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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


You're probably looking for the What System should I use Megathread or the TG Chat Thread.

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Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Boy, I sure am. I missed the megathread. Sorry!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: Snowfire's Awful, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day



So, The Terrible Alliance assumes the PCs are level 4 and have just woken up from dragon sleep. They're preparing to finally leave the Council Aerie and head back to their clans. But first, Mykell has one last job for them. This scenario assumes that Snowfire and Krug Bonebreaker both survived their into adventures, but has some replacements if they didn't. Anyway, Snowfire (or some rando white dragon if he died) has just showed up at the Council with news about giants around Clan Frostwind's lands. He says he was flying near the coast when he saw a giant ship enter a cliffside cave, and he's pretty sure that's where the giants are hiding. Mykell has asked the PCs to investigate this before they leave. With Snowfire's help, the PCs head to the cave, but while they could just fly in, that's super dangerous so it's probably etter to send the kindred in to scout through a smaller connected cave. Eventually the PCs will go in and have to face down a bunch of powerful monsters that work for the frost giants, and at last face Odifal and his dragon slayer allies, who have been preparing a massive fleet to invade one of the islands, to support the dragon slayers in their war. If the PCs win, they'll have time to rally the locals agianst the warship fleet and father a draconic army.

So, first, our requisite backstory. The white dragons of Clan Frostwind and the amethysts of Clan Corum live on Glacianta, the island in question here. Snowfire told his clan leaders about the cave, but they weren't interested, or perhaps were scared, so he went to the Council directly. Clan Frostwind has suffered the most in Odifal's raids, and they are terrified of him. The clan leaders have decided the best way to deal with Odifal is to hand over a hatchling or two rather than suffer mass battles. The amethysts consider the giants a problem but not a major one, having had less raids done to them. They just keep watch, rather than going out of their way to hunt the giants down. Should the PCs approach Frostwind with evidence of the invading frost giant army, they're going to have to get past suspcion, fear and the clan's tendency to xenophobia, but with Snowfire's aid it should be easier, as long as they're respectful. Frostwind will send 30 dragons to fight the armada, ranging in age from young to old, and each with teir own vassal warrior. Clan Corum will need compelling evidence to help, but if presented with it in the form of, say, dragon slayer armor or one of Odifal's battle maps, would send 15 dragons ranging from juvenile to mature adult age. However, neither group will send any help to clear out Odifal's cave.

The raider lair is located in a series of frozen caves on the southeast shoreline, formed by a 'river' of seawater which has allowed them to dock in one of the natural chambers. On top of the raiders and their servants, there's monsters in there. Some, such as the ice trolls, will cooperate with the giants, while others, like the remorhaz, are hostile to everyone. At any given time, two pairs of winter wolves patrol the caves from Location 12 to Location 22, and there's a 10% chance of running into them each turn. If the caves are on alert, it's a 30% chance and the wolves have a frost giant accompanying them.

The frost giants follow the raiding chief Odifal, and have been active in the Io's Blood chain for nearly 30 years, focusing on attacking vassal villages and lone dragons. Odifal has employed ogres to steal dragon eggs and tempted disgruntled vassals to betray their masters, and even gotten other monsters to cause chaos. From his first raid, he has loved plundering - it gives him meaning. Further, his own brother was killed by a white dragon, and he wants vengeance. This and the value of white dragon hide is what has focused him on Clan Frostwind. Recently, the raiders met up with a pair of humans from lands beyond the Islands during a trading trip past the Ice Sea. They were dragon slayers, and they convinced Odifal they could help him, if they were given an army to lead. Eventually, Odifal convinced the other frost giant chiefs to help him, and now, one of Odifal's ships leads an armada of eight giant ships, loaded down with a total of 240 frost giant warriors. Its not a huge army, but it's going to be enough to hurt Frostwind and Corum real bad. The ships will arrive in 24+1d20 days after the PCs reach the lair.

