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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



That quote did happen. I didn't think it was offensive enough on its own to cause this, but can see it given the context of his history.

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






There were supposedly other things said as well but then we're getting into stuff even less supported by things I can independently verify.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.


Bieeardo posted:

I thought Nordic LARP was a lot more experimental than World of Darkness stuff could ever hope to be. At the same time, having been involved with large-scale LARP in North America and recalling that shite when the Camarilla got too big for its britches, I can't really blame them for insulting it as an institution either.

To be fair, "Nordic LARP" is kind of a specific thing, as opposed to "Larping that happens in Nordic countries". I've been to games where it's just about roleplaying as a couple trying to reconnect through a cooking class, where it's all about emotional exploration. It's mostly that the experimental stuff gets press, and then gets conflated with the pictures of fantasy games that drift around the internet periodically trying to shame the US for terrible costumes and overcomplicated design.

The easiest identifier - a game is Nordic if it's got a laser-focus on a specific thing, has little to no mechanics, and emphasizes personal interaction and accomplishing a narrative elegantly, kind of like modern game design. This has crept into discussion when people design rules that actually look at modern game design and realize that referencing two hundred tables is frustrating enough when you're gaming at a table, as well as emphasis on 360 degree immersion.

Vampire is in that weird spot where it kinda works with some of these ideas, but then has the whole host of peak 90s design issues and attendant idiocy that the hobby attracts. I really feel like I should write up something on how a lot of Larp design is still in a weird, 25-years-behind-modern-design rut in a lot of places, because it's fascinating how people try to reinvent the wheel so often. It's like living in the 80s again, when "It's D&D but with one thing changed", except with more dorks in elf costumes.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




It'll come clear eventually, they're waiting until video of that meeting is released.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Kurieg posted:

There were supposedly other things said as well but then we're getting into stuff even less supported by things I can independently verify.
Was I right about the groups involved in making the statement hating each other though?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






I have no idea. I'm not a larper and not a part of those groups. Just a guy who does a WoD podcast and is tangentially exposed to these kinds of things.

If they do hate eachother I imagine it's in the sense that there were age-old schisms that broke the groups apart and lead STs hate each other out of principle. But being told that they're unifying the systems and oh yeah you guys have to be okay with Rape now is probably something that would overcome those differences toot sweet.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Chapter 5 Part 2:Hero Creation

quote:

Heroes resemble the Beasts that spawned them in most ways, but several concepts that are integral to Beasts do not apply to their Heroic opponents
Beasts don't spawn Heroes anymooorreeee.

There's a lot of stuff in here that refers to concepts that were retconned out in the post-kickstarter revisions. I've been mostly glossing over them. Also that statement is patently false, the only thing that Heroes and Beasts have in common is that their templates both contain legend and life. Heroes don't have satiety, Lair, Nightmares, or Atavisms. And even though they may have Aspirations, they're exclusively NPCs so they don't gain beats.

Hard to Kill
Heroes are sturdy and heal quickly, because the legend that drives them is stronger than mortal flesh. Heroes are immune to being Beaten Down and will never Surrender to a Beast unless doing so will give them a better opportunity to kill that beast later. They're also immune to mundane illnesses and never require medical attention for injuries, instead healing very quickly, 1B every 10 minutes, 1L every day, and 1A every three days.


Legend and Life
As mentioned before, Heroes have a Legend and Life. A Heroes Life represents the mortal life they had before they were a Hero, but their connection to it is more tenuous than that of a Beast's, they can only regain willpower by placing themselves or their mission at significant risk to try and buck the narrative, and only once per scene. Their Legend gives them 1 willpower whenever they act in accordance with their role in the story. And refills completely when they put themselves at great risk to keep the story going. Like breaking into a bank after hours to steal the object of a Beast's ire. Or enter into combat on the Beast's terms knowing that they're outmatched.

Integrity
Heroes don't use Lair, they instead use mortal Integrity ratings. Integrity is a measure of the strength of a person's self image and "Health of the soul", and any Hero that hunts beasts has an integrity of four or less.

Heroic Tracking
Heroes have an instinctive sense for finding disturbances in the Primordial Dream.

quote:

Violent Heroes often conflate their instinctive sense of disruption in the Dream for skill at tracking down dangerous monsters, but that isn’t the case; the most gentle and conscientious Beast can make ripples in the Primordial Dream if she goes too long without feeding, and the most violent and bloodthirsty of the Begotten can kill a dozen people a month and never disturb the Dream. The Hero, however, will sense the former before the latter.
This seems a little bullshit, just FYI. In both the sense that there can be "Gentle and conscientious" beasts, and that violent murder doesn't disturb the dream.

Any power that explicitly states that it disturbs the dream (Under the Bed, Inflicting Nightmares) will alert the heroes of the region. "A more sedate or centered Hero might experience this as a series of troubling dreams and think no more of it." the "violent" heroes instead view it as a call to arms and seek out the physical location of the disturbance. If it resulted from a Horror feeding on a person's nightmare, the Hero finds the dreamer. Same with Under the Bed. If it came from an Atavism or Nightmare (Multiple exceptional successes, using them to kill a person) the hero finds the scene where the event occured. This doesn't require a roll, it just happens.

quote:

This initial Heroic Tracking does not have or require a game system. A Hero notices the character if the circumstances indicate that one should. If the Storyteller doesn’t want to include a Hero-related plotline just then, she can ignore the result or assume that the Hero that noticed the disturbance isn’t interested or able to track the Beast (again, this is discussed further in Chapter Seven). If the Storyteller decides that the Hero does track the occurrence, the Hero begins an investigation into the Beast.

Much of this investigation occurs “off-screen,” and therefore the Beast’s player winds up determining what the Hero knows and discovers by what actions she takes with the character. The Storyteller should consider what the Beast has done, how public she has been with her powers, who knows about her or could identify her, what other witnesses have seen, and especially what impact her actions have on the Primordial Dream. Once the Hero has identified the Beast by name or physical description, or has seen the Beast in person (even from a distance), the Hero is no longer Tracking, but Stalking.
Here the scales start to fall off your eyes with regards to the fact that Heroes aren't meant to be anything other than plot devices or the inevitable stick you use to smack misbehaving players. They used to be something much different but we'll get to that later.

Heroic Stalking
Stalking is a "More intimate, dangerous activity than Tracking". This is the Hero trying to learn more about the Beast and setting up a confrontation. Some Heroes skip this step and go right to the stakes and pitchforks, they don't tend to live long. Once a Beast is being stalked, the storyteller rolls the Hero's Wits+Investigation or Composure to determine if he can sense a Beast nearby, or if a Beast has activated an Atavism or Nightmare within the last day, at the cost of a willpower. This doesn't manifest itself as a sense or second sight, but as an unshakable conviction in a truth suddenly revealed to him. Some Heroes view this as a message from God.

quote:

Dramatic Failure: The Hero is convinced a Beast is present, but suffers from severe doubts about who it is; he believes he may have misidentified the Beast. This grants the Beast character a reprieve, during which she might be able to get the Hero off her trail (or simply kill him, depending on her predilections).
Failure: The Hero gains no information about Beast activity in the area.
Success: The Hero knows whether or not the Beast is currently present nearby, and whether a Beast has used a supernatural ability nearby within 24 hours.
Exceptional Success: The Hero also learns exactly how many Beasts are currently present, and can identify them as such on sight. This does not grant any particular ability to see through disguises or to find Beasts who are otherwise hidden.
The Hero gets a bonus for every beast present, if any of them are Starving, or if any of them have fame.

quote:

Example: Mrs. Winters, the Eshmaki Nemesis we met on in Chapter Three, has a problem. She let her Horror stay too hungry too long; as a result, it hunted down and fed upon Brent, the frat boy bully that Mrs. Winters once taught a brutal lesson. In fairness, Brent had kept his nose clean since that incident, but the Horror doesn’t care. It’s come to visit him a few times. In the waking world, Brent isn’t sleeping well; he looks sallow and has bags under his eyes. In the Primordial Dream, though, these predations have a larger impact.
"This is exactly what we said would happen when she made this house a part of her Lair but he's a frat boy so it's okay stop being such a whiner."

quote:

In game terms, Mrs. Winters gained the Ravenous Condition and her Horror fed from Brent twice. The second time, Magda rolled an exceptional success on the Inflicting Nightmares action (p. 99), which indicates a Hero notices the activity. Having just resolved a plot point involving one of the other players, Orson, the Storyteller, decides it’s a good time to give Mrs. Winters something to worry about. He creates a Hero named Nathan Blix, a man who lives in the same town but grew up in the neighborhood that Mrs. Winters protects.

