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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone


Nephelai: Eternal Seers

Nephelai hail from Okeanos system originally, but they don't have a large population there - or anywhere, really. They tend to spread themselves thinly across the known universe instead. Little is known of their history, and while they claim to have been the first species made by the gods, there's little evidence of this to be found where they live. They don't much like permanence, and their worlds tend to be barren husks or stormy worlds with no permanent structures, agriculture or indeed evidence that anyone lives there. The Nepelai are not, technically, an advanced civilization, as they have no real technology and have apparently not changed at all since their first encounter with the Hellenes. While the meetings at first were somewhat hostile, the Nephelai treat the Hellenes as they do most races - a sort of cold, dispassionate neutrality and mild amusement. They do seem to dislike the Goregons and Zintar, however, tolerating them but preferring to avoid prolonged contact with them. No one is sure why. The Nephelai keep to themselves and avoid both war and politics when thy can. When they do get involved, they often prefer to help both sides of a dispute. Many serve as seers or oracles, as the species has a natural gift for prophecy and a strong belief in its own divine heritage. They have no formal military or government, no concept of family and a belief that all Nephelai are related to each other. They prefer not to discuss these matters, seeing them as entirely unimportant. They need neither exercise nor food, feeding on particles and energy from the atmosphere. On planets with breathable atmosphers, they feed easily, and on those without, they starve.

Nephelai are gaseous beings, somewhat transparent and bluish-gray, with large wings and fine hair that blows constantly in a nonexistent breeze. They vary between 1.75 and 2.5 meters and are vaguely humanoid, but their limbs seem to shift in shape and lack distinct fingers or toes. Despite their appearance, they are tangible, being somewhat spongy and cold to the touch. There has never been a witnessed account of Nephelai reproduction, and while some do identify as male or female to other races, within their own society they do not even acknowledge the existence of gender. All appear to be ageless, and there is no record of child, teen or elderly Nephelai.

Nephelai are slow to anger and are calm in most situations. They, are however, exceptionally dangerous fighters due to their intense calm and mild sociopathic tendencies. They see themselves as basically immortal and have no real care for the deaths of others. Their patient, impassive nature makes them excellent seers and diplomats...and, rumor has it, torturers. They acknowledge Hellenic religion as essentially correct. In mixed company, they use Hellenic names, but among themselves do not use names at all, relying exclusively on pronouns.

Nephelai have the following racial abilities:
Flight: Nephelai may use natural air currents for limited flight, moving at (SPD+10), or the speed of the wind in the area, when flying in the direction of the wind. When tacking against they wind, they move only at normal SPD.
Intangibility: Nephelai may alter their density briefly to become wraithlike. This requires a full round to complete, and in this state they can neither harm nor be harmed by anything physical, though sonic or Dynamism attacks work normally. Any items worn or carried fall off are not rendered intangible, leaving the Nephelai naked. They may remain in this state for (WIL*3) rounds, minimum 3, and may use the power up to (CON) times per day, minimum 1. Returning to normal is instant and takes no action.
Sound Manipulation: Nephelai may hear and send messages on the wind. Any sound-based perception checks are made at (PER*2), minimum +2. Nephelai may also ssend a sound-based messages directly to the ear of anyone within (WIL*100) meters, minimum 100 meters.
Surviving in a Vacuum: Nephelai may survive in a vacuum by devouring their own gaseous bodies. They may survive for one round per HP spent, and a PC can do this for up to half their total HP before needing to make the normal CON roll for resisting vacuum effects.


Nymphas: Arboreal Seducers

The Nymphas are two subspecies of one greater species from the planet Erytheia. Erytheia is a rich planet, full of life, and those parts not covered by warm ocean are coated in forest and jungle. The many natural resources drew attention, and early in their history the Atlanteans used the Goregons to enslave the Nymphas. Their slight builds meant they tended to be used outside of labor, but the slavery was no less degrading. Many Nymphas never knew of a time before slavery, and most born offworld never saw Erytheia at all. They never developed their own advanced technology, either. Instead, both forms of Nymphas practice a sort of 'magic' relying on the elements, which they attribute to their gods. Some more scientific races posit this is more of a psychic attunement to natural forces. The Oreads, land-dwelling, are more skilled at manipulation of the Hel forces, air and water, while the seaborn Naiads focus on the Las forces, earth and water. Both are very religious, deovted to their gods. The native gods of Erytheia are nameless, more akin to forces of nature, though in recent years many Nymphas instead worship equivalent Hellenic deities. The Nymphas are beloved for their spiritual guidance and siplicity. They have no political or military structures of their own, and so can be trusted to be unbiased, without preconception or prejudice. Their only standard cultural practice was the religious festival known as Symposiua, and many Nymphas no longer do it at all.

All Nymphas are androgynous, in a sense. They have males and females, but only other Nymphas can usually tell them apart without looking at genitalia. All Nymphas have breasts and feminine builds, you see. Oreads tend to be small, averaging only a meter and a half in height. They have green or brown skin and brown hair that appears composed of plant life. (It is often also mixed with plant life the Oreads weave into their hair.) Their eyes are solid silver or gold, with neither pupil nor iris, and they smell of flowers and rich earth. Naiads are two meters tall, on average, with green or black skin, black eyes and hair resembling silken seaweed. They have gills in the neck and abdomen, as well as webbed feet and hands.

Nymphas are shy and secluded by nature, fearful due to their long history of slavery. They are not built for manual labor and tend to be averse to it, preferring to manipulate others into doing it for them. Nymphas have never developed advanced technology and few have opportunity for education, so they tend to instead become experts in interaction with others, psychology and manipulation. They tend to remain secretive about their innate pheromonal abilities, for fear that they will be used by others.

Nymphas have the following racial abilities:
Environmental Familiarity: A Nymphas in their native environment can travel easily. Oreads move through mountains and woods at double normal speed, while Naiads move at double speed in water or Slipspace. Naiads can survive unharmed in the high pressure and chilling cold of the ocean depths. Oreads, meanwhile, subist on photosynthesis and may 'root' themselves in the earth to leech nutrients from it. Both types of Nymphas get a bonus of (PER*2), minimum +2, when hiding in their natural environment.
Environmental Deprivation: A Nymphas that spends more than four weeks without being in their natural environment loses part of their connection to the world. For each week after the fourth, they must make a WIL roll or lose a point of CON, with a cumulative penalty to the roll each week. If CON falls to -5, the Nymphas immediately enters a coma and stops losing CON, but will not awaken until brought back to their environment. Healing occurs at a rate of 1 CON per day in the native environment.
Manipulation: All Nymphas have the ability to manipulate others pheromonally. When a Nymphas touches another person, they can secrete a chemical that will make the target more pliable. Goregons are resistant to this, but all other races are not. Nymphas may add (Cha*2) to up to (CON+4) social influence rolls against the target after touching them.
Symposia: Symposia is a religious practice, typically held one week out of every three months. It is a large party held in a sacred gathering, with wine and food served by nude Nymphas. While at Symposia, a Nymphas' Manipulation boinus is doubled towards all attendees.


Zintar: Kybernetic Pilots

The Zintar appeared in Hellene space about 500 years ago without warning. They claimed to hail from an ocean planet in a distant star system, but no living Zintar can recall ever living there, having all been born on colonies or ships. The Zintar claim they exist solely to serve the Hellenes and their allies, though many question this due to their sudden and mysterious arrival. So far, however, the Zintar have been good allies. They have a military but prefer not to be aggressive, focusing on support and defensive roles when possible. The Zintar are highly advanced, with their bodies adapted to integrate directly with technology - their own and, with some work, that of other species. Zintar pilots, for example, often fuse directly with their ships, tapping them into their own nervous systems. Much of this seems to have developed form Zintar time in space rather than being a trait the species was born with, so to speak - they have directed their own rapid evolution this way. (They are also the species most prone to accepting kybernetics - other species in Hellenic space tend to find the replacement of their bodies with machinery disgusting and disfiguring, to be done only when physically required.) Zintar society is on all levels pyramidal, in politics, the military and even families. All offspring are cared for communally by all related parents, owing allegiance to them. The parents serve their elders, and so on, up to the eldest of the family, who has legal obligation over the rest. Every Zintar is somewhere in the political and military ranking structure of their society, with only one Zintar at the top. Anyone higher can command anyone below. Every Zintar thus knows their exact place in society, and most pay very close attention to births, deaths and other things that might alter their place in the power structure. Marriages or unexpected deaths can shift an entire family's power in one day, and a major battle could rearrange the entire military overnight.

In their natural form, the Zintar are powerfully built cephalopods, but only half a meter tall. Their head is roughly humanoid, with protective cartilage for lips and two air slits for a nose. Where their lkegs and arms would be, however, they have four to ten tentacular spinal columns that emerge from their torso. Zintar flesh ranges from pink to purple or even blue or red. They move poorly on dry land but excellently in water. To make up for their landbound handicaps, the Zintar have created vehicles which they 'wear' on their lower half, most commonly in the form of a wheeled mechanism or four-legged chassis patterned on a horse.

The Zintar are extremely straightforward in their approach to life. If they want something, they will work tirelessly to get it. They are always aware of their exact place in society and spend a lot of time tracking it and how best to take advantage of their societal situation. Zintar pride themselves on being able to recite exactly how far they are from the top of the various structures theyb elong to, even if they're, say, ten millionth in line for rulership of all Zintar. Despite their orderly and structured existence, however, the Zintar are notorious for overindulging in alcohol and, when intoxicated, becoming violent and belligerent. As a result, most Hellenes see them as uncultured. They are also infamous for not remembering their actions when they sober up. Zintar names are based on their rank and place in their social structures, and may be hundreds of syllables long when used to precisely represent their position. In mixed company, however, the Zintar shorten them to, generally, single or dual-syllable names that stem from the Hellenic traditions.