Odifal himself is a savage, dangerous fighter who especially hates white dragons. He leads by example and has never yet fled a fight, but if things are going badly, he is not above doing it. He is a powerful and very smart warrior whose only blind spot is his hatred of dragons. He's a tough foe - AC -2, 106 hp, THAC0 5 and 2d8+12 damage in melee with his magic battleaxe, or 2d10 damage with thrown rocks. On top of that, he's got a ring of fire resistance and two scrolls of protection from dragon breath. His raiders are pretty tough as well - AC 0, 2d8+9 damage in melee and similar amounts of HP to their boss. He has a band of 30 raiders right now.

Now, the dragon slayers. The force of dragon slayers Io's avatar recruited waaaaaay back when, they were nearly wiped out. Those who survived in the Io's Blood wilderness are savages, without any of their old power. Those who continued the line in human lands, however, maintained the dragon slayer traditions, albeit in fewer numbers. They are a band of religious warriors dedicated to Io, retaining the knowledge to forge the armor and weapons of the slayers. They do not, however, have the skill to make the great ships needed to cross the seas, and most humans have no interest in beginning the ancient war again anyway. The dragon slayers are rare, now. Very rare. The band in human lands has sent two of their best to scout the islands and find out what the dragons are up to these days. Their names are Daress and Kandoz, and they've been in the islands a few months before meeting the giants. Daress saw the chance to strike without needing human forces, who currently have no way to transport an entire army to the islands anyway. She convinced Odifal that with her help, he could win a war against dragons - that she and Kandoz could teach the giants how to fight dragons properly. They don't actually expect the giants to win, however. They expect them to cause enough damage to weaken a few clans, which can then be used as starting points in the renewed war against the dragons. The DM is told that they may want one of the slayers to escape to become a recurring villain later. Daress is pretty tough - AC -1, 87 hp and capable of 1.5 attacks per round for pretty massive damage against dragons - especially gold dragons. Kandoz isn't quite as good - AC 0, 76 hp, but he hits harder and is focused on silver dragons.


Please ignore the seam - this was a map drawn in two halves on facing pages.

Location 1 is the Ice Sea 'river' that cuts through the caves. It enters via a 150x300 crack in the rock, and fills the are to about 50 feet below the top of the gully the river follows, with many caves on either side. The giants have built docks along it for their ships. There's massive icicles hanging from the ceiling, which form an obstacle to flight and are nearly 100 feet long. Location 2i is constnatly guarded by three frost giants watching for intruders. If they need help, they can call in the ogres from Location 3. They also have a large gong to signal the lair with, a table and chairs, some frozen meat and six boulders for each guard. Location 3 is home to the ogre tribe that works for the giants. Four very tough ogres guard the first chamber and chat with the ogres across the river, play with their pet polar bears, or sleep. In theory they're meant to be guards but they're lax because nothing has ever threatened them. If the lair is alerted, however, one will head to location 5 to warn the ogre chief and the rest of the tribe, while the rest will fight alongside the polar bears and ask the giants for help (or help them if the invaders attack the giants first). The polar bears are by far the greater threat.

Location 4 is the ogre refuse chamber, where the ogres leave the frost giant garbage in order to be able to check it for treasure. They have a kidnapped green dragon hatchling in the chamber, chained to one of the walls. They like to abuse it, and it is weak and sick due to lack of good food and water. It fears anyone who approaches, even the PCs, and is too weak to help in any case, but Clan Darkcloud will be grateful to see it returned alive. If the lair is not alerted, four teen ogres will be busy loving with the dragon and will stand little chance against dragon PCs, though they could be a problem for kindred. If the lair is alerted, only the dragon is in the chamber.

Next time: The return of Krug Bonebreaker or his Chinese knockoff cousin.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 15:25 on Apr 22, 2017

David J Prokopetz
Oct 21, 2008


hyphz posted:

Just to finish with, have the art showing their (apparently) recommended prep process:



To be fair, it's less "recommended" and more "based on personal experience".

(You know, I'd totally forgotten that I have an account here. I can answer questions about the game if anybody has one, though I've no idea if this would be the appropriate place to do it.)

Barudak
May 7, 2007



So does the sensor add on meaningfully work against minimissles, or can you just overwhelm it with even more missles.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Barudak posted:

So does the sensor add on meaningfully work against minimissles, or can you just overwhelm it with even more missles.