Orson decides that since Blix knows the area, he has no difficulty navigating to Brent’s house. Blix and Brent chat, and Brent eventually winds up telling a mostly truthful version of what happened to him after Halloween (he leaves out the part where he snatched bags of candy away from children). Blix convinces him to give him a few pieces of the candy he had left over. Now Blix can trace the candy, bringing him closer to Mrs. Winters.

Eventually, Blix sees Mrs. Winters as she’s sitting on her porch, knitting…and he knows. She’s the monster. He wonders how he missed it before. That night, he goes home wondering if he has the strength to kill a monster when that monster looks like a sweet old lady. That night, though, one of the other characters in the group uses a Nightmare in the same general area, and Blix feels the reverberation (the player rolled an exceptional success). Blix wakes up with terrible purpose in his heart and fetches an ax out of the shed. He’s now Stalking; Mrs. Winters had better watch out.
I remind you, this is the game's only native form of conflict and it's entirely storyteller controlled and has little to no actual interaction with the mechanics as a whole. If the Storyteller wants to summon a Hero from the Aether, he does.

Anathema
Smaug was missing a single scale on his belly. Other monsters are unable to stomach the blood of a true innocent. Still others are driven to vomiting by a baby's cry. When a Hero uses a monster's raging temper or vulnerable temper against it, he's only fulfilling the Death Wish inherent to it's very nature. This is the story that Heroes tell, and it gives them both courage and comfort in their fight.

Anathema are the secret weaknesses and inhuman urges that give mortals the ability to bring Beasts low. Rather than being an intrinsic part of their nature, however, Anathema are a thorn in their sides placed there by a Hero designed to draw them into the story that Heroes want. One where that ends in their inevitable death and the Hero's triumph. Once placed an Anathema burrows into a Beast's nature and tries to turn them into the monster that the Hero sees her as, whether she likes it or not

Placing Anathema
Every Hero is capable of placing Anathema on a Beast, though they are never conscious of this fact. In the Hero's mind they are simply discovering something that has always been there, with this revelation proving that they are destined to succeed in their fight.

To a Beast, Anathema are Conditions that Heroes can place in combat. And while Heroes are always looking to draw Beasts into their narrative, Beasts can defend themselves against Anathema most of the time without even thinking about it. While their Horrors are content and restful, the Beast is too human for the Anathema to stick. If the Horror is active and starving it can fend off an Anathema without even thinking about it.

In the middle ground, however, a Beast is neither too monstrous or too human to be safe. If a Hero makes an attack against a Sated beast, they can attempt to enhance their attack and weaken their foe. A point of willpower spent before the attack will cause an Anathema if the attack hits. But the Hero can't regain that Willpower until the Anathema resolves or the Beast is dead.

The Hero who inflicted the Anathema is immediately aware of it's exact nature and limitations, experiencing it as a great revelation. Other heroes can make a Wits+Empathy roll while in the presence of a Beast to figure it out themselves. Once a Beast is placed under an Anathema they become immediately aware of it. It feels like a thick iron spike being driven into their back or an iron chain being draped around their neck and locked in place. It is a foreign clinging thing that remains just uncomfortable enough to be impossible to forget. She knows exactly how it works and what it drives them to do, but it is completely undetectable to anyone else, even other beasts.

The Nature of Anathema
Once an Anathema is placed, it remains regardless of the Beast's resultant satiety. A Ravenous or Starving beast is protected by their monstrous nature, but a Gorged beast's defenses are lowered and suffer the effects more sharply. If their Horror is Slumbering, however, the Anathema has no effect, but "most would not consider this perk to be worth the problems associated with being separated from their Horrors" because this is a game where being compelled to torturemurder is considered desireable.

No beast can suffer under more than one Anathema at a time, and each Anathema has it's own resolution point, either going to Ravenous, or going to Slumbering. Which kind of creates a self perpetuating cycle. To get to Slumbering a Beast would need to do something that would gather the attention of a Hero. To get out of Ravenous they would have to do the same. Beasts should be literally inundated with Heroes all the time. The Anathema that resolve at Ravenous are conceptually pretty weak, because spending yourself low is easier than gorging yourself high, particularly when being at Starving will weaken the Anathema anyway, and killing a Hero is explicitly stated as one of the ways to resolve Ravenous. The ones that resolve at Slumbering on the other hand..

Example Anathema
I'm not going to go over all of them, just a few.

quote:

Bane
Some Beasts theorize that vampires are only weak to fire and sunlight because some Hero managed to pin their predecessor with this Anathema in ancient times. A Beast suffering from a Bane is weak to a specific element or material that can be used as a weapon against him. The exact nature of the Bane varies, but it’s never so common that acquiring an effective weapon to suit it is easy; generally, acquiring a Bane-weapon adds one to the Availability of a weapon. Wood, silver, and cold-forged iron are all common banes. As with all Anathema, Bane adapts itself to the nature of the Beast it targets, so a Beast whose Horror makes his home in a volcano is not likely to be stuck with a Bane of fire, nor would a dragon who hoards gems and precious metals be likely to develop a Bane for gold.
High Satiety: The Beast is exceptionally vulnerable to her Bane. Any attacks made against her using her Bane deal aggravated damage and are treated as armor piercing. If such attacks were already aggravated or armor piercing, increase the weapon rating by 2. If the Beast takes damage from her Bane, she suffers from the Stunned Tilt for one turn.
Middle Satiety: The Beast remains vulnerable, but can recover far more quickly from dangerous blows. She no longer suffers from the Stunned condition if hit by her Bane, but all other High Satiety effects still apply.
Low Satiety: The Beast’s Bane becomes only a minor inconvenience when faced with her awakened Horror’s immense power. The Bane deals lethal damage, rather than aggravated. All such attacks are still treated as armor piercing.
Beat: The Beast has her Bane used against her in combat.
Resolution: The Beast gains and then resolves the Ravenous Condition.
You may be thinking "Wow aggravated armor piercing damage that seems excessive" but remember that banes aren't supposed to be easily available and for the most part Anathema are inflicted in combat(There are other ways, but they aren't available to starting Heroes). So a level 1 hero can inflict this bane but not actually utilize it unless they run away, giving the Beast time to resolve the condition.

quote:

Phobia
This Anathema pins a Beast with an intense panic reaction to some particular and specific trigger. This is never something so common as to be completely unavoidable in day-to-day life, but neither is it so specific and difficult to acquire that most Heroes can’t get their hands on it with a little work. A Namtaru might develop an intense fear of her own reflection, or a Beast with a spiritual bent might develop a Phobia of a particular religious text. The exact nature of the Phobia depends on the Beast targeted, and is never something that would obviously cripple her human life or her bestial nature: a Predator Beast would not develop a Phobia of blood, and a Beast employed as a farmhand would not develop a Phobia for any of the animals she saw on a day-to-day basis.
High Satiety: When in the presence of her Phobia, the Beast is all but incapacitated by her terror. She takes a –3 modifier to all rolls that do not involve trying to escape from the Phobia; her Initiative modifier is always treated as 0, as her instinct is to freeze up in fear. These penalties persist for three turns after the Phobia is no longer present, as the Beast takes time to compose herself after the Anathema-induced panic.
Middle Satiety: As the Beast’s Horror re-emerges, she regains some measure of control of herself in the presence of her Phobia. The roll penalties are reduced to –2, and she takes a –2 penalty to her total initiative. These penalties persist for one round after the Phobia is no longer present.
Low Satiety: Though still terrified, the Beast’s Horror helps her turn her fear into rage. When in the presence of her Phobia, she takes a –2 modifier to all rolls that do not involve either trying to escape from it or trying to destroy it. Her Initiative is no longer penalized, and all penalties disappear as soon as the Phobia is no longer present.
Beat: The Beast is exposed to her Phobia.
Resolution: The Beast gains and then resolves the Ravenous Condition.
Again, this Anathema is pretty milquetoast because it needs to exist before the confrontation for the Hero in question to actually capitalize on it, and a Beast can just spend down to low satiety which is already a good place to be in combat because that's when Atavisms go into high power mode.

