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Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



The Lone Badger posted:

Can the battle maiden school be used with horse archery or only when stabbing motherfuckers? Because if it can then that looks kinda dangerous.

"[...]and any High or Bugei skill." So yeah, a Battle Maiden could take Horse Archery and use it with her Rank 1.

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The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



What about the Rank 4?

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



The Lone Badger posted:

What about the Rank 4?

Ranged attacks are limited to 1 per round. There is a school that allows two archery attacks per round later in the line, though.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Traveller posted:

"[...]and any High or Bugei skill." So yeah, a Battle Maiden could take Horse Archery and use it with her Rank 1.
In fact the very first L5R character I played (in 4E) was a Battle Maiden who went for horse archery. She ended up being pretty vicious, even despite the lesser Rank 1 effect. (In 4E you can add +Honor to one attack roll per round, or instead to damage if mounted.)

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Japan is complicated by not having much in the way of independent scholarship. Most historical accounts at the time were commissioned by lords to tell the story of how awesome they were, and so the closest thing to "truth" about the Sengoku period is often a Venn diagram of where more multiple records intersect.
Yeah. Even when it's not openly smearing someone or some group to make the patron look better, either you only get one side of the argument, or you only get the context that's directly related to the patron's interactions. So while a particular lord might have very legitimate gripes about a group of monks, we don't get the picture that the monks are fighting off three other lords and have every reason to be suspicious/standoffish of this other daimyo. Thus the records are just about how these monks were big jerks.

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.

Spiderfist Island posted:



One thing that I don’t like about the Spirit Magic rules in RQ2E is that all spirits are functionally the same here, and only vary based on their generated stats. If an Earth spirit and a Storm spirit had some sort of mechanical difference, for example, it would make spirit magic a bit more interesting to work with for both the GM and player. Instead, they’re mostly sentient batteries for a PC’s Battle Magic.




This actually got worse in 3rd, which added a bunch of specialty spirits...who specialize in a single aspect of the things spirits do in RQ2E. So, for example, intellect spirits whose brain is there just to store spells for the binder, and magic spirits that only have POW that you can cast from when they're bound, etc.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


There was a running group gag with a friend had a Shinjo character who did all of his poetry on a horse because, hey, he adds his Horsemanship to all rolls while mounted.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Alien Rope Burn posted:

There was a running group gag with a friend had a Shinjo character who did all of his poetry on a horse because, hey, he adds his Horsemanship to all rolls while mounted.

Getting inspiration by going out and being one with your steed is Shinjo as gently caress, honestly.

Spiderfist Island
Feb 19, 2011


unseenlibrarian posted:

This actually got worse in 3rd, which added a bunch of specialty spirits...who specialize in a single aspect of the things spirits do in RQ2E. So, for example, intellect spirits whose brain is there just to store spells for the binder, and magic spirits that only have POW that you can cast from when they're bound, etc.

They seriously did that? You've already got a way to specify the unique magical aspects of a spirit built right into the game setting: runes! Just add in some spirits with Runic associations that have a special power/contract requirement or two! It's not that hard! I guess it's harder than just splitting hairs on what a spirit can do, but it's still not an insurmountable task or a big page count commitment.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Mr. Maltose posted:

Getting inspiration by going out and being one with your steed is Shinjo as gently caress, honestly.

So is having a perfectly executed tea ceremony on horseback. :colbert:

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Traveller posted:

So is having a perfectly executed tea ceremony on horseback. :colbert:

I am just going to assume that the horse pours the tea.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Alien Rope Burn posted:

There was a running group gag with a friend had a Shinjo character who did all of his poetry on a horse because, hey, he adds his Horsemanship to all rolls while mounted.
This is the sort of dumb thing that's also kind of awesome.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Pathfinder Bestiary 2: Necrophidius to Quickwood

Necrophidius (CR 3 Medium Construct)
A creature originating from White Dwarf magazine, Games Workshop's simultaneous foray into AD&D and promo magazine for its own materials, the necrophidius is a golem created by putting a fanged humanoid's skull on the end of the skeleton of a large snake. Why? Who knows, wizards are strange and frightening folk. For whatever reason, these guys were apparently really popular, appearing again in 1981's Fiend Folio, the Tome of Horrors, and now here. Pathfinder also gives us a "Prepare to be Edgy" variation on the necrophidius's description, wherein some creators use the head of one of the loved ones of the person they're trying to assassinate to make the necrophidius, flayed skin and all. This bone snake's main methods of fighting are a full round dance that forces a DC 15 Will save to avoid being dazed for 2d4 rounds and a bite that delivers a venom that paralyzes for 1d4 rounds on a failed DC 13 Fortitude save.



Neh-Thalggu (CR 8 Large Aberration)
A creature from Mystara and later the Far Realm tied to Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms, the neh-thalggu is basically a giant head on spider legs that collects humanoid brains to augment its own sorcerous power. While the Open Game Content version is the super-powerful elder neh-thalggu of the Epic Level Handbook, Pathfinder actually eschewed just reusing that stat block and instead created this weaker creature more on the power level of the classic AD&D one. Of course, weakness is relative in this case, as it's still an eldritch abomination that come out of somewhere in deep space to hunt for brains. Its natural weapons are crab claws which scoop out your brain on a coup de grace and a bite with venom that deals a 1d2 Strength damage and staggered condition each round for six rounds, but far more dangerous and unpredictable is the fact that it can learn and cast spells as if it was a level 7 Sorcerer. A neh-thalggu is assumed by the stats to always have a full cargo of seven fuel-brains (as well as whatever brains it is carrying to wherever neh-thalggu carry brains), but loses a caster level and gains a negative level for each brain below seven it has.


Nereid (CR 10 Medium Fey [Water])
Originating in the annals of Greek mythology, the sea nymphs known as the nereids have been around in D&D since 1980. And, once again, our friend the Tome of Horrors means that they are reproduced in their old school form here in Pathfinder. In particular, this means that we have a Chaotic Neutral creature who is totally down with murder:

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 posted:

Nereids are capricious and often dangerous aquatic fey that appear as strikingly beautiful women, often seen bathing unclothed in the water. Many sailors have met their doom following a nereid, for though a nereid’s beauty is otherworldly, her watery kiss is death.
That last line isn't hyperbole, either. After you lose a DC 23 Will save to avoid being fascinated by the nereid's beguiling aura, she can force a Fortitude save of the same DC with a touch or kiss that immediately drops you to 0 HP and unconscious from drowning, which forces a second save to avoid being -1 HP and dying and then a third save to avoid being dead. Huh, not that often you have a three-saves-or-die rather than just the classic save-or-die. This same thing can be done to helpless or willing creatures. Nereids also have a touch-based or 30 foot spit-based poison that deals 1d2 Constitution damage and blindness for 6 rounds. You know, as nereids were famously known to have in the lore.

If you steal a nereid's clothes, she takes 1d6 Constitution damage for an hour and begrudgingly follows your commands as a cover for her eventual attempt to murder you and take her clothes back.


Nightshades
A collective of creepy critters dwelling in the confluence of the Plane of Shadow and Negative Energy Plane. They are born when a demon gets the idea that they can harness negative energy directly from the source and get eaten alive by the forces of pure entropy, ripped apart and reborn as these shadow-like undead. Nightshades go on gathering souls of immortals such as fiends and celestials and throwing them into the entropic void, and when the soul count reaches "critical mass" (whatever that means for souls) they form yet another new nightshade as well. They also gobble up mortal souls because why not go for gold on consumption. All nightshades have an aura of Desecrate with a 30 foot radius, natural attacks that deal an extra 4d6 cold damage, and the weakness of being sickened by bright light.

Nightcrawler (CR 18 Gargantuan Undead [Extraplanar, Nightshade])
Big umbral centipedes with loads of glowing red eyes all over. The book tells us in rather loaded language that while "it would be one thing if the nightcrawlers remained in the deep caverns, for these regions are rife with foul life the world is better without", the big shadow bugs crawl out of the depths in the dead of night to scour the surface world. And scour they can, with the ability to bestow a negative level each round they have someone swallowed, a 9/day power that channels 9d6 negative energy damage, and a load of spell-like abilities including a constantly active Magic Fang, Contagion, quickened Cone of Cold, Finger of Death, and Summon (6 Greater Shadows).

Nightwalker (CR 16 Huge Undead [Extraplanar, Nightshade])
These guys look like your stereotypical demon if he got hit by a grayscale filter and make up the vast majority of nightshade forces. Nightwalkers lead legions of shadows into battle against mortal armies and love to make foes suffer before they are absorbed into the void, usually by breaking valued treasures and killing loved ones. Nightwalkers have an 8/day 8d6 negative energy channel, claws that can make sunder attempts as a swift action, and most of the same SLAs as the nightcrawler.

Nightwave (CR 20 Colossal Undead [Aquatic, Extraplanar, Nightshade])
The largest and most powerful of the nightshades is the nightwave, an immense shadow shark that normally plies the deepest ocean trenches but can also fly because gently caress you. While it has Intelligence 22, the nightwave lacks the tactical decision-making of the nightcrawler and nightwalker, instead being a massive eating machine that desires only to devour without end. A nightwave deals two negative levels a round to a swallowed foe, exudes a 60 foot radius aura when in water that inflicts Deeper Darkness and 6d6 damage that is half cold and half bludgeoning, has a 10/day 10d6 negative energy channel, and has most of the spells of the nightcrawler plus some fun extras such as Wail of the Banshee and Summon (1 Nightwing).

Nightwing (CR 14 Huge Undead [Extraplanar, Nightshade])
Another nightshade that shares its name with a superhero, the nightwing is a giant shadow bat that is probably the most assholish of the nightshades to fight even though it's technically the weakest. You see, rather than dealing negative damage, this guy's specialty is a bite attack that can temporarily render a magic item useless and attempt to sunder it or suck away a spell that has been cast on the bite victim. This means that it is almost tailor-made as a colossal middle finger to any warrior with a Cleric or Wizard buddy buffing them and/or using magic weapons and armor. Beyond that it's mostly just another nightshade, having 7/day 7d6 negative energy channeling and yet again most of the same spells seen on the nightcrawler.