Zintar have the following racial abilities:
Aquatic Movement: Zintar can breathe both air and water easily. When on dry ground outside a Zintar carapace, however, they move by dragging themselves on the ground at (SPD-1). In water, they move extremely easily by crawling or swimming on water jets they aim with their muscles, moving at (SPD+5). In Slipspace, a Zintar may move as easily as if they were in water.
Camouflage: Zintar have specialized skin cells that allow them to change their pigmentation, altering color, opacity and reflectiveness. When outside their carapace, they get a bonus of (CON*2), minimum +2, to any type of Hide skill check. They may also use this ability to communicate nonverbally with other Zintar at a range of 20 meters. No non-Zintar can ever learn this 'language' due to its subtle nature.
Enhanced Sense of Sight and Touch: Zintar vision is incredibly good and surpasses the normal spectra of most races. They can also see easily in total darkness. They reduce the range of any sight-based penalty by 10 meters. Their skin is also highly sensitive, enough to read print by touch on a paper. If a Zintar's tentacles are in physical contact with the ground, outside their caparace, they may sense their surroundings by vibration and get a bonus of (PER*2), minimum +2, to all tactile-based Perception checks.
[n]Technophile[/b]: Zintar are highly advanced in electronics, kybernetics and machine interfaces. They get +2 to any tech-related skill checks.
Vehicle Interface: Zintar are excellent pilots and good at machine interfacing via use of advanced kybernetics, heightened touch and mechanical skill. They get +2 when piloting or driving any vehicle outfitted with a Zintar interface pod.
Carapace: Because Zintar have a difficult time on land, they build robotic carapaces to house their bodies and interact. These ocme in many shapes and sizes, and many Zintar own two or three with different specialties. When in a carapace, the machine reacts based on the user's stats, but provides added strength, speed and resistance to damage. Almost all are at least partially armored. It takes at least 30 seconds (which is 5 combat rounds, btw) to suit up and activate a carapace, and an equal amount of time to exit. Emergency ejection is possible, but this blows up the seating mechanism to propel the Zintar out and takes repairs afterwards. All Zintar begin play with a basic carapace, which provides them with a secondary HP pool and some armor. (The downside is that Zintar typically can't wear actual armor and need to get new carapaces instead.)

Next time: Lifepaths!

What I need you to do is give me a character to make. Since a lot of the information will be randomly rolled, just tell me their name, their epithet, their job, their species and what god they are primarily devoted to. I'll cover gods later, but the options are, briefly:
Aemoton the Farmer (agriculture, plants, growing, heat, light, life, warmth, rain)
Aprhosia the Lover (charisma, charm, deceit, persuasion, sex, art, trickery, lies)
Apollon the Wrestler (brawling, athletics, strength, running, speed, acrobatics, endurance, health)
Areson the Warrior (war, weapons, fighting, blood, death, fear, nightmares)
Artesia the Hunter (tracking, hunting, animals, accuracy, shooting, target, sight, the evil eye)
Athenia the Seer (wisdom, prophecy, omens, language, investigation, police)
Heiria the Mother (wisdom, charity, kindness, love, forgiveness, emotion, children, marriage)
Hephaeston the Inventor (crafting, forging, technology, manufacturing, inventing, cleverness)
Hermia the Trader (haggling, cmmerce, fate, manipulation, money, banks)
Hestia the Healer (healing, home, safety, medicine, doctors, recovery)
Heuson the Father (sternness, obedience, law, justice, punishment, government)
Hoseidon the Sailor (sailing, piloting, navigation, survival, flight, risk-avoidance, predictability)
Agnosticism (gently caress off, gods)

There's also two other gods added in later supplements but they're not in the core. Note: Amazorans will mostly be agnostics, but some do claim heritage from the Twelve.

Also, the supplements add modified rules for Amazoran men; mostly they get more skills but no weapons skills and lose Sharp Shot.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Talbot, spiritual son of Lycaon, soldier, Hellenic, Artesia.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone

Talbot, spiritual son of Lycaon, soldier, Hellenic, Artesia.
Race: Spartan Hellene.
Base Stats:
INT +0, PER +0, WIL +0, CHA +0, STR +0, DEX +0, CON +0, SPD +0, CR +0, DYN +0.
HP: 20

But as a Hellene, we get to add 5 points wherever we want, and can get an extra point by lowering a stat to -1. So, let's go with...

Int +1, PER +0, WIL +0, CHA -1, STR +1, DEX +2, CON +1 SPD +0, CR +1, DYN +0
HP: 20

Base Skills:
Etiquette (Hellene) +7, Speak Language (Hellene, Native), Speak Language (Any, Basic) +3.
We also get the Spartan skill package:
Evade +2, Instinct +2, Pankration +2, Parry +2, Weapon (of choice) +2.


1. Month of Birth:
[14]: The autumn months of Las.
[7]: Maimakterion, the month of Heiria and notable for containing Mother's Day.
2. Birth Planet:
[8]: Korinthos
3. Parents:
[15]: Father alive but chronically ill.
[5]: Parents are Priests. Receive one random zero-Glory divine gift.
  • [6]: Athenia: Wisdom of Athenia. The Hero almost always knows the right things to do in any situation. (INT) times per game, minimum 1, the Hero may ask the GM any one question, which must be answered truthfully, though the answer can be ambiguous and terse.
[7]: Family power is in decline because of machinations of a rival.
4. Siblings:
[20]: One of a group of triplets.
  • Relationship with Sibling 1: [16]: You dislike them.
  • Relationship with Sibling 2: [5]: You love them with all your heart.
5. Special Gift:
[10]: An ancient book from the 1st Age, well made and of exceptional quality.
6. Divine Heritage:
[1]: Great-great-grandparent on father's side was the offspring of a God/Goddess. Gain 2 Glory.
7. Divine Mark:
[14]: Unique Talent or Skill. Pick one free skill at +5. We'll take Tracking.
8. Childhood Encounter:
[9]: Witness to an Event
[14]: Died and witnessed the suffering of an individual in the underworld who didn't deserve it. You were quickly revived to tell the tale, proving someone's innocence.
9. Choose God: Artesia, the Hunter.
10. Choose Destiny: Here is where we'd select the ultimate heroic destiny this character could achieve - stuff like 'become king of Athenoi' or 'slay the great Kraken of the Panthalassa.' This is the hero's ultimate goal, whether prophesized or chosen, which would make them immortal. Odds are, many characters will die before they achieve their Destiny.
11. Fate: You can roll your Fate yourself or have the GM roll it secretly. This is the dark fate you are hoping to avoid.
[4]: Burned to death and eaten by cannibals.
12. Choose Profession. We've chosen a Soldier, so...Hellene Spartan or Hoplite are both excellent choices here. We'll go with Hoplite, your basic professional Soldier.
Hoplite boosts CR +1, and grants Athletics +2, Command +2, Evade +4, Intimidate +2, Pankration +1, Parry +4, Weapon (of choice) +9, Weapon (of choice) +4, Weapon (Heavy Weapons) +2, Profession (Soldier, STR) +10. It gives us the Advanced Militia Training Talent. We also get a passel of gear, and a base pay rate of 100 drachma.
Hoplite suggests Legionnaire of Delphoi, Noble, Sailor, Scholar or Warrior Calling paths. Calling paths are what you did as an adult. Each takes a certain amount of time to do and offers a chance to get bonuses...or new life complications. Our current age 14 before any Calling paths (as all PCs start at 3 years below maximum Adolescent age for their species), and can take up to 5 Calling Paths. I suggest all 5 because it gives you more story to work with.
13. Calling Path: Warrior
[18]: 2-INT years, so 2. (Adolescents get a -1 INT penalty, see.) Age is now 16.
[11]: Battle occurs.
[12]: Fought pirates on the planet Elis. During the melee you threw a spear through ten men...or at least that's how the story goes. Gain +1 in either STR or CON, choose one. We'll take STR.
14. Calling Path: Sailor
[17]: 2-INT years, so 2 again. Age is now 18, no longer adolescent.
[17]: Sailor Special Event occurs.
[13]: Your travels have exposed you to many things. Gain +1 in Lore (Regions).
15. Calling Path: Warrior
[13]: 3-INT years, so 2. Age is now 20.
[12]: Battle again.
[5]: Killed Celaeno, a Harpy Queen, during a Slipspace battle in the Aegean Solar Sea. Gain +5 Glory.
16. Calling Path: Warrior
[9] 4-INT years, so 3. Age is now 23.
[14]: Great Fortune!
[3] Solved a Sphinx's riddle on an adventure to a distant and lost planet. The riddle gave you great insight into the universe. Gain +1 in PER.
17. Calling Path: Warrior
[17]: 2-INT years, so 1. Age is now 24.
[3]: Relationship
[15]: Befriending a Legionnaire of Delphoi.
[12]: You are extremely close lifelong friends.
18. Disadvantages. We now have 5 levels to allocate between 3 disadvantages, none of which can be over 3. Disadvantages can be Relationship (a problem due to another person), Internal (a problem due to your own psychological or mental state) and External (anything else). So we might go with:
Relationship (2): Hesperos the Swift. Hesperos is a king whom Talbot and his Legionnaire friend fought against, earning his eternal hatred.
Internal (2): Stubborn. Talbot digs in and will not relent if challenged.
External (1): Nasty scar. Talbot has a disfiguring scar, and sometimes people assume he is evil or cursed due to this physical imperfection.

At any time, you may activate a Disadvantage, once per game, to gain its rating in Hero Points that must be used before the end of the game, though you can never get more than 5 points per game this way no matter how many Disadvantages you have. Activating them causes them to do something dramatic and nasty to you in that scene. The GM may try to activate them, but you always have veto. If you allow it, it works as normal. If not, you may spend Hero Points equal to the ones you'd gain to prevent the activation...or take a Fate Point, if you're out of Hero Points.

19. Customization! We have 30 points to spend. We can buy +1 to an attribute for 5, a Talent for 5, or +1 to a skill for 1. We can also drop an attribute by 1 to get 2 points to spend, but no attribute can go under -5. And, as a Hellene, none of our attributes but CR and DYN can go over +5.
We'll buy DYN to +1 and CHA up to +1, eating 15. With our other 15, oh, we'll buy our second wepaon skill to +5, Command to +3, Tracking to +8, and two Talents: Advanced Firearms Training and Intimidation Tactics.

20. Secondary stats! HP is CON plus your racial base HP. Hero Points are 5+(Cha*2), minimum 5. The amount you can spend on any one roll is limited by your Glory - 2 per roll, for most starting PCs, who will have lowish Glory. These can be spent for a lot of things:
  • +2 to any roll, after the roll is made.
  • Negate a critical failure.
  • +4 to damage caused.
  • -4 to damage taken.
  • 2 points to get an extra Action this round without any penalties
  • 2 points to prevent the unconsciousness effects of a crit.
You can give Hero Points to other PCs if you want by grabbing their hand and wishing them luck. If you die before they use them, they get a Fate Point. Hero Points reset at the start of a new adventure. (Fate Points, side note, are what move you closer to your Fate coming to pass. They are real hard to get rid of.)

