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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.



I like Cold City a lot because the only way the Nazi weird science changes anything is in the sister game Hot War which is just a "what if? reality, not a guaranteed outcome. It is kind of tricky to run, but we'll get into it later. Really I just decided to cover it as a personal palate cleanser.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I've always been intrigued by the pitch for Cold City, but I'm not sure it was released the last time I peeked at it. Thanks for investigating it for us.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Kai Tave posted:

Well the various global powers certainly seem to think that the Nazi's many weird science experiments have the potential to be awesome, but the book goes to great pains to illustrate that no, it would be for the best if everybody just left that poo poo alone but the Cold War is in the process of ramping up so rational policy-making is going to go out the window because you can't let there be a shoggoth gap.
I'm assuming this game namechecks Stross' A Colder War? I mention it because it literally has a line about a shoggoth gap

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Comrade Gorbash posted:

I'm assuming this game namechecks Stross' A Colder War? I mention it because it literally has a line about a shoggoth gap

I can't remember if it explicitly mentions that story or not but it's definitely in the same ballpark, though Cold City takes place in an earlier era than Stross' story does.

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 brought up under further reading under literature.

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


Kurieg posted:

Hey guys, I didn't forget Beast, I'll try to hammer out some stuff tomorrow. Just been a little distracted with a combination of work being just busy enough that I can't work on write-ups during downtime, but still so mind numbing that the last thing I want to do when I get home is type.

Hurry there are still the Beast Supplements and novellas to cover after this

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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






Godlike, Chapter II: Game Mechanics, Part 2


Combat in Godlike seems like it’s pretty easy to handle. As I mentioned, the system was based around being able to resolve each character’s action with a single roll, with initiative, accuracy, damage, and even hit location handled with the basic die mechanic.

So long as you’re cool with that, I expect the most complaint to be that there are quite a few fussy fiddly bits in the combat rules. Don’t worry, these don’t involve exhaustive tables or any such thing--just a lot of little rules, mainly to handle weapons like machineguns, grenades, and flamethrowers differently from a rifle bullet or bayonet thrust.

The basic combat round goes like this:

Step 1: Declaration. Everyone declares what they’re doing, starting with the character with the lowest Sense and counting up from there. If there’s a tie, PCs act before NPCs. The Sight skill or a 1d10 rolloff breaks ties between PCs.

Step 2: Roll. Everyone rolls the Stat+Skill pool for what they’re doing. Body+Knife-Fighting, Coordination+Rifle, Coordination+Dodge, whatever.

Step 3: Resolution. Width acts as initiative, so the widest set goes first, with Height as the tiebreaker. Attacks that hit deal damage immediately. Anyone who gets hit loses a die from their Highest set! Being wounded is distracting.

This means that if we’re attacking each other, and I roll 3x1 and you roll 2x10, your set loses a die and your action is ruined. If I rolled 4x1 and you rolled 3x10, your attack still hits me as a 2x10. Or, if you were lucky enough to roll multiple sets, you’d just use the other one.

Yes, this also means that you can’t Dodge attacks that are wider than your Dodge roll.

Damage

Both the Width and the Height of your roll are important in determining damage.

The character sheet provides a little silhouette chart, showing how many wound “boxes” of damage each hit location can take. Width determines how many boxes of damage you do. Height determines which location you hit. I’ve never seen a game that incorporated hit locations as a matter of course and did it so cleanly.




Okay, there is one chart and a few tables in this game.

There are 2 types of damage, and rules for excess damage. Shock damage is bruises, scrapes, pain, and fatigue. Killing damage is all the stuff that can immediately kill you, like blades and bullets.

When a limb fills up with Shock damage, that limb is disabled for the rest of the fight. Any overflow Shock damage becomes Killing damage. When a limb fills up with Killing damage, it’s disabled until you get medical care, and any overflow Killing damage goes into your Torso location. Depending on the type of injury, that limb may also be gone, or perhaps just permanently lose a wound box after you recover. It’s up to the GM.

When your torso fills with Shock damage, you’re conscious but Body and Coordination are reduced by 4, to a minimum of 1. Any overflow becomes Killing damage. When your torso fills with Killing damage, you’re dead.

When your head fills with Shock damage, you’re knocked out for the rest of the fight. Overflow becomes Killing. When your head fills with Killing damage, you’re dead.

A note on location 10: It really means “head or vitals.” It could also represent a blow to the spine, liver, femoral artery, etc. The main reason for noting this is the Hard Dice I mentioned. If a Talent has, for example, some Hard Dice in her heat vision power, it doesn’t mean her eyebeams always inexplicably hit people in the head. It means they always do as much damage as they possibly can.


How bout a little bayonet, scarecrow?

Hand-to-Hand Combat Actions

Hand-to-hand attack and defense is the simplest form of combat, actually. You want to hurt someone, roll Body+Brawl or Body+Knife-Fighting. Want to dodge, roll Coordination+Dodge. There are no special penalties for fighting multiple guys, since that’s already handled by the penalties for multiple actions, getting hit before your action goes off, etc. But there are a few special moves you can do.

Called shots: To hit a specific location, take a -1d penalty. Then you can set one of your remaining dice to the desired number, and roll the rest as normal. So if I want to kick you in the right leg and I have Body+Brawl 6d, I lose one die, set one die at 2, and roll 3 dice hoping for another 2.

Pinning: If you want to tackle someone, just say so. Your attack only does 1 point of Shock damage, but they’re knocked down and pinned until they escape. Pinned people can’t dodge or attack anyone except the person pinning them, and any attacks against them get +1d. If you’re pinning someone, that ends when you’re knocked out, they beat you with a Body+Brawl roll, or you leave them to do something else. You can also choke them without making a called shot.

Choking and Strangling: Choking is treated as a called shot to the head. It only does 1 point of shock damage, but you can keep automatically doing 1 point of Shock damage to the head per turn. Chokes are broken like pins, or if the choker takes damage. Strangling--closing off the arteries of the neck--is better than choking, doing 2 points of Shock per round. But Godlike assumes that since most Allied troops in the early 1940s wouldn’t know how to do a proper stranglehold, so you’ll need a garotte, scarf, etc. to do that. (By the way, Rex Applegate published instructions for the “Japanese deathlock” in Kill or Get Killed in 1943.)

Disarming: Disarming is handled as a called shot to the limb holding the weapon. If you win, you’re now holding their weapon. If the weapon is sharp, take a point of Killing damage to the limb you’re using. Greg Stolze isn’t having any of your quick-and-easy knife disarm YouTubes.

Aiming: You can’t aim in hand-to-hand combat unless you’re ambushing someone, in which case, you get +1d and make a called shot with no penalty.



The Nazi War Machine is no match for the The Allied Man Train.

Ranged Combat Actions

Attacking in ranged combat is simple; roll Coordination+whatever weapon skill you’re using. As with hand-to-hand, there are a few special maneuvers and complications. Where it gets more complicated is in dodging ranged attacks, covered in the next section.

Aiming: If you spend one or two rounds aiming, you can add 1d or 2d to your pool. (+2d is the max.)

Sniper: If you’re aiming at someone who doesn’t know they’re in a combat situation, you get an additional +1d.

