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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



rumble in the bunghole posted:

Why would you do this in the middle of the adventure, in a place with absolutely no way to get a new character?

It's not the middle of the adventure, it's the end of it. The only thing after that point is the final fight with the brain-glom. Not that that makes things any less stupid.

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Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

rumble in the bunghole posted:

Why would you do this in the middle of the adventure, in a place with absolutely no way to get a new character?

Because, in the stupid train of unholy logic, that makes it "meaningful". Someone has to get screwed over. Someone has to be stuck watching the rest of the party play. That's their "sacrifice". It's the same bullshit as that Prime Directive thing about making a player read the dictionary while everyone goes for pizza to simulate being in hospital. It's nothing less than a narcissistic desire to harm the player somehow in order to make an in-character action meaningful. What makes this one so lovely is that the player is punished for an action that's supposed to be noble but is pulled as a crappy surprise - heck, the way the text is written, the GM is supposed to expect the players to fight over this.

It's nothing less than a GM expecting a player to suffer just to prove to himself what a good GM he is.

I would honestly bet money that the author has no idea that players might resent this (well, from that textbox he clearly figures "real" players will see it as a moral duty somehow). Surely the dead character's player will stick around in rapt admiration, unable to look away from the glorious finale to this amazing story! This finale that THEY TOOK PART IN by letting their character die for the cause!

The Deadlands metaplot just constantly ooozes this kind of "OH OF COURSE the players want to hear my AMAZING stories about my WONDERFUL setting" tone. Hensley would probably be genuinely shocked if a player told him to gently caress off and walked out.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




Qualities of a True Gamer

1) Knows the exact date of the apocalypse for the post-apocalyptic game he's playing off the top of his head.
2) Is fine with mature themes of the game literally forcing one PC to sacrifice another.
3) Enjoys the thrill of a well-crafted narrative over interacting with anything or making a choice.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


It seems like this entire adventure was written from the point of view that the setting is more important than the players, which is why you aren't given options, and why a player character has to die, the setting must continue, you are here to serve the setting.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


I'd find a finishing adventure where you gotta sacrifice a player for the greater good of the world to be fine, if the setting was good and not loving Deadlands so you actually wanted to save it.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Loxbourne posted:

Because, in the stupid train of unholy logic, that makes it "meaningful". Someone has to get screwed over. Someone has to be stuck watching the rest of the party play. That's their "sacrifice".

It's the RPG equivalent of the original Fallout 3 ending. "I am sorry my companion but no, we all have our own destinies and yours culminates here, I would not rob you of that."

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




speaking as the guy who reviewed the tomb of horrors this is way worse. the tomb is insanely fatal but in a creative, original way. you get the feeling that a lot of loving work and effort went into crafting the perfect inescapable death trap. this is just "hurr durr kill ur friend."

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's the RPG equivalent of the original Fallout 3 ending. "I am sorry my companion but no, we all have our own destinies and yours culminates here, I would not rob you of that."

Nah, for this to be equivalent one of the players would have to be able to fake his death to fool the demon and refuse to do it.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


So the mad scientist installed some gizmo into the ship so that nobody notices the ship travels through The Warp Hell. Did that also work for the AI? Was the crew aware of this, or did they just wonder why one of them just disappeared before each jump? When did any of this sound like a good idea?

And boy, that sacrifice stuff is some load of bullshit. They might as well just have a meatgrinder pop out with a sign reading "Insert puppies here".

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!


Doresh posted:

So the mad scientist installed some gizmo into the ship so that nobody notices the ship travels through The Warp Hell. Did that also work for the AI? Was the crew aware of this, or did they just wonder why one of them just disappeared before each jump? When did any of this sound like a good idea?

And boy, that sacrifice stuff is some load of bullshit. They might as well just have a meatgrinder pop out with a sign reading "Insert puppies here".

Congratulations, you now used up more brain power thinking about that question than the people writing it ever did.
Btw., what this specifically written as a campaign module or was this the actual in-house campaign serialized as a module?
The latter would explain alot, because it would mean their in-house GM actually "asspulled" this and also why so little of this makes ANY sense.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



So yeah, you only get to make one choice that matters and that choice is "who dies?". And it doesn't matter anyway because the whole thing fails when the ship crashes.

But don't worry boys and girls because you know what's coming out now? Our brand new metaplot series of books set on Banshee revolving around being trapped on an alien planet with murderous alien natives and the Four Horsemen. Oh and in case you think I'm making this up, I'm not. What followed next were the Banshee sourcebooks.

Deadlands!

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's the RPG equivalent of the original Fallout 3 ending. "I am sorry my companion but no, we all have our own destinies and yours culminates here, I would not rob you of that."

But even there you could send someone else to die, the game just called you chicken for it.

Of course, this does seem to be one of those situations your classic RPG veteran carts around a bag of orphans for.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



chiasaur11 posted:

But even there you could send someone else to die, the game just called you chicken for it.

You forget that FO3 had three companions that were basically immune to radiation, a robot, a ghoul, and a super mutant, but forced you to either go into the chamber and kill yourself or send in Lyons in your place.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Event Horizon, nothing. That whole scene with Abracadabra the AI was someone's Doom fanfic, right down to the monster closet painted none more black.

What unbelievable, unlimited, self-congratulatory horseshit. That adventure is the reification of every terrible campaign filled with the characters that a lovely GM just could not let go of, and couldn't possibly goddamn imagine not being active in the campaign world at full capacity.

The PCs aren't. They're just the loving water-bearers who exist to motivate the real movers and shakers and to signpost calamity, because it's not ~realistic~ for them to have any iota of influence over their world.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kavak posted:

Nah, for this to be equivalent one of the players would have to be able to fake his death to fool the demon and refuse to do it.

fiiiine consider my nits picked

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


quote:

Believe it or not, the mistake here isn't that they put their RPG inside the setting itself as a "predicter of things to come" like that's not embarassing all around. The mistake is that the nukes were launched worldwide on September 23, 2081, so this commercial couldn't have happened.

It's only embarrassing if your favorite RPG hadn't, say, released an adventure where you try and prevent magickal 9/11 in 1999. Do any post Fly to Heaven Unknown Armies books use 'an obscure RPG accidentally predicted 9/11' as a Rumor?

