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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



"Yoshi's" words on the choice of his code name, included for...not for posterity, just to show exactly what the book says.



Also I updated the main article with the final part of Winter's manifesto, I forgot to include the picture of words.

Seriously though, the loving Unabomber.

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Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Well, at least there's no villain calling himself "The Yellow Peril", right :downs: ?

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Wow, that "Yellow Journalist" excerpt reads like every white guy trying to justify a clearly racist name for a character.

"No, it's clever because it's play on words because it's both a slur and a cultural thing. Insensitive? It's not insensitive, the character loves it. It's just like how it's empowering for my female characters to be half-naked because it's sexually liberating. It's not T'n'A: they love it. Well, yeah, I do define what they like and don't like so, in the end, it's a reflection on me, but you're not getting art, man. You're just being a social justice warrior. *adjusts fedora*"

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Doresh posted:

Well, at least there's no villain calling himself "The Yellow Peril", right :downs: ?
Thankfully, no.

On the other hand, one of the sample Deltas is a literally explosive Latina, so. Uh.

The book has a very nineties way of using minorities and people of color. They exist, they have personalities and they have powers and they're premades, but like I said earlier there's a lot of Spanglish and sassy attitudes and, well, it's all very nineties.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





So does Costa Rica have some kind of action plan to deal with the Isla Delta people if they decide the best way to "defend" Costa Rica is "to take over Costa Rica"? I'm hoping it involves another island, this one filled with cloned dinosaurs.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




That sounds far too rad for this game, I'd wager that this risk is never mentioned.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Hostile V posted:

Seriously though, the loving Unabomber.

This is amazing to look back at with after reading a game like Progenitor, which takes people like J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King and uses them as superhumans in interesting ways you might not necessarily expect. Brave New World, on the other hand, has Kaczynski gain exploding powers and go and explode. Because of course he does. :effort:

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Alien Rope Burn posted:

This is amazing to look back at with after reading a game like Progenitor, which takes people like J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King and uses them as superhumans in interesting ways you might not necessarily expect. Brave New World, on the other hand, has Kaczynski gain exploding powers and go and explode. Because of course he does. :effort:

Care to illuminate on these two examples if you don't mind?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

That sounds far too rad for this game, I'd wager that this risk is never mentioned.
I'm not even thinking "the current guys would do that," but Deltas do not appear to be immortal, and indeed it seems like "the Man" would have a great interest in assassinating the leader of Independent Delta Land.

MLK has a weird history in these superhero games. I remember in the GURPS IST setting (which I recall as being decent if kind of like GURPS itself - weirdly fiddly and low-powered) he'd avoided being assassinated due to a super's actions... and was at the time of the game's timeline (mid-90s?) the president of the US.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

This is amazing to look back at with after reading a game like Progenitor, which takes people like J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King and uses them as superhumans in interesting ways you might not necessarily expect. Brave New World, on the other hand, has Kaczynski gain exploding powers and go and explode. Because of course he does. :effort:

*looks up who made Progenitor*

Author: Greg Stolze

'nuff said. :colbert:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Oh yeah no there is zero thought about what would happen if the Deltas decided to take over all of Costa Rica instead. It's probably not going to come up in later books either.

Good news: those Brave New World geocities fansites are back online which means I can answer those questions about Shrinkers.

Shrinkers can shrink pistols, knives and bulletproof vests but nothing more than that as they reduce in size. However, according to correspondence with Matt Forbeck, the average Shrinker can't get any smaller than size 1. So as it's written, you're SHOULD be able to shrink down to 1 inch but instead you can't be any smaller than a housecat. And at that point it doesn't matter if your weapons shrink or not, you can just hold a regular-sized handgun and shoot people because you're still as strong as your full-size self, gently caress physics.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Hostile V posted:

"Yoshi's" words on the choice of his code name, included for...not for posterity, just to show exactly what the book says.

On top of the glaring problem of "'"I like ironic racism" — an Asian guy' — a white guy," I can't get over how the fake excuse for the name is "I intend to engage in yellow journalism." Yellow journalism is a pejorative, isn't it? Even without the terrible ironic racism, that's calling yourself The Trashy Tabloid.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Libertad! posted:

Care to illuminate on these two examples if you don't mind?

In Progenitor, powers are potentially infectious; if somebody uses powers on you, you have a chance of gaining powers. Lyndon Johnson is "infected" by the very first superhuman, gaining superhuman charisma. When J. Edgar Hoover tries to uncover information on the original superhuman, Johnson uses his power to discourage Hoover from probing further, and Hoover becomes infected as well.

Hoover's powers manifest when investigating the civil rights demonstrations, trying to understand King's motivations, during which he becomes King and develops the ability to duplicate others, including their minds and memories. Of course, anybody he does this is on is potentially infected as well, which means he infects some counter-culture figures and criminals as well, and it's some time before he figures that out. This does nothing to change his eventual heart attack in 1972, but he survives the heart attack by becoming somebody else, and at that point is required to be at least partially duplicating others at all times to live. He develops a greater empathy for others due to being so aware of their lives and motivations, and actually becomes heroic (if still rather ruthless at times) and gains a kindness he didn't have in life, at least until his seeming death around the turn of the century.

Martin Luther King is still assassinated, but his infection at Hoover's hands also allows him to live past death in a ghostly form, doing good across the world and even joining a superhero team of sorts. He eventually compromises some of his principles when he helps the US military resolve some international crises and goes head to head with another Hoover "infectee", a Black Power advocate using his powers to inflame the 1980 Miami riots. Though he pretty effectively can be said to have saved lives in those cases, his soul-searching over violating his principles puts him under the radar after that, and after that there are only reports of him showing up for people in their time of need to help them out on a personal level.

Progenitor has stuff that could be a lot more controversial in worse hands, but manages to generally depict its historical figures with some degree of nuance which you usually don't see. For example, while Johnson doesn't become a straight-up supervillain, he becomes more and more morally comprised as he clings to power - even though he's often trying to do what he sees as the right thing. It's far from a conventional superhero setting, but as an alternate reality with superhumans, it's done very well.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



That actually sounds neat, I need to check it out.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Werewolf: the Forsaken, Second Edition

Werewolves are passionate creatures, with a lust for life few can match, or even understand. They are monsters that hunt monsters, and they love it, but without a guiding purpose, many would descend into atavism and madness. The Forsaken, thankfully, have a purpose: the Oath of the Moon, sworn to Luna in the name of dead Urfarah. The Oath binds the Uratha to a code that grants them harmony - savage, but harmony. It defines the Siskur-Dah, the sacred hunt. It helps the Forsaken to find their place in two worlds...and above all, it keeps them from becoming mindless beasts. By the Oath, they are made more than humans, wolves or spirits. They gain strength, an outlet for their rage and their devotion. Even the Pure swear a variation on the Oath, though each Pure Tribe has its own version and none of the Anshega, as the Pure name themselves in First Tongue, would ever swear to Luna. Other spirits, who hate the Forsaken for their role in the death of Urfarah, judge the Pure based on the Oaths they do take.

