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LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

kaynorr posted:

This is a good and important distinction. WoD madness isn't real madness any more than, say, WoD vampires aren't real vampires (because one of the two don't exist). You could do a game that is built (or at least incorporates as a foundation) around real-world understandings of mental illness, but criticizing * of Darkness for not being that game seems to miss the mark.

I think it's fair to criticize the World of Darkness games for perpetuating an outdated view of mental disorders. Even Call of Cthulhu justly does not escape criticism concerning how it portrays the mentally ill, despite having a more true-to-life model.

That said, I think the main flaw of Humanity/Morality is not that it says that committing evil acts drives people insane, but rather that it - like Call of Cthulhu - gives players a smorgasbord of mental illnesses ripped from the pages of the DSM-IV to choose from. I think if viewed in the context of primarily causing psychological traumas (like PTSD, anxiety, nightmares, depression, etc.) it would be a fairly decent mechanism for saying that you might end up traumatized by guilt from the horrible actions you commit.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 8: "The character is filled with unreasoning rage, and is likely to react violently to any provocation, no matter how small."


This is your kick-rear end PC on drugs.

Designer Drugs
By Kevin Siembieda and C.J. Carella


This is tacked on after the Juicer Wannabe section, so it's intended to go along with that. A number of these - Boing-Go, Crash, and Rush - are reprinted from the Euro-Juicer section of Triax & the NGR, and it credits their origin as German without mentioning they're a reprint. The two new drugs are:
  • Juice: This is apparently a preferred Wannabe Drug - it numbs pain and makes you faster, stronger, and (mostly) fearless for a good ol' 1d6 hours. However, it makes you violent and filled with raaage. It also makes exhausts you and makes you fall unconscious after an average of 15 minutes for an average of 5 hours. Further doses can cause addiction, reduced effect, and increased time being knocked out.
  • Mega: This is a steroid that requires weeks (or several days to a week mechanically, it's not consistent even a paragraph apart). It pumps you up to an exceptional strength level no matter what, and also adds endurance and toughness. However, continuing to take it over two weeks makes you have to save vs. poison once every two weeks or roll on a random percentage chance of fuckery, with effects like exhaustion, muscle strain, or just a heart attack (with a save vs. coma/death to survive).

"Talk! Or I'll make you drink and smoke some more!" "Oh no, that would be... terrible!"

New Skills

What does a game with over a hundred skills need? More of them, obviously. Only bringing up the ones where I have something to mention about them, as usual.
  • Interrogation: "Only evil characters will engage in torture routinely." Not that it improves your chances, anyway.
  • Juicer Technology: Before, any older medical doctor (with or without a real license) could install a bio-comp to make a new Juicer. Now, you need a special skill for it. As if you had to ask, the previous installation rules didn't even mention this new skill...
  • Deadball: A number of physical bonuses, the highlight of which is a direct +1 to Dodge. This grants the Weapon Proficiency for the deadball itself, which makes you wonder why there's a separate Weapon Proficiency for it to begin with.
  • Juicer Football: Gives you a tackle attack with a % chance depending on how much % smaller your target is than you are. Keep your calculator handy and be prepared to ask your GM how tall various NPCs are.
  • Murderthon: One of the top five physical skills on account of giving a +1 bonus to both strike and dodge.
  • Flight System Combat: Lets you use "flight systems", of which is only one example later on in the book, the Icarus Flight System. Gives bonus attacks and lets you use automatic dodge while piloting the Icarus Flight System. Mind, the rules never state that you can't use your automatic dodge while piloting, so it's only implied by this corner case.
  • Jump Bike Combat: This gives a bonus to automatic dodge while using a jump bike but not actually saying you can use automatic dodge while using a jump bike... yeah, one skill entry apart and things are inconsistent. Also lets you do a "bike jump attack" where you have to make both a vehicle piloting roll and then make a successful attack roll, reducing your chances to hit considerably under most circumstances. With that kind of difficulty, it must do badass damage, right? Well, no. 3d6 is about the same as most melee weapons, at best. You're better off swinging your vibro-axe than even trying this.
  • Gambling (Standard): You know the rules of 1d4 + (I.Q. / 2, rounded up) gambling games. No more. "Join me for a game like baccarat?" "Sorry, I've learned blackjack, craps, roulette, mahjong, poker, liar's dice, and bingo. I'm not smart enough to learn anything new." "Bingo? Oh dear."
  • Gambling (Dirty Tricks): Because we really, really need two loving gambling skills.
  • Juicer Lore: Yep. The lore of Juicers. Sure. It's a skill.
Next: Now those are some fireworks.

Gobbeldygook
May 13, 2009
Hates Native American people and tries to justify their genocides.

Put this racist on ignore immediately!


LatwPIAT posted:

I think it's fair to criticize the World of Darkness games for perpetuating an outdated view of mental disorders. Even Call of Cthulhu justly does not escape criticism concerning how it portrays the mentally ill, despite having a more true-to-life model.

That said, I think the main flaw of Humanity/Morality is not that it says that committing evil acts drives people insane, but rather that it - like Call of Cthulhu - gives players a smorgasbord of mental illnesses ripped from the pages of the DSM-IV to choose from. I think if viewed in the context of primarily causing psychological traumas (like PTSD, anxiety, nightmares, depression, etc.) it would be a fairly decent mechanism for saying that you might end up traumatized by guilt from the horrible actions you commit.
First, psychological responses to trauma are largely socially constructed. WW1 vets suffering from shell shock experienced a radically different set of symptoms from an Iraq vet with PTSD victim even though the underlying cause is the same. Second, the onset of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia can be triggered by stress. It seems ridiculous that you can suddenly develop schizophrenia after doing some random awful thing and then spend the rest of your life medicated but it really does happen.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Juicer Lore, for when you fall into the parisian catacombs and need to remember which skull hasnt tried lsd.

Thank god for these skills, now my drug addled senator OCC can confidently state he learned how to dodge good due to playing college football.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Barudak posted:

Thank god for these skills, now my drug addled senator OCC can confidently state he learned how to dodge good due to playing college football.

At some cushy ivy league school?

What would Call of Cthulhu with a better portrayal of mental illness look like? While World of Darkness works just fine with Humanity/Wisdom thrown out, slowly going nuts as you begin to understand the true nature of the universe is a core mechanic of the game. Or maybe it just looks like you're going insane- you know there are perfectly valid reasons to pathologically avoid corners, the shoreline, subway tunnels, Essex County, etc.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kavak posted:

What would Call of Cthulhu with a better portrayal of mental illness look like?

Unknown Armies.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Alternately, the now abandoned Nemesis , which was basically just ORE-based Call of Cthulhu with UA madness meters instead of insanity. I think it's only available on the wayback machine.

Edit: I'm wrong, they actually put it back up eventually.

http://www.arcdream.com/pdf/Nemesis.pdf

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




theironjef posted:

We're doing a LARP again (they have to come up every once in a while) and this time it's a fun excuse to dance around finally covering Call of Cthuhlu by covering the LARP version instead. With that, here's Cthuhlu Live.
Guys, I'm pretty sure Nexus was actually published by Chaosium. If I'm remembering right, there must be a good story behind that.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009





Downloading now.

Did anyone ever review Trail of Cthulhu?

