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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


theironjef posted:

No man, this one is based on Pokemon Go, not just pokemons. You see it's a cultural zeitgeist thing. He gets a minor charge if his team captures a pokestop! He gets a major charge if he dresses up a dog as a Pikachu and then runs it over with a car. It gets pretty real.

Pokemon Go is just a debased form of Urbanomany. They both derive (hah, little Situationist pun there) from Guy DeBord's Situationism, Walter Benjamin's flaneur, and psychogeoraphy. Pokewalks are just populist derives - the aimless walks around the city are also how Urbanomancers charge. https://overland.org.au/2016/07/live-in-the-moment-the-situationists-pokemon-go/



On a boring level, Pokestops are put on historical sites, causing trouble for Clios.

So who gains from getting thousands of people to act like Urbanomancers while loving up Cliomancers?

Anyway, the new fad is Stranger Things, which I assume has already been nitpicked in the various threads about D&D.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 04:59 on Aug 19, 2016

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Mr. Maltose posted:

Can you reuse the costume because that's a p. easy major if so.

Sorry, meant to say it has to be his own beloved dog that he's owned for a minimum of three years. And even though that's still a pretty easy major, all majors do for Pokemancers is give them a free egg or ... crystal or candy or whatever that game uses, or let them post the one single perfect dankest meme about their faction that makes the other factions cry.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 05:41 on Aug 19, 2016

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


Maybe a school based on fads. But not Fadomancers, because they get their power from depressing Portugese music.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Count Chocula posted:

Maybe a school based on fads. But not Fadomancers, because they get their power from depressing Portugese music.

That's where they got their original name, from their Portuguese music obsession. They all said that was where they got their magic from, but they were all music hipsters and moved onto the next cool thing in lockstep 4 times before they realized that the brief, cynical obsession was the source of their power.

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


wiegieman posted:

That's where they got their original name, from their Portuguese music obsession. They all said that was where they got their magic from, but they were all music hipsters and moved onto the next cool thing in lockstep 4 times before they realized that the brief, cynical obsession was the source of their power.

Jamie McKelvie needs to release a Phonogram UA supplement already.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Communist Zombie posted:

How often does the site update since it seems to go only up to about the end of July. Which makes me think something broke.

Unfortunately it's not possible to automatically detect which posts belong to which writeup; someone has to go through and click a button for each one, and that someone has to be me. As Molly said, I do it in bursts, since real life is a thing.

Plus it took me a while to come to terms with the idea that Count Chocula genuinely believes being a superpowered sociopathic edgelord is fun and worthwhile as long as you're mostly tormenting rednecks.

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 EIGHT: The Game Section

Okay so I donít feel like I have to go too in depth with all of this. Corporation uses its own d20-esque system (The Brutal Engine because this is by Brutal Games). The basic dice roll to do anything is 2d10 and you should roll under the target number. There are d6s and d20s and the other dice are used too, theyíre just much more situational. Typically youíre rolling under a flat TN of Stat+Skill+penalties/bonuses or occasionally Stat+Stat or Skill+Skill. Itís up to the GM if you can attempt the roll again and thereís the old statement of ďroll if it makes senseĒ applied.



If you donít roll under the TN (meeting the TN counts as a success), thatís just a flat failure. Success is different; every point difference between the result and the TN is a point of Excess (XS). XS can be carried forward to a follow up roll if the GM finds it appropriate (ďyou Stealthed so well you get +4 to knocking out the guardĒ is the example used) or it can just be a stylistic flourish that makes you look good. Occasionally it can be redeemed in other ways but theyíll come up when theyíre mentioned. Technically they have already been mentioned, but Iím doing this chapter out of order, so.



So why 2d10 if itís basically a d20ish system? This is because critical successes/failures depend on doubles. Double 10s are always a critical failure and snake eyes always count as a critical success. There are some circumstances that will adjust your crit range (good quality weapons add to success, damaged equipment add to failure) but you always crit-fail on any double when using a skill you donít know.



If you are using a skill and have another skill you can convince the GM is relevant, you might be eligible for a Sympathy Bonus because the two skills synergize in this situation. The bonus should be half the relevant skill rounded down and the GM should be picky about accepting this reasoning because otherwise itís pretty easy to add a substantial bonus to your roll.

There are rules for multiple successes over time but basically they should be reserved for situations that need multiple skills or are really long and drawn out. Let's just move on to combat.

COMBAT

You know itís kinda cheating to do this, but they put the entirety of the combat rules in a single little box and Iím just gonna use that.



But there are more concrete rules. Rounds are around 3 seconds each and combat continues until something major changes. Draws on Initiative go to the person with the higher Reflexes and anyone who initiates combat gets +4 to their first attack. You can also choose to hold your action and spring it at will during the round. Movement and actions are treated interestingly. Basically, as seen below, movement is considered to be an optional rule. Actions are limited by your weaponís Rate which says how many times you can attack a round; you can willingly attack less to gain a bonus to accuracy for your other attacks (+2 per dropped attack). Finally, Defense. Your Defense is flatly equal to your Close Combat skill rank and it acts as a penalty to hit you. You lose your defense if youíre fighting in melee with a firearm or if youíre unarmed in melee and your opponent has a weapon. You can also divide your defense up among multiple attackers trying to get at you. Both the loss of defense in certain situations and dividing defense can be mitigated or eliminated with the proper training.



CRITICALS

Crits on attacks act different than regular skill checks or other checks. In close combat, a critical failure gives the enemy a free single attack against you that bypasses your defense. In ranged combat your shot misses and the gun jams or malfunctions at the end of your turn. The next turn you have to spend an action to get the gun working again. A blast weapon failure exposes the user to 1/3rd of the blast. Critical hits are a lot simpler: roll damage twice, add and double it.

MANUEVERS

Dodging comes in Active or Full. Active dodge is declared on the start of a turn and you can give enemies up to your Reflexes in penalty to hit. However, this costs your actions, limiting the amount you can take that round to the remainder. Full dodge is declared before your turn and grants your Reflexes+2 penalty to hit you while you do nothing but dodge.

Blocking is for melee only. Blocking simply doubles your Defenses for a round while limiting you to just one free action.

In extreme emergencies you can attempt to Retreat by making a Perception+Agility roll with a -1 penalty for every attacker after you. Success means you get away clean, failure means you get away but everyone gets one free attack on you. And sometimes you just canít run away.

Cover gives your enemy a penalty to hit you while you take half that penalty to attack from behind it.



Targeting is broken down into Aiming, Target Shot and Vital Shot. Aiming is simple: spend one action to increase the chance to hit and damage by +2 up to +6 for the next attack. Yes, this includes swords or melee weapons; you don't lose your Defense from aiming. Sniper weapons double that, starting at +4 and up to +12. A Target Shot is a called shot simply to target a specific item or a piece of a person. A Target Shot is a cinematic shot and doesn't do extra damage but if you need to, say, shoot a camera, shoot a gun out of someone's hands or ping someone to get their attention you use Target Shot. A Vital Shot is basically Power Attack crossed with doing extra damage on a headshot: take a penalty to hit and increase the damage dealt by that penalty.



OTHER ACTIONS

First, free actions.



Two weapon fighting gives -4 to attacking without proper training. You can also dual wield two-handed weapons one-handed with Strength 10 which doesn't give you the standard extra Strength damage.

Wrestling...basically take Restraint Training.



Knocking someone out with a punch is -4 to hit and forces the recipient to make a Perception+Endurance test with the attacker's XS as a penalty or be KO'd for 1d100 minutes. Deals Strength damage and doesn't work against Agents. Great for civilians!

Executions deal maximized weapon damage that is then tripled. Alternately, the GM says it's an instant kill. You have to have at least 1 rank in a weapon's relevant skill to execute.

Opposed actions are just "specific roll-off and highest XS wins". This includes disarming, racing, challenge pissing.

