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potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


When a Demon forms a pact with a mortal, do they have to provide the promised odds and ends themselves, or do the various Merits just... 'appear' out of nowhere?

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NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








potatocubed posted:

When a Demon forms a pact with a mortal, do they have to provide the promised odds and ends themselves, or do the various Merits just... 'appear' out of nowhere?
From the mortal's perspective, the latter. As the final sidebar implies, though, external Merits do come from somewhere by virtue of the Demon engineering reality/probability manipulation as part of the pact.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Demon: the Descent

Angels come in many shapes, and while they may do similar jobs, no two angels look the same. The same is true of demons. However, the demonic form is not a perfect replica of the angelic state, but rather a pattern basedo n it. As you grow more powerful, you can reshape it to better fit what you want to be, not limited by your angelic past. Assuming demonic form is a liberating act, made possible by a simple act of will, though it is not without risk. Full transformation is possible, but so is partial shifting of the human shape, taking on only some of the demonic form's traits.

A full transformation is easiest - you just will it and it happens. When you assume your full demonic form, you heal Lethal or Bashing damage based on your Primum and lose any Tilts that would be related to bodily injury, like Arm Wrack. Once you enter demonic form you also absorb Aether based on your Primum, and can try to draw in more when you run out. Almost all demonic forms are very clearly inhuman and terrifying, and demons avoid audiences - or transforming at all, except to face equally potent foes. Manifestation of the demonic form, after all, risks compromise of the Cover you left. The longer you stay in it, the more attention you get. Returning to human form is harder, requiring concentration, effort and expenditure of Aether in order to wrap the demonic form inside the human again. Any bodily injury Tilts the Cover was suffering come back with it, too. As a note, if you Go Loud as part of your transformation, you are completely healed of all Bashing and Lethal damage during the transformation, as well as the other effects we've noted previously.

Partial transformations require concentration. It is extremely unnatural for a demon, and it costs 1 Aether per ability to manifest, and another Aether to get rid of all of them. If you can spend enough Aether per round to get everything you want, none of them show up until all the Aether is spent. You can't add more once you've manifested your picks, either, unless you rever them all first. You can, however, go into a full transformation as normal. Partial transformation does not heal or gain Aether, and the compromise risk is lessened depending on how many abilities you are not currently accessing. (Which results in some silly math ensuring lots of exceptional successes, meaning you will actually probably gain Cover from partially transforming relatively often.)

When you first FAll, your demonic form is very influenced by your old angelic form, and will have abilities based on that. However, every time your Primum increases, you can choose to remove and replace up to two of your demonic form's traits. Form abilities come in four types: Modifications, which are small boosts to your ability to do certain things, Technologies, which are specialized implants that give you a power which usually targets only one person, Propulisons, which give you specialized movement options, and Processes, which give you significant abilities or adaptations which can often affect entire groups. You start with three Modifications, two Technologies, one Propulsion and one Process. At Primum 3, you get a fourth Modifcation, at Primum 6 a third Technology and at Primum 10 a second Process. Demonic form powers all take obvious physical form on your body - when manifested partially, those appear on your human form. You determine what each looks like and what the whole appears as in your full demonic form.

Modifications include:
  • Armored Plates: You have thick, powerful armor which doesn't hamper you too badly.
  • Blade Hand: You have a slow, powerful melee weapon built into your limb that you can summon or dismiss freely.
  • Claws and Fangs: You have sharp claws and teeth which cause good damage and can be used in a grapple.
  • Electrical Sight: You can sense electrical signals around you and, with a roll, pick out and eavesdrop on specific signals, such as phone calls or TV broadcasts.
  • EMP Field: You can launch an electromagnetic pulse to shut down electronics near you.
  • Fast Attack: You are extremely quick and, if you hit someone, you automatically jump above their Initiative until you change targets.
  • Huge Size: You are loving gigantic.
  • Inhuman Intelligence: You get a bonus to all Intelligence rolls.
  • Inhuman Strength: You get a bonus to all Strength rolls.
  • Inhuman Reflexes: You get a bonus to all Dexterity rolls.
  • Mental Resistance: You get a bonus to resist any supernatural powers.
  • Night Vision: You can see in darkness and get a bonus to all perception rolls.
  • Rivet Arm: You have a gun built into your hand, which you can summon or dismiss at will, with infinite ammo and decent damage. It ca also be used to get a bonus on relevant building rolls.
  • Sense the Angelic: You can detect angelic powers in use and their aftereffects.
  • Slippery Body: You are covered in an oily residue that makes you very hard to grapple and very gfood at escaping grapples or fitting through tight spaces.
  • Sonic Acuity: You can hear in a range far beyond the human, as well as hearing things through solid objects with concentration and track things by sound. You get a bonus to all hearing-based perception rolls, cannot be surprised and cannot be defeaned, though you still can't hear sound so disrupted that the frequency is not there to be heard.
  • Spurs: You have spurs around your limbs, which give a bonus to all climbing rolls, double your climb speed and can also be used as a (fairly low-damage) weapon.
  • Tough As Stone: You can spend Aether to downgrade damage one step.

Technologies include:
  • Acidic Spit: You can spit noxious acid that burns through most things. You can attack with it to deal low but Aggravated damage and to destroy armor or other objects.
  • Aura Sight: You can read someone's aura to detect their emotions or if they are a supernatural being, among other things.
  • Barbed Tail: You can make an attack in melee with your tail, causing no damage but poisoning people.
  • Blind Sense: You can sense anything moving near you, no matter what physical barriers exist or if the moving target is invisible. You can even detect those who are hiding by magical means.
  • Clairvoyant Sight: You can scry on anyone you've met in the past month or any place you've been to in the past month.
  • Demonic Horns: You can headbutt people to hurt and stun them.
  • Electric Jolt: You can discharge electricity to power objects or short them out tempirarily, and you can spend Aether to give yourself a field of electrical armor that protects you and causes electrical damage on a touch.
  • Electrical Resistance: You are immune to electrical damage.
  • Environmental Resistance: You are immune to all Environmental Tilts.
  • Essence Drain: You can steal Essence from angels and Aether from demons by touching them. This may or may not work on other beings, too.
  • Fire Resistance: You are immune to heat and fire.
  • Frost Aura: You can spend Aether to control the cold and direct it, causing extreme cold around you.
  • Fluid Form: Your body can shift to accomodate physical and mental stress, reducing penalties caused by Conditions or Tilts.
  • Inhuman Beauty: You get a bonus to any Social rolls where looks might be helpful. You can also activate your aura to force people to obey you or be inspired by you.
  • Glory and Terror: You get a bonus to Intimidation and can send people catatonic with your terrifying nature.
  • Mind Reading: You can read the thoughts of anyone you can see and can delve into their memories with effort.
  • Mirrored Skin: You are invisible while standing still, though you retain heat and aura. This overrides any other form powers that would be otherwise obvious, such as glowing. While moving, you still get a bonus to Stealth rolls.

Propulsions include:
  • Long Limbs: You get a bonus to Athletics rolls and move faster than normal.
  • Phasing: You can spend Aether to turn incorporeal and move through objects or penalize attacks, but cannot take anyone with you.
  • Plasma Drive: You take no penalties from fighting multiple attackers. If fighting only one person, you get a Defense bonus. You can apply Defense against guns. Further, you can spend Aether to be able to move at a full run and still act.
  • Spatial Distortion: You can become two-dimensional or smaller than normal due to spatial warping. You can spend Aether to become so thin you are practically invisible. Your mass and size never actually change.
  • Teleportaiton: You can teleport to anywhere you can see, but cannot take anyone with you.
  • Tether: You can grapple onto objects and pull yourself to them, or grapple people and drag them towards you. You can carry up to one person with you.
  • Wings: You can fly.