Ogrekin (CR +1 Template)

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 posted:

The result of an unfortunate union between an ogre and a humanoid, the ogrekin (or half-ogre) is cursed with horrific malformations due to its tragic ancestry. Shunned by both parents, ogrekin tend to form unstable clans of their own, often resorting to inbreeding to sustain the collective. While good-natured ogrekin are not entirely unheard of, they are far and few between.
:sigh: Why do we have to go back to the inbred rape hillbilly well?

This template can only be applied to size Medium Humanoids, too, so you can't even have a half-ogre of another giant species. The template grants +3 natural armor, +6 to Strength and +4 to Constitution but -2 to Intelligence and Charisma, and randomly gives one beneficial deformity and one detrimental deformity. On the boons sides, you can get a bite attack, +2 bonus to Fortitude saves, +2 natural armor, vestigial third arm that grants a +4 to grapple checks but can't hold items, or a deformed twin head that has no brain but provides 360 vision, while on the banes you can get a deformed hand that causes a -2 penalty to attack rolls with two-handed weapons, don't gain the template's normal bonus to constitution, light sensitivity, -2 to Dexterity from morbid obesity, -10 feet of base speed due to stunted legs, or -2 to Will saves from a bulbous deformed head.


Oread (Class Level-Dependent Medium Outsider)
A fair number of letters after the ifrit, we get our second genasi with the serial numbers filed off. Oreads are stone-colored but not actually tough-skinned people that have the usual stereotypes related to earth beings – quiet, slow to anger but dangerous when riled, etc. etc. Being an oread nets you +2 Strength and Wisdom but -2 Charisma, darkvision at 60 feet, a 1/day use of the Magic Stone spell, acid resistance 5, and two extra effective points in Charisma if you have the Earth Elemental Sorcerer bloodline or +1 caster level to Earth domain powers and spells as a Cleric.



Pech (CR 3 Small Fey [Earth])
While this monster's name originated in one of the many dwarf-like faeries of Gaelic mythology, and its stats came to us through the AD&D Monster Manual II and Tome of Horrors, the pech of Pathfinder gets its own story. Namely, these guys are the ancestral form of the derros, and the few pech that left are isolationist weirdos that rarely leave their ancestral caves because they are afraid that there will be a one in a million chance they'll suffer the same fate as their demented brethren. And...that's about it, really. Four pechs in a group get a 1/day casting of Wall of Stone, while eight in a group get a 1/day of Stone to Flesh.


Peryton (CR 4 Medium Magical Beast)
The peryton is a weird monster with a weird real world history. Folklorist Jorge Luis-Borges created them in his title The Book of Imaginary Beings with the backstory that they had been chronicled by a rabbi who had heard of ancient Greek legends concerning them, though in the time since there have been (almost certainly incorrect) individuals who have claimed that Borges didn't create them and they were in fact actual figures in Greek mythology. Regardless of their origin, the peryton's description is clear: a merciless winged deer that has the shadow of a man until it kills a human being, at which point it gains its own shadow. Pathfinder's perytons change this up by having their own shadows from the start and instead kill people just because they're Chaotic Evil, which is clearly better. In spite of the fact that all perytons hate every living thing including other perytons, females live in large flocks that prey on any creature weaker than themselves, with humanoid hearts being particularly savored. Bachelor males typically only meet these small flocks when they attempt to steal a meal or steal a mate. Said mating is short, violent, and usually ends in the male being eaten, the female laying a single egg that hatches seven months or so later.

Mechanically, perytons have human intelligence but not much strategy to speak of, just engaging in violence with their antler gores and hoof strikes. They can copy a foe's shadow to gain a +2 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls against said foe and also forces a DC 13 Fortitude save to avoid being shaken for a round any time they kill on a critical hit due to the flavor that they rip out a foe's still-beating heart during such a kill.


Petitioner (CR 1 Outsider/Template)
Petitioners are what a soul becomes after death but before either transforming into a planar Outsider (demon/devil/angel/azata/etc.) or going back into the lifestream. Their memories of their life in the mortal world have begun to fragment but haven't completely been erased yet like they are in a planar Outsider, but in the end this doesn't really matter as all they really do is engage in some form of placation or suffering depending on what plane they're on. Petitioners in Abaddon are known as hunted and are constantly stalked and eventually eaten by or turn into daemons, those in the Abyss are known as larvae and feed on enough demon poo poo to become demons themselves, those in Elysium are called the chosen and enjoy various pleasures before becoming azatas, those in Heaven are referred to as the elect and aid in various tasks before they turn into archons, the ones in Hell are "the damned" and are heavily scarred from constant torture that only ends when they are decided to be fit enough to become devils, those of Limbo are called the shapeless and are basically depressed ghosts that wander around feeling sorry for themselves until they become proteans, ones in Nirvana are named the cleansed and become animals based on their personality before transforming into agathions upon some manner of enlightenment, those in Purgatory are just called "the dead" and sit around being skeletal until they transform into aeons, and those whose afterlife is Utopia are referred to as "the remade" and get to be reforged as inevitables after they have solved the riddle of arcane script written all over their own soul-bodies.

I hesitate to actually call this one a template, really. It's almost a pseudo-template in that you get stripped of almost all your defining class features and special qualities, drop down to 2d10 hit dice no matter how many you had in life, change type to Outsider, and have a Challenge Rating of 1. Really, the only thing that a petitioner keeps is its size modifier and ability scores. Each one also gets one or two minor abilities on top of their blank slate. The hunted get damage resistance 5 and fast healing 1, larvae have cold, electricity, and fire resistance 10 plus a bite attack, chosen have cold and fire resistance 10 plus +2 Charisma, elect get a fly speed equal to their base speed, damned have immunity to fire damage but still suffer its pain (this requires a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid being stunned 1d4 rounds every time they would normally take fire damage), shapeless have the Incorporeal subtype, cleansed have cold and sonic resistance 10 plus +2 Wisdom, dead have damage resistance 10 bypassed by bludgeoning damage plus cold immunity, and remade get +2 Intelligence and an immunity to hostile transmutation.


Phycomid (CR 4 Small Plant)
Phycomids first came to us in the December 1982 issue of Dragon magazine, later appearing in the AD&D 2 Monstrous Manual, the Tome of Horrors, and here. They're not all that interesting, to be honest. A phycomid is a green mold monster with a bunch of mushrooms growing out of it. They spit acid and throw spores that inflict a disease dealing 1d2 Constitution damage a round for 6 rounds. If you die to a phycomid, another phycomid grows from the nutrients of your corpse.


Poltergeist (CR 2 Medium Undead [Incorporeal])
Poltergeists are special incorporeal undead that are bound to the place of their death or the location their corpse was interred, unlike the wander-capable ghosts and the various other phantasmal spiritse you usually encounter in the Pathfinder universe. This captivity has tormented them and twisted their minds until they have become merciless and evil (Lawful Evil, oddly enough) creatures that lash out in a rage at any living thing they come across. Unfortunately for the poltergeists, they can't actually directly attack, not even a cold touch or anything. Instead, the poltergeist has a set of gimmick options for use in combat: it can take a standard action to briefly go from its normally invisible state to show itself as a skeletal corpse and force a DC 14 Will save to avoid being frightened for 1d4 rounds, or it can use its constantly active Telekinesis spell to throw poo poo. A slain poltergeist reforms in 2d4 days if you don't correct whatever keeps it bound to the mortal coil.



Primates
The order that includes lemurs, monkeys, gibbons, great apes, and ourselves; this entry is specifically two monkey stats. Baboons (CR ½ Small Animal) are aggressive savannah-dwelling omnivores, while monkey swarms (CR 2 Tiny Animal [Swarm]) are hundreds of angry jungle-dwelling monkeys that descend from the trees to deal damage upon your starting heroes.


Proteans
Meet our slaad equivalent for Pathfinder. Creatures of primordial Chaos, the proteans are a clan of Chaotic Neutral snake-like monsters that dwell in the swirling madness of Limbo. They believe that the gods wronged them by pulling the clay to make the other planes from out of the primordial chaos, and seek to correct this injustice by sucking everything and everyone back into what they see as the glorious incongruity of their realm. All proteans have flight, blindsense, acid immunity, electricity and sonic resistance 10, constrict attack, continuously active Freedom of Movement spell, constantly-shifting organs that grant an immunity to unwilling polymorph effects and 50% chance to ignore any extra damage from critical hits or sneak attacks as well as an always one round only recovery time for blindness or deafness, and a 1/day use of either Polymorph (for CR 9 or lower) or Greater Polymorph (CR 10 or higher) that also works as the Heal spell. Some proteans can also utilize what are known as warpwaves, which is a special attack that rolls d20 and randomly inflicts some manner of damage or ailment. This can be two points of damage to one ability score, a negative level, 1d4 rounds of a combat condition such as entangled, sickened, or blinded, instant fatigue (or exhaustion if they were already fatigued), 4d6 temporary HP, a Heal spell, a Flesh to Stone spell, a Baleful Polymorph spell, or 4d6 damage from one of the types of energy damage.

Imentesh (CR 10 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Extraplanar, Protean, Shapechanger])
"Chaos missionaries", the imenteshes are bright blue proteans with snakey lower bodies, clawed humanoid torsos, and heads like some weird toothed parrot that slither out from Limbo to preach about how great unraveling reality would actually be. While they prefer to talk with their constantly active Tongues spell, combative imenteshes can call on a +4d6 sneak attack, spell-like abilities that include Chaos Hammer, Dispel Magic, Major Creation, Polymorph Any Object, and Slow, and the ability to slap a warpwave on anyone within 100 feet who fails a DC 20 Fortitude save as a standard action.