DAMAGE AND HEALING

Roll the relevant dice or inflict the relevant status effect (or do both, this might happen) on the successful use of a weapon. Armor and energy shields reduce the damage you take, shields before armor unless it bypasses a shield or under special circumstances. Specifically, armor is Always On and just subtracts damage, shields eat damage until they run out of juice to soak. You simply reduce the damage you take from your HP pool.

Mashing damage is different and worse. Basically every point of mashing damage causes catastrophic bleeding every round and is cumulative. Take 2 mashing damage one round, lose 2 HP, take one more point, lose 3 that round. You need a medpack or an Intelligence+Medicine roll to staunch it. Civilians take mashing damage all the time from every attack and as a result it is very easy to kill them.

Severing limbs! Severing limbs is an all-or-nothing affair with a melee weapon and substantially easier with a ranged weapon that severs on max damage. Pick a limb and attack with a penalty and if you deal the requisite amount of damage, the part is severed. If you miss, the attack does no damage, if you do insufficient damage you just hurt them but their parts stay attached. As you can see below, fingers are hard to hit and easy to cut off, a torso is easy to hit but hard to bisect. The damage is also inflicted to the victim's health pool. Considering how it's impossible to knock out an enemy Agent, it's considered effective to simply incapacitate them by cutting off both of their arms and making sure they're suitably restrained with their arms nearby. It's embarrassing as hell but it's non-fatal and if someone absconds with their arms, well they'll grow back in a few weeks.




Speaking of, let's talk health points. An Agent starts with Strength+Endurance+20 HP. A regular person has Strength+Endurance+10. If an Agent is reduced to 0 HP, they're incapacitated and their body starts to shut down. Unless you're wounded by mashing damage, you don't lose any more health at 0 unless someone walks over and does you more harm. The real threat is brain death; an Agent loses 1 Intelligence point a round unless someone stabilizes them or slaps them with a medpack. A stabilized Agent will regain their Intelligence at a rate of one point a hour. An Agent dies at Intelligence 0 or if their hitpoints go into the negative equal to their Strength+Endurance. A normal human starts to lose 1 Endurance point at 0 HP and will die when it's depleted and also need first aid or a medpack.

So we've talked about how to get hurt, how about getting well?



Medpacks are the fastest way to get well. Simply apply intravenously or physically to heal a set amount. They're basically on par with healing potions and are designed to minimize downtime. If you're out of medpacks, you can try Intelligence+Medicine (only heals 2 HP a pop) or just rest if time permits. But let's say you lose a limb and you don't want to wait for it to regenerate. You're in luck! Simply buy a can of Twin Snakes Medical's Compound H, spray the severed limb's stump, spray the stub on your body, attach the limb to your body and wait 15 minutes. In 15 minutes the wound will heal perfectly without a scar, giving you the lost HP right back immediately. It's not hard to get well again, which is quite nice.

OTHER CONDITIONS

You can hold your breath for 30 seconds per point of Endurance before you take 5 HP a turn. If you can breathe again, regain the lost HP at a rate of 5 HP a round.

If you're on fire, take 1d6 damage a round. Either make an Agility+Reflexes roll to roll around or have a friend spend a whole round to put you out. Fire does not stack, so if you're any more on fire you only take 1d6 damage a round. Also the game openly states that if you have Armor 6, it just eats all of the damage and you can basically be on fire harmlessly. Try to use this to your advantage!

If you're blind or blinded, whoops, that counts as Perception 0 for anything involving sight such as shooting a gun. Walking any faster than a slow, cautious walk is dangerous to you. This also applies to deafness or any stat being 0; if it's 0, you can't use that stat.

Agents take 1 damage every 2 meters they fall while a human takes 2 damage every meter. A controlled fall lowers the range fallen by 2 meters and armor eats fall damage. If you hit the pavement fatally, a Strength+Endurance-4 roll can just set your HP to -5 and put you in a dying state.

Poisons have a level of potency and can be halted by a filter that blocks any poison/toxin equal to or lesser than the filter. If that doesn't stop it, whoops, defer to the poison's info.

There are also rules for dealing with mental stress.



CONVICTION

Conviction is used to push the Agent when they really need it. You can only spend one point from your pool and you only get Conviction back by doing something important to the mission or your character. Your max pool is 5. Conviction is used to get +4 to your TN, reroll, boost a psychic power's rating by 2 for a round (max 10) or make a non-combat action while incapacitated/dying (such as plugging in the IV to your medpack).

VEHICLES

Regular under-pressure driving is a simple TN. Unless you have ranks in the Driving skill and the proper training to fight and drive at the same time, doing that is a terrible idea. It's -4 to all rolls while trying to drive and fight at the same time. However, you can totally use the vehicle offensively. If you're using the momentum of the vehicle for drive-by close combat, add +2 damage to the attack for every 10 MPH the vehicle is going. You also deal 1d6 damage per 10 MPH if you ram with a vehicle. Basically hitting a normal person with a car going 40 MPH has a good chance of killing them. There are rules for vehicles taking damage earlier in the book but basically vehicles have armor and HP and yadda yadda.



HACKING

You need the proper software to hack and a good connection. The amount of successes and difficulties depends on the level of security. Failure causes the GM to roll a secret d100 they have to roll under the percentage to activate a trace and get security after the hacker. There's no penalty for jacking out before you get caught.






Okay one big point in this game's favor is that the rules aren't super complicated at the base. They take up 13 pages and they're refreshingly brisk and comprehensible. The book also does a good job of formatting and making it easy to parse and get what you need.

CHAPTER FIVE: Character Advancement

The mission is complete and it's time to reap the benefits! Character advancement comes in two forms: experience and rank points.

Rank Points are how well the Agent has done in the eyes of the UIG and their corporation. You don't get a promotion without impressing the UIG. Now, the UIG doesn't like the corporations and it certainly doesn't like its Agents. However, the UIG can't just ignore people they don't like due to backlash and recording instruments monitoring its officers. As a result, Agents do get promotions in Rank if they can provide proof of their deeds and pass an interview though the UIG will be stingy with handing out Rank Points.




Gaining Rank is A Good Thing. Higher rank means more access to more licenses, more privileges and more money made per mission. Someone with Rank can command a non-UIG person two Ranks lower than them (one rank if in the same corporation). Ultimately the UIG have special authority over everyone with the exception of a specialist with special authority (a bomb disposal technician, for example). Ultimately, players should not surpass Rank 8/10 because past then we get into Running The Corporation. Agents start play at Rank 1. The GM should feel free to adjust gain of Rank Points as they see fit.



You can lose Rank, however. The easiest way to lose Rank is to get caught committing a crime or by acting irresponsibly. Remember how easy it is to kill a civilian? It's very easy to tank your rank with mass murder or fatal collateral damage, so make sure you have non-lethal options or punch to knock them out. Alternately, do not get caught. Your accumulated Rank Points will have the points deducted for your misadventures and you can lose Rank levels (remember, the UIG will drag its feet giving you Rank Points but will gladly take them away). If you hit -4 Rank level, you are classified as a criminal and Depersonalized. Being Depersonalized is a very bad thing: you are no longer protected by any laws and are fair game to anyone who might want to do something to you.



Experience Points are simply gained from playing the game and can be used to advance the character. You should get 3-5 experience points a session (or roughly 1 point a hour). You can adjust the gain of XP, but you can't punish players by taking that away (you can take other things away). XP totals are used to determine levels which are basically arbitrary ways to measure an Agent's combat effectiveness and how suitable certain threats are to them.




THE CARROT

Payment is simple. Upon completion of a mission and depending on success, the base pay is at least Corporation Pay Rate times Rank. Depending on how things go and how important the mission was, the GM can add a bonus of 0 to 100% of the base pay.



But that's just straight credits. Corporations can't pay the Agents in Rank points and will sometimes ask the Agents to do highly illegal things the UIG can't know about. It's very hard for a corporation to cook the books for rank so instead they'll pay the Agents under the table for doing things discretely.