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009


Kavak posted:

you know there are perfectly valid reasons to pathologically avoid corners, the shoreline, subway tunnels, Essex County, etc.

Eastern Europe, the Middle East... Wales.


Those are some tastefully-draped pteruges.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Kavak posted:

While World of Darkness works just fine with Humanity/Wisdom thrown out

Vampire without Humanity and the way it interacts with the Beast is a completely different game from Vampire-as-written...


unseenlibrarian posted:

Alternately, the now abandoned Nemesis , which was basically just ORE-based Call of Cthulhu with UA madness meters instead of insanity. I think it's only available on the wayback machine.

NEMESIS has the advantage of being free and have tooled the Madness Meters to be more Cthulhu-like, instead of reflecting Unknown Armies' assumptions.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: The Bad Ideas Dragon

Naluri is the chief administrator of Dwarftown, handling all its day to day problems. She reports directly to Keryst, and outwardly plays the fawning servant. The truth is, she sees Keryst as an idiot dupe. She uses a magical short sword when combat is unavoidable and always has a potion of amethyst dragon control on her person, in case of emergencies. She hates Clan Majyst due to her grandfather. See, her grandfather's father was dragon lord Gemmenna's kindred, but when he got too old, her grandfather was set to take his place. However, after only a few weeks, Gemmenna dismissed Naluri's grandfather, saying he felt no affinity for the guy. This, at least according to Naluri's grandpa, utterly disgraced the family. Nalrui believes it, and she wants Clan Majyst to pay dearly for that disgrace. Six years ago, she heard about frost giant activity in the north from Malletal, and on one of the annual trading trips, she slipped off and met with Odifal. She nearly died before she could convince him to listen, but has since been handing over information on trade routes, patrols and even dragon flights. She's been earning trust just for this day - when she's finally gotten to meet Odifal and convince him to go after Majyst. Odifal was about to agree when Snowfire and his brothers arrived, and he has told Naluri that if she can't kill Snowfire and signal his raiders by the sunset of the next day, he's going home and ending their partnership. Naluri is trying to hurry the trial along and kill Snowfire as quickly as she can, but if she fails, she plans to rush the shoreline and send the signal anyway. If the giants are killed, oh well, as long as they cause as much damage as possible first.

Keryst is the amethyst champion in charge of Dwarftown. He wants to make his name by making it more productive, and he visits every few months to check in and give suggestions on how to get more ore out of the mine or how to process it more efficiently. He otherwise allows the vassals to take care of themselves, and until the PCs arrived, he'd planned to let them handle the Snowfire matter entirely. Now, however, he wants to use it to impress the PCs so they give Mykell a good report on him. Keryst does believe in justice, but he doesn't especially care about Snowfire, whom he sees as an invader that needs to be punished. Once he puts on a little show of presiding over the trial, he plans to turn the thing back over to Naluri and the other dwarves unless the PCs convince him otherwise. His job is twofold - if the PCs have no idea what to do, he's there for the GM to toss a few suggestions or hints, and if the PCs are doing too well and solving things too easily, he's there to be a problem for them to have to deal with. Otherwise, he can just stand back and let them do stuff.



The map is pretty self-explanatory, for the most part. Location 5 is the rock that Keryst suns himslef on and oversees the village from. Location 7 is Naluri's house. It's nice, but not as nice as Hammerim's or even Malletal's. She lives alone, and all of the evidence of her plots are in her house - a few of Odifal's gold coins, a dragon slayer sword and a second potion of amethyst control, none of which she will retrieve unless she sees no other option. They are all hidden in her secret hiding place in the house. Location 8 is Hammerim's house, which is so opulent it's actually quite gaudy. He, his wife and his three kids live there, and there's a secret room full of gems from Clan Evilwood, though a PC's going to need an appraising check to determine where they're from. Location 9 is Malletal's house, less rich than Hammerim's but nice. He and his wife live there, and his diamonds are in a secret room as well. An appraising check will reveal that they're from the white dragon mines. Snowfire's in Location 10 and has no chance of escape in his current condition. The keys are held by Malletal and his lieutenant Torvin. Location 11, the smithy, is also the metallurgy plant. More dwarves work there than anywhere else. A check of the inventory records will reveal that 15% of the metal is missing. This is the stuff Hammerim gave the green dragons, and if questioned, the smith will reveal that Hammerim took a load of metal into the forest that day. Location 12 is the home of the chief smith, along with his wife and four kids, but they will only cooperate if Keryst orders them to, as they aren't especially fond of most dragons. There are no priests or healers in the village, and if the PCs request a healer be sent, they're going to have to send for a cleric from the nearest city. The cleric will not arrive before Keryst's deadline passes.

What deadline? Well, that brings us to Event One. The PCs arrive and find the dwarves getting ready to execute Snowfire, but Keryst stops them to greet the PCs. If the PCs identify themselves, everyone is quite respectful and Snowfire will realize the PCs work for the Council, trying to get their attention as best he can. Then he'll fall unconscious. If the PCs ask what he did, Naluri will try to tell them to mind their own business, and Keryst will say that they don't have to worry about it. It's going to take some good arguments to convince him otherwise - most notably, someone bringing up the claw wound on Snowfire's neck would do it, but it's not the only possibility. Whatever convinces him, Keryst will set the PCs to investigate the situation, as long as they're respectful. However, Hammerim will pressure him to give a deadline, and he does: six hours. If the PCs can't find anything to save Snowfire by then, he will be killed.

Event Two is to explore the forest. Torvin will happily take the PCs to the area where Snowfire was captured and explain what he knows of what happened. Hammerim will also give his version of events, leaving out any details that might incriminate him and painting himself as a brave hero fending off an insane white dragon. He and Malletal will insist on accompanying the PCs, while Naluri remains behind. The clearing is full of signs of battle, and an observation check or penalized Int check will reveal a number of weird things. If the roll succeeds by 3 or less, the PCs spot dragon tracks - at least three different dragons were standing there for a time, and a tracking check will reveal them as green dragons. If they succeed by 4-6, they also spot wagon tracks, which a tracking check will lead to a wagon in the foliage, obviously dropped from a great height. (The green dragons emptied it of metal and dropped it.) They also spot that part of the foliage was destroyed by poison gas, such as a green dragon's breath. If they succeed by 7-8, they notice that there's also dwarf tracks, left by someone who stood with the green dragons for a while. Success by 9 or less also reveals the sack of jewels Hammerim hid, which an appraising check will reveal were made with techniques and materials used mostly by Clan Evilwood.

Hammerim is likely to become very defensive here and blame the PCs for trying to sow chaos on Mykell's orders, declaring that he does not trust the Council and it's all a conspiracy. If the PCs suggest that maybe Keryst is going to want to question the guy, Malletal will order the guards to return Hammerim to the village. The PCs can also make a tracking check to trace Snowfire's path through the woods, leading them to the shoreline. It's pretty obvious where he was when they get there, and an Observation or Int check will reveal more details.