The Oath is a chain that binds the inner monster, but it also drives the Uratha to be better than they are. Luna watches over her children still, sending the mad Lunes, the moon spirits that judge the Oath, exalt its champions and condemn those who transgress it. Each Lune is just as bipolar and insane as its mother, and while one might become angry that the Oath is not upheld strongly enough, it might also barely react to great success. Spirits - especially moon spirits - are capricious beings, after all. Not all punishments, however, come from the Lunes. Those that reject the oath become lost in thier hunts, without guidance or help from the Firstborn. Some reject the Oath from wickedness and become killing beasts that sometimes wear human skin. After all, ignoring the Oath is a sure way to lose your grip on what makes you a 'who' and not a 'what'. Without balance, werewolves can even become trapped in one form or even one world. In time, they forget what they were and become as singleminded and inflexible as any spirit.

The Oath has severel tenets. Each tribe - each pack, even - will place greater importance on some than others. Some werewolves barely pay lip service to one tenet, while the more devout take each as sacred. In the end, not even your packmates can determine how you should interpret the Oath - that's your decision and yours alone.

Urum da takus. (Trans: The wolf must hunt.) No werewolf can actually transgress against this tenet - it's the heart of what a werewolf is. They hunt. They treat the sacred hunt as their most holy purpose. To them, it is not just way of life, it is their life. Only werewolves can hunt as Father Wolf once did, and each pack has its own hunting rituals, as does each Ghost Wolf. Like any religious law, of course, the tenet is a point of contention at times. A pack's duty is to hunt, whether they hunt flesh, spirit or both. Failure to do so makes other packs doubt their commitment, giving an excuse - real or not - to take their territory. Bloody battles usually follow, which often threaten other parts of the Oath.

Imru nu fir imru. (Trans: The People do not murder the People.) This is the subject of a shitload of debates. After all, it is both highly specific and pretty ambiguous. Most agree that it is taboo to kill any Forsaken save in great need. Many Uratha also think of Wolf-Blooded and human pack members as part of the People, so their lives are equally sacred. However, there's a ton of interpretations. Open challenges of dominance that risk death may be acceptable to some, others believe murder of an unaware victim is a sin and crime. Lunes offer little help in interpretation - they seem to be as contradictory on it as anyone else. Most assume that beating another werewolf is acceptable, but slaying a defeated foe is murder. Killing when unnecessary - even prey - is a sin, but especially when the victim is a werewolf. There is some debate over whether the Pure Tribes count as the People, as well. Some Pure seem to believe killing Forsaken is taboo, though they don't mind torturing them. Likewise, some Forsaken refuse to kill the Pure except when the Pure would murder them - and even then, they mourn the fallen Pure.

Sih sehe mak; mak ne ish. (Trans: The low honor the high; the high respect the low.) Uratha instinctively understand dominance and submission. Hierarchies rule people, even if humans prefer to deny it. The world does not allow for total equality. If the prey is stronger, it must be weakened. If one pack is stronger than another, that pack will win. It's just how things work. Young and proud werewoles rebuke the authority of their elders, feeling that the elders use this law, even made it up, just to keep power. In turn, the elders talk of their glories and take what they feel is their due. Wise elders know the second half of the this clause demands they show respect for young hunters and show it to their less experienced kin. Even the old and strong, after all, can be defeated. Attitudes towards this law vary by protectorate. In some, elders are given deference for their ability and wisdom. Some elders become cruel or brutal, and die at the hands of those they would oppress. Some keep young werewolves in line even when the Oath is no help. All, however, respect the Firstborn and the traditions of the Forsaken. If wise elders know they should respect the young, then the young and wise know they should respect the veterans for their skill and knowledge.

Ni daha. (Trans: Respect your prey.) Humans abandoned this idea long ago, but werewolves know the danger. If they become imbalanced, they weaken, as Urfarah did. They die. Wisdom teaches them to respect their prey. Strong prey makes strong predators, and vice versa. It's a dangerous balance. A callous, brutal pack gains enemies among spirits, even loses respect for the hunt itself. A true predator kills out of necessity, not desire. Respect the prey and it will respect you. Spirits will lash out against the needlessly vicious, but those who respect the hunt earn spiritual respect in turn, if grudgingly. Even the most selfish spirits can recognize savage honor. Some Uratha take this a step further, treating any kill as a matter of necessity. Respecting the prey, for them, means respecting the need for werewolves to hunt it. Hosts and Claimed, for example, must be killed to keep them from killing werewolves, and should be respected for their deadly powers. Even humans are not exempt, though some werewolves have trouble with that. Humans can, even must be prey at times - but the Oath forbids consuming human flesh. Older werewolves and those that take to their roles quickly feel no more remorse for killing humans than anything else. Merciful werewolves might, however, warn humans off first by terror. Just as many, however, kill as easily as anything.

Nu hu uzu eren. (Trans: Do not eat the flesh of man or wolf.) Human and wolf flesh grant power and pleasure - a rush of Essence and satisfaction. It's a surrender of control, and no meat is better. The rush of power, though, is too much. Eating your kin is a grave temptation that drags you closer to the realm of spirit. Forsaken lorekeepers have long wondered why this clause exists. It's old and very clear. Some wonder, then, if the temptation has always existed, deliberately left by Luna in her madness, or if it was born in the death of Father Wolf at the teeth of his own children. It may be an eternal reminder of that patricide. Whatever the case, it is a dangerous temptation. In the madness of Kuruth, even the most disciplined might devour their kill, and remember the delicious taste later. No werewolf is truly safe from temptation, even those who never tasted the power of human flesh.

Nu bath githul. (Trans: The herd must not know.) Werewolves are stronger than any human, but they are not invincible. Angry, determined humans can threaten even a skilled pack. Guns and bombs even up the score fast, and those hunters that can stand against the Uratha know some of their weaknesses. Young werewolves think they're immortal. They are wrong, and this law is meant to protect them. It is out of need to protect werewolves, not humans, that it exists. A large-scale war with humanity would be a war that, even if the Uratha won, would devastate the world. The cunning instead stick to the shadows, hunting by moonlight or across the Gauntlet. It's easy to dismiss isolated attacks, and danger comes with any increased scrutiny. You already have enough problems - don't add more for yourself.

Uratha safal thil lu'u. (Trans: The Uratha shall cleave to the human.) This is a pretty simple one: don't gently caress wolves. Uratha mate with werewolves and humans. Wolves may be kin, but they aren't the same sort of kin. Keeping in touch with humanity keeps you in balance. You cannot forsake your human side, or you will become a monster as selfish as any spirit.

Each tribe also maintains its own vow, in honor of their Firstborn totems.
  • Blood Talons: Nu sum ghumur nu su ghid. (Trans: Offer no surrender you would not accept.) Even for werewolves, Blood Talons live violently. They offer no quarter and ask for none. They will never offer dishonorable surrender to their foes, and will never accept it from them. The Blood Talons stand at the forefront of any battle between werewolves - and baring your throat there means worse than death. It's weakness.
  • Bone Shadows: Su a sar-hith sa. (Trans: Pay each spirit in kind.) The Bone Shadows know their path leads into darkness, hunting things that would hunt them. They swear to show each spirit the respect it is due, and the rage it is due. They know what awaits them if they weaken.
  • Hunters in Darkness: Nu mus halhala. (Trans: Let no sacred place in your territory be violated.) The Hunters in Darkness hold their territory sacred in a way other tribes do not comprehend. For them, it is the land in which they are supreme. They swear this oath to never allow any friend or foe to violate that territory unchallenged. They shape their territory to serve the hunt, and violation of it is violation of their devotion.
  • Iron Masters: Kul kisura udmeda. (Trans: Honor your territory in all things.) The Iron Masters know only change is constant, that the world tomorrow and the world today can be entirely different. They know they must adapt. And so, they seek to master their world, and remember what defines them even in the face of change.
  • Storm Lords: Nu si gid namtar. (Trans: Allow no one to witness or to tend your weakness.) Presence and power are everything to the Storm Lords. They must be giants, showing no weakness to any enemy or rival. They must have no weakness. They hold themselves to a higher standard, so that when anyone looks on the Uratha, they see a fearless and unstoppable wolf. They must be unbreakable in the hunt's service.