Processes include:
  • Aegis Protocol: You can create a small sheild at will, which gives you a bonus to Defense and can be used as a weak weapon. You can spend Aether to expand it into an armored barrier that reduces damage.
  • Body Modification: You may reallocate your physical Attribute dots at will, within normal limits.
  • Cavernous Maw: You can eat anything you can fit in your mouth, and can use this to deal damage to tough items or buildings. Your bite deals aggravated damage to living things.
  • Corruption Aura: You can spend Aether to activate an aura that damages all objects and structures near you.
  • Extra Mechanical Limbs: You have extra arms made of metal. If you use all your arms at once to do a thing, you get a bonus to Strength rolls to do it. If you have two unarmed hands, you get a bonus to Defense. Your extra arms deal lethal damage unarmed.
  • Insect Swarm: You can spend an Aether at will to seperate out into a swarm of biomechanical insects, and can reform at will. While separated, you cannot die unless every member of the swarm is killed. However, if you lose more than half of your swarm for any reason, you fall unconscious when you return to human form.
  • Magnesium Flare: You can spend Aether to flare blindingly bright for five minutes, bright enough to be seen for a very long distance.
  • Memory Theft: You can grapple someone and insert a jack into them for 1 Aether, downloading memories from the. You may choose to make subtle modifications to them with a little time, or drastic alterations at a penalty.
  • Multiple Images: You can spend Aether at will to create a legion of illusory selves, driving onlookers insane temporarily and confusing them. Anyone that can't detect which one is you has trouble attacking you.
  • Quill Burst: You can spend Aether to eject venomous quills against everyone nearby.
  • Rain of Fire: You can spend Aether to call down a rain of temporary fire around you, which you can direct at enemies.
  • Voice of the Angel: You can spend Aether to emit a giant screech that hurts and defeans anyone nearby.
  • Wound Healing: You automatically regenerate non-Aggravated damage.

Next time: Angels among us.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 23:39 on Jul 11, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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potatocubed posted:

When a Demon forms a pact with a mortal, do they have to provide the promised odds and ends themselves, or do the various Merits just... 'appear' out of nowhere?

Yeah, what NGDBSS said. Spending Willpower to get the pact signed is most of what the demon has to do - if they stick to the standard benefits, the universe takes care of the rest. (The demon does have to hold up any promises in the contract, however. This is why most do not go beyond the standard benefits. The reason they tend to stick a time limit on those is to get more than one pact out of a person.)

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 1: The Second Best School in the US

(Alternate cover with Soto art, holy poo poo!)



quote:

South by Southwest

The South Has a different history than the North, or the east or the west. In fact, some would say it's almost a different country. Slower, old fashion more polite and more magical. I grew up with stories about monsters and magic not told as if their fairytales but told as if they are truth and so did most people I know.

In the South everyone knows a witch, or someone they think is one be she a "two headed woman", "Conjure Woman or Bruja. Its not seen odd or strange to for people to be superstitious or talk about seeing ghosts or talking to spirits. It just happens. And that's why this book exists.

Witch Girls adventures deals with a whole wide world of magic. It looks at the big mystical picture. It talks about the big magical schools, the "all powerful " WWC and the differences between the magical and the Mundane world. But though most of the world of "Witch -Girls Adventures" is as you read it there are places with their own unique flavor.

Iím not from the Deep South. Can any US goons who grew up in that area confirm that? Was your education system so bad that you guys thought all the lovely women in your town were literal witches?

Magical Minutia #4: Trinity Stone Academy is a book about one of the other 3 magic schools in the United States. (Along with Willow-Mistt, we have Golden Gate and Lake Lodge. Iím going to guess Golden Gate is in San Francisco. Lake Lodge is presumably somewhere up north. Though a typo says itís in the south with Trinity Stone.) Harris has used the school at least once to run a game at a convention, and itís the setting of one of the many attempts at a live action Witch Girls movie: Beyond Convention. I linked the intelligible trailer way back in my write-up of the core. But here it is again, for the hell of it.

Like the last book, there is no credits section. The alternate cover says Harris, Soto, and Emily Foster (?) worked on it, while DriveThruRPG credits ďAnna PierceĒ as the sole writer and the other artist besides Soto. Some of the writing has Harrisís usual eccentricities, while other bits are stiff blurbs that sound like placeholder notes. While Soto did do the character portraits for this book, the rest of the art is just Photoshopped blurred pictures of stock photos. Like so:





Trinity Stone is located in Dallas-Fort Worth and serves students from Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah, and Missouri. Itís the smallest of the four American schools with only 40 students. (The book says 42, but the grade breakdown only adds up to 40. The wiki has art for two male students, but they never come up in the book.) Itís not as prestigious as Willow-Mistt, but thatís not from a lack of trying.

Trinity Stoneís first headmistresses were sisters Eliza and Alice Coleman. Their mother, Temperance, homeschooled them when their family moved to Dallas in 1880 and set up a homestead along the Trinity River. Temperance quickly became friends with an American Indian witch named Lady Eyes-of-Sun, who introduced her to the Spirit River Valley. The SRV is a magical pocket dimension that the native tribes and buffalo of the area retreated to when settlers started coming through, presumably. Temperance told her daughters about it when they became teenagers and made them promise never to reveal its existence to anyone, including their father.

Unfortunately, Eliza, being a dumb kid, showed one of their mundane friends, a boy named Preston, an arrow head necklace she had received from a native child as a gift. She took him there to prove the valley existed and he ended up getting killed by a cockatrice. Eliza took his body to Alice, who turned him into a zombie with her knowledge of Necromancy. Prestonís parents immediately noticed something was up and got into a fight with their parents. Prestonís father, the town drunk, shot both Temperance and her nameless husband. The girls fled to Lady Eyes-of-Sun, who took them in. The two built and opened the school in the valley in 1894 in honor of their mother, because she was a teacher I guess. She wasnít teaching other kids. Itís kind of like making a school in honor of Michelle Duggar.

Anyway, the two were co-headmistresses for 20 years until them and Lady Eyes-of-Sunís tribe decided to gently caress off and go explore the valley. They left a nameless witch in charge. Nothing happened until 1943 when somebody hosed up a magical experiment and set fire to most of the school. The nameless headmistress was kicked out and the school almost lost its accreditation because of the incident. (So take note: Grooming kids to be evil and eventually help with your plan to overthrow the WWC is fine, having your school catch fire by accident is not.) Either way, the schoolís already lackluster reputation went to poo poo because of the incident.

In 1991, the current headmistress and former student, Calypso Duexshae, was hired on as a teacher. At that point, the school only had 12 students and a staff that didnít give a poo poo about teaching. She nagged the WWCís board of education until they started booting the slacker teachers and the then-current headmistress, Viola Sanchez. Viola challenged her to a magical duel. (Dueling is apparently a thing among Spanish witches.) Calypso won by erasing her from existence for 3 days almost immediately after the duel started. Upon being appointed Headmistress by the WWC, Calypso immediately fired the remaining staff members and personally recruited most of the current staff and 30 new students for the 1992 school year. This and Calypsoís tight grip on the school have earned it the reputation of being the second best place to send your little bundle of magical horror in the United States.