Is there a problem that can't be solved with even more missiles?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Barudak posted:

So does the sensor add on meaningfully work against minimissles, or can you just overwhelm it with even more missles.

A close review of the rules reveals that it doesn't- it gives a -2 for "guided" missiles to hit the wearer, but the corebook explicitly says mini-missiles are unguided. That being said, it does give the same penalty for a volley of missiles to hit you and forces them to make a to-hit roll, but since you still can't dodge a missile volley (gently caress you Ichiro Itano, Rifts sez) it's still very likely to hit.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



So the solution as ever in Rifts is to play the Minimissle Factory OCC

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Barudak posted:

So the solution as ever in Rifts is to play the Minimissle Factory OCC

May I recommend the Triax X-535 Hunter with the TX-871MM Interchangeable Rotary Missle Drum Launchers, sir?

Barudak
May 7, 2007



David J Prokopetz posted:

To be fair, it's less "recommended" and more "based on personal experience".

(You know, I'd totally forgotten that I have an account here. I can answer questions about the game if anybody has one, though I've no idea if this would be the appropriate place to do it.)

Im intersted to hear about playtesting or revisions. Were there any changes you made that you werent expecting or additions people clamored for?

David J Prokopetz
Oct 21, 2008


Barudak posted:

Im intersted to hear about playtesting or revisions. Were there any changes you made that you werent expecting or additions people clamored for?

That's quite the question - superficial similarities in the basic rules notwithstanding, the game that actually ended up being published doesn't particularly resemble what we started out with.

Upon consideration, I'd have to say that the biggest shift that came out of playtesting and revisions is tonal rather than mechanical.

As the preceding review correctly notes, the initial iterations of the game - including the first public playtest - hewed a lot closer to the conventional "games with presumptively female player characters, designed by and for dudes" mould. In brief, there was a fair amount of blatant sexual innuendo and "ironic" sexism baked into the text.

(To give you a general idea, the "School Uniform" card's Costume Power was a tentacle rape joke in early drafts. Yeah.)

Something that was highlighted during development is that a. there's a big chunk of our potential target audience for whom "ironic" sexism is just as gross and offputting as the sincere variety (if, indeed, there's any meaningful distinction between the two - it can be argued that there isn't!), and b. the sort of gamers for whom that sort of thing is an actual selling point are, by and large, toxic to a game's fandom.

So we ended up scrubbing practically all of that stuff out of the published text. I'm sure there are any number of unfortunate implications that we missed lurking about, of course, but we gave it the old college try.

(That's also basically the reason that the game ultimately doesn't cite Maid as an influence, in spite of the obvious connection. It was actually present in the recommended reading section nearly right up until we went to press, but with our reconsidered direction, we would have had to have included a pretty hefty disclaimer with that citation.)

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




David J Prokopetz posted:

So we ended up scrubbing practically all of that stuff out of the published text. I'm sure there are any number of unfortunate implications that we missed lurking about, of course, but we gave it the old college try.

I've never seen any and I'm super glad of it, because I really liked the "creative chaos" aspect of Maid and having that without the cringeworthy dodginess was a big thing that sold me on CFA (I have 3 statuettes..)

I did notice that Fairy Cosplay had 3 Stress tracks, how did they work and why were they changed?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: Krug Is Here, Unless He Isn't

Location 5 is the common room for the ogre tribe. They cook, sleep and live here, for the most part, working as domestic servants for the frost giants as well as guards and raiders. Besides the chief, eight guards (for of whom are at Location 3 most of the time) and 18 warriors, there are 22 ogre women, 12 youths and a shaman. Krug, if he survived Not The Draca, is the chieftain and will remember any PCs that hurt him significantly 26 years ago. If Krug died, he is replaced by a statistically identical leader instead. The shaman and leader hang out together, and the leader also has four of the ogre guards as bodyguards. The ogres are very loyal to the frost giants, having profited greatly under them, and will fight to the death. There's a secret passage connecting the ogre chambers to the frost giant great hall, 50 feet wide and 30 high. The ogres use it regularly to do their duties, while the giants will use it only in an emergency. The ogres also have a small collection of gold and gems, worth 3,368 gp. Krug or his body double has gotten tougher since Not The Draca - he's AC 1, 48 hp and armed with a +1 halberd and a potion of extra healing. The shaman can cast a handful of spells (cure light wounds, magical stone and chant) and has a potion of fire breath. Also he wields a lucern hammer, because exotic polearms. There honestly isn't a significant difference betwene the ogre men and women except that the women are unarmed.

