the caveat of, verbatim,: “It’s the Guide’s call as to whether or not the foe’s armor actually has a weak spot. If not, the trick does nothing.” Translation: if the GM doesn’t want you to be able to pierce armor, gently caress you it doesn’t.


Someone call Bono, his guitarist is missing.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Gunner: The Gunner is tied with the Blaster for most dangerous Delta, limited only by ammo and needing to reload. You have a higher chance of getting more actions per round, you can just plain beat the normal ranged combat TN without putting any points in Shooting and it’s easier for you to make called shots. Because Dex rules the system, the Punisher is stupid deadly and effective. You can just bust out a fuckload of bullets and put your enemies down with no sweat before most people react.

This premade character is probably one of the few times you will see this kind of person drawn unironically by someone who is not a teenager. He is a goddamn murderhobo and he is actually built to murder. He doesn’t even have the Trick that lets you not hurt people as much. He lives in a van full of guns! Hell, his whole bio is about how much he murders people and how he’s still murdering people but for good this time. What gives him an immediate edge over the Blaster is the fact that he can dual-wield with less problems than she could. It’s just so over the top and straight, look at him. If I was to make a change I’d replace Ricochet with Pierce Armor; everything else he has is pretty well in order.

HEALER

Healers have to lay hands on people to make their wounds go away so some are doctors and some are shamans. Healing powers work different than normal medicine. It takes a TN 5 Medicine roll so it’s literally impossible to not heal someone somehow. Each healing attempt takes a minute. For every success on the medicine roll, one wound on the victim is healed from any location. However, any wounds that remain from the session cannot be healed by another use of anyone’s healing power. Those wounds have to heal naturally or through standard medicine. If you have 5 wounds, and the healer can only heal 3, you have to either get bed rest or go to the doctor to get the other 2 wounds healed. Also, knowing the human body and having a medical education makes your use of your powers more effective.

The power Healers get is literally just +10 to all Medicine rolls. For Tricks they get:

Healing Disease: Specifically trying to heal disease requires you to get X many total successes. If you don’t make it, you can never heal that disease with delta healing. If you have the Illness quirk, pretend you saw a Healer in the past and they couldn’t heal you.



Healing Poison: Get X successes, heal the severity of poison.




Your life is in her hands.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Healer: The hiccup of “it only works once” for healing powers is a nice complicated touch and I sincerely do appreciate it. I do appreciate how you’re at least going to heal two wounds per use of power. There’s really not much to criticize or say about the healbot delta. It’s very straight-forward and to be honest it doesn’t seem like a fun type of hero to be. You know how they say if you play a Cleric as a healbot you’re going to be bored? Well this seems kinda boring. Likewise I can’t really say much about the premade Healer. She seems well rounded but I don’t think she needs On A Roll.

SCRAPPER

Wolverine with a baseball bat. You heal fast and you wade into fights to beat on people. I would like to say more but there's not much more to it. I feel like this was another type of hero used for City of Heroes.

Scrappers get Armor 5/-, +3 bonus to Strength and they can make a Healing roll every hour instead of every day. For Tricks they get:


This is not actually Scrapper art. They don't get art. This is just from the chapter.

Fast Healer: Every extra success heals a single wound on a healing roll. I, uh. I don't think this does anything. The healing roll rules read: "Healing is pretty straightforward. At the end of every day in which a hero gets full bed rest, she makes a healing roll. This is a Challenging (10) Strength roll. Each success the hero gets on the roll heals one wound in every wounded hit location at once." So the way the normal healing rule is phrased makes it sound like extra successes heal a single wound across the body. Maybe it heals one more wound in addition to extra across-the-body wounds? I don't loving know.

Dirty Fighting: If you hit a target in the torso or the head with a fighting attack, add +2d6 to the damage for every extra success. This stacks on top of bonus damage to the head.


He had a lot of bit parts in action movies in the 1980s as a gangbanger.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Scrapper: Confusing writing for Fast Healer aside, the Scrapper is the counterpart to the Bouncer. They both have augmented strength but the Scrapper can take more of a beating instead of hitting more. At least you're doing more flat damage per attack because you're better suited to melee weapons than fists and they deal more bonus damage. You're still a melee character living in a Dex-focused combat world.

The premade character is competent, so that's good. I, uh. I have a problem with that art because it makes him look like he has no neck and he's generally...unfortunately designed. He looks like a knock-off of Chow from Jackie Chan Adventures. Aside from his very poor choice of character design, I can't criticize much about how he's built besides the fact that I wouldn't have given him Slight because now he takes more damage.