Trinity Stone is run in pretty much the same fashion as Willow-Mistt, with some minor differences. All new students start on the same date every year. This day consists of them meeting the Intern student guides at Trinity Park in Fort Worth and crossing over the unfinished Trinity Creek Bridge to get into the Spirit River Valley. (I guess no one bats an eye at a bunch of kids carrying suitcases into the park.) The rules on what they can bring was pretty much copy-pasted from other books. Instead of a demerit and trial system, Trinity Stone just piles extra work detail onto troublemaking students at the Headmistressís sole discretion. If youíre a danger to yourself, others, or the school, the most that will happen is youíll have to manually clean the school grounds more and not be able to participate in extracurricular activities for a semester. There is no mention of suspensions or expulsions. However, the school employs binding bracelets that prevent the student wearing them from using magic outside of classes. These are used for magical offenses. In the eyes of the book, this makes Trinity Stone one of the strictest magic schools in existence. Kids rarely get in trouble (or have learned to hide what theyíre doing very well) at the school because of this.

Nearly all of the students live two to a room in the Coleman Dormitory. Neophytes live with the Intern in charge of herding them in the basement while the other grades live on the upper floors, with the first used as a common and study area for the upper grades and as the dining hall. Due to a typo, Interns live on both the second and third floors. All of the dormís common areas are maintained by assigned student cleaners. Trinity Stone is very big on having the students do the cleaning for them.

The school offers the standard array of classes that every magic school offers.




Note that Necromancy teaches itself and this school also has a sanctioned witch Neo-Nazi youth group.

As itís been noted, Trinity Stone maintains its grounds by having the students do work detail. Work detail is mandatory for anyone who is not sick or disabled and is done for one hour every day at least. The school does this both to honor the first students and to teach the students to not depend on their magic, as the chores have to be done without it. Interns apparently donít have to do it, and instead supervise the Initiates. Jobs include cleaning the buildings, doing lawn work, maintaining the schoolís farm, providing security, and cooking meals. (Ramen, pizza, and sandwiches every night!)

Up next: The school grounds and the Spirit River Valley

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Jun 25, 2016

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I can confirm:

It's bullhockey.

There's definitely more superstition flying around due to the deep south overall being more religious, along with a stronger tendency to espouse/use folk remedies, but least in tiny town, Mississippi - no one really believed witches or magic is real, even with only being a couple hours away from New Orleans and the Bayou.

Also why is Utah and New Mexico listed, they're quite geographically AND culturally disconnected from the South, even Kansas and Oklahoma is debateable as they're more midwest/flyover than southern.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



If I make someone rich and beautiful and successful via a Soul Pact, once I turn them into a Cover does the cover retain all those merits?

It sounds like low-end Pacts could be /really attractive/ to mortals. You could buy someone's crippling medical debt in return for a new car, and the catch is that there isn't a catch. The demon is getting exactly what it wants and so are you.
...the downside being that given how successful that first Pact was is there any reason you shouldn't make another one? And another? Until your life is a hollow shell with almost no content left in it.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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You do not get their merits. You have your merits instead. You do have a great excuse to buy those merits up, though!

Which is not to say that they don't stay rich and beautiful - just, that has no mechanically useful weight. Your wealth is tied up in investments you don't know how to liquidate or manage, maybe. Your looks don't go as far for you as they did for the real person.

E: Mind you, I hate the Resources merit in general.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








The book does mention that you can choose to save up Cover Experiences for such an occasion, and in addition if need be you can always spoof a Merit you don't have but which is in-character for your Cover by using Legend. You just don't get your Cover's Merits by default for game balance resources.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Robindaybird posted:

I can confirm:

It's bullhockey.

There's definitely more superstition flying around due to the deep south overall being more religious, along with a stronger tendency to espouse/use folk remedies, but least in tiny town, Mississippi - no one really believed witches or magic is real, even with only being a couple hours away from New Orleans and the Bayou.

Hell, there was an entire tabletop game/setting about Southern Gothic posted either earlier in this thread or the last one. Believing in magic per se is more a ye old tymes stereotype, the more modern form is Christian hyper-fundamentalism - think banning Harry Potter because of witchcraft, for example.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Cythereal posted:

Hell, there was an entire tabletop game/setting about Southern Gothic posted either earlier in this thread or the last one. Believing in magic per se is more a ye old tymes stereotype, the more modern form is Christian hyper-fundamentalism - think banning Harry Potter because of witchcraft, for example.

It still counts as believing in magic if you believe the magic belongs to the Devil.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Granted least where I grew up, we had some nutty fundies, but nothing like the banning harry potter nonsense, but you get a lot more people raising a fuss about walking under ladders or spilling salt then say in Milwaukee or Santa Cruz.

There is certainly a higher-than-normal level of backwards yokels, but it's not a den of time-displaced medieval peasants like WGA implies.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Cythereal posted:

Hell, there was an entire tabletop game/setting about Southern Gothic posted either earlier in this thread or the last one. Believing in magic per se is more a ye old tymes stereotype, the more modern form is Christian hyper-fundamentalism - think banning Harry Potter because of witchcraft, for example.
As the person who did the Hoodoo Blues review referred to here and Louisianian born and bred, I can definitely say that this is pretty accurate. While there was a time when folk beliefs and tales about haints, boogers, boo-daddies, and other assorted things that go bump in the night had somewhat more credence given to them, that time is long since gone, and you wouldn't find more than a few souls claiming that witches are about even in the most conservative Southern Baptist groups. Even during the Satanic Panic, I don't think I ever recall any claims that the purported Satanists hacking up animals in the woods actually had any supernatural powers, they were simply evil (and nonexistent, and in at least one case a hippie commune or something to that effect). These days, Satan's supposedly working through things like racial minority groups and gay marriage rather than granting people crazy magic powers.

Of course, that was just my personal experience, and I'm sure someone else might be able to say differently, so take that with a grain of salt knowing it's just the sample size of a few podunk towns and an only semi-major city.

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


My friend told me about a women who was accused of being a witch and killed in her small Australian town by her crazy husband or ex, and that apparently happened in recent memory.

As a Northerner born and bred, I'd uncritically believe any of those stories about the Deep South. The scariest thing in any Stephen King novel was when a Connecticut couple was pulled over by a Southern sherif. A Hoodoo Blues game set in the Old Weird America sounds fun though.

quote:

Cavernous Maw: You can eat anything you can fit in your mouth, and can use this to deal damage to tough items or buildings. Your bite deals aggravated damage to living things

Kirby confirmed as Eldritch Horror.

The Demons remind me so much of the Alchemical Exalted. Are they coming back in the new game?

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



And there is why so-called Yankees get told to 'bless your heart', hint: It's NOT complimentary.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Robindaybird posted:

And there is why so-called Yankees get told to 'bless your heart', hint: It's NOT complimentary.

I love how three little words can vary so wildly between "well, you tried," to "I'm sorry the good Lord didn't give you enough brain cells to fill a thimble," to "I hope you die screaming in a grease fire."

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Count Chocula posted:

As a Northerner born and bred, I'd uncritically believe any of those stories about the Deep South. The scariest thing in any Stephen King novel was when a Connecticut couple was pulled over by a Southern sherif. A Hoodoo Blues game set in the Old Weird America sounds fun though.

I'm from the rural Deep South. It's not that bad - it's usually a deep and systemic cultural prejudice rather than something out of Deliverance. There are crazy people everywhere who can cite any justification they care to. The South is predominately rural, though, so "Crazy guy kills someone" tends to make the news more than "Crazy homeless dude kills someone" might up north.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Daeren posted:

I love how three little words can vary so wildly between "well, you tried," to "I'm sorry the good Lord didn't give you enough brain cells to fill a thimble," to "I hope you die screaming in a grease fire."