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


Did people seriously play any of the iconic Deadlands/X Deadlands sequel metaplot adventures completely as written? It always astounds me that the Deadlands devs could put out these books, or that they thought it wouldn't lead to fan backlash

Double Plus Undead
Dec 24, 2010


OK so the AI is a demon, mad science hellship, I get it, but why didn't Hellstromme, who presumably wants the PCs to succeed, give them a heads up? "BTW, the ship's AI needs murder to get its motor running," that's all he'd need to say! I mean I realize the answer is because this is a lovely adventure but even so.

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


Loxbourne posted:

Wow. That lived up to the hype. That right there is some supervillan-level lovely GMing. Part of me wants to try and dig that Listserv out of the archives to see what actual players and GMs made of that crap. I have a nasty feeling that any fandom community run by this guy would be a murderous echo chamber on pain of bannage though.

If I remember rightly, didn't the Unity come back in the big finale to Lost Colony? I dimly remember there was time travel involved to let the players tie all three game lines together.

EDIT: The part of me that doesn't want to trawl through the ancient Listserv now wants to play a bit more with a space western version of Event Horizon. It has a dash of Bravestarr to it. A Space Western take on System Shock 2 could be a glorious cheesetastic romp.

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars has you covered. Covered in cheese.

I played some indie RPG at a con once that was like this. It was built around Event Horizon/Alien. You knew going in that every PC would die, but you wanted to die heroically, and you could narrate your own death. It was awesome - lots of possession and last stands and weaselsy Company Men getting killed by demons.
But it was a one-shot, and we all bought in to the premise and were happy to narrate our gruesome deaths and betrayals.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Jan 29, 2017

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Double Plus Undead posted:

OK so the AI is a demon, mad science hellship, I get it, but why didn't Hellstromme, who presumably wants the PCs to succeed, give them a heads up?

He gave them an Ominous Warning - did you notice his line about "at least two PCs have to get aboard to follow the AI's instructions" ?

Anything else might have led the PCs to take precautions, and we can't have that can we :v:

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012






Buglord

Well, well, well.

Some of you may remember my adventures in making a Powers & Perils character.

It turns out someone - using known errata and the author's partial draft - has made a Powers & Perils 2nd Edition

I still loving love this game for no reason I can really understand, so I'm pretty goddamn pumped.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Evil Mastermind posted:

It is time. Please, if you've never read anything else I've ever written in these threads, please read my next post.

Delivered as advertised.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Loxbourne posted:

He gave them an Ominous Warning - did you notice his line about "at least two PCs have to get aboard to follow the AI's instructions" ?

Anything else might have led the PCs to take precautions, and we can't have that can we :v:

The hilarious thing is, the way to get out of being killed is to willingly volunteer to be sacrificed, last person to volunteer is the one who has to be murdered.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Count Chocula posted:

It's only embarrassing if your favorite RPG hadn't, say, released an adventure where you try and prevent magickal 9/11 in 1999. Do any post Fly to Heaven Unknown Armies books use 'an obscure RPG accidentally predicted 9/11' as a Rumor?

Of course not. Because Greg Stolze has respect for his readers.

e: and even if he did it'd still be stupid and embarrassing because it's not cute or clever.

Evil Mastermind fucked around with this message at 02:07 on Jan 30, 2017

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Wait why doesnt hellstromme kill himself to power it? Like itd still be railroady as gently caress but at least thatd be sensical and coherent plot arc.

Like what even happens to the planet you leave behind?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Because it has to be a straight up murder, not a willing sacrifice.

Also: I'm betting no one knows or cares, again, the story is there to railroad the party to New Hell World populated by "totally not inuits".

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Barudak posted:

Like what even happens to the planet you leave behind?

You'll find out when I make the final post when I get home tonight. I've already written it but I think I'm going to expand it a bit to cover people's questions.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Kurieg posted:

Because it has to be a straight up murder, not a willing sacrifice.

Also: I'm betting no one knows or cares, again, the story is there to railroad the party to New Hell World populated by "totally not inuits".

I'm going to touch on that too.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Kurieg posted:

Because it has to be a straight up murder, not a willing sacrifice.

Also: I'm betting no one knows or cares, again, the story is there to railroad the party to New Hell World populated by "totally not inuits".

I get that, but based on what ive read it sounds like most players would view hellstrome as super worth murdering, so if he tagged along hed go assuming theyre going to kill him giving the players a free out and if they murder one of their own have the dead person take over hellstrom or who gives a poo poo this plot is terrible.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The fact that Hellstromme probably still isn't dead is pretty shameless in any case.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


This seems like a great time to gear up for some more of....



Part 9: Equipment and Other Rules

As everyone knows, a tabletop role playing game is nothing without tables of gear. NOTHING!

Currency and Prices
Currency varies a lot, obviously. Earth has many currencies, Ruk has bits, Ardeyn has crowns, and other places probably have other currencies, too. When you translate the first time, you’ll get a bit of dosh with your new focus. Prices outlined in the gear lists are general assumptions. As always, the GM can gently caress with the prices or the currencies used. The Earth currency defaults to American dollars because :911:, but if the game goes somewhere else on Earth then use that currency instead. The book says not to care too hard about tracking each coin spent or obsess over anything besides the most interesting adventuring tools. That is, until it becomes “an interesting story point” when the party just happens not to have some mundane item, like soap or a 10-ft. pole, in their gear list.

Encumbrance
The weight of items isn’t listed and carry load isn’t tracked. Buuuut

the book posted:

If the GM determines that a character is carrying too much equipment, though, he should either (1) assign a difficulty and ask for a Might action, or (2) assign the weight a Speed and Might cost to be deducted from the appropriate Pool. Method 1 is useful when a character wants to carry a single heavy object for a limited time—for example, moving a hefty iron safe out of a bank and loading it into a pickup truck bed. Method 2 works well for long-term encumbrance, such as when a character dons a backpack full of survival gear and sets off across the tundra.
Armor
As mentioned previously, armor is also split into light, medium, and heavy. Each armor type provides an Armor score (+1/+2/+3). When taking damage, you deduct your total Armor score from the incoming damage amount. You can’t layer armor for extra bonuses. However, if you’re wearing it in multiple locations (head or torso) the bonus stacks. This is also where that lovely chart comes from that explains how each level of armor drains your Might Pool and stunts your Speed Pool. I’ll repost it for easy reference:



Remember that you have to spend valuable XP to reduce this cost. Vectors can buy an ability that does this. Other character classes have to spend character advancement stages to do this.

