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Carados
Jan 27, 2009

We're a couple, when our bodies double.


He posts in the thread occasionally asking for some help, you could help if you want. Just PM him.

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PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I'm genuinely tempted to throw money at Invisible Sun just so I can be first in line to review it.

Please discourage me from this self-destructive plan.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Traveller posted:

That's just Call of Cthulhu, only everything is Nyarlathotep and out to gently caress with you, specifically.

The only thing more terrifying than inhuman, uncaring gods oblivious of humanity's existence are gods that actively hate your guts.

Halloween Jack posted:

I always liked the way Talislanta's D20 mechanic worked as opposed to D&D's. Looking forward to all the archetypes and all the crazy races.

I really like how the action resolution uses unified Target Numbers, with less binary results as well.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



PurpleXVI posted:

I'm genuinely tempted to throw money at Invisible Sun just so I can be first in line to review it.

Please discourage me from this self-destructive plan.

You could always review the next Chris Field product.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



PurpleXVI posted:

I'm genuinely tempted to throw money at Invisible Sun just so I can be first in line to review it.

Please discourage me from this self-destructive plan.
Irony dollars are still real dollars, yo.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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






Godlike, Chapter IV Part II: Miracle Talents


Godlike has a huge list of Miracle powers for you to choose from, with suggestions for Extras, Flaws, and Power Stunts. Most of the powers you’d want to create can probably be handled by what’s already in the book. Still, you can create your own powers, and the Miracle creation system explains why powers cost what they do. The Will cost of a Talent is based on what Qualities of usefulness it falls under: Attacks, Defends, Robust, and Useful Outside of Combat.



If a power can Attack or Defend, it means you can roll your Miracle pool to attack or to create Gobble dice. (It also includes some powers, like Heavy Armour, that aren’t rolled at all.) Robust means that the power is fairly easy to use and difficult to interfere with--most powers are Robust by default, but a power definitely isn’t Robust if it requires a place of calm and safety, or time to charge up, or isn’t even under your control (like prophetic dreams). Useful Outside of Combat is self-explanatory--if it's not used for attack or defense, it must be useful for something, right?

Extras and Flaws are modifiers that increase or decrease the cost of a power along with increasing or decreasing their versatility. The listed powers have suggested Extras and Flaws, and some generic ones are given for creating custom powers.

Always On (+1/2/4): Your power is always active. Only taking Killing damage or damage to the head can temporarily shut it off. The downside is that you can’t ever shut it off, and are thus always visible to other Talents.

Endless (+1/2/4): When your power is activated, it remains active until you’re distracted or hurt. Powers that don’t require constant concentration, like invisibility, could even stay on while you’re asleep.

Reflexive (+2/4/8): Your power automatically reacts to protect you at even a hint of danger. Even when taken completely by surprise you can roll at a -1 penalty.

No Upward Limit (+2/4/8): For each 5 points of Will you spend, you can double the effective range, weight, area, etc. of a use of your power. (5 Will doubles, 5 more will quadruples, and so on.)

No Inertia (+2/4/8): You cancel inertia on targets your power affects. So, for example, a super-tough talent could not only survive being hit by a tank or a bombshell, you could stand your ground and not even be moved.

No Leverage (+2/4/8): You don’t need leverage to affect targets with any kind of Talent strength. You could grab a truck by its bumper and pick it up.

No Weight (+2/4/8): As long as you’re strong enough to lift something, it behaves as if it’s weightless. You could pick up a tank and then walk onto a raft without sinking it.

As you can tell, several of the sample Extras are mainly for powers that deal in strength. Considering that they’re largely narrative and have no strict mechanical benefit, I question their cost.

Speaking of Extras, that’s where that “Talents don’t obey physics except when they do” factor comes into play. Powers are costed strictly based on the guidelines in the table above. It seems that whenever the designers thought a power was a little too good for its default cost, they added in stuff like “Invisibility makes you go blind,” unless you purchase an Extra to eliminate this problem. They don’t explicitly say so--surprising, since Stolze is exceptionally straightforward with readers about his design goals--but I think that’s what they were doing.

Flaws reduce the cost of a power, typically by reducing its Robustness--making it tricky, time-consuming, or even dangerous to use, or limiting the kinds of things it can affect. Not all these sample Flaws would logically apply to all powers.

Attach (-1/2/4): The power is attached to another power that must also be active. (Key example: moving super-fast while flying.) The powers must have the same Qualities. If one power fails, so does the other, so it can be dangerous to attack someone with a power set that is also protecting you.

Backfires (-2/4/8): Using your power inflicts a point of Killing damage to your torso.

Mental Strain (-2/4/8): Using your power inflicts a point of Shock to your head.

Expensive (-1/2/4): Using your power costs a point of Will.

Full Power Only (-1/2/4): Your power only works at its maximum setting. You always teleport exactly 1 mile, you always create exactly 2 tons of ice, etc.

Interfere (-2/4/8): Any Talent observing you can spend 1 Will to cancel your power, without a Contest of Wills. They also know they can do this.

No Contest (-2/4/8): Your powers automatically fail when other Talents are around.

Shy (-3/6/12): You must be completely alone to use your power.

Peace of Mind (-2/4/8): Your powers don’t work unless you’re in a particular mental state (GM discretion).

Nervous Habit (-1/2/4): Your power doesn’t work unless you perform a particular physical or mental ritual--singing a song, silent prayer, cracking your knuckles, etc.

No Physical Change (-1/2/4): Your power is based on a complex illusion. An invisible Talent can still be photographed, a shapeshifter still leaves human footprints, etc.

Short Duration (-1/2/4): The power’s effects only last (Width) rounds when you activate it. This even applies to damage--dead people were just knocked out.

Uncontrollable (-3/6/12): After activating the power, the GM determines when and how it works.

Before you ask, yes, it’s technically possible to have the power to become invisible when you’re alone.

Talent and Will

Before getting into all the Miracle powers, some notes on Will, which will be covered in detail later. Characters have a Base Will equal to Command+Cool (plus leftover Will points at creation), and a Will stat that fluctuates up and down.

Every time you use a Talent power, you have to “risk” a point of Will. If you roll no sets, you lose the point. If you roll a natural 10, you gain a point. (Hard and Wiggle Dice don’t count.) No Will left? Can’t use any powers.

Contests of Wills are a simple bidding war. I attack you with a power, you spend 1 Will to cancel it, I spend 1 Will to cancel your cancel, and so on until somebody runs out of Will or gives up. Winner regains 1 of the Will points he lost.

You also gain Will by achieving something significant, doing something really cool, saving lives, and defeating enemy Talents. Will is separate from experience points, and can be spent to improve your Talent powers or your Base Will. You can’t have more than 50 Will.

It’s tempting to stockpile Will, but you can instantly lose half your Will due to failing Mental Stability rolls, suffering a personal tragedy, or being subdued in combat. Losing all your Will doesn’t just stop you from using powers, it’s the road to permanently lowering stats and gaining mental illnesses.


He’s got...Karl Donitz eyes.


Miracles

I’m not going to just copypaste this entire section of the book, but I’ll list each power (with its Qualities and Regular/Hard/Wiggle die costs in parentheses), discuss the more interesting issues, and highlight interesting Extras and Flaws.

Aces (ADRU 5/10/20): You have stupid crazy luck. You can add your Aces pool to any other die pool (10 die max still applies). You can choose to do this after you roll the other pool. The downside is that Aces costs a Will point for each die you use (2 for Hard and 4 for Wiggle dice!)

Contagious (+4/8/16): Nearby friends can also use your Aces dice. You spend the Will for each of them.

Flamboyant (+1/2/4) Aces acts in crazy ways--your bullets miss and kill enemies with ricochets, Nazis pants fall down, etc. like a cross between Final Destination and Buster Keaton.

Limited Height/Width (-1/2/4): Any sets higher than 6 or wider than 3 are discarded (two separate Flaws).


Affinity (ADRU, 5/10/20): You can adapt to an environment that isn’t normally comfortable, or even livable, for humans. The default version assumes you can adapt to whatever environment you’re in; limited Affinity gets cheaper as the chosen environment becomes common (desert), rare (Arctic), or very rare (in a raging fire). Protection from harm related to environmental conditions is automatic, but by rolling, you can get an extra +1d to all your actions (which is why this power has all Qualities by default).

Affinity Sense (+1/2/4): You can sense living creatures in your environment, within a mile.

Your Element (+2/4/8): You get +2d instead of +1d.

Sharing is Caring (+5/10/20): You can share your Affinity for (Width) minutes by touch.

Addiction (-1/2/4): You need to be in your element, and have to make Mental Stability rolls not to lose -1d from all pools when you go more than a day without it.


Alert (4/8/16): By activating your power you can sense danger in a given situation, like “Will we be ambushed if we go down into this valley?” Width determines how precisely you can measure the imminence of attack, Height gauges the strength of the enemy.

Deep Concentration (Power Stunt): Add this when you have at least an hour to meditate on the situation.

Detailed (+2/4/8): Alert gives you a detailed description of the danger--not including names, but how well-armed and prepared they are, how their forces are arranged, etc.

Dreams (-2/4/8): Alert only comes to you in dreams the night before a dangerous situation, and you only get “bad feelings” about a given situation.



Jeepform


Alternate Form (ADRU, 5/10/20): You have an alternate form you can transform into by activating the power. The form can be almost anything, ranging in size from a hummingbird to an elephant, but the change is purely cosmetic--to simulate the form’s powers, you buy them with the Attached Flaw. (This power has all Qualities so that you can Attach anything to it.)

The advantage of the Form itself is that it takes damage separately--any wounds you’ve suffered don’t carry over, and if your Form dies, you revert to your human form. But the Form is “frozen” and doesn’t heal when you’re not in it. “Reviving” a slain form to use again costs 30 Will.


Bind (ADRU, 5/10/20): Your power binds a target, restricting it. Perhaps you squirt a sticky fluid, like some kind of human termite, or you have a magical lasso, like Cowboy Curtis. This power doesn’t do damage directly, but it can pin, bind, and strangle like a garotte. Targets can only use Body, not Body+Brawl, to break free. You can Bind up to your pool in separate targets at once.

Trip (Power Stunt): Add this when tripping targets.

Physical Stuff (+1/2/4): Your power creates some actual substance that binds people, which remains behind after you release the Bind.

Poof (-2/4/8): You have to be totally focused on your target or the Bind vanishes.


Block (DR, 3/6/12): You can generate a force that blocks an attack--much like bind, how this manifests is up to you. You need the Reflexive Extra or Hypercoordination to block bullets, and it doesn’t block Area attacks like gas or explosives. Sadly, this power doesn’t do a good job of mimicking having an invincible shield; you know, like Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman.

Blind Block (+2/4/8): Your Block reflexively deflects the most dangerous attack against you each round.

Linked (-1/2/4): Your Block is linked to a hit location (like a shield on your left arm, etc.). You need to be able to bring it to bear to use Block.


I was just cleaning it, and it went off.


Break (ARU, 4/8/16): One of my favourite powers, Break allows you to destroy heavy armour with your hands and feet. The Width of your roll permanently reduces a target’s HAR. Break doesn’t do damage to people directly, but anyone with a die of Break can do Killing damage with unarmed attacks.

This leads to an aside: this game doesn’t handle something like a “death touch” or “matter-disrupting touch” very well. Powers require concentration, so powers that require you to touch an enemy force you to take a multiple action, using the lesser of your Miracle or Body+Brawl pools at a -1d penalty and hoping for 2 sets. Ouch. The only upside is that the unarmed attack also deals damage. If you want a power that lets you destroy poo poo by touching it, buying both Break and a Brawl Hyperskill (which is pretty cheap) is a good bet. Weirdly, though Break works by touch, just using Break on an armored target doesn’t assume you need to take a multiple action.

Bend (Power Stunt): This lets you use Break to sculpt metal.

Control (+1/2/4): You can decide exactly how much HAR to reduce.

Picky (-1/2/4): Your Break only works against a certain type of armor (steel, concrete, etc.).


Containment (ADRU 5/10/20): You can create force fields that will contain and restrict anything--contain the force of an explosion, stop a cloud of gas from spreading, stop a vehicle in its tracks, or make bullets drop out of the air. You have to overcome the target’s Body, or a die pool based on its weight, in a dynamic contest. (Gas is trivially easy to contain, but something weighing 3 tons or more has 10 dice.) Containment works on anything and everything, which you could limit with a Flaw.

Actual Boundary (+2/4/8): Your Containment creates a real physical barrier that lingers for (Width) minutes.

No liquids or gases (-1/2/4): Containment doesn’t restrain liquids or gases.


Control (ADRU 5/10/20): You can control and manipulate a particular thing--steel, dirt, bullets, air, gravity, light, dogs, humans, chalk, anything! By default, the power can control anything, and you choose what you’re affecting when you make the roll. Like Affinity and Containment, you can reduce the cost by limiting it to something you encounter less often. Control of living creatures isn’t mind control, it just allows you to control them like puppets--they’ll freak and resist as much as possible, complaining all the while unless you force their mouths shut.

As is standard for powers of this kind, Width of your roll determines damage or a die penalty to whatever actions you’re interfering with. For example, with Control (earth) you could pelt someone with dirt to do Width damage, make the dirt open up under their feet to give them a -Width penalty to their attack roll, make the earth propel them upward to give them a bonus to a Body+Athletics roll, or increase or reduce the damage of an active earthquake. Control causes Killing damage unless the GM decides Shock would make more sense.


Create (ADRU 5/10/20): Similar to Control, this lets you create phenomena rather than manipulating them. How much you can create is based on mass and volume; with 10 dice you could create up to 1000 lbs. or 800 cu. ft. It uses the same rules as Control if you’re using your power to hurt, hinder, or help someone.

So why don’t you use this power to create a ton of gold? Things you create only last (Width) minutes. You can spend 10 Will to make them permanent, but even then, other Talents can spot the material and spend 1 Will to destroy it.

Craftsmanship (Power Stunt): Use this when you’re trying to make a small, detailed object, like guns or jewelry.

Duplicate (+2/4/8): You can use your power to duplicate precisely any object you touch and which your power can create. It doesn’t create functioning machines.

Greedy (-1/2/4): Your creations temporarily consume the Width of your roll in Will points, which you get back when they dissolve.



I can dampen anything but Photoshop filters.


Dampen (RU 3/6/12): In the same family as Control and Create but a bit more esoteric, Dampen allows you to reduce or eliminate some physical phenomenon. You could lift objects by dampening gravity, or turn off machines by dampening electrical conductivity. You can’t dampen matter out of existing, just energy and physical reactions. You can’t dampen, say, cold or darkness, because those things are just the absence of heat and light--but you could make it colder and darker. How quickly the effects of your power wear off depends on the phenomenon--if you dampened gravity, that would be instantly restored, but a chilled room would take time to warm up, and a deactivated radio would have to be switched back on.

You can also make this a Defends power by increasing the cost accordingly--you could manipulate inertia to make bullets fall out of the air, for example, or combustion to stop them from firing. As with Control and Create, you can make this power cheaper by limiting it to sets of linked phenomena (sound and vibration, gravity and inertia, etc.).

Contagious (+3/6/12): Anything that touches your target is automatically affected as if you’d rolled the same set against it.

Struggle (-2/4/8): You must roll to maintain the effect each round.



I am, in fact, the very model of a modern major general.


Dead Ringer (RU 3/6/12): You can become a perfect physical duplicate of another person, right down to voice, mannerisms, and even fingerprints and blood tests. All you have to do is touch the target and activate your power. If you can’t touch them, you can become a basically accurate double based on what you can see and hear, but you have to beat a Difficulty based on how long you’ve studied them. You can “remember” a number of forms equal to your pool.

Your stats and powers don’t change, and you don’t absorb any memories, though you will imitate something like a tic, limp, or cough. In fact, the only physical test Dead Ringer won’t fool is one for diseases. Dead Ringer allows you to change your sex, and you can sire or bear children (which are genetically yours and not the target’s). A male-to-female Dead Ringer will lose the fetus if he reverts to male before delivering the child. Speaking of which, you only revert if you choose to, you’re injured and fail to succeed at another Dead Ringer Test, or if you lose a Contest of Wills.

The main drawback of Dead Ringer is that while you’re in an assumed form, your power is always on. So you won’t fool Winston Churchill’s Talent bodyguards.

Mix and Match (Power Stunt): Use this to imitate only one aspect of a particular form, like fingerprints.

Animal Magic (+2/4/8): You can imitate animals, up to twice or down to half your true size.

Absolute Duplication (-1/2/4): You can’t “remember” previous forms--not even your own. You need to touch targets again to assume their form, and you can only reconstruct a semblance of your own form from old photographs. This Flaw does have a built-in advantage: you can’t be forced to resume your true face, because you no longer have one.

Vampiric (-1/2/4): You must taste your target’s blood to assume their form.



Vertigo disease.


Detection (DRU 4/8/16): You can detect specific phenomena at a distance. The most common and obvious use of this power is to detect enemy forces, but it could also detect people in general, animals, vehicles, salt, uranium, whatever. You can limit this power to certain things or groups of things. (Imagine being able to tell exactly how the enemy’s tanks are arrayed before a battle.) This power absolutely cannot detect Talents. The power only gives you a single still image when you activate it. (Unless targets are in visual range; then you can see them clearly through any camouflage or obfuscation.)

The Higher and Wider your roll, the more precisely you can detect the location of what you’re looking for, and the details of how it’s arranged. The maximum range of your power goes up with your pool, from 50 yards (1d) to 3 miles (10d). I don’t know why it has the Defends Quality--it doesn’t say anything about using it to anticipate and dodge attacks. I guess they just felt it was too good and needed to cost more.

Close Your Eyes and See (Power Stunt): Use this when you have a minute to close your eyes and concentrate. Considering you’ll mostly be using this power out of combat, that seems too good. Granted, your range is still limited solely by your Detection pool.

Tracking (+2/4/8): You can identify a specific target and maintain an up-to-date image of it.

Blind Spot (-2/4/8): Detection doesn’t work on targets in certain areas (in the dark or inside buildings perhaps).

See It First (-3/6/9): You can only detect targets you’ve seen before.


Disintegration (ADRU 5/10/20): You can erase objects (or living creatures) from existence by touching them. You can only erase whole objects, from 10 lbs. at 1d, up to 2 tons at 10d. Disintegrating moving objects, namely people, is tricky--you need to do a multiple action with Body+Brawl, unless you pin the target first.

So why would you want this power instead of Break or Harm? It does have some unique advantages. First, Disintegrate doesn’t deal damage--if you roll a set, the target is erased from reality. Second, it cannot be undone by another Talent. And of course there are advantages to making something vanish without a trace. This power Defends, so I’m assuming you can negate attacks against you by making knives or bullets vanish as they touch you. Perhaps this applies to someone grabbing or punching you, too.