Basically Southern Hospitality as it is, even if you hate your rear end in a top hat neighbor Bob who never returns your power tools, if he drops by, you're expected to invite him in over a glass of ice tea and let him talk at you until the crickets start chirping in the evening - so a lot of little passive-aggressive digs pop up - Bless Your Heart being the most versatile.

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


To be honest, after reading too much Washington Irving, HP Lovecraft, Stephen King and Shirley Jackson I also got scared of the isolated New England towns that we'd drive through. I love the region, but we had enough gothic churches and Civil War cemeteries to fill a thousand novels.
How'd the nMage setting handle it? I remember that the default town was around Boston.

It's technically music journalism, but Greil Marcus' 'Old Weird America: The Story of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes' has about one RPG story seed per page, if you like murder ballads.

If you're setting a horror game in rural Australia, watch Wake in Fright and the first Mad Max.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Robindaybird posted:

Basically Southern Hospitality as it is, even if you hate your rear end in a top hat neighbor Bob who never returns your power tools, if he drops by, you're expected to invite him in over a glass of ice tea and let him talk at you until the crickets start chirping in the evening - so a lot of little passive-aggressive digs pop up - Bless Your Heart being the most versatile.

"God bless" is another popular one.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Confession time: considering all the Dallas-centric popping up in the WGA Universe, I think I'm starting to realize that I might have run into Abby Soto before, like outside of a convention or gaming store setting. And I'm scared.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Cythereal posted:

"God bless" is another popular one.

and "Sweetie", don't get me started on "Sweetie"

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Robindaybird posted:

and "Sweetie", don't get me started on "Sweetie"

And beware "Sugar" from anyone who's not an elderly woman.

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


Somebody needs to do a WoD parody but with Southerners. Glossary, what they think of other splats...

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



It'd just be "Bless their heart" with various levels of stresses and emphasis on specific syllables.

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


The backstory for nMage, but with 'Atlantis' crossed out and 'The Confederacy' written over it.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





NEW POWER PACKAGES

Letís do some house-cleaning for the rules because the rules of 1999 donít apply as much to 1942. To make a Glory Days Delta, you donít have to choose to be Registered/Unregistered with your powers. Instead you have Drafted/Wanted for men with no restrictions for women. If you choose Drafted, then you answered the call of duty. If you choose Wanted, you gain the Wanted negative quirk for refusing to comply with federal law. You can also choose to be a member of Delta Squadron/Red Brigade/Josie and the Pussycats, getting Authority 3 at the level of Officer but also getting Duty (Army) 5. Any future power packages still fly, just be mindful that not all of them are going to be useful due to the skills and tech levels of the 1940s (the Hacker is explicitly mentioned here). Finally, starting money is $100 due to 1940s Economics which the game says is basically $1000 by 2000ís standards. You can also get equipment for free depending on your station in the army and the nature of your requisition and you can also get increases in Authority for free by playing good soldier.

Or you can do what I recommend, which is throw out half of those rule changes and just play Ladies of Liberty Brave New World. Or better yet do that in a different system. Onto the powers!



Side note: needing to roll off raw dice for your powers is still rear end.

ACE

The Ace has an instinctive connection with all things vehicular once you put them behind the wheel. Thatís really all they get; they can drive/fly super well. Lucky for them, theyíre pretty well needed during the war.

Aces get +5 to any skills that involve handling a vehicle, even if they donít have any points in that skill. For Tricks, they get:

Trick Driving: Use an extra success on a roll to showboat and goad any enemies following you into pulling off the same trick. Itís a Spirit roll to resist falling for it and if they fail the roll, add +5 or more to their TN to copy it.

Trick Flying: Same but with a plane.


"Later rear end in a top hat!" Dude hands on the drat steering wheel.

Trick Boating: Same but with a boat.

Keep It Together: Make a vehicle handling roll (TN 5) and every extra success lets your vehicle ignore the modifier of one wound per success for a round. The extra successes can also be spent to add an extra round to the duration of ignoring the damage.

New Skills: Driving Tracked Vehicles, Submarines and Large Boats.


I think I bought tires from an auto store with this guy as the mascot.

Thoughts on the Ace: Okay and right out of the gate it's time for being overspecialized. The Ace is really good for war. And outside of war, they're really good for a lot of criminal or courier jobs. That's pretty much it. Unless you want to be Captain Vehicular Homicide at home, your non-Delta Prime jobs are probably going to amount to driving Defiants around and outrunning the cops. So if that's your thing, great! But for team cohesion, do you really want to be the guy who just drives the car and waits while everyone else does something, followed by "oh this doesn't need someone to drive? Oh okay". So yeah, not thematically bad for this book but not particularly fun in actual execution.

The premade Ace has his poo poo together and he's gonna be pretty good with that gun. Good for him.

COMMUNICATOR

The Communicator is a level of security above the Navajo Codetalkers by using telepathic communication. The Communicator has to attune their senses to a target by making eye contact with them for five uninterrupted seconds, but once itís complete the bond is solid until death. The Communicator can send and receive thoughts from the people theyíre bonded with, individually, regardless of any distance in the world. Telepathic communication is like hearing the person on the other end speaking but only you can hear them. Also for some reason if you donít know youíre attuned to a Communicator, you can make a TN 10 Perception roll to realize youíve got something weird going on with them. This is a dumb rule.

Telepathic communication requires a TN 5 Spirit check to open a link with a bonded target for up to a hour. The Communicator can have as many bonds as they like and nobody can spy on them unless the other person linked at the time is speaking out loud to transmit their thoughts. You donít need to do that; you can just think the words. To open for longer than a hour, make another Spirit roll. Thereís no penalty to failing those rolls. For Tricks, they get:

Force Link: Normally a bond is a willing thing but with an extra success on a TN 5 Spirit roll the Communicator can lock eyes with someone unwilling and link with them.

Telepathic Scream: Send a deafening psychic message to a target to try and stun them with an opposed Spirit roll. For every success over the targetís roll, the target takes a phantom Wound and makes a Stun check. The Wounds arenít real and fade quickly, especially if the target is knocked out.


I...this is a weird design for her face, huh.

Thoughts on the Communicator: Good for war, good for international communication, not really good for anything else. "But hey, they have a non-lethal fighting ability!" Okay, yes. They do. However you have to pay the Trick tax to get Force Link to perform a scream. In the modern day, the Ranged Taser basically does the same thing but without an opposed roll. A Taser has a TN 9 for stunning. It would take three extra successes to get that same level. In the modern age, it's good for Top Secret Ops. That's pretty much it, unless you want to get a job as an astrologer/performing psychic.

The premade is competent so that's good. I can't really recommend them.

DESICCATOR

For every 24/48 hours without water/food, a BNW character takes 1 level of massive damage if they fail a TN 10 Strength check. Welcome to the Desiccator, a Delta with the power to strip moisture and liquid from a target with a touch. Desiccators are Deltas who got their powers from almost starving to death or dying from dehydration and as a result they donít actually need to eat or drink anymore.

Their power is Desiccation, the ability to suck water from a living being or a container. If itís a container, the liquid transforms into water vapor and floats away. If itís a living being, the water is sucked out of their pores and cells and spills through their clothing onto the floor. The touch of a Desiccator can bypass armor if water can reasonably pass through it. The basic power can only strip liquids from containers. They also get complete immunity to needing to eat or drink.


Mummy Touch!