Weapons
Weapons are split between light, medium, and heavy. This determines how much damage they do (2/4/6) and how many hands you need to have free to use them (one/one or two/two). Each of the character types gets proficiency in certain levels of weapons. When you use a weapon you’re not proficient with, the difficulty of rolls with this weapon increase by one step. The weapon tables note if the weapon has special rules on range. Some of them also say if they’re rapid-fire, which is a quality that’s only relevant to some abilities granted by character-types or foci.

Equipment
Mundane equipment in The Strange does not translate from one recursion to another. Only cyphers and artifacts can do that. I’m not going to cover the list of gear available on Earth. It’s everything you’d expect adventurers from modern-day Earth to buy: kantanas, smartphones, guns, and so on.

Ardeyn has regular fantasy gear. The armor lists includes some special elite magic armor: the Qephilim-craft coat (light), relic breastplate (medium), and Incarnation-blessed plate armor (heavy). All of armor is treated as one armor type less heavy when worn. That means for the light armor it's like you're wearing

The Ardeyn gear section makes it really obvious how much of the table formatting was copied from Dungeons and Dragons 3e. Maybe they even had a copy of the Player's Handbook open so they could easily copy the common weapons and gear out of it? It sure looks like it, even if that wasn't what they did. Here’s the 3.5e PHB’s section on simple weapons:



And here’s The Strange’s list of Ardeyn light and medium weapons:



The miscellaneous equipment list is a heavily abbreviated version of the gear lists in the 3.5 PHB as well:




vs



Ruk’s equipment list is the most interesting, mostly because it's the only section that actually has gear with strange names and unusual effects that are given any explanation in the book.



Note: the book doesn’t specify the benefits of delivering poison with finger needles. The quiver shiv doesn’t have any additional details, either. Not even a description of what it looks like or how it manages to bypass Armor.

For the items with expository entries: the needler is a dart gun, and you can load each needle with poison. The spore pistol is a grenade launcher, but with “grenade pods”. You can load it with acidpods, flamepods, smokepods, and sporepods. You can also grab grenade pods individually and chuck them. The caustic sprayer is a biotech super soaker filled with a caustic fluid. It can also be used as a rapid-fire weapon! A deathblade is longsword with a poison-dispenser built into it. A spine lance is a massive cattle prod that hooks directly into your spine. You can spend 5 Might points to inflict an additional 6 damage from bioelectric energy in a single attack. The slaughter accelerator gets special points for the best-named weapon in the book, but functionally it’s a bit of a letdown. It's just a biomechanical minigun and can be used as a rapid-fire weapon.

All of the armors in Ruk provide secondary benefits as well:



Second skin is so light and thin it’s practically indistinguishable from your flesh. Plastiskin provides mild protection from the elements (another unspecified Asset?) A slicksuit makes you slippery, meaning the difficulty of any attempts to escape from a grab, binding, or tight space are reduced by one step. Carapaces are organic armor plates; if the carapace is covered in spikes, then anyone who hits the wearer in melee is dealt 1 point of damage. The lifesuit provides an hour of life support in any environment (recharges daily). Bio-armor is a sealed suit of self-repairing, living armor that provides full life support in any environment and provides nutrients to the wearer indefinitely.

The miscellaneous gear section is a mix of mundane things, like binoculars and clothing, a breather, a spore filter mask, an umbilical (a biotech Ethernet cable that let you jack into All Song outlets), and a wing glider (a backpack that lets you glide in the wind or from high places).

Artifacts
The last bit of the equipment chapter is devoted to artifacts! Typically, artifacts are unique items that will not carry over between worlds. The only exception is when an artifact passes through a special kind of recursion gate that lets things move between realities without translating. The danger in moving an artifact between recursions like that is if the new recursion operates on different laws of physics (magic/no magic), the artifact will rapidly degrade in power. Artifacts all have a level and a rate at which their power depletes, designated by a 1d6, 1d10, 1d20, or 1d100. When an artifact is used, the player rolls a die; if the die shows the depletion number(s), the artifact works, but that’s its last use. Some artifacts never run out of uses, and some only ever have one use.

New artifacts can be found during the course of play. It’s an Intellect task to identify them vs. a difficulty level set by the GM. The difficulty task is usually the artifacts level, though. The PCs can also hire someone else to identify the artifact, or sell it. A character can try to use an unidentified artifact, but that’s usually an Intellect task vs. the artifact’s level +2. Failing the check could mean the PC can’t figure out how to use it, or the GM can decide the PC used it incorrectly. Even after identifying an artifact, using it the first time will also require an Intellect task, because it’s always a process to activate an artifact the first time.

The next chapter in the book includes all of the game rules. All of them. Even the ones it outlined in Chapter 1. I don’t mind that at all, honestly. Having every rule in one chapter is an excellent choice! I’ll be skimming over a bunch of things that were already explained, though.

the book posted:

The rules and the dice help make the game run smoothly, but it’s the people, not the rules or the dice, that direct the action and determine the story—and the fun. If a rule gets in the way or detracts from the game, the players and the GM should work together to change it.
Well, that’s nice :unsmith:

The book also breaks down how every action is resolved in the Cipher System. As part of this, we get a reproduction of the task difficulty table:



How to Play The Strange:
1. A player wants his or her character to do a thing.

2. The GM decides if this thing is simple enough to be accomplished without further action on the part of the player, or if the character’s action requires a roll due to a chance of failure.

3. If there’s a chance for failure, the GM determines the stat the task uses, and assigns the task a difficulty from 1 to 10.

4. The player and GM then review if any Trained/Specialized skills, equipment, abilities, or other actions would move the task difficulty up or down. If it would set the task difficulty at 0 or less, the action is routine and doesn’t require a roll.