Of course, everyone's fallible. Oaths are broken. Uratha lash out, fall prey to temptation. Sometimes they even willingly forsake the Oath. This invites punishment. An oathbreaker must first answer to their own pack, especially if they did not partake in the crime. Breaking the Oath reflects poorly on your pack, and most werewolves outcast from packs are outcast because they are oathbreakers. Lone werewolves, already something of a sorry lot, must answer to the packs they hurt most with their crimes. Custom forbids the breaking of the Oath in relatiation, but you can stretch it just shy of that. Less serious crimes must still be seriously considered. When one werewolf harms another pack, they have a right to judgment. They may be overly brutal, and that often causes bloodshed if the offender's pack supports them. Elodoth of both packs might settle on a judgment, or failing that, call on their neighbors, the Lunes, or even tribal totems for counsel. Crimes range from minor to unforgivable. Defacing property in another's territory might mean only light penalty - painful, perhaps, but temporary, like a broken leg or ritual cut, or even just a harsh rebuke from an elder in front of others, to stain your honor. Maybe you are temporarily denied the right to see your human family or leave your territory. However, willingly breaking the most important laws means a harsher justice. Cannibalism, murder for petty reasons or betraying the Oath for personal urges all invite terrible punishment. You might have limb removed with a silver blade, or be cast from your pack. The latter is often the worse punishment. Defiling the honor of the Uratha and the Oath's soul and meaning earns the worst sentence - deliberately exposing the People to humanity, say, the willing betrayal of your pack. Punishments can be death, exile or imprisonment by the Lunes. None can guess what is done to those last.

Next time: The world of Shadow

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 22:08 on May 30, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Robindaybird posted:

That actually sounds neat, I need to check it out.

About the only big black mark I'd put on it is some of the art - a lot of it is poser stuff blurred and textured to try and make it look more photorealistic. It doesn't work.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

About the only big black mark I'd put on it is some of the art - a lot of it is poser stuff blurred and textured to try and make it look more photorealistic. It doesn't work.

Euugh, I wish people would quit using poser.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Poser is only good for creepy deviantart fetish pics of Psi-Stalkers and, actually, not even that. World, please stop using Poser.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:




Planescape: Planes of Chaos - Travelogue, part 2



In contrast to the Abyss, Arborea is a pretty nice place. In fact of all the Outer Planes I’d say it has the best balance of opportunities for adventure and not having to worry about getting killed by IWBTG-level bullshit. There are still unusual dangers here. Arborea is a Plane of great heights and depths, and the petitioners reflect that in their behavior. So think the hammiest performance of Midsummer’s Night Dream. This description extends to the two Pantheons that dominate Arborea - the Olympians and the Seldarine - and the nature spirits in control of magic. Spell Keys on Arborea are offerings to nature spirits, and different schools and even specific spells will have its own associated offering. On the plus side, enchantment/charm magic works especially well on Arborea. As for the Powers, I think everyone here knows how the Olympians can be tremendous assholes towards anyone they think has slighted them. The elves are pretty much the same but with an extra dose of smug.

Along with elven and greek petitioners, Arborea is home to the Sensates and more unusual petitioners like satyrs and dryads. The aforementioned nature spirits are pretty much everywhere-there’s even a mountain spirit for Mount Olympus. Aside from controlling magic they’re just as fickle as the powers. There’s also Eladrin, but they aren’t introduced until the second Monstrous Compendium. One final inhabitant that deserves mention are the Bacchae. Bacchae are magic drunks. They roam Arborea in mobs and tear poo poo up like frat boys. The danger is if you start partying with Bacchae, you become one. Petitioners can even be forced into becoming Bacchae against their will. Since players aren’t petitioners, they never have to worry about that.



The Travelogue describes three locations in Arborea. The first is Grandfather Oak, the greatest and oldest tree in Arvandor. It’s home to several elf tribes and villages, who talk about the tree the same way sailors talk about their boat, attributing moods and wishes to the tree even though it’s not actually intelligent (but it would have a nature spirit according to the last page, so...). While it’s mostly accommodating to visitors, they sometimes force them into pumping water up for the ground “(if a sweet elven lass asks a cutter to help her, he’d best say no.)” Yes, there’s a paragraph on plumbing. The high-up of Grandfather Oak is a treant named Moss-Among-His-Roots, Wind-In-His-Leaves. He’s basically Treebeard, so the Elves have learned to look elsewhere for timely leadership. In Gradfather Oak, that’s either the half-elf warrior Trillamir Evensong or Labelas Thenorean, the grey elf High King. the High King’s warrior-priest keep the magic beasts out of Grandfather Oak, while everyone here is a competent archer (of course they are) which takes care of more mundane trouble-makers. Services that require the use of a fire (like metalworking) cost more than usual, but woodworking here is exceptional and affordable. We also get this line, “The oak was famed for spider silk eons ago, but the trade dried up after Lolth’s followers were banished.” Which I find amusing because it makes it sound like the Pantheon’s creation myths just happened yesterday.



The second locale described is none other than Mount Olympus. The mountain itself is tied for the highest point in the first layer (the other high-point is in Arvandor). Around the mountain are the temple-palaces of the Olympian powers. Further down the slopes are the store-brand versions of the classic Greek City-States. So you have Philosopher Town, Seafaring Town, Zack Snyder Town, and so on. Mount Olympus itself is a Planar Highway. The mountain has caves and other hidden paths that can lead to Carceri, Gehenna, the Grey Wastes, or any Prime World that is home to worshippers of the Olympic Powers. Some of these secret paths are only usable by worshippers of the Olympians, and the portals have mystic guardians (including the Per from the MC). Similar protections are on the homes of the Olympians, so only an actual worshipper can visit the gods. Which I think is kinda crap. This is Planescape. If a player wants to meet Zeus, he shouldn’t have to be a member of his fan-club!

Back to Olympus. The Temple-Palaces have both a public section and a hidden Inner Sanctum where the Power lives and do whatever it is Powers do. Each Power’s palace is designed to fit their domain - Apollo’s is an Amphitheater, Ares and Athena are fortresses, and so on. The biggest one belongs of course to Zeus and Hera. Other prominent temples not already mentioned belong to Aphrodite, Dionysus and Hermes. The other powers either have smaller temples or maintain a secondary shrine to their main realm.

The last place described for Arvandor is the Gilded Hall, the Sensates’ headquarters in Arborea. “Describing the Gilded Hall is a thankless task,” according to the book, but it tries anyway. It’s located halfway between Mount Olympus and Arvandor, and both pantheons claim their superhot-goddess was responsible for building it (meaning Aphrodite and Hanali) which is the reason the building is so beautiful and magical. Whichever party is responsible, the building is indeed magical. Least fiends are slain just by looking at the Gilded Hall. Stronger fiends are just pissed of by it, but thankfully there’s usually plenty of berks around to defend it. Also despite there being a giant party 24/7, the Gilded Hall never gets messy. And bacche will be well behaved when they’re in the Hall, and even bathe. When not partying, Sensates and other adventurers go looking for the Fountain of Youth. There’s a lot of flowery text describing the place, but they got the cartographers to draw the place instead of Tony, so who cares.