21. Ambition: You pick what your character is aiming to do right now. This must be achievable, must have dramatic weight and must involved another named character. So, no 'I want to marry someone.' It has to be, say, 'I will Rescue the priestess Aerope from the depraved merchant Krion' or 'I will steal the apples of the evil Zoran king Dyrian, as they will cure my ailing mother's illness.'

22. Epithet. Your Epithet is a trait that you are renowned for. In our case, spiritual son of Lycaon. Once per adventure, you may automatically succeed on any one roll related to your epithet's focus. (There's a number of Lycaons out there, so let's go with the KING OF WOLVES one and say that we're fuckin' scary and once per adventure can automatically succeed on scaring or intimidating someone.)

End Result:
Talbot, spiritual son of Lycaon
Age: 24
Int +1, PER +1, WIL +0, CHA +1, STR +2, DEX +2, CON +1 SPD +0, CR +2, DYN +1
HP: 21
HERO POINTS: 7
Destiny: Bring prosperity back to planet Korinthos.
Fate: Burned to death and eaten by cannibals.
Skills: Athletics +2, Command +3, Etiquette (Hellene) +7, Evade +6, Instinct +2, Intimidate +2, Lore (Regions) +1, Pankration +3, Parry +6, Profession (Soldier, STR) +10, Speak Language (Hellene, Native), Speak Language (Any, Basic) +3, Tracking +8, Weapon (Guns) +11, Weapon (Melee) +5, Weapon (Heavy Weapons)
Talents: Advanced Militia Training (Double STR when determining armor penalties due to weight.)
Advanced Firearms Training (+(PER), minimum +1, to rolls involving ranged combat with pistols or rifles.)
Intimidation Tactics (Add (STR*3) or (CHA*3), miniumum +3, to Intimidation rolls, and you may use either STR or CHA as the modifier to the skill.)
Gear: Medium Cuirass armor (Hoplite Mesh), Hoplon shield, Spartan infantry spear, Hoplite assault carbine, military clothing
Money: 100dm base
Glory: 7
Divine Gifts: Wisdom of Athenia (The Hero almost always knows the right things to do in any situation. (INT) times per game, minimum 1, the Hero may ask the GM any one question, which must be answered truthfully, though the answer can be ambiguous and terse.)
Acumen of the Hunter (+5 to Tracking in a forest, +2 to Tracking in other environments)

Any other character ideas, folks?

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 20:49 on Jul 25, 2016

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

I want to see the Hellas version of Diogenes of Sinope, founder of the Cynic philosophy.

Wikipedia posted:

Diogenes taught by living example. He tried to demonstrate that wisdom and happiness belong to the man who is independent of society and that civilization is regressive. He scorned not only family and political social organization, but also property rights and reputation. He even rejected normal ideas about human decency. Diogenes is said to have eaten in the marketplace, urinated on some people who insulted him,defecated in the theatre, and masturbated in public. When asked about his eating in public he said, "If taking breakfast is nothing out of place, then it is nothing out of place in the marketplace. But taking breakfast is nothing out of place, therefore it is nothing out of place to take breakfast in the marketplace." On the indecency of him masturbating in public he would say, "If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly."

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Any preference on species or should I roll randomly?

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Mors Rattus posted:

Any preference on species or should I roll randomly?

He probably fits best as one of those Kyklopes dudes; seen enough with his third eye to give zero fucks about anything.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone

Diogenes, Filthy-minded.
Race: Kyklopes
Base Stats:
INT +0, PER +4, WIL +1, CHA -1, STR +1, DEX +0, CON +0, SPD +0, CR +0, DYN +0.
HP: 20

Base Skills:
Deduce Motives +1, Etiquette (Kyklopes) +7, Instinct +2, Investigate/Search +5 (we'll take Investigate), Speak Language (Kyklopes, Native), Speak Language (Any, Basic) +3

Ability taken: Enigmas.

1. Month of Birth:
[19]: The winter months of Las
[20]: Born on a Festival Day, you choose. Options are Festivus (in Gamelion, the month of Hermia), Father's Day (in Anthesterion, the month of Heuson) or the Feast of Flesh (in Elaphebolion, the month of Hestia). We'll take the Feast of Flesh.
2. Birth Planet:
[14]: Kykyon
3. Parents:
[18]: Father dead, mother remarried.
[19]: Parents were Sailors. +1 to Pilot skill.
[6]: Family is well loved by the people and has many allies.
4. Siblings:
[12]: No siblings.
5. Special Gift:
[4]: A marble statuette of exquisite beauty.
6. Divine Heritage:
[9]: Grandparent on father's side was the offspring of a God/Goddess. Gain 5 Glory.
7. Divine Mark:
[9]: Larger than normal. Double CON to determine HP.
8. Childhood Encounter:
[4]: Encountered Someone Special
[5]: Met a fascinating individual. You learned much by observing.
9. Choose God: I think that our options here are Aphrosia or Athenia. I'm going to go with Aphrosia.
10. Choose Destiny: Convince the truth of my philosophy to the king of Athenoi and his court.
11. Fate:
[12]: Fated to die a traitor to his people.
12. Choose Profession: Kyklopes Teacher.
Int +1
Skills: Computers (of choice) +3, Investigate/Search +3, Lore (of choice) +8, Perform +3, Research +4, Science (of choice) +6, Speak Language (any, Basic) +3, Profession (Teaching, INT) +10.
Talent: Quick Learner.
Base Age: 14.
13. Calling Path: Scholar
[15]: 3-INT years, so 3. Age is now 17.
[2]: Tragedy!
[14]: Watched a loved one waste away of a horrible disease.
14. Calling Path: Scholar
[4]: 5-INT years. 5. Age is now 22, no longer adolescent.
[19]: Scholar Special Event.
[5]: You have catalogued many things while traveling and written many books on the subjects. Gain +1 in any one skill of your choice.
15. Calling Path: Scholar
[9]: 4-INT years, so 3. Age is now 25.
[18]: Scholar Special Event again.
[12]: For a few years you were the traveling companion of a Delphoi Legionnaire. You experienced many things and witnessed a great many wonders. Gain +1 in any one skill of your choice.
16. Calling Path: Scholar
[9] 4-INT years, so 3. Age is now 28.
[10]: Scholarly Pursuits
[12] Studied at a small temple in the Cyclades for a year and learned at the feet of a wise old woman, +4 in any one INT skill.
17. Calling Path: Scholar
[6]: 4-INT years. 3. Age is now 31.
[14]: Relationship.
[3]: Go to Romance Chart A. You have found the love of your life.
[11]: You are in a love triangle. They are torn between you and another (perhaps a player character).
18. Disadvantages.
Relationship (1): Trianoma. Trianoma and Diogenes are both in love with Callisto, and she wants me out of the way.
Internal (3): Cynic. Diogenes makes it a point to flaunt morals, mores and traditions, as often as possible.
External (1): Filthy. Diogenes smells bad and is filthy, and no one likes it.
19. Customization!
We'll buy INT to +3, eating 10. We'll buy up Evade to +5 and Weapon (Guns) to +3, for basic combat ability for another 8. Literacy to +5 so we can read Hellene. 11 left. We'll take Pilot to +4 and Resolve to +4. 5 left. We'll spend that on CON +1 to make use of our gift.
20. Secondary stats!
21. Ambition: poo poo on the lawn of King Proclus of the Zorans.
22. Epithet: Filthy-minded. Once per adventure, automatically succeed on an attempt to resist fear or torture because of understanding of basic human urges.

End Result:
Diogenes, Filthy-minded
INT +3, PER +4, WIL +1, CHA -1, STR +1, DEX +0, CON +1, SPD +0, CR +0, DYN +0.
HP: 22
HERO POINTS: 5
Skills: Computers (Personal) +3, Deduce Motives +2, Etiquette (Kyklopes) +7, Evade +5, Instinct +2, Investigate/Search +8, Literacy +5, Lore (Arcane Arts) +8, Perform +3, Pilot +4, Profession (Teaching, INT) +10, Research +4, Resolve +4, Science (Mathematics) +6, Speak Language (Kyklopes, Native), Speak Language (Hellene, Basic) +3, Speak Language (Zoran, Basic) +3, Weapon (Guns) +3
Talents: Quick Learner (Learning new skills takes half normal time, and you get 1 additional point in any new skill learned.)
Gear: Small statue of Aphrosia, Diadolos hand comp, off-the-rack Ionic chiton, himation
Glory: 5
Destiny: Convince the truth of my philosophy to the king of Athenoi and his court.
Fate: Fated to die a traitor to his people.
Divine Powers: Unflappable: You always appear lovely or handomse, even in the direst of situations. Even if covered in muck, the chosen of Aphrosia will make it look good.
Money: 100dm base

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





INTRODUCTION

Yeah alright letís do this.


"I put on my collar and priest's frock."

Brave New World: Covenant is the Covvie sourcebook for BNW as if that wasnít obvious. Itís 130 pages long, the first 60 are all in-character fluff and the rest is a premade mission, new blessings and powers and stuff like that. The main narrator is Father Joseph Joestar Paul Joeson. Father Paul got his powers as part of a mass empowering event outside of Atlanta in 1989 when they were trying to help the people evacuate from the outskirts. The ceilings of the church holding survivors collapsed and 40 of the clergy became Covvies.

The Beginning: Years before Jesus dies on the cross, heís tempted by Satan out in the desert. The apostle Peter, the first Pope, ends up inspired by Christís resistance to temptation to create a secret order to eradicate evil in a corporeal form under control of the Church. Thatís a pretty quick step from ďletís make a church from this religion and Iíll be the PopeĒ. The Pope is an honorary leader/member of the Covenant and was one of the few people to know about it back in the day. The Covenant was even a secret part of the Crusades, fighting actual literal demons and monsters that had somehow been around. No shut up this isn't problematic.


Man, she is yelling hard enough to fleck his face with spit. Mad lung props.