5. If, after all of this, the task still isn’t routine, then the GM uses the task difficulty to determine the target number and… oh for gently caress’s sake

the book posted:

The GM doesn’t have to tell the player what the target number is, but he can give her a hint, especially if her character would reasonably know if the action was easy, average, difficult, or impossible.
:psypop:
Why would anyone think this is a good idea? The system is carefully balanced around managing your Stat Pools as a vital resource. The game obviously wants players to know exactly how much Effort to apply on a given task! There’s no point to obfuscating this unless you want to be an absolute shithead. Come on, don’t leave an open opportunity for dickery open like that!

Anyway, if you're a sensible GM, you've told them the TN so they can apply any Effort necessary and...

6. The player rolls. If the result is equal or greater to the target number, the character succeeds.

The Player Always Rolls
One big feature of the Cypher System is the players roll everything. In combat they roll their attacks, and then they roll to dodge or soak a monster’s attack. The task difficulty in both cases is set by the monster’s level. Out of combat they roll for any challenging task they want to accomplish.

Special Rolls
This is a more detailed breakdown of the dice rolls mentioned before.
Natural 1: The GM does a free GM Intrusion and awards no XP. :woop:
Natural 17: Deal 1 additional point of damage in-combat. No out-of-combat effect.
Natural 18: Deal 2 additional points of damage in-combat. No out-of-combat effect.
Natural 19: Minor effect. Deal 3 additional points of damage, or inflict a different sort of Minor Effect on the target in-combat. Outside of combat, you can supplement your action with some other maneuver or flourish.
Natural 20: Deal 4 additional points of damage, or inflict a different sort of Minor Effect on the target in-combat. Outside of combat, you can supplement your action with some other maneuver or flourish. In addition, if the PC spent points from a stat Pool on the action, the point cost for the action decreases to 0, allowing the PC to regain all points spent on the action.

Minor Effects
Finally, some examples of what to use for minor effects. They’re supposed to be “slightly beneficial to the PC, but not overwhelming.” For once, either the GM or player can suggest a minor effect, but both need to agree on it. You don’t have to insert a minor effect with every natural 19, either, if all you needed was success on a task. Personally, I don’t see a situation where a bit of icing on top of an action wouldn’t be desirable, but whatever.

When you’re not in combat, a minor effect would do something like letting a climber scale a steep slope “a bit” faster, make a repaired machine work a bit better, or jumping from a height and landing on your feet.

Common minor effects in combat: strike a specific body part, knock back, move past, and distract.

Major Effects
Major effects are “quite beneficial” to the character. Like above both the GM and player can suggest what the effect should be, but don’t agonize over it. If nothing else looks appropriate, the GM can grant the PC an additional action on the PC’s turn that round.

When not in combat, a major effect would let a climber scale a steep slope in half the time. (How fast does that mean a climber with a minor effect goes? A quarter?) If you’re jumping down from a great height, you might land with such style that people nearby are impressed/intimidated. Just like your favorite vampire action movie!


Aw, yeah!

Common major effects in combat: knock down, disarm, stun, and impair.

Retrying a Task After a Failure
If a player fails a task, the player can attempt it again, but must apply at least one level of Effort when retrying the task. Retrying a task is also a new action. If it doesn’t make sense to allow a retry, the GM can veto it.

Initial Cost
Sometimes the GM might decide that just attempting a task costs a stat point. The example given is a heavy door that’s partially rusted shut. The GM can dictate that this would be a difficulty 5 task with an initial cost of 3 Might to attempt opening it. That means the PC would have to spend 3 points from the Might pool just to initiate a roll, and then apply any effort or other modifiers to attempt to shove the door open. The initial cost can be reduced by a player’s Edge, so a character with a Might Edge of 1 would only have to spend 2 Might points to initiate the roll. You can’t then apply your Edge to the roll, of course.

Distance
This was covered before and there’s nothing new here. Most distances are split between immediate distance, short distance, long distance, and anything after that is a specific number. Characters can move an immediate distance as part of another action, move a short distance as a full action, or attempt to move a long distance as a full action with a roll.

Timekeeping
There aren’t any precise rules for keeping track of time. We still need a table, of course. We have to make sure you know precisely how casually abstracted time is in this game.



Even abilities with defined start and end times are sorta abstracted. If an ability is said to last a minute, then just assume it lasts until the end of an encounter rather than load yourself down with unnecessary bookkeeping by marking off each minute of duration. If something takes ten minutes then it can last the length of an in-depth conversation, the time it takes to survey a small area, or the time you spend taking a short break.
You know what else is vital to this game of discovery and exploration? Detailed combat rules!

Encounters, Rounds, and Initiative
If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons or any other RPG that pilfers terminology from it, you know what these terms mean. Encounters are scenarios involving action/combat. Rounds are convenient segments of time that divide the actions of each person or thing acting in an encounter. Initiative is the order in which these active parties act. As we just established, time is not an absolute thing, so each round of an encounter is five to ten seconds. Whatever makes sense. By extension, about ten rounds is a minute. There’s two options offered for determining initiative order. First is by having all players do a Speed roll. The Target Number they roll against a TN set at 3x the NPC’s level. If a player is higher, they act before the NPC. If they’re lower, they act after. Most of the time the GM will have all NPCs act as a collective. In the event it becomes necessary to determine the order each PC acts, you can go in order of highest roll to lowest, alphabetical order, zodiac signs, whatever. The second option to “make an encounter move faster” is have all characters act before all NPCs if at least one PC beats the TN. Go around the table clockwise and dogpile those fuckers. When each PC and NPC has acted, a new round begins. Initiative order normally lasts the whole encounter, unless some significant change in the battle dynamics or environment makes the GM think a new initiative is necessary.

Man, I was hoping to get this all done in one post, but I guess I'll have to break it up into a few of them. Don't worry, next we get to the thing every game of adventure and discovery needs... :siren:detailed combat rules!!!:siren:

Nuns with Guns fucked around with this message at 16:37 on Feb 5, 2017

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Doresh posted:

So the mad scientist installed some gizmo into the ship so that nobody notices the ship travels through The Warp Hell. Did that also work for the AI? Was the crew aware of this, or did they just wonder why one of them just disappeared before each jump? When did any of this sound like a good idea?