Aidan of the Sensates posted:

More wine? Thank you, I think I will

The next Plane covered by the Travelogue is Limbo. Now Limbo doesn’t play by anyone’s rules, especially not the rules of page formatting. I mean look at this:

:psypop:

Once your eyes have adjusted to the color vomit, the two pages tell you that aside from Slaadi and petitioners, surviving the elemental blender is accomplished by concentrating to make the walkable terrain and breathable air. In game terms, this is based on the Intelligence Score and requires continuous concentration. The higher intelligence can not only shape a larger area, but can make complex structures and even wildlife. A few folks in the Multiverse have the ability to shape unconsciously, known as Anarchs to the natives of Limbo. This is an innate ability (read: ask your DM), and requires training from a guild to use properly. This takes up a non-weapon proficiency slot (hey, remember those?). Once trained, an anarch uses his or her Wisdom score to determine the amount of terrain generated.



The guild I mentioned is actually a sect, aptly named The Anarch’s Guild (Chaos Masters, Groundsmen). They’re pretty powerful on Limbo because they’re literally responsible for the ground everyone else walks on, but are basically unheard of beyond the plane. Also they don’t adventure, because they’re basically set for life with their skills. The book doesn’t say that players shouldn’t join this Sect, but I think there’s enough here to discourage the reader.

Anarch’s Guild Proverb posted:

Those who control the terrain, control the battlefield.



There is another sect in Limbo that’s more usable by players, and is actually pretty powerful. They are The Converts (Chameleons, Turncoats). Turncoats believe that the only way to discover the Truth of the Multiverse is to try out an established philosophy of a faction or sect, decide what makes sense and what doesn’t, and when new info presents itself, move onto a philosophy that now makes more sense. Mechanically, this means that members of the Converts can freely join and leave a second faction or sect they meet the requirements for, and while they are in that faction they get all of its benefits, restrictions, allies and enemies. The main restriction on this is that once a player leaves a faction/sect, they can’t rejoin it. The Converts themselves have to be a non-lawful alignment, so factions like Guvners or Harmonium are off limits to them.

Permillon of the Convers posted:

Oh! I never looked at things that way. I see your point. Can I be a part of your faction now?

The Travelogue gives some more info on the two major inhabitants of Limbo, the Slaadi and the Githzerai. The Travelogue repeats some information from the MC, because the assumption in those days was players never read the Monster Manuals. One new info is that Slaad almost pathologically fight one-on-one with their enemies. While this has the benefit of travellers never having to worry about getting overwhelmed by Slaad war parties, it can get frustrating because just killing the leader of a group of Slaad won’t convince the others to flee from the fight.


Marivus Quince, merchant posted:

The Githzerai come in two types: hardheaded and stubborn.

The Githzerai get some elaboration from their MC entry and even a few retcons. Rather than a wizard, the ‘yanki-’zerai split occurred when Gith was challenged by a warrior named Zerthimon after the revolt succeeded. Zerthimon was killed, but his followers fled to Limbo, and hate the Githyanki as much as they hate Illithids. Today, the Githzerai live in large cities maintained by the Anarch’s Guild (it’s speculated that they have some trade secrets that let them get around the limitations of the mechanics. They are very suspicious of outsiders, so it’s generally a bad idea to wander from the visitor’s quarters. Many find it hard to think of Githzerai as chaotic because they’re pretty loyal to each other and their leaders, but the travelogue explains, “theirs is the loyalty of individuals, not the compliance of slaves. Having escaped from bondage once, they prize individual freedom above all else.” Well, considering that the alternative is places like Menzoberranzan, I’ll let that inconsistency slide.

The one site described in the Travelogue is the Pinwheel. The Pinwheel is an island of stability in the chaos of Limbo, 150 miles in radius and a branch of Yggdrasil at its center. A lot of speculation is given as to why the island exists. Too much in my opinion, but maybe you can base an adventure on figuring out how to create similar islands. The climate of the island is cool and mountainous at the center, but turns tropical at the edges. The island is pear-shaped, but in the indentation there’s an eddy where the island’s stability and the surrounding chaos form a swamp-like region. Despite real estate being at a premium in this Plane, no one lives here permanently because there’s lots of really dangerous wildlife to contend with. On occasion, the various factions in Limbo will use the Pinwheel as a neutral ground, and there are a couple of permanent structures that are sturdy enough to survive the attention of the native animals.



Next Time: Travelogue Concluded

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Halloween Jack posted:

Poser is only good for creepy deviantart fetish pics of Psi-Stalkers and, actually, not even that. World, please stop using Poser.

The intended use of Poser is to give you a model so you can draw a real picture. It's on the drat packaging!

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



One of the things I love about Progenitor is that history is allowed to deviate from "established" history. It's not the usual thing where the timeline is "our world, but despite superheroes there's barely been any real changes between this and the real world"; the metas are loving powerful and a lot of them have zero compunctions about making huge sweeping changes. People start major religions around themselves, a bunch of metas raise a new nation in the middle of the ocean, and there are major events that have nine-digit worldwide bodycounts.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Hostile V posted:

Oh yeah no there is zero thought about what would happen if the Deltas decided to take over all of Costa Rica instead. It's probably not going to come up in later books either.

Sounds like a rogue state primed and ready for regime change and a massive influx of freedom.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!




Part 12: Tiers for Fears


actually kind of spooky

When you plan out your game you should probably determine just how big, in scope, the plot is going to be. This will help determine the stakes of the conflict as well as the people who will likely become involved. This also originally appeared in Hunter: The Vigil and was ported over as a tool for Storytellers. And there’s nothing against moving up or down tiers as the story warrants. Not every campaign has to be a constant series of escalations culminating in constant fights for the future of human existence. The players or characters might even want a break if they’ve been overwhelmed with the stress of trying to save the world all the time.

Local

These are the campaigns that are only going to affect a few people, and really only a small area. An example they give is a ghost story, or a haunting, where investigators try to figure out what’s going on and maybe try to stop the spectre causing the phenomena. This section adds that, just because it’s local in scope, doesn't mean it can’t be part of a larger problem. The book references the movie Attack the Block which involves an alien invasion. While the fate of the earth is at stake the story and characters are only focused about their immediate area.

For the God Machine specifically there are a few ways of implementing this in play. The first is simply starting with the effects of one of the God Machine’s projects. If it’s a mysterious bestial predator stalking a nearby park, regardless of whether or not they stop it, it won’t really threaten anything more than the immediate area. If they take it down they may gain some insight into the God Machine’s nature. Maybe they find an abandoned utility tunnel the creature was using for shelter and in it they find odd bits of rusted machinery that seems to only serve a strange and obfuscated purpose.