Other rewards can come in various forms depending on how the mission went and what it was about. The Agent can regain Conviction for certain deeds, gain new Contacts they can lean on, get a mission-related reward or just give them general goods and perks.



THE STICK

But of course not all Agents are good children who do what they're told. Sometimes you have to punish an Agent or have the corporation rein them in. Basically, the punishment has to fit the infraction and depends on a variety of factors. You should not make the Paladin fall for accidentally giving an orphan a head cold. Factors to consider:
  • Agent's Rank
  • Nature of mistake
  • Past achievements
  • Agent's loyalty
  • Past indiscretions along these lines
  • Corporate policy
  • Agent's relationship with higher-ups
  • Value to corporation
  • How much the disciplining officer likes the Agent
Basically, remember that the UIG will punish the Agent for crimes and if you want the corporation to also punish them, make it fit the crime and do what feels right.



DOWNTIME

Downtime is the other means to advance your character. After every mission (or 2-3 sessions), the Agent should at least get a week off to cool off and do something productive besides a mission. Basically, the following options take at least a week and happen off-screen between games with GM approval.
  • Regain Conviction: clear your head, get some good R&R and get all five points back.
  • Skill training: practice for a week and get 2 free XP a week that can be spent on improving the trained skill (or reducing the price).
  • Contacts: make friends. Get 4 points a week to spend on contacts as you see fit, making new ones or improving relationships. Contacts have a rank between 1 (vaguely friendly) and 10 (best buds) and can be used in certain rolls to lean on them for info or services.
  • Earn money: get 500c a week from whatever means you see fit (like low-level low-worry missions or freelancing). This money might be multiplied by your rank.
  • Workshop: improve the Condition of an item by 1 point per week spent tinkering with it. You have to have at least 5 in the relevant skill and spend a certain amount of cash to represent supplies used to tinker.
  • License training: spend a week and 500c a week per license level to improve a license or get a new one. Basically you're going to classes, getting certified and passing tests.
The things you can do during downtime will continue to be expanded on in future books (like the previously mentioned "clone things for profit" or "run a drug lab for profit" or "organleg for profit"). Downtime is a pretty nice mechanic, I dig it.

That's it for mechanics and character advancement. NEXT TIME we'll rewind back to chapter 1 and learn how to make characters.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 08:39 on Aug 19, 2016

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



It seems like Beast is an attempt to do a WoDized John Gardner's Grendel with modern social commentary, gone very wrong.

Lightning Lord fucked around with this message at 08:37 on Aug 19, 2016

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

new thread rule: if you restart a writeup you previously worked on, you need to tell me if it's a continuation or a replacement or what.

Wapole Languray, how do you want me to classify your new Talislanta writeup?

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Count Chocula posted:


Anyway, the new fad is Stranger Things, which I assume has already been nitpicked in the various threads about D&D.

Why would stranger things be nitpicked in D&D threads, it's literally someone's Bubblegumshoe campaign.

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


unseenlibrarian posted:

Why would stranger things be nitpicked in D&D threads, it's literally someone's Bubblegumshoe campaign.

Because of all the scenes of the main characters playing D&D and discussing D&D rules and using its terminology.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS


Lightning Lord posted:

It seems like Beast is an attempt to do a WoDized John Gardner's Grendel with modern social commentary, gone very wrong.

The first one that popped to mind for me was True Blood. It seems like a semi-common pitfall when a work tries to combine a "misunderstood outsiders" narrative and an empowerment narrative. If you're not careful the latter can seem to justify the ostracism of the former.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Count Chocula posted:

Because of all the scenes of the main characters playing D&D and discussing D&D rules and using its terminology.

And D&D is such a big part of our cultural Zeitgeist that it doesn't really matter. I'm in both the 4e and 5e threads and no one has mentioned it.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

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

Lipstick Apathy

Kurieg posted:

And D&D is such a big part of our cultural Zeitgeist that it doesn't really matter. I'm in both the 4e and 5e threads and no one has mentioned it.

That's because they were playing Expert set :agesilaus:

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Exactly, so 5e would be taking about it :v:

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I think Choc was probably just hoping there was some nerd with a brandy snifter full of fart pointing out that a fireball is of such limited effectiveness against Demogorgon as to be pointless to shoot at him anyway, and how could the show be so dimwitted as to suggest such a hopeless course of action as the winning move.

Honestly, the Stranger Things D&D, being largely composed of kids yelling poo poo, drawing their characters, and making things up, is the closest thing to real D&D I've ever seen in popular media.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


The one issue with the D&D in Stranger Things is suggesting that a wizard conjuring cabbages to shoot at fools is not the dopest thing.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Book of the Shadowlands: The Shores of Big Stink


Basher will make the Shadowlands great again. Or probably not, since he's been dead for decades now.

Goblins! They're small, they're ugly, they're dumb and there's a bajillion of them. They are the Shadowlands denizens that Mokuna studied the most, because of the inexhaustible supply of "easily acquired research subjects." Most attempt to communicate with goblins are in vain: they mindlessly imitate human behavior in a bizarre mockery of society. They seem to have a language of their own but it's too guttural to understand. There are some rare goblins that are able to talk and hold a conversation, and a lot of what Mokuna learned about goblins comes from a particularly rare specimen called Basher, who Mokuna met when the goblin literally banged on his hut's door to have a civilized talk. Basher was a goblin genius, essentially, a wizened creature at the ripe old age of twenty-five. Basher went to see Mokuna (the "Tall Pain-Magic Man, Scary Watcher, Quiet Traveler") simply because other goblins were too loving dumb to hold a decent conversation - Basher acquired his name because bashing dumb goblin heads for all sorts of slights is what he liked to do. He hated his own kind, but saw in them some potential and talked about the great things they could do if they ever set aside their destructive ways. Most other goblins are not nearly as farsighted as him, though - many just imitate what humans do when not attacking them, to the point of samurai hearing screeching goblins cry "return to your festering father, foul Shadowlands spawn!" when they charge.

Goblins are about three to five and half feet tall. They can be fast, but their bodies are twisted and weak - the only piece of resistance is the head, that can take quite some punishment without harming the goblin's pitiful excuse for a brain. Warmonger goblins are more muscular, aggressive, commanding and intelligent. Their sensitive ears flap and twist, revealing their mood. Goblin teeth are popular mementos for the Nezumi and some less scrupulous Yasuki merchants; Mokuna warns against collecting pieces of Shadowlands monsters without appropriate cleansing. Goblins breed like rabbits, with little regard for monogamy or family. Offspring is fed just to get the little goblings to shut up, but they become functionally independent in a matter of a few days. Goblins like to boast about their lineages in another form of human imitation, even including great Crab heroes in their family trees. :v: Mokuna calculated that most goblins live around six years, notable individuals like Basher excepting.


A goblin mom and something something make your own millennial joke.

Goblins are vicious, cowardly and murderous. They are still social creatures, and will obey orders from a warmonger or other figure of authority with glee. Some of the most ambitious warmongers are known as Kings, and though Mokuna never met one in the flesh samurai that faced them claim that they never managed to wound or kill the King, which Mokuna thought to be some sort of dark power from Fu Leng. In fact, goblin "kings" are actually oni created by Fu Leng as a last-ditch measure to give his goblin hordes a minimum of organization as a fighting force: in game terms, they have the same stats as a goblin warmonger with the Invulnerability trait. Goblin shamans understand nothing of magical theory or the kami, only learning spells through rote memorization and imitation: they can use maho or core rulebook spells with a "school" rank of 1 and a maximum Mastery of 3, but their TNs are bumped from 5 to 10 because they're loving goblins.


One of these is funny. A hundred of these can gently caress your army up.