Called Shots: Handled the same as with hand-to-hand combat. Notably, if you get a set besides the one you were trying for, you still hit. So it’s possible to try to shoot someone in the leg and get them in the head instead. Whoops.

Cover Fire: Cover fire represents firing blindly from cover. (Godlike notes that this is how most soldiers fired their weapons most of the time in WWII.) You stand little chance of hitting anything, but you can keep all your hit locations, including your head, behind hard cover.

If you’re firing blind, expend at least 3 bullets and roll 2d. If they come up a set, everyone who might get hit rolls a d10. (Multiple targets must be tightly grouped.) If they match the number of your set, they’re hit as if your set had a Width of 1. (So a weapon that does Width+1 Killing does 2 Killing.)



The leaf hats are lovely, soldier. But you do realize, of course, that we’re in Egypt?

How to Not Die

Dodging gunfire is different from dodging melee attacks, because you can’t dodge bullets, you can only run for cover.

Dodging: Roll Coordination+Dodge. When you roll a set, the dice in that set become Gobble Dice that can cancel out dice from a melee attack. You can’t dodge attacks that are Wider or Higher than yours.

For example, three Nazi bastards attack me with clubs. They roll 2x9, 2x6, and 3x4. I roll 2x10. I remove 1 die from the 2x9 and 2x6 sets, ruining the attacks. I can’t dodge the third attack at all.

Dodging is potent in that one set can foil multiple attacks. But if you’re dodging, you’re probably not doing anything else, which is a losing game. And dodging doesn’t work against ranged attacks at all.

Taking Cover: You can avoid gunfire by diving for cover--preferably behind something big and tough like a wall or vehicle, or into a trench. When faced with incoming fire, this is the only option for soldiers who don’t have superhuman speed or a Talent that stops bullets.

To take cover, tell the GM what you plan to hide behind, and roll Coordination+Dodge. The width of your roll determines initiative as usual, so a Wider attack hits you before you can move. Height determines how many hit locations are hidden--based on the table below and what kind of cover you have available.



Once you’re behind cover, you benefit from it until you move away, the cover is destroyed, or you’re attacked from another direction. You can keep shooting from cover, of course, but that requires you to expose your head and one or two arms, at least.

When you have cover, attacks that would hit a covered location hit the cover instead. Cover gives you an armor rating in that location. (In a shootout, that wouldn’t be worth tracking. But this is war, and even diving into a fortified trench might not protect you from an 88mm shell or a Talent’s power.) There is no cover against hand-to-hand combat.

I can understand why some players won’t like this. Combat in Godlike is deadly, but it defaults to “theatre of the mind,” and it relies on the GM being fair about what cover is available, how much armor it provides, and if your cover protects you from the vector of a particular attack.

Moving Target: If you’re caught out in the open with no cover, you can “serpentine” to force your attacker to meet a Difficulty 3 to hit you. (In this case the GM can roll a d10 separately for hit location, so this doesn’t make your feet magically invincible.) This doesn’t work against machinegun and submachine gun fire.

Armor: There are two types of Armor in Godlike: Light Armor rating (LAR) and Heavy Armor rating (HAR). LAR is the kind you get from wearing a helmet. HAR is the kind you get from wearing a tank.

LAR has two benefits. First, any Shock damage you take is reduced to 1 point. Second, each point of armor converts a point of Killing to a point of Shock. For example, say I’m shot in the head with a carbine--the Nazi scum rolls 2x10, doing 3 Killing and 2 Shock. I’m wearing a steel helmet that gives LAR 2 to the head. The 2 Shock is reduced to 1, and the 3 Killing becomes 2 Killing, 1 shock. So I’ve taken 2 Killing and 2 Shock to the head--enough to fill that damage track and knock me unconscious, but not fatally.

HAR is serious stuff. Each point of HAR reduces both the Width and the damage of any attack by 1. So if you have HAR 2, it automatically spoils any 3x sets against you.


As you can see, there wasn’t a lot of personal body armor available in WWII.

Concealment: If you’re obscured by fog, shadows, light brush, etc., attacks against you take -1d, but this doesn’t count as cover. It doesn’t help against cover fire or hand to hand attacks.


Keeps saying he’s got something called Aspberger’s, Sarge. Sounds German.

Healing

After combat is over, you remove half your Shock damage from that battle with a few minutes’ rest. After a full day of rest, you can roll Body+Health to remove (Width) points of Shock; you choose the locations. So Shock damage can rack up if you’re stuck in a protracted battle or fighting behind enemy lines.

Killing damage is much harder to heal, requiring real medical care and a Brains+Medicine roll. Width determines the length of the operation, Height determines how many points of Killing are converted to Shock. Each hit location requires a separate operation. Without treatment, it takes a week of complete rest to convert a point of Killing into Shock.

Injuries can also get worse. If you take Killing damage, you need to be stabilized with a First Aid roll within about 15 minutes. Otherwise, you take 1 point of Shock to your worst injury each day until you get serious medical care. Again, a real problem if you’re behind enemy lines or the only Army surgeon nearby got himself killed.


Other stuff

Range: Weapons have a listed range, but it’s pretty loose. You get +1d with firearms within a few yards, -1d if you’re between close range and maximum range. You can try to hit something up to twice the listed maximum, but you need to make a Sense+Sight roll to even attempt it.

Movement: Movement in combat is also meant to be loose. You can run up to about 10+(2*Body) yards in a round. Running gives a -1d to most actions, but you can move about (Body) yards without taking a penalty.

Murder: If you have a weapon and attack a totally helpless target, don’t bother rolling. Cutting a sleeping man’s throat, shooting a bound prisoner, or stomping a fallen soldier’s head...the chance of failure isn’t worth rolling. However, murdering a helpless person, even Nazi garbage, provokes a Cool+Mental Stability roll to avoid Battle Fatigue (covered in the Powers chapter later.)



day i got pineapples

Weapons

Weapons deal damage based on the Width of your roll. They often deal a combination of Killing and Shock damage. Some weapons have special Qualities. Machineguns lay down a hail of fire, grenades blow up everyone standing nearby, and anti-tank weapons blow through heavy armor.



This chapter only provides a basic list of weapon stats. Fully detailed equipment lists come much later in the book--I promise, when I review Chapter 7, you guys can argue about the differences between Thompsons, STENs, and Sturmgewehrs to your hearts’ content.



Area: Area weapons like grenades and rockets deal damage twice. The person at ground zero takes damage as rolled, and then everyone in range is hit by Area dice. Roll the weapon’s Area dice; everyone takes a point of Killing damage to the locations that come up. Also, everyone in range takes 2 points of Shock. Getting blown up sucks, kids. Cover and armor protect normally against Area dice.

Spray: These are automatic weapons. Shooters with Spray weapons take no penalty to multiple attacks. Unless you’re firing a single shot, you can also add the weapon’s Spray dice to the pool. Spray dice also add to cover fire. Heavy machineguns usually have a Spray of 2. Submachine guns have a Spray of 2-4.