Anyway, Deltas don't show up until World War I (COUGH HOUDINI COUGH) and the years after it. Father Joe Murray gets shot in gangland crossfire between Capone's goons in Chicago in the 1920s and becomes the first American Covvie. He fights crime as the Cross for a few years until Houdini asks him for help. A protťgť of Houdini's (who is of course loving Mr. Twist) has summoned an actual demon to Chicago and Houdini needs help sending the demon back to where it came from. They succeed, but in the process The Cross is unmasked in front of a Christmas mass and his secret identity gets out. Pope Pious finds out and he's basically just like "alright buddy, come to the Vatican because we're gonna use you to start forming an international Delta fighting team". The Covenant as we know it comes into existence in 1923 with Father Joe leading two other Covvies before all the other empowered nuns, monks and priests join them. Oh also basically every Covvie has the possibility of being canonized as a saint because why not.


The Cross, beating Nazi rear end.

Joining the Covenant: You only get in one of three ways: you're either a Delta with Covvie powers, Pope John Paul II picks you to join the team or you're another type of Delta on loan helping with Covenant stuff. The regular people generally need to cover the non-combat stuff like surgery, forensics and R&D. You also have to be really good at what you do and have a member of the clergy basically write you a letter of recommendation to be passed on to the Pope to recruit you. The faster way to do this is be a nun, monk or priest, get hit by a truck and survive as a Covvie. Of course you can end up a Covvie or a Catholic Delta and not join, that's your choice. You can also work for a sort of auxiliary corp if you don't fully have what it takes to join the Covenant.


M'holiness.

The Mission: Bearer of the Delta power, seek to save souls. Many, many souls. Seek God, that is the only way. Lest the darkness swallow you whole, as it has so many others. Banish the literal darkness from the world and help mankind stand on their feet. Then there's six pages explaining how he and the other priests were attacked by vampires outside of Atlanta and it's just a weird rambling old man segue. The 40 new Covvies manage to hold their own but the vampires ultimately aren't stopped by Jesus powers but by a bunch of soldiers with machine guns and helicopters with guns. Also Catholic dogma states it's perfectly fine to kill vampires because they're viewed as footsoldiers in the thrall of darkness.


Stabbin' for Jesus.

Just y'know keep in mind this all started with "what is the mission of the Covenant?" and also vampires are just a type of Delta created from people who managed to survive a horrific nuclear event but yeah kill 'em. It doesn't help that mechanically vampires are lovely. At least the vampires have started wearing body armor and started toting machine guns to fight the Covenant to stand up to the Covenant's actual holy super soakers.

From here the book...meanders.

STRUCTURE OF THE COVENANT

Pope Jean Paul II is the man in charge but below him, running the show, is Cardinal Paul DuTemple. Cardinal Paul is an Australian and he's also a Covvie and a pragmatic man. Beneath him are Archbishops set up all over the world controlling affairs in each country, 12 in total across the world. Archbishop Bill Hansom is 300 pounds and the book wants you to care about that because he's in charge of the Northern Americas. He works in St. Patrick's Cathedral of Crescent City.

So hey apropos of nothing do you think that the gradual ramping up of Deltas across the world through the last 80 years is a sign of the End Times? Because parts of the church do and this comes hot on the heels of the structure of the church. One of these Deltas might be the new Jesus and there's a clear parallel between resurrection and getting Delta powers.


"MOM HOLY gently caress"

OH HEY IT'S THE SCHISM AGAIN WHOOP DE DOO


Interest Not Found.

So Covvies don't really have to serve with Delta Prime as per the DRA due to their religious callings and JFK chose that. This doesn't apply to Jewish people, Muslims, etc. And then the Schism happens because people don't want to kowtow to JFK and they want to be in Defiance and gently caress you government! So officially every Covvie in Defiance is part of the Schism and the Schism continues to be an awful badly explained idea. In fact, the Covenant have secretly been hosting the Delta Times website for the last decade to help the cause until Primer hackers attacked the servers. This resulted in JFK removing restrictions against Covvies and now they're basically all lumped in with Defiance and all that jazz.



COVENANT OPERATIONS ACROSS THE WORLD

Asia

Tibet:
Tibet is, uh. Too busy dealing with China to do anything with the Covenant. Why was this included? Because Tibet has its own equivalent to the Covenant, the Big Hats, who are lead by the Dalai Lama. They're friendly but they don't really work together.


I have no idea what this is but here it is anyway.

China: Christianity is illegal, the Covenant is not allowed in but this doesn't stop people from having hope. Sometimes they're allowed in for humanitarian efforts but religion is forbidden in Communist China. I don't know if that's true? That's definitely true for the USSR. I will admit to being more ignorant of Chinese Communism.

Hong Kong: There's an ongoing war between the Chinese and the British but, and I quote, the real god of Hong Kong is money. There's Anglican churches accepting help from Covvies though.

Japan: No god here, just anime. Shinto's the religion because Hirohito is God Emperor since the 70s if anyone remembers THAT plot point. There's no Covenant equivalent here because the government is restrictive about their Deltas and they're distrustful of outsiders.

Australia: Australia apparently has the Anglican equivalent of the Covenant, the Synod. I. Uh. Sure. Whatever. They get along with the Covenant.

AFRICA

The Covenant is generally viewed with suspicion across Africa and South Africa and Libya openly hate them. That's it.


Africa is a lot like this picture: theoretically full of stuff but what exactly is it, it's badly defined.

EUROPE

Spain, Portugal and France are strongholds with high Covenant influence. Then there's these guys.

Ireland: Here the Synod hate the Covenant and vice versa because of all the terrorism. There have been no steps successfully made towards cooling down the area.

Italy/The Vatican: Covvie home turf. Kennedy's really pissed at the area despite the Pope trying to smooth things over since the whole Delta Times thing.

The Soviet Union: Religion is illegal according to the state and Russian Covvies have to hide themselves. If they're caught, they either have to denounce their religion and join the Red Brigade or stay Catholic and go to a gulag. The Covenant as a whole is not trusted by the Russian government.


Wait why is this in this book, is someone going to try and blow up Al Capone again?

The United Kingdom: Home base of the Synod. There' s no real difference besides the fact that an Anglican Bishop named Simon Carr runs the Synod with the Queen as a figurehead. They also don't have a consensus of opinion from the top down; Synod bishops running chapters run things their way and believe whatever they want. As a result the Synod is viewed as the weak equivalent of the Covenant because it has no consistent stance and sense of unity besides in name, especially when you compare the Irish Synod to the Australians. Oh also Maggie Thatcher is still PM and she's besties with JFK, which is...gently caress, whatever.

THE MIDDLE EAST

Islam: HOOOOOOOOO BOYYYYYYYY. Islamic states generally press-gang their Deltas into religious service. There's a loosely affiliated group of Islamic Deltas in the Middle East known as the Jihad which spread the word of Islam by focusing on being good people, doing good deeds and preaching the word of Allah as opposed to the method of the sword (aka the popular post-9/11 view of "kill the infidels". So okay, this isn't as bad as it could be. Regardless, the Jihad works with the Covenant despite the general ban on Covenant presence in the Middle East.

Israel: Israel has the Jewish version of the Covenant known as the Kabbalah run by Rabbi Jeremiah Stein, a high-level Mossad official, German-born and survivor of the Holocaust. Israel and the Kabbalah and the Covenant get together along well because, uh, "Israel knows what it's like to be oppressed and they're kindred spirits".


This isn't Nicollette Marks, this is my original character Blanche Templayte. No I won't explain why she's in this book.

NORTH AMERICA

The decree of the Pope is to treat Schismatics as your brothers and sisters now that JFK is all mad. The Pope has extended a gesture of friendship to MLK Jr. because he's not really a fan of how Cardinal O'Connor and Sister Mary Victoria represent the American Catholic church and etc. etc.

Canada: The government of Canada accepts the Covenant as long as they don't draw attention to themselves. Canada is trying to keep positive relations with America and it's keeping its relationship with the Covenant on the back burner with a result.

CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA

Lots of Catholics in the area means there's a heavy Covenant presence. Generally speaking, every country in the area treat Covvies as saints and national superheroes. Big problem: rampant coups and regime changes in the area means this friendship is not guaranteed by the next leader, especially if they're pseudo-Communists. The most secure country in the area is Costa Rica's island of Isla Delta.

FORCES OF DARKNESS

Vampires: Vampires are "common" and "virulent" which is weird to me because they ultimately stem for surviving nuclear blasts and they're incapable of transmitting their "curse" because they're the result of superpowers. Although apparently the attack might trigger a Delta awakening but it really shouldn't be Vampire Powers, it should just be whatever. At any rate, governments of the world attempt to keep the vampires in Atlanta, Minsk, Chernobyl, Kiev and San Francisco. Mostly they just go berserk if they go too far from the zones and try to go on killing sprees. This is patently ridiculous because if everyone in America has a gun they're probably going to shoot a rampaging vampire who is eating someone. And everyone outnumbers vampires. So vampires are footsoldiers of apocalyptic dark forces except they have zero infrastructure to support this. It feels like the Covenant just has a raging hard-on for an ultimately impotent enemy.

Deaders: Remember these things? They're corpses animated by a Gadget powering chips in their brains. They have zero purpose in this entire series. The big problem with Deaders is that as shambling corpses they're immune to any wards against evil. The big upside is that as shambling corpses you can just shoot them until they're pulped and break the chip animating them.

Werebeasts: Werebeasts get the double standard treatment by not being counted as inherently evil like vampires. Basically they're people with powers they need to learn to control and you can't just kill them with no repercussions. I have to imagine that this is because werebeasts are actually playable as opposed to vampires not having a powerset outline provided.

Bargainers: Bargainers also fall under the same umbrella. You can't just kill 'em because no person is inherently evil. But everyone's opinion differs.

Demons: Run. If you have to fight, fight to kill or capture. A demon has to be in a binding circle to be captured, whereupon it's much easier to kill the demon.


Everybody's gonna be friends!

EXORCISM

Sometimes only a demon's spirit gets through and their body is left behind in Hell. A demon can possess something inanimate, but that inanimate object has to have been a part of something evil. However, they can only possess one item at a time. You either have to exorcise or just break the item.

Alternately, the demon can possess the living or the dead. The same rule applies: they can only have been a part of something evil, even if they were just a witness to a crime. Kill the host or exorcise them to get rid of the demon, which has major issues if the host is a living person: if the host dies while possessed, the soul goes to Hell too. In the case of possessing a corpse, exorcism is kind of pointless. Just destroy the corpse.