Keketar (CR 17 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Extraplanar, Protean, Shapechanger])
Large and in charge, the vibrantly colored keketars have stork-like heads and lots of spikes all over their bodies. They are the priesthood of the protean people and deliver messages from their god about the sacred mission to bring all back into the fold of primordial chaos. They have a 30 foot radius "spacial riptide" that forces any non-protean teleporting in or out of that aura to make a DC 28 Fortitude save or be put in suspended animation for 1d3 rounds, a 1/day power that acts as a buffed Mirage Arcana spell that creates semi-real illusory terrain features that have hit points and can deal damage, and spell-like abilities that include Chaos Hammer, Major Creation, Move Earth, Prismatic Spray, and Prismatic Sphere. Oh, and any claw or bite attack they make forces a DC 28 Fortitude save to avoid being affected by a warpwave.

Naunet (CR 7 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Extraplanar, Protean, Shapechanger])
Primitive, violent proteans that resemble linnorms, naunets are unleashed to sew chaos in the good old-fashioned manner of destruction and violence. Their mechanics to support this life calling are natural weapons that count as magic and chaotic weaponry for overcoming damage reduction and can further freely switch between one of adamantine, silver, or cold iron on top of that, as well as the two tentacles on its back delivering a chaotic energy that forces a DC 19 Will save to avoid being confused for a round. Three naunets in a group have a 1/day casting of Solid Fog, while six or more can instead cast Acid Fog.

Voidworm (CR 2 Tiny Outsider [Chaotic, Extraplanar, Protean, Shapechanger])
A CR 2 Tiny Outsider, you say? That can only mean one thing: the prerequisite familiar-capable Outsider that every other group has had in this book! In the wilds of Limbo, these iridescent feathered serpents flit around in large schools, but typically end up being summoned by wizards that specialize in illusions and evocation. Other proteans claim that voidworms aren't true proteans as they are too weak and no proper protean would ever allow itself to be summoned and bound, but the voidworms don't really care about such insults due to having short attention spans and near-constant curiosity for new things. They have a handful of spell-like abilities such as Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, and Prestidigitation, and their weak tail slap attack forces a DC 12 Will save to avoid a round of being confused.



Qlippoths
The name "qlippoth" has its origins in Jewish and hermetic Kabbalah mysticism, referring to the impure/evil shells that constrain the divine illumination of the ten sephirot. This has nothing to do with Pathfinder's equivalent beyond the overarching name, however; instead, to learn of the origins of these qlippoth, we must look to the history of roleplaying games. D&D Third Edition, specifically. Green Ronin Publishing created a third party sourcebook called the Book of Fiends that was full of "edgy" and grotesque demons, devils, and other Evil Outsiders, one group of which were the qlippoth. Green Ronin's qlippoth were the ur-Chaotic Evil that formed in the Abyss before demons and possibly even the gods existed. Someone at Paizo apparently quite liked this idea, as the Book of Fiends gets the honor of being the only third party title besides the Tome of Horrors I and II that got combed for Pathfinder Bestiary 2, and it's for that reason that we have this entry.

As in BoF, Pathfinder's qlippoth are a truly ancient Chaotic Evil race, quite literally from the dawn of time, that have become incensed with demons taking over their pad. While at first the qlippoth engaged in a mass war against demonkind, they eventually put two and two together and realized that demons would just keep coming as long as mortals keep sinning. Their solution? Extermination of all mortal life in the multiverse. It's the only way to be sure! A qlippoth in the Material Plane will veer right for children and pregnant women first, because that's just the way they roll when it comes to thinning down potential future demons. There are a handful of nihilistic qlippoth worshipers out there, but not nearly as many as there are for demons, and even what few there are actually pose a problem for the qlippoth. Namely, a qlippoth can be "infected" by mortal worshipers' sins and transformed into demon lords. It is stated that most non-humanoid demon lords such as Dagon and Jubilex were originally qlippoth.

Mechanically, all glippoths share an immunity to cold, mind-affecting effects, and poison, acid, electricity, and fire resistance 10, telepathy, and an ability called Horrific Appearance that is always a mind-affecting gaze attack with a Will save attached but has different effects on a failed save depending on the particular qlippoth.

Augnagar (CR 14 Huge Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
The big, dumb brute species of qlippoth. These weird bat-spider things guzzle up rotting demon flesh, other qlippoths, and whatever else happens to get in their way. Once an augnagar consumes enough other qlippoth that is is immensely bloated, it engages in self-mutilation that allows it to be reborn from its own viscera as a more powerful species of qlippoth called the thulgant. In the meantime, they are still pretty nasty, their bite and claw attacks having both 1d8 extra bleed damage and the bite alone having a further "rotting curse" disease that deals 1d6 Constitution drain and a variant of the Stench special quality that also affects the rotting individual as much as it does any bystanders. Their Horrific Appearance deals 2 Charisma damage and 1d3 rounds of confusion.

Chernobue (CR 12 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
A big slimy eyeball with tentacles. They love being dirty boys that spread the "vile fecundity of the Abyss" across the multiverse, using their 1/day Plane Shift to plop down in a different spot of the cosmos and bring misfortune each day. Chernobues have a 30 foot radius misfortune aura that forces a -1 to attack rolls and damage rolls to creatures that are either Lawful or Good (this boosts to -3 if you are Lawful Good), venom on their bite attack that deals 1d2 Constitution drain a round for 6 rounds, and Horrific Appearance that deals 2d6 rounds of paralysis on a failed save.

Cythnigot (CR 2 Tiny Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
Okay, I know literally every Outsider clan has had the CR 2 Tiny member who is meant to be used for an improved familiar, but this one is a bit much. Qlippoth are specifically anti-worship and anti-mortal. This is gotten around by having the cythnigot being a fungal parasite that infects Tiny size animals, and a familiar one being an intentional creation of a Chaotic Evil Wizard infecting their familiar with cythnigot spores. The result is a deformed version of the original animal carrying a slimy Venus flytrap on its back (which is also what "wild" individuals will look like). The cythnigot's Horrific Appearance sickens for a round on a failed save. Furthermore, its bite forces a DC 11 Fortitude save toa void being infected by spores that wrap around the target's limbs and impart the entangled condition until a successful save on a round allows the target to rip them out.

Iathavos (CR 20 Colossal Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
The iathavos resembles a massive eye-covered sphere with four bat wings and two clawed legs, frequently covered in numerous smaller and weaker qlippoth that swarm over its hide. It is a disaster on the wing that razes mortal and demon habitations alike and only disappears in a Plane Shift when it has either completely depopulated a city or is driven away by a foe that can actually outmatch its combat prowess. Like the jabberwock earlier on in the book, slaying the iathavos is only a temporary measure, as another is soon born fully formed and ready to begin planning future destruction.

Unsurprisingly, the iathavos has a large amount of mechanical powers it can call on. Perhaps the most insidious is Abyssal Transformation, wherein a grappled creature gets engulfed and must make a DC 30 Fortitude save or be transformed into a nyogoth qlippoth that blindly serves the iathavos. If that wasn't enough, it has constantly dripping ichor in an expanding radius (5 feet after the iathavos is first injured, at which point it expands 5 feet per round to a max of a 30 foot radius) that entangles on a failed DC 32 Reflex save and deals 4d6 acid damage a round to entangled foes, Horrific Appearance that both casts Feedlemind and induces permanent blindness on a failed save, 300 foot range eye beams that deal 40d6 damage and can be used once per minute, and a suite of spell-like abilities that include constant Cloak of Chaos and Freedom of Movement, at will Plane Shift, Black Tentacles, Horrid Wilting, Imprisonment, and Word of Chaos.

Nyogoth (CR 10 Medium Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
Nyogoths are relatively weak qlippoth that resemble floating mouths covered in intestine-tentacles. They are the scavengers of the Abyss, eating waste and filth that demons and qlippoth leave behind as well as any unfortunate living creatures they can overpower. While technically as smart as a human, the nyogoth's ceaseless hunger overrides everything else, and their only shows of cleverness are in figuring out how to get more food. A combatative nyogoth has a Horrific Appearance that nauseates for 1d8 rounds on a failed save, and its body is so stuffed with acid that any piercing or slashing damage spews 1d6 damage worth of acid in all adjacent squares.

Shoggti (CR 7 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
These squid-like qlippoth are keen-minded slavers. What does a nihilistic bunch of monsters that desire nothing more than to eliminate all mortals and demons need with slaves? Nobody's sure, beyond that it's probably short-term murder avoidance for long term murder gain. The shoggti's four claws can somehow hold magical items but not weapons, however that works. They can also do a melee touch attack that deals 1d4 Wisdom damage once per round, a Horrific Appearance that renders those who fail against it fascinated for 1d6 rounds, and spell-like abilities focused on mental manipulation such as Charm Person and Command.

Thulgant (CR 18 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Qlippoth])
Trading wings (but not their flight, because why not) for three scorpion stingers, superhuman intelligence, and a load more supernatural and physical powers, the thulgant is what comes out of an augnagar after it goes on a cannibal binge. Thulgants are the anti-demon warlords of the qlippoth and engage in merciless campaigns against them. Hell, they're so good at fighting demons that all of their attacks are treated as cold iron and good-aligned when injuring demons and any spells they cast against a demon get a +10 bonus to penetrating spell resistance. Their three stingers can force a DC 29 Fortitude save to avoid 1d4 Strength, Dexterity, or Charisma drain depending on which of the three tails struck, and if all three successfully hit a target in the same round there's an additional 3d6+12 damage and a DC 29 Fortitude save to avoid 2 drain on all six of the victim's ability scores. For supernatural powers, the thulgant has a Horrific Appearance that deals 1d6 Wisdom damage and 1d4 rounds of stun on a failed save and spell-like abilities including at will Greater Dispel Magic, quickened Dimension Door, Flesh to Stone, Temporal Stasis, and Word of Chaos.