Success by 3 or less will reveal the indentation left by a large object in the sand, mostly obscured by the rising tide but clearly something large and heavy that was beached there for some time. (This was left by the frost giant boat.) On success by 4-6, the PCs also spot some tracks in the sand that, a tracking check reveals, were made by large, booted humanoid feet for the most part, with a smattering of dwarf, deer and white dragon tracks mixed in, though the white dragons are larger than Snowfire. Success by 7-8 will also reveal movement in the forest, which, if investigated, turns out to be five marine scrag trolls eating one of the dead white dragons, which was killed by large blades, too large for any dwarf to wield. The trools will remain hidden if the PCs don't notice them, coming out after 50 minutes to return to the sea, and they're willing to fight to keep the corpse. Success by 9 or better, a PC also finds one of Odifal's gold coins. That guy just keeps dropping those! On a success by 10 or better, the PCs also notice that one of the trees has been coated with oil. This was prepared by Naluri to signal the frost giants, and if cleaned off, it's going to give her trouble later. The PCs can also make a tracking check to follow Snowfire's trail even further, to the northern clearing where they met with Malletal.

There's very little there, but Malletal becomes quite nervous when they arrive. An observation or Int check will reveal that this is where the white dragons landed - there were three of them, and there was a dwarf there at the time. The dwarf left calmly. Success by 3 or better will also reveal a fallen diamond near the dwarf and dragon tracks. There is nothing else there.

Whatever they find, Event 3 begins when the PCs return to the village. Keryst will listen patiently to their report, and the PCs may or may not notice a pair of dwarves approaching the cage from different directions. One of them will draw his axe and charge, and as the guard moves to intercept that one, the second will try to slip a plate of food into the cage. The PCs must decide what to do, but the plate is actually the more dangerous threat. The guard will get knocked out of the way and injured by the axeman, whose name is Mordiak. He lost his family to a white dragon half a year back and wants revenge. The guard won't fight back after that, and Mordiak will try to kill Snowfire in the next round, attacking him unless killed or restrained, ignoring Keryst's calls to stop. Keryst will restrain Mordiak on the fifth round, but Snowfire could easily be dead by that point, as Mordiak deals 1d8+3 damage, even if his Thac0 isn't great. The other dwarf is a young woman who got ordered to give Snowfire a meal by Naluri. If she is not stopped, Snowfire will eat the food when he gets a chance, ingesting a very fast-acting poison. Even if he makes his saving throw, he takes 1d4 damage per round until he dies or the poison is neutralized. If he fails, he takes 1d6 per round instead. Keryst could be convinced to use his innate ability to neutralize poisons, perhaps by pointing out that the mystery could threaten Clan Majyst itself unless Snowfire's knowledge is revealed.

Next time: Naluri decides to gently caress things up.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




LatwPIAT posted:

Vampire without Humanity and the way it interacts with the Beast is a completely different game from Vampire-as-written...

Vampire without morality meter Derangements works just fine.

Ultiville
Jan 14, 2005

The law protects no one unless it binds everyone, binds no one unless it protects everyone.



hyphz posted:

Fairy dress up!

I liked this review and would probably like the game. Thanks for writing it up!

kaynorr
Dec 31, 2003



LatwPIAT posted:

I think it's fair to criticize the World of Darkness games for perpetuating an outdated view of mental disorders. Even Call of Cthulhu justly does not escape criticism concerning how it portrays the mentally ill, despite having a more true-to-life model.

I don't think it should be dinged for having a model of mental illness that isn't true to real life, given that's how it works in the genres they draw from. That said, it would probably benefit from a sidebar which explicitly calls out "Mental illness works this way in our game for Reasons, that's not real life, here are a few extremely basic resources if you want to learn more about the topic".

The list of things in RPGs that work more-or-less like they do in real life is so small that it's best to just assume the opposite. It's always good when art reflects reality, but having that as your default expectation is mostly just going to make you upset when interacting with almost anything.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


If I make a pulp game where the Chinese get a racial bonus to perfidious villainy it would be both genre accurate and also very bad, so I don't see why mental illness as the wage of sin gets a pass.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




The thing is, in Lovecraft's original stories, it's not always clear if the protagonist acquired a phobia from seeing a sentient horror beyond space of time, or if it just was visiting an immigrant neighborhood that did it.

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009


Mr. Maltose posted:

If I make a pulp game where the Chinese get a racial bonus to perfidious villainy it would be both genre accurate and also very bad, so I don't see why mental illness as the wage of sin gets a pass.

Well, SOLID! the d20 Blaxploitation RPG exists. And no one's reviewed it yet, either.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Mr. Maltose posted:

If I make a pulp game where the Chinese get a racial bonus to perfidious villainy it would be both genre accurate and also very bad, so I don't see why mental illness as the wage of sin gets a pass.

Finally a game where Ming the Merciless can be a stat (MtM).

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Dareon posted:

Well, SOLID! the d20 Blaxploitation RPG exists. And no one's reviewed it yet, either.
I remember reading that on the shelf at my local gaming store, or at least large enough chunks for form a remembered opinion. Which is mostly "It's d20, so ha ha ha," and also that it did not seem to have much to it other than a new set of feats and other things oriented towards loose emulation of the blaxploitation films.

Spirit of '77 does it much better, and I would in fact make the following analogy:

SOLID:Spirit of '77::Oriental Adventures:Definitely LO5R, Probably Legends of the Wulin

It is also probable that it would be hard to discuss SOLID in detail without at least the appearance of race-bigotry. It was legit a really skinny book.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Mr. Maltose posted:

If I make a pulp game where the Chinese get a racial bonus to perfidious villainy it would be both genre accurate and also very bad, so I don't see why mental illness as the wage of sin gets a pass.

I equip the Fu Manchu of Dr. Fu Manchu, giving me +1 to inscrutability, +2 to Yellow Peril damage, and a feat that allows me to cast illusion on white men to make them appear asian to their comrades for d3 turns.

Pieces of Peace
Jul 8, 2006
Hazardous in small doses.

Mors Rattus posted:

Not the Draca

Is... is this adventure name actually a reference to the Dinosaurs TV show, of which I can only remember that terrible catchphrase and horrific puppet abominations? I mean, I know not to expect class from late era TSR but geez, talk about your references that haven't aged well.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.



i don't generally give game publishers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to handling mental illness in a sensitive way

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Hey, in D&D it's literally true.

Death can be treated by a 5th level Raise Dead Spell

Insanity requires a 6th level Heal spell.

ergo, insanity is a fate worse than death.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Pieces of Peace posted:

Is... is this adventure name actually a reference to the Dinosaurs TV show, of which I can only remember that terrible catchphrase and horrific puppet abominations? I mean, I know not to expect class from late era TSR but geez, talk about your references that haven't aged well.

Yes.

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011



Polaris RPG(2016)
Part 16, Book 1, Chapter 1: The World of the Deep, section 1.2: Civilizations of the Deep


Welcome to the final part of chapter 1, section 1.2. It's the 12 pages wall o' text about the 80 independent settlements. Despite it's humongous size it's even dryer than the rest of the fluff and there's barely even anything for me to snark at for being bad and/or contradicting itself. The lowlight of this section is Georgia and the only other minor note of interest is Achilla if you'd rather skip ahead.

The stat block has now been expanded to also include leadership forms which I've also copied, mostly just to show off the occasional disconnect between what it says who's in charge and who the text says is. The station type entry is left out as usual due to it saying the exact same thing for 78/80 entries.

Achilla
Population: 12.000
Depth: -3100m
Fertile population: 17%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: dictatorship Zemo
Zemo's a paranoid rear end in a top hat who thinks everybody's a spy from New Lemuria or the Coral Republic trying to overthrow him. His constant mass arrests left the armed forces so understaffed that half the fleet is unable to leave ports. Looks like Tessier ended up a few descriptions short right before the printing deadline and ripped off the headlines about the 2016 Turkish coup attempt and subsequent purges. If not, this is oddly prophetic. He's also the heir to the founder of the megacorp Raecor Enterprises, one of the wealthiest individuals in the oceans.

Adelaide
Population: 2.300
Depth: -810m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 6%
Government/ruler: council/Larkater
Gets raided by pirates a lot so they hired the Kiowa mercenary group. Hopes to start mining operations on the Bellingshausen Abyssal Plain in the future.

Angel
Population: 1.800
Depth: -200m
Fertile population: 13%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: council/Helena
Mining and factory town selling to the Hegemony and Red League. Naturally, burrowers.

Astrid
Population: 868
Depth: -593m
Fertile population: 13%
Mutant population: 6%
Government/ruler: council/Merolar
Extremely remote mining station with terrible living conditions and resupply so infrequent that most inhabitants have not left it for 10 years or more. In a cold war with Pelial over a tri-terranium vein.

Cerberea
Population: 28.000
Depth: -1.100m
Fertile population: 16%
Mutant population: 11%
Government/ruler: none/"One-Eye"
Mercenary hub for the Legion and a whole lot of independent ones. Attacked by pirates once, didn't go over so well.

Cheko
Population: 1,400
Depth: -255m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 4%
Government/ruler: board of director(sic)/Ryan Terd
Owned wholly by the corporation Vigilant, reportedly deploying an experimental surface station to get one up over it's rival, Tsoi.

Clintok
Population: 900
Depth: -200m
Fertile population: 12%
Mutant population: 10%
Government/ruler: council/Rellan Deric
Generic farming town.

Coiba
Population: 2.600
Depth: -350m
Fertile population: 12%
Mutant population: 4%
Government/ruler: administrative council/Leo Paral
Hegemonian owned under the guise of the corporation Neotech, buffer towards the Red League. Has outlived it's usefulness and will soon be annexed.

Crescia
Population: 200
Depth: -10.261 and 19,500m
Fertile population: 10%
Mutant population: 40%
Government/ruler: council/Elma Derling
Joint op archaeology outpost by the Watchers and Coral Republic. The Watchers have stationed no less then three kinds of commandos here because that's what they do.

Cross
Population: 1.145
Depth: -200 to 435m
Fertile population: 19%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: religious council/Milus the Visionary
Built into the wreck of a Cult of the Trident monastery ship by Milus Trend to practice future-christianity in. Still friendly with the Cult and trains their priests in combat. Considers Hell and Litua to be infested by demons and wages a permanent crusade against them, with Demeter's tacit support because of suspicions that they're full of Black Sun.

Crozet
Population: 1.400
Depth: -410m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 17%
Government/ruler: council/Leia Lamark
Runs some Cylast mines at 4.600m depth. Allied to Oster.

Cunha
Population: 2.600
Depth: -900m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 14%
Government/ruler: council/Yvan Pelis
Gets pirated at a lot. Might be full of Black Sun.

Dem
Population: 850
Depth: -760m
Fertile population: 10%
Mutant population: 43%
Government/ruler: council/Griswald
Led by a mutant who never shows his face(I'd think it would be more notable if this was NOT the case). Similar to Frao.

Djour
Population: 2.100
Depth: -215m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 19%
Government/ruler: council/Laer Trenp
Trades exclusively with Cheko because dangerous currents separate it from it's other neighbour Laipur.

Esio
Population: 1.200
Depth: -225m
Fertile population: 23%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: council/Ameiya
Has given up on spending money on defense and just gets pirated on a weekly basis after neighbouring Extur was wiped off the map.

Ferlo
Population: 17.000
Depth: -200m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 11%
Government/ruler: council/Klyss
A farming town that is supported by a swarm of 6.000 dolphin wizards.

Ferra
Population: 0
Depth: -903m
Fertile population: 0
Mutant population: 0
Government/ruler: none
Ferra's entire population of 900 mysteriously vanished a few months ago. Watchers are en route to investigate.

Frao
Population: 1.200
Depth: -215m
Fertile population: 15%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: council/Olaf Debeure
Mining and trader layover station. Formed a defensive pact with Dem and Olysia.

Gabriel Cohort
Population: 3.800
Depth: -6.000m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 1%
Government/ruler: military hierarchy/Ameross
Underground and suspiciously burrower-free base home to 800 high quality commandos and their families. May have access to several Genetician facilities.

Gateo
Population: 200
Depth: -4.100m
Fertile population: 0%
Mutant population: 0%
Government/ruler: fellowship/Kroll
A community of farming monks let by an ex-Trident priest living inside an completely impenetrable Genetician force field. No gently caress you players, you can't break in.

Gaza
Population: 2.100
Depth: -460m
Fertile population: 12%
Mutant population: 11%
Government/ruler: council
Another entry in the "actually nowhere near the place it's named after" list. A mining town that recently discovered some kind of ancient ruin.

Georgia
Population: 4.500
Depth: -615m
Fertile population: 8%
Mutant population: 46%
Government/ruler: none
Oh dear, here we go again. :tvtropes: ahead. Georgia is an unrecognised mercenary state aiding Varevris in their war against Orca. Their farming techniques are apparently so revolutionary that the Cult of the Trident wants to recognize them in exchange for it. Their leader, Kyl Graven has refused, being single-mindedly obsessed with acquiring Orca's fertile population and enslaving the rest. So far he has captured 30 fertile Orca inhabitants.Georgians also have some kind of telepathic link to tiger sharks or something.

Helene
Population: 17.000
Depth: -3.200m
Fertile population: 23%
Mutant population: 17%
Government/ruler: empress Telenea
Involved in the "War of Three Cities" together with Luan and Tyr. Owes most of it's relevance to it's Genetician depot and the Liberius, an Apocalypse-class cruiser found within. Empress Telenea is well liked but her territorial claims annoy the Watchers, who are closely watching for any casus belli to invade.

Hell
Population: 18.000
Depth: -350m
Fertile population: 14%
Mutant population: 6%
Government/ruler: council/Gunter
Aggressive and expansionist... farming community? ...right. Doubled it's size the last few years and has branched out in raiding surface ruins, where it found it's new religion, Odinism. Aside from that, they also worship orcas and have befriended a few them which carry their best warriors around. No mention of the Black Sun infiltration that was referred to in the Cross entry.

Horn
Population: 4.700
Depth: -1.159m
Fertile population: 19%
Mutant population: 15%
Government/ruler: council/Leipver Tren
Former Red League city still maintaining close ties to it's former overlord, acting as fleet outpost for them. Operates mines at 3.800 meters and geothermal power plants at 3.000.

Kalima
Population: 2.200
Depth: -225m
Fertile population: 12%
Mutant population: 27%
Government/ruler: council/Kali
Home to Kali, the leader of the Tubuai Assailants that the book didn't see fit to actually name in the relevant section. Sort of a neutral meeting place for pirates, eyed suspiciously by the Coral Republic.

Katal
Population: 29.200
Depth: -200m
Fertile population: 23%
Mutant population: 24%
Government/ruler: council/Oloch Berua
Farming town that gets pirated at often enough to bother hiring Legion mercenaries. Sucks as pesticide use to the point that they also need the Legion to chase off local wildlife from their new planned farms.