SPEEDSTER

Hello yes it is time for fast. It's recommended that a Speedster have good Strength and Running skill to keep going and going. But they're not The Flash. Good lord as they not The Flash. This is more of a Quicksilver type of fastman.


faaaaaaaaaast

For Powers, they get +100 to Pace and +5 to Speed for Dodging and Initiative. Their Tricks are:

Afterimages: For every success over 10 on a Dodge roll, the delta goes fast enough to generate an afterimage that follow them for the rest of the turn. If the delta is attacked, the attacker has to roll to see if they hit the delta or an afterimage.

Burst of Speed: Use an Action to turn extra successes on a TN 5 Running roll into +10 to Pace per success for the next round.


This must've taken a while to draw.

Thoughts on the premade character and the Speedster: Your big advantage is the ability to have multiple actions per round more often. The dodging is very nice, you're the one delta that can charge for 300 feet and deal +10 damage on a melee roll but it's the extra actions that are more important. Personally? I wouldn't even bother with the melee angle. Just dance around the battlefield and abuse positioning to get a low Shooting TN because you get no bonuses to actually attacking. For that matter, run around and drop primed explosives.

As for the premade character. Good job putting points into Dodge and Running. Barehanded martial arts? Not so good but you have a sizable dice pool for that, so. You have a nightstick you don't know how to use but at least you can use that gun. Know The Streets isn't really a handy ability and there's much better choices for you, like say Go First. Also this is the other premade character that I feel is unfortunately designed, especially with the in-character speaking.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE CORE DELTAS

I almost want to put them in tiers for effectiveness and usefulness but tiers are stupid and a personal opinion so gently caress that. It also would hurt that you're seeing everything colored through my opinion. Unfortunately there's just a clear power disparity in play through the mechanics and design. Instead you get awards! Hooray!

Most Likely To Kill A Room Full Of People Without Breaking A Sweat: Tie between Blaster and Gunner. If I had to pick a winner? The Blaster for not needing to worry about the same weapon logistics as the Gunner.

Best Battlefield Control/Exploitation: Tie between Flyer and Speedster. Honorable mention: the Goliath for knocking everyone around them down with a ground-punch and making the enemy waste movement.

Most Pigeonholed Into One Job: Poor poor Healer.

Melee Class Most Affected By Dex-Focus in Game Engine: Sorry Goliath, but your hindrance for Initiative rolls is what puts you squarely here.

Peak 90s: Dear God, the Gunner.

Most Cribbed Directly From Deadlands: Bargainer.

Best Optional Combat Rule Shenanigans: The Bouncer for being able to pile-drive people or punt them off a roof.

Most Broken Class (Not In A Good Way): Tie between the Gadgeteer for the devs just shrugging and saying "GM fiat" for item creation and the Bargainer missing the majority of its poo poo to do anything.

CHAPTER NINE: THINGS EVERY HERO NEEDS

This is the equipment chapter! Some of you might be saying "why the gently caress are you doing the equipment chapter at the end of this gigantic post about Deltas?". You raise a good point. The equipment chapter is three pages long. Two of those pages are just tables. It's easy for me to paste tables. Why the gently caress is it just three pages long? Because "we don't have time to list prices for everything your hero might want to buy. The solution to this problem is simple. The cost for most items in Brave New World is roughly what it is in the real world". So there you go, if you want to give your delta a corkscrew bong just look up the prices and convert it to 1999 dollars.


Mars would later go on to start the Brave New World equivalent of Craigslist. In their universe, it's still used a lot for prostitution and casual sex.

In a bizarre turn of events, this game has loving rules for getting loans. Your hero starts play with basics of modern American life: place to stay, clothes, TV, vehicle, handgun. You start play with $1000. You can get a loan up to your yearly salary on a TN 10 Persuasion roll, with +2 added to the TN for every step above your current wealth level. You can try for a loan every three months where a failure does nothing but a success means you can't get another loan until it's all paid off.



Anyway, boring financial poo poo aside, here's a fuckload of tables.







NEXT TIME: Aw hell yeah, GM chapters, settings secrets and premade villains! The next update will be the end of the book, but not the end of the game line.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 03:14 on May 17, 2016

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




SirPhoebos posted:

So in summary, Good can afford to be dumb, because it’s going to kill the gently caress out of you anyway.

Do they go into any detail on the Good vs. Good wars? Is it just a mirror version of the Blood War where Lawful Good beats the poo poo out of Chaotic Good sometimes or what?

Can I see how the stat blocks are laid out? I'm having a hard time picturing them just not mentioning the attribute scores for so many creatures.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply