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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The Lone Badger posted:

What happens if a juicer pilots a mech?

The main question would be "can they use their automatic dodge?" There's no rule specifically against it, but there's a corner case in Juicer Uprising that implies they can't outside of certain vehicles... but it's really not clear. But there's nothing really stopping them that I'm aware of, they have access to all combat pilot skills and a high Physical Prowess which is the most essential attribute for mech piloting. The only thing really stopping them is that they couldn't start with one.

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The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



But you could start as a Glitter Boy then get a drug harness installed.

PoptartsNinja
May 9, 2008

He is still almost definitely not a spy




Soiled Meat

The Lone Badger posted:

But you could start as a Glitter Boy then get a drug harness installed.

But then you'd wind up with a Dreadknight!

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

When I kill you with a motor-car, you should have the common decency to stay dead, you horrid little object




Hostile V posted:

Thoughts on the Oddities: Well I do like the Brown Acid for its urban legend vibe and for the fact that it’s only something that kicks in erratically. But unfortunately I don’t think it has much staying power for you to base a campaign around it; it kinda sounds like it’s an occasional tool for the PCs to use or experiment with. Death.com is less interesting and it’s mostly just bland technophobia. The fact that it’s all just “WOOOOOO~, WHO MADE THIS~. OOOOOOOH~” doesn’t do much to endear it to me when it’s abundantly clear that it’s a piece of God Machine tech and it probably makes Angels somehow. That’s not mentioned anywhere in the book, this is just me reading this in the year 2017 and having it on the same hard drive as my copy of Demon: The Descent.

At the time, it really wasn't a bit of God-Machine tech or an Angel-maker, simply because Demon (and the God-Machine Chronicle) weren't even a glimmer in the milkman's eye at the point that Immortals was being written, and it wasn't likely at the time that we'd ever use the God-Machine again, let alone that it'd evolve into the form it did for GMC/Demon.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Dragonmech: It's big and angry, what more do you want?



The Dronog is a Large Aberration (Lunar) which is, essentially, a beast of burden. It probably has a natural state, but no one knows what that is, as on Highpoint they are invariably encountered as pets/tools of the lunar skinstealers, a malevolent lunar race. It is believed that the two species have had a host/parasite relation for a long time. A dronog resembles a five-legged lizard, three legs to one side and two to the other. The middle leg actually has a hand on the end, usable for grasping. These things are big and chalky-looking, with a bunch of orifices that have no clear purpose, no neck and dull teeth. Their intestines are visible below the skin and occasionally break it, only to remerge into the body. In the wild, they appear to spend most of their time burrowing through dirt and eating minerals, attacking any other cerature that approaches. Under the control of a lunar skinstealer, they do whatever the skinstealer wants. They appear to have some form of limited empathy or telepathy audible only to terrestrial beings as a form of disturbing mental static, which drops the Intelligence of anyone hearing it by 1d4 for as long as it is 'audible' and rendering it difficult to cast spells or anything else requiring concentration.



The Dusk Devil is a Huge Aberration (for the wild ones) or a Large one (for one bred by the Stavians). They are giant insects that are built vaguely like a daddy longlegs, with legs that carry their proportionally smaller body eight feet off the ground. Besides this, they have wildly variable appearances, all of them gross. The smaller kind is about the size of a horse, but the larger ones can be more than 20 feet long. It's unclear where the dusk runners first found these things or how they first tamed them, and most scholars believe the dusk devils originate on another plane. Wild ones are rare but not impossible, and will be active mostly around sunrise and sunset. They will attack humans when hungry, and in the wild form simple hunting packs. Their constant movement generates a cloud of dust devils around them in areas that have loose dirt, providing them with excellent concealment, though they're able to see clearly in it. They are surprisingly easy to domesticate, which is part of why many scholars believe they were the servants of some extraplanar people.



The Forestrati are Huge Plants, and what's left of the treants of Highpoint. The lunar rain destroyed most of their groves, and that loss drove the forestrati utterly insane. Now, they are evil, twisted beings that resemble the charred and blackened wood they live in. They have no charity or goodwill for any living creature, and they do not even hunger for revenge - only mindless destruction. They are clever, cunning, but not rational beings, acting more like very clever animals, and some even eat meat. The elves of the forests avoid or kill them when possible, as the forestrati will attack anything living and seem to enjoy causing horrible destruction. Unlike normal treants, they have no bonus to hiding, but also lack the treant fire weakness - in fact, they're resistant to fire. They also like to throw rocks.



The Grease Lizard is a Medium Animal, something like a five-foot crocodile with brown or gray skin. However, they typically are covered in a thick layer of oil. They inhabit, at this point, mostly mech engine rooms, where they are at home in the sludge. It is unclear where they came from, but they like to lurk in the oil and lunge at passers-by that look tasty. They're very good at hiding, but also extremely flammable, due to being mostly covered in grease and oil.



The Iron Shambler is a Medium Construct, a sort of clumsy, vaguely humanoid pile of metal, created by the spell 'Animate gears'. Most are controlled by a wizard or clockwork ranger, but some just wander aimlessly. They're usually made from rusty and unusable parts, but any pile of scrap metal weighing at least 200 pounds is a viable shambler in a pinch. In combat, they primarily just hit things really hard. They aren't very smart.



The Lunar Skinstealer is a Medium Aberration (Lunar). In its natural state, it is a parasite that vaguely resembles a stingray - a massive flap of skin some six to eight feet wide and about two inches thick. One side is a chalky gray, the other is covered in natural velcro hooks. They move like a worm but are strong enough to rear up when needed. However, they are mostly found on a host. They survive, see, by wrapping themselves around a host creature, overwhelming the victim's nervous system and taking over the body. Their society is a mystery, as they cannot communicate in any intelligible way, though they are clearly intelligent. On their own, they aren't especially dangerous, but they are fully capable of using all of their host's abilities once they surround the host's body with themselves. You can save the host by beating the skinstealer to death - only piercing attacks risk damaging the host. A dominated victim has control of their mind still - just not their body. Skinstealers avoid combat when possible, and if they lose control of the host, they will use their hooks to try and kill the host. You cannot play a skinstealer.

