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gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

In 2012, Goodman Games released Dungeon Crawl Classics, a game that used a simplified version of D&D 3rd Edition mechanics (no Trip rules, for example) and married it with character generation that prevented optimization via random rolls and a "survival of the fittest" level zero campaign start. It also drew heavily on more "old-school" fantasy tropes, where the adventurers only ever went down dungeons, the monsters were weird and varied, and corridors were laden with traps.

[a link to Capfalcon's partial F&F review of the DCC system]

What some people might not know is that Dungeon Crawl Classics was also the name of a series of adventure modules that Goodman Games has been publishing since 2003, back in the heady days of 3rd Edition and the d20 boom. The ethos of these modules were:

quote:

Remember the golden days of role playing, when adventures were underground, NPCs were there to be killed, and the finale of every dungeon was the dragon on the 20th level? Well, those days are back. Dungeon Crawl Classics feature bloody combat, intriguing dungeons, and no NPCs who arenít meant to be killed. Each adventure is 100% good, solid dungeon crawl, with the monsters you know, the traps you fear, and the secret doors you know must be there somewhere.

Goodman Games released more than 50 of these modules for 3rd Edition from 2003 to 2008, and then when D&D 4th Edition was released, was one of the first publishers to make third-party content for that edition under the new GSL. They made about 15 modules for 4th Edition from 2008 to 2011. Now, I don't know how well they did under the GSL, but the year after that, the company effectively pulled a Paizo as far as developing Dungeon Crawl Classics as its own separate game whose licensing rights they had full control over, on top of having game mechanics that more closely fit their way of developing modules.

I will be reviewing the very first Dungeon Crawl Classics module, titled Idylls of the Rat King, written by Jeffrey Quinn back in 2003.



The cover art is by Jeff Doten. It does look like a very deliberate callback to TSR module covers.

The book starts off with old-school, square blueprint maps (is there a specific term for this kind of thing?)



and then has a plot synopsis and a reference table for the map location, composition, page number and Encounter Level for every encounter in the book.

There's a Scaling Information section to tell you how to change the game to accommodate either fewer characters, or more/higher-level characters, usually by eliminating or adding more encounters, or reducing/increasing the number or level of monsters in each encounter.

The intended party is four to six characters of levels 1 to 3. The book outright recommends the need for a Rogue and a Good-aligned Cleric. There's also a strong suggestion for "At least one strong fighter with a silvered weapon" as "helpful, but not necessary". I'm not sure how you'd manage to swing inserting that kind of specific character build into your game without spoilers; maybe if you were importing a level 2 or 3 character that just finished a different module, but it's first book in a series that starts at level 1, and that practically implies you're going in with newly-created characters.

Then there is a Getting the Players Involved section, with three plot hooks to get the players diegetically involved. They are variations on a theme:

* A merchant staying at the inn of the town of Silverton will hire the players to slay goblins that have been known to be operating out of an abandoned silver mine north of town, for they have been attacking silver caravans passing through the region.

* A young noble will stumble through the door of the town midwife. He is heavily wounded, and will tell his story of how his caravan was attacked by goblins and left him for dead. He'll say the goblins left thataway, and the midwife will pitch in about how she knows that that direction leads to an abandoned silver mine. The noble will beg the players to investigate and avenge him and his comrades before passing out.

* As the players enter the town, they are immediately met by the leader of the Miner's Guild. He'll say that his workers have been assaulted and his operations sabotaged by goblins, and he suspects that they're operating out of a silver mine north of town that had been abandoned many years ago. He agrees to reward the players if they get rid of the threat.

Very straightforward, but then that's to be expected with the tone of the game.

There is also a section on Player Death, which informs the GM of what to do with the players in the event of a unconsciousness and death. Players that are knocked out but not killed end up in a prison section of the dungeon, and players that flee can either get direct healing from the midwife, or rest at the town's inn. Players that are outright killed are still completely lost from a gameplay perspective, but the book does tell you what their fate will be.

What then follows is a one page background story of the events that lead up to Silverton, along with a For the GM's Eyes Only quarter-page that lets the GM know what's really going on.

But I will save that for later. What I want out of this F&F is to go through the module as a semi-omniscient player, and see what we can find out in that manner.

As a player, the beginning we get is:

quote:

Through the dense underbrush and tangled trees you have followed the beaten trail of the goblins that have been plaguing the town of Silverton. Before you is the open mouth of the abandoned Gannu family silver mine. The time has come to be heroes



Internal art is credited to Brad McDevitt

Up next: Abandoned Silver Mine, Level 1: The Goblin Lair

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Emy
Apr 21, 2009


Mors Rattus posted:

Demon: The Descent



I'd like to take a moment to note Demon: the Descent's developers: Rose Bailey and Matt McFarland. The latter being the same person who developed Beast: the Primordial. I'm not sure what content he's responsible for in Demon, but despite being responsible for various badness in Beast and his responses to the internet reaction to Beast, it seems like he did some solid work here. Kickstarter backers probably got whiplash coming from Demon to Beast.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Adnachiel posted:

As for Demon, I only just got around to reading it the other day and I've liked what I've seen so far. Though I sort of miss the obvious opportunities to explore organized religion, faith, and how humanity expresses such things that Fallen had. Not that I've ever had to opportunity to play it. It's one of the WoD games no one gives a poo poo about.

Well as far as I understand, "Demons" is just a fancy term for "Rad Undercover Rebelbots", only called Demons because they happened to have worked for a God-Machine once.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 15:23 on Jun 11, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Demon: The Descent

First, a brief overview of Incarnations and Agendas. We'll go into more detail later.
Incarnations: What You Are
  • Destroyers: Those who used to be angels whose job was to kill or destroy.
  • Guardians: Those who used to be angels whose job was to protect and guard.
  • Messenger: Those who used to be angels whose job was to deliver instructions to mortals.
  • Psychopomp: Those who used to be angels whose job was to ensure that materials were at the right place at the right time.
Agendas: What You Want
  • Inquisitors: Demons that want to understand and gather intelligence on the God-Machine out of paranoid fear, intellectual knowledge or info-dealing greed.
  • Integrators: Demons that wish to rejoin the God-Machine, but as themselves and often having changed the Machine first.
  • Saboteurs: Demons that wish to tear down and destroy the God-Machine.
  • Tempters: Demons that wish to enjoy human existence to the fullest.