Another method is limiting the number of agents that are operating in the area. If there’s only a single agent acting. If there’s one cult or one angel it’s going to keep the focus on the local effects of it. It references the book Needful Things by Stephen King as an example of how a single individual might tear apart a community. Armed with a supernatural understanding of people’s desires he sells people what they think they want if they’ll play a prank on someone else in town. Little do they know these pranks prey on the victim’s secrets, fears and insecurities. In a short time he turns the community against itself resulting in violence, chaos and death. It also uses the story The Colour out of Space as an example on how a supernatural event can only affect a relatively small amount of people. The story involves a meteorite crashing by a farm and disappearing into a strange colour. Shortly after the produce becomes huge and inedible, the livestock begin dying and the family living there is driven insane.

The final method is putting them in a situation clearly controlled by the God Machine. It uses the example of being trapped in a mansion where all the doors lead to another room with no discernable way out. I could also imagine being trapped in a small town where the only road out leads right back into town somehow. Ultimately they are at the mercy of the God Machine to some extent. This is best for either one shots or to open up to a larger story once it’s been resolved.

They give an example group that might have a local effect in the form of The Cult of the Wheel. They’re a loosely organized group of people who believe the God Machine exists and can even be influenced through the use of divinely inspired mathematical sorcery. Most importantly they believe in imposing order on the world though each member will likely have a different idea on the best way to go about this. My read is that they’re basically sinister Freemasons.

Regional

This is a level that might encompass several states or cities in terms of scope. At this level they should expect to see a God Machine’s project in it’s entirety. The example in this scenario is a local politician in a senatorial race. Except they know for a fact that beneath his bright white smile and strong, confident words there is no heart but instead synthetic flesh and smoothly running gears. Their policies could have a huge impact on the operations of the state and it’s not something that can be easily stopped without becoming a rather infamous assassin in the process. That and judges are probably not going to be swayed by the “They’re actually a robot” defense. A cinematic example they use is from the movie 28 Days Later. In this scenario the entire English Isle has been drastically changed through the introduction of a zombifying monkey anger virus...thing. It not only affects the players but also everyone around them in the area. And these situations also have the potential to spiral out of control if not stopped or at least contained.

quote:

As an example, MIT creates a new generation of nanobots that get out of the laboratory and begin to reproduce. In their search for energy, they latch onto anything that produces electricity, bringing down the grid before shorting out. Why? It’s all because the God-Machine requires an hour of total darkness during a solar eclipse. The background threat is what happens if a couple nanobots make it to new sources of power and begin spreading across the planet.

At this level they’re also more likely to encounter organizations who serve or oppose the God Machine even if they don’t realize it. Shadowy or esoteric government groups, whose members dutifully follow orders and file reports without anyone really knowing anything about their management. Even with smartphones there might be a hacker network who have been given the illusion of righteous authority by an Angel or some other authority figure. They dutifully scour the internet, leaving malware in their wake and making sure that any evidence of the supernatural never becomes popular enough for the public to notice. If someone is keeping a hard copy agents are dispatched to make sure the individual either agrees it was some perfectly reasonable phenomenon or that person disappears in one way or another. At this level they’re also more likely to encounter the gears of the God Machine

quote:

The U.S. contains thousands of ghost towns. These include places that were big during a mining boom or company towns that were abandoned when the jobs went overseas. What if these towns were really constructed to hide the mechanical guts of the God-Machine? Every basement is filled with crackling conduits, clanging pipes or whirring belts. When enough towns have been completed, the long dormant fault lines in the Midwest will begin to move, dumping out the Great Lakes and creating a water shortage beyond the worst dreams of environmentalists.
This level also includes the road trip, where travel becomes a large factor in how the plot progresses. This can be used to make traveling a dangerous but necessary act or perhaps to foster a more Monster of the Week approach to the campaign.

The example organization at this level is called The Black Tide. Formed in the 1800s by Sava Vaselko, a trader and occasional pirate or privateer, who had a rather strange incident during the American Civil War. While passing through the Bermuda Triangle he became lost in a fog. Only after he’d spent days drifting about did he finally come across a source of light. When the fog lifted he could see massive buildings, taller than anything he’d ever seen. They were covered in lights and sigils of every size and color and it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. Then his boat blew up. He woke up later in a sanitarium, feeling much healthier but now with a driving obsession to learn more about what he’d seen and the Bermuda Triangle as well. After research he came to the conclusion that what he’d seen was the lost city of Atlantis, and that during times of global death and misery whatever was protecting it became weaker. Of course he never succeeded at finding the city during his lifetime, but that hasn’t stopped his organization from carrying on in his name. In fact, if anything, they’ve accelerated their plans. If death and pain will reveal this island of untold treasure all they need to do is manufacture it, as waiting has shown to be less than effective. While they can’t control the weather they have found methods of influencing it, making storms more or less severe (usually more). Unfortunately their ideology was validated when the island reappeared for exactly one minute during Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately this will likely embolden them in the future.


Global

At this level the fate of the world might be at stake. The apocalypse, or something close enough as to make no difference, is underway. Nuclear weapons are being armed and pointed at population centers. They use the movie 2012 as an example, as the entire world is falling apart and it’s not about saving it so much as trying to cut your losses where you can. It also references Call of Cthulhu and James Bond as examples of small or singular groups of people trying to save the world. It might entail vampires being unified in a decision to abandon their secrecy and instead rule in the open as superior creatures. Even at this level, and with these stakes, the God Machine will always prefer to be subtle. It will disorganize logistics and power grids before it drops nukes on something.

This section also makes a very good point when running games of this scale. When a lot of people think of world changing events in relation to Chronicles of Darkness it’s usually easy to imagine a zombie apocalypse, a giant tentacled beast destroying cities, or a virus wiping out most of humanity. The unfortunate truth is simple, mundane events can have an enormous impact on the world. An event like 9/11, the Stock Market Crash, a drought or a year without a summer might all have a massive impact on the world without needing to be overtly supernatural.

To keep the players interested they should still have personal stakes in the events unfolding. If World War III their friends and family might be drafted, rationing will begin, attitudes will change overnight. The characters should experience these on some level so they know how they fit into the world. At the same time it’s okay to focus on something on a smaller scale during the course of a global campaign. Not every problem should be the end of the world. The scenario the book mentions outlines a plan to reduce the incoming solar radiation fails spectacularly plunging the planet into darkness. While the main focus of the campaign might be to investigate and ultimately correct this issue they might have a more personal aside if their home town is suddenly threatened by violence and looting.

The example group here is the Gnomes of Zurich. Descendants from the first mortals who stole fire from the gods, these people rose in power until they threatened the God Machine itself. They planned to construct a mighty building that would let them ascend to the source of the Divine Fire to warm themselves for all eternity. Thinking themselves all powerful they were surprised when the Machine’s plans turned their tower to rubble and in retaliation they struck the knowledge of the Machine from the minds and writings of humanity believing that this would drain the God Machine of it’s power. Over time they too forgot about the God Machine and began to fight and bicker with each other. Centuries passed and now these people continue their constant fighting with one another, having amassed enormous power over the long period of time. Now their battles are fought on the stock market and in the financial sector as much as they are fought with more conventional weapons. They assassinate and rig elections, all while trying the drain the money from the other’s coffers.