Next time: mo' monsters, mo' problems.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Nevermind​

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 14:58 on Apr 16, 2017

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Mors Rattus posted:

Dragonmech: Shock and Horror



Unlike most lunar beings, a Lunar Dragon is a True Dragon rather than an Aberration. They are immense creatures, larger than terrestrial dragons of equivalent age, and resemble rhinos or elephants more than the cats or reptiles that other dragons do. Their skin is an unhealthy white, and their blood vessels writh not far beneath it. Their face is covered in horns around an asymmetrical maw, and their wings are actually too small to lift them properly on the planet rather than the moon, and their flight is clumsy at best. They do not keep lairs, for the most part - they just wander around and destroy whatever they find. They usually eat it, but don't seme to like the taste of terrestrial flesh. They do not value treasure of any kind. They have a natural resistance to the lunar rain, but will burrow into the earth to avoid meteors. Other kinds of lunar dragon do exist, but this is the most common type. Their breath weapon is a cone of lunar energy resembling white fire, but it has no elemental equivalent. It bypasses all elemental resistances besides a blanket energy resistance.

Next time: Aberrations, so many Aberrations.

I remember being kind of disappointed by the lunar dragons. Earlier in the book they make such a big deal out of them, and the city mechs are built up based on how they're one of the only things that can go toe-to-toe with a dragon, but then they wind up just being big scary statblocks without a whole lot else going on.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The Lone Badger posted:

But you could start as a Glitter Boy then get a drug harness installed.

You could, though you run the risk of your GM having a copy of Juicer Uprising and rolling to see if he applies the side effects tables above. Also, you'd have to pay for it (though it's cheaper than a mech by far). Lastly, you'd revert to level 1 with 0 XP, so you better do it as quick as you can.

It's not a bad plan but there are some catches.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Just Dan Again posted:

I remember being kind of disappointed by the lunar dragons. Earlier in the book they make such a big deal out of them, and the city mechs are built up based on how they're one of the only things that can go toe-to-toe with a dragon, but then they wind up just being big scary statblocks without a whole lot else going on.

Considering that there are much smaller, dedicated dragon killers, no, city mechs arent the only thing.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

The main question would be "can they use their automatic dodge?" There's no rule specifically against it, but there's a corner case in Juicer Uprising that implies they can't outside of certain vehicles... but it's really not clear. But there's nothing really stopping them that I'm aware of, they have access to all combat pilot skills and a high Physical Prowess which is the most essential attribute for mech piloting. The only thing really stopping them is that they couldn't start with one.

Man, a lot of Palladium material seems to be written under the philosophy of, "Meh, we'll just let the GM sort that out".

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011


I've got a post and three quarters of polaris typed up but I've run into a bit of an issue, the fluff's bad layout is reaching a bit of a crescendo and there's no convenient stopping point anywhere near the usual length of my posts so I'm left with the following options:
-Cut and edit into something of manageable size which will cause the loss of the book's peculiar formatting which I'm hesitant to do because it's weirdness here is the highlight of the section.
-End a post midway through a section and resume from there with the next one.
-Post a two-in-one feature of blatant 40k plagiarism, splatbook advertisements, pointless grimdark wankery and metaplot hooks going nowhere.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Asehujiko posted:

I've got a post and three quarters of polaris typed up but I've run into a bit of an issue, the fluff's bad layout is reaching a bit of a crescendo and there's no convenient stopping point anywhere near the usual length of my posts so I'm left with the following options:
-Cut and edit into something of manageable size which will cause the loss of the book's peculiar formatting which I'm hesitant to do because it's weirdness here is the highlight of the section.
-End a post midway through a section and resume from there with the next one.
-Post a two-in-one feature of blatant 40k plagiarism, splatbook advertisements, pointless grimdark wankery and metaplot hooks going nowhere.

Just cut off where you feel appropriate. Its really not thay jarring to not do a whole section, so long as you include a mini recap as needed in the next part.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Dragonmech: Fishman



Slathem are Medium Humanoids. They are amphibious ocean-dwellers that live in cities of wood, stone and bone atop coral islands that spend half the year underwater. They are bulbous, soft creatures with webbed but dexterous hands, and stand about seven feet tall. They can breathe water and air equally well. Their cities are designed oddly - no stairs at all, with structures on top of coral that often need replacing. That's why they trade with land dwellers - mostly for building material. Some cities have extensive sewers and dungeons in the coral, which remain submerged even when the upper levels dry out. In highwater, the cities are buried under 40 feet of water and the slathem can easily swim from floor to floor. In low-water times, however, they have to awkwardly climb and scramble. As a result, ground level is the most prestigious and expensive, easily accessed all year.



The Smoking Dead are Medium or Large Undead that come in skeleton and zombie variations. They are essentially a merging of necromancy and steamtech, reanimating corpses with steam engines and using metal to replace lost body parts. Their chest contains the smoking engine that gives them their name, and the magic keeps them from falling apart. Just about any corpse, really, can become a smoking dead. Rarer are the 'meat racks' - iron, man-made skeletons with reanimated muscle welded to them. All three types - skeleton, zombie and meat rack - are tougher but slower than normal undead, and often armed with extremely dangerous weapons welded to their forms. Also, because D&D, the steam engine used to make any of them must be made, specifically, by an evil craftsman. After it animates a body, that engine is now permanently tainted with evil and a sticky crust, which will both infect anything you plug into the engine.