Demon self-identity is a hard thing. Some demons identify especially strongly with one of their Covers, while others treat them as suits to wear, protective masks rather than part of their identity. A Cover is an entire life - sex, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic class. It's very handy for dealing with human society, and some demons focus on covers that match some element of their self-identity...though no demon would refuse a Cover that violated that identity if it meant survival. However, even demons who have a strong identification with a Cover can't rely completely on it for dealing with humans. A Cover only contains the bare minimum of what you need to exist. If your cover is The Strict Boss, you come with the right kind of home and car and so on, but you don't have any extras - no magazine subscriptions, no furnishings beyond the absolute requirements, no strong friendships. Some demons put in the time to flesh out a Cover into an actual existence, forging emotional ties and so on. It's a smart thing to do, as it keeps your Cover strong - human attention can damage a shallow Cover, if they realize something is weird about you or inconsistent. Shoring up a Cover this way is just prudent insurance. However, you always have to worry about overstepping your bounds. The Stict Boss cover can't show too much compassion for their employees or the Cover might start to fray at the edges. You can make small adjustments, gradually shift the Cover over time - maybe the Strict Boss gets a bit less strict, even makes friends - but they can't change what type of life it is. The Strict Boss can't quit and go become a painter.

Some demons take this as a reason not to identify with your human life at all. It complicates things. However, isolating yourself emotionally isn't healthy, and most demons try to balance their fear of complications with their need to be around others. Obviously, you can get new covers - most commonly, by taking the life of anyone who's bargained awy their soul. All you need to do is touch them, invoke the pact, and...bam. It's done. Some demons do not like this ability and use it only as a last resort, while others love stepping into new, fully realized lives. Most demons who use it are willing to admit that they're parasitic life-thieves, though they may not feel much guilt over it. Some demons, however, take a strange view. When they take a human's life, they identify as the victim. They try to protect the people that human loved, actively pursue their favored causes. If they thought the human was a bad person, they might try to live their life 'better,' though what that means varies from demon to demon.

Messengers were the demons who, as angels, often interacted most closely with humans. They were method actors, having to emulate emotion well enough to fool humans...and often, fooling themselves, as well. They are the most likely demons to prize human relationships, and so to treat Cover as a vital necessity to those relationships. Demons do not often trust humans with the truth, and even then, a good Cover is necessary - even if your friend knows you're a mechanical monster that can become a four-armed, winged, firebreathing machine, they probably prefer to look at a human face. Messengers often identify very strongly with their Covers, and are the most likely to treat those Covers as 'real' on some level, even when they're made from stolen human lives. They are often careful and respectful with their Covers, not just of necessity but genuine attachment. They also often sympathzie strongly with humans, and frequently like people, no matter how they feel about their own place in the universe. They move easily through human cultures, and it's hard for them to not admire human complexity. Antiomian Messengers often turn their backs on lying and manipulating in favor of brutal honesty, but even they rarely turn their backs on humans. In fact, they are often the demons with the most compassion for humanity.

Guardians and Destroyers both typically tend to see Covers as a means to an end. Both types of angel often spent long periods imitating humans, but never as more than a shield to hide their angelic natures. Many Guardians come to enjoy human company, but even as demons they tend to be rather utilitarian in their view on Covers - that's not their true self, just a mask to keep safe. Destroyers are similar, but somewhat less likely to enjoy human company - they only ever imitated them long enough to get close, after all. Even when they do identify strongly with humans, they still tend to see the Cover as a tool and not a goal. Most of them can never really escape their existence as creatures of violence, though whether humans frustrate or impress them varies. Some are protective, others not so much. Antinomian Guardians and Destroyers tend to reject force and violence entirely. Ultimately, however, even they define their relationship wth humans by their awareness of how brave and fragile humans can be, and it usually keeps them from identify as human.

Psychopomps gathered resources and rearranged the world, and most of them prefer Covers that let them pursue the odd obsessions they often have. Most of them do not identify strongly with their Covers - they're the most alien angels to begin with, and the Fall doesn't change that. The Cover is no more than a means to the end of realizing their obsessions - or perhaps is a project itself, but it's not who they are. However, Psychopomps are often extremely fascinated by humanity and their creations. The difference is that they don't like humans as much - they're more...interested. They don't want to be human, just study them, for the most part.

Inquisitors prefer Covers that get access to information. Their paranoia also makes them likely to focus on Covers that are innocuous and harmless, to better hide their natures. They prefer strong Covers and work hard to keep them, though generally more out of necessity than necessarily identifying with them - info gathering is slow and longterm. Inquisitors often feel superior to humans, as they understand the universe more deeply than most humans could imagine and are able to break the world's rules with their secret knowledge. Indeed, they often lose sight of human life as something to value much, due to their focus on the secrets and conspiracies around them. Most want to either find a way to control the Machine or at least become invisible to it, but neither group really thinks this will affect humans much. They prefer to be subtle and unnoticed, because the human world is not theirs, and their Hell is not one that relates to humans at all.

Integrators are the demons most likely to have incomplete and sketchy Covers. For them, a Cover is merely a survival tool, and they often actively avoid developing attachments to it for fear of losing sight of their goal. Those that put work into Covers tend to do it in the belief that the Machine would be pleased by this, if it is capable of being pleased. Some also prefer engineering and tech jobs in hopes of emulating the perfection of the Machine's mechanisms, or roles in authority to help support the hierarchy of the world. They are often split on how closely to identify with their Covers. After all, is not part of doing their job well maintaining a proper Cover? They tend to work very hard to 'fit' their Covers, in hopes of impressing the Machine with competence. Others believe they shouldn't lose sight of their nature, and that they risk distraction by becoming too closely involved with their Cover lives. Integrators do often have the most sympathy for humans, however, due to their distaste for the human condition. They understand it, and they sympathize with humanity - the difference is, Integrators have a way out, if they can rejoin the Machine properly. Some go further, in fact, viewing themselves more as humans with the potential to become more rather than Fallen angels. A few try to make themselves believe the Machine's plans are good for all, in the long run, and that reconnection will benefit humanity. Others believe that they might be able to bring some measure of their own humanity back to the Machine.