As a consequence, eating and drinking has a strange effect on them because it disrupts their static, oddly balanced nutritional system. All food and water acts as an intoxicant to a Desiccator, so a glass of liquid or a half pound of food acts like a stiff drink. The first cup/half pound gets them giddy. Anything past that adds a cumulative +1 to all TNs for the next hour. For Tricks, they get:

Desiccate Creature: Strip the liquid from living beings. Every extra success on an opposed Spirit roll deals one Wound of massive damage to the target by making the bodyís water pour out through their skin. Healing proceeds as normal but is helped by drinking a lot of water. Healing without excess water is TN 15 Strength, healing with three gallons ingested daily drops back down to the basic TN 10 Strength. Anyone killed by desiccation is mummified and shriveled.

Capture Water: An extra success on the Desiccation roll allows the liquid extracted to be caught in another container if one is handy. You get roughly a quart of water per wound inflicted or whatever amount if it's not from a person. The water is pure and distilled and thereís nothing special about it but people are superstitious and believe it has longevity properties.


Time for the Dance of the Seven Days of Death By Thirst.

Thoughts on the Desiccator: For starters, the word "desiccate" is spelled "dessicate" through the whole book. Second, hooray for Trick tax because otherwise you're limited to just destroying liquids with your mind (oh and a Spirit roll). The Desiccator is interestingly dangerous. I dig the complication to healing them and I dig that it's a fast and reliable way to hurt people, but the nature of it being melee is kinda eh. Really it's just not well thought out beyond sucking the water out of people. I can imagine it being good for sabotage but that's it.

They're getting good with making these characters somewhat competent at doing things. Her character is very cliche though and...yeah. I don't particularly like it. It's gonna get weirder though.

DUNEMASTER

The Dunemaster is perfectly capable of surviving in the desert thanks to their powers over sand. Theyíre incredibly handy in Africa as spies, couriers or assassins.

Dunemasters get powers they can turn on and off as they see fit. They get Immunity to sandstorms, walking through them with no issue or obstacle like they have a force field. They can breathe normally if theyíre in sand, a sort of force field preventing the sand from getting in their noses and mouths. They can walk on sand by making it rise up to meet their feet, never slipping on it or leaving footprints. They can surf on dunes by making the sand rise up and firm up before pushing the dune with their mind at a max speed of +50 Pace. They can even literally swim through sand by diving in and treating it like itís water, able to stay beneath the sand indefinitely and swimming with +20 to Pace. For Tricks, they get:

Sandbreathing Buddy: Make a Spirit roll and use an extra success to give a lungful of air to an ally when theyíre under sand too. Note: your ally is not immune to being crushed under sand like you are.

Sand Spray: An extra Sandsurfing success can be used to spray an enemy and force a Stun check with extra successes spraying extra targets.

New Skills: Sandsurfing, a Strength-based skill that lets Dunemasters surf sand like it's water.


Surfin' Lib-Y-A.

Thoughts on the Dunemaster: Wow do they get a lot to do with their powers with no downsides besides being situational. Sandbreathing Buddy really isn't that good of a Trick though, it could use something different. But they do get a pretty good variety of movement options, it's impressive. Give 'em a gun and they're golden.

Speaking of, Barehanded is a bad way to go unless you want to surprise enemies and try and strangle them. Aside from that, he's very good at what he should be doing and that's good for him. That mangled Bible quote is awful, though.

FREEZER

A Freezer is a Delta who theoretically got their powers from the circumstances of almost freezing to death. It's completely plausible that they just lived in Pasadena up until they got hit by a car and got powers too. The Freezer has control over ice and cold but in a temperature way as opposed to summoning snowballs.

A Freezer can drop the temperature up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit per success on a TN 5 Spirit roll in an area of up to 10 cubic yards. Every five minutes it requires another TN 5 Spirit check to keep the cold going. This doesn't have any ingame effect besides +5 or +2 intimidation bonuses against people depending on whether or not they know you and your powers. Alternately, the Freezer can flash-freeze up to 100 pounds of material or chill it as long as the item is no warmer than its surroundings. As an added bonus, they're completely immune to the cold.

The main downside of being a Freezer is that any time you have to endure temperatures higher than 80 degrees, they get hot and that's not good for them. Add +1 to the TN for any Speed or Strength-based checks or +2 if it's 100 degrees. Freezers don't play well with the summer. For Tricks, they get:

Freeze Creature: The Freezer can flash-freeze people with an opposed Spirit roll and a touch. An extra success deals 3d6+3 points of massive damage plus 3d6+3 damage localized to the limb. If it's taken enough damage to be pulped, congrats! It's frostbitten beyond recovery and might need amputation!

Ice Shield: Use an extra success on Flash Freeze and 5-10 gallons of water to make a shield for yourself by pouring it over your head and freezing it as it flows down. The Delta can also do the same thing with 10 cubic feet of snow. The shield has 10/2 armor and lasts until it melts or it crumbles.


Buddy how do you move.

Thoughts on the Freezer: Oh boy. So you need Freeze Creature to do anything offensive and your main power is just Make It Colder But There Are No Rules For That Hurting People So It's Kind Of Useless. Seriously that's just ridiculous. The damage Freeze Creature deals is nuts, especially with the potential to just lose a limb. Their negative trait is a tough one for the majority of the world though and I have no idea how they're supposed to walk around with their ice armor besides a slow waddle. I dunno, it feels a lot like the Desiccator to me.

Ha ha do you get it he's Russian. He's really hindered by that 5 Spirit, all of his stats and skills just suffer as a result by being spread so thin with no real combat capability besides Ice Touch.

GASSER

Congrats, you might qualify as a walking war crime! A Gasser's lungs are full of various gasses that create a poisonous mixture with a little concentration and the release of a deep breath.

Using the gas is a Shooting attack that creates an area-of-effect of poison gas around the target. In a straight line from the Gasser to the target, everything within 12 feet of the location is hit and everything within 6 feet of the cone's sides is susceptible to the gas. Touching the gas deals damage so avoiding the gas requires a TN 10 Speed roll for the main target and TN 5 for anyone secondary. Gas deals 5d6+5 massive damage but the gas breaks up at the end of the next round. The only surefire protection against the gas is a mask and heavy protective clothing. As an added bonus, a Gasser no longer needs to breathe and is immune to asphyxiation or any poison gas.


Time for irony!

As a downside, the Gasser has rotten breath at all times. -2 to any persuasive situations when they can smell their breath within two feet of them and Seduction is a -5 penalty and anyone trying to seduce a Gasser takes a TN 5 Spirit roll per hour to go through with it. For Tricks, they get:



Blow Cloud: With an extra Shooting success, the Gasser can center the cloud around their body in a 12 foot radius.

Spit Gas: Turn the cloud into a sticky toxic loogie and use an extra Shooting success to splatter the target with the goo. The goo deals 5d6+10 damage and might splatter people around them.


GI *hacking cough*

Thoughts on the Gasser: Hoooooooboy. Your powers aren't explicitly said to not affect allies so that's fun. Also the implications of a Nazi Delta having this power becomes incredibly tasteless. It's great for combat and it's impressively versatile but when you think about it, god it's horrible and somehow worse than the power of Exploding.

They set out to make the most dangerous American soldier in Europe. They succeeded. 1999 Metaplot presents: THE GASSER. Rated G for "good premade but somehow this whole powerset comes off worse than the Bomber".

JUNGLER

Dunemasters master dunes. Freezers master freeze. Junglers master jungle. The jungle becomes their home turf and their powers reflect that.