Location 6 is a cave occupied by a small yeti clan that serves the frost giants. They guard the small caves overlooking the Ice Sea in exchange for food and some metals that they find pretty. If the kindred sneak in through those caves, they have a 70% chance of being found by a yeti guard, and the noise of combat will attract the other 5 yetis plus the occupants of locations 7 and 8. The yetis have a small amount of treasure worth 913 gp. Location 7 is occupied by a pack of wild winter wolves who like the yetis but don't care much about anyone else. They do not serve the frost giants, but tolerate their presence. They will defend their territory against all intruders, using their frost breath before rushing into melee. There are five noncombatant wolf cubs protected by one of the winter wolves, who gets a bonus to combat against anyone that gets too close to them. Location 8 is a side chamber full of snow from a cracked ceiling, containing a trio of deadly white puddings - one hidden in the snow (with a 50% chance of going unnoticed) and two hanging from the ceiling. They will team up to fight dragons, too, and they hit loving hard - 7d4 damage each. Lighting and physical attacks will cause the puddings to split into two smaller puddings after dealing the damage, and this is bad - while they have less HP, each pudding hits just as hard as the larger one they used to be. Best to use fire.

Location 9 is a cave occupied by a tribe of 12 ice trolls who trade with and buy slaves fro mthe frost giants. They keep a smmall pool of water in the cave that they try to fight in, so as to activate their regeneration. If kindred enter the area they control (this and Location 10), the ice trolls will try to capture them and throw them in the slave pens. If the intruders are dragons, they will send a few trolls to warn the giants. The leader of the ice trolls is slightly stronger and uses an actual long sword, and will always rush to the front of the fight. Beyond that, the trolls are not actually very good at all. They have treasure with 6,650 hp, plus a pearl of power they took from a captured wizard (now dead) that allows a mage to recall one 2nd level spell per day. Location 10 is the slave pen, where their captives are kept and fed until the trolls decide to eat them. Currently, the captives are four gnomes from Clan Frostwind, two kobolds and a half-dragon elf, though the trolls are unaware the elf is a half-dragon. If the PCs free them, only Nadrus, the half-dragon will be willing or able to help - the rest will take their chances returning home in the wilds. Nadrus will not help if treated rudely, however. This area also has an icy pool for the trolls to fight from. Nadrus himself is half-silver and...honestly, he's not very good at fighting and will probably get killed. His claws let him attack twice, but only for 1d4 each. He does know how to use a bow or a sword, at least.

Location 11 is the lair of two remorhaz. It's full of ice pillars that block vision, but there's signs of dangerous monsters inside. The floor is full of ice that is slippery even for dragons, causing -4 to hit and -2 penalty to AC. The remorhaz are vicious and will attack even dragons, with the first attacking from ambush and the second hanging back 1d4 rounds before also ambushing unless someone is specifically watching out for more monsters. The remorhaz are very, very dangerous - AC 0 without a called shot, and they do 6d6 damage on a bite and can instakill anything less than 14 feet tall if they roll a natural 20. Plus, anything that touches their back takes 10d10 heat damage, and nonmagical weapons melt on contact. The location marked A is a concealed entrance into the frost giant lair. Odifal smashed it open and sealed iwth a thin lair of ice while the remorhaz were out hunting. If intruders breach the lair, the giants can smash the ice to release the remorhaz into their cave, and can flee through it in an emergency.

Location 12 is the frozen lagoon. The giants have built three docks, and currently two of the boats are here, with the third dock empty. If the giants are not alerted, there's a 1 in 6 chance that 1d4 giants are working on the boats. If the giants are alerted, however, half of the giants from location 15 are here, along with Kandoz the dragon slayer. As long as Kandoz is alive and not in melee, he is assumed to be giving orders that let the giants get +1 to hit and damage. Two giants also stand ready with a pair of double ballistae aimed at the chamber entrance, marked as Location B. Each ballista takes only one operator and can fire two projectiles before it must be reoladed. The projectiles do 3d7 damage (or 2d6 to human-sized targets or smaller) and take two rounds to reload, with a THAC0 of 9 when used by a giant.