Saboteurs are intensely paranoid, given their position as enemies of the Machine directly. Many take on the most innocuous Covers possible, to avoid attention. They put a lot of effort into their Covers and are most likely to have multiple redundant Covers and contingencies. Some Saboteurs identify closely with human rebels and take on Covers as anarchists or malcontents, largely to stay in touch with humans that have useful skillsets and motivations. They treat their Covers somewhat paradoxically. By demon standards, they are angry, passionate, overemotional. Many see humans as fellow warriors against the Machine. However, their existence is hard on their Covers, and humans are very dangerous when they get curious. Saboteurs are easy targets due to being so confrontational, and often they must rely on Exploits, which fray Cover inherently. They often form intense but very short-lived attachments to their Covers, living them fully while they exist, then moving on. Saboteurs tend to have very strong feelings on humans, either positive or negative, depending on if they want to free humans or see them as weak and stupid sheep. The latter often become callous towards the side effects of their plans, and most Saboteur actions end up having some negative consequences either way.

Tempters are extremely attached to their Covers, and favor those that allow them to live in comfort...however they define comfort. What matters to them, ultimately, is that the cover be strong, rich and full of life. (Rich not always in the material sense.) Because they are ultimately self-serving, however, they work very hard on ssafety, and often have multiple redundant plans for when their Covers are compromised. They like to gather pacts and promises, so they can always find a new Cover if needed. However, they do tend to identify strongly with both their Covers and the humans involved with them. They are the most likely of any Agenda to live fully as their Covers and want to protect them, though also the most likely to have backups in place. Their feelings towards humans tend to be complex. Sure, they live parasitically off humans a lot of the time, and often buy up bits of life just to improve their own lives. On the other hand, they deal closely with humans very often. They tend to either view humans as nothing more than marks to con or develop very strong sympathies for humans and engage in complex self-justification for their pactmaking behavior.

Next time: What is a demon?

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 16:12 on Jun 11, 2016

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


I'll freely admit I actually laughed a bit out loud at the "TILT!" here.

It's definitely something to see all the sins of the iconic antagonists actually laid out like that, don't feel bad about indulging yourself there at all. If anything, it's honestly a really good post for hammering home the dissonance between what's said in the world building and what actually happens when the authors are faffing about.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Mors Rattus posted:

  • Psychopimp: Those who used to be angels whose job was to ensure that materials were at the right place at the right time.


A strong typo, or an unflattering description of logistics workers?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



...whoops.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:

* A merchant staying at the inn of the town of Silverton will hire the players to slay goblins that have been known to be operating out of an abandoned silver mine north of town, for they have been attacking silver caravans passing through the region.

* A young noble will stumble through the door of the town midwife. He is heavily wounded, and will tell his story of how his caravan was attacked by goblins and left him for dead. He'll say the goblins left thataway, and the midwife will pitch in about how she knows that that direction leads to an abandoned silver mine. The noble will beg the players to investigate and avenge him and his comrades before passing out.

* As the players enter the town, they are immediately met by the leader of the Miner's Guild. He'll say that his workers have been assaulted and his operations sabotaged by goblins, and he suspects that they're operating out of a silver mine north of town that had been abandoned many years ago. He agrees to reward the players if they get rid of the threat.

So the players are supposed to immediately kill all these NPCs, right?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Part of that is that nWoD has made a really, really big effort to avoid talking about religion or confirming/denying it. I actually really appreciate their doing that.

I certainly approve of this. Religion is much more interesting when it isn't easily confirmed or denied.

Also, it prevents some of the hilarious holes of logic like old Vampire basically being 'Yeah, God exists and Genesis happened, but no-one actually cares. Have you heard about Nod!?'

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



theironjef posted:

So the players are supposed to immediately kill all these NPCs, right?
Well, totally. If we kill all the people who know about the old silver mine, we can take the mine for ourselves!

GM: Guys this place is literally named Silverton.

"In about ten minutes it's going to be renamed Population Zero. Keep the buildings intact for the infrastructure, someone start digging graves while someone else goes to buy hirelings to work the mine."

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Fossilized Rappy posted:

I'll freely admit I actually laughed a bit out loud at the "TILT!" here.

It's definitely something to see all the sins of the iconic antagonists actually laid out like that, don't feel bad about indulging yourself there at all. If anything, it's honestly a really good post for hammering home the dissonance between what's said in the world building and what actually happens when the authors are faffing about.

What do you expect if main iconic girl Lucinda dresses like someone who fights Sailor Moon ever other week?

Mors Rattus posted:

Demon: The Descent

First, a brief overview of Incarnations and Agendas. We'll go into more detail later.
Incarnations: What You Are
  • Destroyers: Those who used to be angels whose job was to kill or destroy.
  • Guardians: Those who used to be angels whose job was to protect and guard.
  • Messenger: Those who used to be angels whose job was to deliver instructions to mortals.
  • Psychopomp: Those who used to be angels whose job was to ensure that materials were at the right place at the right time.
Agendas: What You Want
  • Inquisitors: Demons that want to understand and gather intelligence on the God-Machine out of paranoid fear, intellectual knowledge or info-dealing greed.
  • Integrators: Demons that wish to rejoin the God-Machine, but as themselves and often having changed the Machine first.
  • Saboteurs: Demons that wish to tear down and destroy the God-Machine.
  • Tempters: Demons that wish to enjoy human existence to the fullest.

Now those are splats I can get behind. This is looking swell.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


I freely admit I was listening to Person of Interest's soundtrack on a loop while writing Demon.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Dave Brookshaw posted:

I freely admit I was listening to Person of Interest's soundtrack on a loop while writing Demon.

As well you loving should have been!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Sinnerman, where ya gonna run to?