Kell
Population: 1.800
Depth: -213m
Fertile population: 10%
Mutant population: 24%
Government/ruler: council/Larxin
Cylast mining settlement and waystation between the Hegemony and Polar Alliance.

Laipur
Population: 900
Depth: -535m
Fertile population: 23%
Mutant population: 17%
Government/ruler: Dran Kresh
Only town to have contact with the Leviathan community. Runs some mines for the whalemongers at 15.000 depth.

Lamarch
Population: 750
Depth: -252m
Fertile population: 11%
Mutant population: 23%
Government/ruler: council/Regnar Trav
Mining town operated by an ex-pirate.

Largan
Population: 2.976
Depth: -475m
Fertile population: 42%
Mutant population: 98%
Government/ruler: council/Palia
A nursing home for mutants run by research company Palia.

Leical
Population: 7.000
Depth: -350m
Fertile population: 20%
Mutant population: 15%
Government/ruler: administrative council
Hegemony funded mining settlement. Fights burrowers.

Leng
Population: unknown
Depth: unknown
Fertile population: unknown
Mutant population: unknown
Government/ruler: unknown
H.P. Lovecraft reference. Rumours and eyewitness accounts abound but no definitive evidence that it even exists.

Leyfa
Population: 1.960
Depth: -450m to -700m
Fertile population: 15%
Mutant population: 18%
Government/ruler: council/Pyrus
A farming town that recently got into mining Cylast. Supplies Cross with foodstuffs.

Litua
Population: 1.500
Depth: -435m
Fertile population: 38%
Mutant population: 48%
Government/ruler:council/Polyaden
The other Odinist town. No Black Sun either.

Llend
Population: 700
Depth: -600m to -7.800m
Fertile population: 10%
Mutant population: 10%
Government/ruler: none/Kali
Floating "pleasure station" owned by a mysterious individual who may or may not be Kali. The trench it's located in has a depth of 10.000 meters.

Luan
Population: 26.000
Depth: -230m/-5600m
Fertile population: 34%
Mutant population: 12%
Government/ruler: council
Another troublemaker from the War of Three Cities. Officially independent from it's founding company, Kilian Industries but secretly supported by them in the war.

Mad Dogs
Population: 120
Depth: -8.800m
Fertile population: 10%
Mutant population: 50%
Government/ruler: none/Psycho
A ramshackle collection of undersea huts barely kept dry by the families of it's namesake mercenary company. Every single person has his own personal religion and is "well learned" as a result of exploring many surface ruins.

Maio
Population: 26.00
Depth: -100 to -4.000m
Fertile population: 17%
Mutant population: 28%
Government/ruler: council/Cleo
An isolationist dictatorship operating diamond mines and worshipping the earth-god Cristal who supposedly lives at the bottom of their deepest mine.

Malia
Population: 0
Depth: -200m
Fertile population: N/A
Mutant population: N/A
Government/ruler: N/A
A mining town wiped out by Moloch 27, a disease from a Genetician depot. Under quarantine by the Watchers, who will destroy any ship trying to enter. Broadcasts strange radio transmissions.

Halfway point, time for an art.

Here's a city that's far too large to be any of these places.

Next time: Independent stations Manag - Zemble

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: The Bad Ideas Dragon

Event 4 happens when the PCs either get close to discovering Naluri's corruption or convince Keryst that Snowfire needs to live and be questioned. At that point, Naluri becomes desperate, chugs her potion of amethyst dragon control and orders Keryst to protect her from the PCs. To keep the adventure going, the DM is instructed to assume he fails his save, which is pretty reasonable, especially for AD&D. Naluri maintains her control for 5d4 rounds and will use his abilities as best he can to keep the PCs from following or stopping Naluri. However, he does retain enough control to avoid using lethal force. After the potion wears off, he's going to be out of it for a few rounds.

The PCs will probably be able to catch up to Naluri at the beach where Snowfire saw her meeting the giants. She has her magic sword and a flaming torch, but not the dragon slayer. (Probably, unless the GM believes it necessary. If so, she also has the second potion.) If the PCs couldn't get past Keryst before the potion wore off, they arrive just as Naluri is going to set fire to the tree. If a few PCs chase her while someone keeps Keryst busy, she's just lighting the torch and arriving. Either way, she wants to signal the giants and is going to shout about how Gemmenna betrayed her grandfather and gently caress all amethyst dragons. If the PCs cleaned off the tree before, however, it's going to take her quite some time to get the fire started. If the oil is there, it lights in a single round. Once the tree is lit, the PCs have three rounds to douse it before it's bright enough for the giants to spot.

Naluri will do her best to keep the PCs away from the fire, but she's not a warrior. If the PCs are faster than her, it shouldn't be very hard to stop her or to smother the fire in time, especially if they charge the three, tear it from the ground with dragon strength and hurl it into the sea. The DM is instructed to allow any reasonable plan to succeed if it's put into play fast enough. No matter what, however, Naluri is fighting to the death, and it's going to take a hell of a lot of effort to keep her alive, if the PCs even want to try.

Keryst is, should the PCs win, more than happy to give them the 4000 gp worth of treasure that Naluri was hiding in her home. If Hammerim's corruption was also uncovered, he is stripped of his rank and shamed, and Keryst hands over the 8000 gp worth of jewels the green dragons gave Hammerim and assure them that the dwarf will be punished. If Malletal's corruption is revealed, Keryst will also give the PCs 6000 gp in diamonds, taken from Malletal's collection. He will lose his position as leader of the militia but will be allowed to stay in Dwarftown in a lesser capacity, as his crimes were the least bad. Should Snowfire still be alive at this point, Keryst will spare his life and let him go home, as Snowfire did not invade maliciously and was not trying to hurt anyone, just learning to hunt and getting winter food.

Should Naluri's signal work, however, things are different. The frost giants will arrive in 1d4 hours - too soon for help to be called or arrive. Keryst will ask the PCs to help defend Dwarftown as best they can. Odifal isn't stupid, though, and recognized the possibility of Naluri loving up. He sends only one of his three boats to the shore, leaving the other two to retreat if things go bad. Only twelve giants are in the landing crew, and once they realize Naluri is not there to help them, they will launch a flare to call for a retreat and will try to sail away. If they must, however, they will fight to the last breath, and they hit loving hard - 2d8+9 damage in melee, or 2d10 with thrown rocks. If the signal never came, then Odifal and his crew just sail away. The threat is delayed for a time either way, and the PCs have more evidence to bring home to Mykell about frost giants, along with her gold ring.

Next time: The Terrible Alliance

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Alien Rope Burn posted:

[*]Flight System Combat: Lets you use "flight systems", of which is only one example later on in the book, the Icarus Flight System. Gives bonus attacks and lets you use automatic dodge while piloting the Icarus Flight System. Mind, the rules never state that you can't use your automatic dodge while piloting, so it's only implied by this corner case.
Does it specifically state your juicer automatic dodge? Or just that you can automatic dodge while piloting the icarus thing? does it actually specify you need to already have an automatic dodge, here?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Zereth posted:

Does it specifically state your juicer automatic dodge? Or just that you can automatic dodge while piloting the icarus thing? does it actually specify you need to already have an automatic dodge, here?