Tortogs are giant turtle people. They are Large Humanoids (Tortog), and while only five feet tall are extremely broad and weigh up to 600 pounds due to their extremely thick armor. They usually are bipedal but can drop to all fours as needed, and in the event of danger can retract their head into their shell and walk on all fours for safety. They tend to be wandering traders, who carry their sacks of goods within their shells. When they retract into the shell, they usually have skin folds their goods can be safely hidden in. They are slow but immensely strong, favoring clubs in one hand and their mighty jaws and claws to assist. When they retract fully into their shell, they get a massive AC boost and immunity to crits, but cannot move or attack and are considered prone. They also do not feel pain unless their shell is pierced, which largely immunizes them to the lunar rain.



A trak trak is a naturally occurring Medium Aberration made of random scrap parts. None of them look alike, but they usually assume vaguely dwarven shapes, though not always. They animate spontaneously without any clear cause, generally in the spare parts of mechs or in workspaces. They wander around for a random period of time, ranging from hours to days, then collapse into parts again. Most believe they are supernatural somehow, but only the followers of Dotrak believe they know the cause: their god. This is correct - the energies formed by Dotrak birthing itself is expressed in the form of animated metal gears. They are entirely harmless, fighting only if attacked and breaking off the fight if the attacker stops.



Last up, worms. They come in three types: Giant Worms. Deep Divers and Shakers, all Huge Magical Beasts. They're three breeds of the same worm species, traveling in the same herds. Together, deep divers and shakers are about 10% of the worms, but the worm farmers have been breeding them up. Your average worm is around five feet in diameter, but deep divers are thicker. Shakers are the same size but visibly weaker and emitting a constant subsonic hum. Worms aren't aggressive, and in fact rarely notice others at all unless attacked. The normal worms just bite people, but aren't good at it. Shakers, however, can emit a sonic blast against enemies. Worms are pretty easy to tame, and breed by live birth, though most die within three months.

Next time: Nedderpik in detail.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Barudak posted:

Just cut off where you feel appropriate. Its really not thay jarring to not do a whole section, so long as you include a mini recap as needed in the next part.

If you do two posts back to back (written up and copy-paste-posted within a few minutes of each other) you don't even have to recap. Not every post needs to hit the character limit.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 3: "Her reflexes take over her, and before I can get to the door the kid's gotten his neck broken."

I cut the last update off in the middle of a section because the section on Juicers was too long.

I'll repeat that: the section on Juicers was too long for one part.

Again: the section on Juicers was- you get the idea, let's get back to livin' on the edge (as sung by Aerosmith).


It's cooler when nobody can tell what you're shooting at.

Juicers & the Law

Ha, you're a Juicer, like you give a gently caress.

Seriously, though- can I be serious?- generally the law applies to Juicers, so if you had to ask, punching off a person's head still gets you murder charges in most places. The Coalition bans them, as if it need be mentioned. In particular, if the Coalition catches one, they generally either execute them on the spot or take them in for forced detoxification and propaganda usage, parading around films of wasted-looking ex-Juicers and telling people this is your somebody else on drugs. Other places require registration. And some places are essentially run by Juicers who use their superhuman abilities to seize power. Of course, sometimes that'll get Juicers offed by a Cyber-Knight or have their food poisoned. That's because this is CJ Carella, who realizes the Rifts theory of one thug taking over a town with a mega-damage pistol is pretty flawed as long as they still have to sleep.

they don't have to be asleep you can just hold the fucker down and take off his mega-damage armor and hit him with a rock

Making a Living

The price given for a Juicer conversion ranges from 50K credits to 400K credits depending on the location and legality, and their systems can hold enough drugs for nearly a year, with a refill running from 2K to 50K. Many get it in a deal with a small kingdom (Rifts loves the term "kingdom" whether or not there is an actual king) to get converted for 1-3 years. There's no mention of explosive collars or anything, so not much to keep them from running away. Others make a living as adventurers, bodyguards, spies, assassins, bandits, enforcers, or... blood sports. We'll be getting a lot on those blood sports soon enough.


Endzone, a little-known member of Slaughter's Marauders.

The Juicer Culture

Yes, because this is the '90s, Juicers have a subculture. But first, just evidence that my edgelord jokes aren't actually jokes:

Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:

The Edge

It's like this.

Imagine you're walking down the street, minding your own business, and then two street scum decide to screw with you. Maybe they don't notice the drug harness — myself, I hide it under my cloak; I don't like to advertise — or maybe they are just high on something, or just plain crazy. They ask you for money, you tell them to go play with themselves, and one of them reaches for a gun or a vibro-blade.

That's when it starts to happen.

That little computer they built into you starts pumping chemicals into your bloodstream. The world slows down around you, and everything feels sharper, clearer, more real than anything you'll ever feel, before or after. You can count every hair in the young punk's face, you can smell his fear and anger, you are aware of everything around you. I guess that's how a god would feel.

You have all the time in the world. The punk's weapon is only halfway out of its holster, and you still have time to think of a battle plan, enjoy the scenery, and even think of a snappy joke, before you need to make your move.

Finally, you decide it's time to act. The punk is ten feet away. You close in. To the punk and his friends, it's like you just teleported. They are flies trying to swim through molasses, and you are a hawk soaring through the sky. What to do, what to do... You could draw your gun and drill the punk between his eyes, but you are feeling artistic, so you just wind-up and give him a good haymaker, powerful enough to dent ballistic armor. So the punk manages to clear his weapon, but you just batted his head clean off his shoulders. The other punks try to run. You can catch them — they'd need a car to get away from you — or you can let them go, enjoying the high while it lasts.

Finally, the danger is over, and you come down. Things stop being so clear and beautiful anymore. You may even get the nagging suspicion you are back to being a human. Sometimes, I need to remind myself I'm not, and I have to leap off a building just to get the rush going again.

You never feel so alive until you spit into the face of Death.

—From A Juicer's Diary,
by Crazy Lou, Juicer. Printed by Kingsdale Books.