A successful exorcism or destruction of the host only banishes the demon for a year and a day as opposed to the 100 year banishment of killing a demon's body in the wrong plane. And that's it for this part of the book.


Look at those nipples.

THOUGHTS: I would sigh or go "uggggh" but I fear I would not stop and my spirit would escape from my mouth and let me die before this is complete. This was painful to complete. I gave myself some time off between books (mostly due to work, mostly due to wanting to work on other things) and I felt every essence of my mind actively resist reading and absorbing any of this. I have reached a critical loss of fucks to give about any of this. I guess the only thing I find interesting is that they progress the metaplot openly?

Look, I'm not a Catholic. I have a mother who is, but I was raised far away from the Catholic church. I do feel like a lot of this has not really aged well with how it presents religion. You've already got my comment about the Islamic religious Delta group called Jihad and how it actually isn't awful because it's pre-9/11. I immediately had an angry groan reaction the moment I saw the word "Jihad" before I read deeper. And I still wasn't very impressed with the whole thing. I think that sums up my reading experience of this book. I didn't really find anything interesting or worth liking, it's just a book I read and my eyes glazed over. I think it was Humbug Schoolbus or Kai Tave who mentioned that this book was written by Forbeck as a point of interest book and I completely agree. I would argue that it's a very passionate book. Unfortunately it's a topic that doesn't interest me in the slightest and in the year 2016 a lot of people are viewing the Catholic church quite differently. It doesn't hold up, not in this time. And personally, my enthusiasm towards this series is burning out fast now that I know the end is near.

NEXT TIME: new rules for playing Covvies, new powers, new blessings and orders to join.

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


Just Dan Again posted:

Why doesn't every fantasy game have "sapient bug swarm" as a player character option?!

Does the Buffy RPG? That thing was freaky in the show.

We need more Greek and Roman RPGs in general.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hostile V posted:

China: Christianity is illegal, the Covenant is not allowed in but this doesn't stop people from having hope. Sometimes they're allowed in for humanitarian efforts but religion is forbidden in Communist China. I don't know if that's true? That's definitely true for the USSR. I will admit to being more ignorant of Chinese Communism.

The Chinese Communist Party led a blood purge of foreign influences whenever they got into power, much like the Boxers before them. Supposedly, my father's family line would have been wiped out if it weren't for the fact that my eldest aunt had gotten sick before my grandparents' missionary trip to China, invalidating a health requirement necessary to enter into China, thus sparing them from the fate of being brutally expelled or killed by militia. So, what I'm saying is God works in mysterious ways :catholic:

BTW, I'm guessing there's no mention of Vietnam, which was well-known to have Catholics considering the whole Buddhist Crisis during JFK's administration happened because Ngo Dinh Diem was a Catholic oppressing Buddhist monks. One of the major reasons JFK supported Diem in the first place was because he was a Catholic.

Nor, the Philippines, home of 84 million Catholics because of the influence of the Catholic Spaniards who colonized the archipelago.

Hostile V posted:

AFRICA
The Covenant is generally viewed with suspicion across Africa and South Africa and Libya openly hate them. That's it.


Africa is a lot like this picture: theoretically full of stuff but what exactly is it, it's badly defined.

This is hilarious because Africa is a growing population of Catholics.

Hostile V posted:

The Soviet Union: Religion is illegal according to the state and Russian Covvies have to hide themselves. If they're caught, they either have to denounce their religion and join the Red Brigade or stay Catholic and go to a gulag. The Covenant as a whole is not trusted by the Russian government.

Which is blatantly false, because Russia never could go full atheist and frequently used the carrot and stick of the Eastern Orthodox Church during the Soviet era to manipulate the populace. It's something literally discussed in Orwell's "Animal Farm".

But no talk of Poland, where Catholicism played a major factor in the Solidarity movement and in the Soviets' efforts to crush it? Or Croatia, where religion was a major cause of the Yugoslavian breakup and open warfare?

Hostile V posted:

THE MIDDLE EAST

Islam: HOOOOOOOOO BOYYYYYYYY. Islamic states generally press-gang their Deltas into religious service. There's a loosely affiliated group of Islamic Deltas in the Middle East known as the Jihad which spread the word of Islam by focusing on being good people, doing good deeds and preaching the word of Allah as opposed to the method of the sword (aka the popular post-9/11 view of "kill the infidels". So okay, this isn't as bad as it could be. Regardless, the Jihad works with the Covenant despite the general ban on Covenant presence in the Middle East.

Very likely that "Jihad" was the only Arabic word that Forbeck knew. Also, his view of a single Islam is pretty quaint as well, since most people know now that there's two major different flavors of Islam like Shi'a and Sunni and a whole bunch of subdivisions like Wahabbists. Also, the big problem with concentrating on Islam with just the Mid-East is it also leaves out southeast Asian Muslims like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.

Hostile V posted:

Israel: Israel has the Jewish version of the Covenant known as the Kabbalah run by Rabbi Jeremiah Stein, a high-level Mossad official, German-born and survivor of the Holocaust. Israel and the Kabbalah and the Covenant get together along well because, uh, "Israel knows what it's like to be oppressed and they're kindred spirits".

Oh man, you don't know how wrong this is. Especially with bring in Pope Pious XII in early, who is a controversial figure during WW2 because, while he wrote about growing antisemitism following the invasion of Poland, saved some Jews by letting them hide out in Vatican City, had contacts with German resistance, and formed an underground railroad to save Jews, it's widely viewed he didn't enogh like use his power to publicly condemn the Nazis and the Holocaust until by the end of the war. Plus there's the controversy where some of the Jews they saved was done through conversion to Catholicism, which is the "straight to hell" route in the Jewish faith. Also, calling the Israeli version the Kabbalah is kind of stupid because it's a sect within Judaism. It's another case, like with Jihad, where there's probably better words in Hebrew instead of using a religious word.

Hostile V posted:

NORTH AMERICA

The decree of the Pope is to treat Schismatics as your brothers and sisters now that JFK is all mad. The Pope has extended a gesture of friendship to MLK Jr. because he's not really a fan of how Cardinal O'Connor and Sister Mary Victoria represent the American Catholic church and etc. etc.

Canada: The government of Canada accepts the Covenant as long as they don't draw attention to themselves. Canada is trying to keep positive relations with America and it's keeping its relationship with the Covenant on the back burner with a result.

CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA

Lots of Catholics in the area means there's a heavy Covenant presence. Generally speaking, every country in the area treat Covvies as saints and national superheroes. Big problem: rampant coups and regime changes in the area means this friendship is not guaranteed by the next leader, especially if they're pseudo-Communists. The most secure country in the area is Costa Rica's island of Isla Delta.

What would have been interesting is the Covenant dealing with liberation theology, where the ideals of Catholicism and Communism converged, leading to American-backed death squads murdering Catholic bishops and nuns.

Also, wouldn't the Pope realize that JFK was different when he started persecuting Catholics? Because, you know, JFK was a Catholic.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 13:24 on Jul 26, 2016

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Young Freud posted:

Also, wouldn't the Pope realize that JFK was different when he started persecuting Catholics? Because, you know, JFK was a Catholic.

The author killed off Jackie Kennedy because he only thought the man's wife would notice a total change in his personality and not, say, Bobby and Teddy. Or his dad. Or the rest of his adult family. Or his friends and staff.



So no.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Guys I don't think the Brave New World writers know much history after all.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



There's some really painful leaps of logic - and I would think the Israeli version would be far more wary of working with Covvies given Catholics have a long history of persecuting, expelling, and force-converting Jews, and given how despite the actions of a few, it's generally perceived that the church looked the other way during the Holocaust.

And no mention of Evangelicals is very curious given there's a lot of friction - many Evangelicals simply believe Catholics are not Christians - and in some areas they got enough of a stronghold to be a factor.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



To be fair, Bobby Kennedy does get close to the truth and ends up assassinated for his troubles. But I didn't really even know about the Philippines and Vietnam, those are quite interesting and just highlight what got passed over.

Upcoming: turns out there's recommendations for how to play a non-Covvie religious Delta and they're exactly what you expect. Praise Vectron.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Always assume religion is much more complicated than how it's portrayed in an RPG.

Speaking of, the religion in Ironclaw is actually really interesting in that the authors understood that their semi-Catholic central church would be rife with heterodoxies, regional variants, and outright heresies and I really appreciate that. I don't think they did as well with the 'pagan' faiths (the druids are kinda acceptable but the boars' animistic religion just feels off to me) but their not-Catholics are pretty great.

I know there was an 8 month gap but I'm back to running IC 2e myself, and so I'll get back to writing it up soon.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Robindaybird posted:

And no mention of Evangelicals is very curious given there's a lot of friction - many Evangelicals simply believe Catholics are not Christians - and in some areas they got enough of a stronghold to be a factor.

Kennedy got a lot of pushback from Evangelicals and other conservative groups because of being a Catholic. There was even a bigoted concern raised that the President might take orders from the Vatican instead of following the Constitution.

Hostile V posted:

To be fair, Bobby Kennedy does get close to the truth and ends up assassinated for his troubles. But I didn't really even know about the Philippines and Vietnam, those are quite interesting and just highlight what got passed over.

Those were the first things that came off the top of my head. Vietnamese Catholics because of Diem and that, here in Dallas-Fort Worth area, we have various Catholic places of worship that cater to the Vietnamese community that went into exile here. I actually got to looking and China does have a significant Catholic population, I believe 3rd-largest in Asia with 12 million Catholics (compared to Vietnam, where it's only 8 million), one that largely survived thanks to some politicking of Chinese Catholics in the forming of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which rejects ordination of bishops from the Vatican and instead does it locally. By doing so, the Chinese government has allowed for the religion to exist, although a good number of mainland Chinese don't follow the CPCA and instead see the authority of the Holy See via underground bishops and missionaries in rural territories.

Hostile V posted:

Upcoming: turns out there's recommendations for how to play a non-Covvie religious Delta and they're exactly what you expect. Praise Vectron.

Can we play a non-Covvie atheist Delta? Just because I don't believe in god doesn't mean I'm not religious. :pseudo:

Night10194 posted:

Always assume religion is much more complicated than how it's portrayed in an RPG.