quote:

Rage
Heroes think of Beasts as nothing more than violent monsters, just waiting to be put down. This Anathema drags a Beast into that story, filling her mind with uncontrollable anger at the world around her. While a Beast suffers under Rage, her mind is clouded by vicious thoughts, hindering her ability to be anything other than the rabid animal from the Hero’s story. Though she may still attempt to live her normal life, any conflict may bring all her anger welling back up to the surface. Rage doesn’t require a trigger; it’s always present once the Anathema
takes hold.
High Satiety: The Beast sees nothing but red, and is barely functional outside of combat. She automatically fails all Social rolls save for Intimidation rolls. In combat, she must attack every turn unless she is incapable of reaching a valid target, in which case she must move to attempt to reach her next victim as quickly as she is able. The player may spend a point of Willpower to ignore the effects of Rage for one turn and allow the character to act freely, burying her rage temporarily when the need is great.
Middle Satiety: Though her anger is still strong, the Beast tempers it with cunning and guile. Her Social rolls receive a –3 modifier, except for Intimidation rolls. In combat, she applies a –3 penalty to any action other than an attack. The player may spend 1 Willpower at any time for the character to ignore the effects of Rage until she next suffers damage, at which point her anger reasserts itself.
Low Satiety: The Horror is able to keep some of her Rage mostly in check. All the Beast’s rolls, including Intimidation, receive a –1 modifier, as the Beast is neither quite able to be diplomatic nor safely able to be intimidating without unleashing all her pent-up anger. The combat penalties of the previous level are reduced to 1 die. The player may still spend a point of Willpower to ignore the effects of Rage until her character is next damaged. She may also spend a point of Willpower to ignore the effects of Rage for one scene in a social situation, though at the Storyteller’s discretion a clear insult or provocation might cause her character’s anger to resurface.
Beat: The Beast’s anger causes her to lash out in a social situation or attack an obviously superior opponent, against her better judgment.
Resolution: The Beast gains and then resolves the Slumbering Condition.
Even if it's probably of no use to the Hero who inflicts it(unless they run away) we finally have a Anathema that's a real hindrance to the Beast since it actively works against resolving it. How can you feed your horror to Slumbering if you literally cannot succeed at social rolls?

quote:

Weak Spot
The Hero has discovered some small part of the Beast’s body that is more susceptible to damage. The Beast suffering under this Anathema has a spot on her body that is particularly easy to harm. Regardless of all measures she might have in place to protect herself from attack, the Anathema does its best to keep her Weak Spot open and vulnerable.
High Satiety: The Beast’s Weak Spot is a constant presence in her life. Any attacker who knows about it may choose to target it specifically and does not take the usual penalties associated with making a Specified Target attack (see p. 166), but with only a –1 penalty. If the attacker hits a Beast’s Weak Spot, the damage of his attack becomes aggravated. The Beast cannot cover up her Weak Spot; no matter how hard she tries it’s somehow always accessible. Any armor bonuses the Beast receives do not apply to attacks that target her Weak Spot.
Middle Satiety: The Beast is able to keep her Weak Spot better protected, though it still provides a serious flaw in her defenses. An attacker must specifically aim to target the Weak Spot and takes a –3 to his roll for the Specified Target attack, regardless of where the Weak Spot is on the Beast’s body. If he hits successfully, he still converts damage to aggravated and negates the Beast’s armor from affecting that attack.
Low Satiety: The Beast’s Weak Spot still causes her aggravated damage when hit, but she’s able to defend it as thoroughly as she might any other part of her body. An attacker still takes the –3 for making the Specified Target attack, but the Beast may benefit from armor as normal when hit.
Beat: The Beast has her Weak Spot hit in combat or it otherwise complicates her life.
Resolution: The Beast gains and then resolves the Slumbering Condition.

quote:

Weaponbound
While most Anathema drive a thorn of weakness into a Beast’s hide, Weaponbound externalizes that weakness into a single weapon that is empowered to kill the Beast to whom it is tied. Often this weapon is the Chosen Blade of the Hero who places this Anathema, but sometimes it’s some other weapon of great fame or importance to the Beast. A famous sword kept in a nearby museum might suddenly become capable of living up to its legend, or a prototype gun being tested nearby might be bound to slay a Beast. Though this Anathema is external to the Beast, it is still tied to her Horror and self. As normal, another Anathema may not be placed on a Beast suffering from Weaponbound.
High Satiety: Meeting her Weaponbound weapon in combat spells almost certain doom for a Beast whose Horror cannot help to defend her. Attacks made against the Beast with her Weaponbound weapon gain the rote action quality. The weapon inflicts its normal damage, plus an additional two points of aggravated damage (so a sword that inflicts 2L damage would inflict successes rolled + 2 in lethal damage, and then two points of aggravated damage as well).
Middle Satiety: As her Horror awakens, the Beast is better able to defend against her Anathema’s power. Attacks made against the Beast with her Weaponbound weapon gain the 8-again quality, and deal an extra two levels of lethal damage.
Low Satiety: While still dangerous, a Beast whose Horror is active can face her Weaponbound weapon with far less fear. Attacks made against the Beast with her Weaponbound weapon gain the 9-again quality, and deal an extra two levels of lethal damage.
Beat: Someone attacks the Beast with her Weaponbound weapon.
Resolution: The Weaponbound weapon is destroyed.
These last two are actually useful to a Hero in the heat of battle, but there are other ways to get anathema applied which we'll go over in a little bit.

Followers
Heroes don't have to fight alone, even besides forming bands. By tapping into the dream while a Hero sleeps, they can amass followers, showing them the vision of the battle to come. For most people this just results in some strange dreams that vanish with their morning coffee. But for people who have seen the supernatural or been subject to a Horror inflicted Nightmare, it triggers something deeper and more damaging. Forcing them into the Hero's narrative.
And then the game inexplicably decides to take three paragraphs to shame Heroes for being degenerate

quote:

Most people in the Chronicles of Darkness experience the supernatural and ignore it. They see something inexplicable and terrifying — a ghost shrieking in an abandoned house, a man changing into a wolf and running away, a woman growing razor-sharp silver wings and taking flight, or a vampire feeding in the corner booth of a dark club. The witnesses forget or make themselves forget. They look for ways to rationalize what they’ve seen. This doesn’t make them weak or foolish — ignoring the supernatural is a survival mechanism.
The supernatural is dangerous, multi-faceted, and largely outside of human law and morality. Some people see the supernatural and feel called to combat or at least study what lurks in the dark, and these people become hunters (a la Hunter: The Vigil). These people are exceptional in their
drive and bravery, however, and a good number of them wind up dead or inexorably changed by their fight.
Heroes are not hunters. They do not take up their battle against Beasts because of something that was done to them. They step into situations that they do not understand, that they have no context for, and make a gross assumption about what they’ve seen. They respond with violence out of misplaced outrage or, worse, a desire for adulation. The people they bring along are normal mortals who would rather simply shake off the experiences they had and go back to their lives; they do not share the Hero’s bloody-mindedness or his gifts.