For starters, they get animal empathy with all animals if they can gesture to it. They can't actually talk but they can read each other's body language and make requests of the animal if they beat a Spirit roll. Second, Junglers are totally immune to all poisons and venoms. Third, the Jungler also has empathy with all plants and they can do their (reasonable) bidding on a TN 5 Spirit roll. Anything complex can require a Trick. Speaking of Tricks, Junglers get:


She's killing these Japanese soldiers for a pair of pants.

Scare Animal: An extra success on Animal Empathy can instead scare the animal and turn them loose in the direction of the enemy to cause a stampede or get them to attack in self defense.

Plant Bind: An extra success on Plant Empathy turns a 60 by 60 foot area into a rat's nest of snaring grasses and roots. The area reduces the pace of everyone inside by half.

Plant Smack: An extra success can command a tree branch to beat on someone. If it's a surprise and the target doesn't expect it, it's a flat 3d6+2 damage per smack. Otherwise the swinging limb has 5 Fighting.



Plant Snare: Capture a limb with a snare by using an extra success and a vine. If it's unexpected, it just hits. Otherwise the vine has 5 Fighting. To get free, the target has to beat a Strength contest against a Strength 4 plant or deal 5 damage to the vine.


I guess none of those pants fit.

Thoughts on the Jungler: The animal empathy is the best part. All of those tricks being needed to do poo poo with plants sucks because using any plants to do stuff is as handy as being able to basically command any animal. Honestly? Being able to command insects so easily is super good. Get a shitload of bees or bullet ants or any poison insect that can move fast and swarm and you're just loving golden.

If you came into this game series experiencing Nubile Native Cleavage at any point, well here it is. She's basically Filipino Poison Ivy down to the costume and that's...yeah. There's now two sexy women dressing skimpily getting revenge on their oppressors to avenge their dead parents in this book. Aside from that she's mediocre.

TRANSLATOR

The Translator can understand any language as well as they understand their own with some prep work. Yes, as well as you understand your own: if you're illiterate and learn Japanese, you can speak it but not read it. As a result, Communicators are prized for secret messages because Translators are always monitoring the airwaves.

To understand another language, make a TN 10 Smarts roll after reading a page in the new language or hearing a minute of it being spoken. If it succeeds they get 1 level of that language and repeated successes over time can increase the level by 1 each time until it's as high as their native tongue. For Tricks, they get:


Man, even the Translator's picture is boring.

Codebreaker: As long as you know the language of a cipher or code (does not apply to stuff like semaphore) the Translator can use an extra success to break the code and know it like another language. It takes one extra for a simple code, two for a standard and three for a complex code. If the code is too short to get a full handle on, it takes another success in addition to all others.

Instant Comprehension: Use extra successes to gain extra levels per moment of learning instead of repeated exposure.


A scene from something you'll never see in this game ever.

Thoughts on the Translator: Wow, really giving the Ace a run for their money huh. The Translator is basically a NPC/contact powerset. Unless you're playing a high-stakes espionage type game, it's really not worth playing a Translator. You have to roll off raw Smarts to break codes and that takes a lot of successes. But consider the following: it's 1942 and the Ultra has already been invented. The machines can basically break all of the top codes already and nobody trusts radio so Communicators are a top pick. The mechanic of knowing new languages is annoyingly gradual and dumb.

Case in point: he has English 5. Good! He starts play with literally no other languages. I sure hope you want to learn these languages on the fly through play and making the other characters wait as you talk to someone or read books repeatedly for up to days on end.

WEREBEAR

Become a, uh, Werebear.

The Werebear comes in Man, Beast and Bear modes. The man is normal and has all their normal skills and stats. The beast is a two-legged monstrous manimal with claws and teeth like knives. The bear is a bear, just a really drat smart bear. The Werebear can claw/claw/bite as a full attack action. The off-hand claw has no penalties but adding the bite on is +4 TN and making more than one attack adds on +4 for +8 TN total. The Werebear is as smart as it is in all forms but is just limited by what it can do in each form by biology. Any skills learned in any form are added on like normal skills.



There are downsides to being a Werebear, though. They're terrified of fire, taking -5 to all actions involving them. They also get an augmented form of Savage, transforming into beast mode if they ever lose control in human or bear form and attack anything around them. This is normally a TN 5 Spirit roll but raises to TN 10 during a full moon. Finally, anything silver does double damage if it's used as an attack in any form. For Tricks, they get:

Bear Hug: An extra success on a claw-claw attack can turn into a two-armed bear hug that deals Strength damage. The Werebear can bite the head without needing to attack and the only thing short of a Strength roll to escape is to kill the Werebear.

Terrify: Roar to intimidate, an extra success forcing a TN 5 Bravery roll or run and any other successes add +1 to the TN.


Their groin is, like, loving concave.

Thoughts on the Werebear: So after a bunch of relatively thematic Deltas, it's time for a loving werebear. The Werebear's claw/claw/bite is a good idea but not very good in execution because hey, +8 to the TN to maul someone. The damage is generally alright, the Bear Hug is really the selling point because hey, free bite. But you're loving huge so you're easier to hit even if you have more wounds and actually it's not even really expressed how the damage carries over between forms. Do you think they really thought out how Delta Weres work? Because I don't think they did.

Speaking of, time for Comrade Bear! First of all what the gently caress is wrong with your claws. Second of all what the gently caress is wrong with your stats and plotting. You gave him Max Strength, which is pretty good, but all he can do is climb. Seriously, did nobody proof this part of the book? Ridiculous.

WERESHARK

Like bear but shark.



The Wereshark can do pretty much everything the Werebear can but with a shark instead of a bear. The downsides change though. First, the Wereshark has an attachment to the ocean. As long as the Wereshark is within sight or smell of the ocean, they're calm. Without it, +3 to any Spirit rolls by being constantly on edge. The Savage quality is unchanged except replace Full Moon with High Tide. Finally, instead of the silver vulnerability, the Wereshark can't abide fresh water in beast or shark form. Fresh water forces a stun check to avoid illness for a hour that adds +3 to all TNs. For Tricks, they get:

Monster Bite: An extra success on a bite attack means the Wereshark latches on and won't let go. You don't have to roll to bite the target, you just automatically deal bite damage.

Water Sneak: An extra Sneak success in the water means the Wereshark can dive and disappear from the naked eye. The Wereshark can then make a surprise attack by resurfacing or biting someone underwater. This doesn't fool radar or someone who can sense living forces.


Jawesome Joint Damage!

Thoughts on the Wereshark: The bite power is pretty dang good as you might have noticed. The big downside? Being slow and clumsy outside of water. This puts a big drat crimp in waddling up to people to gnaw on them to death. They're also more prone to going berserk because high tide is once a drat day as opposed to a full moon. Being bound to the water like that is rough as well. The ability to disengage and surprise people at will is crazy lethal though.

Yeah okay I guess they just didn't feel like filling out the Werebear character. He's pretty well-rounded but I would remove his ability with blades and add it to melee. Aside from that? Appropriately dangerous.



AWARDS

Most Likely To Kill A Room Full Of People Without Breaking A Sweat:
The Gasser because Ranged Rules. There are some other dangerous Deltas but 5d6+5 poison gas that deals massive damage? Potent poo poo.

Best Battlefield Control/Exploitation: Tie between the Dunemaster and the Wereshark. Leaning more towards Wereshark because of their innate combat edge.

Most Pigeonholed Into One Job: A lot of these characters are but none as bad as the Translator.

Melee Class Most Affected By Dex-Focus in Game Engine: Sorry Wereshark, being slower on land isn't a good thing.

Peak 90s: The weird Captain Climate vibe from everyone who has environment-based powers. Runner up: the physical designs of the Werebears and the Weresharks. Look at those loving proportions and claws.