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


gradenko_2000 posted:

The book starts off with old-school, square blueprint maps (is there a specific term for this kind of thing?)

I believe the term is 'no-copy blue' because the original maps were supposed to just fail if you tried to photocopy them because the copier couldn't detect the blue? Something like that. No idea if it worked or not.

That shade there is just 'blue' though.

E: Wait, I just realised I completely misread your question. Never mind.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Blueprints were called that specifically because they were copied. They were printed in ferro gallum, which turns blue when light shines on it (the black original blocked the light, leaving white lines.)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Demon: The Descent

As long as a demon has a functioning Cover, they are to all appearances a normal human with a human body and all of its weaknesses. If you wore one long enough, you would age and become weak. While the minor reality glitches that accompany many of their powers can interfere, a demon can choose to die of natural causes like any human. Demons have no idea what happens when they dear, and some fear that if any of them remains after death, that part just returns to the God-Machine to be recycled. More hopeful demons believe that whatever happens to humans happens to them. No demon has ever been known to leave a ghost behind, which could be good or bad depending on who you ask. Most demons, however, believe that they just have no souls or eternal spark, and if they die, they cease existing. Others believe that when the Descent is complete, they will be immortal lords of Hell. Besides the human form granted by Cover, every demon also has a demonic form, the shape they held as an angel. This is much more durable and powerful than a human body, and as a demon's power grows, their form shifts and alters to become more potent, too. Demons can easily take on their demonic form with little effort - the hard part is shoving all that power back into the human body they wear, and of course the fact that taking demonic form risks your Cover. Some demons are much more comfortable in demonic than human form and will even work to create places where it's safe to take them on without worrying about humans or the God-Machine noticing. These places often end up as neutral ground where demons that have radically different views can meet. Without a Cover, however, a demon is trapped in their demonic form - and that's dangerous, because angels are going to notice, and few mortals will sell their soul to a biomechanical monster. There are benefits, though. If you burn out your Cover and go loud, you are exceptionally powerful for a brief period. The problem is, that usually ends and then an angel drags you away.



While a demon's physical nature is quantum-entangled, their mental state resembles that of a human. Sure, they have weird pasts and can think in alien ways, but they generally come to pretty human conclusions and have human reactions. This is reinforced by the way the Cover makes them experience the world in a human manner. No matter how alien you are when you Fall, years of living as a human and experiencing human emotion will humanize you. You may not be a good person, but you are a person. Still, demons do express emotions differently due to the disconnect between body and mind. You feel emotions as strongly as anyone, but you only ever express them when you choose to do so. Your self-control is always perfect. This means that demons are nearly impossible to read, which can be quite handy in their paranoid world, and it makes it easier to keep up the Cover. However, it can also damage your interpersonal relationships. It's hard not to feel manipulative when you have to actively choose whether to let the people around you know how you feel or not. And if you care about them and show them painful sides of you...well, how do you deal with the fact that you are deliberately hurting them by letting them see that? Almost all demons have at least one person, sometimes human or sometimes not, that they can be utterly genuine with, but that's hard to maintain with another demon at best.

While demons often have a strong connection to a few humans, humans are also dangerous to them. You can limit that by telling them the truth, however. Once a demon lets a human in on the secret, that human can't hurt their Cover any more...but that simple act is very dangerous to your Cover in itself. And worse, if the human tells others and they begin to investigate, well, there goes your Cover very quickly. Especially if an angel ends up hearing about it. Thus, demons are very careful about revealing their true natures. Humans are also dangerous because they're fragile. They're mortal, they can be hurt so easily, and hanging around demons is a good way to get hurt. Even fellow demons can't be easily trusted - you can never really be sure who you're dealing with, because they can change faces so easily and lie so well. Sure, you can set up signals and passwords, but you know how easy it is to get those by your powers - and even if they are someone you know, can you trust them? Do you know their plans?

Most demons spend a good chunk of their day living out the Cover. It keeps them safe, after all. They also spend part of their day tracking the God-Machine - any demon has an interest in keeping an eye on local Infrastructure and the movement of local angels, if only to be sure they've not been found out. Then there's time for checking dead drops and any surveillence you're taking part in, and furthering your plans, whatever they happen to be. Demons also often spend time studying their Cipher. Each demon has a unique Cipher, a sort of mystical koan that leads them in their personal Descents, which generally means poking around with angels and mysteries and learning new powers in an effort to decrypt your Cipher. Last, a demon will spend some time hunting for Aether, the energy that fuels their powers. You can live without it indefinitely, but without any, you are vulnerable to attack, so it's best to keep track of good sources. Any free time after this business is done is usually for, you know, trying to enjoy your life.

Descent is the word demons tend to use for the struggle to accomplish their desires for peace, safety and success, however they think it'll be achieved. Some demons work forever in search of the Descent, while others find a balance they can live with for a while to get a break. The counterpart to the idea of the Descent is Hell. Hell is the endpoint. For some, Hell is a state of being - a perspective or set of circumstances that will bring you peace. Others believe in Hell as the name for the world when the Machine has been destroyed or subverted. For some, Hell is another world, a place that demons will eventually escape to. Some believe Hell will be found quietly, that few will notice. Others believe it will come with a bloody war that even humanity won't be able to ignore. The trick is that everyone is looking for Hell - or at least safety, comfort and happiness, which in many ways is the same thing for a demon.



So, what kind of work to demons do to pursue the Descent? First and foremost, gathering intel. Everyone needs good information. Inquisitors want it most, of course, but Saboteurs need good intel to plan their ops. Tempters need it so they can avoid the Machine's attnetion. Integrators need leverage on the Machine if they hope to go home intact. The God-Machine itself, of course, is largely incomprehensible. But it needs to work on human scale via Infrastructure and lackeys. You can spy on those much like any organization. Beyond that, you're going to need to set up dupes and deceptions to avoid the Machine's interest or dissuade it from going after you, whether that means setting up patsies or a smokescreen of forged information and false fronts. Psyops - that's psychological warfare - is also handy, to get the Machine's minions to act the way you want. It's easier on humans than angels - angels have a hard time thinking outside their purpose, so they're generally easier to trick, but a human can be much, much more trouble. If you can knock out the human helpers, the angel has a much harder to time.