Oh and the game never really touches on the morality of Heroes doing the exact same thing that Beasts used to do to create Heroes in the first place. They're NPCs why would you care about them?

Systems
There isn't one! The storyteller decides if a Hero has followers and he does! They don't have any supernatural qualities but they can aid him in other ways, like police officers and politicians making a Beast's life a living hell. They can also aid them in combat, either directly or through aiding him. If they aid him, each follower can grant the hero one of the following, +2 dice to his attack pool, +2 to his defense, -1 to the Beast's defense, or take the full damage of any one attack meant for the Hero. If a follower dies or is incapacitated for any reason, the hero gains a +3 dice modifier to his next action.... "Regardless of who kills the follower"... BECAUSE HEROES ARE EVIL AND WOULD DO THAT YOU GET IT YET!??!!??!?

Gifts
With each Beast killed, a Hero grows in power, gaining different gifts. Not all of them are interesting or notable. There's one that gives them 2/0 Armor whenever they're fighting Beasts, another that gives them +1 to a weapon group and +2 strength when fighting a beast, one that lets them Stalk beasts easier, and one that turns a chosen weapon into a "holy blade". Basic combat buff stuff, but there are a few that are special.

Loremaster
Loremaster lets Heroes place anathema on a beast from a distance, so long as they've encountered the Beast before in any capacity. To the Hero in question, however, they are simply researching something that was always there. If the Beast is Sated when the hero begins, an "Anathema Seed" takes hold and the Beast becomes aware that someone's researching her downfall. This doesn't grant the Beast any kind of insight into where or when or how, but if they know who and what the Hero is, then they can hunt them down and kill them, which will remove the seed. Even if the Beast removes the sated condition later, it's too late, the seed has taken hold. If the Beast isn't sated, the Hero is immediately aware that his current efforts won't provide any fruit, but they're free to try again later.
Actually pulling this off is an Extended action, which is an oddity for a Storyteller character exclusive power. But since you can only roll once per day, and the Beast can work against it, it's best to roll and keep track of successes. The difficulty is equal to the beast's lairX2, if the beast already has an anathema it's simply equal to it's lair.
This is one of the best ways to apply the "social" anathema to a Beast. But I imagine having Rage applied to you in the middle of a Board meeting might be... interesting.

Real World
This power allows a Hero to remove lair tilts that a Beast imposes on a scene. They do this by rolling (Power Attribute) + Occ.... wait what. Heroes don't have a power attribute, they've never had a power attribute. And this isn't just the PDF either

Man, loving no one gave two shits about Heroes.

Saint's Whisper
This is the other non-combat way of inflicting Anathema, not through research or through divine inspiration. But through verbal beatdowns.

quote:

Heroes with Saint’s Whisper gain the ability to place Anathema on vulnerable Beasts through conversing with them. To do so, a Hero must engage in a scene of meaningful social interaction with his opponent, which must include the Hero denouncing the Beast as evil or monstrous in some way. As the Hero does so, the Beast feels the Anathema creeping into her Horror, and faces two options: physically attack the Hero immediately (using a Nightmare does not count) and end the Hero’s attempt, or be placed under the Anathema. A clever Hero will try to use Saint’s Whisper in situations where the Beast cannot leave the conversation or lash out, such as approaching her at her workplace or in a public space with plenty of witnesses. Even if the Beast avoids the Anathema through violence, the consequences of her “outburst” may be problem enough.
This is easily the most evocative power that Heroes have and I wish more of them had been like this.

Retirement
The end of a Hero's career usually involves his death. But sometimes Heroes just stop. The urge to kill goes away and they find a "fulfilling, normal, interesting life" by abandoning the monster that defines him.

Example Heroes

Desmond Oakes
"I stopped counting scars a long time ago"
A former navy Seal who took up the fight in order to protect other people. He's actually a pretty nice person who dislikes the hunt despite the sense of validation that it brings him...

Which is because he has Integrity 5 and shouldn't be an antagonist Hero going by their own rules. He's everything a Hero should be but isn't. Moving on


Thaddeus Pearson
"Never fear, milady. I've come to kill this foul Best!"
Yes, of course I'm going to be quoting this guy's entire entry.

quote:

Thaddeus has spent his entire life blaming his problems on other people. Coming from a middle-class suburban home, he was told all through his childhood that he was special. Whenever the real world failed to reinforce this, he retreated into whatever fiction he could find that said that bookish kids like him would eventually inherit the earth. Thaddeus graduated from a good college with excellent grades and very few friends, and went right to work behind a desk at a mid-sized corporation’s programming department.

Once it became clear to Thaddeus that he was destined to work a mediocre job for the rest of his life, the resentment started. He’d been promised so much more than this: vast riches, adoring fans, and a beautiful wife who would fawn over his genius. Instead he was living as the model of mediocrity. Everything that went wrong was a personal slight against him: the pub was out of fries because the waiter had it out for him, or his car wouldn’t start because the mechanic who fixed it was clearly an idiot who’d resented Thaddeus’s superior intellect.

Then one night, Thaddeus dreamed of…well, he’s still not sure how to describe it. It had color, but no joy. It had breadth, but no depth. Featureless, surreal plain? No, it was too violent and loud. He wasn’t sure what had happened, but he woke knowing that whatever it was, it happened at his office. He went to work the next morning excited for the first time in years — was something actually about to happen to him? Was this the call to action he’d been promised? Then he saw one of his co-workers in a meeting, and he knew. It was a call, and she was the monster in the mountain cave.

He killed his former coworker (an Ugallu) two weeks later. It was pure luck, catching her unaware at the end of a long day before she had any idea he was a Hero. He lured her behind the building with a story about his car needing a jump, and then ran her through as she opened her hood. Her death filled him with a rush of power and left him more certain than ever of his calling. This was the life he’d been promised, full of action and certainty with great rewards at the end. All he had to do was kill every monster he could find, and everything would be exactly as he’d always imagined.
So a nerdy entitled Incel?

quote:

Thaddeus is a tall, skinny man in his mid-30s, clean-shaven with pale skin and neatly cut hair. During office hours, he wears business casual polo shirts and slacks, and is completely unremarkable. While out hunting monsters, he wears a poorly fitted trenchcoat and a black trilby hat. Thaddeus considers himself a modern gentleman and speaks with an unnecessarily verbose vocabulary, dotted with “chivalric” language he’s mostly picked up from fantasy movies and novels.
A nerdy entitled Incel that wears a trenchcoat and a trilby hat. He's literally a MRA Caricature.

And yes, he uses a Sword.


Marian Jones
"It's filth like this that let the devil in. Clean up your act or I'll clean it for you."
A conservative, highly religious, stay at home mom who lived in a suburban home with her husband and two kids. Then her son turned seventeen, started listening to the devils music, and she started having nightmares. Finally one morning she woke up in a cold sweat and went to her son's room and found a woman, cold and unbreathing, but very much aware. So she figured out that her son was the devil and she needed to kill him. She does so by wearing milspec body armor and wielding an AK-47 still stained with the blood of her first kill. She's got a pile of kills under her belt and a lot of powers.


Sleeping Beauty
"I'm not a ghost, I'm just dreaming."

quote:

Heroes on the hunt have seen glimpses of a young warrior queen in their dreams, pointing the way to the Lair of their quarry. When they get to the creature’s Lair, she’s there, fighting beside them to vanquish the creature. She says she is sleeping somewhere in the real world and beseeches the Heroes she allies with to find her. To date, none of the Children or the Heroes who have encountered her can track her down.

If they did, they would be surprised at what they see: a sickly teenage girl named Melanie, trapped in a coma for the past two years. Doctors and nurses regularly check her bedside, as do worried family members. Her mother spends the entire window of visiting hours sitting with her daughter, either knitting or working on crosswords to pass the time. Her father drops in when he can. They have no idea what caused their presumably healthy daughter to fall so ill, and the doctors are equally stumped.