Location 13 is the treasure cave of the frost giants. It is full of gems, vassal weapons and armor, precious metals, dragonskin and other treasure, worth 139,826 gp. It is also where the gear of any kindred PCs go if/when they get captured by the giants. There's a colony of six ice toads in the cave that serve the frost giants in exchange for a portion of the treasure - 9875 gp in gems. Any nongiants that enter will be attacked by the toads. 3 per round will use their spheres of cold, since they take a round to recharge between shots, so they split it for constant coverage. If the intruders seem really tough, a toad will flee to alert the giants. The toads are honestly pretty weak by dragon standards, though the cold spheres they radiate can sting.

Location 14 is the cave of the giants' domesticated winter wolves. If the giants aren't alerted yet, eight wolves will be there. If alerted, however, the cave is empty. Location 15 is where the giants sleep. It has room for 30 raiders, plus extra spears and boulders and the personal wealth of the giants, who each have 1d10*100 gp. If the raiders are not alerted, 20 giants will be in the chamber, lounging around. If they are alert, half will be in location 12 and half will be in location 21. Location 16 is the prison. Any captured kindred will be kept here, stripped of gear. Currently, the giants haven o prisoners, but the cage is pretty tough and has a complex lock.

Location 17 is the kitchen. Two ogre women usually work here. They're put of Krug's tribe. The giants' winter wolves also let their pups play here, but they will not fight. If the giants are alerted, the area is empty. Location 18 is the larder, full of moose and deer carcasses and butchered meat. The cave is currently full, as a hunt happened recently. Location 19 is the tample and home to the giants' shaman. If the giants are not alerted, there's a 50% chance of the shaman being here and otherwise in Location 21. If the giants are alerted, the shaman is in Location 21. The holy items and treasure here are worth 16,921 gp.

Location 20 is the cave the dragon slayers live in. If the giants are not alerted, they'll be in here. They will not die for the giants, but will attack as best they can to win or escape. If needed, Kandoz will die so that Daress can escape. If the giants are alerted, particularly if dragons have been spotted, the slayers split up. Daress goes to Location 21, while Kandoz goes to Location 12. There's spare dragon slayer armor in here, plus the wealth of the slayers, worth 8,250 gp.

Location 21 is the great hall of the giants, used for meeting and common activity. Odifal has set up his thrown here. Chained to each side of the throne is a juvenile white dragon. Odifal captured them as halflings and has raised them himself. They are essentially primitive savages by dragon standards, loyal to Odifal and willing even to fight other white dragons if ordered. If the giants are not alerted, Odifal has a 50% chance of being here. If he isn't, he's in Location 22. If the giants are alert, Odifal makes his stand here with 10 giants, the shaman and Daress. There's a double ballista behind the throne, which Odifal will fire at foes until they get too close. The giants will fight to the death. Daress, however, will flee through a secret passage if it seems the giants will lose. One of the passages is the ogre one, while the other exits into the wilderness. The location also has a number of scrolls - letters from the frost giant chiefs to Odifal about the war plans. Location 22 is Odifal's chamber, where he lives with his three wives. If the giants are alerted, only the wives will be here, but they're as fierce as any frost giant. Odifal's personal treasure is worth 16,632 gp.

Next time: Events.

David J Prokopetz
Oct 21, 2008


hyphz posted:

I've never seen any and I'm super glad of it, because I really liked the "creative chaos" aspect of Maid and having that without the cringeworthy dodginess was a big thing that sold me on CFA (I have 3 statuettes..)

I did notice that Fairy Cosplay had 3 Stress tracks, how did they work and why were they changed?