Goblin "villages" are just random collections of shacks and huts fashioned to somewhat resemble human cities. The largest of these is Big Stink, which Basher actually took Mokuna on a guided tour of, located in the ruins of an ancient Crab fortress a few days away from the Kaiu Wall. The "city" is chaotic and bizarre, but somehow it still keeps itself together. The goblins weren't thrilled about having a Kuni walking around, but Basher sorted them out. It's said that there is a king in charge of Big Stink, but neither Basher nor Mokuna ever saw him. Because of the unique opportunity to investigate goblin culture and tactics, Mokuna arrived at an unspoken pact with the goblins: they don't bother any shugenja that show up or try to acquire "research subjects," and the Kuni don't leak their location to the Hida. In fact, Mokuna and later shugenja weaved spirit wards around Big Stink so that no human scouts can spot the goblin city: Kuni Yori believes this to be wise, and has no intention of turning Big Stink into a target. The goblins repay the Kuni kindness by brutally slaughtering any goblin that even thinks of giving the Crab shugenja lip. :v: Goblin tactics, incidentally, are dumb enough to be dangerous: they have no sense of self-preservation, and entire goblin mobs come down on a single target before moving to the next. Inexperienced samurai and generals assume that causing great casualties on a mob will make them scatter, but they will gleefully fight to the bitter end, even going as far as tarring their own in "magic mud" and lighting them on fire to bring havoc to the enemy lines. Goblins can be very dangerous for human armies, but fortunately goblin armies of sufficiently large scale are very rare.


Breakfast of champions.

Ogres are much stronger and sturdier than goblins, of course. There are no reports of female ogres, and their population is considered to be rather small - speculation is that Fu Leng wasn't ready for the explosive growth of goblins and deliberately limited the reproduction of his next attempt at creating life. Ogres are territorial and solitary, with extremely rare reports of ogres working together. They are somewhat shy in isolation and refuse to eat food that they haven't killed themselves: Mokuna had one captured and gave him a live goblin for a meal, but even though the ogre killed the goblin it refused to eat in the presence of the Crab researchers until it starved to death a couple of weeks later. Mokuna mentions just how confused and scared the captive ogre was, and reasoned that this was what all of Fu Leng's wretched creatures felt like, all the time. But even in the best of cases, they must still be exterminated, all that can be done for them is granting them a quick death. They make their lairs in caves and leave the skulls of their prey in neatly arranged piles outside, perhaps as art or as a warning to possible rivals. They aren't terribly bright either, but sometimes an ogre will realize the convenience of wielding weapons or scraps of armor. Trolls are akin to ogres, but Mokuna was not sure if they were an offshoot of the breed or another species entirely. Trolls have two sexes and live in family units of up to five individuals, are probably amphibious, and make their homes in the swampy areas of the Shadowlands. They prefer to attack from ambush using their claws and big clubs (or small trees), screeching horribly all the time. Game-wise they're a little less tough than ogres, but a little harder to hit.


They probably don't play the banjo, and for that we give thanks.

Next: puzzle bosses of your nightmares, and special commentary by the Wick! (Which I kind of agree with!)

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





That goblin description seems to indicate that they're not really stupid or violent by nature but a product of hideously short life spans due to violence and having no adults around.

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!


With regards to the Lot5R review, I'm seeing there's no mention of the Mantis clan, I thought they were a core thing. Didn't they get introduced until a later edition?

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



The Mantis became a Great Clan later in the timeline. In 1E, they were a minor clan, and they only get detailed in Way of the Minor Clans which is still a long way to go. We'll get a bit of their background in Way of the Crab, though.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


The Mantis are a minor clan in first and second edition. They're around, but in their constituent parts--the families that make up the Great Clan version are each minor clans originally. They become a Great Clan after the Second Day of Thunder, which--you know, I'm sure that'll get touched on somewhere in this thing, so I'll just leave it there. Third and Fourth have them as a Great Clan though.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



I think I read something about L5R 3e being unplayable as presented in the corebook?

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 ONE: Character Creation

The first thing you need to do is sit down with your GM and figure out if you're playing a cross-corporation team or all working for the same company. The former is totally possible and is often formed with UIG oversight. A group of Agents is called a Division and every Division has a Division Leader. The second thing you want to do is pick someone to be a Division Leader. The DL is in charge of giving orders and accepting responsibility (translation: get one extra Rank Point at the end of every session but run the risk of being the one with the most to lose). The third thing you need to do is take note of all of the free stuff you automatically get as starting equipment.



How to Build A Character
  • 1: Pick your Corporation and note the benefits that come from your corporation.
  • 2: Come up with a character concept and a profession. You should also pick a skill that will be crucial to your profession.
  • 3: Assign stats.
  • 4: Calculate extra features.
  • 5: Assign skills.
  • 6: Pick two trainings.
  • 7: Spend 8 points on licenses.
  • 8: Purchase equipment. Your money to spend depends on your corporation.
That's all well and good on paper but let's break it down further.

Step One

Your Corporation gives you free bonuses depending on their main areas of focus.
  • Ai-Jinn Agents get an ID chip that can be switched to a fake ID that has an in-depth history and corroborating evidence to make them seem like a real person. Ai-Jinn Agents get the least amount of tangible goodies but being able to easily fake your ID like that is pretty important.
  • Comoros Agents get +10 Telepathic Energy points, increase TE point regeneration, free Telepath training and the ability to burn HP for TE.
  • Eurasian Incorporated Agents get an expense account they can bill mission-related things to. Be warned: EI accountants are very good at scrutinizing charges and catching fraud.
  • Shi Yukiro Agents get a free katana, training in using Powered Melee weapons and a Powered Melee license. When the Agent is trusted enough they also get access to ion weapons, deadly and devastating monoblade weapons.
  • Western Federation Agents get masterwork guns that crit hit on double ones to double fours. They also get 10% off the price of guns purchased through the company, free weapon licenses (heavy firearm, light firearms, offensive equipment 1 and tactical firearms), chip-checkers added for free on their guns and they learn WF Military Sign.
Step Two

Basically just talk to the other players and the GM about what you want to do and what role you want your character to play. The game also includes questions you can ask yourself to flesh out your character. You should also have a skill in mind that is integral to your character.



Step Three



Stats range from 0-10 with 0 being unusable and 10 being the peak human potential. 5 is human average. Agents cannot start play with a Stat below 5 or above 10; they were hired because they are average or above average in all forms. You can assign stats one of two ways: all stats are 7 and you can reduce one to pump up another or start all stats at 5 and spend 49 points to increase a stat at one point an increase. This is essentially the same thing. It's possible to take stats above 10 but it requires cybernetics, augmentations or drugs.

Step Four
  • Agents have HP equal to Strength+Endurance+20. An Agent with 7s in everything has 34 health. There are other ways to increase health besides boosting stats but you have to go looking for them.
  • Rank and Level start at 1.
  • You get Telepathic Energy points equal to Presence+Perception+Intelligence+10. These are used to fuel telepathic abilities. Other steps in character creation can boost this pool.
  • Movement is equal to Strength+Endurance+Agility.
  • Internal AI starts at 1.
  • Starting AV is 0, not counting your free flak jacket.
  • Your defense is equal to your Close Combat skill but we haven't picked skills yet, so.
  • You have 0 EXP and 10 Rank Points.
  • You have 2 Conviction Points.
  • The Agent knows all languages of their corporation plus they can pick one language from another corporation. Agents can never learn Military Sign unless they're in the Western Federation.


Step Five

Skills! You don't have a pool of points to assign skills, instead you have slots to fit the skills you want into. The only limitation here is that your Professional Skill must be 7+ but this is a good thing. A professional skill can't crit-fail and if you roll any doubles on a success it's a critical success. Skills range from 1-10 and can't go above 10 naturally (meaning you need augmentations).