And once all that's done? Well, sometimes you need to go directly against the machine. Sabotage, assasisnation, disruption. Never accept a fair fight, because if it's a fair fight, you might lose. You certainly in control of the situation. These jobs can be simple and direct - firebombs and so on - or longterm, subtle and complex, like arranging a neighborhood group to protest new buildings in order to delay a facility's construction until you better understand how to stop it directly. Saboteurs do this stuff most, but Inquisitors need distracts and Tempters need to weaken the Machine so they can thrive. Even Integrators sometimes need to get God's attention by throwing a wrench in, or to slow down an angel so they can talk to it. Nothing gets God's attention like a smoldering wreck.

Angels are the primary foe of most demons. They're the God-Machine's servants as functioning properly. They act in the world, but do not really belong to it. None of it has meaning to them except insofar as it is useful or harmful. They act in service to the mission, without hesitation, but they are not mere automatons. They obey the spirit of the order as well as the letter, and most have the discretion to get obstacles out of their way. The Machine prefers its angels to be subtle when possible, to avoid attention...but they'll happily be flashy if that's what's required to get the job done. Another angel can always come and eliminate the evidence and witnesses, after all. Still, demons know quite well that not all angels are perfect servants. Some of them can't help but wonder how God views them, some secretly care for or dislike certain humans. Even their obedience can cause problems and make them act slightly outside their parameters. A demon can often reason with an angel that has inner doubts, or even help facilitate their Fall. Few demons can avoid encountering angels indefinitely, but most try to keep these interactions brief and uneventful. The loyal servants of the Machine are powerful, more powerful than most demons in their area of expertise, and even if you do take one done, they probably sent a distress signal home.

Not all angels leave the Machine's service by choice. The Fall is always a choice, so those angels don't become demons. These are the angels that get nonsensical or impossible orders, or no orders. Sometimes the occult matrix that summoned them was flawed or distorted, twisting their nature. Sometimes the Machine itself screws up - that happens more often than you'd probably be comfortable with. The point is, these creatures are called Exiles. Some can still hear the Machine's voice. Some can speak back, others cannot. Most have no contact at all with the Machine. They are not Fallen and cannot choose to disobey and Fall because there's nothing for them to disobey. Hunter angels are almost never sent for exiles. No one knows why they happen, or if they're accidental or experiments or the results of sabotage. They might be bait for demons and stigmatics. Or they might not be. They don't have Infrastructure to sustain them, so they need other ways to gain Essence, and most can only harvest Essence under very specific conditions. Their hunger is usually what motivates them, in the absence of comprehensible orders. A handful of exiles are actually demons returned to the service of the Machine. While most Unchained are recycled into angels when caught, the Machine does send a few back with free will intact. They lose some of their abilities and generally suffer the same problems as most exiles - meaningless instruction, warped or broken bodies or minds and so on. No reason.

Qashmallim are a...a thing you might run into. Some demons believe they are angels that somehow slipped the Machine's control and now operate on a different set of rules. They certainly resemble angels, but they seem to cause change and chaos rather than order. They need no Infrastructure to summon or maintain them. A smart demon avoids qashmallim. They won't try to take you in, but they are very powerful and have no clear agenda you could understand. They could do anything and it's probably not going to be good for you. Like an angel, they are single-minded in pursuit of their missions. Sometimes, you can get an angel and qashmal to run into each other and get them to fight, but that is neither easy nor particularly safe.

Next time: Mortals and the problems they cause.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I love the Qashmallim a lot and I love how even Demon is like "yeah even we don't know what the gently caress". Pyros just is, the Qashmallim just are and there being no attempt to explain them is one of my favorite things about Promethean.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Hostile V posted:

I love the Qashmallim a lot and I love how even Demon is like "yeah even we don't know what the gently caress". Pyros just is, the Qashmallim just are and there being no attempt to explain them is one of my favorite things about Promethean.

Well, everyone who's met one knows what they are. They are the Principle. :v:

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Hostile V posted:

I love the Qashmallim a lot and I love how even Demon is like "yeah even we don't know what the gently caress". Pyros just is, the Qashmallim just are and there being no attempt to explain them is one of my favorite things about Promethean.

Yeah. This is Junji Ito level of "I dunno man, weird poo poo just happens."

(And holy crap you could just slap Uzumaki into your God-Machine Chronicle.)

Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:14 on Jun 11, 2016

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Hostile V posted:

I love the Qashmallim a lot and I love how even Demon is like "yeah even we don't know what the gently caress". Pyros just is, the Qashmallim just are and there being no attempt to explain them is one of my favorite things about Promethean.

There's some particularly :stare: comments about qashmallim in the Demon Storyteller's Guide, but Mors will get to those in good time.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Hostile V posted:

I love the Qashmallim a lot and I love how even Demon is like "yeah even we don't know what the gently caress". Pyros just is, the Qashmallim just are and there being no attempt to explain them is one of my favorite things about Promethean.

Wood Ingham (who wrote the qashmallim in Pandora's Book) writes them from the assumption that they are, in fact, angels, and the Principle is God. That's always been one of the options mooted.

I wrote them in Promethean 2e from the assumption that the Principle doesn't exist. That's also always been one of the options.

You'd be hard pressed to find a difference in their presentation. The fact that qashmallim can't answer questions about their origin with anything other than "it is the Principle" makes it the great Schrodinger's Plothook of Promethean. No character will ever know for sure, so best thing to do is just get on with it.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




If the Principle doesn't exist, then where do they come from?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



According to my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within/FF7/Promethean crossover game/93 chapter fanfiction, the Lifestream.

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



Kavak posted:

If the Principle doesn't exist, then where do they come from?

More properly speaking, who ever said the Principle has to be "somewhere to come from?" Qashmallim don't specify that it's a god with a will of its own, or a dimension from which they emerge. It could be an idea, a description of a process by which natural occult forces stir qashmallim to life with their curious missions in place. Or it could just be their word for a quirk of their alien psychology: we exist, that's part of the Principle and that's all we need to know, it's self-explanatory to them.