Flight System Combat says "If the pilot has auto-dodge, he can use it while flying!" If to add to the confusion, Jump Bike Combat has "Automatic Dodge: +1 to dodge". Terminology, they're really bad at it.

For example, I've always assumed when they say a class or character has "all Fire spells" they mean a Warlock's Fire spells, as those are the only spells specifically classified as "Fire". However, there are later characters that specifically say all Fire spells from the main book, which raises the question of the earlier mention, did they only mean any corebook spell that involves fire? It's a headache to try and figure out what the hell they intend, sometimes.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.



you can really feel how this is the chapter where they gave up and just stuck everything that didn't have an obvious home



13th Age part 15: The Dungeon Master's Pile

It is impossible to exaggerate how scattered "Chapter 6: Running The Game" is. This is the introduction:

quote:

This chapter covers what you need to know to run fun 13th Age campaigns. The first section discusses ways of using icon relations. The next few sections are directed to the GM and provide rules for setting DCs, creating traps, building balanced (and unbalanced!) encounters, and advice on party healing and game pacing. The leveling up section speaks more to players and introduces the incremental advance rules. Finally, there’s more advice to GMs on rituals, how the icons and gods fit into the world, and how much loot and magic to give PCs.

As such, this chapter will need two passes: once to introduce its ideas and talk about how scattershot it is, and another to talk about the playstyle it describes and contrast it with most D&D games. It's a shame, because this chapter has the bulk of 13th Age's most interesting design decisions and they're extremely difficult to pull out of this absolute mess.

Friends in High Places

The first section is about incorporating icon relationships into your game. On the simplest level, every player rolls a d6 for every point of every icon relationship they have at the beginning of every single session. Every 6 means that the relationship should benefit the corresponding PC in an unambiguous way. Every 5 means that the relationship is beneficial, but with a cost or entanglement or obligation attached.

There's a lot of discussion of what benefits should entail. Story advice, beneficial flashbacks, magic items, direct assistance from supporters/opponents of the icon, etc. Players are encouraged to take an active role in suggesting how their icon rolls benefit their character this session. They're both a narrative tool to help keep things open ended, and a "hero point" system, similar to using FATE's Fate Points to declare a story detail. Complications aren't as clearly described, however - there's no good advice on how to make a benefit with strings attached still desirable.

There's no much troubleshooting advice here in general. What do you do with icon relation rolls that don't get used in a game? How do you accommodate a player who wants something disruptive from their icon rolls? How do you draw out a player who doesn't speak up for themselves? This is a new and challenging concept for anyone more comfortable with the relatively passive and reactive role of players in traditional D&D, and it would have helped to have more specific advice on getting players involved.

Halfway through, there's a lot of very confusing and vague discussion about rolling icon relationships again because of a dramatic event or because the players have decided to hare off in a random direction. What dice are you supposed to roll? What do they mean? It's never clear to me, so all of the advice ends up as a hopeless muddle. There's a vague idea in here that you should roll icon dice to see if a dramatic event is successful, but little on how to interpret them.


The section break is three-quarters the way down the page, with a sudden change of topic.

You're not high enough level for this section

As soon as that section ends, it's time to talk about tiers of play. Whenever players are confronted with environmental challenges, the GM should ask themself if the environment is an adventurer-, champion-, or epic-tier environment, and set DCs (target numbers for skill rolls) and, if necessary, damage rolls based on that. The environmental tiers roughly correspond to the leveling tiers, spanning 1-4, 5-7, and 8-10.

GMs are encouraged to address areas to the players in these terms:

13th Age posted:

As GM, you can tell players of adventurer-tier PCs something like, “You wouldn’t want to fall into that crevasse, it’s a champion-tier environment. And if the demons in the crevasse happen to be off-gassing? Then it’s epic tier.” And if they get caught in the crevasse anyway, you’ve got the champion and epic tier DCs and damage numbers to draw on from the chart below.

I applaud the transparency, but that does feel a bit game-y and intrusive to me.



The unified table of skill DC targets and enviromental damage numbers is extremely handy. It's explicitly intended for dungeon-style challenges, like locked doors or rigged traps, but it can effectively serve for any situation where the players need to accomplish a skill task to succeed, or take damage from the environment.

I note the lack of any discussion of failing forward here, despite the fact that it was mentioned in the Backgrounds section that initially introduced skills.

Three goblin henchmen, two savage orcs, and a roper disguised as a tree

That useful table is a third of a page that is otherwise dedicated to advice on building encounters. Challenge rating is back, in the form of "monster level". Initially, PCs are expected to fight four encounters of equal-sized enemy groups of the same level "per day". A kobald is a level 1 enemy, so a party of four heroes should typically face four kobalds. (Contrast with D&D 3e, where a single CR 1 enemy is an intended fair challenge for four level 1 PCs.) There's a bunch of arithmetic involved to see how much a monster of a given level "counts" for, and some monsters - especially larger ones - count as multiple enemies at once.

13th Age tunes CR low and offers a bunch of dials to ramp up the difficulty if players are bored. There's some discussion of this here, but it's easier to talk about at the same time as the actual monsters, which are in the next chapter.

Staying at the inn is 5g

The next section, a half-page, is about the design philosophy behind full heal-ups. They should happen every four fights, but it can be fewer if the fights were really hard. This is all general GM advice: try to give a narrative rest at the same time as the mechanical rest, some discussion on what a campaign loss should entail, etc. Again, they justify their decision to divorce "daily" powers from narrative 24-hour periods, but do not explain why the powers are still called "daily" in that case.

Boil An Anthill: Gain One Level

13th Age doesn't use XP because it's a bunch of bullshit to track if you don't have a computer. Really. That is their actual reason.

13th Age posted:

We both presided over editions of the d20 game that tracked experience using experience points. In practice, we think that XP systems are better left to computer games.

PCs gain a level every four full heal-ups, although GMs are encouraged to hurry them through first level. After every full heal-up, PCs also gain an "incremental advance": one of the benefits of leveling up, which will be subsumed into their next level-up. For example, a PC could gain a feat, or +1 to hit, a power, or a level's worth of HP. I understand the appeal of having constant little gains, and this does also address the common criticism of level-based games that large lumps of sudden progression feel out of place. However, it's a lot of paperwork to keep track of and properly remove your incremental advances every time you level up, and the net benefits from them are tiny. It turns out there's a reason for leveling up all at once: it's much easier.

Players are encouraged to give an in-universe reason why their character reached a transcendent point in their pursuit of excellence. Rather than paying for level-ups with piles of gold like older editions of D&D (this comparison is explicitly invoked), players should pay for them with story hooks to incorporate in the game. It's a neat idea, to get players to develop their character or reminisce about previous game moments they thought were cool, and in any event it isn't something with even a hint of "do this or else."

There's also a brief discussion of adapting 13th Age to have a level up after every session. Interesting but inessential.

The full monty haul
This is their joke, don't blame me.