Double Plus Undead posted:

OK so the AI is a demon, mad science hellship, I get it, but why didn't Hellstromme, who presumably wants the PCs to succeed, give them a heads up? "BTW, the ship's AI needs murder to get its motor running," that's all he'd need to say! I mean I realize the answer is because this is a lovely adventure but even so.
There's no AI, just the demon. That's just Hellstrome lying to get the PCs to where they need to be, probably because they wouldn't be okay with "you have to murder someone in cold blood".

In the backstory, most of Hellstrome's trips into Hell were solo test runs. The trip to Faraway was the first real passenger trip, so I guess he just had some randos nobody knew about strapped in a back room.

Barudak posted:

Wait why doesnt hellstromme kill himself to power it? Like itd still be railroady as gently caress but at least thatd be sensical and coherent plot arc.
In addition to "suicide doesn't count", it's because he has a long-term goal to a) make a new body for himself that looks like a person, and b) pull his wife's soul out of Hell. He still has poo poo he wants to do.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Ruk has the Gom Jabbar, and that's great.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Evil Mastermind posted:



"Read it again, the GM can't be serious."


You know, as awful as this all is, I like this goofy little picture.

The cyborg murderbot just staring at the nerd mechanic and back at his chainsaw, the mechanic rubbing his neck like he's about to go "Uh, guys?", the wizard glaring...

And all the while the paladin's looking at the controls and rubbing her chin, because she knows if she's clever enough there's got to be something, and then when she turns around there's going to be a wall painted in party member blood, and just dammit guys, can we go one adventure without murdering each other? Just one?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



DEADLANDS: HELL ON EARTH/LOST COLONY - THE UNITY



Part 8: No matter who wins, we lose

All that's left now are the epilogue, and the final chapter. Let's just do them and finish this off.

Oh, before we begin, I'd just like to point out that the Reckoners escaped the Hellraiser box/ghost trap at the end of the adventure, yet didn't pause long enough to kill the unconscious PCs. Odd, that.

But just ignore that because the writers did too.

poo poo you don't care about but I have to explain so I can explain the rest of this poo poo to you.
As Loxbourne mentioned before, part of the overall Deadlands metaplot involves uber-badass PC killer Stone travelling back through time from the 2090's (the start of Hell on Earth) to the 1870's (the start of basic Deadlands). This happened at the tail end of the Deadlands line, in the "Heart O' Darkness" adventure.

Stone did this by walking through the Hunting Grounds, and even then was only able to do so because the dying Horsemen gave him the last of their power. But because walking backwards through time through Hell involves burning a lot of supernatural power, the path he carved out for himself remained after he got back to the past. This formed a permanent time tunnel between the 1890's and the 2090's inside Devil's Tower, Wyoming. This was presented as a major point in the final Deadlands adventure ("Fortess O' Fear"), where an NPC from Hell on Earth approaches the PCs during the adventure, tells them she's from the future, and literally hands them a notebook that describes the Hell on Earth setting.

And when I say "literally", I mean literally. Fortress O' Fear was a box set, and her notebook was a physical booklet the GM was to give to the players.

Anyway, this "Path of Stone" was so characters could travel between Deadlands and Hell on Earth, and was then quickly forgotten because I don't think it ever got mentioned outside the adventure it was introduced and the beginning fiction of Hell on Earth.

Why is this important right now? I'll let the book explain it.

quote:

This is complicated stuff, so bear with us for a little more explanation. Apostolos, the demon trapped inside the Faustian Device, used his magic to open a temporary path through the spirit world, avoiding all the really nasty places, twists, turns, and other areas that would destroy the ship. But the Unity had been damaged over the last 13 years and its navigation systems were a little erratic. It veered off-course a fraction of an inch and “skimmed” the sides of Apostolos’ tunnel. As it did so, it accidentally tore open doorways into other pockets of the nightmare lands. Apostolos kept the ship intact, but couldn’t repair the damage.

The permanent (yet malleable) tunnel through the spirit world is called the “Hell Hole,” for obvious reasons. It leads directly from the Earth of the Wasted West to Banshee in Lost Colony. Somewhere along the way, it also happens to cross the “Path of Stone,” the trail Stone forged when he went back in time to kill heroes for the Reckoners (see the Hell on Earth rulebook and the Fortress o’ Fear trilogy for the Weird West).

What this means for the people of the various Deadlands settings is that there is now a permanent pathway through the Hunting Grounds between Lost Colony, Hell on Earth, the Weird West, and perhaps even other times or places yet to be explored.

What that means to you, the Marshal, is that all the worlds of Deadlands are now open to you. Don’t worry—it’s still not easy for heroes to travel back and forth—it’s just more possible. That lets those of you who have been keeping up with both Hell on Earth and the Weird West use all those great books you’ve bought. You can also use the new Lost Colony setting without giving up on return trips to the Wasted West.
So yeah.

So now people can travel from Banshee in 2096 (through the wreck of the Unity) to Earth in either the Weird West of 1879 or the Wasted West of 2096, although time travel basically follows Feng Shui rules in that time moves at the same rate in each "juncture"; if you go from the past to the future and spend a week there, then a week passes in the past as well. I mean, you have to walk through Hell to do it, but hey.

Of course there are all sorts of rules to prevent PCs from abusing things and knocking the metaplot off the tracks. If large groups of people (like, say, an army raised by the heroes) try to go through the portal, then the forces of Hell will notice and start attacking because. Likewise, only "personal gear" can travel through the portals, so no tanks or trucks full of crates of ammo. Also, the more the tunnel is used, the more the demons of the WarpHunting Grounds will take notice.

quote:

So how might your heroes find out about the Hell Hole in the first place? We have something fun for you there.

First, don’t let them find out about the Hell Hole right after the end of this adventure (unless they go exploring the wreck for some bizarre reason).
What? Of course they're going to explore the wreck! They're probably completely out of weapons, ammo, and supplies at this point!

Can you guess how the book expects the PCs to learn about it? Can you?

quote:

Run this encounter when you want your heroes to know about the Hell Hole.

From out of nowhere comes a scraggly looking old man. He’s dirty and worn-looking, but he has the air of a veteran. He comes right up to you and begins to—of all things—sniff your clothes!