Skill List
  • Arts and Culture: Covers everything that isn't science-based and requires knowledge. When you put points into A&C, you also should pick a specialty subject that gives you +4 to it while anything else is base A&C.
  • Assess Tech: look at a shiny, unfamiliar thing and figure out what it does.
  • Athletics
  • Attitude: any use of charisma or application of personality.
  • Business
  • Close Combat: you should at least have 1 point in this.
  • Computers and AI
  • Corporate Knowledge: applies to all companies and the UIG.
  • Crime: also used to pick locks and pick apart crime scenes for clues.
  • Cybernetics and Robotics
  • Drive
  • Heavy Firearms: also includes maintenance of.
  • Light Firearms
  • Looking Good: Carrying yourself to walk the walk.
  • Lying/Acting: can also be used to coerce info out of people.
  • Mechtronics: electronics, mechanics and nanotech.
  • Medicine
  • Observation: AKA perception.
  • Pilot
  • Psychology: give counseling, also covers the social sciences.
  • Science
  • Stealth: specifically hiding from senses. Hiding from robots or detectors might require mechtronics.
  • Street Culture
  • Support Weapons: mostly explosives.
  • Tactical Firearms
  • Telepathic Skills: must be bought separately.


Step Six

Trainings are specific areas of expertise that you might have to meet a prerequisite for. Some of these are character creation only and the rest can be purchased with experience points.

Noncombat Trainings
  • Animal Skills: automatically control animals in normal situations. You can control up to your Presence in animals at any time. Might require rolls in moments of duress or to make the animals do certain things. This doesn't sound so hot but lemme tell you one word: cyberwolves.
  • Aptitude: don't crit-fail on doubles when using an untrained skill. Extra bonus: add 1d6 to a roll once per session.
  • Command: Add your Rank to appropriate circumstantial rolls to boss people around.
  • Domestic Trade: you know how to do A Thing that you can make skill checks for. Alternately, the Thing you know can add a +2 circumstance bonus to a skill roll if relevant (such as locksmith).
  • Field Surgery: heal up to your medicine in HP on a patient in any environment, no roll required, at the cost of 1 round per HP restored. You can only use this once per scene per person and you can't try to heal the same injury twice.
  • Hacking
  • Interrogation: higher XS means better information extracted.
  • Jury-Rigging: Intelligence+Mechtronics roll to build something from nothing with bonuses or penalties depending on what you can scrounge up.
  • Meditation: get double your TE regeneration rate when meditating.
  • Surgery: required to reattach limbs and replace/fix organs, doesn't apply to installing cybernetics. It can restore some HP, but the purpose isn't to do that, it's to fix a substantial problem.
  • Surveillance
  • Survival: just shrug off not being in a good place.
  • Stone Cold: restore Conviction lost to trauma on a roll of 1-5 instead of just 1.
  • Telepath: be able to buy/use telepathic skills.
  • Telepathic Adept: +20 TE, character creation only.
  • Underground Operations: you know how to get things from the black market. You still have to pay for them though.
Combat Trainings
  • Advanced Disarm: +4 to disarm.
  • Assassinate: if you can sneak up on a target undetected, automatically KO them or put them at 0 HP with a single strike.
  • Defensive Fighting: Take a penalty to hit and add half that to your AV. Close combat only.
  • Disarm and Attack: get a free attack with the weapon you're disarming, even if it's ranged. You can't disarm heavy weapons like this without Strength 10.
  • Droid Hunter: add your Cybernetics and Robots skill as damage against robots.
  • Dual Weapon Fighting: fight with two weapons without penalties. Yes this applies to guns. You have to pick the type of weapon you're fighting with.
  • Gun Melee: use a light or tactical firearm in melee with no penalties.
  • Hail of Missiles: double the amount of thrown weapons you can chuck at one time, requires Thrown Weapon training.
  • Mastered Weapon: add the level of XS to a type of weapon to deal that much extra in damage for the first dice rolled. This applies to machine weapons too; only the first damage dice gets that bonus.
  • Powered Melee: without this, all doubles when flailing around a plasma sword or chainsaw are critical failures and you can't critically hit.
  • Quick Draw: +4 to initiative when drawing your weapon at the start of a fight. If it's a lighter weapon, +6.
  • Restrain: quit loving around with the grappling rules and tie them up.
  • Scything Strike: a kill with a tactical or heavy close combat weapon cleaves and gives a free attack against another target in range. You only get this bonus once.
  • Thrown Weapons: throwing bladed weapons deals a bonus of half strength damage on a hit. You can throw 2 light weapons or 1 tactical/heavy weapon a round. This training also gives +4 to hitting by whipping blunt objects like bricks or bottles.
  • Twin Psi Blades: summon two psi blades to fight with for one action at the cost of double the TE spent. For maximum effectiveness you need Dual Weapon Fighting.
  • Unarmed Combat Specialist: never lose your defense when fighting unarmed against an armed opponent and add a d4 to any unarmed damage dealt. Plus you can block without a weapon.


Step Seven

Licenses are good for getting away with things. You have permanent licenses (which cost 500c and a week of work per level) or a temporary license which is a simple down payment. You can also get licenses as an award from your corporation. The point of licenses is that they can be used to do different, new things outside of normal operations. You get 8 points to spend on licenses as long as you meet the requirements like skills or Rank.

Equipment Licenses
  • Combat Drug License (2): Use all combat drugs.
  • Cybernetic Animal License (1)
  • Heavy Firearms License (3)
  • Light Firearms License (1): Agents get this for free.
  • Offensive Equipment (1/2): comes in the form of small or medium damage capacity or high-powered explosives.
  • Powered Melee License (2)
  • SatBlanket License (2): a SatBlanket is an apparatus that blocks satellite view.
  • Security Bypass License (2): A security bypass device pops all sorts of locks. You need this license to do that legally.
  • Specific Equipment License (3): own and operate specific items, mostly weapons.
  • Tactical Firearms License (2)
Authority Licenses
  • Customs License (4): bypass customs and immigration authorities.
  • Detainment License (2): detain someone of lower Rank than you for 12 hours, Agents or Citizens or UIG. Abusing this license has bad repercussions.
  • Privacy License (5): Hide personal details on your ID chip from people of lower Rank than you.
  • Public Appropriation License (2): take stuff from lower-ranking Citizens in the pursuit of the mission. This has to be a person on the street, you can't enter someone's house. The corporation will generally compensate the person for their loss.
  • Search License (Commercial) (2): okay now you can enter places without a warrant, specifically commercial properties owned by citizens. You still can't just take stuff you need unless you have the above license.
  • Search License (Domestic) (1): now you can enter homes.
  • Telepathics License (1-10): this license allows you to legally use a Telepathic skill equal to or less than the rank of the license. This license covers all powers.
  • Termination License 1/2/3 (2/5/8): you can legally terminate Outcasts/lower-ranking Agents/lower-ranking Citizens in the line of duty. These are not given out lightly. If you're gonna murder, you better try to not get caught.
  • Traffic License (2): gently caress with traffic in the line of duty.
  • Vehicle License Domestic/Military (1/3)
  • World Database Access (4): access the UIG's world database to look for DNA and fingerprints and profiles. You can't look at people who outrank you.
Professional Licenses
  • Biohazard and Toxin License (3): manufacture/carry class B, C or D drugs/toxins/biohazards with no questions asked. If it's an illegal substance, this license will only let you carry it for good cause (like disposal).
  • Bounty Hunter License (1)
  • Cyberneticist License (2): perform cybernetic installations but you have to record what you've performed with the UIG.
  • Medical License (1): legally practice medicine as a professional doctor outside of first aid (doctoring/nursing, for example).
  • Law Enforcement License: free for Agents. You can investigate criminal activity for the UIG. You can ignore the need for some licenses if you can argue and provide proof that someone is in imminent danger (for example, you cannot take food from a store because you feel you are at risk of dying of hunger unless you're literally starving).
  • Preacher's License (1): orate in public as long as there are less than five complaints per hour and you don't swear or incite disobedience.
  • Robotics License (1): legally build and program droids.
  • Vending License (1): legally sell goods with a tax of 20% on profits paid back to the UIG.