Yyyeah. Also, he's a Juicer named Crazy? Isn't that just confusing? Shouldn't he be Juicer Lou? Oh well. So, yeah, a lot of Juicers deliberately get into dangerous situations to trigger their bio-comps and get a high. I guess just programming your bio-comp to keep you high is out of the question.



A lot of kids think Juicers are cool and look to them for life lessons, but most Juicers just espouse a sort of hedonistic nihilism, though some instead use their limited time to try and leave a better world behind. Others just don't give a gently caress, mannn.


"And for our next show, uh... just me being really creepy, mostly..."

Juicer Bars & Clubs

Some of the more "tolerant" places have Juicer establishments, which are often also hangouts for augmented humans of all types and superhuman D-Bees. They often have fights, of course, because they're hardass adrenaline addicts that go punch-for-punch just to feel alive. Often they have plaques or walls depicting famous and fallen Juicers. They're supposed to be neutral grounds in general, though, where Juicers are supposed to stick together regardless of their relationships on the outside.

Juicer Wannabes

Of course, some teens and other young folks outright emulate Juicers, forming gangs where they take drugs and get in fights to emulate the enhanced edgelords. Some might even mock up equipment and get mistaken for Juicers, for better or (more usually) worse. Naturally, the Coalition frowns on this sort of thing, and usually sentences wannabes to hard labor or (a Coalition favorite) execution on the spot.

With the amount of on-the-spot executions I feel like a Coalition judge has got to be the most boring job. "This person is accused of being a Juicer wa-" "Wait, why haven't you shot them yet?" "Oh, I forgot. *blam*" "Trial adjourned, next case, make sure your weapon is loaded, baliff, I have a round of skull-golf to get to. It uses a tiny skull instead of a ball. For Prosek."

Next: That which doesn't kill you... makes you stronger.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Dragonmech: Nedderpik is a silly name

The next chapter is all about what campaigns you might run. It's got some charts for random terrain problems in a city-mech or poo poo you might run into in the gear forests, but mostly it's just discussing, like, how you can run a campaign with mechs, or if the whole party has one mech, or if it's normal adventures but on a city-mech or whatever. How to keep folks involved with the plot, why you might go hunting dragons or fixing the lunar rain and so on. Noting all that interesting or special.



Now, Nedderpik! We get a detailed look at Nedderpik. It is size City-Mech E, at 1200 feet tall and a crew of 2056. It is a very dangerous machine, between its arsenal of weapons, its defensive mech fleet and its sheer size. Its fleet is focused on relatively small mechs, on average Gargantuan, which constantly patrol the area around its feet. Its legs each have 10 mounted steam guns a few dozen feet off the ground, which are manned at all times and have overlapping fields of fire. If those fail, there's a steambreather as backup on a track that can rotate to any side of the leg. The left arm also has a humongous flamethrower, and as a last resort there are 987 firing ports on the torso from which crew might rain down small arms fire. Against dragons, it also uses six leg-mounted steam cannons, plus nine more on the torso and head, and an array of javelin launchers on the torso. Against larger mechs, it uses an oversized, head-mounted cannon. the firing arc is limited but extremely powerful. Its arms also each have a mounted bore puncher and the right has a lobster claw, to better allow its assault teams to board enemy mechs. The city-mech's biggest weakness is its speed and clumsiness. It is vulnerable from the rear, armed only with a mounted chain tentacle, two cannons and a buzzsaw.

Of course, attack is not really the main threat Nedderpik tends to worry about. Sabotage is. Thus, the commanders and Gearwrights Guild maintain strong ties with a powerful thieves guild that is a major player in the mech's politics. In exchange for ignoring their protection rackets, the guild patrols the lower levels, focusing on finding those who can bypass mech defenses. The Guild would prefer nicer methods, but you do what you must. On the outside, Nedderpik is a bulky, vaguely dwarven shape coated in smokestacks and chimneys. The hull is cast iron with limited mithral plating on entry points and critical areas. The feet and shins function as mech hangars, with the engine rooms in the knees and lower thighs. Above that is where habitation areas begin. Transport uses steam elevators, four per leg, but typically only military personnel use them. Inside, things are small - five foot ceilings in most areas, and not much lightning in restricted areas due to dwarven darkvision. Businesses are usually lit by torches, while public areas use gas lamps or ensconced lanterns. Travelers without darkvision use lanterns just in case. Air is recycled throiugh the mech via immense metal fans on the exterior, which can be heard at all times. The air, despite best efforts, is always muggy and warm, and the centeral areas have very little air circulation, so it is often sweltering. Dwarves are used to that, though, in the mines.

Getting aboard the mech isn't that difficult - you need a medallion matched against a master list, but a stolen medallion will work pretty well if you use it fast enough. Thus, residents protect their medallions viciously. Getting aboard without one is harder, as all people are either essenctial ('has useful skills') or nonessential ('doesn't'). Essential applicants have to pass an interview and detect evil check, but then get in. Most coglayers, mech jockeys, warriors and medics can get on this way, as can engineers and blacksmiths. Wizards and sorcerers occasionally can. Everyone else is nonessential, and are evaluated based on how much they'll contribute compared to the cost of feeding and housing them. Being skilled in a craft is a big help here - unskilled labor is cheap. Traders can get on temporarily without much trouble, as can adventurers, as long as they're not covered in blood at the time. Temporary stays last from one day to six months, with forms for extension. Housing is very expensive, however, and to buy your way on will cost at least 5000 gp. The very top and bottom of the city-mech are Guild property, as well. The top pays rent; the lower level is lawless, as officially no one lives there and the Guild will reclaim it for use as needed. The rest of the mech has 'land' that can be purchased, but it's never on the market for long, and the prices always go up. Any given person can't own too much space, however, and the Guild always has the right of first refusal on all space. The mech's constant motion also has a tendency to cause seasickness in those not used to it - characters that have not been on a city-mech before have a -1 penalty to Dex for the first month and have to make a Reflex save not to fall over if they move above a walk.