Burn: Fire-based weapons are common and scary. Most Burn weapons do low damage, but when they hit, every location except the head takes 1 Shock and is on fire, suffering another 1 Shock every turn until the fire is put out. Most Burn weapons use sticky fuel, so only complete immersion or totally smothering the flames will stop the burning. Anyone set on fire has to make a Cool+Mental Stability to avoid panicking, and so does anyone attempting to charge someone firing a Burn weapon. Burn weapons with the Area quality work a little differently from explosives: they only deal shock damage (and don’t hit everyone in the area with 2 Shock), but the affected locations are on fire.

Penetration: Penetrating weapons are made to blow apart heavy armor. When they hit a target with HAR, they permanently reduce it by Width+Penetration. (If any HAR remains, it protects and reduces the Width of the attack as normal.) Most penetrating weapons also have Area; the Area dice are applied to nearby people--including the people inside the heavy armor, if it was totally destroyed. There aren’t any WWII era weapons that can destroy multiple hard targets.

Slow: Slow weapons take their Slow rating in rounds before they can be used again. The simplest example is that bolt-action rifles have Slow 1, so they can only attack every other round. Mortars and anti-tank weapons have higher Slow ratings.

Machineguns: Machineguns are large automatic weapons, too heavy to carry. They’re designed to repel infantry charges with a flurry of bullets. When you fire a machinegun, you expend your die pool in bullets--these aren’t marksman rifles. If you only have 7 bullets left in your machinegun, you can’t roll more than 7 dice.

Submachine Guns: Small, man-portable machine guns like the Thompson or STEN gun. Submachine gun technology developed throughout the war, as they were found to be very effective in close quarters. These guns fire multiple bullets per attack like machine guns, but you can also fire single shots. If you’re running low when firing multiple shots, you don’t suffer a penalty.

Flamethrowers: Flamethrowers are Burn weapons; most also have the Area quality, and they do damage as described above. There is one big drawback to carrying a flamethrower: If you take a hit to location 9, your tank blows up. You take an additional 1 Killing to your torso, and now every single hit location is on fire. This also creates an Area 3 attack against everyone around you.

Grenades: For simplicity’s sake, grenades go off 1 round after they’re thrown; on that turn, Width determines the timing of when it blows, as normal. After it’s thrown but before it explodes, the target has a few options.

First, you can kick it away with a Coordination+Grenade roll. You don’t take any damage except the 2 Shock. This doesn’t work in an enclosed space, like if someone pitches a grenade in your foxhole.

Second, you can pick it up and throw it back. This is a multiple action with Coordination+Grenade. Use one set to grab the grenade and toss it away, and another to attack the target.

Third, you can actually catch it in the air and throw it back--this actually happened quite often; thank God baseball was America’s pastime. This works the same as picking it up and throwing it, but you don’t lose a die because you have extra time. However, this doesn’t work in dark and fog when you can’t see the grenade sailing through the air.

Lastly, you can dive on it. The GM may require a Cool+Mental Stability roll. You take all the grenade’s damage to your torso, plus 12 points of Shock (all that Area shock is focused on you). No one else takes damage.

Throwing poo poo: A normal man throwing a rock or other debris rolls Body+Throw and does Width in Shock; no big deal. But if you’re a Talent who can bench-press tanks, any big heavy thing you throw does Width or half your Body (rounded down) in Shock. If you have Body 6+, it does Width in both Shock and Killing instead.



Gute Nacht, Goon

Other Ways to Die

These are more detailed than they probably need to be. I’m not getting into all the details because I have read literally dozens of roleplaying games with drowning, burning, freezing, blah blah blah rules that I never ever used.

Electricity has a dice pool measuring its strength, all the way up to a lightning bolt (10d). It does Width shock, but hit location is determined by circumstance--it starts in whatever part was hit, then grounds, doing the same damage to each hit location on its way to ground. Being hit with a steady current is worse. Being soaking wet is also bad.

Falling is bad. You take Killing unless you land on something at least as soft as soft ground, or something like tree branches breaks your fall on the way down. You take a point of damage for every 10 feet, to a maximum of 10, to every relevant location. A successful Coordination+appropriate skill roll will let you land on your legs only. (So if you fell 100 feet onto concrete and landed on your feet, you’d still cripple both legs and take just enough overflow damage to your torso to kill you.)

Drowning: You can hold your breath for Body/2 minutes, then you have to start making Body+Endurance rolls to avoid inhaling water, losing dice. Then you start taking damage to your head and torso and will die in a few rounds.

Cold: Your Body protects you from freezing cold: days in a shelter, hours in cold weather gear, minutes if you’re out in the open with not even warm clothing. After that, you start taking Shock damage to your limbs, then to your head and torso. As your limbs accumulate killing damage, you have the chance to develop gangrene even if you escape. The rate is accelerated in extreme cold (-40F or below), or if your clothes are wet and freezing.

Fire: Fire is handled basically the same as burning weapons. If a limb catches fire, it will take 1 Shock each round; when it fills with Killing the fire spreads to the torso. If your head catches on fire, you’ll also be blinded for several minutes. To douse burning fuel, you’ll have to immerse yourself in water. A bucket of water or stop-drop-and-roll won’t work unless the ground is very wet and muddy.

Crashes: This rule applies to car wrecks, plane wrecks, and similar situations. The circumstances of the crash create a Difficulty--high speed, a dirt road, a damaged vehicle, no seat belt, no driving skill, etc. are bad. Failure causes Shock damage to all locations and more to the number rolled.

The experience rules are also in this chapter because they wanted to front-load all the mechanics you’ll use in play. I’m saving them for after character creation.


Next update: Ugh, finally...Character Creation!

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011



Comrade Gorbash posted:

I'm assuming this game namechecks Stross' A Colder War? I mention it because it literally has a line about a shoggoth gap

If you hadn't linked that, I was about to. There was a great derail in the TFR Cold War thread about Weird Cold War fiction.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Bedlamdan posted:

Hurry there are still the Beast Supplements and novellas to cover after this

Spoiler alert: Some of the Beast Novellas are actually good because they treat beasts as the walking misery engines that they actually are.

That said there's still a story where a girl gaslights and murders her mother, frames her mother's new boyfriend for it, and doesn't understand why her dad isn't happy about it.

Nancy_Noxious
Apr 10, 2013

by Smythe


Beast is a breath of fresh air.

What? Abusers? I always correct that when I GM, therefore the game is fine as is. The game requires a GM by design, so the fact that small corrections are needed is a feature, since it trains GM instincts!

You people say it's fine to say Pathfinder and Next are, on those grounds, if not good games, at least games that Should Be Never Shat Upon, since a Good GM can make them work.

The same should hold for Beast, I guess. It's just thematic instead of mechanical corrections that are needed.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Red Metal
Oct 23, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck



Fun Shoe

you have problems

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I don't recall signing any agreements not to poo poo on Next and Pathfinder as hard as I possibly can. They are both lousy games.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Nancy_Noxious posted:

Beast is a breath of fresh air.

What? Abusers? I always correct that when I GM, therefore the game is fine as is. The game requires a GM by design, so the fact that small corrections are needed is a feature, since it trains GM instincts!

You people say it's fine to say Pathfinder and Next are, on those grounds, if not good games, at least games that Should Be Never Shat Upon, since a Good GM can make them work.

The same should hold for Beast, I guess. It's just thematic instead of mechanical corrections that are needed.