“You’ve been to the Hunting Grounds,” he says. “Name’s Coot Jenkins. Folks just call me the Prospector. I can tell you’ve been around the block a bit. And been to the Hunting Grounds as well. I used to be able to smell gold buried twenty feet underground. Then this whole Reckoning thing happened and I developed a nose for corpses. Lucky me.

Now I can smell the spirit world as well. A couple dozen years lost in there’ll do that to you.

Well, I got some news you might be interested in. I been pokin’ around again, tryin’ to get back to my time, and I’ve figgered somethin’ out. There’s a new path that goes more or less straight through.
That's right: have a major setting NPC explain it to them! :suicide:

poo poo you don't care about but I have to explain so I can explain the rest of this poo poo to you.
This is Coot Jenkins, also known as "The Prospector". He's been around since the first page of the Deadlands core book (he narrated the opening fiction), and has tried to stop the Reckoners behind the scenes for ages. During one serious attempt I'm not going to go into the details of (sorry), he went into the Hunting Grounds. There, while trying to find his way back home he found the Path of Stone and, unfortunately for him, followed it the wrong way. Now he's stuck in 2096, but thanks to the events of this adventure has a way of getting back to his time.

How did Coot get to Banshee if the portal there didn't exist until just now and he's already established as being on Earth before now? Got me! I guess he joined up with the first expedition or stowed away or something, because we're never told why he's on an alien planet.

Anyway, the rest of the chapter deals with how to deal with paradoxes :
  • You can't erase someone by killing an ansector because they'll just be born to someone else
  • You can't do the Bill & Ted "go back and leave stuff for yourself" trick because the stuff will just be stolen or something
  • You can't warn people of future events because every attempt will be automatically sabotaged somehow
  • You can't interfere with major NPCs because they'll just do what they're supposed to do because reasons
  • You can't stop major metaplot adventures from happening because unless it happened in 1879 you can't get there
  • If you're an effectively immortal character who's been around for over 200 years (so, a Harrowed basically), you can't go to the past and hang out with yourself because you can't be in two places at once. Only Stone can get away with this because he's a pet NPC intended to kill PCshad the direct help of the Reckoners.

So what's the point, you ask? You're not the only one.


The reason they give is so you can get an occasional change of pace by heading back to Earth in one of the two time periods. Oh, and for another reason that'll come up later.

But we'll get to that in a moment. First I want to cover the last chapter of this book: After the Harvest

quote:

Well, that was one Hell of a ride, huh?

We suppose most of you are wondering what happens next in Hell on Earth? Is the story over?

Yes and no. On the one hand, the big metaplots we’ve had in store for the game are played out. We’ve been waiting for the return of the Reckoners and the arrival of Raven for a long time.

We also think it’s time to hand the reins over to you. We’ve created a huge irradiated sandbox for you to play in, so
go tear it up.
Yes, now the GM and players can take control of the setting and affect changes, now that the writers have finished with their drat metaplot and destroyed half the setting. Gee, thanks. You honor us.

Christ.

This chapter is just about what the future holds for a post-all-this-bullshit Wasted West.

The Iron Alliance suffered the heaviest casualties during the whole mess, but since the bulk of the fighting is going on around Denver, the Junkyard is realitively safe for now. That said, Ike Turner knows that everyone's rush of victory will wear off once food starts getting scarce again, so he's prepping for that. The various road gangs that he brought in are happy enough...at least until the victory celebrations end, they sober up, and realize that Ike used them as meatshields and cannon fodder. Most of the most dangerous gangs are gone since they were on the front lines (a deliberate two-birds-one-stone move by Ike), but that means there's just a power vacuum now.

The Law Dogs are now leaderless, and weren't exactly well organized before the Battle of Denver to begin with. Most of their numbers are dead, having been whittled down to about three dozen all told with nobody in charge.

The mutants who were following Joan are surprisingly unchanged given that their holy figure actually showed up in person. They suffered relatively few losses because they were kept in the back as artillery. Joan is also accepting those mutants who used to follow Silas and have "seen the light" into her camp.

The Templars (who had nothing to do with this adventure at all) are...you know what? Who cares? Explaining this would require me to explain the Templars for people and I don't have the energy for that right now. For those who do know who the Templars are, they basically keep on keepin' on.

The Anti-Templars get a bunch of stuff but it boils down to "still around, still evil." Oh, and their new leader is some guy named "Marvin Findlestein" because that's the name of a villain.

Silas (leader of the evil mutants) suffered insane losses between just normal battle and people leaving his cult after he got pwned by Hellstrome. As a result, Silas has dropped all pretenses and is just killing everyone who turns against him. He's basically being set up to get overthrown by his enemies now that his power base is pretty much gone.

Hellstrome...Hellstrome is trying to fix all his mistakes. That is a very long list. His immediate concern is dealing with the mutants, who he sees being treated like the Native Americans were back in the 1800's. He's trying to use his position as Harbringer to broker peace between the non-violent mutants and humans. His actual long-term goal is to find his long-lost wife Vanessa's soul in Hell, free it, and then create a new body for himself so they can live happily ever after, which is unlikely given all the crimes against man and God he's responsible for.

The Combine is in bad shape. Throckmorton is running low on the inorganic materials needed to make cyborgs, and a lot of his rank-and-file were killed during the Battle of Denver. Getting more Black Hats is easy enough, but without the ability to make more cyborgs he's got a big gap in his forces. So right now he's laying low and getting into a defensive position until he's ready to make another push.

Then there's Raven.


So yeah - this guy, right?

I'm sure you're all wondering what Raven's been up to for the 400 years between his blowing open the hole to the Hunting Grounds and showing up with an army of Lovecraftian horrors.

Well, don't worry, because the book has about four pages of backstory for you. Here's part of it.

quote:

You remember what we told you in the Wasted West book, right? That about 100 years ago, Raven was lured into a trap by a band of Old Ways shamans. They bound him with magical bracelets (made from the skin of white men) and staked him to a slab of rock in the Black Hills. Over the years, various shamans tried to kill him, but to no avail—he was a servitor and therefore could only be killed in one particular way—which none of them ever learned.

That didn’t stop them from trying however. They stabbed him, cut him, skinned him, but to no avail. One female shaman, an otherwise peaceloving Sioux named Dove, even set him on fire. That didn’t work either, but it was really painful and made Raven much uglier. It also made Raven vow to torture Dove when he got free.