Nedderpik is ruled by three factions. First is the Admiral Navigator that commands the mech, second the three-dwarf Council of Navigators, and then the Gearwrights. The Council manage policy and law as well as deciding where Nedderpik goes. The Admiral manages day to day life and piloting. The Gearwrights maintain the mech and officially own it. The politics of power are in constant flux, and while the fights aren't too nasty, they are often confusing and bureaucratic. The mech is outside the dwarven clan structure, so no one has any firm sense of how things should be done. The current Admiral Navigator is "Steel" Dworgen, a level 17 mech jockey who earned his nickname for his piloting skills and nerves. He commands a vast legion of jockeys who each manage some small aspect of Nedderpik's piloting, and usually doesn't need to take command directly. The Council is made of an elder cclansman, a gearwright and a general. Currently, that's Lord Thulin (Fighter 6/Aristocrat 8), Gearwright Trigius (Coglayer 9/Gearwright 9) and General Gunnar (Fighter 19). Each has an indefinite term.

The social hierarchy of Nedderpik places them at the top, followed by aristocrats of the clans and mech jockeys, then technical crew and clergy, then the military in general and most warriors, then wizards and most merchants, then craftsmen, then farmers, then laborers. Nedderpik is run as a military base, importing metal, food, wood and coal, and selling protection and shelter, though also finished metal goods. Internally, however, it's mostly traditional dwarven labor and maintaining the mech itself. The military divides itself into three main forces - the Footman Guard for ground troops, the Mechanized Assault for the mech fleet, and the Mechanized Defense for the city-mech's direct crew. The Footman Guard serve as police and military judges, with no other legal system existing, and are in charge of immigration as well. The Mechanized Assault maintains the outer patrol and escort. Mechanized Defense is the Admiral Navigator's boys and the hangar crews.

At any given time, there are also usually two or three DragonMech pilots aboard, and there's a lab for the College of Constructors. On top of that, they have three local organizations on board. First, the Ball and Bolt, a military club dedicated to ranged weapons and mobile combat in mechs. Members are all officers, mostly mech jockeys or fighters with piloting skills, and their main occupation is talking their way into the spare gunner seats of any mech patrol they can, to better practice. Then there's the Jousting Crows, an informal social club for mech jockeys rather than a club of mech jousters. They're named for a pub in the upper levels. Any mech jockey may join, even if they are neither a military officer nor even a citizen. Finally, there's the Cannoneers, a set of artillery mathematicians, primarily mech jockeys or siege fighters, who train with the steam cannons. They are dedicated both to physical training and the math of artillery fire, and have discovered several rules of geomety so far. They're on the road to developing trigonometry, and while initially seen as esoteric nerds, they are rapidly earning respect for the practical uses of their discoveries. Anyone can join, but Int 16 or below is going to make it hard to follow what they say.

Finally, we get a letter from the creator of the game about the group he first ran DragonMech for and how much fun they were, and how he would do stuff like enforce rules that people underwater couldn't speak so neither could their players. Honestly, it seems weird to me but his group apparently enjoyed it, stole their own mechand so on. The goal for mechs was not to be anime mechs of Battletech stuff, but clumsy, oafish metal giants that remain upright through luck as much as anything else, which triumph by main strength...except for the Irontooth Clans, who are anime as hell.

The End.

So, do you guys want MORE DRAGONMECH next, or a detour into another weird setting - specifically, Council of Wyrms, the 2e setting for playing dragons?

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



If there's MORE DRAGONMECH then I fail to see what choice we really have.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Burn us out on mechs.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I remember Council of Wyrms. Do it.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



So its dragons
Or mechs


How about a compromise
Vote for Dragonmech.

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!


I also remember Council of Wyrms as being somewhat weird and awful. Please rip into that one. Afterwards, we can be rebuilt from the awfulness into something good with more Dragonmechs.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





I vote for Council of Wyrms because these giant robots are not doin' it for me

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


I'd rather play a dragon thank you.

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011



Polaris RPG(2016)
Part 14, Book 1, Chapter 1: The World of the Deep, section 1.2: Civilizations of the Deep


Are you all ready to dive into some weird layout issues? Let's dive into the next sub-sub-chapter of...

Important Factions and Groups

Here be everybody who doesn't have their own cities. Except when they do and the cities are lumped in with the independent ones a few pages yonder. Consistency!

The Azurean Alliance

Illegible garbage in the background of your flag seems to pre-date the third apocalypse.

The Azureans always believed that the Geneticians and their Empire of Evil could return so they left behind hidden bunkers full of combat robots and great warriors in hibernation or stasis. Wait, living Azureans? Dead end metaplot reference count: 16. Nothing else is known about them so I guess the largest faction in the setting being their direct successor state isn't actually true?

The Fellowship of the Watchers

The hand grabbing the trident represents Tessier ripping off the Ukranian coat of arms wholesale.

From here on out, there are no more line breaks until the end of the Watcher writeup. They're all mine, added for legibility.

The Watchers are an international peacekeeping force working with the Cult of the Trident to make sure the orders from the S.M.S.O are followed. The book flipflops one final time on the Watchers' independence, finally settling on them being the Cult's army in all but name. In 566 this global elite army founded an even more elite mini-army that performs all the same basic tasks, those being protections of Equinox and a few other Cult points of interest, S.M.S.O policing duties and smacking down pirates.

The Watchers recruits both from volunteer sign ups as well as tithed soldiers from the S.M.S.O member state's armed forces. Every new recruit is carefully analysed for both physical prowess as well as ideological purity, with only the best candidates who are on board with the Cult being a pseudo world government being allowed to join, followed by a year of brutal training to weed out spies faking their conviction. This results in an army of uniquely high morale and comradeship where treason and espionage are rare, though some in Equinox say that the Watchers are straight up mind controlled by the priests of the Trident. Each Watcher sings on for 5 years, renewable at the end of each period, though the book is unclear how this works for tithed conscripts. Either way, the Watchers number approximately 300.000 soldiers in total, which makes it the 7th most populous nation under the sea all by itself, between the Mediterranean Union and the Cape Federation.