Power Focus (Power Stunt): Spend 2 rounds concentrating, and you can add this pool on the 3rd.

No Touch (+1/2/4): You don’t need to touch things to disintegrate them, and can use Disintegration as a simple attack action.

Piecemeal (+2/4/8): You can disintegrate parts of objects--very handy for, say, disabling a vehicle.

Non-Organic (-2/4/8): You can only disintegrate non-living things.


Extra Tough (RU 4): This is the simplest power in the game: each die you buy gives you an extra wound box in every hit location. This isn’t a Defends power because you don’t roll it to Gobble dice from attacks--in fact, you’ll probably never roll Extra Tough at all. This power is Always On by default, so beware of being spotted by enemy Talents.



Wow, these cargo shorts really work.


Fade (RU 3/6/12): You can become transparent to the point that you are almost impossible to see (especially in darkness or fog). Activate Fade, and the Height of your set becomes a Difficulty for anyone trying to spot you. (You still make an Opposed Test using Coordination+Stealth as usual.) But once someone successfully spots you, they can attack you without penalty until you find cover. Fade lasts until you turn it off, sleep, or lose a contest of wills.

Stillness (Power Stunt): Add this when you are standing completely still.

Flicker (+1/2/4): You fade in and out rapidly to confuse enemies. Fade gains the Defends Quality, but only in hand-to-hand.

Up Close (-1/2/4): Your power only works on people at least 10 ft. away. Closer than that, people can see your form is faded-out, but you’re still basically visible.


Fetch (ARU 4/8/16): You can teleport objects you can see into your hands, from 210 lbs. at 2d up to 6-10 tons at 10d. They must be complete objects, and must appear in your hands. (Presumably, a truck would be standing in front of you with your hands on it.)

Distort (Power Stunt): Add Distort when you don’t care if you get an intact item--Fetched objects come to you twisted and ruined. (Remember that if you just want to wreck things, this power isn’t the easiest way to do it.)

Chain Lightning (-1/2/4): You can’t teleport an object without teleporting other things that are touching it--if you want to steal someone’s gun out of its holster, you also get his holster and all of his clothes, for example.



Fly like a puma


Flight (DRU 4/8/16): Activate your power and take to the air. You don’t need to roll again until you land, or if you’re attempting a difficult maneuver. Your max speed is based on your pool, from 20mph at 2d up to 110mph at 10d. (To go faster, buy Super Speed and Attach it to Flight.) To take other actions while flying, like shooting, you have to take a multiple action.

Barnstorming (Power Stunt): Use this for tricky stunts where you barely have room to maneuver, like taking a hairpin turn down an alleyway or flying through an open window.

Fast (Power Stunt): This increases your pool for purposes of max speed--you never roll faster.

No Altitude Limit (+2/4/8): This acts as a sort of Affinity power for high altitudes--you don’t have to worry about cold or axphyxiation. You can’t reach outer space.

Running Start (-1/2/4): You need a 30 ft. running start to take off.


Okay, that’s a big ol’ wall of powers. I will cover the rest of the Miracles in the next entry. By the by, I haven’t gotten any suggestions for what super powers to give my sample PC! Someone gimme something.


Next time on Godlike: Miracles from G to Z!

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Fade or Control or both.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Make a wizard, use powers to give him as close an analogue to iconic D&D spells as possible(fireball, magic missile, etc.), if at all possible, but physically fragile.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 5: The Worst Character

At the start of Chapter Five, David Vargas is banging a fat woman. He is not enjoying himself.

quote:

David Vargas closed his eyes and pretended he was with another woman. Unlike the flabby but exuberant brunette that he was loving doggie-style on the narrow bed, the woman in his fantasy was slim-hipped and bosomy with wide-set green eyes fringed with thick black lashes that looked very much like David's.

As that odd fantasy implies, he’s kind of a narcissist.

quote:

he scrutinized himself, entranced. Jet-black hair, eyes even more beautiful than his half-sister Becca's, so captivating that he could often enchant a woman or make an argumentative person go silent with just a glance. And his body. At thirty-six, he looked years younger -- nor did he require a fastidious regimen of exercise and diet to maintain the hard, lean muscles, the flat belly and narrow waist. David's secret for eternal youth was a simple one based entirely on self-indulgence -- booze, drugs and sex, preferably all three at the same time.

David is two weeks into his stint at Harmony in the Hills, a rehab center, for his drug use. The woman he’s having sex with, Daphne Kellerman, is one of the higher ups there. There’s a lot of pointless sex talk, then this:

quote:

One of the less obvious advantages of being hung like Godzilla, he reflected, was that his organ stayed about the same length whether hard or flaccid. If he felt like faking it, his less sophisticated lovers never knew the difference.

This is not a plot point that will come up later. So feel free to forget it.

David tells her that he’s going to borrow her car. She tells him no. He insists that he doesn’t belong at the clinic because his half-sister, who is jealous of him, got their dad riled up over him having a bump or two of coke. The story she heard was that he was about to go to jail for assaulting a man at a bar and that his dad pulled some strings to get him into rehab instead. (Ahh, the Celebrity Method.) When she still refuses, he tells her that he’s going to the administration and telling them about their little trysts. That convinces her.

He takes her car and speeds down the road towards D.C., thinking about all the different ways he’s going to rape Becca for getting him put away and making him horny. After that, he plans to go hide out in some third world country with lax drug laws.

On the way, he stops at a gay bar, orders a drink, picks up a dude with a wide mouth and a stash of drugs, and gets a bathroom blowjob. At some point, the drugs kick in and he starts talking out loud about how much he wants to rape and kill Becca. This understandably unnerves his one night stand. So David pulls this bullshit.

quote:

From his repertoire of manipulative gimmicks, David pulled out his pouty, hurt-little-boy expression. Forcing himself to put his sexual needs aside momentarily, he tenderly stroked the other man's face and kissed him on the mouth. "Hey, what's going on here? You don't like me no more? Just 'cause I get into my fantasies sometimes? It's nothing, Charley. It's just, when I do crank and alcohol together, I'm like an artist, man. My head's full of poo poo would make a van Gogh jealous, there's a flood of words and pictures pours through my skull, but sometimes when they come out my mouth, they're all jumbled up, they're all crazy. I wouldn't kill anybody, Charley. What would I want to do that for? I'd end up in prison. Hell, I'd prob'ly turn queer."

Whatever helps you sleep at night, dude.

Charley buys it, blaming it on the drugs making him paranoid. David suggests that they go to Charley’s car so he can show him what kind of a man he really is.

As you probably guessed from his stereotypical evil demeanor, David is a villain. He is also The Worst. So much so that even the rest of the universe hates him and won’t let him catch a break, as you will see in later chapters.

Elsewhere, in Chapter Six, Victoria gets mad at Muscle Guy, whose name is William, for making her shout because he’s moving. She’s painting a picture on his back, because sometimes you just got to stop watching people have sex for a while to pursue the arts.

quote:

The self-portrait was a copy of the photograph that graced her latest CD, the one featuring her pop hit, "4ever I," currently ranked at Billboard #8. Although her career had progressed quite nicely in recent months, she was between gigs at the moment and was already obsessing over which of several tempting offers to accept.

I guess no one, Camarilla lifers included, gives a poo poo about the Masquerade in the Porno Dimension.

It turns out that the pelvis swing was William’s idea. Making structures from human remains is an interest that he shares with her.

quote:

The loft above her U Street studio was used for housing slaves. The apartment below was where she slept, made love, and dabbled occasionally in painting, calligraphy, and sculpture. For the latter, she sometimes combined swatches of silk, bits of fur, and precious stones with human bones polished and painted to the luster of fine ivory.

[...]

Victoria reminded herself that she was not a monster -- she'd obtained the bones from a ghoul with a penchant for graverobbing who belonged to a Nosferatu acquaintance.

Sure you’re not, hon.

There’s another paragraph or two musing on her art pursuits and another description of how she looks.

quote:

All to the good, too, that her looks were more those of a model than a calculating killer. Thick, dark red (this week) hair framed her heart-shaped face and set off the flecks of yellow in her green eyes. She wore a costly brocade robe imported from Bangkok – deep turquoise shot through with gold threads that gleamed in the light. Henna designs marked the backs of both hands, complex arabesques and fleurs de lis extending all the way to her varnished nails.

It turns out Victoria is painting with blood. More specifically, the blood of the girl Becca and Emmett saw her with a couple of nights prior.

quote:

Motioning to a corner of the room where shadows piled as thick as snow drifts, she said, "Come out, Odette, where I can see you. And stop sulking. I wouldn't have brought you here if I didn't find you beautiful. You should be flattered."

A barely discernible frisson from the shadows as the girl curled herself into a tighter ball.

"Don't play games. Come here to me. I need more paint."

Odette, it turns out, is a fan of Victoria’s who presumably listened to her to stick it to her hyper Christian family and has ended up a ghoul. She dabs the brush into some of Odette’s fresh wounds, then grabs and drinks from her. There’s a picture for it. And I lied. There’s one that’s not not work safe. Though you might still get weird looks if your boss and coworkers catch you looking at it.

http://imgur.com/OGLbNZq

Victoria tells her to look at her. She refuses. Now that Odette knows she’s a vampire, all she wants to do is go home. Victoria tells her to deal with it. Odette starts speaking in tongues, which confuses and annoys Victoria, partly because she fears that it’s some sort of spell taught to her by a mage. She smacks her upside the head, which sends her flying across the room.

After being creepy for a bit, Victoria senses someone out in the hallway. While trying to figure out if they’re human or not, we learn the reason why William is in her employ.

quote:

"If you're finished, Mistress," said her canvas, "can I paint your lovely body? I'll use my cock."

William favored her with a lascivious sneer. Victoria had chosen him not just for his looks, but his compulsive sexuality. Ordinarily his obsessive lust aroused and titillated her. Now it was merely annoying.

His compulsive sexuality that she is getting absolutely nothing out of possibly maybe depending on who your ST is, what ruleset you’re using, and how many sex-obsessed weirdos your LARP group has.

Turns out the person outside is Lucita. William, who Victoria sent to investigate, just gets his arm twisted around his back for his troubles. Victoria, meanwhile, had grabbed a gun from her armoire because she’s had the feeling someone has been following her for the past few weeks. And despite being a somewhat famous pop star who is said to be one of prettiest characters in the oWoD metaplot, it’s not the paparazzi.

Victoria lets her in (because Lucita is older and she doesn’t have much of a choice) and asks her what happened, since Lucita looks torn the gently caress up.

quote:

"A werewolf, I think, in Potomac Park. A huge beast that changed its form. It came from nowhere."

"Inside the city? Then it's true the dogs infest the southern part of the park. But I thought they knew better than to gently caress with Kindred?"

Yes, I’m sure a 10 foot tall, hyper-regenerating, aggravated damage-dealing, bipedal war machine knows it can’t possibly gently caress with a single vampire.

This revelation freaks Victoria out.

quote:

While her guest refreshed herself, Victoria paced back and forth across the Oriental carpet. Finally she said, "I heard this might be coming."

Lucita looked up from William's bloody neck. "What are you talking about?"

"It's a sign isn't it? Of Gehenna? It's said that when werewolves start to stalk our kind, Gehenna can't be far behind."

“I thought of that.

That’s kind of like saying “we are born slowly dying”. Werewolves attacking vampires is the normal 9 to 5 for them in oWoD. They’ve been doing it for eons. It’s not like every werewolf in the city is regularly crashing elysiums, which would be a cause for concern and Gehenna paranoia… or a mole.

Lucita determined that whatever attacked her wasn’t a true werewolf. When she mentions witches, Victoria’s mind jumps to Wild Ones and says that Jan was right about Gehenna. When pressed, she says that she last saw him at a party in the British embassy.

quote:

There's talk, he says, that young Prince William has a steadfast admirer among the Kindred, that someday the throne of England may be occupied by one of ours."

I guess that plan fell through.

Lucita uses that to talk about how the Inquisition sucked and humans can be just as evil as vampires before she lets Victoria continue. Jan thinks Gehenna’s coming because a bunch of people are starting to get more into studying the supernatural. She also mentions that the Society of Leopold might have a base of operations near Georgetown University. They eventually get to talking about the porn riots, which Lucita believes were orchestrated by the Sabbat. She talks about what happened with Senator Rosenthal, which makes Victoria silently paranoid about her own ghouls killing her.

quote:

"Witch-hunters can incite their flock to a degree of madness," Lucita went on, "but 'persuading' a powerful woman like the senator to self-immolate sounds more like the Sabbat's style. If that's the case, the danger's greater than we thought. So if you know anything about--"

"What would I know about the Sabbat?" Victoria played nervously with the beads of her necklace -- human knuckles and nails threaded onto tightly woven strands of human hair.

Presumably a lot less than the woman who is older than you, comes from a predominantly Sabbat-aligned clan, whose sire is the Sabbat ruler of Madrid, and has enough clout with the Sabbat to take his place when he dies later in the metaplot. Also, there sure is a lot of not lesbian sex going on in this chapter of this porn book with two women that look an awful lot like these two tonguing on the cover. Seriously, I would think there would be one here. Cover all your bases and all.

Lucita insists that Victoria should tell her if she knows where Jan is. She does, but she’s afraid that if she tells Lucita, she will be held accountable if something has happened to him. Victoria insists that she would just like to be left alone, gives Lucita a change of clothes, and ushers her out.

quote:

A few minutes later, Lucita stood in the doorway, wearing the long-sleeved blouse, long skirt, and suede coat Victoria had given her. Even in the designer clothes, she still looked, Victoria reflected, like a whore, albeit an expensive one.

Even with her gone and seemingly fooled, Victoria is paranoid about Lucita being on the case, so she sends Odette out to tail her.

quote:

"And Odette? Don't be a naughty girl and try to run away," Victoria added. "Don't even think about it. Until I'm ready to be rid of you, you'll never get away."

In closing, here's a picture of Odette being naked and sad next to... some voodoo dolls or something.

http://imgur.com/wSoiGRo

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 20:58 on Aug 15, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Jesus, Pris, put some pants on.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


So, what the hell is the point of Eternal Hearts? Have there been any rules or stats included?

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Bieeardo posted:

Jesus, Pris, put some pants on.

I can't tell if that's a shadow or a puddle.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


SirPhoebos posted:

So, what the hell is the point of Eternal Hearts? Have there been any rules or stats included?

It's a tie-in novel White Wolf made to show everyone how edgy and sexual they are compared to all those other lame tabletop companies, and to cater to the sex-starved weirdos of the oWoD fanbase.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

SirPhoebos posted:

So, what the hell is the point of Eternal Hearts? Have there been any rules or stats included?

Probably an attempt to cash in on the earlyish paranormal 'romance' fandom. White Wolf published collections of Anita Blake stories at about the same time, including particularly lousy WoD crossover material.

They churned out an awful lot of tie-in fiction, besides lovely vamporn, at about that time. Someone probably realized how much money TSR's fiction arm was bringing in, compared to its gaming appendix.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 2: Callings and Belief

The character creation chapter begins with an explanation that the book is for making and playing “mortals”, not “mundanes”. The difference is that “mortals” aren’t ignorant Alteration fodder and try to figure out all of the weird poo poo that goes on around them due to circumstances stemming from either their birth, training, or happenstance.

quote:

they know there is more to the world and have traded a mundane life for one that will likely lead them to places they wish they never seen, Knowledge they wish they never knew and short violently ending lives…. If they are lucky.

The book also emphasizes that playing a mortal is not about having a power fantasy like playing a witch is, but about surviving.

quote:

Part of playing a Mortal is being the underdog and a star really willing to push themselves should consider that more than anything, because in the case of Mortals its not about power, it’s a bout survival.

Instead of Cliques, mortal characters have Callings. A character’s Calling, along with determining all of their starting stats, indicates how they generally get things done.


Believer

Believers want to show everyone that magic is real and the world is more dangerous than they think. They know it’s going to be hard, but they’re up for it. Yes, the write-up is incredibly generic sounding and could apply to any of the other Callings.

Along with a two D4 and three D6 spread that they can assign however they want, every Calling gets a D6+1 to one of their attributes. In the Believer’s case, it’s Magic. They get 20 mundane and 10 magical points to allocate towards their skills, and 2 ranks of a new attribute called Belief. For bonuses, they get a free rank in two of either Mythology, Cryptozoology, or Mysticism. Each Calling also gets to choose from one of four Specialties to choose from, which work pretty much the same way as Niches. The specialties that Believers can choose from are Family (+2 magic skill points, +1 Resist Magic), Piety (+2 Resist Magic, +2 to rolls against “evil” and “wicked” magic), Trauma (+1 to Focus and +2 to Plucky), and Weirdness Magnet (can make a Hard Senses roll to determine if something or someone has a supernatural element to them).


Charmer

Charmers use their looks and social skills to get what they want. They get a D6+1 to their Social, 15 mundane and 5 magical skill points, 1 Belief, and get a free rank of Charm and Fib. For specialties, they can choose from Beautiful (+1 Social to rolls against people the character is romantically interested in (and -1 to whoever is rolling against them), Cool (+1 Social to rolls when making a first impression and +1 to rolls to remain calm), Empathy (can make a Hard Senses roll to determine if someone is telling the truth), and Humor (can make a Hard Charm roll to calm someone else).


Jock

Jocks deal with problems by either beating the poo poo out of them or outrunning them. Not all of them are dumb, but they’re not necessarily focusing on being smart either way. They get a D6+1 to their Body; 20 mundane and 3 magical skill points; 1 Belief; a free rank in Athletics and a free rank in either Fighting, Hide, or Sports. For specialties, they have Fast (+1 Reflex, +1 rolls to running and jumping, and they run twice as fast and jump twice as far), Scrappy (+2 Fighting, +1 Reflex for dodging rolls), Strong (+2 melee and hand-to-hand damage and +1 to rolls when lifting, pulling, and throwing), and Tough (+2 Life and ignores a point of damage).


Nerd

(Hand…)

Nerds are nerds. Nerds are smart. That’s pretty much it. Mind D6+1; 20 mundane and 3 magical skill points; 1 Belief; and a free rank in two of either Build/Repair, Computers, or Science. For specialties, they have Bookworm (bonus gained from books are doubled and they can read one page very 5 seconds, this is a lovely specialty), Geek (+2 to Pop Culture, +1 to rolls involving beings related to pop culture in some way), Hacker (+2 Computer, +5 Allowance to spend on computer equipment), and Investigator (+2 Basics, +2 to rolls for solving puzzles and riddles).