Step Eight

Buy equipment with a starting budget depending on your corporation.



That's all there is to it, you're done! I helped some friends make some characters as practice exercises but if anyone wants to contribute an idea, NEXT TIME I'll build one or two to round out the group.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

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

Wait, so there are minor clans in L5R? Does this mean you can make up you character's own clan, so you can be Panda Clan or Lemur Clan?

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Simian_Prime posted:

Wait, so there are minor clans in L5R? Does this mean you can make up you character's own clan, so you can be Panda Clan or Lemur Clan?

Yep, you could, if you wanted to put in the work.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Traveller posted:

The Mantis became a Great Clan later in the timeline. In 1E, they were a minor clan, and they only get detailed in Way of the Minor Clans which is still a long way to go.

Yeah, originally the Mantis clan in the CCG was just some mercenaries you could hire, and Mantis personalities were originally treated as unaligned - the same as ronin. Later they got a deck box of their own (at the same time monks did) focusing around sacrificing honor for money. Their champion, Yoritomo, became really popular with his buff art and dual kamas, and by the time the first block concluded, they were made a Great Clan, and would eventually absorb the Wasp and Centipede clans. The Fox would refuse the Mantis for a good while but would eventually be brought into the clan as well.

Simian_Prime posted:

Wait, so there are minor clans in L5R? Does this mean you can make up you character's own clan, so you can be Panda Clan or Lemur Clan?

It's not really freeform - all of the Minor Clans are fixed. It's not hard to add in your own if you want, but there's no real framework for it (though they have written some guidelines for doing it in some supplements).

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

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

Covok posted:

Yep, you could, if you wanted to put in the work.

Or you can always just reskin a canon clan's mechanics onto a different name. Seems like something fun to do with the knowledge that Clan Walrus and Clan Dinosaur will guaranteed grate against Wick's "GAMING IS SERIOUS BUSINESS STOP SMILING" sensibilities.

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Simian_Prime posted:

Or you can always just reskin a canon clan's mechanics onto a different name. Seems like something fun to do with the knowledge that Clan Walrus and Clan Dinosaur will guaranteed grate against Wick's "GAMING IS SERIOUS BUSINESS STOP SMILING" sensibilities.

To be honest, it seems that John has long since cooled on that stance.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Book of the Shadowlands: Oninferno


Those characters up there? 危険. DANGER.

Oni! The terrible servants of Fu Leng! They're going to gently caress your poo poo up six ways to Amaterasu-day. Most of them have the Invulnerability power, so normal weapons will do diddly squat to them. Fu Leng spawns oni like no one's business, and is fond of creating one-offs just to gently caress with the humans that have to fight them. Oni no Chi, for instance, is a fifteen-feet tall freak with enough teeth to make Jaws proud and dealing 10k7 on a 9k9 attack roll, but is also a 5th rank caster with the power to cast any Fire spell in one action in the Shadowlands (it gets to cast it regularly outside). And it has no problem Inflaming enemy shugenja's scrolls. And it takes 200 Wounds before croaking. :gonk: Oni no Genso is a relatively more manageable opponent, with stats similar to a highly skilled bushi. Its main deal is that it actually knows how to fight with weapons, and continuously taunts and insults warriors with their own weaknesses and secret fears: in game terms, no Void Points can be spent within 20 feet of Genso and all characters' School Ranks drop by 2 (to a minimum of 0 :stare:) Oni no Ianwa is a lazy bastard with the highest Fear rating, 6, which seeks out weak-willed, desperate people and threatens to consume them until they sacrifice something to it. It starts small, asking for food or a weapon or whatever, and then progressing higher and higher (a daimyo's head or whathaveyou) Once the initial sacrifice is made, it plagues and haunts the victim until banished or confronted. In game terms, it's a Willpower vs Fear roll to avoid being taken in by the fear, and if failed the character must spend one Void per day to ignore the oni's demands. If this isn't done, the character has to fulfill the demand and then has to do another Fear vs Willpower roll that can only be done if the victim is at full Void and puts a -1 penalty on Willpower. If this one fails, the victim loses 1 rank of Void and Willpower. Honor 3+ characters can use Honor instead of Willpower, but risk their Honor. Fortunately (?) Ianwa has no way to actually threaten a character, so it'll gently caress off harmlessly once a roll succeeds.


Genso knows you keep the full collection of Mahou Shoujo Isawa Kaede-chan: Fortissimo!!! in your home.

There are also oni subspecies around. Members of a subspecies are all identical, and form the core of the Shadowlands' shock forces. They're generally easy to predict because of this repetition. It's not understood how they procreate, maybe Fu Leng makes one whenever one is destroyed or something. Oni no Ashi is a desert tentacle monster that can shoot the spikes growing on its tentacles. The spikes are poisoned (Earth against 5x damage taken from a thorn attack, which is 1k1, if failed one of the physical Traits takes -1 for one hour). It doesn't have Invulnerability, though, so once a samurai gets up close they can slice and dice the Ashi. Oni no Byoki also doesn't have Invulnerability, but no one wants to get close to it. It is a virulent creature coated with pustules that explode on contact, showering enemies in infectious pus. Anyone hit by or within five feet of a struck Byoki has to roll Earth against TN 20 or become infected with a plague that will turn them into a plague zombie within three days unless they undergo a cleansing ritual; plague zombies have the same stats as a regular zombie but also have the plague, Earth vs TN 10 to resist it though. Oni no Doro is a kind of living mud monster, that lies in wait until someone steps on it and then shoots up to engulf them in foul mud, trying to suffocate them (on a hit, the victim has to break free with a Jiujutsu or Sumai roll in 3 rounds or they start choking, having to roll Earth against TN 5 or lose a whole Wound Level per round, the TN is doubled every round). It also has Invulnerability, and trying to cut a Doro up with bladed weapons usually only harms the victim. Fire gets part their Invulnerability, though. Oni no Gekido are berserking monster that can whip themselves up into a frenzied rage, which boosts all of their Rings to superhuman levels and makes them invulnerable to all normal weapons and spells. The rage only lasts a couple of rounds, however, and once it ends they tire out and become fragile, taking heavy penalties to all of their stats. Oni no Kiri is a fuckoff spider freak with bladed claws made with samurai blending in mind: it attacks three times per turn at 8k6 and deals 10k6 damage. It's so heavily armored that non-nemuranai weapons have a chance of breaking on a hit (Kiri has to succeed on a TN 35 roll with its Water of 5) It doesn't have Invulnerability, though, so even if the weapon breaks it will first deal regular damage. Oni no Manesuru are shadow creatures that perfectly imitate a samurai's actions and techniques. They have the same stats as the samurai they face (they work in groups and try to match their numbers to those of a party), and disappear once their opponent has been slain. They can perfectly parry or counterspell instead of attacking, and will always attack the round after doing this. They do not have Void Points, and rolls made with Void Points are not reflected in a Manesuru's rolls. Oni no Sanru are flying six-armed demons that can fly out of melee weapon range only to return with an 8k4 swooping attack. Oni no Sodatsu are hideous mounds of flesh that can conjure magic shields that protect them perfectly from attacks on one half of its body, but this leaves the other half free to attack (single Raise to move around the shield and hit) It absorbs any magic used against it, and if a spell is cast against a Sodatsu it can use the power to increase its Armor in 1 for three rounds, regain 10 Wounds, or keep an extra die for attack and damage. Oni no Ugulu are thirteen feet tall super-ogres that can tank any arrow except armor piercing ones and are immune to a single spell, determined by rolling 1d10 on a list that includes classics like Jade Strike or Katana of Fire. Oni no Wakeru are deceptively easy to hit, but once "killed" they split in two. Each copy also splits, becoming smaller but also harder to hit. The only way to destroy a Wakeru is by splitting it five times (and thus having to fight 16 mini-Wakeru from just one), at which point they can no longer regenerate. Oni no Yattoko are six-limbed desert insectoids with heavy carapaces that are immune to the Akodo precision strike and take two Raises to ignore their armor; they can also devour opponents with their belly maw and have them lose one Wound Level per round they spend inside. The limbs can be cut off individually, though, and once limbless it's trivial to kill a Yattoko.