I was never satisfied with the way the books presented the non-answer of the Principle though. Not that the origin of qashmallim is firmly mysterious and unanswered; I'm perfectly happy with that. Just the way that this is driven in by presenting qashmallim as playing "who's on first?" with anyone who asks about where they came from. "Where did you come from?" "The Principle." "What's the Principle?" "The Principle." "What do you want?" "What the Principle wants." "What does the Principle want?" "What the Principle wants." "Why?" "It's the Principle." Third base. I'd prefer qashmallim that simply fall silent after a time rather than parrot tautologies endlessly. It goes a little past mysterious into farcical.

Regardless, Demon treats the qashmallim as an intriguing, yet entirely optional, crossover hook. They're definitely not angels as demons understand them. They're definitely very similar to angels as demons understand them. And they do some surprising things. Irrelevant coincidence? Convergent evolution? Divergence from a similar origin? Something less obvious? Any would fit, but they're all very different answers.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Does anyone give a poo poo if I picked up the W:TA20 thing in order to give some grounding for a bunch of Tribe and Breed books I just dug up? Or would it be better to forge ahead and :justpost:

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Nessus posted:

Does anyone give a poo poo if I picked up the W:TA20 thing in order to give some grounding for a bunch of Tribe and Breed books I just dug up? Or would it be better to forge ahead and :justpost:
Definitely just post the hell out of whatever, so I can compare it to this copy of Apocalypse (the line-ending book) I just picked up.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Kavak posted:

If the Principle doesn't exist, then where do they come from?

The Great Option 2 is that qashmallim are basically a fancy form of Firestorm - they're the result of a chain-reaction in the world's ambient Pyros, and they're "born" with a mission because Pyros is condensed change. When they say "The Principle", it's putting into words that the only thing they can think about is their mission. No entity named that exists.

Matt has a different personal headcanon to both Wood and I, though, where the Principle and God-Machine both definitely exist. http://theonyxpath.com/the-scintillating-flame-qashmallim-promethean-the-created/

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The thing about the grand cosmology questions about nWoD is that, to a very great extent, the answers are both irrelevant and meaningless no matter what they are.

This does not prevent some people from developing complex and often quite silly maps.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Dave Brookshaw posted:

The Great Option 2 is that qashmallim are basically a fancy form of Firestorm - they're the result of a chain-reaction in the world's ambient Pyros, and they're "born" with a mission because Pyros is condensed change. When they say "The Principle", it's putting into words that the only thing they can think about is their mission. No entity named that exists.

I get it now. Kind of like how I prefer the God-Machine- it selects a goal and moves toward it, though it could be utterly horrifying or utterly meaningless.

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



Definitely :justpost:. I think folks just tend to be interested regardless of whether they speak up. I am.

Mors Rattus posted:

The thing about the grand cosmology questions about nWoD is that, to a very great extent, the answers are both irrelevant and meaningless no matter what they are.

This does not prevent some people from developing complex and often quite silly maps.

This map is true.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




So, you do realize that has to become an actual Metroid hack now, right?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




One of the most unique and powerful aspects of WoD stuff is that the most important thing to most stories is what those assholes over on 5th street are planning.

How you would implement Boneyard in Metroid sadly escapes my grasp.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



wiegieman posted:

One of the most unique and powerful aspects of WoD stuff is that the most important thing to most stories is what those assholes over on 5th street are planning.

How you would implement Boneyard in Metroid sadly escapes my grasp.
Pod 6 is jerks! :argh:

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


Hostile V posted:

According to my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within/FF7/Promethean crossover game/93 chapter fanfiction, the Lifestream.

How loving dare you steal my brilliant ideas

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



So what was used to make that map? It's kind of neat.

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



Robindaybird posted:

So what was used to make that map? It's kind of neat.

A preexisting Metroid map, image captures of the respective book covers, some simple layer blends in the GIMP, and poor priorities in time management.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





BRAVE NEW WORLD: BARGAINERS

Ladies and gentlemen,
boys and girls, step right up and see the sights beyond the mortal realm! The first half of this book is all about the secret shadow world of the Bargainers. The second half is all about executing your deals with the damned, new powers and spells and setting secrets! And it doesnít get any better, folks!

The crux of this book is that itís a website for Bargainers with an introduction by the Bargainer called Mr. Twist and his demonic ally namedÖ

*sighs* Shazbatt.


Yes, Shazbatt.

Yeah alright whatever letís get this show on the road.

THE HISTORY OF THE BARGAINERS

The Bargainers are an organized union of people who are trying to save the world from Biblical Armageddon by cutting deals with demons to get superpowers.

Okay letís back the gently caress up.


And then Mr. Twist died on impact.

Once upon a time the Brave New World universe was smack-dab between a shitload of other dimensional realms. All of those realms were doing their own thing, basically acting in a feudal society as they eyed the other dimensional realms suspiciously. This lasts up until a devil by the name of Lucifer Morningstar said ďhey, power is awesome, but you know whatís better? Uniting our realms under the same nameĒ. Every other realm of darkness said ďhey, thatís a great idea! I should be the leader!Ē When the wars stopped, Lucifer Morningstar was the sole ruler of the united realms of dark forces which he decided to call Hell. Because suddenly all of the dimensions of dark forces have their poo poo together, the dimensions of light forces band together under the leadership of a dude called God and that becomes Heaven. Itís totally unknown what created all of these realms to begin with.

Meanwhile, Universe BNW is just doing its own thing.

So Hell is a united collection of all sorts of creatures of darkness. It's not like all of the dimensions got mashed together; they're still separate but they're a union. Tentacular gribblies? Black goats who scream in the tongues of men? Things that look like Japanese oni? Theyíre all counted as Demons under the banner of Hell the same way one would say ďAfricaĒ but thereís smaller countries. Hell sucks. Lucifer rules everything and lets people fight amongst themselves even though pretty much all of Hell is wildly powerful. So Demons like to do two things rather than just war amongst themselves: gently caress with Heaven (by amassing a formal army and trying to invade it) and gently caress with Earth (by feeding off of our acts of evil).



loving with Heaven doesnít go so well. The war results in most of the forces of both sides being killed and Lucifer cease-fires with God. Heaven and Hell are now in a Cold War of their own creation: angels and demons do not fight each other under threat of 100 years of banishment, do not cross borders into Heaven or Hell and most importantly, the neutral realms (like the BNW universe) are off-limits. Neither side can just invade and claim it under their banner. But you can enter the realm if a native invites you.