Roughneck

Roughnecks are low lifes: thugs and hoodlums that see laws as suggestions and don’t mind committing crimes if it will help them accomplish a goal. Will D6+1; 20 mundane and 5 magical skill points; 1 Belief; free rank of Urchin and two of either Hide, Scare, or Streetwise. Their specialties are Fraud (+2 Acting with the ability to perfectly imitate voices by succeeding on an Easy Mind or Acting roll), Thug (+1 Life, +1 Scare), Rebel (+2 to rolls when defying authority or inspiring people to defy authority), and Thief (+1 Hide, +1 Urchin).

So yeah, if you ever play this, pick Believer. They get more skill points than everyone else for some reason and their buffs make them less likely to not get one-shot by a witch.

The other important factor in making a mortal character is their age. Like the optional age rules in the core, they give stat bonuses and minuses.

Kids: 10 to 13 years old. +1 Magic, -1 Body and Will, +2 Belief, -1 Wealth.

Teens: 14 to 18 years old. +5 mundane skill points, +2 magical skill points, +1 Belief.

Adult: 19 to 59 years old. +1 Will, +10 mundane skill points, +4 magical skill points, +1 Wealth.

Elder: 60 years old and over. +2 Will, -1 Body and Senses, +15 mundane skill points, +5 magical skill points, -1 Belief.

So, Belief. What is it and what does it do? Well, it’s basically a power stat that lets mortals use their zap points, which represents their “inner magic”. This is awakened in them by an Epiphany: the event that first exposed them to the supernatural world. Belief goes from 1 to 10 and each rank gives a specific bonus.



Increasing your Belief costs 10 + the level you’re going up to voodollars. The book also suggests that directors give out free ranks (limit of once per episode) for surviving events that strengthen their belief.

Belief factors into the consequences of Freak Out rolls. These are rolls that happen whenever a character encounters some new supernatural horror. These are Will or Plucky + Belief rolls and can have different difficulties.



If someone fails the roll, they can choose to lose a rank of Belief by denying what they saw was real. It is possible to go down to Belief 0 this way. If they don’t, they get to roll on the “dreaded freak out table”. You roll a D10 and consult this chart.



Other characters can also try talking down a person having a freak out with a Hard Social or Psychology (a new skill) roll. They can only attempt this once.

If a character rolls a 1 during any freak out roll, they gain a “crack point”. 5 crack points gets them an Idiosyncrasy, which are basically Derangements. The character rolls a D12 and gains the idiosyncrasy listed on this chart.



Each idiosyncrasy comes with certain penalties.

Absent-Minded: +2 voodollars to all skill and ability costs.

Anxiety: -1 to Initiative rolls, -1 to Will vs Social rolls.

Coward: -1 to all combat rolls, must roll an Easy Will roll to not run from fights.

Depression: -1 Magic, -1 to rolls that require motivation.

Mumbler: -1 Social, them and everyone within 10 feet of them has -1 to rolls to detect surprises.

Outspoken: The character is always talking to themselves. -1 Social, must make a Hard Will roll to lie.

Paranoia: -1 Social, cannot participate in group rolls.

Phobia: -1 to all rolls involving their fear, which the director determines, and they have to make a freak out roll when confronting it.

Queasy: -2 to Life and the character pukes when they get stressed.

PTSD: Once a day, the character makes a Hard Will roll. If they fail it, they have an episode and get an idiosyncrasy from the chart for the rest of the day. This also has to happen when they confront something that triggers their PTSD.

Rage: Must make a Hard Will roll not to attack someone who pisses them off and to not fight to the death during combat.

Shaky: -1 to rolls that require their hands and any objects in their hands are dropped if they roll a 1 on a D4.

A lot of these rules remind me of the “character shits their pants if they get a dramatic failure” house rule I read once.

Unlike mundanes, mortals can spend their zap points to augment rolls, ignore damage, and stabilize themselves and others. Along with adding up to 3 points to a roll and ignoring up to 3 points of damage, mortals can spend a zap to negate a rolled 1 and instantly stabilize themselves. (Keep in mind witches and otherkin need to spend 5 to do that.) For 2 points, they can stabilize someone else, can add up to 3 points of damage, add up to 3 to their Resist Magic, and use an ability at one rank higher. For 3, they can completely negate non-lethal spells and ignore all points of damage they take from an attack except one.

Oh, and you can use it to pull deus ex machinas out of your rear end, if this blurb is any indication.

Grady Barns posted:

I once jumped from an Airplane without a parachute after it was all but destroyed by a Dragon. There I was falling through the air, nothing but air between mean and solid Earth.

Suddenly I hit an updraft that not only slowed me but moved me so I hit the Dragon’s wing as it came by to hit the plane again, slowing me down and angling me so I hit a some pine trees and landed in a lake. I broke a few bones but I lived.

Yeah it was a Miracle, but for us, Miracles are real.

Next: More character creation stuff.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 23:35 on Aug 15, 2016

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Godlike PC: A dissident Japanese member of Oomoto-kyo who can turn herself into an embodiment of L.L. Zamenhof with Hypercommand and universal languages, working to end the war one soldier at a time.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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

Of course, he was missing a few things.





Godlike concept: A former petty criminal Japanese-American whose life goal is to get rich even if he's not a hostile (or particularly bright) sort. Power is heavy on Disintegration.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


If it seems like my remaining writeups are rushes, it’s because I really want to share Spark with you guys.



Planescape: Planes of Chaos - Pandemonium (part 2)

Pandesmos
The first layer of Pandemonium is the least inhospitable layer of the four. It’s also where most of the Powers and major settlements are located.

The Madhouse: The Madhouse is the center of power for the Bleak Cabal on Pandemonium. It started out as an inn that expanded chaotically into a fortress. The Bleakers aren’t even the ones to come up with the name. The current ruler is a priest named Maris Warrow (Insanity: paranoid) who just walked in one day and started giving orders, and none of the Bleakers care enough to verify she was actually put in charge. While Bleakers normally can’t give enough fucks to have political intrigue, a fighter/bookkeeper named Jax Bleskril (Insanity: severe stuttering) acts as a counterbalance to Maris’ authority. The Madhouse started off as an inn, but grew chaotically into a fully-fledged citadel. The town is big enough to stretch the circumference of the cavern it occupies.

Maris Warrow posted:

Trust me, howl along with the rest. You’ll feel better for it.

Despite its expansion, the Madhouse remains an Inn at heart. Maris is referred to as the Matron of the Inn, while the head of security, Silas Malmanning (claws his forearms bloody) is called the Head Bouncer. Most visitors these days lodge in one of the adjacent inns (or else rough it in the streets). Staying at the inn proper requires being well liked by the Bleakers or doing something to impress the matron. The adventure hook is about a bunch of lawful-aligned berks following rumors of an artifact that would bring back the lost powers that once inhabited Cocytus. A DM can either make an adventure of finding the artifact or keeping the newcomers from getting killed.

Winter’s Hall: This is Loki’s home away from Asgard. If he’s here, it’s because he’s upset another Norse deity, probably several. Loki is always in a bad mood while here. The Halls of Winter include both the longhouse and the cavern it’s in, which is in a perpetual snow storm. The realm’s inhabitants are giants, unfortunate planars and petitioners they’ve enslaved, and wolves of every variety (including lycanthropes). The residents rotate through a cycle of mad partying and surly recovery. The Giants hate the Norse something fierce, and anyone coming to visit who doesn’t share the same sentiment is assumed to be a spy.



There are a couple of special effects in Loki’s realm. All rogue abilities (that includes Thieves and Bards in 2nd Edition) get a 10% bonus, but failing a roll draws immediate attention. In addition, all wolves, dogs, and canine monsters that enter the realm become servants of the Mistress of the Hunt, a frost giantess known as Ingrid the Serpent Tongued (always paces). Ingrid basically runs the Hall in Loki’s absence even though more the more boastful cloud giant named Starkad the Gnawer (bouts of uncontrollable singing) claims to be Loki’s appointed proxy. Ingrid’s lieutenant is an albino Yeth Hound called White Fang (always chewing something). White Fang leads Ingrid’s wolf pack, but he’s pretty chill if you can talk to him (need a Druid or Ranger). Assuming you can convince the giants of your Norse hate-boner, they’ll happily hire out to adventurers for the right price.

Cocytus
Pandemonium’s second layer is also called the “layer of lamentation” for the deafening wailing sound made by the wind. The tunnels and caverns are smaller in Cocytus than in Pandesmos, and the wind is louder and stronger. As mentioned in the Travelogue, there’s evidence that the tunnels of this layer were chiseled by hand. This has led to all sorts of stories of a forgotten, mad Power might have tunneled out the layer before expiring to the Astral Plane. Cocytus is mostly uninhabited, but there are a number of sites where the wind creates strange effects, such as the Harmonica from the Travelogue.

Howler’s Crag: Another site in Cocytus is known as Howler’s Crag. Howler’s Crag is a mish-mash of ideas, and the hearsay section doesn’t really have a coherent theme to it. The site looks like a jumbled pile of stones with a small platform at the top. Warrens run beneath the ruins. The platform is under the effect of the fairy fire spell, which makes anyone standing on the platform vulnerable to archers (assuming it’s not too windy to fire). Why would anyone go to the platform you ask? You can yell a message to anyone and it’ll reach them no matter where in the Multiverse he or she is. However, the effect isn’t reliable, and the recipient has no reason to think he didn’t just imagine the message. An inn has been set up near the site, which makes it the only rest stop on this layer.

Hruggekolork: This is a small realm maintained by Hruggek, the main bugbear god. While bugbears have an entire pantheon because that’s how you roll in 2nd Edition, like their worshipers these deities are reclusive, so Hruggek is all by his lonesome. Hruggekolork is a honeycombed area of Cocytus with a large number of heated pools. These pools support an underground ecosystem that in turn support villages populated by Hruggek’s petitioners. Hruggek himself lives in a grotto some distance from his petitioners. Surrounding his cave are the screaming skulls of enemies he’s killed. The bugbears are peery of visitors and the realm enhances defenses against them (-20% to detect traps, +2 to surprise rolls for ambushers). If you can get past this initial impression, you can hire bugbear mercenaries, I guess. Still, this is probably the most bugbears are talked about until Urban Arcana.



Phlegethon
Phlegethon has a couple of features that distinguish it from the other layers of Pandemonium. First, it is somehow darker and colder than the rest of the Plane. The cavern walls absorb light and heat. Strangely, the rock itself is not cold. There’s some nonsense about contact and radiated heat, which is weirdly out of place in a fantasy setting. I assume it’s a holdover from the original Manual of the Planes. Also no rules are given for how this affects visibility, but the implication seems to be that light radii are cut in half.

The second difference is that gravity operates in one direction on this layer. This combined with dripping water leads to the formation of columns, stalactites and stalagmites. These formations can get to epic size, but appreciating them would be hard what with the super-darkness. Aside from the two locations listed, there are rumors of supermassive dragon hoards, with occasional loot hauls coming from this layer to support these rumors.

Windglum: This town was briefly mentioned in the Travelogue. It’s the largest community of folk who have been banished here from the rest of the Multiverse. Like pretty much everyone else in Pandemonium, they’re leery of outsiders. The current ruler, Lord Wilfin Strabile, (faints without warning) actually managed to leave Pandemonium for a while before pissing off a sorceress and getting booted back here. Strabile is now committed to making Windglum a planar metropolis, a goal everyone else in town realizes is dumb as hell. In short, Wilfin Strabile is a goon. Making sure Strabile doesn’t make the gatehouse out of drywall or something is a Dustman named Temet Rillander (shouts “eeYAGH” a lot). Rillander is one of the only good-aligned NPCs in Pandemonium, and while he’s as distrustful of outsiders as the rest of the townspeople (or Wndglummers), he’s probably the most likely person to give players a chance to prove themselves. As for Strabile, he’s at least publicly preaching tolerance because he knows he needs outsiders to make Windglum a worthwhile destination.


Windglummer to a planar traveler posted:

What are you complaining about? No one asked you to come here!

Windglum is located in a large cavern and is well protected from outside incursions. The town actually has some urban planning, at least initially. The streets are laid out in a radiating pattern from the Citadel of Lords at the center, and enough magic lights have been set up to deal with the supernatural darkness of the layer. And that’s it for planning. Hovels are set up next to mansions, bathhouses next to slaughterhouses, you get the idea. Many buildings straddle streets (such as the inn from the Travelogue). Socially, Windglummers are surprisingly caste-like, with families remaining in the same occupation for generations. While they distrust outsiders, the population of Windglum is very diverse, as they will welcome in anyone the rest of the Multiverse has kicked to the curve. How Windglummers can tell who’s been tossed aside and who hasn’t isn’t explained. As explained in the Travelogue, visitors are directed to the Scaly Dog Inn. We get some more info on the landlord Hagus Gimcrack, including that his madness is that he pants and howls. There are a couple of nearby monsters for adventurers to beat the crap out of.

The Unseelie Court: This is the realm of the evil fairy deity, the Queen of Air and Darkness. According to the booklet, “Whereas the Seelie Court is filled with laughter, friendship and loveliness, the Unseelie realm is filled with hatred, enslavement, and death.” And while my opinion is that the Seelie Court is full of hot bullshit, this place manages to be worse. That’s because anyone who visits is either instantly dominated by the QoA&D or destroyed. No save, just instantly gibbed. Almost a full page of text is given for a location that PCs would never go to.

Agathion
Instead of caverns, this layer is made up of isolated holes surrounded by endless rock. Powers and other powerful goobers use this layer to stash enemies or powerful artifacts. Often, they stash both together to ensure an extra layer of protection. Going after these artifacts is generally a bad idea. It’s possible to travel here from the other layers via pathways that have cyclone-like winds blowing out from them. No entries are listed here, which I find disappointing.


The Wand of Orcus again

Next Time: We come from the land of the ice and snow

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

The loft above her U Street studio was used for housing slaves. The apartment below was where she slept, made love, and dabbled occasionally in painting, calligraphy, and sculpture. For the latter, she sometimes combined swatches of silk, bits of fur, and precious stones with human bones polished and painted to the luster of fine ivory.

[...]

Victoria reminded herself that she was not a monster -- she'd obtained the bones from a ghoul with a penchant for graverobbing who belonged to a Nosferatu acquaintance.

Sure you’re not, hon.

If making art from human remains is monstrous, than lock up Damien Hurst, Gunther Von Haagen, and half the artists at MONA FOMA. She should have just bought them legit, displayed her 'shocking' and 'decadent' art... it's the best way to keep up the Masquerade. If anyone finds out she's a vampire she can either obsfucate with art world bullshit, lean into it as a 'shocking' (was this kind of thing still shocking in the 90s? This sort of thing has been around since at least the 60s) pose, or just use it for publicity. And either way she should be able to get heaps of people willing to be drained in public if she calls it 'performance art'.

The fact that I know people like this is proof WW knows its audience.

This reminds me of a Hershall Gordon Lewis movie about a demented artist. It was two scenes of painting with blood surrounded by boredom

Godlike Concept: Frank Sinatra gets drafted, gets powers

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 02:54 on Aug 16, 2016

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Nessus posted:

Godlike concept: A former petty criminal Japanese-American whose life goal is to get rich even if he's not a hostile (or particularly bright) sort. Power is heavy on Disintegration.

I was going to suggest a brash young English immigrant with a focus on improvised weapons and minor precog, but this is good too.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Way of the Dragon: Dragon Punches


Firearms aren't banned in Dragon lands, because Yokuni is bringing the GUN SHOW

Time for the first splatbook! And it has John Wick at the top of the credits! Along with David Williams, Rob Vaux, Cris Dornaus, Greg Stolze and DJ Trindle. Also, "Sage Sensei Advice" by Tony Kull, and Wick in fact dedicates the book to him.

quote:

I've spent ten years of my life studying philosophy, learning how to think about life.
Tony taught me (and the rest of us) how to live it.
Thank you, sensei.
-JW

Sure, okay.

The book has four chapters and five Appendices, for some reason. But first, fiction!

A woman meditates at a dojo. She is good enough to defeat her sensei in mock combat, but still seems to be in trouble: she has to finish a haiku before the sun sets and she is too disturbed and unbalanced. She remembers her dear brother, Satsu, and the stories he told her about the Kami Togashi and Shinsei. When Shinsei knocked Akodo off and proved he was more than just a little old man, Hantei and his siblings asked many questions of him, except Togashi who left for a forest, sat and decided he would not move until he 'understood.' He refused to eat or drink, and starved himself. Eventually Shinsei arrived, Togashi repeated that he would not move until he understood, and Shinsei simply replied 'Neither will I', which made everything click for Togashi and then he ate and drank and was happy. The woman remembers how his sweet brother was brutally killed by a Crab samurai, Hida Yakamo, in a duel. Where the Crab had used a loving tetsubo! In front of a court, to boot. The Crab was satisfied that the 'claims' of Satsu's wife were invalid, and only the little girl stood up to him, taking up his brother's blade. Yakamo smacked the sword she weakly held and lightly rested the tetsubo on her head; she spat on his face. He only chuckled and said that he wasn't going to kill her, but he could have. The woman is disturbed by the memory, she begs her brother for assistance, and finally pens her haiku just as the sun set. Her sensei and her father come in, they evaluate the poem, and declare that she passed her test. She takes a name: Hitomi!

She's probably not important to the metaplot or anything.

So, the Dragon! They're mysterious and reclusive, and they want it that way. Because you cannot defeat what you can't understand, said Shinsei. Some warnings about how the book isn't the ultimate word on the Clan that would become boilerplate for the other clanbooks, a brief overview of the book, and we start!

quote:

For a thousand years, the Dragon have remained hidden behind their great walls atop their mighty mountains. Their secrets are only secrets to those who are unwilling to challenge the Great Climb.
I know a secret path up the mountain.
Are you ready?
Then, let's go.

Sure you do, John, sure you do.

We get more RPG FICTION on the Dragon Clan. Isawa Kaede, Phoenix Master of Void, recalls visiting the Dragon lands and not really understanding a thing since they were all cryptic and mysterious. She talked with one of their tattooed men, balancing on a high ledge looking down at the mountains below, who 'with a hint of sadness' tells her that she could never understand them. Not until she has gone where they have gone, but he can't tell her where they're going. Only show her. And then he just jumps off the ledge, laughing all the time, beckoning her to follow. A Lion samurai recalls how a Dragon acquaintance of his sensei asked him to show him his stance. He did, the Dragon told him to relax, then asked to see his stance again, and knocked him down so fast the Lion just noticed when he was down on the floor. Never show your enemy the same stance twice. All the same, the Dragon was sort of pleased, since he said he would warn his students about the Lion student. And in Kakita Ryoku's famed novel, Winter, the narrator tells how she met a Kitsuki magistrate, tried to engage him in polite conversation, and he stonewalled her with strange answers. The narrator decided never to invite a Dragon to her winter court ever again.