Kender that actively gently caress with you and that you cannot touch. The unspeakable horror.

Then there's the Oni of Jigoku. These ironically are the most likely to be found by Rokugani, as they are the ones summoned by a maho-tsukai from the Demon Realm. These follow the oni rules mentioned in the GM Pack, with the note that once freed from their servitude by absorbing their name-giver's chi the oni goes back to the Shadowlands to become an oni lord, more powerful than even the oni directly created by Fu Leng. Mokuna speculated that oni agreed to be summoned and bound for the chance at freedom and great power. The four oni from the corebook (Akuma, Tsuburu, Kyoso and Shikibu) are the spawn of the oni lords, as one of the powers lords get is to create lesser copies of themselves. No one has seen the oni lords themselves and lived to tell of it, and it's possible that some of the other Shadowlands oni are actually the spawn of unknown oni lords. Fighting oni is, as abundantly established, hard as hell, Jade weapons are effective, and since oni wounded by jade cannot regenerate that damage some oni hunters harry their prey for days in hit and run attacks before finishing it off. But while jade-tipped arrows are not uncommon Mokuna only knew of four jade katana, all in the hands of Crab daimyo. Tetsubo and other polearms can be studded with jade, however, and Crab warriors have learned to coat their cutting weapons with oil and jade powder to grant their weapons cheaper oni-killing ability, but this doesn't last for long (full damage the first hit , then halving it until the jade effect is lost at the fifth hit) Crystal weapons are also effective, and Mokuna used many crystal jars and boxes sourced from the Unicorn to house oni organs and other foul tissues.

Now the book takes a temporary break from the IC style to give us rules on creating oni! We have three different stat blocks, from a "relatively weak" oni that most parties can kill to a "fairly strong" troublesome oni to a "extremely strong" TPK-causing oni. They all have Invulnerability, and the latter two have special abilities equivalent to one or two shugenja spells. There's a number of tables to roll for the exact number of limbs, eyes, what kind of body type and skin they have, and so on - the idea is to use the stat blocks and just reskin the oni to taste. And then we get advice by Ree Soesbee and John Wick themselves! Oni are nasty and murderous and that's the whole point of them. Parties do stand a chance against them, but they have to go in prepared. Using "wandering monster" tables is discouraged because of the brutal nature of the Shadowlands, and characters going into Fu Leng's domains carelessly deserve to get whacked.

quote:

If they don't take the Shadowlands seriously, get real nasty.
I'd like to show you what my Oni look like in my campaign, but our Standards and Practices Editor won't let me print it.

:allears:

Ree mentions another thing to take note of: oni hunting is not glorious. If your samurai boasts of the Shadowlands monsters they've slain, they're going to get kicked out of any wholesome court in Rokugan because no one wants to even think of the Shadowlands, and the character might have the Taint with them. The Crab aren't doing this poo poo for honor or glory, but out of necessity and duty. But above all, the GM has to tell the players things: they can't expect the characters to be able to deal with oni if the GM isn't feeding the proper clues. If they get lost, they need more clues or "the invisible GM rubber hammer" to get them back on track. They shouldn't be afraid of the Shadowlands because they don't know poo poo, but because of the poo poo they do know. Also, remember that Shadowlands denizens can and do show up out of the Shadowlands, so you don't have to send a party to the buttend of the world just to have them fight some goblins and stuff. Like honestly, even if it's clearly Wick's writing at work this isn't awful advice for a place explicitly described as highly dangerous and inimical to humans.

Anyway, more monsters! Because not everything is an oni (or goblin, or ogre, or troll...) in Uncle Fu Leng's land. Many of these are found in Rokugan proper as well. Bog hags thrive in swamps and waterways, and envy the beauty of young women. They ambush and drown them when they are found alone, and then they skin their victims to pass off as them. Ew! Weak stats, but any hit has a 20% chance of causing a wasting disease that only goes away with a shugenja healing spell. Hanemuri are small flying monsters that can easily be killed with a good blow, if you can catch them. They're mostly a nuisance, but any wound taken in the Shadowlands can be deadly. Mountain goblins are similar to regular goblins, but Mokuna classified them as a different species. They live in the craggy areas to the north, and their most notable ability is their capacity to regenerate (they heal 2 Wounds per round and can reattach a severed limb simply by grabbing it and pressing it against the stump for a while) Mujina are some sort of spirit-like devils and tricksters, but aren't likely to be Fu Leng's creatures. They have stats but they simply cannot by hurt by attacks or spells, can become invisible at will, and most of what they like to do is trick and embarrass humans. They are annoying as hell but not deadly (though they can throw things for 1k1, the more valuable the better) and an Elemental Ward or similar will keep them at bay. They just move on when they get bored of their victims. Kuni Yori notes that one of his shugenja claims to have captured a mujina's shadow and thus pressed the creature into service, but he remains skeptical. Nikumizu are grub-like things that burrow into the flesh and deal 4 Wounds per turn and can only be removed surgically (the procedure deals 2k2 damage per nikumizu) Dead bodies in the Shadowlands may be crawling with the little bastards. Sanshu Denki are lumbering monsters that live in swamps and pools and like to jump up and devour prey whole (100% chance, minus 10% per point in Defense and rank of Reflexes) Its skin is covered by a blazing energy effect that deals 3k1 when touched or hit with metal weapons. Swamp goblins are also not true goblins, about as smart as an ogre or troll, and while vicious and dangerous they are consumed by curiosity. They like shiny things. Tsumunagi are flat, eel-like creatures that cling to flesh and deploy claws, hooks and teeth along their lower half, making them hell to remove. Low attack roll, but they deal 6k3 damage as they suck off blood and fluids. Fundoshi are EVIL VINES that trap and constrict unwary travelers: Mokuna believed that their sole purpose was procuring corpses for Fu Leng's zombie forces. It can strike with a number of vines, from 1 to 10, which are the dice they roll and keep for attack. On a hit, the target loses 1 point of Agility per vine, and if they reach 0 they are immobilized and will lose consciousness in (Willpower) rounds.


"So let me tell you about the time I got one of these suckers in my leg and---" "WE'RE TRYING TO EAT HERE, CRAB-SAN"

Next: the not-that-loathsome ratmen.

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013



Covok posted:

To be honest, it seems that John has long since cooled on that stance.

Possibly, but I know for a fact that he is very much not fond of Mantis being a Great Clan, so who can say.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Traveller posted:

Fundoshi are EVIL VINES that trap and constrict unwary traveler

I know enough bad anime japanese to be amused by this.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Crasical posted:

I know enough bad anime japanese to be amused by this.

Why do you think they're called fun-doshi?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Fundoshi are traditional Japanese underwear.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Crasical posted:

I know enough bad anime japanese to be amused by this.

The Lone Badger posted:

Why do you think they're called fun-doshi?

Mors Rattus posted:

Fundoshi are traditional Japanese underwear.

It's actually fudoshi, my apologies. :shobon:

Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Book of the Shadowlands: Thy Ratling Consumed

Let's talk about the Nezumi, or "ratlings" as the commoners know them. (But wait, if "ratling" is the commoner's word for them and "Nezumi" is the Rokugani for ratling, then... :psyduck:) Kuni Yori notes that surprisingly, it's this section that made the Emperor of the time ban Mokuna's works, and keep in mind that in the oni section Mokuna notes how oni summoning has to be done REAL CAREFULLY rather than, you know, THIS IS loving HERESY. Mokuna had a pretty tolerant view of the ratlings' beliefs, which makes his writings anathema to the vast majority of Rokugan. :ohdear:

The common misconception that Nezumi are Fu Leng's creatures is mistaken. They do live in the Shadowlands mostly, but are completely immune to the Taint. Nezumi look like human-sized bipedal rodents, their skin covered with fur of various shades. They are able to use weapons and tools, and can fight with their sharp claws in a pinch. A healthy Nezumi can outrun anything but the fastest galloping horse. They have similar organs to humans, with a much stronger, efficient stomach, and they can hear sounds beyond the human listening range. The mothers bear litters of six to eight children, that are considered the responsibility of the whole pack: they can move around and do things after their first year, and a five-year old Nezumi is considered an adult. All roles are gender neutral, and women can and do lead packs. They speak in high-pitched squeaks that Crab scouts learn to communicate with them better, and tribes teach their young a coarse form of Rokugani that is heavy on repetition of words.