What? Pathfinder and Next are both poo poo games. Beast is even worse. Like if poo poo could take a poo poo.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


You could just write a spiteful review instead of moaning endlessly about others not being as venomous as you'd like.

Be the hate you wish to see in the world.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Pathfinder and Next are both badly designed games (Next willfully so) but you can sort of have fun with them by acknowledging the faults and ignoring them. (No one plays a Fighter or pure martial for one, knowing where the trap options are, etc).

Beast's story is so intertwined with it's mechanics it's almost impossible to avoid stepping in the poo poo. The tilts and conditions encourage degenerate behavior that would make a serial killer blush, while all the while glorifying it and saying what a good person you are. The fact that it demonizes Gamergate while simultaneously justifying it(at least in universe) just makes it worse.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I mean, these exact points were brought up the last time this exact poster driveby shat up the thread. Why bother wasting space responding again?

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


Kurieg posted:

Spoiler alert: Some of the Beast Novellas are actually good because they treat beasts as the walking misery engines that they actually are.

Oh poo poo!

Kurieg posted:

That said there's still a story where a girl gaslights and murders her mother, frames her mother's new boyfriend for it, and doesn't understand why her dad isn't happy about it.

Oh poo poo!


Nancy_Noxious posted:

Beast is a breath of fresh air.

What? Abusers? I always correct that when I GM, therefore the game is fine as is. The game requires a GM by design, so the fact that small corrections are needed is a feature, since it trains GM instincts!

You people say it's fine to say Pathfinder and Next are, on those grounds, if not good games, at least games that Should Be Never Shat Upon, since a Good GM can make them work.

The same should hold for Beast, I guess. It's just thematic instead of mechanical corrections that are needed.

I loving love Pathfinder

quote:

Demon Mother's Mask

Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot Head; Price 3,600 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description:
This primitive hyena-like mask is usually made of leather, but some are made of soft metal like copper or even carved out of the skull of an animal. You gain a +2 competence bonus on Handle Animal and Heal checks. You can smell when nearby creatures are in heat or otherwise especially fertile (creatures such as humans that can breed any time of year always smell fertile unless they are barren).

If Lamashtu is your patron, the mask counts as a holy symbol and a hole for a third eye appears in the mask’s forehead. You may use summon monster II once per day to summon a fiendish hyena, which obeys you as if you shared a common language. You may interbreed with animals that are within one size category of your size, usually creating (if you are a humanoid) animal-humanoid creatures such as gnolls or lizardfolk, or sometimes natural lycanthropes prone to live in hybrid form.

Construction
Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, detect animals or plants, polymorph, summon monster II, creator must have at least 5 ranks in Handle Animal and Heal; Cost 1,800 gp

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Nancy_Noxious posted:

Beast is a breath of fresh air.

What? Abusers? I always correct that when I GM, therefore the game is fine as is. The game requires a GM by design, so the fact that small corrections are needed is a feature, since it trains GM instincts!

You people say it's fine to say Pathfinder and Next are, on those grounds, if not good games, at least games that Should Be Never Shat Upon, since a Good GM can make them work.

The same should hold for Beast, I guess. It's just thematic instead of mechanical corrections that are needed.

ur gimmick is dumb.

Ego Trip
Aug 28, 2012


Comrade Gorbash posted:

I'm assuming this game namechecks Stross' A Colder War? I mention it because it literally has a line about a shoggoth gap

Stross also has The Laundry Files, which also touches on Weird Nazi Science.

The Nazis were about to finish a project that would have won the war, technically. They weren't actually all that skilled, they just burned a lot of resources. Also the Ice Giant they wanted to summon would have eaten the universe over the next 70 years or so. The main character visits a universe where they succeeded, and he spends a few moments watching the stars go out.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Chapter 3: Part 2

Lair
Lair is a a measure of how 'big' a Beast's lair is, It's also the Beast's 'blood potency' or 'primal urge'. It's a measure of how strong they are, and how strong they can be. As their lair increases in size, they can add additional chambers, and add additional traits to their lair. Lair also imposes a limit on how many lair traits they can impose upon the real world in a scene, which is something we'll go over later. And since Lair is "Blood Potency" once they get to 6 lair or higher, they can start increasing their traits beyond human maximum and increasing your lifespan. It also serves as your supernatural tolerance trait

The Primordial Dream
All humans are connected on a spiritual level. All human lives are just fins on the great leviathan that is the Temenos, the bright dream. The human racial memory that contains all concepts shared between humans, the sum total of their civilization and culture. But down beneath even that is the Primordial dream, the animal instincts that we couldn't get rid of but hide behind the veneer of civilization.

God I feel dumb even quoting this.

The Hive
All the chambers in a region are a part of a larger region known as the Hive. The Apex of the area (Whether they're actually aware of it or not) exert their influence on the Hive. A Werewolf known for mercilessly hunting down foes might cause the chambers to echo with howls and smell of blood. A Mage known for their prowess with storms might cause peals of thunder and random lightning strikes. If the Apex is a Beast, then the Hive reflects their lair, a Makara might cause a single great river to flow through every chamber in the hive.

The Horrors of the Beasts in the area roam through the Hive while beasts sleep. If they're hungry they feed on sleeping humans and cause nightmares, these nightmares are no more damaging or traumatic as any other dream unless the Horrors repeatedly feed on the same person over and over again. Beasts can choose to sever their connection from the Hive, usually done if the Apex in the area is using their status to manipulate the other beasts or make their lives hell. But doing so limits the range their Horror can roam and makes attracting heroes more likely.

Chambers and Burrows
Chambers are Rooms in the Primordial Dream, they're connected via hallways called Burrows. Chambers also correspond to the physical location they represent. Beasts can attach a chamber to their lair by finding the physical location that corresponds to the Chamber as long as that location contains at least one trait that matches one of the Beast's lair trait and either A)The beast achieved an exceptional success on a Nightmare roll in the location B)Another character lost integrity/morality via a breaking point with the Beast present or C)a human character lost integrity in the location via an encounter with the supernatural. In the case of C the Beast needs to learn what happened and what supernatural being was involved before adding it to their lair, they can do this by examining the location and "tuning into it".

quote:

Dice Pool: Wits + Occult + Lair
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The Horror takes a strong, instinctive
dislike to the Chamber and whoever spawned it. If the
Beast’s Satiety falls below 5 during the next week, the Horror
automatically seeks out the mortal whose Integrity loss caused
the Chamber and feeds on his dreams. The Beast can never
add this location to her Lair.
Failure: The Beast cannot find any information about
the Chamber this way, but can still investigate the area by
mundane means.
Success: The Beast sees a brief, muted vision of the
incident that led to the creation of the Chamber. If she
sees the supernatural being or the mortal victim again,
she recognizes them. If the Beast investigates the incident
further, the player may add the successes on this roll as a
positive modifier to any involved rolls. Each of these dice can
be used only once, but they can be split between multiple
rolls during the investigation. For example, if a player rolls
three successes on the roll to learn about the Chamber,
and later rolls to persuade a contact to tell her about what
happened in that location, she can apply a +3 modifier (using
all of the dice) or apply a +1 or +2 modifier and keep the
remainder for other actions.
Exceptional Success: As above. In addition, the Beast can
follow the psychic trail of either the supernatural being or the
victim (not both) to wherever they went after the incident. The
trail goes cold after approximately half a mile.
Chambers can last up to 5 years without being attached to a lair. But if even a week has gone by it gets harder to 'tune into' the chamber. Somewhat more, well not amusingly, but interestingly. If a Beast particularly likes a chamber but doesn't want to bother finding out more information about it, they can drag a mortal to the area and scare them into losing integrity to 'refresh' the chamber and add it. Once the Beast knows exactly what happened in a Chamber, and as long as it meets the trait requirement, the Beast can spend a point of Satiety and add the Chamber to their lair. This process is taxing, however, and can only be done once a story.