All the curry jokes have been made.

The Dragon aren't a Clan in the Rokugani sense, apparently. See, Togashi did not really establish a bloodline. The Togashi 'family' is in fact a monastic order founded by him a thousand years ago. Those who join the Togashi abandon their name and become the ise zumi, the Tattooed Men. The other two families of the clan, Agasha and Mirumoto, descend from the samurai that served Togashi until his death. Agasha was a highly skilled shugenja, and Mirumoto was Togashi's own yojimbo and founder of their two-sword style. The Kitsuki family is of much more recent founding, an offshoot of the Agasha. Togashi originally wanted to retire and seek enlightenment alone after the Kami fell, but Agasha and Mirumoto followed him, as well as many others that just knew they had to find something in Togashi's temple. It was Mirumoto who became the Dragon Clan's Thunder, one of the seven mortal heroes that faced Fu Leng. When he volunteered, no one questioned him. Agasha and Mirumoto's son, Yojiro, did a lot to build up the Clan after the Day of Thunder, and the families they founded built a close relationship. Mirumoto bushi are highly attuned to the Elements, and Agasha shugenja understand the basics of tactics and strategy.

Also, if any "truth" the book reveals is contradicted by another "truth", it is because the Dragon is a Clan of contradictions



The Togashi mon, holding a plum blossom because a plum was the first thing Togashi ate after finishing his fast.

The Togashi! They have a secret. About two hundred years after the Empire was formed, the Scorpion daimyo of the era sent his own daughter to the mountains to spy on the Dragon. She returned seven years later with her hair completely white and a terrible secret: the Togashi daimyo was Togashi. As in, the original Togashi, the Kami himself. Who was very much still alive! Also, she was pregnant with his child, and could not stay with the Scorpion. Ever since then, the Scorpion have a quiet contempt for the Togashi - they have held a gigantic secret for centuries, and cannot do anything about it. They hear about the rumors of a 'dragon man' in the mountains, think of Togashi's child, and wonder. The Togashi castle is shown in maps as being connected by road to the Kitsuki castle, but in truth the road hits a dead end like three miles in. There is no true path to the Togashi castle, only the one one makes. Also, the castle may or may not be partly in the spirit world, as there are many divergent accounts of its appearance - carved on the side of a mountain, located at the bottom of a ravine, and so on. The Togashi have little in the way of physical records of their history, since they don't believe in history in the first place - only living memory. Those who seek enlightenment must make their own way to the castle, take up their vows, and then kill their parents (leave behind everything that they know to be true), kill their teacher (go out into the world and find their own path), then kill the self (become completely selfless, living life one moment at the time) Wandering Dragon monks are known all over Rokugan, and tales of their mystical feats and magic tattoos are legendary. Wick says non-Togashi can get tattoos, but they cost around 22 CP (most of a chargen character's CP allotment) and they should have a good story to go along with it!



The Mirumoto mon. Dragon holding two swords, that's about it.

The Mirumoto are much more regimented than the Togashi. The family daimyo also acts as the clan daimyo most of the time, with only the Togashi daimyo having greater authority. This leaves the Togashi order time to seek illumination. The Mirumoto daimyo gets to keep stuff like taxes, so there's hardly reason to complain about this arrangement The Dragon has an army of around 200,000 men, roughly average for one of the Clans. There is some talk about how the army is organized, and mention of how Glory ranks equal to army ranking: a Glory 1 character is a hohei (private), then it goes up to nikutai ('corporal', but the word means corporal as in 'corporal punishment', loving faux-Japanese) gunso (sergeant), chui (lieutenant), taisa (colonel), shireikan (commander) and rikugunshokan (general) Characters can end up in a command position, with all the responsibilities and perks that it implies. It's also possible for a character with less than adequate battlefield skills to end up with a command, though the Mirumoto prefer to put people with proven skills in such positions; appearance-minded people like the Crane have a lower-ranking "advisor" to these wonders to avoid disasters and because it is polite.

Mirumoto himself was a cunning tactician, and also a brilliant duelist. Also, kind of a bully and rear end in a top hat. The treatise his son wrote on his style, Niten, is studied all over Rokugan, but this doesn't mean his school is so respected. Many bushi still consider it the "coward's school." The story of the Mirumoto family, as the Dragon's main fighting force, has several great battles. In the Battle of the Sleeping River, the Dragon stood side by side with the Clans to fight Iuchiban and his Blood Speakers. The Battle of the Cherry Blossom Lake was a Lion-Scorpion battle that seemed like an easy victory for the former until the Dragon showed up as unexpected allies for the Scorpions - secretly, Togashi was repaying the Scorpion daimyo for his daughter. The Battle of Kyuden Tonbo happened because of the minor Dragonfly Clan, born from a Mirumoto samurai and an Isawa shugenja. The Isawa's spurned lover, an Akodo, sent his forces against the fledgling Clan, but Dragon and Phoenix armies appeared and made it clear that the Lion would not be able to touch the Dragonfly. The Akodo did not forget the slight, and at the Battle of the Great Climb he sieged the Dragon fortresses while carefully skirting around Dragonfly lands. The Dragons held, but ultimately they surrendered, and the Akodo demanded a duel against the Dragonfly daimyo, who accepted and fell without even drawing his sword. Then the Akodo reached too far and declared himself ruler of the Dragonfly, but the fallen samurai's son demanded a rematch duel and killed him instead, and that's why the Lion hates the Dragonfly's guts. The Battle of Kenson Gakka, where the Lion took a Scorpion stronghold and killed everyone down to the last woman and child, was a reverse of Cherry Blossom Lake: the Dragon turned up as Lion allies. The Dragon general mysteriously died a couple of weeks later. Finally, in the Battle of White Stag, the Dragon and the other Clans stood against a gaijin invading force armed with rifles and cannons. Ever since then, firearms have been forbidden in Rokugan, but gunpowder is here to stay, to produce spectacular fireworks and the odd mysterious explosion now and then. Mirumoto training starts at a young age, and their gempukku ceremony involves writing a spontaneous haiku based on Shinsei's famous response to Togashi, "Neither will I." The family daimyo is Mirumoto Hitomi, more on her later.

We then get some excerpts of Niten!


Apparently this stance is powerful enough that if enemies know "the Way" they will instantly surrender. Seriously.

quote:

WHY THIS SCHOOL IS CALLED THE TWO-SWORD SCHOOL
I have spent many years on the road, and I have fought forty-seven duels, and I have never lost. This is because I employ a technique that has no anchors to tradition. I employ a technique that teaches movement rather than memorization. My school is called niten, for I use both of my swords, not just the katana. Those who ask why do not understand my thinking. They will attempt to build a house with nails but no hammer...

quote:

LET HIM GO BY
When the enemy charges us with urgency and strength, let him go by.
A sidestep is quicker than a charge, and puts you in a position where negotiation means nothing.

quote:

THE VIRTUE OF WALKING
Many schools teach a "secret stepping technique." I have no such technique. It is as I have said, in my school, all movement is natural.

quote:

THREE ALTERNATIVES
When you engage the enemy, there are three alternatives.
If he attacks first, kill him.
If you attack first, kill him.
If you attack at once, kill him.

So basically, Mirumoto and his son were low-rent Miyamoto Musashi.


The Agasha mon, dragon holding a pomegranate, since you open it and INFINITE POSSIBILITIES also pretty good on a hot day

The Agasha! They're the most "traditional" family, as noted earlier. Agasha herself was devoted to observing and recording the natural world, and her journal expressed her love of nature with vivid descriptions and detailed sketches of plants and animals. They also included mysterious symbols that some thought to be stylized representations of her subjects, or some sort of grand code, or the spirits of the flora and fauna. Hundreds of years later, a shugenja discovered a secret code hidden in the post of the original scroll. Agasha's marks were symbols for certain elements of the plants and animals. Every thing in nature was a "little hidden puzzle," and thus Agasha's code is known as the Nazo Bubun no Agasha (Puzzle Pieces of Agasha) So basically, she figured out fuckin' chemistry! The Agasha school has dedicated itself to studying these natural puzzles, and they have made great advances in metallurgy (they invented steel, but apparently Scorpion spies stole their secret and gave it to all other clans) as well as agriculture, and potentially genetic experimentation since there are rumors of chimeric animals roaming the Dragon mountains. In short, they're as gently caress. Their individual schools are called "Foundries" due to their early metallurgy experiments.


The Kitsuki mon. Dragon holding a lightning bolt that looks like a maze for reasons. Illuminate the darkness, bring justice, etc.

The Kitsuki! They come from a shugenja called Agasha Kitsuki. He had little interest for shugenja metaphysics, but was very interested in people. The human mind was the puzzle he wanted to solve, and he studied with tricksters and magicians, something his teachers decried as "peasant magic." Eventually, his sensei told him after repeated offenses to shape up or be expelled... but next morning he was found dead in his room with Kitsuki's wakizashi. Twenty-four hours later, Kitsuki had found the real guilty party, with evidence and a confession. Kitsuki grew to be respected as a magistrate, and eventually granted permission to found his own samurai family. The Kitsuki are very trusted by the Mirumoto because of their keen insight to solve crimes and stop Scorpion and Crane plots. They are not as accomplished courtiers as they are, but instead have an uncanny ability to cut through lies and find the truth. The Crab and Unicorn Clans respect them for this, while the other Clans keep them at a distance for the same reason. Since the Rokugani justice system prizes confessions and ignores hard evidence, many times the Kitsuki end up facing accusations from high-ranked people that they find to be involved in dastardly plots. Also, they are on the trail of the ninja, and while the ninja are killing Kitsuki who get too close to them, others pick up where they left and keep finding more clues! Also there's a friendly rivalry between Agasha and Kitsuki, and the former call the latter "little brother/sister" because that totally doesn't get annoying.

Next: YOGA FIRE

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





CHAPTER FIVE: ORGANIZATIONS

Civil Organizations

British Experimental Rocket Bureau:
The Professor and a ragtag group of scientists, engineers and other folks managed to escape Porton Down before INDIGO DIAMOND. The BERB continues its work with the leadership of the Professor and despite the fact that they are one of the most hated organizations in what remains of London. Whatever happened at Porton Down is on their heads, as is being blamed for Windscale (not their fault, explained later) and the general existence of Twisted Technology. A lot of members of the BERB don’t admit their membership due to a risk of alienation. However, they still have a goal and purpose: operate out of Down Street Station and explore/analyze any technology or monster brought to them by the SSG. They’re still the foremost experts.

The Government: Harold MacMillan’s Tory government is still holding on despite the collapse of civilization, albeit with a precarious grip. The war has caused massive restructuring and cutting of departments, changing the government to a much simpler form. On top is Harold McMillan, Prime Minister. Beneath him are three government departments: the Ministry of Food (and water and transportation of such goods and health), the War Office (the armed forces, the police, and matters of refugees) and the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (rebuilding infrastructure, maintaining it and other matters of refugees). The government also has the elderly Sir Winston Churchill who they use as a symbol of hope by occasionally having him tour London. The three departments are constantly fighting over supplies and favor and as a result the government hasn’t been doing much. They are desperate to maintain the image of control.

The Trades Unions: The remains of the Unions have taken to rebuilding and fixing where the government isn’t focusing. They’ve also taken to protesting the army and the harsh nature of control the military and government have put on the survivors. While the Unions as a whole are helping keep communities together, they’re viewed with suspicion by the government and the military. Some groups have been helping surviving Soviet forces by providing assistance or safehouses and have gotten caught doing so and that’s put them all in the spotlight for scrutiny. Not helping matters is that some groups are completely benevolent and dedicated to helping others and their lack of any evidence against them just makes the government more paranoid. The biggest and loudest of the unions are monitored constantly.

The Union Movement: Not an actual union but an ideology lead by Sir Oswald Mosely, the Union Movement is a right wing group that is becoming uncomfortably popular. They are anti-refugee, fascist xenophobic racists who even want to expel any born British of color or foreign heritage and would like to see them all loaded on a boat and sent to Europe. The goal of the movement is to install martial law under their control, rebuild the military and navy and then invade Europe and take it over to rebuild the Empire. This is an awful idea run by awful people but it’s getting popular thanks to basic arguments of appeals and capitalizing on the fears of the survivors.

Military Organizations

The Army:
Most of the Army is actually made of conscripts and National Servicemen who won’t be leaving any time soon. This has lead to friction between the surviving career soldiers/brass and the NS. Mix this with the fact that desertion is rampant and now punished with whipping or hanging again and you’ve got a pot ready to boil over. The Army still has power (gasoline, weapons, vehicles, emergency rights granted by the government) but their losses and the emotional toll of fighting nightmarish creatures is causing them to fray at the seams.

The Royal Air Force: The RAF barely flies anymore except to occasionally get a glimpse at the situation in Europe. There’s not enough fuel to keep these flights up (and barely any working planes left) and as a result the upper leaders of the RAF are terrified of being eaten up by the Army. Not helping matters is that the Army, Navy and government are being bitchy and excluding members of the RAF from decision making and important choices. As a result, the RAF is trying to rebrand itself as a badass group of Twisted Technology specialists and monster hunters, attempting to push the BERB out of the way to take over. This isn’t going so well (mostly because they don’t really have any qualifications) but the RAF does have supplies (ammo, some fuel, mechanical parts, engineers).

The Royal Navy: The Navy has a lot of things going for it at the moment. It has access to offshore oil still, a nuclear submarine in the Thames providing some electricity, a cruiser on the Thames that can provide artillery strikes and an Admiral in the government who favors funding them as the best defense between Britain and Europe. What don’t they have? Well, importantly, they don’t have any means to reliably maintain everything they have. Most Marines and seamen are driving around in small flotillas made of commandeered and patchwork vessels, the ammunition for the cruiser isn’t infinite and they’re only able to keep one ship in good enough shape for an emergency battle. The Navy is slowly rusting away and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Soviet Forces: It’s a bit of a misconception (or incorrect hope, depending on who you ask) that all of the Russian invaders died. Most of the troops were paratroopers shot down or captured when they tried to take key locations or handlers for the monsters and weapons. Overall, there were a couple thousand troops with the majority of them dead by 1963. A lot of them aren’t bothering fighting anymore, lying about their heritage and keeping their heads down. The rest are keeping the fight alive, attempting to use guerilla warfare, infiltration or espionage for a country that might not exist anymore.

United States Combined European Command: The USCEC is made up of diplomatic staff, US Air Force, intelligence agents and other Americans who were trapped in Britain. They don’t have much going on besides trying to find out how America is doing and they don’t have a lot of manpower or resources. For the most part, they help the SSG just to have something to do outside of brokering refuge for American civilians also stuck in London. They’re on good terms with the government, but things are starting to go a bit sour for one reason: the refugees. The USCEC doesn’t agree with how Britain is treating refugees and because the USCEC has St. James’ Square for living, they have room to host refugees. They’ve been using forged documents and names of likely deceased American citizens to make new identities for refugees to redirect them to St. James instead of a camp. The government knows they’re up to something but hasn’t been able to stop the Americans from interfering due to infighting and incompetence.

Police and Paramilitary Organizations

The Citizens Defense Army:
The CDA are fighting what they perceive to be oppression of the people and mistreatment of refugees. They operate in scattered cells that have no knowledge of the greater group and go about fighting in their own ways. The main issue with this is that some of the cells are using terrorism, violence and bombings to get their messages across and there’s nobody to rein them in or make a statement about them. They have some support from the people of London (especially among refugees) but there’s the fear that they’re becoming stronger as a paramilitary force. Someone is training them for using their weapons and helping them procure more ammo and explosives and the main line of thought is that Army deserters are giving them a knowledge/inventory advantage.

London Police: Post-war, the Transport Police, Metro Police and City of London Police operate under the label of Police for the government. They broke out old reserve pieces and have since armed themselves with rifles and revolvers, traveling in groups of three to patrol London. From the outside, the London Police is a faceless tool of authority or tool of oppression, either helping or getting more corrupt by the day. On the inside, the police are falling apart from infighting over who is in control of what due to three command groups being mashed together into one. The police are splintering into factions over who is responsible for what with no current compromise in sight.

GK-11 Field Regiment: GK-11 was responsible for the engineering and research done towards Twisted Technology. As a result, a good deal of them came ashore with their monsters and tools to deploy and control them. This didn’t pan out well; GK-11 was almost completely destroyed by its own hands and now exists in small pockets trying to keep the war going.

CHAPTER SIX: LONDON AND BEYOND

Under London


The tunnels and structures beneath London, either transportation infrastructure or protection from the Blitz, have become the homes of most survivors these days. There are places to live and to sleep, but some people prefer to live aboveground because the underground is not as safe as one would think. The sewers are clogged and flowing back into the Thames, there’s humidity and stale air and there are just general quality of life issues like cramped spaces, monsters and disease.

The Cabinet War Rooms: The War Rooms were where Churchill originally helped lead Britain during the Blitz. Up until now from the end of WWII, they were abandoned due to some inadequacies (low ceilings, very humid) before they were reclaimed by the government. The Prime Minister and the rest of the government (except the RAF) live here now in these secure concrete rooms and try to lead the country back into safety. Rumor has it most occupants are too afraid to actually go out into the world.

The Deep Level Shelters: The Claphams, Stockwell, Oval, Goodge Street, Camden Town, Belsize Park, Chancery Lane and St. Pauls’ air raid shelters are near the Underground stations. They are deep belowground in three mile long tunnels to hold 8000 military during the Blitz. They did their jobs and were promptly abandoned for 20 years and once again the military occupies them. The rank and file soldiers hate the shelters despite the safety; they’re badly lit, badly ventilated and humid and with those conditions it wears on one’s mind. Chancery Lane, Goodge and St. Pauls’ get some more information than the others. Chancery was a telephone switchboard nexus, Goodge was abandoned to monsters and is now an empty slaughterhouse and St. Pauls is where the military tortures and interrogates suspects (leading to the informal term of “St. Pauls Hobble” regarding the way people walk while recovering from broken ankles or knees).

Down Street Station: Originally abandoned, it’s now home to the SSG. Kids and teenagers can find food and employment around the station by working the ventilation pumps to keep fresh air cycled through the station. The other upside of Down Street Station is that not everyone lives underground; the SSG has commandeered the use of some nearby apartment buildings for living and provide electricity to them with pedal generators.

Post Office Railway: The Post Office Railway’s original purpose was to provide an independent means for mail to get around without running into traffic or delays. The railway uses electric trams and a smaller span of tunnels than the regular underground. Now the railway is a legitimately secure means to get around London under the nominal control of the post office and the less official control of the Army. The entire line is secure from the rest of the tunnels so anyone who curries favor for a ride can get an actually safe trip.