Melanie fell into the coma after a Horror entered her dream to feed. Instead of cowering, she gave chase, following the monster right back to his Lair, where she killed him. The Lair collapsed. Melanie tried to make it back to her body, but something went horribly wrong. Her soul remains in the Primordial Dream, just out of reach. Melanie has tried to follow other Horrors back to Lairs, but she can’t quite manage to move quickly enough. She can, however, home in on disturbances to the Primordial Dream and speak to Heroes that sense them. Melanie acts as a muse to other Heroes, a guiding angel, but because of the abstract nature of their contact with the Primordial Dream, she can’t do much more than point them in the direction of Beasts. That, however, has been enough to sustain her.

With each victory, Melanie grows stronger. In her hospital bed, she twitches in her sleep, her hands clenching into fists and unclenching. Her body shows remarkably few signs of atrophying despite the coma, and it gives her parents and doctors hope that one day they may see Melanie, their darling daughter, walk and smile again.
drat. This is what Heroes should have always been.

quote:

Melanie is a truly strange case. She should not, by rights, have been able to follow a Horror to its Lair, much less kill it. It is possible some outside force — another Beast, perhaps, or some other supernatural creature able to enter the Primordial Dream — used Melanie as a weapon and then left her adrift. Acting as a Hero provides her soul with the sustenance it needs to stop her drifting apart in the Dream, but if she were to return to her body, would she continue the fight? It’s never crossed her mind. She just wants to go home.
This is the problem though. She shouldn't by any rights exist, what she does doesn't make sense within the rules of the game. One theory I've heard put forth is that she's a failed beast in need of someone to finish her devouring but that just kind of cheapens the whole thing.


So what's different: Hero Edition?

Chiefly, in the initial draft, Heroes were made by Beasts. The soul of a Beast touched the broken soul of an otherwise normal Human and turned them into something else. In some cases the Soul did this to create an adversary for the Beast to kill because they weren't being fed enough and were being pissy. In other cases they do it because it's a Beast Soul and doesn't loving care. But since Heroes were made by Beasts, they took on a bit of that Beast's persona. Heroes made by a Tyrant became more self confident, seeing themselves as revolutionaries or leaders. Heroes made by a Collector become greedy hoarders and thieves. Predator Heroes become obsessed with getting stronger, being faster, being better. Nemesis' heroes try to live their lives as pure as possible, seeing fault in everyone around them. Ravager Heroes become paranoid, viewing everyone and everything as disposable or out to betray him.

The only other real change in this section is that to a certain degree Melanie is portrayed as actively malicious and "Will continue the hunt once she finds her body", but again, in this version after being touched by a Beast Heroes aren't even really themselves anymore.

Which is at once amazing and also kind of disappointing, because the game still blamed Heroes for being Heroes. When their only real fault was being Near a Beast at one point in their lives and having a low integrity. They were a side effect of Beasts behaving badly and also their nemesis. They were at once a Beast's greatest shame and worst fear. If they had actually treated them sympathetically and had Beasts talk realistically about the fact that no matter how moral they tried to be they were one bad day away from ruining someone's life it would have been a much better and more mature game.

That isn't what we got.


That said, this is still somehow better than the treatment Heroes got in the leaked playtest documents.

quote:

Hero Slang
"Dude, you popped your cherry with your soulmate? Sweet!"

Younger Heroes have developed an argot all their own surrounding their lifestyles. This slang, while not particularly discreet, makes talking about hunting the Children a little less conspicuous to unsuspecting bystanders.

Anonymous: A group of humans a Hero enlists as his or her personal army to help kill a Beast.
Aquaman: A Hero who specializes in killing Makara. Applies to any gender of Hero.
Ballroom Blitz: A fatal confrontation between a brood of Beasts and a band of Heroes.
Captain America: A Nemesis' Hero.
Cherry: The Beast who becomes the Hero’s first kill. Frequently used in the phrase “pop one’s cherry,” as in gaining one’s first kill.
Creeper: A Namtaru.
Crusader Rabbit: A male Hero who exclusively hunts Beasts targeting women.
David: A Hero who specializes in killing Anakim. Originates from the story of David and Goliath.
Ding/level up/notch the bedpost: To kill a Beast and gain a Gift.
Dude/girl in a cape: (derogatory) A Hero who espouses and frequently waxes
poetic about an idealist code of ethics.
Do: (verb) To kill a Beast. Example: “Dude, Sherry did that Swamp Thing last week, man. She’s smelled like bong water ever since.”
Family Guy: (derogatory) A Hero who still lives with or maintains contact with his or her family. Applies to any gender of Hero.
Flyboy/Flygirl: A Hero who specializes in killing Ugallu.
Hercules: A Hero with twelve confirmed kills. Originates from the twelve labors of the mythical demigod.
Leroy: A Predator's Hero, especially ones who charge into battle without thinking.
Master Splinter/Obi-Wan: A veteran Hero who teaches younger, inexperienced Heroes.
Musashi: A Hero with several kills originating from single combat.
Ninja: An Eshmaki.
Packrat: A Collector's Hero.
Pirate: A Hero who specializes in killing Eshmaki.
Plague Doctor: A Hero who specializes in killing Namtaru.
Quest: An individual Hero’s journey, either short-term or long-term.
Recruiter: A Tyrant's Hero.
Ronin: A Ravager's Hero.
Sauron: An Anakim.
Spoon-Fed: A Hero who gained one or more kills with help from other Heroes who let him or her have the kill.
Soulmate: The Beast who provoked the hunter response for a given Hero. Veteran Heroes particularly dislike this one.
Swamp Thing: A Makara.

For you see when you have your life irrevocably changed by a horror that wants only for you to suffer, you turn into a Mysogynistic Dudebro.

Next Time: The rest of the supernaturals and why they might want to kill beasts

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Power Attribute refers to Strength, Intelligence and Presence. Attributes are divided into three categories: Power, Finesse and Resilience in addition to Physical, Mental, Social.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






True, I didn't think of that. but the problem is that when they reference this stuff previously they just used "Power+Stat" without the parentheticals. and Heroes would only have Power if they were dream-traveling to a Beast's lair, which isn't something that Heroes are capable of doing under their own power. Someone who physically traveled to a Beast's lair still uses their physical stats in combat against the spiritual Horror.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

That notation is used in a few places where the actual attribute varies. In their physical body, they still have 3 Power attributes, they just use whichever one is bet suited to the situation. Beast has a lot of problems, but I'm pretty sure this is just a generic confusing World Chronicles of Darkness term.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






It's the only time such notation shows up in the Beast book, in every other occasion they've used 'X+Y or Z+W'. It reads to me like a placeholder that got missed.

Cocomonk3
Oct 21, 2010


Count Chocula posted:

Australia has a massive WoD LARP scene. Which is bizarre, since the heat makes even non-vampires burn to death.

I mean.. 'massive'. They have a multi-day convention with like 50 attendants. I went to a medieval larp this year in Melbourne with 600. So mileage varies.

Australia also got removed from the worldwide chronicle (because every game across the world was connected) at some point, due to not following the meta-storyline. Larp drama is hilarious.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS


The youtube videos of both the keynote and Q&A where poo poo went down have been posted. I put up links in the WoD thread so people can judge for themselves; haven't had time to watch them in full yet myself.

Bieeardo posted:

At the same time, having been involved with large-scale LARP in North America and recalling that shite when the Camarilla got too big for its britches, I can't really blame them for insulting it as an institution either.