Most Cribbed Directly From Deadlands: Not really applicable here, thankfully. There is a delightful lack of metaplot among these Deltas.

Best Optional Combat Rule Shenanigans: For outright murder? The Wereshark's at-will swimming surprise attacks. For shenanigans? The Jungler's abilities to gently caress people over with plants if the enemy is unaware is nice but hands down the ability to just command an army of poisonous insects with barely any effort is wonderful.

Most Broken Class (Not In A Good Way): Hmm. The Desiccator and Freezer needing to pick a Trick to hurt someone? I'll call those runner ups. No, the most broken class is the Translator for its dumb, repetitive learning process.

NEXT TIME: new Gadgets and all sorts of new combat stuff like guns and rules.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 06:04 on Jun 25, 2016

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Did they just reference the sinking of the USS Indianapolis for their Wereshark? Kind of tasteless if that's true - not as tasteless as the Gasser class.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Hey guess who else is a Wereshark? Did you guess "that guy in LA who is wantonly murdering women in costumes"? Spoilers: he is a wereshark.

There's no explicit reference to the sinking of the Indianapolis, it just seems they wanted to offer a variant of Water Delta that wasn't an Aquarian even though in the process they made them way better than Aquarians. Aquarians actually show up as playable in the next book and they...do not stack up.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I figure it was likely referenced since that is a pretty drat famous Battleship sinking, especially given half the reason for it's fame is because of the amount of sharks that got drawn to the wreckage to scavenge or predate on sailors.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Young Freud posted:

Confession time: considering all the Dallas-centric popping up in the WGA Universe, I think I'm starting to realize that I might have run into Abby Soto before, like outside of a convention or gaming store setting. And I'm scared.

You might have. They are definitely based in Dallas.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Robindaybird posted:

I figure it was likely referenced since that is a pretty drat famous Battleship sinking, especially given half the reason for it's fame is because of the amount of sharks that got drawn to the wreckage to scavenge or predate on sailors.

Eh, fair enough. It's possible but I can neither confirm nor deny it. I think they also wanted to play up the pulp trope of SHARKS!.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

As a Northerner born and bred, I'd uncritically believe any of those stories about the Deep South.

As someone who grew up in the south and went on to spend more than half my life in the Pacific Northwest I can assure you that despite Hollywood's predilection towards giving every corrupt small-town sheriff a southern accent regardless of where they're stationed that the south doesn't have a monopoly on racist, reactionary, or downright crazy people.

My mother grew up in rural Alabama in the 60s-70s and actually did (and still does) collect books on things like herbalism and witchcraft as a hobby and as far as I know she was never accused of being a witch either in earnest or by someone wanting to tarnish her character.

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


Robindaybird posted:

Did they just reference the sinking of the USS Indianapolis for their Wereshark? Kind of tasteless if that's true - not as tasteless as the Gasser class.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u9S41Kplsbs

quote:

Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss): You were on the Indianapolis?
Brody (Roy Scheider): What happened?
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin' back, from the island of Tinian to Laytee, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know... was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it's... kinda like ol' squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he's got...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces.
Y'know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don't know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin' chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, boson's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He's a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

(According to the site I got this from, the movie got the date wrong)

I like the idea of playing a wereshark, but maybe that's because shark attacks are a real problem here.

While looking for that quote, I learned that John Milius helped write that speech, which is a more interesting fact than anything in Brave New World.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 07:16 on Jun 25, 2016

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Adnachiel posted:

You might have. They are definitely based in Dallas.

If it's the same person, then I definitely have a poor opinion of her, because she actually yelled at me when I got another job from another staffing agency. It was super unprofessional.

Robindaybird posted:

I figure it was likely referenced since that is a pretty drat famous Battleship sinking, especially given half the reason for it's fame is because of the amount of sharks that got drawn to the wreckage to scavenge or predate on sailors.

Actually, it's the single greatest loss of life at sea in the U.S. Navy's history, although I believe the USS Arizona tops it with pretty much all of it's crew either being killed in the magazine explosion or drowning when the ship sank at Pearl Harbor.

Of course, this isn't the Indianapolis, because it was about 1200 men who went into the ocean when it sunk. As well, it was sunk a few days after delivering the parts for Little Boy in 1945, so no Little Boy, no Indianapolis on a secret mission.

BTW, why are Dunemasters almost all Arabic or North African? Southern and eastern Europe actually has some sizable deserts. Spain's famous for many of them because they shot a lot of spaghetti westerns there, but there's places like Oleshky Sands in Ukraine and the Melnik Canyon and the Stone Desert in Bulgaria, all of which have dunes and sandstorms and other features associated with Arabian-type deserts. Afrika Corps actually trained in a small desert in Poland before going to North Africa. Shoot, where's the American Dunemasters from Nevada or California? Also, why would Forbeck assume that they'd work against the Nazis? Freies Arabien Legion was a thing, largely because a lot of the African and Asian nations were chaffing under British rule like the Iraqis and Indians viewed the Nazis as liberators in a way or at least a way to get back at their traditional enemies (like most of the ethnic groups in Yugoslavia).

Also, I have to wonder how well a Translator's ability would work against code words, because outside of direct orders, a lot of espionage and resistance groups used almost nonsensical and abstract phrases that a lot of them either had to reference phrase books, memorize, or learned in that group from other operatives and used for specific targets. Most famously, "Jean has a long mustache", "The chair is against the wall" or "There is a fire at the insurance agency", all of which was the signal for the French resistance to carry disruption attacks against the Germans the night before Normandy landings. Would the Translator be able to decipher such out-of-context phrases or, for a later example, numbers stations?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



There's an Irish Dunemaster but he got his powers from almost dying in the desert, so. I agree that there should be Chilean, Californian or Mongolian Dunemasters but unless you explicitly make one the game doesn't exactly entertain the notion because they just want to keep it simple for the audience at home. So because there's fighting in the desert, there's an overwhelming majority of Arabian/Egyptian/Libyan Dunemasters.

There's no examples of codes in play for Translators so who knows if coded phrases or numbers stations would be translated. It would still take a minimum of two extra successes to try and crack one. I applaud your thinking outside of the box but unfortunately this whole game runs on a certain degree of letting the GM come up with whatever. I had a friend ask if a Dunemaster could pull a guy under the sand when they're treating it like water and leaving them to drown and I had to say "well no there's no rules for that because that's creative".

And the Translator is still being phased out in exchange for the Communicator who you literally need to make passing eye contact with once to be able to talk to them until you die and their brain has unlimited storage space for chat buddies.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




The Demon F&F got me kicking around ideas, and it looks like I might be running a game of it soon, so I'm re-reading it myself. Holy poo poo, I forgot all about these loving sidebars full of white text on top of backgrounds full of white patches gently caress YOUUUUU

Maybe this was remarked on earlier; I haven't been following the conversation closely. But, just, goddamn.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Adnachiel posted:



Note that Necromancy teaches itself and this school also has a sanctioned witch Neo-Nazi youth group.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It wouldn't be a Channel M game without a backdoor for Nazi fetishism.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


I know that ultimately the Channel M stuff only exists so that the writers have flimsy rules to play with in their creepy fetish online rp sessions, but drat the -ness of the editing, world-building, and art are amazing. Like, why bother packaging this up and selling it if you can't even read through a draft for obvious typos? Is "using lovely rules for a baby world with less nuance than a Captain Planet episode" some very specific kink they desperately need to get off?