The London Underground: The Underground was the first place people turned to for safety in 1962. For a while the Army used the tunnels to ship troops and get around. While secure at first, they quickly proved to be killing floors for the creatures that could get inside. The Underground as a whole is abandoned with some places used for storage. The tunnels are generally unsafe; water floods some of the tunnels, barricades and detritus try to cordon off tunnels and have made old maps hard to use and electricity is unreliable. Most Londoners don’t risk exploring the tunnels anymore, having heard too many ghost stories about cannibalism, madness and monsters.

CENTRAL LONDON

Central London is marred with makeshift barricades created from trash, rubble, old vehicles and military wire. They are rarely useful for actual defense, constructed mostly to provide the image of protection.

The Admiralty Citadel: The Citadel is the home of the Navy, a concrete building covered in poles and wires. The Navy maintains its own network of cables that lead to its installations and refuses to let any other military force into their building for any prolonged period of time. The building is heavily fortified and easily defended, making it one of the safest places in London.

HMS Belfast: The Belfast was supposed to be decommissioned and scrapped in 1962 but the war interrupted the planned retirement. Because it was supposed to be taken to be destroyed and was not viewed as a target, it was actually in working condition to sail down the Thames and provide artillery support. Now the Belfast is the sole guardian of the Thames and Central London, supplied by many boats making runs to it and occasionally shelling neighborhoods and monsters. But the heavy munitions are running out, and more importantly the Belfast hasn’t been maintained in a while. It needs a full yard to give it an overhaul and that’s not guaranteed to happen.

HMS Dreadnought: The Dreadnought is the famous nuclear submarine of the Navy, tied up on the Thames and using its nuclear reactor to as a power source. While the power is nice, the problem is the technicians and nuclear scientists. The remaining few capable of keeping the Dreadnought running properly have been taking advantage of their necessity for food and shelter and it’s making other members of the Navy angry. Plus everyone around knows that if something to happen to the Dreadnaught, the Navy’s power would be hindered and it’s become a tempting target.

Yanktown: St. James Square is home to the previously mentioned USCEC. Yanktown has privileges other neighborhoods and refugee camps are jealous of: they can keep their guns and mostly police themselves. Yanktown is also growing thanks to members of the USCEC fudging identities to try and save refugees from the camps and it’s getting a bit crowded.

GREATER LONDON

The Dogs:
The Isle of Dogs was not a good place to live before the war and it’s only gotten worse. The Isle is a mess of buildings, dockyards and warehouses, all of them decaying and becoming a haven for bad people and monsters. The Army and the Police rarely touch the Isle because they know they can’t effectively do anything for the area (or maybe they just don’t want to). There are still good people or stubborn people, but they live on the outskirts of the Isle and refuse to leave the area. They make a good source of information about the things living deeper in the maze of rotting buildings.

Frogtown: Most of Southwark has been converted into an area for containing European refugees who fled to London during the first few weeks. A lot of them have been made resident aliens thanks to paperwork and timing, allowed to possess weapons and police their area. They get the name Frogtown thanks to slurs and the fact that a lot of the refugees are French survivors (mostly farmers and fishermen). The residents of Southwark don’t make much trouble and are useful for the government as a labor force, but there are concerns. Some of the refugees are considering taking up the USCEC’s plan of helping save other refugees out of a sense of compassion while others don’t want to rock the boat just yet.

Woolwich Arsenal: The arsenal is (of course) run by the Army, full of stockrooms of materials and old factories to make weapons and munitions. Unfortunately for the Army, the supplies aren’t infinite and they only have so many workers and scientists who remember how to make cartridges and explosives. The increased pressure on the manufacturers and the growing deficit of materials is making things tense, resulting in Army officials breathing down the necks of workers who literally can’t fulfill their requests. The Army controls the base with an iron fist and is growing more paranoid by the day.

NEAR LONDON

Dengie Peninsula:
North of the Thames and on the east coast is a supernaturally silent graveyard of rotting ships. The peninsula was full of smaller towns and marshland but now it’s the home of rusting Soviet hulks, the same ships used to carry weapons ashore. And the weapons haven’t left, transforming the ships and marshes and abandoned towns into nests. The area is also home to some foolish/tenacious Soviet soldiers/researchers and the occasional scavenger trying to get fuel or technology. There are also rumors of gates and portals that are still open that might lead to Russia or places beyond space and time.

The Internment Camps: Refugees are still coming from across the isles and from Europe, traveling by boat or foot just to be rounded up and held by the Thames estuary. The government is paying nominal attention to the camps, focusing more on the surviving Londoners and letting the camps get crowded and underfed. The camps are not good places to be, full of desperate people who managed to survive and the human monsters among them. There are four main camps:
  • Canvey Island: A barbed-wire enclosure with collapsing wooden structures, Canvey Island was supposed to be a transit camp for moving new refugees to the other three. Now they barely bother moving people to the other camps, letting Canvey Island get just as full.
  • Cliffe: The smallest camp was originally designated for people the government could find useful but couldn’t accept yet. Cliffe is full of skilled people waiting for interviews living in old cement structures and an old village.
  • Isle of Sheppey: Sheppey was the first camp built and is in the worst state, a squalid and filthy place. Fresh water is rare and a group of Belgian scientists have managed to rig a group of bicycles to provide power to a makeshift desalinization plant. It’s not enough water, but it helps.
  • Southend-on-Sea: Southend-on-Sea was a resort town converted to a camp. The refugees live in decaying cabins and rooms, substantially more protected from the elements than the other camps. Southend is the biggest camp and just as dangerous as the others.
The Sea Forts: The Maunsell Sea Forts are owned by the Navy and act as the first line of defense against seaborne threats. The forts come in both Army and Navy form (six steel towers on a tripod attached to the sea floor versus concrete and steel structures with feet dug into the floor) but are owned wholly by the Navy. The forts are well defended and well armed with guns salvaged from ships but they’re not considered the best place to be posted. The Navy sailors here are responsible for exploring old wrecks and keeping an eye out and that’s starting to wear on their minds.

The Zone of Alienation: North of London, by Essex and Hertfordshire, is a place marked only by crude signs. The Zone of Alienation is home to colors that don’t exist in nature, pockets of augmented time, looping sections of road, terrible visions and mutated wildlife. People have gone in and returned but nobody has ever fully explored the Zone (it’s illegal to go in but the authorities can’t actually stop people). Nobody’s sure what created the Zone but some believe that the Zone’s existence swallowed up the nuclear weapons aimed at London. What people are sure of is that the Zone is growing; they don’t know how fast, they don’t know how or why and it’s even hard to tell when you’ve entered the Zone but they do know it’s growing. Worse still is that the Zone seems to be the source of other creatures and beasts that the Soviets didn’t bring over.

APPENDIX

Well, we’ve reached the end of the book! There’s not much to the appendix; most of it is related media that you could use for inspiration and sheets/primers to share with players. But there are some game ideas too, which I will gladly share here.

BASILISK

Tone:
Post-apocalypse.

Something is making the people of London explode and the characters have to figure out what’s causing it. The explosions are not caused by munitions or explosives; something is just causing them to detonate violently and die. The terrified public has dubbed the source of the explosions The Basilisk and the fear is leading to unrest, causing more rumors of legendary and mythical monsters to sprout up and scare people more. The characters also have to work with the Army to stop the Basilisk and the Army wants nothing to do with it, not thinking of it as their business despite having big enough guns to put an end to the explosions.

The Basilisk actually is a Soviet weapon, a living organism that causes people to explode when it looks at them. The design behind it was to activate it as a sleeper weapon so eventually it would cause mass mayhem and death. Its handlers activated the Basilisk months after the war and it immediately killed them before wandering off. It’s not a smart creature, simply an animal with bizarre and dangerous powers.

Other NPCs and Groups:
  • Lt. Ernest Folland: CO of the Army assigned to helping the characters. Folland’s only doing this job because he thinks it’ll get him a promotion if he uses the minimum amount of men and equipment. He doesn’t really care about what the characters think, viewing them as idiots wasting his time.
  • Colonel Yevgeny Malinin: Malinin was a member of GK-11 and knows quite a lot about their weapons. He only recently came out of hiding to broker a deal with the Navy for protection. While he’s the best shot the characters have of getting concrete information about the Basilisk, the Navy doesn’t want anyone to have access to him until they’re done pumping him for everything he knows.
HANDS

Tone:
Dark Horror.

Disembodied hands have been appearing around London, getting around by dragging themselves with fingertips or walking with their digits. Originally the hands were a minor annoyance or a joke: poking people, dragging things, trying to perform tasks. Now the hands have gotten worse by becoming aggressive and invasive: grabbing people, invading homes, strangling people. The SSG is one of many groups assigned to dealing with the hands because nobody knows where they’re coming from.

Other NPCs and Groups:
  • Major Warren Cripps: Cripps is an Army engineer who wants to figure out how to control the hands. He believes they’re being directed by something and if he can find the puppet master, he can control them and turns them into a weapon under his control.
  • Ashley Bingham: Ex-MI6 who now works for a shadow group that “advises” the prime minister. She’s sabotaging investigative efforts to keep the knowledge for her group alone and is well equipped and backed for this mission.
  • Jeremy Updike: Updike was a postman before the war. He lost both of his hands helping defend London and now he believes that the hands are a sign from God. Updike is not an emotionally/mentally stable man and depending on how the characters treat him he’s either helpful or harmful.
MEMORY

Tone:
British Catastrophe

Every day, at 11:11 AM, a handful of people lose their memories. The victims are left stumbling and confused, unable to speak or articulate. Some victims are left to fend for themselves or are cared for by their burdened families or friends. The phenomenon isn’t getting worse or growing, but it’s still happening on a daily basis and that’s adding up. Groups across London are working on their own to be the ones to stop the phenomenon and gain all the glory, but nobody has an answer just yet.

Other NPCs and Groups:
  • Dr. Amelia Webb: A biochemist before the War, she continues her scientific work but with a focus on curing the memory plague. Unfortunately for her patients, Webb is a jingoistic xenophobe who doesn’t like continental Europeans. Her experiments are brutal with little care for the patient’s well being because she doesn’t care about what she’s doing to them.
  • Sheridan Browlow: Browlow’s whole family has been afflicted with the memory plague and he’s at his wits end from taking care of them, overstressed and overworked.
  • Nancy Carter: Carter is a Union Movement activist who is taking advantage of the fear caused by the plague to stir the anti-government pot and get people to join the Union Movement.
POLITICIAN

Tone:
Quality BBC Drama

A local politician who calls himself The Boss is trying to turn a borough into his own personal kingdom. He has turned a group of police into his army of thugs and together they oppress the people of the borough, extort from them, live richly and lie to the government. But someone has noticed and that’s where the characters come in. Their job is to infiltrate the borough, find out the truth and resolve the situation.

Other NPCs and Groups:
  • The Boss: The Boss was nobody before they took power, a forgettable politician, a stuffed shirt. Now he believes himself to be more important than he really is, his newfound power going to his head. Beneath his bluster and bravado, he is a coward and a bully.
  • The Wardens: The Wardens are the police of the borough and are actually only loyal to The Boss’ right hand man. Should their true leader wish it, they’ll abandon The Boss.
  • The Boss’ Wife: The Wife likes her life but hates the obligations and lack of freedom. She’s secretly cheating on her husband with the right hand man.
  • The Dupuis Family: A group of refugees who are living in the borough. They will come to the Boss’ attention eventually as the father has a gold watch he refuses to part with and they’re living illegally in the borough.
HOOKS




PHOTOGRAPHS



DOCUMENTS, POSTERS, FLYERS


Warning: oblique mention of gross content.



AFTERWORD


That’s it for Hot War. I feel like it definitely made some improvements on Cold City, especially by opening up avenues for relationships with NPCs and making contacts. It’s also an interesting enough take on a post-apocalypse for me. I like the open nature for what happened and how the players and GM should figure it out together, it works well with the mechanics. Above all else, I still really enjoy the epistolary nature of the world and the detail that went into the fake documents. Thanks for reading along!

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 04:41 on Aug 16, 2016

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



You know what game definitely belongs in FATAL and Friends because of it's obscurity and badness? Definitely AD&D: 2nd Edition. That's certainly a game about which not much has been said. So we took it on at System Mastery, just for fun.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

You know what game definitely belongs in FATAL and Friends because of it's obscurity and badness? Definitely AD&D: 2nd Edition. That's certainly a game about which not much has been said. So we took it on at System Mastery, just for fun.

On rolling ability scores:

AD&D 1e's PHB didn't actually tell you how to roll for ability scores, which I suppose was sort of awkward considering that the DMG didn't come out until a year later. I imagine people just rolled 3d6-down-the-line because that's what non-Advanced D&D did, but you guys were right in calling out that Gygax did say that that was dumb, and the Method 1 in the AD&D 1e DMG was 4d6-drop-lowest-assign-as-desired.

AD&D 2e was actually a step backwards because Method 1 (which was now included in the PHB) went back to 3d6-down-the-line. 4d6-drop-lowest-assign-as-desired was relegated to Method 5, and was under that whole "this is an alternative rule that you should ask your DM about, because it may result in high-powered adventurers".

On Fighter HP:

When you got to high levels, you'd only get to add flat amounts of HP to your max, such as the Fighter only getting a flat 3 HP per level after level 9, and Constitution bonuses didn't apply to that anymore.

The advantage that Fighters got, was that they were the only ones who could access higher amounts of Constitution bonuses.

A character with 15 Con got +1 HP per hit die, and a character with 16 Con got +2 HP per hit die.

If a non-Warrior had 17 Con, they'd still only get +2 HP / die, but a Warrior would get +3 HP / die.

If a non-Warrior had 18 Con, they'd still only get +2 HP / die, but a Warrior would get +4 HP / die.

In the course of looking this up, I also discovered a neat little rule where if your Con is 17 or higher, rolling a 1 on your hit die for additional max HP upgrades it to a 2. Having 20 Con or higher makes the minimum roll even better, but that's Superhuman-can't-actually-roll-for-this territory.




I'd also like to mention that the DMG for this edition is great, because it includes all of the basic / player-facing rules on top of what the DM needs to be aware of, such that you can run a game with the DMG in front of you and use it to refer to, say, what a Fighter should be rolling to attack with at level 5. You couldn't do that with later editions of D&D.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




The way to true power in Godlike is to have weird and limited powers you can use to cheat. Like a sniper with the power to turn into a pile of dead leaves and fly away (one of the few characters to survive our campaign).

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


gradenko_2000 posted:

I'd also like to mention that the DMG for this edition is great, because it includes all of the basic / player-facing rules on top of what the DM needs to be aware of, such that you can run a game with the DMG in front of you and use it to refer to, say, what a Fighter should be rolling to attack with at level 5. You couldn't do that with later editions of D&D.

The 2e AD&D DMG is a pretty amazing piece of work. It basically mirrors the PHB in a lot of the early chapters, but rather than just rehashing the rules, it explains why they were worked out as they were(like demihuman level limits), suggests alternatives and points out what the consequences of some of those alternatives would be. It also explains common pitfalls(giving out too much treasure, etc.), suggests solutions for them, gives advice on how to construct your campaign and encounters, tries to describe the roles of adventurers in a "generic" D&D world and is generally just really well-thought-out.

Even if you're not running 2e AD&D, or indeed any edition of D&D, I like to think there's a lot of good food for thought in there for DM's in general.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

PurpleXVI posted:

The 2e AD&D DMG is a pretty amazing piece of work. It basically mirrors the PHB in a lot of the early chapters, but rather than just rehashing the rules, it explains why they were worked out as they were(like demihuman level limits), suggests alternatives and points out what the consequences of some of those alternatives would be. It also explains common pitfalls(giving out too much treasure, etc.), suggests solutions for them, gives advice on how to construct your campaign and encounters, tries to describe the roles of adventurers in a "generic" D&D world and is generally just really well-thought-out.

Even if you're not running 2e AD&D, or indeed any edition of D&D, I like to think there's a lot of good food for thought in there for DM's in general.

Holy balls, you're right.

Page 21 explains why there are class restrictions on demi-humans: because they don't want you to be able to stack the abilities of, say, both an Elf and a Paladin. Being free to have both the special abilities of any class AND any race would mean that Humans would never be picked.

Page 22 explains why there are level restrictions on demi-humans: because an Elf that lives for hundreds of years would logically be able to achieve much higher levels than Humans since they can adventure for a whole order of magnitude longer than Humans can.

Both of these factors combine because the rules are directly representative of the world and not just gameplay: no restrictions on demi-humans would mean a world completely dominated by demi-humans.

EDIT: I think this would also explain minimum ability scores for subclasses. If anyone could be a Paladin, and assuming that the world/universe plays by the rules of the game, then everyone would be a Paladin, and you'd never see regular Fighter NPCs. The rarity of the roll needed to naturally hit those score requirements then translates into what percentage of the population would be Paladins.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at 16:57 on Aug 16, 2016

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


gradenko_2000 posted:

Being free to have both the special abilities of any class AND any race would mean that Humans would never be picked.

That would explain why Humans get a free feat in 3.X. I guess they just really wanted to be sure that players would pick Humans, so they gave Humans the best racial feature by far. Assuming that the imbalance was intentional, anyway. It's just a really weak justification for the tremendous downside of having level caps less than half that of Humans.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


MightyMatilda posted:

That would explain why Humans get a free feat in 3.X. I guess they just really wanted to be sure that players would pick Humans, so they gave Humans the best racial feature by far. Assuming that the imbalance was intentional, anyway. It's just a really weak justification for the tremendous downside of having level caps less than half that of Humans.

Well, you call it a "tremendous downside," but as designed, it was intended for characters to start at level 1, and from level 1 up to the place where level limits start(early teens in most cases), is a long goddamn time of play. In practice, few people were ever really going to encounter it unless they started at higher levels or their GM's were exceptionally generous with XP.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



gradenko_2000 posted:

Holy balls, you're right.

Page 21 explains why there are class restrictions on demi-humans: because they don't want you to be able to stack the abilities of, say, both an Elf and a Paladin. Being free to have both the special abilities of any class AND any race would mean that Humans would never be picked.

Page 22 explains why there are level restrictions on demi-humans: because an Elf that lives for hundreds of years would logically be able to achieve much higher levels than Humans since they can adventure for a whole order of magnitude longer than Humans can.

Both of these factors combine because the rules are directly representative of the world and not just gameplay: no restrictions on demi-humans would mean a world completely dominated by demi-humans.

Honestly, this would be an interesting idea, being a human in a world dominated by fantasy races, but would require players who would allow having to play nothing but humans.

MightyMatilda posted:

That would explain why Humans get a free feat in 3.X. I guess they just really wanted to be sure that players would pick Humans, so they gave Humans the best racial feature by far. Assuming that the imbalance was intentional, anyway. It's just a really weak justification for the tremendous downside of having level caps less than half that of Humans.