I don't know whether this particular shitstorm is a case of this, but I am starting to wonder how much inevitable internet rage over the next few years is going to boil down to butthurt over the shifting center of gravity for the WoD from the US to Europe, and particularly the Scandanavian LARP scene. Like, Swedish Dracula sounds like a loon whose ideas have ranged from goofy and impractical to just dumb, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of hate come down anyway from some of the big american LARP organizations. The oWoD both in core setting and culture seemed to assume the US as a default, and insomuch as LARPs were influential on the wolf, it was the American LARP scene that had whatever passed for an inside track. Now those same LARPs are being told that there's going to be a lot more focus on the setting as based on Europe, and oh by the way the new owners are going to be taking their cues from the Euro LARP scene cuz they think the American LARP style is kind of lame. That's gotta sting.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

The four sample Heroes is one who violates the concept of what a Hero is, an MRA, a conservative old lady who hates artistic freedom, and a comatose teenager victim of Beast violence.

If you take away the ones who aren't villainous, we're left with the MRA and the conservative who hates rock music. And as samples of antagonists they're so... banal. They're not tragic figures, they're not ideologically motivated to oppose Beasts, they're not a representative of systematic oppression - they're just Heroes who happen to be people McFarland doesn't like or something. What compelling villains!

It's like... if the only way you can convince me that Heroes are evil is by pointing out they're MRAs and religious conservatives, you haven't done a really good job of convincing me that Heroes are evil. And if you want to tell me that MRAs are evil, telling me they're Heroes is not a very compelling argument either. It's like a Tom Clancy novel where the villains are spineless liberals, or all those dumb films where the villain is evil and also gay, or evil and also wears women's underwear.

(Thaddeus' description also strikes me as almost conveying the narrative that he's a genuinely delusional, hear-the-voice-of-God-telling-me-to-kill kind of person. And that just gives this game a really uncomfortable undertone of presenting pretend-killing the mentally ill as a wholesome social activity.)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Marian does legitimately think she hears the voice of God, it's how most heroes explain away their heroic insight.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




LatwPIAT posted:

The four sample Heroes is one who violates the concept of what a Hero is, an MRA, a conservative old lady who hates artistic freedom, and a comatose teenager victim of Beast violence.

If you take away the ones who aren't villainous, we're left with the MRA and the conservative who hates rock music. And as samples of antagonists they're so... banal. They're not tragic figures, they're not ideologically motivated to oppose Beasts, they're not a representative of systematic oppression - they're just Heroes who happen to be people McFarland doesn't like or something. What compelling villains!
I love that RPGnet has a dozen rules requiring you to be nice to people, but Beast kicked off a long conversation about how maybe a child in a coma was asking for it.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

I love that RPGnet has a dozen rules requiring you to be nice to people, but Beast kicked off a long conversation about how maybe a child in a coma was asking for it.

Beast's entire justification is 'They're asking for it so it's okay to unleash sadistic violence'.

In better hands, it could even be the theme. A satire of heroic violence, of the idea that if you're hurting 'bad guys' it's okay to do whatever you want to them.

But no room for any coherent or interesting ideas in Beast.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




I actually don't mind Marian, in fact I think the banality actually works in her favour because she is loving anything but banal when you think about it.
Just when you think you have this fairly standard conservative old granny stereotype pegged it turns out she has dozens of kills, maxed out hero powers and is coming at you with a loving AK-47 holy christ. She's basically a member of the village council from Hot Fuzz who are all caricatures of petty small-town oppressiveness hiding action-movie style badass assassins who get into gunfights, spout silly one-liners and murder people with garden shears.

But you know it's Beast so she's a lot less cool by association.

ZeroCount fucked around with this message at 13:28 on Sep 30, 2016

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Night10194 posted:

In better hands, it could even be the theme. A satire of heroic violence, of the idea that if you're hurting 'bad guys' it's okay to do whatever you want to them.
It's been done.

Not particularly cleverly, but it's been done.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


ZeroCount posted:

I actually don't mind Marian, in fact I think the banality actually works in her favour because she is loving anything but banal when you think about it.
Just when you think you have this sneering old granny stereotype pegged it turns out she has dozens of kills, maxed out hero powers and is coming at you with a loving AK-47 holy christ. She's basically a member of the village council from Hot Fuzz who are all caricatures of petty small-town oppressiveness hiding action-movie style badass assassins who get into gunfights, spout silly one-liners and murder people with garden shears.

But you know it's Beast so she's a lot less cool by association.

This would also have been a good general direction for Heroes. They're that victim the Beast thinks is helpless and easily sussed out, just like all the other people they've murdered for offending their latest dumb obsession, and then suddenly it turns out they're the Last Girl/Everyman Action Hero/Secretly An Ex CIA Assassin. Like, have it be a narrative coincidence that whenever the beast gets all hubrisy about how easy it is to murk humans, some of 'em turn out to be Heroes and don't take any of their poo poo.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


When you crow about how good it is being a beast, roll +power. On a 7-9 the MC adds another Hero threat to their roster. On a 10+ they add three.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I mean, it's how these things go in fiction. You kidnap someone's best friend and they turn out to be a masked vigilante as a night job. You torment a kid and she grows up to get revenge on you or turns out to be some kind of magical dream knight. Suddenly, look, you have a ready-made conflict!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Or they turn into a house with crab legs!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

Or they turn into a house with crab legs!

I need to know if this is a reference and if it is, what it is.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Night10194 posted:

I need to know if this is a reference and if it is, what it is.

Godlike - a man basically gets tortured and brutalized by soviet soldiers to manifest powers, and he did - by basically becoming a monster, murdering everyone involved and escaping into the wilds of Russia - called Baba Yaga due to his form vaguely resembling the witch's house.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Robindaybird posted:

Godlike - a man basically gets tortured and brutalized by soviet soldiers to manifest powers, and he did - by basically becoming a monster, murdering everyone involved and escaping into the wilds of Russia - called Baba Yaga due to his form vaguely resembling the witch's house.

Ah, right, I remember that now.

That review got me to pick up Godlike to take more of a look at.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



What is the end goal of Beast?
I know I have a lot more respect for abomination, demon and mummy since they have actual goals. So what is beast's

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Rigged Death Trap posted:

What is the end goal of Beast?
I know I have a lot more respect for abomination, demon and mummy since they have actual goals. So what is beast's

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


No seriously. The only real end-goals of Beast is undergoing the Merger and becoming a Myth. Which isn't something a lot of people want to do. Other than that I guess you can become your area's Apex but that's a one person seat and this is a multiplayer game.

Beast doesn't really have end-goals it was always meant to piggyback on another game's in that regard.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kurieg posted:

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


No seriously. The only real end-goals of Beast is undergoing the Merger and becoming a Myth. Which isn't something a lot of people want to do. Other than that I guess you can become your area's Apex but that's a one person seat and this is a multiplayer game.

Beast doesn't really have end-goals it was always meant to piggyback on another game's in that regard.

I notice the game has a very real problem with 'is a multiplayer game'.

I've run a lot of one-on-one campaigns in my day. They can be really fun, focusing on a single main character and how they interact with the cast and setting around them. But just about every RPG should be written to be able to accommodate multiple players and Beast just feels really bad at it, since you basically have a whole pack of serial killers/torturers running around trying to get enough screen time to get off on whatever insanity they prefer.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Beast wouldn't have so many creepy, gross issues if it abandoned the whole "teaching lessons" theme, which I'm not convinced is particularly strong or worth saving.

I've sometimes thought about the WoD having a "Freak" game that covered the Phantom of the Opera and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, just because those are also Universal monsters. The theme of such a game would probably be being an outcast who desires love, but rejection sometimes drives you to be the monster people see you as. Maybe that impinges on Promethean's territory, though.

Speaking of Baba Yaga, maybe Beasts work better as products of society's sins--the hidden violence inherent in capitalism, patriarchy, and authoritarianism--destined to wreak havoc to punish society for its hypocrisy. That I can get behind. (Of course innocent people are going to get hurt too, but this is the WoD. It's okay to handle disturbing themes, just not for the authorial voice to outright approve of predation.) In this model, Beasts who still teach primeval, reactionary lessons like "Don't go out at night or you're asking to get raped and murdered!" are broken crazy things that everyone wants dead, especially "normal" Beasts.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Chiming in with agreement that (Power Attribute) is awkward but not unprecedented. A werewolf's Hunter's Aspect, for example, involves a roll of whichever Power Attribute (Intelligence, Strength and Presence) is appropriate to the situation. It's not great writing in that this power doesn't provide any guidance as to which would be appropriate to the situation, but it doesn't seem like a placeholder left in.