Quickling (CR 3 Small Fey)
Originating in the 1983 Monster Manual II, the quicklings of yore were vicious elf-like fey created by the Queen of Air and Darkness via twisting and corrupting brownies. They were also ridiculously short-lived for a sapient race, only lasting ten years due to the fact that they go so fast. They are still described as looking like little elves here – though apparently someone didn't tell the artist about that, since he created the interesting and rather alien-looking faerie rogue we have above – but the origin story with the queen is gone, as is any mention of a short lifespan due to their speed powers. Quicklings like being assholes, murdering, and murdering while being assholes: the only things that really bring them joy are insult and violence. As their name implies, a quickling is exceedingly fast, having a 120 foot base land speed and gaining 20% concealment due to the blur effect around them as they move. Oh, and they're invisible while motionless too. A quickling that is hit by the Slow spell or effect that replicates it both loses their blur effect and is sickened for the duration of the spell and a round after.


Quickwood
Another creature from the AD&D 1E Monster Manual II, the quickwood is an angry tree with a face and vine tentacles. I guess being able to move at all is quick by tree standards, but it's a shame it isn't literally zooming around the landscape or something. Quickwoods can see through any oak tree within a 360 foot radius and can store one spell that its spell resistance protects against. It technically has a fear aura, but has to use a stored spell charge to produce a one round "burst" with a radius of 10 feet per spell level of the stored spell. Failing a DC 20 Will save means any target in the radius is panicked for a minute.



Next Time in Pathfinder Bestiary 2: We're closer to the finish now, it's time for R and S. We'll meet the rasts and reefclaws...oh, and slime molds too, I guess. :shrug:

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Nightshades are another Mystara/BECMI critter type, big bad and ugly enough to screw with Immortal-level PCs.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


I have dim memories of them screwing with your potions as well.

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


Alien Rope Burn posted:

There was a running group gag with a friend had a Shinjo character who did all of his poetry on a horse because, hey, he adds his Horsemanship to all rolls while mounted.

There's rules to be Japanese Banjo Patterson and write Japanese Bush Ballads like Man From Snowy Japaness River? That sounds fun. Or a Gene Auntry 'singing cowboy', or an Andelusian troubadour....

'Mounted poet' is a surprisingly versatile character concept.

I dunno what Borges would think about ending up in D&D, but it's probably worth an essay or two.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 08:55 on Aug 22, 2016

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


I always have fun using the mysterious secret technique of aiming with my Unicorn characters. It's also super strong, what with getting a poo poo-ton of free raises.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Count Chocula posted:

I dunno what Borges would think about ending up in D&D, but it's probably worth an essay or two.

I think he'd have been down with it, and the idea that a monster he created is actually from Greek myth would have amused him most likely. Stripping the perytons of what distinguishes them and making them slightly odd griffins probably wouldn't though.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





This is really weird because in old D&D perytons had the shadows of whatever creature's heart they had last eaten. Which seems significantly more interesting than it being a "I got you in my sites" mechanic

Terrible Opinions fucked around with this message at 09:40 on Aug 22, 2016

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Yes no clue why Paizo felt they had to remove that, under the impression that it was protected content? Then again an RPG.net read through of the 5e Monster Manual seems to indicate that aspect isn't there either. Too weird and interesting? Trying to distinguish the D&D peryton from Borges' real deal? Who the hell knows.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Alien Rope Burn posted:

There was a running group gag with a friend had a Shinjo character who did all of his poetry on a horse because, hey, he adds his Horsemanship to all rolls while mounted.

I dunno, I can buy "I do this thing because it gives me ideas and helps me think" just fine.

Tea Ceremony on horseback is obviously you getting the bonuses because everyone is impressed as hell you can do that, too.

All of this seems to check out.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Clearly the next step is to ride a horse on another horse.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



potatocubed posted:

I have dim memories of them screwing with your potions as well.

Nightwalkers have a really nasty trick:

SRD posted:

Crush Item (Su)
A nightwalker can destroy any weapon or item of Large size or smaller (even magic ones, but not artifacts) by picking it up and crushing it between its hands. The nightwalker must make a successful disarm attempt to grab an item held by an opponent. The item is entitled to a DC 34 Fortitude save to resist destruction. The save DC is Strength-based.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




I don't think I could ever have the stomach to destroy any of my players' items. I did it once with a Xorn eating a recently acquired Amulet of Natural Armor and I still feel bad about it :(

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Traveller posted:

I just want you guys to know that Count Chocula has the second most posts in this thread after Mors, and he has never posted a review of anything.

Sounds like a Mod Challenge waiting to happen :unsmigghh:

EDIT:

Kavak posted:

I don't think I could ever have the stomach to destroy any of my players' items. I did it once with a Xorn eating a recently acquired Amulet of Natural Armor and I still feel bad about it :(

I remember an old thread on the WotC forums listing mean things to do to players. It was mostly juvenile humor, but I still chuckle at "The BBEG is Lord Sunder, and he calls his minions 'Sunderlings'".

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 14:49 on Aug 22, 2016

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I'm finally done traveling around like crazy (I've had 2 drives back and forth across from the midwest to the east coast in the last two or three weeks) and should be back to the Terrible Secrets of The Pigmen and the Crazy Foxes and Crazier Wolves soon.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Kavak posted:

I don't think I could ever have the stomach to destroy any of my players' items. I did it once with a Xorn eating a recently acquired Amulet of Natural Armor and I still feel bad about it :(

A nightwalker showed up in Neverwinter Nights 2 near the end of the game. Fortunately, the game refrained from giving the nightwalker that particular ability.

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011



All of this implies the wizard hasn't already word of death'd it

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Way of the Unicorn: Horsing Around

Important NPCs time! They also have wonky Insight scores with the "Perceptive readers may have noticed..." sidebar on the second print run of the book. Because getting devs to use their own chargen rules is bullshit, I guess. (I can sort of sympathize with the sentiment, but NPCs should have different stat blocks from PCs in that case.)


Looking good for an old timer.

Shinjo Yokatsu, the Master of the Four Winds, is the Clan Champion of the Unicorn. He's an old and quiet man, seemingly more content on his horse than sitting down. His grandfather was the previous clan daimyo, and Yokatsu grew up listening to stories of the clan roaming through deserts and steppes. His grandfather made sure that he met and learned from people from all walks of life, from eta to great nobles. When he came of age, instead of assuming his position as clan daimyo he went on a journey beyond Rokugan, wandering for two years, meeting strangers and sleeping under the stars. He reached the Sands, and suddenly turned back: when his grandfather asked him why he hadn't finished his journey, he answered that homeland is not a place, but a people. He is the only living member of the clan to have seen the Burning Sands. When he smiles, it is an open and honest smile, and he much prefers riding leathers to the robes of his station. He hates making etiquette mistakes and curses under his breath when he does. :3: Shinjo Bushi 5, lots of skills (that still don't quite make the appropriate Insight rank) and he Can't Lie.


Ladiezzzz.

Shinjo Yasamura is Yokatsu's son. He's just out of his gempukku and is a hopeless romantic and showoff. Not quite a lady-killer, but he loves to think he is. He's competent as a warrior but he'd rather hear about great feats than perform them (he has Soft-Hearted as a Disadvantage, he doesn't like to kill) All the same, he is naturally likable and easygoing. He is an exemplar of the new generation of Unicorn, those who have always known Rokugan as home, and he has no interest in the Burning Sands or anything beyond that. There's probably no pretty ladies to mack on outside, anyway. He's not intended to rule the Shinjo house after his dad steps down, but he still has responsibilities as the son of the clan daimyo, and he's secretly afraid he won't live up to Yokatsu's expectations. Shinjo Bushi 2, pretty good fighter but again, Soft-Hearted.


Don't talk to me or my brother ever again.

Morito used to be Otaku Morito, son of an Imperial magistrate. He was fascinated with the Otaku steeds since an early age, and dreamed of undergoing the battle maiden training, but his place as an Otaku man was on the ground. He learned how to take care of the steeds and ride non-combat horses, but he still wanted his own Otaku warhorse. Eventually, he did the unthinkable - with his brother's help, he tried to ride a battle maiden stallion, with such bad luck that the horse broke one of its legs and threw him off. The horse would live, but it would never accept a rider again. Morito was made clan ronin and cast out of the clan and now, along with his loyal brother, wander Rokugan as sellswords. Shinjo Bushi 1, with enough insight to go up another Rank but again, clan ronin. His brother has taken up the ways of the shugenja, but he gets no stats.


Gonna gently caress some Crab poo poo up one of these days.

Shinjo Hanari is the sensei of the Shinjo Yomanri school. He's strict and of harsh words, but also known as the best archer in the clan. In battle, he leads the Clan's archery contingents, with accurate and deadly attacks. He has a grizzled war dog named Koji that follows him wherever he goes. The only darkness in his soul was a minor skirmish with the Crab over a small Crab village in Unicorn lands, which the Crab considered their own. The skirmish went poorly for the Unicorn and they had to surrender, but the Crab commander cruelly slaughtered their steeds before sending them on their way. Hanari has sworn revenge against the Crab, Hida Tsuru, because of this. He attends the Wasp archery tournament every year and has a friendly rivalry with Mirumoto Sukune, and they often spend time discussing archery techniques along with the Wasp daimyo, Tsuruchi. Hanari is convinced he is only beaten because the Wasp tournament is on foot instead of horseback. Shinjo Bushi 4, but some 20-odd points away from the proper Insight rank.


Gonna gently caress some Lion poo poo up one of these days.

Otaku Kamoko is the Otaku daimyo. Born to the previous daimyo of the same name, she joined the battle maidens much earlier than others of her generation on account of her mother, who also was her sensei. When Kamoko was 12, her mother was brought out of retirement for an important courier mission, and she died in what was first said to be a brigand ambush, but later rumors were that a Lion party killed her for the package she was carrying. Kamoko began to hate the Lion, and vowed to avenge her mother. A few months after her gempukku, border clashes with the Lion had become common, and in one of these Kamoko's brashness took the better of her and she charged against a Lion "scouting party" - an almost full invasion force. Her mount glowed with a shimmering aura, and the other maidens followed Kamoko because she was obviously blessed by the Lady Otaku. The charge broke the Lion forces and she honorably allowed the Lion commander, Matsu Agetoki, to seppuku - but instead he tried to bargain for his life using the identity of the killers of Kamoko's mother as leverage. The delay was enough to allow Lion reinforcements to return and Kamoko never learned who did it, but she now knows someone does. Otaku Battle Maiden 4, on the level with Insight, Otaku as her Ancestor and Great Destiny (one of the Seven Thunders)!