Dove finally figured out how to kill Raven, but he had long ago bound a powerful manitou to resurrect him as Harrowed when the inevitable happened. Dove left the mountain with Raven’s mutilated corpse upon the “Blood Stone.” Imagine her surprise when Raven showed up at her teepee the next day.

The unfortunate girl was dragged along behind Raven for nearly a decade. She was there when Raven conquered the fortress at Minier, Illinois, and watched as he put the survivors of hundreds of holdout settlements in the East to the sword.

The horrible things Raven did to her were finally so great that even his magic could not heal her. Dove died in agony alone and in pain. Raven still drags her bones behind him on his Palanquin of War—the platform Cole Ballad attacked him on in Chapter Two.

Ten Things Raven Hates About the Reckoners

As much as Raven hated Dove, his true enemies are the Reckoners themselves, for it was they who betrayed him and left him to suffer for a century upon the Blood Stone.

So he planned to destroy them.

But how does one destroy the destroyers? Raven knew the Reckoners drew their power from the fear and terror of the living. If every last single human being on the planet were to be slain, the Reckoners would die along with them. This was Raven’s dreadful plan.

For the last thirteen years he has wiped out the last pockets of resistance in the East and added their corpses to his shambling army of the dead.

For the last few months, Raven has been involved in a siege of his own. The last great survivor settlement in the east, Minier, stubbornly refused to die. But then Raven’s demonic allies informed him of Throckmorton’s impending “Harvest.” Raven made his final assault, losing thousands of his minions in the fight but gaining half that many in the carnage that followed. To punish the humans for their tenacity, the last valiant fighters of the living in the east became Raven’s newest and most powerful shock troops, a retinue of warriors called the “Honor Guard.”

His undead army assembled, Raven marched to the river and sent his horde plunging into the depths of the “Bloody Old Muddy.” They emerged on the other side, overran the River Watch, and began destroying all life that happened in their path—one survivor settlement at a time.
It was around this point that Raven allied with the worms; his showing up at the Battle of Denver was just unfortunate timing for everyone else.

When the Reckoners got vacuum-sealed, the worms tunneled underground and pulled back while Raven tries to figure out what his next move is. His top priority is to find out what happened to the Horsemen, but the book states that he'll find out within a month. After that, though, it's up to the GM but odds are he's going to try to get to Banshee.

But guess what! Now that his metaplot purpose has been fulfilled, he's finally killable! Yay!

Of course, he's still technically War's servitor, and as such is completely untouchable without having access to the item that is his specific weakness. It used to be a Susquehanan artifact, but that's long gone. Now, though, it's Dove's bones. Any weapon made from her bones does normal damage to Raven. He doesn't know this is the case yet, and the bag containing her bones is still hanging off the back of his war wagon so good luck with that.

But it's a moot point anyway, because they forgot to give you Raven's stat block so we don't know what his stats or abilities are anyway. Good job, guys.

The book ends with one more relic:

quote:

Raven’s Coup Stick

Raven began plotting revenge immediately after the Reckoners left North America. Raven knew they could take his power away, and if they did, he would have no chance to destroy the world—and his former masters. So he performed a decade-long ritual drenched in blood and souls. The power that he gained was simple—the Reckoners could not take his powers away. This powerful magic was imbued in Raven’s coup stick, with which he has killed hundreds. If the stick were to be broken, Raven would instantly lose his powers as a servitor.

So where is Raven’s coup stick? He keeps the grisly thing stuffed up inside his undead ribs.

Come and get it. We dare you.
And with that, the book finally, mercifully ends.


But wait, I hear you say! What about Lost Colony? The Reckoners are still running around there, right? What the hell are people supposed to do about that?

The answer is: kill the Reckoners.

No, really. The PCs are expected to kill the Recokers.

Kavak posted:

Honest guesses: The PCs are going to watch do all the work and aren't going to get to kill the Horsemen themselves, they're going to escape somehow, or somehow this is all part of their plan and the PCs sole effect on the plot is to make everything even worse.
So you were actually mostly correct! Good job!

Deadlands: Lost Colony was the third game line in the overall Deadlands trilogy, and it was a severely short one. Lost Colony came out around the same time as Third Edition D&D, which (like it or not) was a paradigm shift in how people percieved games. Deadlands in general was the last gasp of the "metaplot" as a concept, and I think because of that (admittedly I don't know all the reasons) the Lost Colony game line was only two books long.

The overall idea was that during his test runs of the Unity, Hellstrome found a planet (Banshee) that was rich in the superfuel ghost rock. Since even in the future this stuff was really valuable (it's needed for weird science gizmos), the US government wanted to colonize it and start minin'. When the Hellstrome Corporation got there, they discovered there was an intelligent humanoid species already there.

They were called the anouks, and were a pre-industrial species who lived in tribes, were in tune with the natural world, and had a very spiritual lifestyle. The colonists pretty much immediately started infringing on their lands, tearing down natural resources and killing off natives for thier land.

OH I GET IT THEY'RE AN ANALOGY FOR NATIVE AMERICANS! HOW CLEVER!

There was the core book, of course, and the second book was The Lost Colony Companion. Both books were dual statted for Deadlands and the d20 system because Pinnacle got in on the "d20 versions of our games" thing. Since they knew this was the last book in the entire Deadlands series, they had to jam all the remaining metaplot points into it.

I'm not going to summarize them here because they're all stupid, but they involve things like a demon that looks like Hellstrome's dead wife Vanessa as part of the Reckoner's control over him, the fact that there's demon-infused nanotech/3D printers, and my personal favorite: that the planet Banshee is alive and self-aware, is a universal force for good, and has an "evil brother" planet that Banshee has been locked in eternal battle with.

It's so stupid and so unnecessary! That last thing has nothing to do with nothing! Adding more levels of backstory doesn't make your setting better, it just makes you look bad!

But that's not why we're here. The whole point of the Companion was to learn how to finally kill the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

For starters, you can't just walk up to them and kill them. They've been setting up new power bases and getting followers and so on. In order to get to the point where a Reckoner is weak enough to defeat, you have to earn "Finale Points" by performing heroic deeds against the Reckoner's forces. When you confront one of the Reckoners, for every 5 Finale Points the PCs have they can buy effects like lowering its stats or turning off one of their special abilities. However, failing to stop the Reckoners' plots can cause the group to lose points.