Speaking of, the religion in Ironclaw is actually really interesting in that the authors understood that their semi-Catholic central church would be rife with heterodoxies, regional variants, and outright heresies and I really appreciate that. I don't think they did as well with the 'pagan' faiths (the druids are kinda acceptable but the boars' animistic religion just feels off to me) but their not-Catholics are pretty great.

The best thing I've seen written in an RPG describing a real world religion was the whole chapter on Islam in the Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook "When Gravity Fails", largely because the setting requires it and George Alec Effinger was a Middle Eastern Culture nut that I'm certain that he demanded it.

It also has detailed rules on transgender sexual reassignment surgery and I've been wanting to look over those again because I'm not sure if I like "passing" having a mechanic.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

That definitely seems weird, since what I remember of the novel and supplement suggested a person's gender expression vs birth assignment was generally an open secret in the Budayeen.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Bieeardo posted:

That definitely seems weird, since what I remember of the novel and supplement suggested a person's gender expression vs birth assignment was generally an open secret in the Budayeen.

Yeah, but the supplement provides rules for Awareness skill checks depending on the quality of the surgery, mostly because that's rarely touched on in Cyberpunk core. Part of me thinks it's a continuation of some of the fiddly bits in Cyberpunk 2020 where you can spot check for implants like skinweaves and subdermal body armor, but I don't recall Attractiveness-altering bodysculpting having the same qualities. You think if they can't tell you went under the knife to get a facelift, a nose job, and your boobs done they wouldn't matter about if you had a dick or not.

It's still loads better than the Euro splatbook introducing the whole "xir" pronoun bullshit. I'm certain it sounded progressive at the time, now it's aged pretty badly.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


You know, has anyone done a big overall look at Glorantha? Like not just copying out the Guide over and over but a big look. Like Mors' stuff? Because I couldn't find it on the archvies and whilst I know I am not for that job I was wondering if anyone else was.

The talk of various religious splinters inspired me.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



SOrry for folks who were following the Fragged Empire review, but...there's going to be a delay for a while.

Spoiler: it's an EM Recommends all the way through, but hopefully I can get back into it later when I'm in a better mindset to show why.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Josef bugman posted:

You know, has anyone done a big overall look at Glorantha? Like not just copying out the Guide over and over but a big look. Like Mors' stuff? Because I couldn't find it on the archvies and whilst I know I am not for that job I was wondering if anyone else was.

The talk of various religious splinters inspired me.
Someone took up Glorantha a while back, though it was never completed. The problem is that, y'know, Glorantha is huge. And it's hard to get into something like that without wanting to cover each and every goddamn book, or at least each version of the core game, of which there seem to be many. Tekumel has a similar weird story of bouncing from one publisher and ruleset to another over the years.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Anyone who wants to do Glorantha would have to first pick which Glorantha RPG to do, and if they picked the older ones they would have to find a bunch of rare-ish books. There's only two or three books for the current heroquest release, with the new runequest coming. That, or they'd have to summarize the Guide.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

by many accounts a diligent administrator and manager who was instrumental in increasing industrial productivity during the war

Lipstick Apathy

Hostile V posted:

To be fair, Bobby Kennedy does get close to the truth and ends up assassinated for his troubles. But I didn't really even know about the Philippines and Vietnam, those are quite interesting and just highlight what got passed over.

Upcoming: turns out there's recommendations for how to play a non-Covvie religious Delta and they're exactly what you expect. Praise Vectron.

I'm a Catholic in the Philippines :) ask me anything.

Spiderfist Island
Feb 19, 2011


Halloween Jack posted:

Someone took up Glorantha a while back, though it was never completed. The problem is that, y'know, Glorantha is huge. And it's hard to get into something like that without wanting to cover each and every goddamn book, or at least each version of the core game, of which there seem to be many. Tekumel has a similar weird story of bouncing from one publisher and ruleset to another over the years.

It's me, I'm one with the on-hiatus RuneQuest 2E review. In my review I was mainly focusing on what's written in the 1978 rulebook itself, so that thankfully limits the amount of Glorantha knowledge needed to do a good overview. Doing a survey of the entire world would require explaining several mutually contradictory systems of metaphysics and prehistories, along with recounting a very large number of mythic cycles, so I don't envy that task.

If anyone asks, I'm using Dragon Time as the basis for when I put out a new review section.

MadRhetoric
Feb 18, 2011

I POSSESS QUESTIONABLE TASTE IN TOUHOU GAMES




See also: a story with a Watsonian explanation for why combat is up close and personal, even with guns.

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 easier to shoot the bad guys, duh.

Whoops you said Watsonian. Uh.

"Take heart, brave warriors! For though you may look right into the eyes of the enemy, know this: to fight from afar is to fight inactively, to belabor. To see your enemy die by your gun is to fight swiftly."

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I have Godlike and Dune updates almost done, but they won't be out until next week because I'm going out of town.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


MadRhetoric posted:

See also: a story with a Watsonian explanation for why combat is up close and personal, even with guns.

Minovsky Particles do EVERYTHING.


EVERYTHING.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


gradenko_2000 posted:

I'm a Catholic in the Philippines :) ask me anything.

How would you stat Madame Marcos' shoes? :v:

Check your PM, ARB?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


At long last, it is time for more Ironclaw: Squaring the Circle

Today we'll be talking about both the fluff and crunch behind wizbiz, as well as one of my big gripes with the book's organization. Magic in Ironclaw is interesting; Ironclaw is a relatively low fantasy setting, but this doesn't make magic rare so much as restrict how much magic can do. Long ago, devils and monsters were much more common and the great Autarch wizard-kings ruled Calabria, and they were essentially D&D scale wizards. They were cast down by the people who rule Calabria today (the Rinaldi foxes claim to have done the majority of the fighting and no-one is sure if they should be believed) and aside from the occasional outlier, wizards simply don't reach that level of earth-shattering power anymore. The lack of written sources from the time and the danger of exploring the ruins of the Autarchs (as well as the infancy of archeology, which is only beginning to become a scholarly discipline) mean that no-one really knows what they were, who they were, and how much of the description of their incredible power is mythology and how much is real.

What is particularly interesting is magic does not take any sort of inborn gift any more than any other talent. There's no special sight (though a well-trained wizard will be able to see spirits and mystical signs in the world) and anyone can at least try to learn to use magic. Similarly, the holy magic of the church, White Magic, does not come directly from their god. It is held to be divinely inspired, true, and its revelation to the church's founder Helloise is considered a direct miracle and an act of S'Allumer revealing himself to the world, but like any other magic White can be learned by just about anyone if they could get hold of the right materials. The Church tries to heavily regulate this, of course; having a monopoly on healing magic and the ability to cure diseases and stop plagues gives the Church monumental influence and wealth. In short, magic is a scholarly pursuit in both secular and clerical circles in Ironclaw. Elementalists and Thaumaturges learn their trade at academies or apprenticing to other wizards, and their magic is as often used for construction or other civil practices as war. One of the Houses (We'll get to the Houses in the background chapters) is trying to capitalize on the Printing Press to mass-produce magical tomes and create a civil and military corps of elemental wizards, even, much like others are arming musketeers for war. A wizard can call down flames, move earth, provide clean water for an army, read the weather or try to blow away fog or cloud cover...it's obvious why they'd be useful to the world and I like that while their magic is rarely earth-shatteringly powerful, the world treats them as another interesting sort of professional with the potential to shake up the world order as literacy and education become easier to come by.

I ALSO appreciate that rules-wise, magic does not use a separate magic system. A Mage operates by Gifts and Skill Checks exactly the same as a warrior or thief. A newly minted wizard begins with their Apprentice Gift, which gives them some minor stunts and abilities they can perform with their magic but also the ability to summon their basic combat magic. For instance, a Cleric or Paladin has the ability to gather their party together in healing prayer after an encounter and automatically remove the Hurt condition (but not Injured) from all their comrades as their magic heals minor cuts, bruises, and lighter wounds. But they also get the ability to channel holy energy, exhaust their Apprentice gift like any other battle gift, and summon a holy attack spell that they can use with their next action. A single action can Refresh that Gift and make it possible to re-summon the spell; using magic in combat is a bit akin to using a crossbow and having to spend a couple actions reloading and aiming it again, and magic is generally equivalent in power. As a mage grows in power, they can buy Journeyman Gifts that allow them to perform more impressive spells, though these often require an actual respite to refresh and ready again rather than just a single action. These more impressive Journeyman (and later, Master) spells are the sorts of things you associate with wizards in other systems: throwing down AoE attacks, confusing or mind controlling people, that kind of thing. For many of the AoE spells, you don't attack a Defender's Counter/Parry/Dodge the same way you do with a direct spell. Instead, you roll against a fixed number and when they roll to resist damage, they include their defense skill in their damage resistance roll against the fixed DC of 4. Still, most basic magic does about Damage 2 (on par with a normal longsword or light crossbow) but also includes a special effect like potentially igniting your target or knocking them over. Mages also suffer no penalty for wearing armor or using heavy weapons; rather some of their gifts allow them to gain bonuses if they wear a proper magic robe and use a mage's implement like a special rod or wand, instead. I like that touch; you can easily play an armored wizard-warrior (in fact, the Paladin class even gets to use their special sanctified sword as a White Magic casting implement and is intended to be a warrior-wizard, and there's a specific Elementalist variant that excels at mixing physical and magical combat) and be effective, but a traditionalist gains a few optional avenues for bonuses instead.

The schools of magic are as follows:

Elementalist: Elementalists are the 'classic' wizard. They control earth, air, fire, water, and if they're insiders at the famed Dunwasser academy and very willing to invest a lot in their spellcasting, they can learn the secrets of Star Magic (the magic of the elements in unison, tremendously powerful but requiring a great deal of investment and generalization before it can be delved into). All Elementalists get the basic attack and manipulation abilities for all four elements for just having the Apprentice Gift for their school, but most specialize in one or two elements if they go further. This is because every element uses a different Skill (Digging for Earth, Presence for Fire, Weather Sense for Air, and Swimming for Water) and stat (Body for Earth, Mind for Water, Speed for Air, and Will for Fire) for their basic spells and no Career really adds its dice to magic attacks. Elementalists are good at combat and their general ability allows them to do small elemental tricks and actions; an Elementalist can conjure a hole, dig a ditch, light fires, summon drinking water that won't give you the runs, keep off the rain, etc whenever they want. As you can imagine, those things are actually pretty useful in a pre-industrial society. Star Magic is special and insanely powerful, but takes a minimum of 9 (!) gifts to actually get to. It uses every single stat besides Career and Species and the Academics skill (which will let many Elementalists include their Career die after all) to put out a Damage +0 Slaying Penetrating disintegration beam as its default attack spell. Now, damage 0 doesn't sound impressive, but Penetrating ignores all armor and Slaying means every success scored on an attack is 2 damage instead of 1. Someone who knows how the world is put together knows a lot about unmaking it!