I'll replace it with my own little nit to pick on top of the mountain of Beast, however. Tying two bits of this chapter together:

Kurieg posted:

Legend and Life
As mentioned before, Heroes have a Legend and Life. A Heroes Life represents the mortal life they had before they were a Hero, but their connection to it is more tenuous than that of a Beast's, they can only regain willpower by placing themselves or their mission at significant risk to try and buck the narrative, and only once per scene.

So, a Hero's Life is relevant because they can gain Willpower by indulging their Life to the exclusion of the hunt, right?

Melanie's Life is Comatose.

Her writeup has a separate section to explain her Legend and Life and what they denote, and it doesn't explain how it is supposed to be relevant or useful that she can recover Willpower by stepping back from the hunt to be more comatose.

Beast: the Primordial posted:

Melanie’s Life is Comatose; since she is stuck in a coma, she can’t do much else in the physical world. She’s trapped between worlds and can’t reach her body to fulfill her destiny as a Hero. If anyone who wishes to do her bodily harm finds her body, she has little to no recourse to defend herself.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Yeah, The problem with (Power Attribute) is that you need to provide some kind of indication of how you will use the different power attributes in different situations and you can't just drop (Power Attribute) Without any kind of setup or explanation.

And she's a Hero, they're explicitly NPC characters so their legend and life don't really matter. That's kind of the problem with everything involving them. They have what the ST wants them to have. If they need powers they have powers. If they need an army of followers they have an army. If they need willpower they've got it. The idea seems to be that battles between heroes and Beasts are multi-fight affairs with people retreating often before the final blow happens which the text doesn't really support that well. Why would either party want to let the other retreat?

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom. But now, tea!


I know this was a couple of pages back, but a Batman Inc-style game could be really drat good. Trying to balance being a bunch of idealistic dudes who think crime can be solved with thunder punches, with the fact that you're not Bruce Wayne and have to actually keep to a budget or accept donations (or "donations").

Add in some PR/image control concepts (the local cops might look the other way if you obviously rescue innocents/their guys - or they might not), and the risk of getting jaded and increasingly brutalised by the stuff you see every night. It's a better justification than some for a "humanity" mechanic.

The icing on the cake would be that if you screw up too badly Big Bat Daddy comes down on you...but even worse, if you start doing too well some of his A-list rogues gallery think you might be fun to mess with.

I might start looking into systems that could run this.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I'd just as soon play members of the Bat-Family or Batman Inc. with Bruce Wayne far away, in space, currently dead, or nursing a back injury.

I'd be tempted to introduce a WoD-style Shadow of the Bat stat: as it goes up, you become tougher, scarier, and more enduring but also heal slower and be bad at anything that isn't about being a sadistic spirit of vengeance.

Edit: That's based on the Batman leading up to Infinite Crisis where he was just increasingly a douchebag.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 16:59 on Sep 30, 2016

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



My god imagine

You get too good at being batman junior and Bam

It's loving Kite Man

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


The Joker going after Knight and Squire with Harmless British Joker who just likes facepaint and purple suits was a pretty great arc, yeah.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Siivola posted:

I admit to being a bit uneducated on this, but looking back at the big names, it seems like for every Feng Shui there was a Legend of the Five Rings or a Rifts or some other game that didn't get played by the rules even at their writers' tables.

Belatedly, the reason Legend of the Five Rings didn't resemble John Wick's play style / vision was because his editors looked at what he wrote, concluded that it wasn't marketable, and then got another half-dozen writers to massage it closer to being a conventional (some might use the word "coherent") RPG. So it's a slightly different case.

Grnegsnspm posted:

Way back in the long, long ago; Jef and I (mostly Jef) kept saying that we would review this Batman RPG he had. We kept putting it off. The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. But now we make good on that promise. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Batman Roleplaying Game

The only copy I have of this RPG is called Blood of Heroes. For those that don't know, Mayfair had intended to publish a 4th edition of DC Heroes but couldn't keep the license, and a company named Pulsar Games bought it, publishing without the DC license as Blood of Heroes. And to their credit, it is a modestly improved version of the 3rd edition rules. But what do you do when you don't have a license,? Why, you make your own world! The Blood of Heroes world! It's a 90s-era trainwreck with art that's reminiscent of Synnibarr where most characters have peoples vaguely related to some nonsense (literally) regarding Atlantis, most of the presented characters are in the 1000-6000 point range (Superman is roughly 2000 points in the original game), and unironic sentences like "Narash Tered, a demon from the Dimension of Demons..." But who needs big-name characters when you have Anarchy Man, Invulnerus, or Neon Knight?

From what I understand the rights for Blood of Heroes rights were bought out by members of MEGS (that's the system's name) community to republish it and the whole thing fell apart due to internet drama, so there's that.

FMguru posted:

It's been done.

Not particularly cleverly, but it's been done.

Well, Violence never presents you as the good guys. For those less familiar, it's a parody of grim 90s RPGs that's basically modern, urban D&D - that is, you replace the dungeon with an apartment complex or office building and the PCs go through it killing people and taking their stuff. But it pretty much berates the reader at every turn as doltish, monstrous assholes for buying or (worse) playing Violence and presents the PCs as "monsters in the truest sense" - i.e. just straight-up normal human murderers. But it's also a pure parody that clearly doesn't intend to be played (the playtesting credit is "Surely you jest").

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


I got the images for this update somewhat differently, so apologies for the poorer quality.





3: Scott Jenning’s Kickstarter



The Machine of Lum the Mad is another artifact that harkens back to Mystic Energies. Players of Baldur’s Gate may have even stumbled on this artifact in their play through. The book describes this artifact differently than how Baldur's Gate depicts it. The Machine is a massive, U-shaped console adorned with no fewer than 60 levers, 40 dials, and a switchboard of sockets, plug and wires. Most of the controls are obviously broken. In the center of the machine is a crystal box 4’x5’x7’, large enough for 4 man-sized creatures to stand in. The whole contraption weighs 2 1/2 tons and fills a good sized chamber. Compared to other artifacts, the Machine of Lum the Mad is pretty fragile.

The Machine was first discovered by Baron Lum, who used the Machine to elevate himself from petty warlord to all-conquering tyrant. Lum was able to master the Machine’s workings, but the process drove him mad. He used the machine to create 50 new species of monsters, and wipe out entire armies, both his enemies and his own. Lum’s reign came to an end in a titanic battle with a former follower, Leuk-O, and the machine was presumed lost.

The Machine is probably the most half-baked artifact in this entire book, both in terms of what it can do and how a DM would incorporate it into his campaign. The book suggests that a DM can make an entire adventure out of attempting to learn learn what one particular setting does. Why the players would seek out the Machine to begin with is left to the DM to figure out. A description of what the Machine could do might provide a motive, but as we’ll see the Machine’s capabilities are really vague.

There’s a page and a half under the Powers subsection Most of it is given over to describing how to use the machine. The book gives a visual aid to help players out, and plays into how to decypher using the machine.



One actual bit of info on the Machine’s abilities that is clear is that certain powers are internal, while others are external. Internal powers affect those inside the crystal box, leaving those outside unaffected, while external powers alter the world outside the box leaving those inside it safe. Anyone inside the box are completely vulnerable to the Machine’s internal powers, not even allowed a save or magical resistance roll. On the other hand, the box protects its contents from all physical, magical, gaseous, and magical attacks.