So, in a nutshell, Heaven and Hell are the US and the USSR (whichever is which) and the Brave New World realm is, say, a South American country. And the dictator that signs away the mineral rights in exchange for guns to kill their enemies is a person who can invite a Demon or Angel in. Ostensibly, the Bargainers should be on the side of Hell. In actuality, they claim to be dealing with Hell for power to secure a free and independent dimension by not making any major promises.


BAD DUDES

The first Delta is actually Harry Houdini. gently caress the Silver Ghost, itís Houdini. Houdini actually got his awakening when he performed his famous Milk Can Escape with beer instead of milk and the difference of liquids nearly got him killed. So he could hear voices in 1915 but he was the first to summon them and cut a deal with them. Because he was a bull-headed, research-minded guy he managed to figure out how to summon them and how to deal with them. With the first totem and the first powers gained, Houdini goes around and collects mediums and other people he suspect can hear the voices and he starts the Bargainers using his rules of summoning and deals.

So say Becky Average gains her Delta Powers and it turns out sheís a Bargainer. Sheís got another choice to make besides registering or staying hidden: joining the Bargainers for training and understanding of her powers or going solo and probably falling prey to madness. People generally find out about the Bargainers by researching what theyíre going through. You can still join Delta Prime or Defiance and be a Bargainer. Itís just that the Primers are portrayed as being paranoid about things beyond the scope of their job and Defiance doesnít really ask questions.

Joining the Bargainers gets you access to a mentor who will teach you the craft of stage magic and of how to tap into your power. The main reason that Bargainers are stage magicians is multifaceted. First, honor Houdini (who is dead). Second, to learn confidence and how to carry yourself and speak. Third, to understand to not trust your senses and see past what a demon might use against you. Fourth, to learn about misdirection and how to con or finagle with people. Finally, because your powers can be used to give you a job as an entertainer. When this is all done, you learn about how to cut a deal and get your first chance.


"Look for the updog spell, sir." "What's-oh gently caress you."

HOUDINIíS SIX RULES

First: get the deal in writing so the demon canít weasel or renege. The other side of a paper deal is that it gets both parties in the same rules with the purpose of hashing this thing out. You should also have a witness.

Second: stick to the letter of the contract. The demon will play by the rules because a demon who rules-lawyers or is a dick about it means nobody will deal with them. If itís not in the contract, itís not in the deal, so you should be goddamn thorough. If the demon wrote it, read it and take your time reading it. Triple-check it.


Note how the focus is on the dangerous man firing energy blasts from his fists and not on the person with the wand firing it at dick-height.

Third: time is of the essence. What this means is that you should include deadlines and consequences to your contract to give yourself enough time to fulfill your half and to force the demon to fulfill theirs. Bargainers set the times of the contract for Greenwich Mean Time. I donít know why.

Fourth: never promise more than you can pay. If youíre sufficiently desperate, the demon will take you for everything youíre worth. Donít put your life on the line for a contract, figure out something fair that you can actually afford to give the demon. Save your soul if you can promise the demon a crate full of bunnies.


I'm imagining that the guy on the right is making a modem noise as the being comes into focus.

Fifth: if one side breaks the contract, the other side sets the punishment. If the Bargainer breaches, RIP. If the demon breaches, then the Bargainer has the demon at their mercy. They can make another beneficial bargain or they can have them punished.

Sixth: all disputes are handled by the Tribunal. The Tribunal consists of three judges who rule for life and are the higher court for solving contract disputes. They are Azabel (a succubus), Marie Laveau (the voodoo priestess) and Iron Mask (a guy in an iron mask). Theyíre generally fair despite favoring their native species but it all comes down to the case and the argument.

There are more detailed rules for making deals but theyíll crop up in the mechanics section.


"Ladies and gentlemen, for my first trick I require an infant from the audience!"

BARGAINER CULTURE

Bargainers come in different stripes and walks of life but they have to stay in contact with each other somehow. This comes down to ABE-L and BargainCon. Yes, BargainCon. ABE-L is a BBS/listserve moderated by Robin Laws (the writer, probably) that is generally hard to find because the users have to be secretive. It stands for ďA Bargainerís Exchange ListĒ and itís the latest means of staying in contact with fellow Bargainers. BargainCon takes place every March in the same stretch of time as the other magician cons. The Con isnít cheap but itís popular and itís totally secret and itís the best way to get direct contact with other Bargainers or jobs or materials. Bargainers have a board that run the con and they also generally have some other important Bargainers.

Important Bargainers:
  • Jethro Skye: Con Board president, pleasant old man, total pessimist.
  • Jack Lazarus: Vice President, California native, famous vampire hunter of San Francisco, trying to make his own squad in Cali.
  • Gillian Spielberg: Secretary, survived the Chicago disaster of 76 by making a deal as a little girl.
  • Hans Bruce: Treasurer, giant dude, hardcore accountant.
  • Bobby Cartman: Vietnam vet, disillusioned with Bargainer politics, keeps to himself.
  • Rex Louis: loud, bearded, accomplished magician, bears more than a passing resembles to Penn Teller.
  • Matt Marcus: goes by the name of Dr. Electro since he was accidentally electrocuted spilling a soda on his computer that caused him to lose his hair.
  • Die Niebelung: German immigrant, taught by Houdini, is not interested in major power so he focuses on training students and is one of the top tutors.
  • Peter the Kid: famously powerful Bargainer who leads the Conjurers, a Seattle-based group of Bargainers who do jobs for people through a website. The Conjurers are regarded with suspicion because theyíre afraid theyíre going to overthrow the group.
  • Dan Ryan: Conjurer and lieutenant of Peter, showy and flamboyant firebrand.