Thaumaturge: Thaumaturges study the magic of magic. They counter other wizards and provide advice on the supernatural. A lot of wizards will eventually pick up Thaumaturgy as their career progresses, just because it's the state of the art and as I said above, magic is fundamentally a scholarly endeavor. Their default Apprentice ability is also fantasy for just about anyone: Whenever they take the Guard action, they surround themselves and nearby friends with a supernatural shield that provides d8 Cover if they're close, d4 Cover if they're not, improving all Dodges and Parries (but not Counters). This ability is also noted to be a great way to stay dry in a rainstorm. Their basic abilities are indirect attacks that do no damage, but can cause someone to experience a little hiccup of probability that disarms them or can silence someone and make them unable to cast spells. As an added bonus, their Silence spell is specifically able to be used as a Counter Attack to any magic attack they might come under; you normally can't Counter ranged attacks like magic.

White: White Magic was discovered by the vixen Helloise, when the black death swept through the trade city of Triskellian ages ago. She used it to save the life of the heir of the Rinaldi, and then worked herself to death with exhaustion by overusing her spells to completely cleanse the city of the plague. Awed at her power and taking her words about a great and loving light that created all to heart, the young Don Constantin and his mother Luzia Caldonna founded the Church of S'Allumer in her honor, with Luzia becoming the first pope. The healing magic and worship of a central creator who desired to bring all beyond the world to an existence of infinite bliss allowed the church to catch on, as did Don Constantin's successes in war and diplomacy. Now, the Church are the keepers of White Magic, the power of healing and protection. As I said above, White Magic does not come directly from God. Its power is divinely inspired, its existence is a miracle, but when a cleric casts a spell to cure a lord's son of some terrible disease this is not marked as a great miracle. Genuine miracles are an order of magnitude greater, like Helloises' cleansing of the plague. Still, if you can't see where having a reliable way to stop infectious disease and cure mortal wounds would give someone a tremendous amount of power there's something wrong with you, and the church has grown very wealthy and influential indeed. A White Mage's basic abilities let them heal others of minor injuries or status effects, and they can also summon forth a weak AoE Light attack that hits everyone in Short range until someone successfully dodges or blocks, as well as having a Counterspell similar to a Thaumaturge. Interestingly, despite several attack spells existing in White Magic, the church is noted to have an ongoing theological debate about if it is permissible to use S'Allumer's divinely inspired magic to harm another. Some Clerics will refuse to use attack spells, because they do not believe it is the will of God that their magic be used for harm, only healing.

Green and Purple Magic: No-one knows why it's green and purple, but this is the magic of the mind. It lacks direct offense, but it can do plenty in the way of status effects. Mystics are very secluded and secretive, and the practitioners of mind magic are a shadowy cabal. Honestly, they scare me a lot more than the designated evil wizards, the Necromancers. Their basic abilities let them rally allies and remove fear at a distance by clearing their minds, and they can speak to the shadowy remnants of dreams and personalities found in the realm of thought. Their basic attack spells let them enrage or slow enemies by manipulating their emotions, but do no damage. Later abilities will let them inflict almost every mental status effect in the game, as well as directly take control of people and move them around like a puppet. These guys scare me.

Necromancers: Necromancers are odd. The undead are a serious problem in Calabria, because it's very possible for an unquiet spirit to drag itself back, bound to this world. Necromancers manipulate the agony of the unquiet dead to try to power their magic by the spirits of the dead rather than their own energy and vital force, which is insanely dangerous because it's easy to risk possession, summoning something you really didn't intend to, or just messing up your trickery and getting whacked by a very angry ghost or wight. The potential power is great, but Necromancers are the only kind of wizard who potentially suffers catastrophic failures and backlashes for their magic. They're also outlawed in every single society and hunted by the church and secular authorities both, and are generally not intended to be PCs. Necromancy spells often include a bunch of extra d6s to represent the power of their magic, but backfire if you get 3 or more sixes on your dice in a casting roll. Necromancers can, as basic abilities, enrage the unquiet dead and make them lash out, scare the life out of people, and their basic attacks summon fear, illness, and pain. I'm not a big fan of necromancers; they seem a little too obvious and don't fit quite as well into the general themes of the game. They feel more like a general throwback to more conventional fantasy villains, and I find they work best as a relatively early threat for PCs to root out.

Now, for my biggest gripe: I like magic. Magic works within the framework of the game's system without requiring a separate set of rules and resolution. Magic users are powerful without overwhelming the game and they fit well into the fluff and setting as another point where educated experts and talented folk are becoming increasingly indispensable to an economy and society that is experiencing growing pains as it transitions from medieval and renaissance to early modern. The problem? Why the hell did they put the majority of magic at the back of the book, well past most of the rules for using basic magic? Everything you need to do more with magic than just be a dabbler is its own chapter, at the very back, far past even the background chapter. It's a minor organizational gripe, but it's annoying.

Next up: Background! Which Great House would people like to hear of first? The Rinaldi Foxes, known for their insanity and for being roughly analogous to Italy? The Avoirdupois Horses, who are a rough analogue to France? The Doloreaux Boars, who are kinda Germany if you squint but not really because Germany wasn't dominated by an animistic religion that rejected Catholicism and protestantism both? The Phelan Wolves, who still follow druidic faiths and stick to atavism and traditional ways? Or the Bisclavret, the breakway state from the Phelan who have embraced the modern world with gusto and are totally not British, we swear?

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.

Are the Bisclarvet all chivalry and heavy armor cavalry charges? Since the name comes from one of two Knights of the Round table who were werewolves. (The other being Marrok, who may actually be the same person.)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


unseenlibrarian posted:

Are the Bisclarvet all chivalry and heavy armor cavalry charges? Since the name comes from one of two Knights of the Round table who were werewolves. (The other being Marrok, who may actually be the same person.)

That'd be the Avoirdupois. The Bisclavret are aggressively modernizing wolves (and that's why they have that name) who broke off from the traditionalist, celtic Phelan two hundred years ago and have been scheming to build their own navy and modernize their army and economy since.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Put me down for the Horselords.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night10194 posted:

That'd be the Avoirdupois. The Bisclavret are aggressively modernizing wolves (and that's why they have that name) who broke off from the traditionalist, celtic Phelan two hundred years ago and have been scheming to build their own navy and modernize their army and economy since.

Also, very Scottish.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Also, very Scottish.

I always saw them as the Brits, more, but I suppose that came out of the emphasis on trying to kickstart a navy (because they have a shitload of timber and have rightly realized Triskellian is so important because it's the single biggest and best port in Calabria and that massive wealth from around the globe lies down that road). In general, the Phelan and Bisclavret are the Isles if they weren't isles.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Nah, definitely Scots. They're Gael-descended (the Phelan are very much Irish Gaelic), clannish and wear kilts.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I should probably go into the mechanics of Atavism soon, too, before I get to the Phelan. Magic and Atavism are two of the absolute most improved parts of IC 2e; in 1e both were extremely meh and also ridiculously overcomplicated. In 1e, you had a whole MP system and all kinds of ridiculousness where every magic spell was its own skill and the difficulty dice for the skill check was also the 'effect' dice of the spell and urg it was really bad. Similarly, Atavism used to require you to check against your own Mind die to use it and generally demanded you use no equipment or weaponry, and never really made up for it. Here? Atavism is goddamn powerful.

Atavism is a strange power that most of the people of Calabria have within them, but few actually tap into it. It is a set of Gifts only accessible by having a Species die of d8 or better, though anyone who gets their Species up over time can acquire them. In setting, these powers are considered frightening and unusual throwbacks by most of the civilized peoples in Calabria; only the Phelan really embrace Atavism. Atavist powers are tremendous physical stunts, for the most part. For instance, the Gift of Salmon Leap will let you leap a ten meter wall with a little luck. Reserves of Might gives you the ability to toss an extra d12 at any Body check once per respite. Claws of Iron makes your natural weaponry +2 Damage Critical, which is on par with most of the better one-handed weapons. A skilled Atavist can fight in the air if they can fly, tunnel fast enough to outrun pursuers, accurately read the moods and reactions of others by scent alone well enough to manipulate and detect all manner of lies, and rip apart an armored knight with their bare claws. I've always thought Atavism was an interesting introduction to the setting because there's no solid explanation for it. Is it a form of magic? Is it some dark legacy of violence and animalistic fury buried within every heart? Is it some natural power that has been forgotten and should have always been embraced? There's a lot of room to work with it in your plot and making the powers actually do important and powerful stuff makes it much more compelling whether you see it as good or ill.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





COVENANT HEROES

The upcoming info also includes stuff from Ravaged Planet.

For starters, letís pretend you donít want to play a proper Covvie. Thatís okay. Simply reskin every power but say itís from a different source and instead of Covenant Martial Arts create a new Martial Art of that religion. So, for example, Wrath of God causes holy fire to strike enemies as a ranged attack. For a Muslim, call it Wrath of Allah. For someone Jewish, call it Wrath of Yahweh. Wrath of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Wrath of Vectron, Wrath of Time Pony, Wrath of Corgulon, Wrath of Jesus, Wrath of Buddha. Just pick a religion and change some names, boom done. No this isnít problematic shut up. Back to Covvie mechanics!

So by default, every Covvie in America is wanted under the DRA because JFK is pissed. Every Covvie is also ordained as a nun, priest or monk. Every Covvie has access to training for Covenant Martial Arts. They also get access to unique weapons besides guns (despite the game mentioning that guns are pretty effective against killing the forces of darkness).