At this point, we learn that only 35 of the Machine’s powers still function-20 internal, 15 external. Each of these effects has a specific control configuration to activate, and describing these controls is what most of this entry is dedicated to. Of the 60 levers, 10 remain functional. Of the 40 dials, 20 remain functional. There are 26 plugs and 26 sockets. The levers are labeled ‘0’ to ‘9’, the dials are labeled ‘A’ to ‘T’ and can be set from ‘0’ to ‘6’ (0 is the off setting), and the wires and plugs are separately labeled ‘A’ to ‘Z’. Okay, hang on. Are these labels in Common, or do players need a comprehend language spell? Also, the levers have an ‘On’ and ‘Off” position, but how do the players know what that setting is? Finally, one thing that’s not specified is whether the Machine has a master switch or not. According to the book, there are 8.5 x 1048 possible settings. Is there a risk that in putting in the combination for one power, you accidentally activate a different power?

Anyway, here’s how a DM should write out a combination. The code has three sections. The first part indicates what levers to put in the on position. The second part is for the dials. Dials set to 0 are ignored, while the other dials are noted as letter/number combo. The final part is for connecting plugs to sockets. The book says to list the plug before the socket (so ‘AW’ means connect plug A to socket W), but I would flip that around on account of the diagram putting the socket on the left and the plugs on the right. That aside, the notations are at least clear enough that players won’t confuse a code for one part with another part. To use the example in the book, a possible setting would look like ‘067 : G1/M4/R3 : CB/FH/OM/ST/WQ’


You want bees? ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!”

After a machine is used, there is a 70% chance that some reaction in the machine alters the settings required to duplicate the effect. Presumably, this is to prevent repeated uses of the machine, but it raises some questions: If effects are unlikely to be duplicated, then who is recording these working combinations? If Lum himself recorded the combination, then how would players know for sure that the Machine is still capable of making the power? Did Lum have to worry about the Machine reconfiguring its interface, or is it just a consequence of the machine falling apart? If the players discover a code, would they be able to tell if that power had been used, especially since the user receives no indication of this change?

As for what the Machine actually does it left to the DM, with only the Random Powers tables suggested as a starting point. Gee, thanks, book

The Machine of Lum the Mad has two curses. First, any time the machine is started without a correct combination, the DM rolls on the following table:


Second, every time an effect is triggered, the operator must make a save vs spell. If the roll is failed, the character’s Intelligence score is increased by 1 while the Wisdom score is reduced by 1. With each failed save, the character’s cranium increases by 10%.

Suggested Means of Destruction:
  • The machine is quite delicate and can be destroyed with repeated blows, each ruining 1d4 controls. Each blow has an 80% chance of causing an explosion, dealing 2d12 damage to the attacker.
  • Every 100 years, the Machine loses 1d4 of its powers through natural atrophy.

That was kind of disappointing, honestly. Let’s talk about an artifact that actually has abilities. Now Lum’s friend, Leuk-o, had his own artifact, The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, a jet-black, 9 foot tall fantasy mecha. The interior of the Mighty Servant is configured for two man-sized creatures, while as up to 5 can ride on the top while it’s moving It’s speculated that whoever created the Mighty Servant also built the Machine of Lum the Mad, although the theory probably comes from the intertwined history of the artifacts’ namesake. General Leuk-o was a follower of Lum when he found the artifact. Upon finding the Mighty Servant, Leuk-o decided that taking orders was for sods and split Lum’s domain into civil war. After several battles that ended in a draw, Lum and Leuk-o faced each other artifact v artifact. The aftermath of their clash left Lum’s kingdom a scorched wasteland, and both artifacts lost to time.


The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o’s powers are written with what I think are rules for large-scale battles, so it makes sense that the book suggests that giving this artifact to an antagonist so the players have to raise an army to stop him or her. While the book says the artifact isn’t something that should be left with players for long because of its curse, it also says that adventures can be made for finding out how to use the Mighty Servant’s powers. So maybe the players ride around it once or twice, and then it just disappears?

The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o has 60 hit points and -6 AC. It can only be struck by +2 weapons or better. Bludgeoning weapons do only 1 point of damage against it, while edged weapons only cause half their normal damage, rounded down. It has 90% Magic Resistance, and is utterly immune to acid, cold, heat, normal fire, vacuum and water. Lightning, electricity and magical fire inflict 20% normal damage, assuming the attack gets through the MR. If damaged, the Mighty Servant regenerates 2 hp/round. Anyone inside the Mighty Servant is fully protected from outside attacks. Given all these defenses, it is possible to destroy the Mighty Servant by reducing its hp to zero.

The interior of the Mighty Servant is akin to a modern cockpit, and anyone trying to use its active powers needs either to consult sages or tomes or experiment through trial and error. At least the DM is told to just abstract this learning process. The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o has a movement of 3, and can only be active for 12 hours at a time. After-which the machine must be inactive for an hour to recharge its energies. The Mighty Servant “strikes as a 10-HD creature” (does that mean it uses the default THAC0? Why not just give the THAC0? Damnit, TSR!). It can attack once a round (or at least that’s my reading) and each blow does 1d6 x 10 points of damage. The Mighty Servant is strong enough to destroy castles. If used as a siege engine, it does the same damage as a screw or ram. If used in a BattleSystem game, its stats are AD d12+d8, AR 4, HD 10, Hits 5, MV 3. For random powers, the Mighty Servant gets 6 Offensive Powers, 6 Major SLP, and 2 Healing Powers that apply to any one creature inside the interior compartment. Using any of these abilities drains one hour of continuous usage.

Major SLP: 24, 7, 50, 46, 65, 99
  • 4-7: Cast animate dead 1/day
  • 24-26: Cast destruction 1/week
  • 44-46: Cast magic jar 1/day
  • 47-50: Cast mindshatter 1/week
  • 96-100: cast wither 1/week

Offensive Powers: 1, 2, 18, 1, 18, 8
  • 1: Cast age creature 1/day
  • 2: Cast Bibgy’s crushing hand 1/day
  • 8: Cast disintigrate 1/week
  • 18: Cast suffocate 1/week

Healing: 20, 19
  • 19: Cause all healing spells applied to the user to be doubly effective
  • 20: Erase scars and other disfigurements caused by battle (at will)

The Mighty Servant’s curse has both a short- and long-term component. First, every time the operator uses a power, he must make a save vs spell or goes into a battle frenzy for 24 hours. “During that time, the artifact is used in a rampage of destruction to any and all within reach.” Considering that the Mighty Servant has to take an hour break every 12 hours, it seems that might be difficult. Second, the character using the Mighty Servant risks Artifact Transformation. “Those affected by this power gradually have their alignment shifted to chaotic neutral”. That-that’s not what Artifact Transformation is used for

Besides hitting it a lot, there are two other means of destruction suggested
  • A self-destruct command phrase. This causes an explosion-no specifics beyond “very big”
  • One of the powers of the Machine of Lum the Mad is to destroy the machine. If Lum knew that such a power existed, he never used it.

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Sep 30, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I always assumed that the labels on the Machine were for player/DM benefit, and any actual description of settings would be a sheaf of sketches depicting the whole control console or the like.

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PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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


ZeroCount posted:

I actually don't mind Marian, in fact I think the banality actually works in her favour because she is loving anything but banal when you think about it.
Just when you think you have this fairly standard conservative old granny stereotype pegged it turns out she has dozens of kills, maxed out hero powers and is coming at you with a loving AK-47 holy christ. She's basically a member of the village council from Hot Fuzz who are all caricatures of petty small-town oppressiveness hiding action-movie style badass assassins who get into gunfights, spout silly one-liners and murder people with garden shears.

But you know it's Beast so she's a lot less cool by association.

Honestly she's great, I'd use her as an NPC in just about any game I could get her into. Especially if it's low-key investigative stuff. The old, slightly demented lady who invites them in for tea and biscuits, then when the chips are down and the monsters show up, she just wades in there with an assault rifle and body armour. Oh and the home knit sweaters she made for them, which they wore only to not upset her, turn out to be made of kevlar fibers and actually work as armour.

In any game with a sense of humour she'd be amazing.

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