Next are the subdivisions which are somewhat of a mess in terms of layout and dropped with no introduction.

The security forces: A group of 14.000 Watchers who patrol the halls of Equinox. They are polite, friendly and helpful but are there to protect the city, not it's citizen so they are only stationed around important hangers, generators and that kind of stuff. The default armament is the Mao truncheon(which is actually an object in the armoury section for once!) and when serious threats manifest, they will suddenly magic thermal lances(think power weapons from WH40K) and assault rifles out of thin air. The next sentence...

this book posted:

Their leader is Colonel Palance, a 56-year-old man close to Lopteros
(find more information about Ariadne and Lopteros in the
Equinox sourcebook).
:siren: It's splatbook shilling time!
Maybe I won't be too mean about this one because unlike the other ones the book tries to sell you, this one actually exists. I don't have it though so unless somebody else is willing to dig it up we'll just have to go with what the corebook says about Lopteros: He's the Hard Choices™ dude who is blatantly a WH40K Inquisitor ripoff.

Anti-riot forces: The biggest danger to Equinox are stampedes which is what these guys are to contain. Actual riots are, somewhat non-intuitively, handled by Condor Faction instead. Mass panics are typically caused by fire, flooding, sudden firearm use or sick looking people(the book says Equinoxians are all germophobes but I think it has more to do with their counterfeit inquisitor boss burning down an entire quadrant again if he gets word of it). When this happens, the stampede is contained by means of airlocks slamming shut around it and soldiers with intimidating looking armour, truncheons and electrified shields appear and pacify the crowds with sonic and electric weaponry. Once the unruly population has been dealt with, it's time to investigate the source of the disturbance and tend to any wounded(going by the book's combat rules, most of these would be citizens they themselves have shocked into a coma or cardiac arrest). When this is not enough, Condor Faction joins in as well. Condor Faction is led by Major Fianna Liparsky, a 46 year old woman why is rumoured to be fertile(whyyy).

Condor Faction: Wait, didn't these guys get discussed in the last paragraph, down to the inner working of their commander's uterus? Yes, they did. Formatting! Between that paragraph and now their list of tasks has undergone some mission creep and now they are responsible for not only mass panics and riots but also terrorism, epidemics and "various catastrophes", which I'd imagine covers the general breakdown of society caused by Anti-riot forces zapping too many works into vegetables. Their armour is black and their logo is that of a flaming bird(Phoenix. Tessier, the word you're looking for is Phoenix. Not Condor), which due to their fearsome reputation will calm most rioters. When that fails, CondorPhoenix Faction typically deals with the problem in a more permanent way than the Anti-riot forces which in this case means burying the dead with stakes through their hearts or something. They are also noted to only take orders from Palance, as opposed to their own CO for some reason.

The hygiene services: Actually titled Hygiene and Epidemic Control Services. Tessier, you know you can like, delete the old name before this goes to the printers instead of writing a correction after it, right? More feared than even the murdercops or the other, bigger murdercops, the HECS provide free healthcare to the few brave enough to approach their office because many who walk into there never return. They work on the ancient Greek system of healthcare though, where they will straight up murder anybody who is actually sick instead of helping them. They have their own propaganda wing and children are taught to be watchful for any signs of the infected at every level of education. Not content with having just the population be their spies, they also patrol the streets of Equinox themselves looking for any hints of infectious germs. When they do, they deploy their own soldiers to take out the potential plague carrier. When that is not enough, they too have a set of XXL murdercops, titled the Incinerators who are more feared than the other three kinds of death squads. They are lead by a 32 year old sterile woman named Doctor Lena Temis.

The emergency services: The fire trucks and ambulances department. Strangely enough for a Watcher sub group they do not possess any Einsatzgruppen with which to hunt down NFPA code violators, which leads them to being the most popular Watcher division in Equinox. Led by Lieutenant Peter Davis, who is 38 years of age and sterile.

The army: An 180.000 strong group of elite soldiers who protect Equinox and the space bases, as well as serving as marines aboard Watcher ships. The book tries to explain their rank structure starting with soldiers(who are primarily within the 24 to 34 age bracket because demographics are important yo) but immediately segues into how the army is subdivided, namely:
-Scion Division(ship crews)
-Fighters(underwater plane pilots)
-Marine Commandos(power armour wearers)
-Dawn Division(underground and surface troops)
-Intervention Division(an elite force within an elite force within an elite for who are good at close combat inside stations. The 5th Watcher death squad in Equinox by my count)
-Cyclops Division(static fortification crews)
-Space Division(guards launch sites and serve as peacekeepers aboard space stations)

After that sidetrack come the rest of the ranks, those being:
-Major(20 soldiers, 10 commandos or 5 fighters) This is clearly supposed to be a Sergeant and I don't know what went wrong because the French term for that is Sergent so it's not a simple mistranslation. Or maybe CondorPhoenix Faction is just 20 dudes.
-Lieutenant(combat groups of up to 200 soldiers)
-Captain(as in ship captain)
-Colonel(5-20 combat groups) 20*200 is 4.000 so the security forces up there are overstaffed by 10.000 soldiers by these numbers. Tessiermath best math.
-Squadron Admiral(a squadron of ships)
-Admiral(in charge of one a geographic area and all ships therein. There are six fleets and thus six admirals) Utter nonsense as we'll find out next post.
-Admiral in Chief(a dude named Len Veria who talks to Demeter apparently)

Next comes the Special Intervention Group, or the S.I.G. for short which is an elite specialist division(no we're still not done with those) They come in the following flavours:
-Hybrids, which are deep water saboteurs, containing both geno hybrids created by the Cult as well as natural ones. They are led by Lieutenant Jessica Xe, an 28 year old natural hybrid.
-The Sword(Or S.W.O.R.D.(or Special Warfare Operations and Recon Department)) are an especially badly edited unit of deep water saboteurs led by a 56 year old former pirate who listens to the name of Ulorf Grender.
-Astra Division, more space police. There are less than 50.000 space colonists, I'm sure they can get by with just one military police force.
-Shadow Division. No silly acronym this time, just more spies and infiltrators.