While stealing a chamber from the Astral might be useful for, say, protecting your Heart, it's basically worthless for actually getting to your lair normally. And you'd have to gently caress with a mage buddy to get it.

The Heart
The first chamber of a Beast's lair is the Heart. It doesn't correspond to any physical location so it's less useful when opening a Primordial pathway, but that's also a good thing, since if a Heart is collapsed then the Beast Dies.

Burrows
Burrows are fluid dream-bridges between two Chambers. In the case of a Hospital chamber and a Factory chamber, this might manifest as a road between them. But you can link a Volcano and a back alley and the Burrow will figure out something. Every chamber in a Lair links to at least one other chamber. They can add another Burrow at any time by spending a point of Satiety, and remap them all with a point of willpower as long as no one is currently using them. But a Beast can only do this once a chapter.

Brood Lairs
Beasts are, in some way "The same Horror" just like all humans are "The same bright dream". So Beasts can join their lairs together. If a Beast spends at least a chapter interacting with another Beast, they can spend a point of Satiety when redefining their burrows to link one of their chambers to another Beasts' chamber. The other Beast can resist this with a clash of wills immediately. Or another Clash of wills when redefining their own Burrows to break the connection.
Secondly, two Beasts can make the same location a Chamber. Either by both being present for the same breaking point or by bringing another beast there after the fact and explaining what went down. This is simultaneously more intimate and more secure, as it creates two chambers superimposed over each other as a part of both of their lairs and can't be so casually broken away, but a Beast can collapse the chamber in their lair without the other Beast having a say in the matter. It's usually useful to draw out lair connections, especially with massive brood lairs.

Accessing the Lair
Soul Communion
Even while in the physical world, a Beast is aware of her Horror's satiety and mood. She doesn't know what it's doing but she can feel it's emotions mingling with it's own. At any time, no matter where she is, a Beast can concentrate to experience the inside of her Lair from her Horror's perspective. This is only a reflexive action, but remotely controlling the Horror requires an instant action, such that you can't act independently in the physical world and lose your defense.

Primordial Pathways
Beasts can open up pathways to and from their Lair whenever they need to act in their Horror's stead, or if they want to use their amazing cheaty Beast powers to go literally anywhere. It's more difficult to go someplace that isn't the physical location where a Chamber was created, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. If you apply enough of your lair traits to a location you can overcome that difficulty, and it's still easier to go from your lair to the Hedge than it is from your lair to someplace that isn't a Chamber's physical location.

Pathways aren't portals or magic doors, a pathway causes the two locations to "overlap", and be both a part of the Lair and not. Anyone who was physically in the location beforehand who tries to leave finds themselves in the Beast's Lair, anyone still in the chamber when the pathway closes is safely returned to the physical world, including the Beast.

quote:

A Tyrant Anakim has incorporated an abandoned high school as a Chamber in his Lair. On the run from a group of mortal monster-hunters (though not, thankfully, Heroes), he leads his pursuers into the school and opens the Primordial Pathway. For a few seconds, the interior of the school becomes both the material world and the Chamber in his Lair, and the Anakim immediately merges with his Horror. Faced by the hulking monster where their target once stood, the hunters panic. Two gird themselves and fight, while the third attempts to flee the school. While the Pathway is still open, however, she instead transitions through a Burrow into another Chamber. Killing one of the other hunters, the Anakim closes the Pathway — the school returns to normal, the Beast appears to transform back into his mortal body as he separates from his Horror again, and the remaining hunter who stayed returns as well. The hunter who left the Chamber, however, remains behind in the Lair, easy pickings for the Anakim’s Horror.


Invited and Uninvited Guests
Any supernatural being that can access the dreams or soul of someone inside the lair can find themselves in the primordial dream. Changelings can accidentally feed upon someone the beast is predating. A Mage can be exploring the astral realms and find a Primordial Pathway. Heroes can straight up open the path into a lair to do battle with the Horror within.

When a Beast approves of someone in their lair, they can choose to protect the guest from any lair traits that they choose to protect them from, and allow them through burrows with a reflexive action. Intruders, however, have to deal with any tilts in effect and have to force their way through Burrows with a point of willpower and an Int+resolve roll opposed by the Horror's Power+Resistance. This takes Lair/2 turns to accomplish.

Dream Form
Visitors or intruders using a primordial pathway from anything but the Primordial Dream are present in the Beast's lair physically. While characters who's nightmares touch the dream (Pre-Devouring Beasts, people the Horror has nightmare yanked inside) are in an astral "Dream form" which uses different rules for Attributes and Health.
Dream form characters are basically spirits so they only have Power, Finesse and Resistance. For most people this is equal to Intelligence, Wits, and Resolve. Dream Health is equal to Resolve + Your characters Attribute maximum (read: 5 for basically everyone) The last boxes of Dream Health impose penalties the same as physical health. When a Beast Merges with it's Horror they have the highest amount of damage as either of them.


Inflicting Nightmares
If a Beast goes too long without indulging her Hunger, the Horror takes matter into it's own appendages. The more powerfult he Horror, the shorter the period of time it can go without being sated and the more brutal it's attacks on dreamers. While the Beast sleeps, the horror hunts.

If the time elapses without Satiety rising to 4 or higher, the starving Horror ventures out of the Lair through the Dream, searching for suitable prey while the Beast sleeps. Any humans who are in a deep state of unconsciousness (dreaming, in a coma, unconcious through injury, on drugs, meditation, etc) The Horror selects a target at random and goes to town.

quote:

Dice Pool: Power + Lair – Composure
Action: Instant
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The Horror cannot penetrate the dreamer’s mind and howls in rage and pain. Any Heroes in the same region as the Beast can track her, as described on p. 206.
Failure: The Horror inflicts dreams of its presence and Hunger on the targeted individual, but is not sated.
Success: The Horror inflicts dreams of its presence and Hunger on the targeted individual. He loses a point of Willpower while the Beast gains 1 Satiety. The target awakens feeling restless and disturbed, but (at least after one such dream), with no lasting damage.
Exceptional Success: The Horror, not satisfied with simple nightmares, seizes the targeted individual and drags him into the Lair via a Primordial Pathway. The Horror then hunts down the individual and attempts to “kill” him. If he loses all Astral Health within the Lair, the Beast gains the victim’s Willpower
dots in Satiety. When the victim awakens, he has the Soul Shocked Condition (p. 325). Any Heroes in the region can attempt to track the Beast, as described in Chapter Five.
If the Horror doesn't raise Satiety to Sated, it feeds again after another interval.