Gonna gently caress some--- nah, it's cool, he's just gonna take care of horses.

Otaku Kojiro is Kamoko's father and Master of the Otaku Stables. He loves horses, but cannot ride them. When he was young, he tried breaking in a wild pony and almost killed himself falling down from it. When he recovered and tried getting back in the saddle, he became violently ill. He developed a combination motion sickness/phobia of riding that was awful for a Unicorn to have. He has to ride because of his status, but his condition makes him prefer a wagon to carry him around. Born a Shinjo, he was paired off with the daimyo of the Otaku family, and while the marriage was arranged he loved his wife dearly. Her death was a harsh blow, but he retreated into himself and the boring minutia of running the Otaku stables rather than seeking revenge like Kamoko. His only happiness is the pride that he feels for his daughter, and the memory of his wife. :unsmith:


Sweet hat, christ

Ide Tadaji was born under a bad sign and with a lame foot, never learning to ride. He was apprenticed as a shugenja to Iuchi Daiyu but the boy had no mind for magic. Instead, he learned much of the Unicorn's history and the people of Rokugan. When his deformity could no longer be hidden, Daiyu spoke on his behalf and got him sent to a Dragon monastery - when he returned, he had a stentorian voice, confidence and schooling in the peculiarities of the Rokugani court. He was quickly accepted into the Ide school, and after helping Yokatsu attend to the Emperor when he stayed at the Shinjo castle he was again sent away from the Clan - this time, to the Imperial Court itself. Navigating the plots of the Crane and the Scorpion is every bit as challenging as a battlefield, but he has an unlikely ally: Shosuro Taberu, a Scorpion courtier. They share a common love of the board game Go and similar personalities. Taberu is described in Way of the Scorpion, and it says that while he's had several opportunities to backstab Tadaji, he hasn't because he genuinely likes the Unicorn. Ide Emissary 4, reasonable skills, no Sincerity though.


Even Unicorn beauty treatments have a limit.

Iuchi Karasu is a Unicorn shugenja that tried to follow what he believed to be the way of the Clan since the days of Shinjo - travel farther and farther into the unknown. After his gempukku, he went on a grand tour of Rokugan, sending letters home from the Dragon Mountains, the Crane shores, the northern lands of the Phoenix and so on. When he reached Crab lands, the inhabitants talked to him of the horrors of the Shadowlands, which only intrigued him further. He went into the dark lands, and only returned months later when a Crab scouting party found him floating on a log, half-mad from hunger and badly wounded. He had been tortured, strips of skin torn off from his skin, and his eyes had become strange red orbs. Kuni Yori, the Kuni daimyo tended to his wounds and both men became friends later, but they never made public what exactly had gone down there. Karasu, now wearing a mask to conceal his mutilated face, went back to Unicorn lands and eventually married a Kuni lady; rumor has it that she is there under Yori's orders to take care of a mysterious illness that Karasu gained in the Shadowlands. Iuchi Shugenja 3, within PC levels but with a DARK SECRET.


He looks kinda pissed, though his description is chill.

Iuchi Daiyu is the oldest living Unicorn shugenja and the Clan's lorekeeper. Despite his years, he looks young and without lines on his face. A traveling Isawa once invited him to study with the Phoenix Elemental Masters, but he politely refused - there's no knowledge that can be given to him that he can't attain himself, he believes. His magic is a mix of Rokugani craft with Burning Sands magics half-remembered in lore. He teaches his students to observe their environment, and how by changing one small facet the whole world can be changed. He also has a secret gift he does not reveal to others: he can - almost - understand animal speech. He spends much time in the woodlands, watching, and has refined this talent for years so that he can learn from the animals themselves, rather than observing them. Twenty points short of his Iuchi Shugenja rank of 4, lots of spells but no real fighting skills. He's still going to have Osano-Wo fry anyone that means him harm, though.


She's good with children, TAKE A HINT

Horiuchi Shoan used to be simply Iuchi Shoan. She was the governess of Yokatsu's two youngest children, Shono and Shonoko. When they were seven and five years old respectively, Shoan accompanied them on a trek to Lion lands, but their caravan was ambushed by bandits. Shoan fled with the children, but the bandits caught up with her: fortunately, she used the Castle of Water spell to surround her and the children while the Unicorn samurai regrouped and dispatched the bandits. In recognition of her courage, Yokatsu added "Hori" (moat) to her family name. She is a peaceful woman reputed to be shy and bookish, but with children she becomes outgoing, a wonderful storyteller and singer. She has never married despite her parents efforts, and rumor has it that a Crane samurai stole her heart but did not correspond her feelings. She is the only Horiuchi in Rokugan, and perhaps the last. Iuchi Shugenja 1 even though she's well on her way to Rank 3, totally PC waifu material.

Ancestors! Shinjo Martera was Shinjo's eldest child. He exemplified bushido for the Unicorn, and no one ever found fault with him during his whole life. For 10 points, the character always succeeds at Honor rolls, but if they ever deliberately behave in a dishonorable manner they lose the connection to Martera. Shinjo is well, Shinjo. 3 points, the character gets a free raise to try to read the emotions of others, or for understanding enigmas. Moto Chai was one of the greatest horsemen to ever lived, forced to seppuku by his commander because he rejected promotions so that he could stay on the field doing missions. Upon hearing of this, the daimyo of the era forced the commander to commit seppuku and struck his name from the records for his stupidity. 7 points, character gets to keep all the dice they roll for Horsemanship and get a free Void Point to spend on every Athletics roll they undertake. Yikes! Moto Soro was the first Moto, a rough and unmannered Ujik-Hai that rose to prominence with determination and fearless embrace of bushido. For 5 points, a character gets to ignore all their Wound penalties a number of rounds equal to their Void per day. The rounds need not be sequential. Otaku is Otaku, and for 5 points a character gets the Voice advantage and their words are understandable to all mammalian non-human creatures. It doesn't mean they'll necessarily do as they say, though. Otaku Shiko was Otaku's daughter and considered to be the founder of the battle maiden tradition. For 4 points, the character may spend a Void Point to ignore Wound penalties for (School Rank) rounds. Ide was an extraordinarily peaceful and amiable man. For 4 points, as long as they wear neither weapon nor armor anyone attacking the character must make a Willpower vs Honor contested roll. If the Unicorn rolls higher, the offender cannot attack the character this round. Iuchi was Iuchi, and once a day a character may use their Void Ring instead of any other Ring when casting spells for 3 points. Nifty. Iuchi Atesoro was the first descendant of Iuchi to take up the way of the bushi, and learned to fight without armor because his family did not have dedicated armorers at the time. For 6 points, the character is considered to perform Full Defense when attacked with arrows or other ranged attacks, even if the character is performing a Full Attack. Moto Sanjo is worth 0 points because he is more disadvantage than advantage. He was one of the Moto that were lost to the Shadowlands, and all that returned of him to the Unicorn was his broken katana. The character hears Sanjo's manic laugh when Shadowlands creatures are close, which can serve as an early warning but also makes them drop their highest die on all rolls when fighting Shadowlands creatures. They can avoid the penalty for one day succeeding at a TN 10 Honor roll.

And now, sample characters.


Boyzzzzz.

The Ide Diplomat is friendly, pretty, a natural negotiator. And shocked when she learns that the rest of Rokugan does consider the Unicorn to be a bunch of barbarians! They thought she did not understand, but she did - she learned by observing none other than Bayushi Kachiko herself. She would just tease, but this character would go a little further. She reads the letters of her paramours while they sleep, shuffled out of their chambers crying tears of shame and pocketing secret seals, and paying attention in the "throes of passion" to what secrets escaped their lips. Also she has a child from one of these liaisons, which she foisted off on a trusted servant then "adopted" as her own. She loves the child, but they must never know their parentage! Somehow they have Honor 3 despite their continuous use of Seduction.


Chillax, mang.

For the Iuchi Holy Man, things just work out. Most of the "dour spellweavers" of Rokugan deny that they are holy men but he doesn't. He experiences the world in search of enlightenment, and though he has not found it yet he's had fun doing so. Things just go his way, and he'd rather grab all those morose morons binding themselves to another incarnation of dreary monastic life and have them live life a little. Only the truly enlightened can pronounce his name. His sharp tongue and wit gets him in a lot of trouble, but it's not like he can't fight back with words, or with his bo stick. It's to be expected when dealing with people that don't understand TRUE ENLIGHTENMENT. He has Luck at 4, and Magic Resistance, but is also Brash! Also 0 Glory!


poo poo: seen.

The Moto Hunter has seen some poo poo. It was bad enough being born a Moto, having to go against Fu Leng himself just to clear the family name. But he used to have a drive, steel in his heart... until he faced his own great-great-great-whatever-grandfather, now a lost Moto. He faced him, but he'd much rather had fled - he was cut off from his forces and had no choice. He took down the undead samurai, but is not sure of who really won the fight. Now, other people think of him as an ascetic, brave man, but he just wants his opium hits so that he doesn't have to think too hard. When that doesn't work, he goes into the Shadowlands to kill things until his mind is at rest again. A PTSDing case with Chemical Dependence and Weakness, so he has Awareness at 1. He is going to gently caress someone's poo poo up with his Fine katana, though.