Cosmic

At this tier they are beyond anything they are likely prepared to deal with, and it seems like a daunting thing to run as the ST. At this level they are beyond the global conspiracies and have the opportunity or desire to change the God Machine’s plans, or even it’s basic programming. It references transcending humanity like in 2001: A Space Odyssey or something pulpier like Stargate SG-1 where they travel to different planets and dimensions. Things involving time travel would likely fall into this category given their potential to have drastic changes on how the past and future will unfold. At this level the consequences of the player’s actions should be world changing. At this level they aren’t just learning about the God Machine’s plans and operations but learning important information about the entity itself.

quote:

Though it isn’t mandatory, picking a “truth” behind the GodMachine can be part of the cosmic tier experience. This is what is commonly referred to as “Learning That Which Mankind What Not Meant To Know.” Maybe religion is the key and prayers are what keep the God-Machine turning. All religions were created by the God-Machine to ensure a steady supply of fuel. Miracles and angels are basically just a show put on by the God-Machine to ensure compliance. Whatever your troupe’s “truth” happens to be, simply having an inkling as to what’s really going on can be sanity-destroying (depending on the character).

The example organization here are the Mechanists. These are the people who have found and tinkered with the God Machine’s gears and avoided the usual fate of being killed or erased. While evidence of these people date back millennia it wasn’t until the advent of electricity that they were able to actually start interfacing with the machinery they’d taken. Now that technology has continued to progress some have even started tinkering with the God Machine’s programming itself. Unfortunately they don’t really seem to be considering the consequences their actions might have, as some are entirely focused on the power these bits of technology can grant them.

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:

The example group here is the Gnomes of Zurich. Descendants from the first mortals who stole fire from the gods, these people rose in power until they threatened the God Machine itself. They planned to construct a mighty building that would let them ascend to the source of the Divine Fire to warm themselves for all eternity. Thinking themselves all powerful they were surprised when the Machine’s plans turned their tower to rubble and in retaliation they struck the knowledge of the Machine from the minds and writings of humanity believing that this would drain the God Machine of it’s power. Over time they too forgot about the God Machine and began to fight and bicker with each other. Centuries passed and now these people continue their constant fighting with one another, having amassed enormous power over the long period of time. Now their battles are fought on the stock market and in the financial sector as much as they are fought with more conventional weapons. They assassinate and rig elections, all while trying the drain the money from the other’s coffers.

Isn't this an old anti-Semitic story?

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Count Chocula posted:

Isn't this an old anti-Semitic story?
Insomuch as Swiss bankers are often accused (and were sometimes guilty of) hiding Nazi war booty:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomes_of_zurich

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


The longer the Forsaken 2e review goes, the more I want to revisit it. My friends and I played just enough Apocalypse to be thoroughly confused at what we were supposed to be doing in Forsaken. It sounds like the new edition is more clear about what the general idea is going to be: grow your territory, fix its problems, and walk the hundred tightropes that define life as a werewolf. The big problem I still see was pointed out by somebody else a little while ago- it all seems very reactionary. I'm looking forward to seeing if there's any GM advice on how to run a chronicle with a clearly defined purpose rather than a sandbox.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Agreed that this is looking interesting. When I was running my Hunter campaign, I treated werewolves as "These guys are trying to do the right thing, and are probably genuinely necessary, but man they're a bunch of bloodthirsty assholes who cause most of their own problems by being bloodthirsty, assholes, or both."

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Just Dan Again posted:

The longer the Forsaken 2e review goes, the more I want to revisit it. My friends and I played just enough Apocalypse to be thoroughly confused at what we were supposed to be doing in Forsaken. It sounds like the new edition is more clear about what the general idea is going to be: grow your territory, fix its problems, and walk the hundred tightropes that define life as a werewolf. The big problem I still see was pointed out by somebody else a little while ago- it all seems very reactionary. I'm looking forward to seeing if there's any GM advice on how to run a chronicle with a clearly defined purpose rather than a sandbox.

While I can't remember off the top of my head if the storyteller section talks about it directly, I can think of a hundred and one ways to give a pack a solid purpose. Once Mors reaches the Idigam, for instance, you'll have a small mountain of inspiration.

E: and yeah, Forsaken 2e is a vast improvement to 1e in terms of focus, among other things.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





BOMBER


High-fived too hard.

The Bomber Delta has the power to explode. In bad hands, they're responsible for one of the worst crossovers in Marvel history. In good hands, they're damage machines that should probably have a friend handy to drag them around.

A fully intact healthy Bomber can have up to five charges that detonate with the force of a stick of dynamite. With a full action, they can detonate one attached limb at a time: legs, arms, torso or head. There's no attack action, the player just has to say "I explode my X". The blast has a radius of 3 (18 foot radius), deals massive damage and goes off point-blank on the Bomber's body. If the head or the torso explodes, the Bomber collapses and after an exploding 1d6 roll, the rest of the Bomber's body explodes in that many rounds.



A Bomber is immune to their own explosions but they're not immune to shrapnel, rubble, fallout or public nudity due to exploding clothing. However, they can regenerate by reassembling their molecules Dr. Manhattan-style. It takes a hour to regrow a limb, two for a head and four for a torso. They can all regenerate at the same time, so the longest a Bomber can be out of commission is for four hours. The Bomber is immune to all physical damage because if one of their limbs get pulped it just automatically explodes. In order to kill a Bomber, you need to kill them with electric shock, fire, suffocation, poison. But then there's the fact that a Bomber can just say "oh I'm poisoned? I explode my head" and regenerate good as new so you need to knock them out or stun them into submission before they can explode. For Tricks, they get:

Big Bang: On a TN 10 Spirit roll, the Bomber can explode all of their remaining parts at once for a bigger explosion. The roll is just 2d6 times Size, but the flat damage bonus for every remaining part gets added together. So if you blow up your head and have all your other parts, the resulting roll would be (2d6+12)xSize.

Shaped Charge: Make a close combat roll before exploding a limb to make the blast only target one person but adding 1d6+1 damage to the damage roll result before multiplying it by Size. So this would look like ((2d6+X)+1d6+1)xSize.


When she hits the ground, does that mean she's dropped the bomb?

Thoughts on the Bomber: The Bomber is slightly too complicated for its own good but fortunately that's mostly bypassed by being able to just say "I explode". It's ridiculous but I like the Bomber. I like how it's just a disproportionately dangerous power set you can just take, I like how you can just survive a near death experience by exploding and come back fine, I like how it's just loving ridiculous. "Let's protest the government; I have the power to explode!" It's wonderfully impractical too and for maximum damage output, you want to take you're going to want to be Hefty up to Size 7. Because the Radius is Size 3, that means you have an 18 foot radius of explosive death dangerous up to 54 feet dealing massive damage (not to mention environmental damage). While you're at it? Strip naked or just wear underwear you don't want anymore. Wear body paint or just spray-paint your symbol on your chest. Be the biggest, stupidest target you can be and run into the bullets of the police so your torso ends up getting pulped and you explode in a glorious conflagration of stupidity. Because, I mean, at Size 7 you're like 400 pounds and arbitrarily tall. Your Pace is reduced but gently caress it pump up Speed because Speed rules combat. You're a big naked person that, on average, deals 49-56 massive damage whenever you decide to explode your torso or 35-49 massive damage with an arm. By comparison? A Blaster deals 13-14 damage, assuming average rolls. It's the stupidest thing and I love it.

The only thing I can say about the premade is that she's not my stupid idea of a Size 7 naked whackjob running at the enemy and I like her character art direction. She's pretty well statted in my opinion, plus with First Move she can just explode limbs from the word go and then run closer if she still has both legs. Though let's be fair: you loving end combat encounters with the price of one arm. Anything that needs two arms might as well involve a full-body explosion.