Come for the gambling, stay for the damnation.

ENEMIES AND ALLIES

The Covenant: The Covenant doesnít care if youíre talking to the Devil for a good cause, youíre still talking to the Devil. Bargainers are a prime target for Covenant activities and theyíre way more organized and have plenty of holy soldiers.

Dukes of Hell: The Dukes have to actually approve the Demonís request to cut a deal. If you keep making deals with the Demons and if you gently caress them at every turn, you get the Dukeís attention. They canít do anything across dimensions but yell at you all day and all night in a voice only you can hear. However, they can obstruct your Bargains at every turn and effectively cut you off.

Devil Worshippers: Devil worshippers donít actually have any power to talk to demons but theyíre invariably unpleasant and make Bargainers look bad. But sometimes they end up with a tome or a means to actually contact Demons. And then poo poo goes bad for everyone.


"Hmmm. I could take my flask totem...but I also own a gun..."

Delta Prime: No Bargainers work for Delta Prime. If you get caught, they kill you. If you register with the DRA, you get shipped off to a mental hospital.

Angels: Angels donít talk to Bargainers. Actually, Angels donít have their own holy equivalent of Bargainers. But sometimes angels get trapped on Earth. Should one cross the path of a Bargainer, nine times out of ten the angel will want to kill them on sight. A Bargainer should be prepared to book it if they find an angel.

The Union: The Union is the fancy name for the Bargainers united. The current leader/president of the Union is a guy by the name of Danny Landers. As a whole, the Union offers support to Bargainers who need it and shun the ones who violate the trust.


"WELCOME TO NETHERWORLD.TRIPOD.COM, THE HOTTEST HELL WEBSITE ON THE NET"

Defiance: The recommendation for being friends with Defiance is to just join up with them undivided. The Delta Warriors are terrorists, the religious beliefs of the Pax might not be tolerant of talking to demons, and the Isla Delta movement really just doesnít offer anything to Bargainers. The recommendation is to help the Defiants when you can and make friends with other Deltas in case you need help.

Regular Demons: They make good allies if you can get what you need out of them for the right price. But theyíre not human and they donít think like humans so forming a working relationship is generally tricky.

Other Magicians: People of other religions are generally open-minded enough to listen to a Bargainer if they need help. Ostensibly, despite the heavy emphasis on Judeo-Christian demons and angels, there are other religions and magical types out there getting power somehow. This book only mentions two of them: voodoo and shamanism. This is because both the houngan/mambo and the shaman have the same relationship Bargainers have. Practitioners of voodoo make contact and deals with the loa for power (like Marie Laveau did). Shamans tend to be more reclusive with their explanations; their power is attributed to American Indian shamanism/animism with a focus on animal spirits. Either way, both groups wield a power as real as a Bargainerís.


"Baby check it out, you made the hot sheets!" "Oh man I look ugly."

Thoughts about the intro and fluff: Uhhh. Well. Iím sort of torn. I have more to say about this than I have for the other intro fluff for the past two books. Letís start with the high points:

High Points: Thereís a lot of new fluff to share, a lot of new world-building and fleshing out. The Bargainer in the core book takes up the lionís share of the fluff spread around in the section on Deltas and this adds more but in a good way. Itís all actually thought out and expressed in a readable way (even if I did have to rearrange some of it). Also the use of Famous Historical People is less egregious.

Low Points: SCOPE CREEP. Bargainers are people who are like ďwho gives a poo poo about economic inequality when global warming will kill us all!Ē They place themselves up on this pedestal with this bigger problem and Ďoooh Iím fighting for a bigger reason than you areí. Can an outside-context villain work in a RPG? Yes, absolutely. Is this implemented well? No, not really. And Heaven and Hell are both the bad guys in this scenario, Judeo-Christian Heaven and Hell? Címon thatís just too loving 90s even for this book. You know what handled this kind of thing and scope creep better? Unisystemís Armageddon following up from Witchcraft. Also, I could not give less of a gently caress about the important people in the Bargainer culture. Theyíre just existing and not doing much. They donít get much of a hook besides the Conjurers wanting to change the game by making a more formal network of do-gooders. Itís window-dressing, thereís no real plot hooks for 90% of that and what little is there is very unsatisfactory.


YELLIN' AT THE NUN

In short: thank you for giving us more info about the least-fitting type of superhero in this setting. In a world of Splodehogs and Goku Blasters, you have given us the lovely child of John Constantine and David Blaine. That child will grow up to be the chosen one who wields the Dark Side of the Force to bring balance to the Earth by turning its home dimension into an isolationist third party. And the only way I assume they will do this is by locking out all Demons or Angels or giving the dimension some kind of nuclear option to make them back the gently caress up. Neither of these seems very likely or possible. As a result it sounds like Bargainers are pissing in the wind while they attempt to justify why they threw a crate full of bunnies in a river for the Devil.

When we get into the higher functions of how to play a Bargainer, you will very quickly find that being a Bargainer and dealing with devils is a lot like an unironic game of Kill Puppies For Satan. Voodoo practitioners and shamans get a better deal of things and so do Covvies. Also to add insult to injury, there are no rules for playing a houngan, mambo or shaman. They simply exist and aren't they lovely?


And here's the cheesecakiest pic in this half of the book.

NEXT TIME: the mechanics of the deal, spells and premade characters.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



While Houdini is an interesting choice (also way to poo poo up your continuity), it makes me wonder why he didn't just use Rasputin instead. That's a guy who had legit Super Charisma and near invincibility. Also, a really big dick, so you know he was making deals with otherworldly powers.

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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.



It's mostly because they want to make the game centered on America. So making the start of this metaplot (which will be standing in the corner visibly jerking off for the rest of the party) start somewhere else doesn't make as much sense. To my knowledge, Rasputin never becomes a Delta or anything.

Also it's less a matter of loving up the continuity as it is this book being like "gently caress WHAT YOU KNOW, HERE'S THE REAL HISTORY AND TRUTH OF THE WORLD!".

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