Characters kill things and get money. There's some discussion about whether loot should come largely from rolling defeated enemies or as rewards for accomplishing things; Tweet and Heinsoo clearly favor the latter. It's not heavily emphasized because it's not super important. Money can't be used for anything with any concrete rule effect other than buying consumable magic items, like potions and runes. There's even a table for appropriate loot amounts in a game that doesn't bother to track money at all

"True" magic items aren't for sale. While magic items grant a small numeric bonus based on their tier, they mainly function as plot devices and supporting characters. All magic items are intelligent items in 13th Age. They may not be especially intelligent or outspoken, but they all have a personality, and try to get their owners to do things. There's a brief mention of just giving PCs +1 to everything per tier if you don't want to play with magic items, and that a magic item heroically sacrificing itself is a good example of a campaign loss.

Magic items, like monsters, get their own whole chapter later.

She probably doesn't have any powers anyway

This is the actual writeup about ritual casting. I've already talked about it a bit before.

Cease to Hope posted:

Out of combat magic is mostly handled by Ritual Casting, a feat clerics and wizards get for free, but available to any spellcaster (including classes like rangers and paladins if they've gotten spells from a talent). Despite being listed with feats, ritual casting isn't properly described until page 192. It's Background check that takes minutes or hours - or however much time is dramatically appropriate, really - and consumes a prepared spell to create a freeform magic effect. The examples include a wizard destroying an artifact with Acid Arrow, or a wizard putting the guards around their cell to sleep with Sleep.

It's telling that both examples involve a wizard, and it's a step back from 4e's Ritual Casting in that way. While 4e Rituals involved a bunch of bookkeeping and resource expenditure that made them mostly impractical if all of that wasn't houseruled away, any character of any class could take the feat and draw on magic out of combat as long as they had the relevant skills. 13A goes back to the 3e idea that some characters are magic and some just aren't, which is a baffling reversion given the fact that characters may indeed have One Unique Thing or Backgrounds that give them a good reason to have magical abilities that simply aren't useful on a combat timescale. There's nothing stopping a GM from houseruling that Rogues or Fighters can take the Ritual Casting feat and perform rituals, but it involves throwing out everything about the Ritual Casting rules except for making Background checks. At that point, there's no reason to have Ritual Casting as its own system discrete from the Background check rules except for the fact that D&D 4e did it that way.

An inexplicable preview of chapter 8

This section, "The World & its Icons", is another pile of random stuff as a subheader for an already scattered chapter. Most of it is covered in greater detail in chapter 8, which covers the world. There's some discussion of the fact that "13th Age" means there were 12 preceding ages. They talk a little about customizing the icons and why they don't have stats (it's so you can't murder them).

Speaking of bad mental health discourse in RPGs, they intentionally designed the world to be low-key so you could make it "insane" yourself:

13th Age's 'Oh the Insanity' subhed posted:

We’ve kept our core setting somewhat sane so that individual campaigns can spiral into madness. Depending on your predilections, the 13th Age could be the age where one or more of the icons lose their freaking minds.

The Blue might be so wracked by magic that it’s no longer sane in any language. The Diabolist might establish a secret cult whose members go progressively insane and who can spread insanity to others. The Orc Lord’s advancing armies might spawn an echo-plague of homicidal insanity and cannibalism. The Archmage’s grasp on what the little people call reality may become so Olympian that this world snaps as his wards enforce an “order” inherited from a higher plane. Pile on more of that action and the PCs may end up needing a Sanity stat.

:jerkbag:

On a better note, this world isn't the only one, and 13th Age has flying dungeons and living subterranean dungeons that are crawling their way to the surface and these completely rule but they're in a later chapter and also in a later book and

uh

I love 13th Age's living dungeons, okay?

Anyway. There's an Abyss where demons come from and go back to when you beat them. There are gods, they don't matter much by default but if you want them to matter, you can make some up. Maybe the icons could be gods? They aren't though if you don't want them to be.

The end, that's chapter 6! I wanted to give you an idea of how scattershot this is, before going into how these design ideas actually translate into making 13th Age the game it is. After that is three chapters of mostly GM-facing stuff to put into the world, and the obligatory one-shot newbie adventure.

Next: Actually Running The Game

Cease to Hope fucked around with this message at 04:34 on Apr 22, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Living Dungeons are the other actually pretty great thing in 13a. I'd forgotten about them.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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


unseenlibrarian posted:

Alternately, the now abandoned Nemesis , which was basically just ORE-based Call of Cthulhu with UA madness meters instead of insanity. I think it's only available on the wayback machine.

Edit: I'm wrong, they actually put it back up eventually.

http://www.arcdream.com/pdf/Nemesis.pdf

I liked the concept of the Madness Meter a lot, in that it worked partially like Humanity in the WoD(i.e. it also hardened you to awful poo poo, once you'd seen a shoggoth eat a man's bones and leave only his quivering, still-living flesh behind, you're not going to get fazed by finding a pair of human femurs in a kitchen) and in that it had separate tracks. But I always felt like the execution lacked... something. Like, I always felt myself disagreeing with the actual stopping posts on each of the meters and what was considered to be worse than what other things.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



And I think that hits the biggest stumbling blocks for madness and morality meters - it's way too subjective, everyone will have different breaking points.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




PurpleXVI posted:

I liked the concept of the Madness Meter a lot, in that it worked partially like Humanity in the WoD(i.e. it also hardened you to awful poo poo, once you'd seen a shoggoth eat a man's bones and leave only his quivering, still-living flesh behind, you're not going to get fazed by finding a pair of human femurs in a kitchen) and in that it had separate tracks. But I always felt like the execution lacked... something. Like, I always felt myself disagreeing with the actual stopping posts on each of the meters and what was considered to be worse than what other things.

According to it, snake men are scarier than fish men. The "Self" Meter also seems kind of out of place. Losing your job, spouse, etc. as you dive into the Mythos would definitely be a problem, but rolling against it seems wrong- there should be a Touchstone system or whatever that makes you more vulnerable as you become unmoored. And personally, the "Helplessness" track, while it makes sense, goes over the line of what I think is acceptable system control of player actions. I don't want to get yanked out of the plot because I got trapped in an old ruin or my car breaks down and I have to take shelter in a creepy mansion.

Robindaybird posted:

And I think that hits the biggest stumbling blocks for madness and morality meters - it's way too subjective, everyone will have different breaking points.

It can work when you can set those breaking points for your character (Never betray a comrade, never use your gun except in self-defense, etc.) This doesn't solve the Sanity meter problem.

DNA Cowboys
Feb 22, 2012

BOYS I KNOW


hyphz posted:

And, overall, I think we can leave CFA there. There's a bunch of random tables with suggestions for three different settings, and while they're pretty silly, that's all in keeping with the flavor of the game. There's also a couple provided Playsets, but I don't really want to go through those because it would inevitably spoil them, and probably the vast majority of play I see of this game online is focussed on one or both of them. It's a game I'd honestly like to run at some point, if I could ever actually sell it to a group, which admittedly seems unlikely. But, I hope some people have found this informative and/or entertaining to some degree.

I've sold a few people on the game by letting them flip through the Costume Deck. If they like the humor there, they'll probably find something to like in the game--and if it's just a handful of Costumes that won't fly with your group, it's easy enough to take them out.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Kavak posted:

It can work when you can set those breaking points for your character (Never betray a comrade, never use your gun except in self-defense, etc.) This doesn't solve the Sanity meter problem.
What would actually be kind of closer to how this poo poo gets portrayed in Lovecraft is some kind of mental health levels track, because in those books the protagonists don't usually completely crack their poo poo in the sense of losing the ability to do something (although non-perspective characters do!) Call of Cthulhu KIND of covers this because, outside of any temporary wackiness from losing a lot of SAN points in a go, there isn't a ton of difference between SAN 80 or SAN 25, except that you are encouraged to be more unhinged.