Repeated Feeding

quote:

If a Horror feeds on a given target once, the target normally doesn’t suffer any lasting ill effects. He has a nightmare — an intense one, granted, probably enough of a shock to merit some time holding a loved one, maybe even prompting him to reconnect with an estranged parent or something similar, depending on how he copes with fear. Even if the Horror drags the person into its Lair, the worst that happens, mechanically, is that the victim is out of Willpower for a few days. As long as he gets some rest, he’ll be fine.
I hate how even when they're describing the Beast's biggest failing the game is still self aggrandizing. Oh thank god that the Beast didn't feed, he allowed Billy to reconnect with his family through existential terror.

That said if a Horror feeds lightly and the Beast doesn't pick up the slack, the Horror will feed again, and it will go for the easiest target it can find. Left to it's own devices it will find someone it fed on before and keep feeding, night after night, because it's easier. Each time a Horror feeds on the same person, the roll to enter the dream receives a +1 modifier. Eventually you are going to get an exceptional success and attract a hero. "Less savory" Beasts will use this tendency of the Horror to gently caress with people they hate while still maintaining plausible deniability.

The Hive
If the Apex trait of your hive is one of your lair traits, or the Apex is a beast who has granted you immunity to the trait, your Horror can roam the entire hive rather than being limited to your Lair in miles. This doesn't prevent your Horror from visiting the same person every night, but you can spend a point of willpower before sleeping to nudge your Horror someplace else. If you've closed your Lair off from the Hive you're limited to a radius of Lair/2 in miles.

Destroying the Lair
Intruders can collapse a chamber inside a Lair to reduce the Owner's capabilities and eventually cornering the Beast in it's heart. Collapsing a chamber is a difficult process during which the Beast and/or it's Horror is likely to go on the counterattack. If the intruder is a Hero with an Anathema, or if the Horror is incapacitated. This can be devastating or deadly. Beasts can also willingly close off a chamber to close off an avenue of attack.

quote:

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Resolve
Action: Extended. Target number of successes is equal to three times the Beast’s Lair rating for a Chamber, or five times the Lair rating for the Heart. If the Beast is conscious and resisting, the roll is also resisted by her Resolve. If the Beast is collapsing her own Lair, each roll gains a dice bonus equal to her Composure.
Time per Roll: The Beast’s Lair rating in minutes.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The Chamber is not collapsed, and the Beast rallies. The Beast regains all Willpower; the intruder loses all progress against the target number of successes.
Failure: The intruder makes no progress on collapsing the Chamber. He may give up or continue after taking a Condition. If the Beast was not aware of the presence of intruders within her Lair, she is now alerted.
Success: The intruder makes progress on collapsing the Chamber. If a Beast was not aware of the presence of intruders within her Lair, she is now alerted.
Exceptional Success: The intruder makes great progress on collapsing the Chamber. Choose one of the exceptional success in an extended action (p. 158.)

Once the target number is hit, the Lair starts to collapse. Anyone inside must escape through a Burrow within the Beast's Lair Raiting in rounds. Anyone still in the chamber when it collapses is ejected if there's an open primordial pathway connected to the chamber, otherwise they just loving die. Characters who are only present in dream form get ejected and soul shocked. A Beast attacking another Beast's lair can instead steal the chamber with a point of satiety as long a they have a chamber open for the story. Anyone still in the chamber suddenly finds themselves attached to a new lair with new traits.

Which leads us to.
Lair Traits
Minor and Major Traits
Traits are divided into minor and major traits. This is mostly an elementary distinction for reasons we'll discover lator, but at least one of your lair traits needs to be minor. The reason why I say this is an elementary distinction is that Minor traits are at least possible in the physical world without the use of magic. They can provide dice penalties or bonuses to skills or count as Extreme environments with a rating of 2 or less. Major traits usually impose tilts that aren't physically possible, anything from turning people to salt or acid rain made of lava. These can provide dice penalties, bonuses to attributes, or derived traits like speed and defense. Or an Extreme Environment up to level 4.

Imposing Traits
When a beast finds himself in a situation outside their lair with one or more of his lair trait tilts already in effect, the location is considered resonant with their traits. While resonant they can impose any other lair traits they choose up to the limit imposed by their lair rating. At rank 1 this means you use one to impose the other.

Beasts often use guile and manipulation of the terrain to set this off, or capitalize on the poewr of other supernatural beings. Like setting off the sprinklers to take advantage of the "Downpour". At the end of the scene, or when the Beast wishes it to stop, the imposed lair traits vanish, though their aftereffects remain. Turning the air to acid will leave behind pitted and scarred furniture, but there will be no sign of the chemicals that caused such damage.

Environmental Immunity
The minotaur is not confused by it's cave. Beasts are immune to any environmental tilt matching their lair traits even if they occur naturally. This does not confer supernatural power unless it directly matches the tilt, an area can be cramped without being "Cramped", and it wouldn't suddenly grant your Anakim the ability to fit through a mouse hole unless he chose to impose the trait. But one who did that should be careful not to leave their area of influence while mouse sized.

Brood Lairs
A beast can use a Lair Trait from one of his Brood as either the trigger for imposing tilts, or one of the tilts they impose. They can also spend a point of willpower to grant their Brood immunity to their invoked traits. They don't gain immunity to naturally occuring traits.

Chambers and Lair Traits
If a location doesn't have any tilts that match your lair, but was used to create one of your chambers, y ou can spend a point of satiety to impose any of your lair traits without needing the initial tilt. If the area is instead similar, you can spend a point of willpower and roll wits+resolve with a penalty that gets more severe as you leave "Exact" (I.E. a Highschool when you have a Highschool chamber) to spiritual similarity (A School) to Narrative similarity (A room full of books) or descriptive similarity (You threw a book on the floor and screamed "School" at the top of your lungs).


Lair Traits
I could go into more detail and describe all the major and minor lair traits, but this is kind of a solved problem. Cause there's one lair trait that's easier to invoke than literally any other.
Poor Light (Minor)
Dim illumination, strobes, or flickering lights make it difficult to track movement and see clearly. Affected characters suffer a –2 penalty to visual-based Perception rolls, including ranged combat, rising to –3 at medium range and –4 at long range.