He's earned that :smug:

The Shinjo Caravan Master was a small child bullied by his older brother and friends all of his childhood. He tried to learn kenjutsu, and tried to fight off his brother with a tanto; he took their father's wakizashi and cut off all but one of his fingers on his left hand. The poor kid was punished for getting his blood on the wakizashi, and his brother received it as a gift. His father favored his brother on all things, but his mother saw potential in him and sent him to train with the Ide. His maimed hand became an advantage: it made it clear that he could not draw a blade against someone who he was negotiating with. He studied under a respected caravan master, ignored the samurai prejudice against commerce, and saw more of the world than self-aggrandizing bushi. He still fears blades and combat, but is in a much better mood these days. Even warrior jerks require the supplies he can furnish. Not much of a fighter, but has a couple of Allies and still has a Fine wakizashi if poo poo goes down. Phobia (Combat) though :ohdear:


"And remember, if the enemy jumps you on the toilet, punch them in the face." "I know, Nana." "If they're guys, punt them right in the---" "I KNOW, NANA"

The Otaku Battle Maiden has a great destiny! At least that's what the spirit of her grandmother keeps telling her. She can only hope her mettle is up to the task. Her grandmother's strength takes on some of the pain she suffers in combat and maintains her balance, but has the venerable tendency to distract her descendant in combat, chiding her for her failures even when she was praising her moments earlier (and that praise distracted the maiden enough to slip up!) People think the maiden has a very short attention span, since she has to attend to her grandmother's spirit so often. And sometimes she demands that the maiden stand up and fight against all odds - it's been almost her death once already. But what else can she do? She has a great destiny, and she must respect her ancestor! (She has Overconfident, Haunted, and no Great Destiny. :ohdear:)

Next: there are no more horse jokes

Traveller fucked around with this message at 22:07 on Aug 22, 2016

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


I take it this was written before the Unicorn were suddenly being controlled by the Kolat?

I know that one of the big deals about the L5R card game was that tournaments determined the direction of the story, but how much of that was marketing bullshit? I think I concluded it had to be BS when the Spirit Wars cards came out a week after a major story tournament, and it was clear that the tournament was meant to have a certain result if the story was to make sense.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The degree of truthiness to that claim varied wildly at different times of the card game.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Wasn't Feng Shui supposed to be doing some bullshit like that with the Shadowfist CCG that proceeded it, and the Dragons got their clocks cleaned right before they wrote the RPG and thus accidentally ended up with the hook of 'Those losers are all dead, now you cooler PCs are the Silver Dragons' for their snapshot metaplot?

BinaryDoubts
Jun 6, 2013

Looking at it now, it really is disgusting. The flesh is transparent. From the start, I had no idea if it would even make a clapping sound. So I diligently reproduced everything about human hands, the bones, joints, and muscles, and then made them slap each other pretty hard.



Making a hacker in 11 easy steps… Let’s Read Cryptomancer! (Part 6)

First off, I’m just going to plug the gazeteer/intrigue generator that I wrote for the last post – the author of the game saw it on Reddit and asked to put it on the game’s website, which is pretty neat. And now… mechanics.

The book introduces the mechanics by intertwining them with character creation, so you’re learning about each new concept at the same time that you’re building that part of the character. It’s not a bad idea but I always find it a little annoying – I’d rather have the rules be a standalone reference section and the character creation be a short checklist or something, rather than having the two awkwardly mingled together. Both the character creation and the mechanics are pretty simple, though, so I can’t complain too much.

Character creation starts off with the usual suspects: name, race, appearance. You also have to pick a true name, which you’ll use for soul key encryption once the game starts. Racial choice doesn’t affect stats or mechanics in any tangible way, which the authors even acknowledge “feels wrong”, but I think it’s a good call. PCs should be probably be weirdos, and if that means an agile dwarf or a studious elf, so much the better! They also provide some Dungeon World-style appearance descriptors to choose from, although you can of course ignore their suggestions if your ~perfect hairstyle~ isn’t listed.

I’m going to quote the author here on character inspirations:

Cryptomancer posted:

While Cryptomancer is a tried-and-true fantasy game, it is also informed heavily by ideas from different genres including heist movies, spy thrillers, police dramas, science fiction, and historical non-fiction, not to mention our own experiences with information security. So don’t feel you need to limit your character idea to fantasy conventions, unless that’s exactly what you want to play. Instead, play the character you want to play and just dress it up in medieval fantasy trappings if necessary.
They hit this point a few times in the character creation section – taking pains to indicate that you should play a character who’s cool, rather than one who fits a certain gamist role (no DPS, please) or fantasy stereotype. I like it!

Stats
So, stats. You have four core ranks: Power, Speed, Wits, and Resolve. Pretty sure y’all can figure out for yourselves what they each represent. The game does the FATE thing where you give each stat a descriptor that also corresponds to a numerical value – each rank is either trivial (4), challenging (6), or tough (8). These are the same descriptors used to determine a challenge’s difficulty, which is nice. They make more sense when applied to difficulty than to skill – exactly what a “challenging” core rank means is a little confusing (for the record, it’s for stats that are neither weak nor strong). The words don’t really matter, since you just write down the number, but I wish they’d picked better words. Novice, Apprentice, Master (or similar) would be much clearer!

Anyway, they advise you to fill in some sentences to figure out how to assign your character’s stats. For instance, these are the questions for Power (general muscularity):

Cryptomancer posted:

It is __________ to overpower this character.
It is __________ to pierce this character’s defenses.
It is __________ to kill this character.
The idea is that you fill in each blank with trivial, challenging, or tough and then go from there. The problem is that all three are asking similar questions – I can’t imagine that a character who’s trivial to overpower would also have a hard-to-pierce defence. I like the idea of having questions to help shape your character, but it’s just that in this case, it’s way easier to just assign a few numbers and be done with it. By default, every stat starts at Challenging (6), and you can only raise one by lowering another. If you want two core ranks at 8, the other two have to be 4. These ranks measure a character’s ability to resist the world – they’re more like saves than true D&D style stats. When you’re trying to influence the world, you’ll roll using a rank’s attached attributes, which are connected like so:

[img]//i.imgur.com/vcFuSgB.png[/img]
In case you can’t see the image, the attributes are: Wits: Knowledge/Cunning, Power: Strength/Endurance, Speed: Agility/Dexterity, Resolve: Presence/Willpower.

Attributes can go from 1-5 (with 5 being the best), and you have points to distribute between each pair equal to the value of the governing core rank. If you have a Wits of 8, that means Knowledge and Cunning have to add up to 8: 4/4 works, as does 5/3 or 3/5. I love this system of derived attributes – it’s quick to explain, makes some intuitive sense, and also neatly allows characters who are both strong in the same core rank to still be distinguished from each other. Each of these attributes also governs four subskills, which aren’t given any kind of numerical rating – they’re more listed to give you a concrete idea of what each attribute governs, I think. I’m gonna run through these real quick, just pausing on a few skills that are worth discussing

Wits
Knowledge is all about, well, knowin’ things. It governs Alchemy (and you know there’s a potion-brewing subsystem coming up), Craft (making things), Medicine (healing things), and Query (finding things on the Shardscape and solving logical puzzles). Cunning governs your sneaky skills: Deception (lying and disguises), Scrounge (finding stuff), Tracking (finding people), and Traps (you can guess).

Speed
Agility: Acrobatics, Athletics, Escape Artistry (getting out of tight spaces… feels like this should have been rolled in to another skill), and Stealth.
Dexterity: Fired Missile (a weird way to say “archery n’ poo poo”), Lock Picking, Precise Melee, and Sleight of Hand.

Resolve
Presence: Beast Ken (taming and controlling animals), Charm (charisma), Menace (intimidation), and Performance (dancing and theatre and other boring poo poo players like to do sometimes).
Willpower: No skills, but your starting Mana Points equals 5 + Willpower. You also use it to resist fear effects, if your GM uses them.

Power
Strength: Brute Melee, Feat of Strength, Thrown Missile, and Unarmed Melee.
Endurance: No skills, but your starting HP equals 5 + Endurance, and you use it as a fortitude roll if needed.

I should say that this is where the organization starts to get a little crazy. You have to skip down to the Combat chapter to find out how much HP you start with, and waaaaaay down to the Magic chapter to find out the same for MP. (At least they use the same formula). The book has the Combat and Equipment chapters before the Talent chapter (perks, basically) and the Magic section is out past the Downtime rules. It’s not hard once you know how it’s laid out, but it is a little weird if you’re just trying to follow along and make a character.

Doing Things
So: how do you actually use these skills to do stuff? Well, the game has one of the most unique dice systems I’ve seen in a while – still deciding if it’s cool or badly overcomplicated. Basically, when the GM calls for a skill test, the player will always roll five dice and look for at least one success. Before rolling, you assemble a pool of d10s equal to your attribute rank, and then add enough d6s to get you to a total of five. These extra d6s are called fate dice, since they represent the little bit of extra luck heroes always have in fantasy stories.

Example: If you’re making a Feat of Strength test, and your Strength is 4, your dice pool is going to be 4xd10 and 1xd6. Remember those descriptors from earlier? Well, they decide the number you need to roll to have a die count as a success. A Trivial test requires a 4+, a Challenging test requires a 6+, and a Tough test requires a 8+. You’re just looking for a single success on any of your dice – multiple successes only make things more dramatic. There’s a catch, though: rolling a 1 on a die counts as a botch, which cancels out a success. If you have enough botches that your overall result is in the negatives, it means you not only failed, but that your failure was spectacular.

Another wrinkle: fate dice don’t work like your d10 attribute dice. Fate dice only succeed on a 6, regardless of the difficulty (so even if the task is Tough, a 6 still counts as a success). On the other hand, a roll of 1 or 2 counts as a botch – so relying on Fate is a sucker’s game.

So there’s the basics: roll five dice, look for successes, and hope to God you don’t botch things up too badly. Opposed checks are basically the same, except the GM doesn’t set a difficulty to, say, overpower an enemy: the difficulty is just equal to their Core rank – nice and elegant. There’s also rules for long-term skill tests and group tests and what have you but in the interest of time I’m going to skip over them.