And then in 4th edition, they gave humans the ability to chose whatever attribute bonus they wanted instead of restricting them to two chosen racial attributes. And why we've been seeing less and less of human as the baseline in many recent games.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

MightyMatilda posted:

That would explain why Humans get a free feat in 3.X. I guess they just really wanted to be sure that players would pick Humans, so they gave Humans the best racial feature by far. Assuming that the imbalance was intentional, anyway.

I don't know if the 3.x guys were still operating under the same assumptions, but AD&D wanted Humans to be a strong default choice so that it would make sense for the world to be populated by 70-80% humans.

The rationalization was that as long as that was the racial make-up of the world, then the bog-standard Medieval Western Europe But With Magic And Elves fantasy would be fairly easy to maintain and imagine. But if these demi-humans got all out of control, then the world would be far more difficult to imagine and relate to.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I've never bought either argument for level limits. Demihuman abilities are useful at low level, and they're a footnote by the time level limits come into play. It's silly. Give them an XP deficit to even the to-hit progression out some instead. I had similar issues with level adjustments in 3.x.

I'd give more credence to page 22 if the PHB didn't establish that humans come of age and have children much faster than the other stock PC races. An elf could theoretically keep adventuring for centuries and (assuming level 20 isn't a hard-and-fast limitation) achieve truly epic levels of experience, but adventures worth XP are always going to have a strong risk of death. Those figures are going to be vanishingly rare, and probably shoulders-deep in internal elven politics or off gallivanting the planes.
BD&D made a strong argument for demihuman community/family responsibilities kicking in past a point, and 'goofing off' adventuring beyond that simply being unthinkable on a cultural level, but it also had some limited progression rules to keep those characters active and useful during the human PCs' slog to level 36 and everyone's Trials of Immortality. Something like that would have been more palatable than a flat cut-off, even if level limits were higher than they were in 1E.

This is 100% anecdotal bullshit, but most of the PCs I saw back in my AD&D days were humans, even without level limits. Most people just wanted to play something they were already intimately familiar with.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


I find myself agreeing that the reasons as to why the designers made the choices in 2E that they did don't ultimately hold up, both in terms of how the game functions and in terms of what makes for good game design in general. That being said, it's a design philosophy nearly 30 years old and it's really interesting to see that they were thinking about these things, even if ultimately we've figured out there's a better way to do it since then.

I think the broader idea of having the DMG mirror the PHB and provide this kind of explanation and deeper discussion is an incredibly good one. It's just a smart layout choice, and its perfect for what a GM's guide should do - you've got the rules already. Knowing why the designers made them that way gives you a much firmer foundation for making decisions when you run into marginal cases, or when you're considering making a houserule.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Young Freud posted:

Honestly, this would be an interesting idea, being a human in a world dominated by fantasy races, but would require players who would allow having to play nothing but humans.

This is basically Steven Brust's Dragaera, where elves rule the world and humans are an oppressed minority. (Brust's world is also one where magical telepathy, teleportation, and resurrection are reasonably commonplace.)

I will note that the only time I can remember demihuman level limits being an issue in my AD&D days was when my highest-level character ever, an elf fighter/magic-user, had to stop advancing as a fighter at level 6. Which pretty much sucked.

I think the reason they didn't come into play much is that the level limits just discouraged certain race-class combinations. Why would you ever want to play a half-orc cleric if you couldn't ever advance past 4th level?

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


BattleTech - A Time of War


Character Advancement & Gamemastering

Now for the bits of what happens after an adventure, and how all of this is supposed to be planned and run.

Character Advancement

AToW splits XP rewards in group and individual awards. Group awars are based on their success on a Mission (aka adventure) or campaign (aka a series of related adventure, of which there can be several going on at once). The exact rewards are based on how successfull they were and how hard the whole procedure was. Simple an moderate Missions reward XP in the lower single digits, while 10 or even 20 XP only really happen if the group completes a Moderate or Difficult Campaign.
Individual rewards are based on character development and general good roleplaying, and are on part with Mission rewards.

Seeing how an Attribute or Trait point is worth 100 XP, and even learning a Skill at level 0 costs 20 (and quickly gets more expensive afterwards), characters in this game aren't really advancing all that fast. The book recommends that more powerful characters just start out with more XP during character creation, but I guess you can always hand out bigger rewards.

Aging

Simlar to D&D, AToW comes with an aging table to determine the effects of old age on your Attribtues, accomplished by adding or removing XP from your Attributes.
The first two relevant ages are 25 and 31 years and offer bonus to almost every stat. Then things quickly become worse and worse every 10 years after.
Starting with 61 years, characters also gain negative Traits they can only suppress until the next age category. It starts off with Slow Learner (aka Skills get more expensive) and is quickly followed by Glass Jaw (aka you better not come anywhere near a fight).
Clanners get an extra set of negative Traits (and much sooner at that, starting with 31 years) for their Reputation, since Clanners have a thing against people over 30, unless they have already made a name for themselves.

There are no rules for when one actually dies of old age. The table just stops at 101 years, but by that point most of your Attributes are probably level 3 at best, and there's a good chance one of your Attributes goes below 1 even sooner, which depending on the ATtribute either kills or cripples you.

Training & Downtime

Training is useful. Not only is it required to learn Advanced Skills, but it generally makes the learning or improving the learned Skills cheaper. Naturally, the teacher must be better at the Skill than the student.

Downtime is a way to get a bit of XP offscreen if the group is skipping several weeks or monhts of in-game time, after let's say the last Mission left a number of them in dire need of medical attention. The XP are based on the character's INT, and he can gain additional ones if they can make use of one of their Career Skills. It's not much, but better than nothing.
Training can also be done during Downtime, which effectively doubles the XP earned with the restriction that all of them go into the learned Skill's pool.

Wealth & Property

This section offers a base salary table (with modifiers depending on your average level in the relevant skills). MechWarriors and their space-counterpart the AeorSpace Pilot earn the most with 18k C-Bills per year, while a regular grunt soldier has to contempt with half of that. There's also a bonus table to eyeball extra cash after completing Mission and Campaigns, which is pretty handy.
The salary table itself is heavily focused on military professions, but also includes more civilian spaceship crewmand, technicians and doctors. Stuff like journalists, detectives or even policemen are absent.

With monthly income comes monthly expenses, and a table for that lists taxes (or rather a tax, the book thankfully doesn't go insane with different taxes for different factions or similar stuff), housings and other services.

NPCs and Random Encounters

NPC creation is surprisingly smooth: You pick one of the four templates and pick the relevant Attribute, Trait and Skill levels. The levels themselves are based on a comparable PC, having either less or more depending on the template.

The templates themselves are Thug (cannon fodder that is roughly half as good as a PC), Soldier (who are closest to the PCs in power), Savant (cripplingly overspecialized NPCs who serve as living MacGuffins; your diplomats and scientists) and Boss (who are just stronger than a PC in any way).

There's also a random encounter table that's just kinda there, offering plot nuggets to build a Mission around or derails an existing Missions like in Maid RPG, like having a little round of 'Mech arena action disrupted by a surprise invasion.

Gamemastering

The general suggestions start of with the book being pretty open about the GM tinkering with the setting as much as he wants, like say making FTL travel faster, put more angsty teenagers into 'Mech cockpits, or ignore the whole Clan Invasion if you're a BattleDroids grog. Of course you should spend a few minutes thinking about the impact theses changes would bring.

What follows is fairly standard advise, with the GM being advised to be well prepared and fair, and to make sure that everyone has fun (John Wick would hate this game). Whether or not the group is into sandboxes or plot-focused campaign, AToW works with both.

Adventure Seeds

These are adventure ideas, all written in the same format: They list the recommended group size, type and skill level range, along with the general premise, several complications (which actually read more like how the adventure is intended to progress) and tips.

  • The Chase: The PCs are hired to hunt down an assassin, with the scope of the adventure ranging from a single planet to several worlds. Naturally, the assassin will try to keep his pursuers busy, and the PCs' allies may not be as trustworthy as they appear...
  • Civil War: A classic BattleTech tale: The PCs find them self in the beginning or middle of a civil war, whose scope can again range form a single planet to entire systems. Who will they join? What will they do with former friends on the other side? And what if they find out they've bet on the wrong horse all along?
  • The Birthright: A noble is about to kick the bucket, and his friends and family are already starting to scheme against each other. Basically full-on Game of Thrones.
  • The Package: The PCs are task to retrieve an unspecified "package". There will naturally be other parties interested in the package, which may or may not turn out to be a person, in case you want to play The Transporter with 'Mechs.

Your BattleTech infodump of the Day: Support Vehicles

Support Vehicles are a pretty big and varied category of vehicles, ranging from all kinds of civilian models to vehicles to millitary support vehicles like tankers, minelayers or artillery. Also satellites, though I'm not sure how often they pop up.

Though not meant for direct combat by default, you can beef them up to be comparable to real Combat Vehicles. In fact all military vehicles are built as Support Vehicles until certain technological breakthroughs during the Age of War.

Unlike Combat Vehicles, Support Vehicles allow you to build Airships, aka blimps. As they also cover support versions of the Conventional Fighter, they also let you get yourself some Fixed-Wing motive systems.
Unless built for combat engagements, Support Vehicles lack proper targeting systems (if they have weapons at all), and their armor is generally worse than a proper combat armor. They might have a comparable number of armor points, but they also tend to have a Barrier Rating that shows how much damage an opponent needs to deal before the attack just punches through the armor and causes structural damage.

Support Vehicles are also a lot more flexible in terms of tonnage. You can make them light enough to be a motorcycle, or a lot heavier than a Combat Vehicle equivalent (more specifically: they can be up to twice as heavy as a Combat Vehicle of the same motive type). So if you go through the extra hoops of building a combat Support Vehicle, you can make yourself a 200-ton tank. With a steam engine.

A somewhat annoying part of Support Vehicles is that they require a Tech Rating, which among other things determines how much stuff you can put into it and how well they are armored.

But wait, being twice as a heavy as a Combat Vehicle is still not enough for friggin' huge battleships. Fear not, for there are construction rules for Large Support Vehicles that are big enough to cover multiple hexes on the board.
Large Naval Support Vehicles can reach up to 100,000 tons, able to mount capital weapons that can fire into at targets in orbit. Large Airships are up to 1,000-ton behemoths. And you can built yourself modular Rail vehicles.

If you want to go even bigger, you can build a Mobile Structure. They are build more like buildings (aka they consists of multiple hex blocks with different heights that are damaged seperately) that just happen to be able to either move on the ground, in water or in the air. They can also get themselves some capital weapons, which are terribly inaccurate against normal vehicles, but do make some beautiful craters.
I sadly don't know about any official Mobile Structure designs (which has probably something to do with them tending to be noticably bigger than DropShips), but I hope there's some kind of flying fortress or gigantic monster tank right out of an Armored Core game somewhere in the Inner Sphere.

Next Time: More setting details - A Game of Space Thrones (I may have made that joke before).

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Comrade Gorbash posted:

I find myself agreeing that the reasons as to why the designers made the choices in 2E that they did don't ultimately hold up, both in terms of how the game functions and in terms of what makes for good game design in general. That being said, it's a design philosophy nearly 30 years old and it's really interesting to see that they were thinking about these things, even if ultimately we've figured out there's a better way to do it since then.

I think the broader idea of having the DMG mirror the PHB and provide this kind of explanation and deeper discussion is an incredibly good one. It's just a smart layout choice, and its perfect for what a GM's guide should do - you've got the rules already. Knowing why the designers made them that way gives you a much firmer foundation for making decisions when you run into marginal cases, or when you're considering making a houserule.

I think my biggest gripe with 2nd Ed. was that until Player Options there weren't any guidelines for starting characters above level one. So all those rules for interesting magic items, spells, and monsters are gated behind at least a year of regular gaming.

Also, the version of the 2nd Edition available at DrivThruRPG is apparently a reprint from late in the 2nd Edition's life cycle, and the art in it is real special.

Anyway, Part 1 of Ysgard is written up. Post should come later tonight. All that remains after that is Ysgard part two, the monster supplement, and the adventure booklet.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Way of the Dragon: I thought it was Buddha Fire

It's time for new character options! In true and proper '90s fashion, we get new skills in the clanbooks. Ichi Miru is a Kitsuki-only skill and it's basically cold reading, Sherlock Holmes style. A High skill! Mountaineer is climbing mountains, surviving in them, and all that jazz. High or Low, depending if you're samurai or heimin/hinin. Nazodo is a Dragon-only High skill that works the same as Investigation, but can also be used for puzzles, riddles and logic games, as well as figuring out portents and omens. Kagaku is an Agasha/Kitsuki High skill and it's basically chemistry. Craft: Tattooing is self-explanatory, while Craft: Mitsugusuri (well, mizugusuri) is the art of making magical potions. Both of those are Merchant skills, like all other Crafts.


Craft: Boy Band Pose.

Advantages! Elemental Attunement is only for Mirumoto bushi, and lets them make an Awareness roll to detect magic in an area. Noble Birth is a monk-only advantage that lets the monk keep their samurai status, since by default monks are lower on the totem pole. Disadvantages! Ascetic means that the character cares little about worldly possessions, so for instance a bushi only has their swords, one kimono, one pair of sandals and one obi (no armor?) Also they don't care about Glory. Enlightened Madness is also only for monks, and makes it so that when they activate one of their tattoos, they have to make a Willpower roll (TN depending on how many points the disadvantage is worth) or lose all control of their actions until the next day. Yikes. Vanity is a 1-point disadvantage that makes you be, well, vain.

The Kitsuki family (+1 Awareness) teaches the Kitsuki Magistrate school. +1 Perception, 2.5 Honor, starting skills are Courtier, History, Nazodo, Law, Heraldry, Poison or Herbalism, and any Lore.

  • Rank 1: the magistrate may spend as many Void Points as they want in Perception or Awareness rolls.
  • Rank 2: the magistrate gets as many Free Raises in Perception or Awareness rolls as their school rank.
  • Rank 3: the magistrate always succeeds at basic Heraldry, Nazodo, Law or History rolls. They have to actually roll the dice and risk failure if they want to make Raises.
  • Rank 4: if the magistrate faces a samurai using a School Technique they have already seen before, the opponent must spend an extra Void Point to use it.
  • Rank 5: the magistrate cannot be lied to. People with less Awareness simply cannot bring themselves to do it, while those of equal or higher Awareness can try but the magistrate will always know if they are not telling the truth.

I like the Kitsuki magistrates. They should be able to break any intrigue plot in half, but Rokugan's social need to save face and maintain appearances means they can't just dump evidence in a court and save the day. They have to be sneakier about things, especially considering they are not particularly good fighters. Their Rank 4 is cool, but it is Rank 4.

The Ise Zumi Tattooed Monks must belong to the Togashi family. +1 Void, 1.5 Honor. Their skills are Nazodo, Shintao, Meditation, Hand-to-Hand, Craft, and any two other skills. At Rank 1, the ise zumi gains a tattoo, and they can buy another two at chargen for 8 CP each. A monk may only have as many tattoos as their Void rank. Tattoos have effects and costs, which sometimes are only paid when the tattoo is triggered and sometimes are permanent penalties. With GM's permission, a monk may make a TN 15 Willpower + Meditation roll to 'turn off' a tattoo. There are sidebars full of pithy pseudo-Zen quotes for ise zumi PCs to mouth off, like "Fear is afraid of laughter" and "Suspect all men are liars and that it will rain tomorrow." Women can also become ise zumi: the more ascetic factions of the order don't like this, but it was an order from Togashi Yokuni himself so they can't really go against it. The monks that actually go out into the world see no problem with this.

The tattoos!
  • Arrowroot: the monk may heal School Rank's worth of Wound Levels on themselves or others. Cost: the monk takes half as many Wounds as the ones they are healing if using the power on someone else. This damage cannot be healed magically.
  • Bamboo: the monk boosts Stamina a number of ranks equal to their School Rank for that many rounds. Cost: when active, the monk's Agility cannot exceed their School Rank.
  • Bat: as Bamboo, but the monk boosts Reflexes. This explicitly does not raise their TN to be hit. Cost: as Bamboo, but Strength is the penalized Trait.
  • Bellflower: the monk may substitute their Void Rank for any other trait for (School Rank) rounds. Cost: when active, any spell targeting the monk gets their Void in Free Raises.
  • Butterfly: the monk adds their School Rank to Awareness for the rest of the day. Cost: when active, the monk automatically fails any Earth, Stamina or Willpower roll.
  • Centipede: the monk can run to anywhere in Rokugan in 12 hours, no more and no less. Contested Reflexes vs Reflexes + School Rank for anyone trying to stop the monk. Cost: after arriving, the monk must rest for (6-School Rank) days.
  • Chameleon: the monk can alter their appearance to imitate anyone they have met, Willpower + School Rank against a TN depending on how familiar they are with the person. The voice does not change. Cost: when transformed, the monk cannot use more Void Points than their School Rank.
  • Cherry Blossom: the monk gains a number of points equal to their Honor that can be used as Void Points. They last until sundown, the tattoo cannot be used between sunset and sunrise. Cost: when active, all Honor losses from dishonorable acts are doubled.
  • Cloud: the monk can commune with a number of spirits per day equal to their Rank. The spirits can be ancestral, elemental, or animal. The monk gets their Rank's worth of questions for each spirit. Cost: all Awareness rolls have their TN raised in 5.
  • Crab: the monk absorbs a number of Wounds per hit equal to their Earth x 2. Cost: the monk suffers a -1 penalty to Reflexes when the power of the tattoo is invoked for the duration of the effect. This does not affect the TN to be hit.
  • Crane: the monk gains the Luck advantage (reroll one failed roll per session). Each School Rank gives them an additional Rank in Luck. Also, the monk never ages, and once per story they can tank a hit that would kill them and end up with a single Wound left. Cost: all XP costs are doubled.
  • Crow: the monk can invoke this tattoo to become immune to the Shadowlands Taint for a number of days equal to their School Rank. Cost: Tainted creatures can smell the monk from a mile away, gain an additional die in Perception rolls to spot the monk equal to their School Rank and will generally single out the monk for attack.
  • Chrysanthemum: the monk heals their School Rank in Wounds per hour under the sun. Cost: the monk does not heal at all when the sun is down.
  • Dragon: the monk breathes fire! Attack roll is Fire + School Rank, DR is School Rank + Fire. Can hit their School Rank's worth of foes, and armor does not protect against it. Cost: it can only be used a number of times per day equal to the School Rank, and after using it the monk must rest 10-Rank minutes. They are considered to be at the Down Wound Level.
  • Dragonfly: the monk can activate this tattoo to add their School Rank to Reflexes for purposes of calculating their TN to be hit. The monk can do this as many times per day as their School Rank, and the effect lasts that many rounds. Cost: the monk must spend a Void Point to sit down or focus on something for more than ten minutes.
  • Falcon: the monk is immune to Fear effects and may add their School Rank to Honor when making Honor Tests. Cost: all Honor losses from disservice to the monk's lord are doubled.
  • Lion: the monk adds their School Rank as dice to all Bugei skill rolls. Cost: the monk cannot resist battle - it doesn't mean that the monk goes around picking fights, but when poo poo goes up the monk happily joins the fray.