The Watchers also have their own research laboratories, mostly focussed on weapons tech because of course they do.

Next time: More Watcher poo poo.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Council of Wyrms. It was one of the settings I wanted to cover, but I know you'd do it better and I have Opinions on the setting and its mechanics to share.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Equinox budget meetings must be really, really vicious between all these death cop lobby groups.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Looks like Council of Wyrms takes it! The game is split into three books - broadly, mechanics, campaign world and a boxed set of adventures - but I'm gonna cover them as a single unit in that order because none of them are truly complete alone.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Council of Wyrms is real bad. Even as a 16 year old high schooler who thought dragons were the raddest poo poo I could kinda tell it wasn't gonna work.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I love the setting. It's goofy and dumb but, like, that's totally okay with me? The mechanics, uh...well.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

I love the setting. It's goofy and dumb but, like, that's totally okay with me? The mechanics, uh...well.

That was more what I was referring to.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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





Council of Wyrms! Council of Wyrms is the AD&D setting for playing as dragons and dragon-adjacent characters. I love the setting, and I remember very little about the actual mechanics, since my last time reading through it was when I owned the physical book, which I sold approximately seven years ago. It's by Bill Slaviscek, better known as a major Alternity dev, the guy who did Dark Sun Revised and a few other things for TSR. He also was involved in the creation of 3e and the development of Eberron. I think he works at Zenimax now on Elder Scrolls Online.

Anyway. Book One: Rules covers the creation of dragon PCs, half-dragons (introduced here, I believe) and demihuman kindred, AKA 'elves, gnomes and dwarves that dragons keep as pets and useful helpers.' Book Two: Campaign covers the broad setting of the game, its history and ways you might fit it into other settings. Book Three: Adventures is a campaign book and set of adventures for you to play as your various dragon-related characters. In theory, the game wants you to play either a metallic (good) or gem (neutral) dragon, but rules are provided for the evil chromatics, too, and frankly, I figure that if we're doing this, all the dragons are in this together even if some of them are jerks. They're still nicer than the humans and giants that are the primary enemies of Council of Wyrms.

The basic setting info we get in Book One is this: we're in a chain of islands known as the Io's Blood Isles, which legend holds were formed when Io, the Ninefold Dragon, spilled his own steaming blood upon the sea, which cooled into the island paradise (for dragons) that is the Io's Blood. Nowhere else matters, because that's where dragons live. They are at a somewhat uneasy peace with each other, each having their own lands to rule over, and their government is the Council of Wyrms, which largely exists to arbitrate disagreements between clans and keep wars from happening between dragons, as well as keeping watch for humans, who once almost destroyed the dragons. Demihuman kindred work with the dragons, whom they see as their natural superiors, and swear loyalty to dragon clans, because sometimes a dragon just needs a small, hairy biped to do a job. Half-dragons are born from the mating of polymorphed male dragons and demihuman women, and they suffer prejudice and try to find a place they can live in.

Dragon ability scores! They're the same as normal...but they work a little differently. Dragons do not get any bonuses to combat from Strength - those are all dependent on their natural weapons and size. Instead, Strength is used to determine maximum weight when flying or lifting, smashing down barriers or breaking bars and damaging various structures. Dexterity, again, has absolutely no relation to combat for dragons. It instead measures how well they can use their front claws like hands. Below 7 and those things are barely manipulators at all. 7-13 means you can use them for simple jobs like picking up larger pieces of treasure. Over 13 and you can do fine manipulations such as opening srolls or chests and using brushes. Even with an 18, though, you're never going to pick up something like a coin. Dragon mages and dragon priests, incidentally, must have at least Dex 13. Constitution does still boost HP and ability to survive resurrection and system shock (which can easily become involved when you polymorph, as loving up your system shock roll there means you forget you're a dragon for potentially several years). Intelligence works pretty much as normal, though dragons get fewer noncombat proficiencies than normal and don't get spell immunity from it. Also it helps the aforementioned polymorphed dragons remember they're dragons. Wisdom is essentially normal outside of the magical defenses, which dragons have innate versions of instead. Charisma functions normally, but also ties into the innate fear ability dragons have. Rolling abilities is 3d6 down the line or whatever other method you prefer, because "It is the job of the DM to be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each method."

The PC races are the good and neutral dragons, elves, dwarves, gnomes, half-gold, half-silver and half-bronzes. (No other half-dragons exist, apparently.) There is info provided for Chromatics, however, they just aren't allowed because evil, I guess. Some things to note, as we get into racial ability requirements. Yes, some dragons are just flat better than others. Gold dragons are the best. Period. Silver and Red after that, then Bronze, Amethyst and Blue, then Green, Sapphire, and Copper, then Black, Brass and Emerald, then Topaz and White, then Crystal. That's simply how things are. Dragons all do get some big stat boosts, however - generally, a large boost to Strength, a penalty to Dexterity, a boost to Intelligence and Charisma, and sometimes to Constitution. Gem dragons also get Wisdom instead of Constitution, and are the only psionic dragons. Every type of demihuman or humanoid speaks their own language, and there's also chromatic, gem and metallic languages, spoken by those types of dragon. Lastly, there's High Draconic, a common speech among dragons that is used for diplomacy. Dragons automatically speak their family language, but not High Draconic.