Just because he isn't wielding HIS GRANDFATHER'S SWORD doesn't mean he can't gently caress you up.

Nezumi history is hard to map out, as their oral records mix fact and fiction freely and details change from pack to pack. The one thing all Nezumi tribes agree on is an apocalyptic event that happened a long time ago, and they divide their history in before and after the Terrible Day When Air Became Fire And Heaven Fell From Its Perch To Crush Our Glorious Home Beneath Its Blackened Corpse (shortened to The Terrible Day normally). The time before the Terrible Day was a golden age when the Nezumi lived in a kingdom ruled by a wise and benevolent emperor, food was plentiful, and great cities protected the race. After the Terrible Day, the Nezumi scattered into tribes, learning to survive in their new, harsh world. The parallels to human myth are obvious, but it must be noted that the Nezumi still consider the Shadowlands their territory and that no other races belong there. Mokuna surmised that this meant that the Nezumi are a pre-human race along with the Kenku and the Kappa, and perhaps they are immune to the Taint of a fallen Kami because they themselves are not creatures of the Kami. He intended to experiment by bringing a Kenku or Kappa to the Shadowlands and see if they were immune to the Taint as well, and noted the possibility that even if humanity manages to defeat Fu Leng, a territorial confrontation with the Nezumi might soon follow.

Nezumi society is centered around survival. They are nomadic, and tribes or packs of seventy to one hundred adults live off the land and scrounge or steal what they need. They are led by a chieftain, shaman or council of bosses. They generally shy away from human contact. They are nocturnal, making camp in hidden or well disguised areas at day and scrounging or traveling at night. Scouting is always done prior to a raid or scrounging effort: they never go into a situation without knowing what to expect. Food is the utmost priority in scrounging, followed by weapons and tools. If discovered, they will flee using various routes back to their base, and wise samurai know to let a Nezumi go. They become ferocious and savage upon being cornered. Once supplies are secured, the camp is dismantled and they move on. They circle the same range of territory over and over, depending on available resources and human attitudes to the Nezumi. Storytelling, singing and dancing are their primary forms of entertainment, while writing takes the form of simple warnings or directions.

They do not have a "priestly" class, but most tribes have a shaman or magician. They don't revere their ancestors, but instead consider the self as all-important, and by focusing their self with chants, body movements and bloodletting they can achieve magical effects. This is disturbing for shugenja, but despite the usage of blood it's not maho. They don't have a distinct warrior class, all Nezumi can and are expected to fight, though some are better at it than others. Peasants see them as evil spirits at times, and leave offerings of food and other supplies on the fields which the Nezumi happily take, perpetuating the belief. They loot everything they can find, and things humans consider waste find some use (or will find some use, eventually) in Nezumi hands, though they hold no particular attachment to any objects. This leads them to scavenging human tombs and shrines, and don't understand why humans get so mad about this - if they didn't want someone else to take the shiny sword-sword, why let it outside? All the same, humans can negotiate and even sign basic treaties with them, another sign in Mokuna's mind that they are not Shadowlands creatures.


Look at 'em tiny ratlings :3:

Mokuna could not tell if Nezumi philosophy predated the Terrible Day or was a consequence of it. The sense of individuality is foremost in their view of the world: every being has a right to survive, and no one can be faulted to do what they must to live. They are born on this earth with only a few years to live, and have no concept of reincarnation or afterlife. Thus, life is not to be discarded lightly. Once individual survival is secured, then family survival is next: the pack must secure enough food for all, protect the young, and put its interests above those of outsiders. Conflict between packs is uncommon, but it happens and it is accepted, though they prefer to compromise and shed as little blood as possible. Survival of the species is the third step of Nezumi philosophy: their home is decimated, their people scattered, and yet they survive and thrive where other races would have perished. Species survival involves sharing supplies with other tribes, assisting in conflicts where numbers can tip the scale, and refraining from shedding Nezumi blood. Thus, self-interest ultimately serves the race itself, and wild-eyed tales of cruel "ratling warlords" are to be discounted. Their collective self-interest would not allow it. But though Nezumi are skittish and rarely engage in hand to hand combat, they should not be discounted as cowardly. They use guerrilla tactics in battle, striking and scattering while the enemy hesitates to select a target. They shadow their threat, and continue hit-and-run attacks if deemed necessary. Mokuna observed one pack eliminate a gang of bandits by picking them off one by one, until the few survivors were too cowed and afraid to retaliate. Mokuna believed the secret of their immunity to the Taint was the key to defeating Fu Leng, and thought every samurai would do well to study their ability to scavenge and survive, even in the most inhospitable climates. The book ends with a letter of Mokuna's last surviving apprentice, one Daidoji Nazoko, to Kuni Yori. Rokugan may forget about his deeds and focus on his darker side, but he was a scholar and a brave man that gave everything (even his soul) to the defense of the Crab and Rokugan. :japan:


"Master, I know we just completed an autopsy of a swamp goblin, but can you stay still for a quick sketch?" Fuggen Crane.

We get a sample pack, the Tattered Ear, for use. They make their base in the Shinomen forest, near Crab, Scorpion, and minor clan Sparrow lands; they can be ported to almost any other place in Rokugan with a little effort. The Crab tolerate their presence, the Sparrow lay traps to get rid of the 'pests', and the Scorpion's attitude depends on individual villages and the state of politics in the Scorpion provinces. They once wasted an entire Scorpion fighting force that thought of killing the pack, though. :v: They are ruled by a pragmatic chieftain, comprise seventy five adults (about 1/4 of these are "bushi") and take four to four and a half years to make their migratory tour. One of the chieftain's bodyguards is a young hotshot that dreams of being accepted into a human bushi school to learn their techniques - the rest of the pack sigh and hope he grows out of it. :haw:

Ratling chargen rules! These are explicitly for NPCs. Normally a GM should just use the corebook ratling stats and move on, but if they want to make a specific ratling NPC, here they are. Ratlings start at 2 on all Rings, but only have 20 CP. They cannot take most High or otherwise civilized skills, and Dance, Music, Painting and Poetry reflect ratling society and thus take a penalty of -2 to impress humans with them. Ratlings automatically start with Shadowlands Lore, Hunting, Defense and Stealth, and "bushi" get two skill points to use on any Bugei skill. They have no Advantages or Disadvantages and cannot join a bushi or shugenja school. Shamans start with three spells based on memorized ritual rather than spells or scrolls. Learning new spells needs the ratling to find another shaman willing to teach. They only have four Wound Levels (-0, -1, -2, Dead) but each level has Earth x 4 Wounds. They have no Honor or Glory, and are absolutely immune to the Shadowlands Taint (thus, they cannot perform actions that gain them Taint points like using maho) They have a list of possessions to start with. Roll two dice, and spend those points on the list. A katana takes 8 points, while a shiny object needs only 1, that sort of thing.

Next: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.

Traveller fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Aug 20, 2016

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Awww yiss, my favorite clan is next. :allears:

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


Can PCs play Ratlings?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Count Chocula posted:

Can PCs play Ratlings?

This is John Wick. What do you think?

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



There's rules in Way of the Ratlings.

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Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




The Lone Badger posted:

This is John Wick. What do you think?
"Yes but they're deliberately crippled."

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