All the little bells and whistles make Sanity points seem more like Mental HP That Is Very Hard To Regain.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Pieces of Peace posted:

Is... is this adventure name actually a reference to the Dinosaurs TV show, of which I can only remember that terrible catchphrase and horrific puppet abominations? I mean, I know not to expect class from late era TSR but geez, talk about your references that haven't aged well.
Dinosaurs was a brilliant sitcom and one of the finest works Jim Henson has ever touched.

Night10194 posted:

Living Dungeons are the other actually pretty great thing in 13a. I'd forgotten about them.

It's hard to imagine D&D dungeons any other way, what with their generally absurd quantity in any given setting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Nessus posted:

All the little bells and whistles make Sanity points seem more like Mental HP That Is Very Hard To Regain.

That's all it really ever was in CoC, though.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 9: "Although many Juicers and other warriors love the concept, wiser people are quick to point out that if the wearer is not careful, he can damage the armor or even injure himself by carelessly rubbing the activated spikes against other parts of his body."

Weapons & Equipment

There's no escaping it. Time for the section on new guns and armor. But first, we start with a mix of melee weapons and equipment. Sensor Jammers are an add-on for body armor that baffles sensor systems and missiles, which is handy with how lethal missiles are. Combat Gauntlets and Combat Vambraces boost your strength and let Juicers and other enhanced characters do trivial mega-damage with punches. Grenade Bracers let you carry grenades on your arm and Forearm Grenade Launchers are as advertised. Similarly, Forearm Vibro-Blades and Rocket Boots are what you'd expect.

New Body Armor

A lot of these don't have a manufacturer listed, for whatever reason.


Titan Plate and Spiked Armor
  • Titan Plate Armor: Requires a high strength and size (strength of 25+ and 7+ feet tall), gives two to three as much protection as nearly any other suit of armor. Gives severe penalties to physical skills, but less so if your strength is supernatural or extremely high. Made by the Black Market or Northern Gun.
  • Mega-Juicer Combat Armor: Made by Ultra-Tech Industries (later in this book) and Northern Gun, this is another better-than-usual but with high strength requirement suit. Amusingly, some Mega-Juicers might not qualify to wear this competently, maybe because they forgot that Mega-Juicers don't get supernatural strength.
  • Spiked Armor: Armor with spikes that do structural damage due to Juicers not having supernatural strength, or mega-damage against mega-damage targets, in a clunky way Carella says to have cool spikes you can use in both Juicer sports and have a use for them off the track.
  • Vibro-Spike Armor: For pleasurer juicers- wait, no. "every hour the spikes are activated continuously, there is a 01-22% chance that the user will accidentally harm himself." Don't worry, it'll be our secret.
  • Man-Killer EBA: So, this is a suit intended for Juicers who want extra protection- okay, it's basically the midpoint between the Mega-Juicer armor and regular armor, with a high strength requirement many Juicers will be able to meet. Also it has spikes, like with spiked armor.
  • Super-Hide Armor: Lose friends and alienate people with this suit of armor made from the hide and scales of real dragons and other monsters, but mostly dragons. Don't worry, you don't have to be a sociopath to wear the skin of sentient beings, but it helps!

Man-Killer EBA and Super-Hide Armor

Juicer Weapons
Inspired by the designs of Wayne Breaux Jr.



Obviously, a particle beam pistol needs a compensator.
  • FIWS (Forearm Integral Weapon System): This is the Coalition secret Juicer gauntlet that includes vibro-blades and a surprisingly solid plasma blaster. It turns out Colonel Lyboc (Coalition guy who never met a heel turn he didn't like) already "leaked" the designs to the Black Market for money, so your Juicer PC can buy a white version with "generic" on the side.
  • WP-LP3 Pepperbox Laser: This has four mini-batteries that each power a single laser barrel for a single shot each, complete with a breakaway action to eject the batteries. Just in case you were afraid energy weapons might work differently than bullets!... it does crummy damage for a one-shot weapon. It's manufactured by Wellington Industries (from Mercenaries).
  • WI-FT1 Plasma Flamethrower: This is supposed to be an ingenious design done by Wellington Industries and Golden Age Weaponsmiths (Mercenaries, again) that converts a plasma weapon into a mega-damage flamethrower... somehow. Damage is middling but it's area effect, at least. Doesn't actually set things on fire, tho.
  • WI-NFT-1 Napalm-P Flame Thrower: Fires "long-lived plasma" which is apparently done through a substance called "Napalm-P". Remember, that's Napalm-P, not Napalm Pee. Anyway, this is like the previous flamethrower but it does mild damage-over-time for several minutes unless you have a means to rub it off.
  • NG-IP7 Ion Pulse Rifle: I've actually been writing up New West in advance and I'm so sick of talking about guns, you don't even know. I guess this does decent damage. It's a gun. A Northern Gun.
  • NG-45LP "Long Pistol": The above pictured weapon. Only this version only does decent particle beam single shots. Ho-hum, another Northern Gun design, that's what the "NG" is for.
  • NG-11S "Sawed-OfT: Fires regular shotgun shells or a variety of ramjet rounds for modest damage or crap damage in an area. Not really worth it for a thing that requires a full attack to reload after two shots.
  • Zapper Gun (UTI): This is a lightning gun that does piddly damage but requires a... special save against lightning (physical endurance helps) or be stunned with a surprisingly weak -1 penalty. Can stun people through armor and "light" power armor, whatever that's defined as. Made by Ultra-tech Industries, which... sure, they'll explain who they are!... Someday.
  • JA-12 Laser Rifle: A recreation of a pre-rifts design (by who?), this is basically a beefed up version of the JA-11 that's actually good and has a grenade launcher attached. Also has the variable frequency feature if you want to annoy Glitter Boys slightly more than you would otherwise.
  • NG-H5 Holdout Ion Pistol: Designed to defeat generically-defined and never-detailed weapon detection systems, this does a piddly 6 shots. Good for assassinations of unarmored targets and nothing else.

The JA-12: the JA-11 minus the suck.

We get some other stuff tacked on at the end here- the Deadball Grenade is a grenade built into a deadball, and showoffs can try and use it for bounce throws. The Vibro-Deadball is a regular deadball designed for combat with mega-damage spikes. Holdout Speed Holsters give you a bonus on initative if combat starts with no weapons drawn. Advanced Thermal Sights are useful if you want to be John Kruger from Eraser. The WI-C8 Close Combat Weapon System (W.I.) a.k.a. the Juicer Chainsaw sure as hell sounds impressive and cool and then you realize it doesn't so as much damage as a lot of rifles do. The WI-CL8 Multi-Purpose Weapon System (W.I.) is the same chainsaw with a crappy laser attached to it.


"Sure, it's only 5d6 mega-damage, but I'm about the role-play, not roll-play."

Next: Tin cans. A dime a dozen.

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Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Is this an OK place to ask for system recommendations? If not please wave me off and I'll find another thread!

E: no, it is not!

Subjunctive fucked around with this message at 13:40 on Apr 22, 2017

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