Now, let's talk about the types of dragon. Gold Dragons are your wise, just and benevolent dragons, who see themselves as the voice of goodness and often become fanatically devoted to various quests. They are born with yellow scales that are only dotted with metallic flakes, which grow as the dragon ages, and are completely gold by adulthood. Gold dragons are Lawful Good and hate injustice. They typically lair in stone caves or stone buildings, which they modify heavily. They can eat just about anything, but prefer pearls and gems, and it's custom to bring those when visiting a gold dragon lord. Gold dragons are slow to anger and prefer to avoid violence, favoring diplomacy...but when justice gets involved, they are fierce warriors.
+7 Str, -3 Dex, +2 Con, +3 Int, +3 Cha.

Silver Dragons live in the subtropical southern islands and are naturally kind, helpful and friendly. They are born blue-gray with silver flecks, achieving full silver at adulthood. Their scales are very small - so fine that they appear invisible, making the dragons appear sculpted from solid metal. They are the closest to their demihuman vassals, eating the same food and often spending much time in demihuman form, even marrying demihuman mates. This is why there are more silver half-dragons than any other kind. They perfer to lair on mountain peaks near the clouds, and live among their vassals there, watching out for their red dragon neighbors causing trouble. They avoid combat whenever possible, except when facing highly aggressive or evil foes, and even then prefer nonlethal methods.
+6 Str, -3 Dex, +1 Con, +2 Int, +2 Cha.

Bronze Dragons are inquisitive shore-dwellers in the southern islands, leaving along seaside cliffs. They are cheerful and good-natured, enjoying riddles and contests. They find warfare fascinating and often look for just causes to champion. They are born with green-yellow scales with a hint of bronze, deepening in color as they age. They are quite fond of demihumans and become friends easily, but never live with them or marry them as the silvers do. They also love the ocean and enjoy eating sharks and pearls. They tend to be sort of dragon swashbucklers, seeing fights as a game and rarely taking threats seriously. They dislike killing in most circumstances, however, and will avoid it if possible, unless dealing with thieves or evil sea creatures, which they hate.
+5 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Int, +1 Cha.

Copper Dragons live in the southern badlands and hills. They are pranksters and jokers, proud and also quite greedy. They hate to lose, no matter what. They are born brownish-copper, becoming more coppery and glossy as they age. They enjoy hunting live prey, as much for the challenge as the food, and often organize hunts of poisonous creatures such as giant scorpions - they find ingested poisons to be harmlessly spicy. (Injected poisons work fine.) They tend to build mazes in their lairs, partly for defense and partly because they love puzzles. They enjoy witty and clever guests...but hate anyone who won't laugh at their jokes and have no patience for those who won't put up with their pranks. They tend to taunt and harry foes in battle until the foes either give up or make a mistake.
+4 Str, -1 Dex, +1 Int.

Brass Dragons live in the deserts of the central islands. They are sociable, talkative creatures with opinions on everything. They are born a dull, mottled brown, becoming a more burnished brass with age. They enjoy talking to guests in warm places, and often sun themselves on rocks. They actually become insulted if intelligent creatures do not stop to chat with them when they pass by. They can eat almost anything, but mostly just drink morning dew. They prefer to talk then fight, but consider blue dragons their special enemies.
+3 Str, -1 Dex, +1 Int.

Next time: Gem dragons.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 03:38 on Apr 17, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Brass Dragons are the most adorable dragons and if the mechanics were not a mess I would be all over playing one.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Alright I won't lie, I love the idea of failing a Con check and then accidentally living out several years as a human because you shapeshifted badly and forgot you were a dragon. Just waking up one morning next to your wife and realizing "poo poo I LEFT MY HOARD ALONE FOR LIKE SEVENTEEN YEARS".

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Hostile V posted:

Alright I won't lie, I love the idea of failing a Con check and then accidentally living out several years as a human because you shapeshifted badly and forgot you were a dragon. Just waking up one morning next to your wife and realizing "poo poo I LEFT MY HOARD ALONE FOR LIKE SEVENTEEN YEARS".

"So that's why our kids have scales and wings and can breathe fire. Huh."

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Barudak posted:

So, uh, do I not understand the basic mechanics of Rifts very well or are the Juicers insanely crap for how many penalties they get loaded with?

Juicers are pretty superhuman. The main issue is that for a similar cost, why wouldn't you just turn yourself into a combat-cyborg, which has similar ridiculous stats but also live, if anything, longer than normal humans and are innately MDC, and therefore you don't have to worry too much about someone stabbing you to death when you're asleep, unless it's a really, really good MDC knife.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Juicers sleep?

To me, that indicates that they aren't taking enough drugs.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Bill Slaviscek also created TORG...

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





MJ12 posted:

Juicers are pretty superhuman. The main issue is that for a similar cost, why wouldn't you just turn yourself into a combat-cyborg, which has similar ridiculous stats but also live, if anything, longer than normal humans and are innately MDC, and therefore you don't have to worry too much about someone stabbing you to death when you're asleep, unless it's a really, really good MDC knife.
My guess: :dong:

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MJ12 posted:

Juicers are pretty superhuman. The main issue is that for a similar cost, why wouldn't you just turn yourself into a combat-cyborg, which has similar ridiculous stats but also live, if anything, longer than normal humans and are innately MDC, and therefore you don't have to worry too much about someone stabbing you to death when you're asleep, unless it's a really, really good MDC knife.

Yeah, the main thing is that cyborgs can't get an automatic dodge (though there's nothing against them piloting the few suits of power armor that give you automatic dodge). But given their innate durability is often literally around five to ten times that of the average juicer, they don't generally need to.

The Lone Badger posted:

Juicers sleep?

To me, that indicates that they aren't taking enough drugs.

They can go without sleep for longer, certainly, but in theory they're not in a wired state 24/7 (that's why they have a computer on their harness, to decide for them when they need drugs). Of course, I think they might even get that automatic dodge when asleep, though you can always fail a dodge roll.

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