A cool monk to break the wall of text.

  • Monkey: all Stealth, Sleight of Hand or similar Skills get additional dice equal to School Rank, and the monk may add their Rank to their Agility for leaping or climbing actions. Cost: the monk may not keep a number of dice greater than their School Rank when trying to be charming or personable.
  • Crescent Moon: the monk may become a shadow, moving through floors and walls. This transformation needs to happen in a place with natural shadow. Takes 1 Void Point, lasts for a number of hours equal to their School Rank. Cost: For every hour of transformation, the monk takes 6 Wounds.
  • Full Moon: the monk may cancel a number of Raises equal to their School Rank, that same number of times per day. Cost: during daylight, the monk cannot make Raises.
  • Mountain: the monk adds their School Rank to their Earth (and Stamina and Willpower) for School Rank x 2 Rounds. Cost: when active, the monk's Air drops to 1.
  • Nightingale: once per day per School Rank, the monk may heal all of their Wounds. Cost: it takes one Void Point and one XP to activate the tattoo.
  • Ocean: the monk does not need to sleep, eat or drink, and may refresh their Void Points a number of times per day equal to their School Rank. Cost: every time they try to refresh their Void Points, Willpower test against 5 x number of times the tattoo has been activated, if they fail they may not move or talk for the rest of the day.
  • Phoenix: the monk gets their School Rank's worth of Raises per day to use on spells targeting them, either as Free Raises or increases in the casting TN. Cost: the monk may only defend in combat situations, never initiate attacks.
  • Pine: the monk may ignore wound penalties up to their School Rank. At Rank 5, they ignore Down and Out. Cost: the monk's Strength cannot exceed their School Rank.
  • Scorpion: other characters facing the monk must use their lowest Trait for all rolls. Cost: no one trusts the monk. Scorpions!
  • Spider: the monk's touch becomes poisonous, dealing (School Rank)k1 damage on touch in addition to any hand to hand strike damage. Cost: the power is always active, the monk must spend a Void Point to turn it off for an hour.
  • Sun: the tattoo can only be used during the day, it gives School Rank's worth of Free Raises for multiple rolls. Cost: the monk may not Raise during the night.
  • Tiger: the monk keeps extra dice in unarmed combat equal to their School Rank. Effect lasts (School Rank) rounds and can be activated (School Rank) times per day. Cost: the monk goes all feral when the tattoo is activated, cannot talk or hold anything in their now claw-like hands.
  • Tortoise: the monk may substitute their School Rank for any skill. Cost: every time the monk uses this power, Willpower roll against a TN of 5 x number of times the tattoo is used per day. Failure means the monk is haunted by a "spiritual advisor" It takes three Void Points to send the haunting away.
  • Unicorn: the monk can reroll rolls per day equal to their School Rank. Cost: every time this power is used, the GM rolls a die in secret. On a 10, one future roll will automatically fail, after the monk rolls.
  • Wasp: the monk gains (School Rank) extra actions per round, can be used (School Rank) times per day. Cost: the monk may not use Void Points when the tattoo is active.
  • White Mask: the monk's mind cannot be read and their emotions cannot be discerned. They don't have them, in fact. Cost: Awareness is fixed to 1.

So yeah, lots of poo poo going on here. Monks are wack. That's what you get when the ink for your tattoos is partly Togashi's own blood.

Then there's the infamous Heritage Tables, where you can spend a single CP for the chance to ending up a True Ronin with even worse gear than what chargen True Ronin get. I hope you didn't actually want to play a Dragon Clan character when you rolled on the Dragon heritage tables! Some stuff is still kinda cool to get: one of your ancestors might have fought at White Stag, which gets you a major Ally in a Clan of your choice and "Lore: Gunpowder" Or you could go to the Fortune Table, and for 4 CP straight up be the son of a daimyo, or a cousin of the Imperial Line with attendant gains in full Glory ranks. Or a failed ise zumi (can buy tattoos for 8 points, must spend a Void Point to use it), or go full Ginawa by rolling a Path of Blood against ninja, or another Clan of your choice (Free Raise when facing your foe) Dragons don't get a bad Fortune table like other clans, for some reason.

Ancestors are special advantages (or disadvantages as the case may be) You buy them at character generation only. This means you have a special kharmic tie to the ancestor. The original Mirumoto, the man, the legend, the jerk, costs a whopping 15 points and is solely for Mirumoto bushi characters, but grants access to the immediately superior Mirumoto school technique. So a starter character is already slinging 2 attacks per round Mirumoto Kaijuko was the first woman to become daimyo of the Mirumoto family, and she dueled and killed her uncle for the right to the position. Characters will never marry (even if they try) but gain an additional die to roll and keep in Courtier or Seduction rolls. Mirumoto Tokeru has a bizarre story where he was first called Omosa ("heavy") because apparently there is a tradition that during childbirth the father puts on a fake belly and cries as if giving birth to distract any spirits that may get close to the mother and he almost killed his mother when being born. Anyway, he purposefully lost a duel to his brother and superior that challenged him because the brother's wife totally had the hots for him, and so characters that get him as ancestor always succeed at Honor rolls when duty to their lord is in question. Agasha Nodotai was a shugenja/warrior that was killed protecting the Emperor's Lion general during White Stag - had he been a foot to the left the general would have eaten a rifle shot to the face. Characters get to move one position in the Battle table. Agasha Kitsuki founded the Kitsuki family and school, and he died in a Scorpion plot trying to recover important documents that turned to be false, and poisoned. Characters can spend a Void point to completely negate effects of poison. Agasha herself gives characters a Free Raise when casting a spell, 8 points though.


"Man, that better not be a dickbutt tattoo. I have enough of those."

Next: NPCs, from the ordinary to the Wick.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Chapter 3: Part 3
Time to delve back into the Atrocity Mine.
Satiety

quote:

Beasts hunger. The Horror doesn’t just want sustenance. It wants to feast. Beasts hunger for power, or violence, or possession, like the monsters they are. Their Hungers aren’t biological urges, but jealous, vicious needs. Beasts strive to teach their victims something, but deep down, they know that this is merely something they do to give context to their feeding. The Horror doesn’t care about the lesson. All it cares about is Satiety.
Yet more evidence that Beasts are horrible blights on the world that don't really need to exist, unfortunately we're on page 108 of 358 so They're going to keep talking about this poo poo.

Levels of Satiety
Satiety is measured from 0-10, and divided into 5 levels throughout that range. All of these levels are represented by Conditions.

This is suitably harsh, you want to avoid this at all costs unless forced to, but take note of that “Satiety potential 8” thing. Or you can just kill a Hero







What you can take away from this is that the optimal way to play a Beast is to feed from starving to gorged and then spend down to starving again. Congratulations you just got an experience point probably.

Feeding

quote:

Beasts feed by satisfying their Hungers. Doing so can be as simple as a Tyrant shoving a victim up against a wall and screaming in his face, or as elaborate as a Ravager slowly dismantling a victim’s life, piece by piece, until he’s either completely ruined or he breaks off contact with the Beast. In either case, the moment of feeding happens when the victim experiences the shock.

The shock happens at the moment where a victim realizes what is happening. If he learns a lesson, the shock is the instant in which it crystalizes. Beasts liken the shock to the moment when one awakens, startled, from a nightmare — a moment that every Beast is well familiar with, having experienced it many times before the Devouring. This comparison is not completely apt, however; a victim can also experience the shock at the moment of death.
The "shock" is the victim's soul leaving its imprint on the Primordial Dream, which strengthens the Horror. Which more solidifies the fact that it's never about the lesson, it's about the Horror. The Satiety potential of a feed is always up to the Storyteller to decide, but it can never go above a 10. It does provide some guidelines. Something that requires no time or effort is a base 1, something that requires a scene is 3, something that requires a chapter's worth of preparation is 5. The victim dying increases the potential by 4, and doing something like attacking multiple victims at once, feeding in your lair, doing an extended chase, or spending satiety in the hunt also increase the potential. A meal not fitting with your specific Hunger only inflicts a paltry -1 penalty to potential, less than "Someone else procured the meal for you" which is -2. It also says that merit purchases might also qualify as feeding, a Tyrant purchasing Status for example. Which just seems like double dipping since feeding progresses you through satiety conditions which gives you XP.

If the final satiety potential is equal to or greater than your current satiety, you roll at the end of the scene. A Dramatic failure loses you a point of Satiety and you need to feed again by the end of the chapter or you lose another. Failure gets you nothing. A success gains you your successes in Satiety but you can only chose to take less points than you rolled if you got an Exceptional Success. That's why I say that feeding when you're above 6 Satiety is risky, and 7 is downright suicidal. Cause if you don't get an exceptional success you're probably screwed.

And remember what I said earlier about needing a potential 8 feed to get out of Ravenous? Since Ravenous precludes advanced planning the only way to reasonably pull it off is to murder someone.

The Protagonists lady and gentlemen.

The Hungers
Here we get into the examples of what different Hungers view as high/moderate/low satiety feeds, I'm not going to go into all of the examples but I'm going to point out the egregious ones.

quote:

High Satiety: The Collector must hunt for rare, very specific examples of his desire. He can’t settle for any blonde man as a lover; he needs a blonde virgin with a large birthmark on his rear end, a soprano voice, a boyish stutter, and who would be outraged by the Beast’s seduction.
Like Gay Rape.

quote:

High Satiety: For high Satiety, a Beast lingers over the punishment. Death traps, long sessions of torture, systematically hunting down and crippling the target’s friends, or socially isolating the victim by turning his friends against him all count. The delicate balance here is making sure the target survives long enough to know why he’s being punished.
Or Saw.

quote:

High Satiety: For high Satiety, the destruction must be obvious and extensive, or the target must be widely accepted to be valuable or in use by many people. A Beast could destroy a large swath of property and then feast on the feelings of horror as the pictures go viral. She could kill a beloved celebrity, or smash a religious artifact.
But, celebritys are people, not things, that would be a hunger for Prey.. right? Who knows and who cares!
The Example Feed
I'm going to break with tradition here and post the Kickstarter version first, you'll understand why later.

quote:

Example of Gaining Satiety
Mrs. Winters, Magda’s character, is running a little low — she’s only got two dots of Satiety and she’d rather not risk becoming Ravenous. She Hungers for Punishment, and her particular favorite flavor is punishing those who harm the children in her neighborhood. As it happens, Halloween was last week, and she noted a young man named Brent snatching bags of candy from some of the youngsters.

Magda decides Mrs. Winters doesn’t need to be subtle or elaborate about her punishment, not this time. She breaks into Brent’s house while he’s away and notes that he’s got a bunch of candy on his coffee table. She grabs a few soft candies and injects them with a mild poison — nothing fatal, but enough to make the bully very ill. She lurks upstairs for a while, and waits until she hears him start to retch. She then creeps up behind him with a thick plastic bag (one of the bags of candy he stole from a child) and holds it over his face until he nearly blacks out. As he lies there panting, she whispers, “Now, you behave. We see what you do on All Hallow’s Eve, and we remember.”

Just to drive the point home, she uses the You Deserve This Nightmare on Brent, and Magda is delighted to see that she’s rolled an exceptional success! That means that if the house is dark enough to match the Darkness Lair Trait of Mrs. Winters’ Lair, Magda can spend a dot of Satiety and turn this place into a new Chamber. She decides to do so; she likes the idea of having an inhabited house as a Chamber, and she doesn’t care if her Soul inflicts nightmares on Brent (and besides, the Storyteller figures Brent would make a great Hero).

At the end of the scene, Magda and Orson, the Storyteller, figure out the Satiety roll. The base potential is 3 (Mrs. Winters had to do some preparation, but it didn’t take more than a scene). She adds one because the act fits with Mrs. Winters’ particular proclivities, and another because it fulfills one of her Aspirations (“protect the children in the neighborhood”). Finally, since she spent Satiety to add a Chamber, she asks Orson if that counts as spending Satiety on the hunt. He agrees that it does, and also has her add one die because nearly smothering Brent with a trick-or treat bag was a really nice touch. Her Satiety potential is now seven dice. Magda rolls and gets three successes, meaning her Satiety is now 4 (she started at 2, spent one during the scene, and then added three). She resolves the Starving Condition (and thus takes a Beat) and replaces it with Sated.
I would like to point out that she waited until he started to retch before smothering him, meaning she smothered him in his own vomit. People were understandably alarmed at this ludicrously disproportionate response to someone stealing candy so they fixed it in the final version.

They made Brent a Frat Boy.

I mean they also changed the "he would make a good hero" bit to "he would be able to help heroes find Mrs Winters" thing as well but otherwise it's completely unchanged

A frat boy stealing candy from children seems ludicrously petty. In the sense that "it probably would not happen ever." A teenager might, but no we have to use the acceptable targets that Geeks are okay with. Also using "You Deserve This" and turning his house into a chamber is bordering on "ruining his life forever" territory.

Losing Satiety
Beasts lose satiety when they reorganize their lair, activate certain Atavisms or Nightmares, use accelerated healing while in their Lair, or gradually over time. You can do this as an X per Week/day thing, but the suggested method is that (Lair) times per story the Storyteller can make THE OFFER, suggesting that you trade out a Satiety point for a Beat, there's nothing saying you have to, but Beats are Beats.

Merits
These are mostly retreads of the Core CofD Merits, but one thing that's new are "Advanced" and "Epic" Merits, which are upgraded versions of lesser merits that are their prerequisites. And usually require that you be a Beast and have higher stats than the lesser ones. For example, Normal Direction Sense just kind of lets you know where you are in space and makes sure you don't take penalties to navigate. Advanced Direction Sense lets you know where anything you've seen, touched, smelled, or directly touched is at any time. Epic direction sense lets you track things through time if something was destroyed you can sense when and where it stopped existing. You can also "Stake out" a location in time, sending your perceptions back X hours and then waiting to see what happened. There's also an Advanced version of Giant that makes you supernaturally dense the more sated you are, but also has the drawback of "You tend to fall through residential flooring". Advanced fast reflexes lets you roll twice for Initiative and keep the better one. Basically Advanced Merits are just another subset of Beast Only powers that some non-beasts can use occasionally.


Pictured: the “Relentless Assault” Fighting style.

Atavisms
Atavisms are you "inflicting" bits and pieces of your horror onto reality. People can see the results of what happens easily enough, you breathe fire or suddenly people are being choked by unseen tentacles. But only those with supernatural sight can see the dragon or the kraken that you really are. Atavisms aren't magic spells, they're an inherent part of what a Beast is. And since Atavisms usually only affect the Beast, they don't get supernatural resistance rolls, or really any way to resist them at all.

Atavisms have three modes, a Normal Effect that happens if you're at 4 dots or higher. A Low Satiety effect if you're at 3 or less. And a Satiety expenditure that happens when you spend Satiety to activate it. If this expenditure brings you down to 3 you also get the Low Satiety effect, otherwise you get the High. If you're currently in an area that's resonant with your Lair, you can instead spend a Willpower point to get the Expenditure effect a number of times per scene equal to your Lair. Remember that one of your starting Atavisms has to match your "breed" but otherwise you're free to chose anything that suits your Horror, or really anything you want. "Dreams are Malleable."

I'm not going to talk about all the Atavisms, because there are several but i will give some examples.

quote:

Basilisk’s Touch [Namtaru]
Neither fire nor ferocity brought Beowulf to his knees. It was poison that sealed the king’s fate, presaging an era of warfare, darkness, and death for his kingdom, guaranteeing the dragon would have the last laugh even in death. Many Beasts have venom in their arsenal, from the wyvern’s sting to the hydra’s poisonous breath, but none more so than the Gorgons. Plague and poison literally run through their veins, much like the dreaded basilisk, whose mere touch was deadly and whose seeping poison scorched the earth in its wake. Applying the poison requires a touch attack (p. 165), but activating the Atavism itself is reflexive.

Dice Pool: None
Action: Reflexive
Normal Effect: The Beast’s touch applies either the Drugged Tilt or the grave version of the Poisoned Tilt to the victim. The player chooses which effect when this ability is used. Outside of combat, the poison lasts for a number of turns equal to the Beast’s Stamina and has a Toxicity rating equal to (10 – Satiety). The victim’s veins burn as the venom courses through his veins, eating away at him like acid, all while his vision swims and his head sickly throbs.

Low Satiety: The Beast’s venom is particularly insidious and long-lasting. In combat, increase the damage caused by the Poisoned Tilt or the Defense and Speed penalties from the Drugged Tilt by the Beast’s Lair rating, in addition to the normal effect. Out of combat, add the Beast’s Lair dots to the poison’s duration.

Satiety Expenditure: Venom drips from the Beast’s fingertips and greenish-black streaks course through the veins of his arm as he reaches out with a concentrated dose of poison. In addition to the other effects, the Beast’s touch applies the player’s choice of the Insensate or Stunned Tilts. Strength drains out of the victim, who struggles just to remain upright and functioning, leaving him vulnerable to whatever the Beast has in store for him. Vicious Gorgons prefer to render their
victims helpless so they can watch and
The out of combat effects aren't really what I'm worried about here, the Poisoned tilt inflicts 1 lethal a turn unless you succeed on a Stamina+Resolve check, if you decide to move this check takes a -3 penalty. If you use the Satiety expenditure version and choose Insensate (which you will) then they can't even move for a scene unless they spend a willpower point per turn, or until someone attacks them. To use MMO terminology, CC someone and inflict them with a DoT that can't expire? Fantastic.

quote:

Dragonfire [Eshmaki]
Dragons are implacable foes and harbingers of destruction. Possessed of terrible grandeur, their very presence quails the heart, and their ire brings the certainty of doom as they lay waste to everything in their path. Most people are cowed — if not driven in terror — by a Beast unleashing hellfire and striding confidently through the flames. Unfortunately, those consumed by the Hunger for Ruin hardly know when to stop.