Writing this out kind of solidified my feelings on the core mechanics, which is that there’s a nice elegance to the way difficulties and ranks tie together, but that it seems a little awkward in practice. I’ve never played the game so I can’t say for certain, but my feeling is that assembling die pools and quickly parsing the results would be a major slowing factor. The fact that fate dice use different rules for success/failure is annoying, too – I wish they’d found a way to have them use the same resolution system as d10s. (I can’t immediately see a problem with having the fate dice work like lovely attribute dice – they’d be useful for trivial tasks, dicey for challenging tasks, and useless/dangerous on tough tasks). Overall, though, I like a lot of stuff about the system! The skill list is to-the-point and laser-focused on the kinds of things the PCs will spend their time doing: mostly, skullduggery.

Next time: more character creation! Talents! Magic! Gear!

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Nightwalker are cool. They have giant monster sharks made out of anti-life.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, I think I only recall ever seeing one straightforward wandering swords kind of game (I don't even recall what it was called), most of what I've seen is like Tenra Bansho Zero where it's basically Japanese Rifts. Granted, I'm sure there are those who no better than I do but most RPG play is rooted in the same high fantasy tradition we have.

Samurai in any sort of pseudo-historical setting are kinda boring. But if you add gunblades, giant robots, supersonic ragebots and devil triggers, then you're starting to get somewhere.

SirPhoebos posted:

I take it this was written before the Unicorn were suddenly being controlled by the Kolat?

I know that one of the big deals about the L5R card game was that tournaments determined the direction of the story, but how much of that was marketing bullshit? I think I concluded it had to be BS when the Spirit Wars cards came out a week after a major story tournament, and it was clear that the tournament was meant to have a certain result if the story was to make sense.

Maybe they carefully nudge things in the "right" direction by giving certain factions better cards?

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:19 on Aug 22, 2016

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Legend of the Five Rings First Edition

Way of the Unicorn: The SCA Will Hear Of This

Appendix time! First, we talk about cavalry. Probably the greatest discovery the Ki-Rin made outside of Rokugan was the gaijin saddle and stirrup. Before that, Rokugani riding was done bareback, which was very difficult to master (minimum 3 Horsemanship) and not conducive to warfare. The saddle/stirrup combination not only brought the rider greater balance and comfort, it also allowed them to stand up while riding, which gave them greater flexibility when using polearms and also the ability to shoot while mounted. The dai-kyu did not exist in Rokugan prior to the Unicorn's return, and in fact neither did cavalry forces. When first facing the Unicorn, some generals sought to learn, mimic and improve this new weapon, while others rejected the barbarian ways and paid dearly for clinging too hard to tradition. The Unicorn uses two basic strategies when fighting, offensive and defensive, depending on terrain and circumstances. They always carry their entire army on the hoof, even the infantry. Mounted Infantry can redeploy quickly depending on circumstances, dismount when actually fighting, and can quickly retreat if things don't go their way. Light Cavalry is armed in a similar manner to the mounted infantry, but are used for scouting and harassing the enemy flank and rear. Medium Cavalry/Horse Archers are lethal and fast, using techniques like arcing and volley fire to strike at the enemy from afar with great effectiveness, and sometimes engaging in close combat. Heavy Cavalry is armed to the teeth, the main Unicorn arm in the field and the ones that counter enemy cavalry when present. Finally, the Battle Maidens (shiotome - wait, is that Death Maidens? That's metal.) are the elite of the army. The offensive strategy relies on missile fire and light cavalry harassment to whittle down their numbers, then breaking the enemy line with the shiotome while the other arms chew up the now divided enemy forces. The defensive strategy starts with a running battle with the horse archers firing and retreating through the infantry, shiotome and heavy cavalry, while the light horse pins the enemy from behind. If the enemy persists in advancing, the cavalry units surge forward and envelop the enemy while the infantry maintains the line. There is a letter from a Scorpion samurai to a Lion cousin mentioning how he obtained this information from a drunk Unicorn general and how it would be so terrible if the enemies of the Empire obtained this information to crush the Unicorn; the Lion cousin replies with a detailed analysis of Unicorn weaknesses (their complex archer movements and assumptions that the enemy lacks cavalry and pikemen of their own), but surely the secret-wise Scorpion cousin will know how to keep this vital information safe! :v:


Poor goblins :smith:

Horses! They have existed in Rokugan since before the Empire, but while the Unicorn was outside the horse was seen as nothing more than a beast of burden, used to transport supplies and work the fields. Sometimes they were ridden by important personages like daimyo and Emperors (though normally the Emperor is carried in a palanquin instead of a carriage) and a general might use one to have a vantage point on the battlefield, but cavalry simply did not exist before the Unicorn. There are now three basic breeds of horse in Rokugan. The Rokugan Pony is the smallest and most common, not an effective cavalry horse because of its short stride but very tough and hardy, so it is ideal as a work animal. It can live 30 years on average. The Gaijin Riding Horse is the tallest of the breeds, and is very suited to bearing a rider, easy to break in and friendly. This is what the Clans' cavalry troops use. It lives around 25 years. The Otaku Warhorse is noticeably leaner and more muscular than the others, lacking one set of ribs, and with great lung capacity. They are bred solely for use by the Emperor, the Unicorn clan and family daimyo and the shiotome. They live 25-30 years and give their riders a free rerolled die for any Horsemanship roll.


Talk to the fingers.

Gaijin Gear! The Unicorn have brought all sorts of treasures from their long time outside, and Unicorn samurai experiment with the "treacherous barbarian techniques" required for their use. Ashi-kyu are foot-bows that require lying on the ground and pulling on the string with both arms, bracing the bow with the feet. They are awkward to use, but hit hard and have twice as much range as a standard bow. It takes a round to set up an ashi-kyu, they roll (Strength-1) dice of extra damage on a hit, and have a range of (Strength+2) x 100 yards. Longswords are very different from Rokugani katana, weighing up to forty pounds (say what!?) and relying more on impact than edge to cause damage. They need a minimum Strength and Stamina of 3 to use and subtract 5 from all initiative rolls, but ignore armor and deal 1k4 damage. Nagayari are pikes, and the Unicorn learned their effectiveness against cavalry the hard way. They don't gain the normal initiative bonus of polearms, but instead automatically gain initiative against charging cavalry and if properly braced they use the enemy mount's Strength instead of the character's own to deal damage. They deal 3k2 as basic damage, and 2k2 for "dragon's teeth" that are just sharpened wooden poles used as static defenses. Oil lamps are made of metal and glass instead of the paper and wood of the Rokugani version. 15 feet of range, or 30 for directional lamps made with lenses and mirrors of gaijin make. Shields are considered to be too cumbersome for the Rokugani fighting systems, but they're still worth it against missile attack: they increase the TN vs missiles depending on the shield's size and reduce a percentage of the area weapon dice (now, where are the area attack rules? :psyduck:) Slings are a carefully guarded secret because non-Unicorn don't know that stones can be a deadly weapon and they think Unicorn slings are dumb barbarian fashion accessories, which means the Unicorn can get weapons in "safe" locations. The Sling skill could be considered Low for non-Unicorn, perhaps even a ninja trick! Spyglasses are handy for generals and scouts, with ranges going from 50 to 250 yards depending on quality. Uma-yari are cavalry lances. The rider always wins initiative while wielding one during a charge (nagayari and umayari cancel each other's initiative bonus) and they may impale two or more enemies on a charge due to length, Raises and GM's will depending. They deal 3k4 on horseback and 1k2 on foot with major initiative and hit roll penalties.

Gear quality! Remember how people can get Fine stuff depending on their clan and school? Well, the problem is that the corebook doesn't say what any of this means, except that Fine katana roll an extra die for damage. Now we have actual gear quality rules! Gear can go from Poor to Average, Fine, Excellent, Superior and Legendary. Each rank gives the weapon or item a budget of points to spend on qualities. Poor stuff has 1 point which they must spend on a negative trait, Average has none, Fine has 1, Excellent 2-3, Superior 4-6 and Legendary 7+. An extra die of damage or skill use costs 1 point, keeping an extra die costs 2 points, 1 point gives +2 to the TN to be Hit (for armor only, some kimonos might have this with GM approval), 2 points remove the heavy armor penalty and so on. Mounts can have Advantages or Disadvantages at half the cost for a human character.


"Did I leave the stove on? I think I did..."

Spells! Many of these spells are Secret Spells, meaning that the Unicorn will never teach them to non-Unicorn. There's some story with the Scorpion stealing one of these, the shugenja victim revealing the spell publicly to other clans to counter the Scorpion theft, then receiving a letter from them that is like "moron, you're baring all your secrets yourself" and ending up with the shugenja committing seppuku, which might just be what the Scorpion wanted anyway! Since then, the Unicorn have been a lot more wary of people taking their magical secrets. Even their non-Secret spells are held close and rarely taught to outsiders.

Earth

  • Not this Day: (Secret) the target rolls and keeps extra dice for all rolls equal to their Void for the duration of the spell and adds Void to initiative. At the end of the spell, the target dies. The spell scroll must be written in the target's willingly given blood in a special ritual before casting.

Water

  • Dance of the Unicorn: (Secret) summons a purifying mist that washes the air clean of smoke, dust and poisons.
  • The Horse's Nose: (Secret) the shugenja gains a horse's sense of smell and can track people and predators with Perception rolls.
  • The Penetrating Drop: the shugenja uses their Water to penetrate an object, breaking or otherwise ruining it. Raises are needed depending on the material's durability.
  • Ride Through The Night: target horse may run at a gallop for (Water) hours or until dawn comes up, whichever comes second.
  • Speed of the Waterfall: (Secret) target's speed is doubled as long as they run downhill. Lance attacks roll (Water) extra dice for attack and damage.
  • When Two Become One: the target's spirit melds with that of their mount, allowing both to use each other's highest Traits and Skills.
  • Wonderful Origami Furoshiki: (Secret) using a specially made furoshiki sack the shugenja can fold one cubic yard of objects into a bundle a mere cubic foot in size. Weight is similarly reduced. It takes 5 actions to unfold the furoshiki sack properly, otherwise things spill out without control.
  • The World is not Heavy: target takes no encumbrance penalties, not even for heavy armor.
  • Yuki's Blessing: (Secret) water is frozen in a flat bridge of ice. Duration depends on the weight of the people and animals crossing the bridge, the tranquility of the waters and the season.