CHANGELING


New Hitman's got an interesting angle.

The Changeling is a shapeshifter capable of warping their body and skin color to imitate anyone they've met before. In order to copy someone, they have to spend at least five minutes in the target's presence and they have to be acknowledged by them. Alternately, the changeling can study fifteen minutes of videos and then get the target to look them in the eyes and acknowledge them. The imitation lasts as long as the Delta maintains concentration and the Delta has to find clothes that fit. If they're stunned, go to sleep or end up under a "mind altering drug", the shapeshifting stops. I like how it's not clear if the Changeling can't take acid but weed or meth is fine. Important: if they copy a Delta, they can't copy the powers.

The Changeling gets +5 to Mimic and +5 to Disguise. For Tricks they get:

Comfortable Deception: If the Changeling ever gets three extra successes on one of the rolls, they get +5 to that roll for imitating that person in that way going forward.

Convincing Act: If one of the two rolls has three extra successes higher than an opponent's Scrutinize, it takes incontrovertible proof that the Changeling is not who they say they are to make them see any flaws with their deception.


I think this is supposed to be JFK but A: it looks like Reagan (he comes later) and B: it makes no sense, how are you going to get him to acknowledge your presence? It's probably just a reference to the fact that Facade is an Alpha Changeling. Does that mean Facade is just Some Guy? Probably, he is a Changeling.

Thoughts on the Changeling: The fact that you need two stats that are under different categories means you have to focus on Spirit and Smarts over the others. You're very, very focused on being able to do one thing only and do it well. Needing to sleep is the killer and needing to have access to someone alive to use your powers is also problematic. It's got some good roleplay shenanigan potential at least. I like the idea on paper but needing both of these skills is a deal breaker for me, it strikes me as a little MAD. Also you're not getting those goddamn three extra successes (or six) for the Tricks, the probability is just rear end because even with +10 the GM has to set a TN and you've still got to roll at least 2 extra successes.

See, I mean, look at this guy. He's very good at shapeshifting, he's kind of rear end or okay at everything else. He can turn into other people but Jesus at the very least pump points into Persuasion so he can at least pull off anything he'd need to do that isn't shooting. Because let's be honest, he's not doing much more than social stuff. Also why the gently caress does he have Grapple? A guy like this doesn't need Grapple. It's not even practically to grab someone from behind and copy them.

CHARMER


This is re-used from the core rulebook as Charmer art for some drat reason.

Get people to do what you want through better abuse of Diplomacy. You can't just flat-out Charm people into doing what you want, but if you make it seem plausible it might make them change their minds.

The Charmer gets +10 to Persuasion: Charm and only works through roleplaying. For Tricks they get:

Momentary Lapse of Reason: If you beat the target's resistance by three extra successes, you can get them to do something out of context for one round.

Trust Me: 3+ successes can charm a person at any time. Can be used with Reason but requires six successes total.


Yeah of course she's dressed like this because why the gently caress not.

Thoughts on the Charmer: Any time you give someone a big-rear end bonus to Diplomacy is a dangerous thing. I mean, hell, even in the lore Charmers pop up and influence a buttload of stuff (Yoshi, MLK, other people). I frankly don't have much to say about this. You know exactly what kind of character this is. Hell one of the famous examples of Aberrant's imbalance involved a guy with Super Charisma.

And this is probably the best example of the kind of character to have a flat +15 to Persuasion: Charm. See, she actually has a god drat chance of pulling off those Tricks that need three extra successes, especially if the defender just rolls rear end to resist. It's kind of disgusting. Her Trick arrangement is downright disgusting. She has an ongoing +2 bonus to new people thanks to New Friend and she can use extra successes on Spirit rolls to lower the TN of the next Spirit roll. Persuasion is a Spirit skill. If she doesn't make the Momentary Lapse of Reason with enough successes, she can just spend the ones she has to lower the next contested Persuasion roll and try and gain even more successes. If it wasn't for the random result nature of this, it would be flat-out munchkin broken. As it is, it's a disgustingly competent synergistic exploit that makes her incredibly dangerous because she can do the thing more dangerous than murdering everyone: she can control the progression of the story and potentially derail it by influencing the players.

HACKER


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUlRnb8OfNE

The Hacker hacks. Yep. The book recommends making using computers more exciting than they actually are and recommends either info hunting or cracking.

The Hacker gets +10 to Computing. For Tricks they get:

Crack and Hack: With 3 extra successes on a crack, you can change the password to something only you know.

Ghost Hack: Spend three extra successes to cover your hacking tracks so thoroughly, nobody knows you did it.


Alright you broke the house-rule of "no Monty Python references", you pay for pizza next time.

Thoughts on the Hacker: Congrats The Hacker, you're the designated Worst Class in this book. The idea isn't bad, per se. I've seen a lot of hilarious poo poo done in Shadowrun with good hackers. The downside is that your focus is incredibly narrow in this game of oppressed super people. While I have no doubt that your powers are a boon on paper, in execution your use will be everyone at the table waiting for your player to make two or three rolls before the plot can progress and you resume being a background character. This really might as well be a class for NPCs.

Hell even your premade reflects that. She has the trick that lets them ask the GM for a hint, she gets stunned more easily, she even has shooting but she doesn't even have a gun. I got nothing more to say about you, sorry. You're a shining example of how lovely of an idea you are.

PHASER


Gonna getcha.

The Phaser can walk through walls, with restrictions. They're immune to physical attacks (but not, like, fire or forcefields) when phasing but can only talk or walk. If the Phaser loses concentration inside of a solid object, they take 5d6+10 damage to the affected parts but are not shunted free like teleportation. Finally, if they try to walk through anything with live wires, they take 3d6+3 damage and if this damage stuns them they stop phasing and now they're trapped halfway in a wall with an electrical outlet unable to get free as they're constantly electrocuted and hurt from being halfway in a wall. For Tricks they get:

Phase Friend: Use an extra success on a TN 5 Spirit roll to phase someone you're touching.

Phase Foe: With a hit in close combat and a success on an opposed Spirit roll, phase an enemy and probably drop them into the floor.


Phase Detective, every Tuesday at 8 PM on CBS.

Thoughts on the Phaser: You are a worse Teleporter and let me explain why. For starters, the only way for you to do anything to other people is to beat a Spirit roll. There is no Phase skill unlike Teleporters who use Navigation and that means you are at the mercy of probability to phase a friend or phase an enemy. You need all the dice in Spirit you can get to pull off your tricks. In addition, you have to make an attack and beat a Spirit contest against the enemy to phase them into things. The Teleporter just has to succeed on the attack. A Teleporter with enough Navigation can use their powers freely as long as they can see where they want to go or have been there. The Phaser is in constant danger of horrible electrocution and getting trapped in a wall if they do anything besides walk through a locked door or a locked window (a smart person would Home Alone the doors and windows). The Teleporter can teleport reflexively for defense, you have to actively turn on your powers whenever you want to use them. You also just lack the mobility of the Teleporter, period. Finally, anything big or heavy on your person doesn't go with you. The main thing is that being at the mercy of probability and having to put your focus in the non-combat stat means that your actual combat abilities suffer. Oh also you can't Phase to avoid a Blaster's blasts because that's energy so have fun with that.