Action: Reflexive
Normal Effect: Dragons delight in fear and destruction, both of which are always near at hand. The Beast need only open her jaws and unleash the hellfire building within her, and a curl of smoke or a dreadful gleam in her eyes is often her victim’s only warning. The Beast can blast individual targets in range (5/10/15) with gouts of fire. This counts as a ranged attack with a thrown weapon and requires a roll of Dexterity + Athletics – the opponent’s Defense. Damage is lethal and adds the Beast’s Lair dots as a weapon modifier. Flammable materials ignite on contact, turning the area into a raging inferno if it is not contained quickly. Then again, that may be the point.
Furthermore, fire causes no damage to the Beast, and she never suffers environmental penalties or damage caused by heat and smoke, which are like clear air to her. This is in addition to any environmental immunity from Lair Traits.

Low Satiety: A hungry dragon feels fire welling up uncontrollably from within. The Beast’s Dragonfire is capable of autofire as well as single blasts, including short, medium, and long bursts. This represents sustained torrents of fire, similar to a flamethrower, that can immolate multiple enemies or set large areas alight.

Satiety Expenditure: Flames dance in the Beast’s eyes as she spends a dot of Satiety and invokes a holocaust. Her next attack with Dragonfire has double its normal range and inflicts aggravated damage. Even incombustible materials can be reduced to ash by the onslaught, as Dragonfire ignores Durability equal to the Beast’s Lair dots. This is in addition to the normal and low Satiety effects.
On the one hand: thankfully it's a very short range (a light revolver's short range is 20) On the other hand Low Satiety gives you an infinite ammo auto-fire gun.

quote:

Infestation [Namtaru]
No Beast is ever truly alone, not even in his own head. The Horror constantly pushes him to fulfill its Hunger, and a Beast with this Atavism has it worse than most. Instead of one Horror, he has many, perhaps hundreds of insect voices. He hears them buzzing and chewing and crawling over each other at all hours of the day. He can — and must — surrender to them on occasion, dissolving his body into a cloud of angry red wasps or a carpet of writhing maggots. He is them and only them and their only united thought is to feed.

Dice Pool: N/A
Action: Reflexive
Normal Effect: The Beast need not surrender completely. He can squeeze through narrow gaps just by loosening himself a little, turning his body into a gestalt assemblage of insects that still — barely — looks human. His skin ripples and bulges as they move underneath, and individual insects occasionally crawl from his mouth and other openings. They are quickly swallowed or burrow under his skin again, but the effect is… unpleasant to say the least.
The Beast can safely squirm through any opening at least one foot in diameter, including many air conditioning ducts and major water pipes. He can hold his breath indefinitely while doing so, effectively being many insects instead of a single bony mammal. However, his Speed is halved and he is unable to apply his Defense against attackers in a confined space, not that anyone is likely to attack him while he is in a pipe.

Low Satiety: The Beast’s appearance as a unified whole is just an illusion, and a fragile one at that. Being less constrained by his bulky human form, though, he can go faster while squirming, moving up this normal Speed. Push the Beast too hard, though, and he nearly falls apart. Pieces of him get dislodged and turn into a mass of chewing insects before reforming seconds later. The Beast takes bashing, not lethal, damage from firearms and piercing weapons. Since he can activate this Atavism reflexively, the Beast can use it to avoid damage from an attack in combat, assuming he isn’t surprised (see p. 164). Ordinary fists and bludgeoning weapons do full normal damage, however, crushing multiple insects at a time. The Beast can brace himself for an attack, however, and turn the tables in horrible fashion. By giving up his Defense for a turn, the Beast can automatically inflict lethal damage equal to his Lair rating on any opponent foolish enough to strike him. The Beast’s skin ruptures and thousands of tiny bugs or creatures sting the attacker.

Satiety Expenditure: By spending a dot of Satiety, the Beast surrenders to the hive within, and his entire body disintegrates into a mass of insects or spiders, leaving his clothing and worldly possessions behind. In so doing, he becomes a swarm with a radius of two yards per dot of Lair. The area is reduced proportionate to the amount of damage inflicted on him. In other words, the swarm is reduced to half size once half of his Health boxes are filled with damage. The Beast can also condense to attack a single target, inflicting lethal damage each turn equal to his Lair dots.
In swarm form, the Beast can move at double his normal Speed. That includes through any opening, no matter how small, and in three dimensions, since the swarm can crawl or fly over virtually any surface. Furthermore, he can use other Atavisms, Nightmares, or supernatural abilities that do not require human faculties such as speech. Witnessing the swarm in action may be a breaking point for someone with a phobia of insects.
....alright yeah this is genuinely creepy.

Very genuinely creepy. Particularly since you could be a firebreathing swarm of insects.

quote:

Mimir’s Wisdom [Anakim]
Giants have an unfair reputation for being ponderous and stupid. It was the Greek Cyclopes whose weapons helped the gods seize power, the titan Prometheus who gave the secret of fire to mankind, and the giant Mimir to whom the Norse god Odin sacrificed his eye for knowledge. Anakim were the first pantheon of the primeval cosmos, both brutal and cunning, and they preserve secrets from the beginning of time.

Dice Pool: N/A
Action: Reflexive
Normal Effect: The Beast’s Horror sits at the Heart of his Lair like a spider in its web. It has an unblinking eye and faultless memory, and it pieces together patterns from his experience and knowledge ripped from those who suffer its nightmares. Occasionally, the Horror shares flashes of insight — so long as the Beast keeps it well fed. Its guidance yields several benefits:
• The Beast has the Eidetic Memory Merit for free.
• Any mundane attempt to deceive the Beast automatically fails. The truth is not necessarily revealed, but he knows when someone is lying to him or withholding information or when a crime scene has been tampered with to conceal evidence. Likewise, he knows when supernatural powers have been used to affect his thoughts or perceptions (though he can’t necessarily counter them).
• Once per chapter, the Beast’s player can request information from the Storyteller that sheds light on the problem at hand. This information is impersonal in that it never identifies a specific person. However, it can answer questions like, “Where is the murder weapon hidden?” or “What leverage works best on this person?”

Low Satiety: Hunger in no way dims the Beast’s awareness. It sharpens his mind to a deadly focus. He gains the rote quality on Mental Skill rolls aimed at sating his Hunger, such as Academics to research a valuable item (for a Collector) or Computer to ruin a rival by hacking his bank account (for a Tyrant). The penalty for using Mental Skills untrained is also reduced to -1, as the Beast falls back on the Horror’s knowledge when his is inadequate. In addition, the Beast knows one damning fact about anyone with whom he comes into physical contact. The Storyteller can provide the player with this information or simply give the target the Leveraged Condition, depending on the needs of the story. The fact in question tends to be one that the Beast can use to feed. A Ravager might learn what the target values most (so the Beast can then smash it), while a Nemesis learns whether the target has transgressed recently. The Beast still benefits from the normal effect while at low Satiety. However, the starving Horror is not forthright with its knowledge, and the Storyteller can opt to provide misleading (but factually correct) information if the player requests it.

Satiety Expenditure: The Beast digs deep into the Horror’s store of knowledge. Some consider it a drink from Mimir’s well. Others describe visions of lives other than their own. Either way, the Beast claims a treasure trove of information. He gains his Intelligence + Lair dots in temporary Mental Skill or Library (p. 117) dots for the next 24 hours. These dots are allocated as the player sees fit, including raising existing Skills. However, no Skill can be increased above the limit dictated by the Beast’s Lair rating. This is in addition to the normal and low Satiety effects.
This is neat but it feels very out of place as a "shapeshifting" effect, I guess it was so Anakim had something other than "is big" and "is strong" in their bag of tricks.

Nightmares
Nightmares are a Beast inflicting the primordial dream on someone. Exposing them to the "Primordial Truths" that they are nothing but prey huddled against the dark. While Atavisms are instinctual, Nightmares must be learned, either from another beast or by ferreting them out of the Depths of the Dream. Alternately you can use a Kinship to build a new Nightmare in line with your Kin's proclivities. A Kinship with an Iron Master could give you a werewolf Nightmare or a specific Iron Master Nightmare. To invoke a Nightmare a Beast must either touch a victim or have them look into their eyes (The victim must see the Beast's eyes, the Beast doesn't have to see theirs, one way glass or reflective sunglasses are fine, TVs are not), and say something relevant to invoking the nightmare. The victim doesn't have to understand what you're saying, and you can bury it in a conversation if you choose, but you have to say it. The effects of the nightmare can either take effect immediately or the next time the victim falls asleep, and generally last for a Scene once activated.

Nightmares are basically the inverse of Atavisms, in that you have to roll for all of them, rather than a few, And they have Normal, High Satiety, Satiety Expenditure, and Exceptional Success effects. Also unique to Nightmares, there are some cases where using a Satiety Expenditure Nightmare might be situationally beneficial to the victim, they'll be generally worse off but in one area they might excel.

quote:

While Nightmares are “all in your head” in the sense that only the victim experiences the effects and sees the hallucinations, that’s not the same thing as Nightmares being “illusionary” or somehow “not real.” The effects of Nightmares are very real and are quite capable of inflicting somatic injury or even death. Just because no one else can see the bugs crawling all over you doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
I'll go over a few Nightmares, all of which have a name that wouldn't be out of place coming out of the mouth of Ming the Merciless.

quote:

Behold, My True Form!
Oh God, how can that be its face? Just looking at it hurts, like you’re gouging out your eyes with shards of broken mirror. The memory of it crushes your heart, liquefies your brain. You’ll do anything to not see that again.
Unlike most Nightmares, Behold, My True Form! is a single attack action and does not have a scene-long effect.
Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety – Stamina
Normal: The attack inflicts one point of lethal damage per success. Victims slain by the attack often show signs of supernatural cause of death: their hair might turn stark white, or their entire body might be turned to stone, salt, or some other material.
High Satiety: The attack roll gains the 8-again rule.
Satiety Expenditure: For every point of Satiety spent, a successful attack inflicts +2 weapon damage.
Exceptional Success: Apply one of the following Tilts in addition to the damage: Arm Wrack, Blinded, Deafened, Insane, Leg Wrack, or Stunned.
Case in Point.

quote:

Flying and Falling
Elation. Freedom. Pure, unrestrained joy. Suddenly, darkness. Loss. You’re not flying, you’re plummeting, racing headlong toward the broken ground below.
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
Normal: Every time the victim rolls an exceptional success, he loses 1 Willpower. If he has no more Willpower remaining, the roll counts as only a normal success.
High Satiety: When the victim loses Willpower due to this Nightmare, the Beast gains 1 Willpower.
Satiety Expenditure: While the Nightmare is active, the victim’s threshold for an exceptional success is reduced to three successes.
Exceptional Success: The victim loses 1 Willpower immediately.
Here's an example of a "Beneficial" nightmare, you're basically trading off Willpower for near-guaranteed exceptional successes.

quote:

Run Away
How could you ever think you could face it? You’re like an ant trying to stand up to a tiger. It could snuff your life out as easily as breathing, lay open your soul with a glance and show you the things you thought were buried. There’s only one sane thing to do: run.
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
Normal: The victim makes a heedless, headlong dash to get away. If the Beast invoked this Nightmare immediately, he tries to get away from her specifically; if the Beast set the Nightmare to trigger when the victim next slept, he just runs as though the Devil itself were after him, but with no particular direction or goal in mind. Either way, he keeps running until exhaustion forces him to stop.
If the victim was in the middle of a fight, his intent immediately changes to “get the hell away.” Likewise, if anyone tries to stop him, he fights to escape and keep running.

High Satiety: The Beast can implant a subconscious hint for where the victim should try to flee, or specify another target rather than herself the victim must escape. Reaching that place of safety then becomes the victim’s intent. If the implanted location is obviously hazardous (e.g. “Jump out the 50th-story window,” “Go run into the interstate”) the victim gains a +2 bonus to his Composure for purposes of resisting. Alternately, the Beast can implant the suggestion that a particular individual is the sole source of safety for the victim; in that case, the victim’s intent becomes “get to that person and stay with them.” Any action on that person’s part that even suggests an attempt to leave the victim behind will prompt the victim to do anything in his power to keep their source of safety from leaving.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim’s panic is so complete that he doesn’t pause or hesitate, even in the face of hazardous terrain. Any time the victim fails an Athletics action (for example, in a foot chase), he suffers one point of lethal damage due to nasty falls, cutting himself on fences, etc. On a dramatic failure, he instead suffers 4 lethal damage and a Tilt or Condition of the Storyteller’s choice. This represents running into traffic, falling off a roof, etc. Despite the danger, the victim adds 3 to his Speed as blind terror supercharges his flight response.

Exceptional Success: The victim never suffers the Beaten Down Tilt against people trying to restrain or stop him; in effect, he treats attempts to stop him as though their intent was to kill him.
So here's another "beneficial" nightmare but it's also one that shows a real problem with the Nightmare system. You're rolling "Stat+Satiety" against a mortal's single stat, or a supernatural creature's composure+resistance. But at High Satiety that means you're rolling at minimum an 8 dice pool. +2 composure isn't enough to overcome that. "Go Jump Off A Cliff" is a real lethal threat at that point.

quote:

You Deserve This
Look around you. Everyone knows what you did. Did you really think you could get away with it? Everything that’s happening right now is karma, payback for your many, many sins. You brought this on yourself, and nothing you can do will make it right. All you can do is suffer.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
Normal: The victim gains the Guilty Condition (p. 324), and cannot resolve it during the scene, no matter how much he confesses or tries to make restitution. After the scene ends, the Condition may be resolved normally.

High Satiety: As long as the victim has the Guilty Condition, he begins every fight with the Beaten Down Tilt. Even creatures that normally do not suffer the Beaten Down Tilt are affected.

Satiety Expenditure: As long as the victim has the Guilty Condition, he does not apply his Defense to incoming attacks. He may spend 1 Willpower reflexively on his turn to apply his Defense normally until the start of his next turn. However, his wound penalties become wound bonuses (i.e. with an injury marked in his third-to-last Health box, the victim has a +1 bonus to all actions instead of a –1 penalty), and he doesn’t fall unconscious when his last Health box is filled with bashing damage.

Exceptional Success: The penalty inflicted by the Guilty Condition is −4 instead of −2.
And here we are at my least favorite Nightmare. The guilty condition can only be resolved by confessing your crimes to an authority capable of punishing you. However this Nightmare doesn't specify what crimes you're supposed to be guilty of, or even require that you're guilty of a crime. Particularly considering a Beast's horribly skewed morality system. And the Satiety Expenditure version of this one reads as "We can torture this guy as much as we want and he won't fall unconscious so he has to tell us what we want to know!"

quote:

You Are Infected (Vampire)
The poison is in the blood. You can feel it burning in your veins, calling out to you across empty miles. Run as far as you like, you can’t escape the blood.

Dice Pool: None, see below
Action: Reflexive
Normal Effect: The Beast takes a –2 penalty on her roll to invoke another Nightmare, and in return she can target anyone who has tasted her blood within the last 24 hours, no matter where in the world they are. Even a tiny drop of blood is enough to trigger this Nightmare.

High Satiety: The Beast takes a –4 penalty on her roll to invoke another Nightmare, but does not subtract any Resistance Attribute from the roll. In return she can infuse a quantity of her blood with that Nightmare. Anyone who comes in contact with it (touching or tasting it) is immediately the victim of the infused Nightmare.
(Note: This Nightmare’s High Satiety effect has a higher than-normal penalty to compensate for the lack of a specified target’s Resistance Attribute.)
Satiety Expenditure: The invocation roll for the other Nightmare suffers no penalty, and earns an exceptional success with three successes rather than five.
Exceptional Success: As per the invoked Nightmare.

Combine this with "Run Away" and you can send an entire banquets worth of people falling to their deaths off of a Skyscraper.

The chapter ends with some information on how to make your own Kinship Nightmares, but that's not really worth going over.

Chapter 3 made it through relatively unscathed barring the narrative changes. There is one nightmare that was conspicuously absent in my reading though.

quote:

You Are Meat
Everything you tell yourself is a lie. You aren’t special, you aren’t elevated above the rest of the
herd, and you don’t deserve anything. All you are is meat, and you can’t keep the hunter at bay
anymore.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance
Normal: The victim gains the Soulless Condition. This Nightmare doesn’t remove the victim’s soul, strictly speaking, but it suppresses it to the point that it might as well be gone. Some Beasts theorize that the soul is flung inward and lost in the depths of the Primordial Dream. If the victim’s Integrity reaches 1, he gains the Enervated Condition as normal. Likewise, if his Willpower reaches 0, the Condition upgrades to Thrall. These Conditions are removed automatically when the Nightmare ends, and the victim’s Integrity and Willpower return to their original values at a rate of one dot per day.
High Satiety: The victim skips the Soulless Condition altogether and goes straight to Enervated. His Integrity is considered to be 1 as long as he has the Enervated Condition.

Satiety Expenditure: The soul “loss” is permanent. Only a journey into the Primordial Dream can recover it. The exact nature of such a journey is left to the Storyteller, but if it needs to be modeled mechanically, it should be at least an extended action with a time interval of a day. Recovering from Soulless requires a number of successes equal to the victim’s original Integrity. Recovering from Enervated requires a number of successes equal to the victim’s original Integrity plus Willpower. Recovering from Thrall required a further 10 successes on top of that.

Exceptional Success: The victim immediately loses 1 Integrity (Normal effect) or 1 Willpower dot (High Satiety effect). This is part of the soul loss, not a permanent affliction.

The Souls of Monsters
Many of the things that haunt the shadows of the World of Darkness have additional rules that come into play when they lose their souls. Others have souls wholly unlike ordinary humans, or perhaps have no soul at all. You Are Meat affects all these creatures. Moreover, they’re treated as having lost their souls while under the thrall of this Nightmare, with all that that entails. For example, mages gradually lose their ability to work magic, while demonic soul pacts with the victim cannot be called in. Beasts are immune to the effect, as their Souls are far too powerful and vicious to be thus affected.

I've underlined the important bits. Combine this with one of the Nightmares that makes another nightmare contagious (there are others, I just didn't want to quote all of them) and you can create a soulless plague that only beasts can fix. And you can just turn off every other supernatural creature because they aren't as awesome as Beasts.

But don't worry, that got moved to another power later in the book

Next time: RULES!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Count Chocula posted:

If making art from human remains is monstrous, then lock up Damien Hurst,
Yes please.

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Thuryl
Mar 14, 2007

My postillion has been struck by lightning.


Bieeardo posted:

BD&D made a strong argument for demihuman community/family responsibilities kicking in past a point, and 'goofing off' adventuring beyond that simply being unthinkable on a cultural level, but it also had some limited progression rules to keep those characters active and useful during the human PCs' slog to level 36 and everyone's Trials of Immortality. Something like that would have been more palatable than a flat cut-off, even if level limits were higher than they were in 1E.

I'm not sure BECMI even needed its level limits to accomplish the design goal of a human-dominated setting, given the way demihumans worked in that. When Dwarf is its own character class, there are only so many dwarves you can fit into a single party.

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