Balloon Mortar: Itís basically a two-handed crossbow balloon launcher that can fire straight with Shooting or in an arc with Artillery. The balloons generally carry three payloads: water, colored ink holy water and garlic paste. Water balloons deal no damage but force a stun check and actually trigger a Weresharkís weakness to freshwater. Holy water follows the same rules as regular water but deals 10d6+10 with a blast radius of six feet to vampires. The garlic paste balloon doesnít actually do any damage besides stun but it adds +3 to the TN of everything a vampire does or sickens them.

Covenant Crossbow: So not counting the regular repeating disintegrating belt ammo, the Covvie crossbow has wooden bolts for vampires. Wooden bolts are Teflon-coated with a hollow-point tip that causes it to explode barbs into the flesh of the target to bypass body armor vampires have taken to wearing. Ripping out a bolt without cutting the hooks is a TN 10 Strength check and deals 3d6+3 damage.

Cross Kit: A black leather bag containing stencils, day-glo orange spray paint and glow-in-the-dark spray paint for your immediate Christian vandalism needs.

Cross-Sights: Turn the sights on your gun into a cross. Keeps vampires at bay. Doesnít require spray paint.


What.

Holy Soaker: Three different types of holy water squirtguns. You have pistol sidearm, a pump-action watergun or a flamethrower-type with a pack and a hose. The only real advantage these guns have over a dollar store model is sturdier plastic and being covered in religious symbols.

Portable Circle: A circle of folded cloth that can be whipped out and unfurled to trap a demon inside or surrounded people to keep evil out and away.

Protection Projector: A heavy flashlight with a magnet/tape on the bottom with two lenses you can attach to the top (cross, circles). You can affix a flashlight with a projected circle to a ceiling to beam it down.

Silver Blades: Does nothing different to the blade but hurt most weres. Seriously thereís nothing different from a regular steel blade.

Silver Bullets: ďTeflon-coated bullets that cut through KevlarĒ.

These are all things you can buy directly from Covenant HQ or just build in your garage with the help of that guy from Network Zero.




ROMAN CATHOLICISM BASICS

I donít want to be dismissive but no Iím good, Iím not going to cover this brief course in Catholicism. I will also skipping the important rites and the hierarchy of the church.

ORDERS

Georgians: Covvies following the teachings of St. George so letís go kick some vampires in their groins. Georgians wear battle armor covered in crosses with a mask and are basically shock troopers/marines for the Covenant. Theyíre forbidden to killÖhumans. Everything else is fair game.

Judians: Named for St. Jude, Judians are stealth-ops. They wear all black, including facepaint, except for a large cross on their chest they might cover until it needs to be revealed. It helps protect against vampires but on the other hand, itís an awfully large target. If a Judian is shot at and the hit location is arms, legs or head, reroll and if itís a torso shot it hits the torso. Judians have to take Disguise 2, Stealth 2 and Perception 2 in addition to the regular requirements.

Yeah thatís it. Those are all of the special orders. Letís look at some new stuff.


What?

TRICKS

Inspire: Extra successes on a Faith roll add a cumulative +1 bonus to skill rolls for the next round for anyone who watches you do a thing.

Terrify: Reverse inspire, cumulative -1 to skill rolls to enemies witnessing you do things.

CLERICAL POWERS

Priests can do these at any time; they donít count towards a power limit. Note how I said priest. Women canít use some of these powers, which is justÖgreat. Iíll notify which ones are applicable to nuns/female Covvies.

Rules for whipping out a cross: Faith roll to make a vampire stay six feet away as long as they can see the cross via literal invisible barrier. A failure makes the barrier disappear until another success; a disaster invalidates the power of the cross for that item for the rest of the scene.

Bless: TN 5 to make holy water or bless an item.

Exorcise: TN 20 but requires a TN 10 Faith roll after talking to a demon for a hour. Holy water burns the possessed but not the demon. Keep talking to demons for a hour and make a TN 10 Faith roll to add +1 to Faith, cumulative, for exorcising.

Pray: TN 5 every hour to gain +1 to Faith for the next 24 hours or until you sleep. Women can do this.

Retreat: Pray for days in seclusion and make a Faith roll at the end of it. Get +1 Faith for a successful roll and +1 for every day. Lose 1 point of extra Faith for every night of sleep and you can only have up to double your Faith. Women can do this.

Sanctify: Throw around some holy water to bless a place and ward it from evil.




What?

COVENANT POWERS

Raise your Faith by 1, get access to a new power. A Covvie can spend a hour in prayer and make a TN 20 Faith roll to swap one power to another. Previously showcased powers will not be repeated here.

Ascend: Make a T pose and fly 30 feet straight up for every success on a TN 5 Faith roll. You canít fly in any other direction but up unless you have a means of propulsion to move around. You can also use this to slow your falling.

Godís Truth: Contested roll to make someone unable to lie to you. Three extra successes over the opponent forces them to blurt out the truth to one question.

Holy Flame: Summon a small flame that orbits your head on a TN 5 Faith roll. The flame illuminates a radius of 12 feet around you and adds six feet to the range for every extra success.

Martyrís Determination: TN 5 Faith roll to ignore 1 wound modifier per success.

Pentecostal Tongue: TN 5 Faith roll and an audible prayer to understand another language of your choice or speak it. Works for written words too until the power wears off. Congrats, you made the Translator useless in one power.

Petition: TN 5 Faith roll in a moment of desperation and problems to get 1 free Delta Point from God if you have no points left.

Sacrifice: TN 5 Faith roll to give an ally a Delta Point.

Sanctify: Faster sanctification that blesses a 12 foot sphere for three hours.

Solace: Reassuring speech and a TN 5 Faith roll to give someone youíre consoling +1 to Bravery per success.

Unfetter: TN 5 Faith Roll to basically cast Knock and unlock one thing in your line of sight. Donít have to touch it, just have to see it.

Walk on Water: TN 5 Faith roll to do that.


Blar, a Dracula.

KEEPING YOUR POWERS RUNNING

You sort of have to be religiously devout like a D&D Cleric would be. Follow the Ten Commandments, honor the Lord thy God and do unto others as youíd have them do unto you. Sin regularly and lose your powers until you properly atone, lip service does you no good.

Well that was uplifting and happy, letís see some premades. I will not be going over them individually but I will say that the Acolyte is the most powerful of the bunch thanks to the fact that they are a Blaster.

PREMADES



Thoughts on everything so far: I hate to say this but I missed the original characterization in Ravaged Planet. The Georgians areÖokay. The Judians are okay if they didnít have a stupid loving cross on their chest. Ever since the Covenant were announced in the 1920s their uniforms have gotten more ostentatious by the decade all the way up to these knockoff Warhammer ensembles. Also letís talk about their fight against the forces of darkness.

Vampires are an absolutely awful enemy. Itís incredibly easy to capitalize on their weaknesses by simply wearing a loving cross as part of your clothing. Guns just tear right though vampires and you can pop a UV light in a flashlight that shines a cross to get a ridiculous death device. Theyíre disorganized, theyíre limited in where they live and they can barely reproduce. They are also fundamentally survivors of a terrible disaster and youíre killing them.[/b] You want to really rid the world of their influence? Give that warden on Isla Delta whoís an Alpha Snuffer a ring and she can just turn off their powers for good. Because theyíre not undead, theyíre superpowered and trapped in this mode. Werewolves just get the ďoooh, well maybe we [i]should treat them like theyíre people with a physical conditionĒ treatment because werewolves donít need to drink blood on a daily basis. Except! Except for the fact that werewolves are by far more dangerous because theyíre more likely to flip the gently caress out and go feral. Fire inherently makes them go into a wolfman poo poo-fit! I have no loving idea why thereís such a hard-on for murdering vampires. I never really had anything to say with them in the core book besides the fact that theyíre way out of place but seeing them turned into this weird punching bag is just pretty gross to me.

Also letís talk about your equipment. I expect all of this from a bunch of newbie Hunters going to Walmart. Itís incredibly laughable that the difference between a dollar store supersoaker and Secret Catholic Monster-Hunting Technology is ďmore crosses, more sturdyĒ. Let me introduce you to this revolutionary concept of ďpaint crosses on it, reinforce with duct tapeĒ. Water balloons? Get the gently caress out of here. Cross-sights? Yeah, I saw From Dusk Till Dawn too. Hereís the big killer to me: theyíre equipped for absolute vampire overkill but barely any of this is useful against a demon. The circles are the most useful thing but if a shadow crosses over the projected circle itís useless and it takes effort to use the cloth circle. Your best weapon against a demon is still Sufficient Firepower. You are disgustingly ill equipped against an actual problem instead of a bunch of people sick with superpowers.




Letís talk powers, speaking of. Priests are the only ones who can do certain things and these certain things are basically Free Powers. But women canít use these powers because women canít be priests and this is admitted to be a bad thing because the church hasnít come around to gender equality. gently caress that. Youíre gonna throw gender inequality into this mix when you could just avoid it in this game that has never been about being accurate to reality? Bullshit. The in-universe explanation is rear end and does nothing to actually justify this decision. Plus thereís the implication that itís not a matter of issues of the church and a matter of issues of God because itís not like the church says ďno, nuns canít blessĒ and behold, nuns cannot bless. Nuns canít bless because their powers granted from God say they canít bless. Any GM with a brain is just going to drop this bullshit crap-rear end in-universe justification and let the loving nuns have their full range of power and ability. There is no mechanical justification for this; itís just arbitrary fluff bullshit. It has as much thought to it as ďyeah just call down Wrath of Emperor HirohitoĒ does.

The new powers are just versatility poo poo and are okay at best. Thatís all I have to say on the matter. Iím done here. I need to put on some music and chill.

NEXT TIME: The last of the setting secrets and the last premade mission, a story of Plot Important NPCs and the shortest and loosest in form, a story called ĒFor Goodness SakeĒ.

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


What was the cause of the vampires before h-bombs and nuclear accidents?

And if you can reskin anything, and all these religious types have super similar powers, how is that not kind of a huge question about who is granting you these superhuman abilities?

Cassa fucked around with this message at 05:39 on Jul 28, 2016

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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.



Yeah uh I have no idea where the vampires came from. This isn't addressed how they've been fighting vampires for centuries. It's ultimately sort of explained in the retrospective I'll do at the end but it's not satisfying and it doesn't make sense.

And you make a fair point about "who the hell is giving you these powers". You could probably play a faithful Satanist Covvie reskin.

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