Fire

  • The Burning Sands: (Secret, Ritual) Wall of Flame, 20' high and 5' long. It deals 3k2 damage trying to cross it. Raises can increase this damage or the wall's size.

Air

  • The Four Winds' Favor: (Secret) wind spirits bring sounds from afar to the caster. Range depends on the local wind conditions and Perception checks may be required for soft or indistinct sounds.
  • Gate to Nowhere: (Secret) a flat gate to nothing appears that swallows air and fast, small projectiles but rejects large objects like humans. The gate is opaque, but sometimes unusual images can be seen in the blackness. Spooky. Also has a Mastery of 9!
  • Roaming the Wild Plains: horse and rider can move at a trot without food or water for (Air + Horsemanship) hours. If the horse increases or reduces its speed, the spell ends.
  • Teleportation: objects and people can be moved from one location from another. The spell can affect up to a burly Crab warrior in size (larger with Raises), and range is up to the shugenja's line of sight. Objects in two locations can be switched with each other.

Nemuranai time! Hayai, the ancestral katana of the Unicorn first wielded by Shinjo, rests in the Shinjo castle. Yokatsu doesn't feel worthy of the blade, but will give it to an Unicorn hero that performs a great deed like becoming the Emerald Champion. The bearer adds their School Rank to initiative, rerolls attack dice that come up less than (Kenjutsu + School Rank) and reduces enemy's armor TN bonus by the School Rank. Daitan is Shinjo's wakizashi, once owned by Iuchi. It is plain and unassuming - in fact, it's hard to even see when drawn. Requires being an Unicorn with Kenjutsu 2 to wield, and negates enemy School techniques up to the wielder's School Rank (so a Rank 3 character can negate Rank 1, 2 and 3 techniques) Yokatsu will not give Daitan to someone already carrying Hayai except in great emergencies. Yuki is the ancestral armor of the Clan, and also rests in the Shinjo castle. It adds +15 to the TN to be hit, forces incoming damage to drop the highest die, and the wearer may ignore (School Rank) in Wound penalties. Also, mounted clansmen that are close get +1 to initiative and roll an extra die of damage. The Most Honorable Iris Haori and Hakama of the Ide Family is a beautiful outfit dyed in what the gaijin call "royal purple" that increases the TN to be hit in 5 and forces any would-be attacker to roll Honor vs the wearer's Ide School Rank. On a failure they can't attack; on a success, they can but lose a full Honor rank. The Arrows of the Four Winds are ancient arrows freely given by the Clan daimyo to worthy followers. An Awareness+Theology roll at TN 15 before firing returns the arrow safely to the daimyo. The North arrow rolls (School Rank) extra damage dice and keeps (Yomanri) extra dice. The South arrow rolls (School Rank) extra dice on the attack roll and keeps (Honor) extra dice. The West arrow flies in the direction the archer wishes to go, whether that's the necromancer's lair or the ogre's booty or a way out of the Shadowlands. It can be used once per school rank and then it automatically returns to the daimyo. The East arrow was lost with a Moto force in the Shadowlands, and is not statted. The Brass Gong of Otaku Masero is a hand gong that makes a listener's Meditation roll automatically succeed in only ten minutes. The bearer recovers all Void Points and goes up one rank in Meditation, up to their School Rank.


Sweet Unicorn tat.

We get some adventure hooks regarding the Konkuru, a great festival/tournament held in Spring with many horsemanship competitions where the finest of the Unicorn show off their skills. People have a great time, marriages and alliances are celebrated, and it's also a time for intrigue and conflict. We also learn that the Unicorn play a form of polo called kizuchi. Recently members of other clans have started attending the Konkuru as a deliberate ploy to foster good relations with the other clans. There's also some plot seeds with a peasant girl admitted to the Battle Maiden school and a mysterious assailant harming the Otaku steeds, as well as the Unicorn diamond mines being attacked by bandits with magic support. The lands of the Unicorn cover the easiest approach to Rokugan from the north-west, and are Xinjiangall great horse country. Rolling plains, grasslands and low hills. As much as forty percent of the population follows a nomadic lifestyle, herding sheep and horses across the land. The herders shun outsiders and don't care much about the other Rokugani, and each mobile caravan is ruled by a family magistrate that reports to the daimyo once a year and responds for any wrongdoings their community may have committed. The Firefly river is the easiest way into Unicorn lands for other Rokugani, and most towns and recognizable non-Unicorn culture can be found on its shores. The Unicorn palaces are ornate and built gaijin-style with sturdy, low walls.

Finally, we get meishodo, the Iuchi name magic! This style of magic involves scribing talismans with the mighty words of creation. In Way of the Dragon, it says the Agasha have been experimenting with their own brand of name magic based on Agasha's code, but without success.The practice was first denounced by the Phoenix as heresy, but the Crane had something similar going on with their fetish magic so the Emperor of the time ruled for the Unicorn. However, it has a dark secret: meishodo practitioners are "cut off" from the normal flow of magic energies. The Iuchi keep this a secret from all others, even within the Clan, as the metaphysical implications are great leverage for the Unicorn's enemies. In game terms, meishodo spells work just like regular shugenja magic except that a talisman replaces the spell scroll. Only Iuchi shugenja may use it, unless a non-Unicorn takes Different School (wait, what about the dark secret?) Meishodo spells are the same as regular spells and all take a single action to cast, but they cannot take Raises of any sort. Mastering a spell allows casting it without the talisman, but holding it does not give a Free Raise. When meishodo shugenja try casting spells with normal scrolls, all TNs are increased in 5, and they cannot use Sense, Commune or Summon. But really, single-action casting owns.


If everything fails, whack them with your sai.

Next: Hida! Strong! On! His castle!

Traveller fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Aug 22, 2016

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Traveller posted:

Women are traditionally kept away from hand to hand combat, but samurai women are expected to learn archery and to come to battlefields with their children to dispatch wounded enemies and retrieve arrows.

Do the other clans not have anything to say about this?

"Okay, Himiko-chan, go get mommy's arrows. Here's a knife in case any of them are still breathing!"

"And the last thing Jubei-San saw was a little Unicorn girl heading toward him with a sack, a knife, and a calculating expression"

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



As of later editions, women in combat would be completely normal, and all samurai families raise their kids to fight.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Geez, I forgot how... bland the Unicorn personalities were early on. Oh, Kamoko, your destiny as one of the Seven Thunders... to get batted aside and "knocked out" by Fu Leng when you charge in headlong. Great Destiny there.

SirPhoebos posted:

I take it this was written before the Unicorn were suddenly being controlled by the Kolat?

Pretty sure. A lot of the events in in Way of the Unicorn are reinterpreted later on but I don't think there's any definitive evidence of the Kolat in this book, even though they try and say otherwise.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








BinaryDoubts posted:

Doing Things
So: how do you actually use these skills to do stuff? Well, the game has one of the most unique dice systems I’ve seen in a while – still deciding if it’s cool or badly overcomplicated. Basically, when the GM calls for a skill test, the player will always roll five dice and look for at least one success. Before rolling, you assemble a pool of d10s equal to your attribute rank, and then add enough d6s to get you to a total of five. These extra d6s are called fate dice, since they represent the little bit of extra luck heroes always have in fantasy stories.

Example: If you’re making a Feat of Strength test, and your Strength is 4, your dice pool is going to be 4xd10 and 1xd6. Remember those descriptors from earlier? Well, they decide the number you need to roll to have a die count as a success. A Trivial test requires a 4+, a Challenging test requires a 6+, and a Tough test requires a 8+. You’re just looking for a single success on any of your dice – multiple successes only make things more dramatic. There’s a catch, though: rolling a 1 on a die counts as a botch, which cancels out a success. If you have enough botches that your overall result is in the negatives, it means you not only failed, but that your failure was spectacular.

Another wrinkle: fate dice don’t work like your d10 attribute dice. Fate dice only succeed on a 6, regardless of the difficulty (so even if the task is Tough, a 6 still counts as a success). On the other hand, a roll of 1 or 2 counts as a botch – so relying on Fate is a sucker’s game.

So there’s the basics: roll five dice, look for successes, and hope to God you don’t botch things up too badly. Opposed checks are basically the same, except the GM doesn’t set a difficulty to, say, overpower an enemy: the difficulty is just equal to their Core rank – nice and elegant. There’s also rules for long-term skill tests and group tests and what have you but in the interest of time I’m going to skip over them.

Writing this out kind of solidified my feelings on the core mechanics, which is that there’s a nice elegance to the way difficulties and ranks tie together, but that it seems a little awkward in practice. I’ve never played the game so I can’t say for certain, but my feeling is that assembling die pools and quickly parsing the results would be a major slowing factor. The fact that fate dice use different rules for success/failure is annoying, too – I wish they’d found a way to have them use the same resolution system as d10s. (I can’t immediately see a problem with having the fate dice work like lovely attribute dice – they’d be useful for trivial tasks, dicey for challenging tasks, and useless/dangerous on tough tasks). Overall, though, I like a lot of stuff about the system! The skill list is to-the-point and laser-focused on the kinds of things the PCs will spend their time doing: mostly, skullduggery.
Fate dice seem mostly to be there explicitly so that you can get rid of them. Based on what you've said, I concocted an Anydice program to show off both the probabilities of getting certain levels of success, or of succeeding in general. (For the second, use Transposed mode.) Most of the various options are commented out, but you can reenable them by adding or removing backslashes ( \ ) in appropriate locations.

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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Yeah, those longswords weigh literally 10 times what an actual longsword weighed.

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