Which, okay, I kind of like that, actually. It's an easy way to model "working your way up the ladder" and rewards players for getting involved with the setting.

But.

In order to actually defeat a Reckoner once and for all, you need to know its specific Death Blow. Doing this involves a lot of research, hints from NPCs, and travelling back in time. If you "kill" a Reckoner but don't deliver its specific Death Blow, it'll reform in 24 hours.

On the plus side, if you do manage to kill a Reckoner, the whole party gets a benefit from the released energy. (This is called "counting coup" and is a game mechanic that's been around for the entire game line; kill a powerful enough monster and you get some of its power.)

So what're the Death Blows and coups? Glad you asked!
  • Defeating Pestilence requires injecting his corpse with antibiotics...but only via a syringe that belonged to Ernst Biren, a mad scientist from back in original Deadlands who was believed to be Pestilence's servitor. He wasn't; Hellstrome was and Biren was a red herring. The reward for killing Pestilence is complete immunity to all diseases for the rest of their lives, as well as the ability to cure sickness in someone else once per day.
  • To beat Famine, you need to drive a stake through her heart. However, the stake must be made of the bones of either Famine's horse or Reverend Ezekiel Grimme, one of Famine's favorite operatives. Both these skeletons are in the Wasted West at the ruins of the city of Lost Angels (L.A., just renamed in this setting) at the bottom of a gigantic radioactive sludge lake. Lost Angels was basically destroyed by a gigantic holy strike that killed Famine's horse and is now chock full of demons, so have fun with that. The reward for killing Famine is unknown, because they forgot to put it in the book.
  • War can only be killed by a weapon used at the Battle of Gettysburg, where the Reckoners first entered the world. Technically all you have to do to get these are to travel back to 1879, but if you're feeling ballsy you can try to get Stone's pistols since he fought in the war. Defeating War gets everyone a +4 bonus to intimidation attempts and the "Level Headed" edge that basically lets you reroll your initiative. Note that "Level Headed" is an edge characters can buy at character creation, so if you already have that too bad I guess.
  • Lastly, Death can only be killed by someone who's cheated death. Yes, that includes Harrowed, but also means anyone who's had a near-death experience, such as being revived after being clinically dead. A person who's cheated death must cause a wound with a hand-held weapon, at which point Death itself must be given the last rites by a holy man of any religion. Overcoming Death rewards everyone with a naturally long life (over 100 years assuming no violent death), five ranks in the Tough As Nails edge (basically +10 stamina), and +4 to hit, damage, and resist the abilities of undead. In what may be the d20-iest thing ever, in Death's d20 stat block defeating him (CR 20) grants the Toughness feat.

And that's it! That's all there is. There's no ending text or description about what happens when the last of the Reckoners is defeated, which is odd because you'd think there'd be something about how destroying the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would affect the world at large, but there we go. There's not even an editors' note saying something like "hey, thanks for sticking with us and supporting us all these years, we're glad so many people enjoyed the games, thank you so much!"

Instead, the final book in the entire line ends with the stats for War's horse, the OGL licence, and the teaser ad for Deadlands Reloaded.

That's it. Thanks for coming out everyone. Don't let the saloon door hit you on the way out.

--

So.

Here we are.

I think you all understand now why I wanted to review this book for so long. I mean, look at all this. It's ridiculous. The railroading, the NPCs doing everything, the big fake moral choice. I mean, what else needs to be said?

This book, this whole adventure, is garbage. Hot garbage. More than anything else, the players don't need to be there for any part of it until they need to turn on the jump drive. Everything else is just the GM reading pages and pages of text out of the book.

This is the book you hold up when the younger gamers ask "so what was metaplot? Why was it bad?". The book is like a lens through which every single problem with 90's RPG metaplots got focused. It is the exemplar of everything people hated about the metaplot era and bad adventure design. And even if there weren't any metaplot elements, the adventure would still be terrible because it's clearly written for the GM to read rather than the players to, you know...play.

It's amazing how far we've come, isn't it?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go grab my copy of Apocalypse World and play to find out what happens.

Evil Mastermind fucked around with this message at 17:44 on Apr 1, 2017

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ovm1J_AxLQ

Hell on Earth seems really weird and unappealing overall. What made them decide that their game of wild west horror should evolve into Fallout meets Doom, and then go to space? Most other metaplots at least stayed in the same genre throughout.

Kavak fucked around with this message at 04:32 on Jan 30, 2017

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

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

chiasaur11 posted:

You know, as awful as this all is, I like this goofy little picture.

The cyborg murderbot just staring at the nerd mechanic and back at his chainsaw, the mechanic rubbing his neck like he's about to go "Uh, guys?", the wizard glaring...

And all the while the paladin's looking at the controls and rubbing her chin, because she knows if she's clever enough there's got to be something, and then when she turns around there's going to be a wall painted in party member blood, and just dammit guys, can we go one adventure without murdering each other? Just one?

Pretty sure those characters are based on the cast of Nodwick, a comic that ran in Dragon magazine. That takes me back...

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kavak posted:

Hell on Earth seems really weird and unappealing overall. What made them decide that their game of wild west horror should evolve into Fallout meets Doom?

A fundamental misunderstanding of the appeal of its setting seems to be a key component of old school metaplot.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?


Evil Mastermind posted:

In addition to "suicide doesn't count", it's because he has a long-term goal to a) make a new body for himself that looks like a person, and b) pull his wife's soul out of Hell. He still has poo poo he wants to do.

Does it count if someone volunteers to be shot by someone else? Or does it have to be a non-consensual killing?

Green Intern posted:

Ruk has the Gom Jabbar, and that's great.

Well, it does have worms, too, but they don't live in the sand.

Simian_Prime posted:

Pretty sure those characters are based on the cast of Nodwick, a comic that ran in Dragon magazine. That takes me back...

huh, yeah, that's totally a nod to them

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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Nuns with Guns posted:

Does it count if someone volunteers to be shot by someone else? Or does it have to be a non-consensual killing?
Probably. All that matters is that someone kills someone else.

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