Case in point. 5 Spirit? Good for reliable phasing. 0 in Shooting and you have a gun? Instant combat liability because you're firing off probability on 2d6. You're melee focused and you can't even phase enemies into the floor. You are a loving mess of design.

SNUFFER

The Snuffer can willing negate another Delta's powers. There are a lot of Snuffers in Defiance but there's still some in Delta Prime and the existence of Snuffers inspired the Gadgeteer invention of the Delta Power Dampening Field.

The Snuffer's main power is the ability to negate a single Delta's abilities in line of sight with a contested Spirit roll (the Snuffer gets +5 to this roll). If the Snuffer wins, the other Delta's powers just shut off. A Goliath becomes normal again, a Scrapper stops regenerating, a Bomber can't explode. Snuffing costs an action and the Snuffer can walk, talk and attack while maintaining the dampening. As long as the Delta is within 50 yards of the Snuffer, they're normal. The dampening goes away if the Snuffer wants it or if they're stunned. If the Snuffer goes up against an Alpha, the Alpha gets +25 to resist. Other Deltas are aware that a Snuffer is a Snuffer instinctively, giving the Snuffer -5 to Persuasion to charm them but +5 to intimidate them. For Tricks get:

Super Snuff: Use three extra successes to knock out the Delta's powers for a hour.

Pre-Snuff: Hold off on snuffing the Delta's powers by using an extra success to delay the snuffing until you want to reveal it.


Rowdy Roddy Piper/David Hasslehoff is...The Snuffer.

Thoughts on the Snuffer: Spirit is a good skill for you but like the Phaser you don't want to dump everything in that because you get a flat +5 to suppressing powers. The ability to turn off powers is dangerous and is equally good for cheesing fights. Ideally, you want to give yourself a combat focus on well to subdue/kill the enemy Delta as fast as you can. I like the Snuffer, it's a good type of Delta to have in a group to have as a well-rounded debuffer. The one question I have is if Snuffers can turn off a Gadgeteer's technology by suppressing the Gadgeteer's ability. This is an unresolved question and it doesn't matter too much to me.

I really like this guy's moxie, he's basically what a Defiance Snuffer would be like. Strip their powers and put three in their head with your gun when they're a normal human again. I would give him more in Shooting but as a whole I like his character and his statting. Plus he has a whole Intimidation angle going on and he has a natural bonus to that with his Bad Vibes. Smart choice.

AWARDS

Most Likely To Kill A Room Full Of People Without Breaking A Sweat: Definitely the Bomber.

Best Battlefield Control/Exploitation: Hmmm. For actual fighting? The Snuffer for being able to lock down targets. Honorable mention: a properly specced Charmer forcing a fight to stop by turning it into a discussion.

Most Pigeonholed Into One Job: loving everyone this time around. Exploding, shapeshifting, charisma, hacking, phasing and snuffing. Everyone wins this one and in that sense nobody actually wins.

Melee Class Most Affected By Dex-Focus in Game Engine: There's not a designated melee class this time around, but the Phase Foe needs melee so I'll say the Phaser.

Peak 90s: The Bomber for heroically exploding and regenerating and exploding and regenerating and causing collateral damage all in the name of justice. Honorable mentions: the Hacker premade for their attitude, the Snuffer premade for focusing on stripping Deltas of their powers and shooting them in the head.

Most Cribbed Directly From Deadlands: Nope, not applicable this time around thankfully.

Best Optional Combat Rule Shenanigans: The Charmer for being able to derail your fight against the BBEG by batting their eyelashes and asking if they can have a word. Honorable mention: cheesing what counts as "physical damage" in regards to a Bomber's regeneration.

Most Broken Class (Not In A Good Way): Eesh. Uh. There's nobody outright broken this time around but I am gonna say the Changeling for being somewhat MAD in execution and for having strict copying requirements. These limitations inhibit the class past the point of any recommendation.

NEXT TIME: setting secrets, GM stuff, yadda yadda.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


My Delta is a 550 pound Australian Bomber

His name is 'Splodehog.

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


Your Avatar is already a Bomber.

Crasical posted:

My Delta is a 550 pound Australian Bomber

His name is 'Splodehog.

Oh good, I wasn't the only one replacing Patriot with Soldier 76 and everyone else with Reaper.

With all the Patriot and Unabomber stuff, I'm wondering if the author does have a bunch of extreme views he built the game around.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 04:57 on May 31, 2016

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Kurieg posted:



Chapter ???: Get off the loving tracks

We just did a podcast on Beast
Come listen to me say "Like" and "You know" a bunch because I'm bad at forming sentences in my head!

We do talk about the whole book though, so if you want to remain unspoiled (hah) you might want to wait until later to listen!

This is why I haven't been posting in a while, and I'm probably going to take some time off from this after shotgunning the entire book in two days.
I've listened to this twice now because it's fascinating to hear you folks just take the game apart piece by piece, but holy poo poo is the recording quiet. It's so soft that when I was listening in my car (tablet plugged into the audiocassette player via an adapter), I had to turn up things up to the point that a mild hiss of static also came through.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


I can't hear any hiss on my end when I turn up the volume, it was probably because you were playing it through a tape adapter combined with the fact that most tablets limit the amount of volume they themselves output through the headphone jack so that it won't blow people's ears out.

One complaint I have heard is my dire need of a shock mount for my microphone.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Kurieg posted:

I can't hear any hiss on my end when I turn up the volume, it was probably because you were playing it through a tape adapter combined with the fact that most tablets limit the amount of volume they themselves output through the headphone jack so that it won't blow people's ears out.

One complaint I have heard is my dire need of a shock mount for my microphone.
The thing is that I've never had to turn it up that loud before, even for audiobooks (which tend to be quiet). I had similar volume issues when listening on my desktop, for instance. According to some fiddling on Audacity you're at least a full 10 dB quieter than Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast, which is one of the softer things in my library.

That said, I checked several other episodes on your site and it sounds as if #72 is an outlier; the rest are at a more standard volume. Perhaps you guys had the gain turned down on this particular episode or something?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


In the one game of Brave New World I played in, my character was a Bomber named Ferdinand Molotov. I mostly used the exploding powers as intimidation bonuses.

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


MonsieurChoc posted:

In the one game of Brave New World I played in, my character was a Bomber named Ferdinand Molotov. I mostly used the exploding powers as intimidation bonuses.

I read a Captain America (?) book as a kid with a guy who could make his hand explode. I think his name was Nitro?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


NGDBSS posted:

The thing is that I've never had to turn it up that loud before, even for audiobooks (which tend to be quiet). I had similar volume issues when listening on my desktop, for instance. According to some fiddling on Audacity you're at least a full 10 dB quieter than Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast, which is one of the softer things in my library.

That said, I checked several other episodes on your site and it sounds as if #72 is an outlier; the rest are at a more standard volume. Perhaps you guys had the gain turned down on this particular episode or something?

I'm not sure but I'll pass that along to Chris and Mike since I'm not in charge of the actual creation of the podcasts themselves.

dr_ether
May 31, 2013



I've done another pass on the audio, upping the gain and also adding in the missing audio bumper.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Nitro is a Captain Marvel villain who can explode and exist as a gas man before reforming. At one point one of his explosions kills 600 innocent people, mostly children, and that's the catalyst that kicks off Civil War.

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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Weirdly, none of the DC characters called "The Human Bomb" actually explode. They just make anything they touch with bare skin blow up.

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