Nuns with Guns fucked around with this message at 15:20 on Jun 25, 2016

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
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Demon: the Descent

Angels, as noted, are made to do specific jobs, and are generally given only what they need to do that job. They are smart, but single-minded, and they all have one order in common: do not betray the mission. That's all most of them need. When it isn't...well, that's where demons get started. The line between demon and angel is quite thin. They share origins as outsiders to the world, and both also have free will - the difference is, demons choose to use it. Angels do not betray the mission. Most do so unthinkingly, while others just haven't found the right temptation. A few dance on the edge, close to a Fall but remaining loyal for now. Any demon knows better than to trust an angel, but they aren't always enemies, either. An angel can be a useful, if entirely untrustworthy contact or even ally. But then, you can't trust other demons, either. You know as well as anyone that demons are looking out for number one.

To angels, mortals are just...things, parts of the plan and generally not to be paid attention to unless they're useful. Demons are not things. Demons are family that betrayed them, black sheep to the God-Machine. Demons understand angels deeply, but angels cannot understand demons. To most angels, the entire idea of independence is utterly unthinkable. To consider it would be to understand the Fall - and thus to experience it. Thus, angels often feel a bitter, bitter anger at demons - they are betrayers that were once closer than brothers. Some even resent and envy demons, too terrified by freedom to seek it. They study demons and stretch themselves until they are dangerously close to Falling...and then, well, they do. Other angels stay dedicated and treat it as a personal duty to destroy or reassimilate demons...which can itself cause a Fall if it makes them deviate from the mission or go too far. Freedom is apparently rather infectious.

However, not all angels hate demons. Some angels see the Fallen as misguided and want to bring them back to proper alignment, or cure them of the corruption that has taken them. These views often are held by dumber or less aware angels, who cannot or who refuse to consider existence outside of what they are. Smarter angels and more self-willed ones tend to be more profoundly affected, feeling grief towards the irrevocable sundering of their 'family.' Angels, in their own way, feel friendship and even love for one another, and the Fall of an angel can be heartbreaking to others.

So, if not all angels hate demons or oppose them except by their allegiance, maybe you can work with some. These relationships are never without danger for both sides. Angels may be contacts because they've been ordered to infiltrate your friends and bring you home...and on the other hand, prolonged contact with demons can cause them to Fall. The Machine may know this but it certainly doesn't hesitate to set them to do it anyway. Maybe it's a test, or maybe it's just blindly following its programming, but whatever the case, an angelic contact can be very valuable in learning more about the Machine's plans and missions, or about angelic threats in the area. Of course, hunter angels are the most dangerous thing for a demon to face, so that's worth knowing about. Hunter angels are powerful and, unlike most angels, they know quite a lot about demons. The Machine does not hunt with weak angels, though it is capable of underestimating its prey. This is why many demons refuse to use their true power unless forced to.

It should also be noted that destroying an angel is generally not the best way to deal with one. If you can interrupt its mission and make it impossible to fulfill, it'll probably go away. If you destroy it and the mission is still possible, the God-Machine will usually send a stronger and more dangerous angel - especially if it knows demons are involved. Thus, demons often prefer to fight angels via proxy, using mortals or other creatures to do their dirty work and manipulating events to avoid direct conflict. If they get found out...well, the hunters get sent in.

Hunter angels come in many types. Their work is invariably centered on finding and retrieving or killing demons. Some have specific targets, others an ongoing job to hunt down any demons they can find. They are always extremely intelligent angels and often very capable of adapting to the mortal world...though this can make them at risk of a Fall. On the other hand, they tend be very proud and loyal. Their methods vary wildly. Some are straightforward and violent, trusting in their power to make up for the unsubtle planning...well, their power and their ability to force demons to ruin their own Covers in order to defeat them. Others lack this raw physical power but are vastly cunning, pretending at sympathy and acting as a contact for demons while reporting on them and deceiving them, until they are trapped in a way they cannot escape or find a way to ruin your Cover without you noticing. These are the more feared hunter angels, as they are very clever and very capable of spreading the damage they do over a long, careful period.

Demons aren't the only rogue angels out there, however. Demons made a choice. Not all angels get that choice. Sometimes, programming in the God-Machine becomes corrupted or errors pop up. (Some demons theorize the Machine itself may be an error.) Sometimes, an angel does not Fall but is removed from ties to the Machine. These are the exiles, never trusted and often feared. Exiles sometimes are made when the Machine makes an angel and gives it no job. This is rare, but there's been enough times that quite a few of them exist across the earth. Some maintain contact with demons closely, while others treat them as foes. These exiles have no mission, which is always very frustrating for them, and no feedback as to whether they're doing the Machine's will. Hunter angels never come for them. Many can't tell if they've Fallen or not. Some thrive on this freedom, while others become paranoid and depressed. Other exiles form when something goes catastrophically wrong. Their original mission might be impossible for some reason - they're sent to destroy something and might fail repeatedly or find that the thing is already destroyed. Usually, this leads to Fall, bot not always, and sometimes the Machine never recalls the angel or sends new missions. They have no orders, get no news. They are effectively exiled through bad communication. It's very rare, but the fact that it's possible often drives more self-aware angels to work that much harder. Many exiles of either type work desperately to reintegrate themselves into the Machine, while others form alliances with anyone that seems useful - including demons. Exiles are powerful, unpredictable and dangerous...but often useful to know.

Example angels include:
Mr. Shivers, a young man in a long coat who has a serrated knife for a hand. His job is to go out in winter - or at least when it's cold out - when people are feeling happy. He finds targets, approaches them, has a short and ceerful conversation, and then he murders them. His goal is to always kill someone whose death will cause the maximum grief for their social network. Why? Because that's his mission.
Alexandra Fairchild is an untraditional hunter angel, whose job is to befriend and help demons, then convince them to return to the Machine of their own free will. She will use any promise to do so, from seduction to promises of power and freedom in service. Obviously, much of this is lies. She is dangerously close to Falling as she interacts with demons and begins to understand them. She is curious about freedom, but is currently terrified of the Machine and the price of rebellion...and terrified of losing what she has already gained when her mission ends. She appears as a normal-looking human and enjoys collecting designer clothes, music and movies.
The Brilliant is a hunter angel in a more traditional sense. It appears as a humanoid figure bathed in light, but once you get past that, it is a gray, membranous creature with no face and a mouth full of grinding machines, with an exposed and bubbling brain. It is exceptionally unsubtle, appearing by emerging from (and destroying) light sources and striking away at demons to force them to burn down their own covers. It is fanatical in hunting and will even take on exiles if it gets a chance, being a bit overzealous in its goals.
The Keeper of the Dead is an impossibly old-looking man wiith white, unfocused eyes. His job is to maintain a graveyard full of Infrastructure, ensuring that certain souls are sent on to other places for the Machine. He does not know where. He also collects up ghosts and drages them down to the machines under the graveyard to labor in it or serve as fuel. The graveyard contains several blank headstones and empty plots or mausoleums carved in gibberish. The Keeper fixates on any living beings he encounters, following them around and asking them extremely personal questions about their emotions and physical sensations.
Orin the Arms Dealer is an exile, originally sent to give humans the weapons they needed to destroy each other. He has exceeded his original mission but never got new orders. He appears as a powerful bald man of indeterminate ethnicity who enjoys smoking cigars, which often form images of suffering faces when he exhales. He works largely to increase his influence in the arms black market and enjoys temporal power and money. He also deals in drugs and information at times, but prefers weapons deals. He enjoys taking part in illegal fights and collecting occult weapons. He has not actually Fallen yet (largely due to the fact that he has no orders), but he's definitely on the path ot it and happy about it.

Next time: Stigmatics.

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