Seriously, how can "Sun reflecting off of snow and/or sand" "Dense tangled undergrowth" or "Literally a blizzard" compete in utility with "You turned off the lights"? So what does your Beast take as their second trait?
Burning(Major)
The Lair is engulfed in flame, whether in whole or part, burning anything combustible within the Chamber. To serve as a Lair Trait, a fire must be at least bonfire size (see p. 172 for fire rules) but a whole Chamber is usually an inferno. When this Trait is bought, the Beast’s player specifies the Size and
Intensity of the flames, which she must then match in order to use the Trait in Trait Imposition. Her environmental immunity, however, extends to all flames up to her Lair rating.
Corrosive(Major)
Whether it’s a pool of acid, a corrosive atmosphere, or more overtly supernatural environments such as flash-rusting metal or organic matter slowly petrifying or turning to salt, something in the Lair eats away at flesh and degrades matter. The Beast’s player defines what the corrosion affects based on the Lair’s description. Affected characters suffer one aggravated damage per turn of exposure, and objects lose one Durability per turn.
Darkness(Major)
The Lair is pitch-dark beyond the capacity of human nightvision — the darkness of a cave or a sealed room, not simply night. Without a source of illumination, characters within the affected area suffer a –5 penalty to any rolls involving vision and lose all Defense.
Electrified(Major)
The Lair features electrical hazards — bio-electrical stings, live rails, electrified fences, or simply lightning. When this Trait is bought, the Beast’s player defines whether the Trait represents Major, Severe, or Fatal levels of electricity as per the rules on p. 171. To use this Trait as the initial Trait in Trait Imposition, she must match the appropriate severity. Her environmental immunity applies to sources of electricity up to the Trait’s severity.
Suffocating (Major)
Rather than a harmful atmosphere as in Noxious Gases, a Suffocating Lair simply lacks oxygen altogether. It may represent the impossible heights of a mountain, the depths of a sealed cave, or simply be underwater. No matter how the trait manifests itself, characters staying within the affected area beyond their ability to hold their breath begin suffocating or drowning as per the rules on p. 328.
You turned off the lights, now everyone is dying in pitch darkness in your magical murder lair that leaves behind no evidence.

At Literally No Cost

Pictured: Artists Rendition of every lair ever.

quote:

Examples of Lair Construction
He served on a Russian submarine before his Devouring, and lay awake at night thinking of the terrible pressure and dark water all around his fragile world. He dreamt of tentacled things in the deep, wrapping themselves around the metal shell of his vessel, until he realized that the creature in the depths was him. The Makara’s Horror takes the form of a sea monster attacking a submarine, rupturing its hull and feeding from the panic of the dreaming sailors as water flood the ship. His Lair contains the Flooded, Downpour, Thin Air, and Sealed Exits Traits.

She seeks out those who victimize others, catches them with her surprising strength, and renders them unconscious. It’s not enough to be stronger than those who use their strength against the weak — this minotaur has a sense of justice. Her prey wake to find themselves in pitch-darkness, her mocking voice telling them that if they can find their way out, they can go free. When they put their hands to the walls
to guide themselves, stumbling in the dark, they slice their palms on the glass and nails studding the maze. The labyrinth is impossibly large; they die of blood loss long before they see daylight. The minotaur feels their fear, desperation, and final, sad resignation as they die alone in the dark, taking a measure of satisfaction along with sating her hunger. The Anakim’s Lair contains the Maze, Razored, and Darkness Traits.
These people aren't minmaxing enough.

This chapter is long and I'm easing myself back into it, so this is a good place to stop for now

Up Next: Smothering Frat Boys in their own vomit

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Ego Trip posted:

Stross also has The Laundry Files, which also touches on Weird Nazi Science.

The Nazis were about to finish a project that would have won the war, technically. They weren't actually all that skilled, they just burned a lot of resources. Also the Ice Giant they wanted to summon would have eaten the universe over the next 70 years or so. The main character visits a universe where they succeeded, and he spends a few moments watching the stars go out.

The Day After Ragnarok also posits what turns out to be a pretty amusing take on the whole Nazi Occult Doomsday project when the Nazis manage to instigate Ragnarok...that is the literal actual Ragnarok, not just a fancy codename...and when Jörmungandr the Midgard Serpent emerges from the oceans to herald the beginning of the end the Allies drop the atomic bomb straight into its eye and kill it. This winds up having a few knock-on effects like massive tidal shifts and rising sea levels, degenerate serpent-spawn born from Jörmungandr's blood, that sort of thing, but it's one of the only examples I've seen of a post-abortive-apocalypse game.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I know this game has been covered here already and probably done way better than we could ever do over at System Mastery, but what the hell, we had two copies of it so we both got an extra week to read (love when that happens), and so here is System Mastery - Feng Shui. It's rad as gently caress, basically.

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 want to like Day After Ragnarok, but it's by the same people who made my frenemy hatebuddy Unhallowed Metropolis and all of my attempts to get into it have been colored by that game line.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

I still can't believe they cast Spock as me. Spock! Can you imagine?

Of course, he was missing a few things.





Kai Tave posted:

The Day After Ragnarok also posits what turns out to be a pretty amusing take on the whole Nazi Occult Doomsday project when the Nazis manage to instigate Ragnarok...that is the literal actual Ragnarok, not just a fancy codename...and when Jörmungandr the Midgard Serpent emerges from the oceans to herald the beginning of the end the Allies drop the atomic bomb straight into its eye and kill it. This winds up having a few knock-on effects like massive tidal shifts and rising sea levels, degenerate serpent-spawn born from Jörmungandr's blood, that sort of thing, but it's one of the only examples I've seen of a post-abortive-apocalypse game.
This looks sweet even if it's a bit too Brit-sniffy for my own personal tastes (though I see explicitly why they did that). Hope their stuff talks about the USSR, and I've always thought you could get a similar effect to such a game by staging something just after the demise of Stalin, since the ol' Oppressometer dialed back considerably (if not... to the point of becoming nice) after old Joe died.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Nessus posted:

This looks sweet even if it's a bit too Brit-sniffy for my own personal tastes (though I see explicitly why they did that). Hope their stuff talks about the USSR, and I've always thought you could get a similar effect to such a game by staging something just after the demise of Stalin, since the ol' Oppressometer dialed back considerably (if not... to the point of becoming nice) after old Joe died.

Wellllllll I have good news and bad(?) news because Day After Ragnarok does indeed spend some pagespace on the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the interrupted Ragnarok but Uncle Joe is still alive and kicking at the time the game takes place. The book certainly doesn't really try to downplay Stalin's penchant for atrocity (quoth the book, "Between famines, purges, and the War, the Soviet population, even including the new annexed territories, is only 170 million") and the USSR has only weathered the Serpentfall in large part due to the aid of the Narts, primordial giants of Ossetian myth whose ancient lore has helped protect the land from the worst of the environmental aftereffects. Stalin "commands" them, being part Ossetian himself, but the book implies that they're keeping their own council and that their paths may not be intrinsically linked to that of the Soviet Union.

I guess it's up to you whether this falls into the same sort of bin as Nazi Wunderwaffe Wank in elfgamifying real historical perpetrators of unfathomable atrocities, but less ink is spent talking about Stalin learning sorcery and more about the USSR's geopolitical situation in the aftermath of a world-shaking near-apocalypse, and while not everything is covered in the same amount of detail comparing and contrasting The Day After Ragnarok with something like the Brave New World WWII sourcebook, Ragnarok does a much better job of giving you a top-down overview of a post WWII alternahistory world that involves more than like America, Germany, Japan, and maybe Britain. It helps that Ken Hite is the lead author.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

I still can't believe they cast Spock as me. Spock! Can you imagine?

Of course, he was missing a few things.





Kai Tave posted:

Wellllllll I have good news and bad(?) news because Day After Ragnarok does indeed spend some pagespace on the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the interrupted Ragnarok but Uncle Joe is still alive and kicking at the time the game takes place. The book certainly doesn't really try to downplay Stalin's penchant for atrocity (quoth the book, "Between famines, purges, and the War, the Soviet population, even including the new annexed territories, is only 170 million") and the USSR has only weathered the Serpentfall in large part due to the aid of the Narts, primordial giants of Ossetian myth whose ancient lore has helped protect the land from the worst of the environmental aftereffects. Stalin "commands" them, being part Ossetian himself, but the book implies that they're keeping their own council and that their paths may not be intrinsically linked to that of the Soviet Union.

I guess it's up to you whether this falls into the same sort of bin as Nazi Wunderwaffe Wank in elfgamifying real historical perpetrators of unfathomable atrocities, but less ink is spent talking about Stalin learning sorcery and more about the USSR's geopolitical situation in the aftermath of a world-shaking near-apocalypse, and while not everything is covered in the same amount of detail comparing and contrasting The Day After Ragnarok with something like the Brave New World WWII sourcebook, Ragnarok does a much better job of giving you a top-down overview of a post WWII alternahistory world that involves more than like America, Germany, Japan, and maybe Britain. It helps that Ken Hite is the lead author.
That does sound pretty sweet indeed. Hell, I'd like to know what the Japanese are up to, though I suspect it involves ninjas and some degree of orientalism.

I find the treatment of the Soviets in these things interesting because there is authentically a lot of wild and wacky poo poo coming out of the Soviets, historically speaking, but often a lot of it seems to just kind of glurge it up into 80s movie stereotypes.

Also, Stalin learning sorcery can only mean one thing:

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Nessus posted:

That does sound pretty sweet indeed. Hell, I'd like to know what the Japanese are up to, though I suspect it involves ninjas and some degree of orientalism.

What the Japanese are up to is not getting nuked since the Allies used the bombs to kill the Midgard Serpent. This resulted in what Ken Hite referred to as "a wonder" as the Imperial Council and Japanese Army High Command both agreed to count their blessings and take the opportunity afforded by America's withdrawal from the Pacific Theater to rebuild their infrastructure while retaining much of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and are now spending most of their time finding new and inventive ways to loot Southeast Asia more effectively and stepping up their attempts to conquer China.

Like for being a Weird War II kind of alternate history setting, one of the biggest strengths of Day After Ragnarok in my opinion is that it doesn't fall back on the same tired old pastiche and trope stuff you so often see in the genre. In most games of this type you'd expect to see mention of the Emperor of Japan gaining super magical powers and being openly worshipped as a god or something. In Day After Ragnarok? They don't even mention the Emperor at all, he's a non-factor for the most part, what's more important is the armistice between Great Britain and Japan starting to break down as overconfident and increasingly aggressive Japanese commanders turn a blind eye to attacks against Allied shipping and the ongoing conflict in China.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Kai Tave posted:

The Day After Ragnarok also posits what turns out to be a pretty amusing take on the whole Nazi Occult Doomsday project when the Nazis manage to instigate Ragnarok...that is the literal actual Ragnarok, not just a fancy codename...and when Jörmungandr the Midgard Serpent emerges from the oceans to herald the beginning of the end the Allies drop the atomic bomb straight into its eye and kill it. This winds up having a few knock-on effects like massive tidal shifts and rising sea levels, degenerate serpent-spawn born from Jörmungandr's blood, that sort of thing, but it's one of the only examples I've seen of a post-abortive-apocalypse game.
So what's Fenris up to then?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

I still can't believe they cast Spock as me. Spock! Can you imagine?

Of course, he was missing a few things.





For that matter, where the gently caress are Thor and Odin?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

The book seems to imply that in this case the role of Thor slaying the Midgard Serpent could be said to have been performed by Joseph Westover and the crew of the B-29 bomber Strange Cargo when they rammed the Trinity Device into its skull, in which case the apocalypse hasn't been aborted per se. Fenrir is mentioned in passing in a sidebar on various means and methods which might reduce the levels of Serpent-blight from the poisonous fallout that Jörmungandr left in its wake, namely that perhaps for things to get better the cycle of Ragnarok needs to be completed. Odin gets no mention, though Loki does as one of the names that Nasren, greatest of the Narts, might have been known by had Hitler found him first.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

My favorite thing about Day after Ragnarok is that it coined the term Speleoherpetology for going cave-diving into the remains of a giant semi-divine snake and looting it for anything of scientific value.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I guess I should warn everyone ahead of time: In Godlike, someone did try the old "Let's torture someone until they get superpowers!" routine. It did exactly what that always does.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Halloween Jack posted:

I guess I should warn everyone ahead of time: In Godlike, someone did try the old "Let's torture someone until they get superpowers!" routine. It did exactly what that always does.

If you're doing Will To Power, copypaste The Best Sidebar.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Do you mean the one that talks about how the Nazis gave their Untermenschen special badges, and then the Allies reminded them of a cool new military technology called "a sniper?"

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Halloween Jack posted:

Do you mean the one that talks about how the Nazis gave their Untermenschen special badges, and then the Allies reminded them of a cool new military technology called "a sniper?"
I think you mean Übermensch. Not to be pedantic - mixing them up in this case has a very different meaning...

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Thank you for the catch. They did indeed refer to their Talents as Ubermenschen. Coincidentally, the SS used some odd language (and odder rationalizations) to explain how non-Aryans manifested Talents...

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Feng Shui is one of those games that I ran like 4 campaigns in, enjoyed heartily, and then realized what I was enjoying was the setting and concept but that the system tends to make fights come to a grinding halt really unpleasantly (with the occasional hilariously quick curbstomp). The moment we realized we needed a different system for it was when we noticed we were trying to avoid combat. In an action movie RPG.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Halloween Jack posted:

Do you mean the one that talks about how the Nazis gave their Untermenschen special badges, and then the Allies reminded them of a cool new military technology called "a sniper?"

The one that says "so you actually want to play an SS member? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU"

The Lore Bear
Jan 21, 2014

I don't know what to put here. Guys? GUYS?!


Night10194 posted:

Feng Shui is one of those games that I ran like 4 campaigns in, enjoyed heartily, and then realized what I was enjoying was the setting and concept but that the system tends to make fights come to a grinding halt really unpleasantly (with the occasional hilariously quick curbstomp). The moment we realized we needed a different system for it was when we noticed we were trying to avoid combat. In an action movie RPG.

Are you talking about FS or FS2? Because FS2 did fix that problem somewhat by making it only possible to raise attack and defense once every five advances, and can't raise if you're holding the highest of that stat in the group of PCs. It's not perfect, but it makes most fights at least seem like they're moving forward. We never had a combat go past three sequences, and rarely had it go over two with FS2.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


thelazyblank posted:

Are you talking about FS or FS2? Because FS2 did fix that problem somewhat by making it only possible to raise attack and defense once every five advances, and can't raise if you're holding the highest of that stat in the group of PCs. It's not perfect, but it makes most fights at least seem like they're moving forward. We never had a combat go past three sequences, and rarely had it go over two with FS2.

That doesn't actually fix the core problem of the system in the slightest in my opinion but we've had this talk in the Feng Shui thread before.

I've been using the Cardinal system (the one from Ironclaw, which I really need to get back to reviewing) for a conversion and that's worked well for me, and if FS2 is working for your group that's awesome. We just found the idea of Counters and attacks being more of an exchange between characters and exhaustible combat gifts that can be recharged by taking a moment to have a flashback or remember your master's teachings or whatever ended up working better for us.

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