The dice-rolling mechanics in CFA used to be a lot more complicated. Basically, instead of having a Stress Limit, you had Stress Boxes, which you could check off in order to "buy" retries on rolls, remove complications from rolling 1s, etc. (The latter is what eventually developed into the Trouble Pool mechanics.) You never had to check off Stress Boxes if you didn't want to (i.e., you could just let failures and complicatons stand), but if you chose to do so, it was up to the GM which track(s) you had to check. There were different consequences for maxing out each track, too.

We ended up jettisoning all that because it basically turned every single roll of the dice into a tactical minigame, creating a massive decision paralysis point and increasing handling time for routine actions beyond what ended up being ideal for the kind of game we wanted to build.

The problem initially went undetected because all of our early playtest sessions were forum games (which have a way of concealing handling time and decision paralysis issues due to routinely having hours or days of latency between player actions), but it crashed and burned hard at the tabletop.

Nea
Feb 28, 2014

Funny Little Guy Aficionado.

Thank you for making a fun roleplay ing game I can play with my nephew and nieces instead of creepy gross sexist game thanks

The Lemondrop Dandy
Jun 7, 2007

If my memory serves me correctly...




Wedge Regret

Neopie posted:

Thank you for making a fun roleplay ing game I can play with my nephew and nieces instead of creepy gross sexist game thanks

Same! I'm gonna buy a copy because I want to encourage this sort of behavior.

Also 'cause the game looks fun, obv.

Question: what sort of challenges did you run into with the PVP side of things in testing? Did it need lots of tweaking?

David J Prokopetz
Oct 21, 2008


The Lemondrop Dandy posted:

Question: what sort of challenges did you run into with the PVP side of things in testing? Did it need lots of tweaking?

Oh, yeah - a fair number of the systemss discussed in the review upthread came out of PvP considerations. The way the game's set up tends to involve a lot of player-versus-player rolls even when the PCs are nominally cooperating, which can lead to some weirdness due to who gets to narrate what. Off the top of my head:

1. Since players narrate their own successful rolls, and the successful actor will always be a player character when two fairies go head to head (barring ties, of course), we found that you could end up with long stretches of the game where the GM basically can't get a word in edgewise. A big chunk of the mechanics attached to the Trouble Pool are aimed at giving the GM tools to interject without breaking the rules about who gets to narrate what (or, at least, providing explicit buy-in when those rules do get broken). It's not accidental that the Trouble Pool grows (at least) twice as fast when players quibble.

2. The rules for how many successful rolls you need to close out a Shenanigan also started out as a patch for player-competitiveness-meets-player-narration. Since the basic game doesn't impose any formal limits on the scale of what you can narrate when you make a successful roll, when there are multiple players gunning for the same objective, there's a temptation to narrate every Shenanigan done and dusted after a single roll simply to foreclose on the possibility of another player stealing credit for it.

The "X rolls to complete" guideline is mainly a player-facing pacing mechanism; it gives a sense of about how much progress toward the Shenanigan in question it's appropriate for you narrate with each roll, and creates a formal tipping point where you go from cooperating to get it done, to fighting each other for credit (i.e., when there's only one roll remaining). I totally recognise that this is going to feel unpleasantly metagame for a lot of folks, and I'm not going to tell them they're wrong. It's by no means only way of addressing the problem - it's just the one we arrived at after finding that anything more concretely "in world" tended to explode hilariously under the pressure of competing player-driven narration.

(Both the "Structured Shenanigans" and "Methodical Mischief" Plugins from appendix in the back of the Core Rulebook are self-contained versions of other approaches we tried, for the curious.)

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




David J Prokopetz posted:

The "X rolls to complete" guideline is mainly a player-facing pacing mechanism; it gives a sense of about how much progress toward the Shenanigan in question it's appropriate for you narrate with each roll, and creates a formal tipping point where you go from cooperating to get it done, to fighting each other for credit (i.e., when there's only one roll remaining). I totally recognise that this is going to feel unpleasantly metagame for a lot of folks, and I'm not going to tell them they're wrong. It's by no means only way of addressing the problem - it's just the one we arrived at after finding that anything more concretely "in world" tended to explode hilariously under the pressure of competing player-driven narration.

The main difficult I had with it is the extent to which the GM has to fudge the world to make sure that something requires the given number of rolls, or what happens if something ends up requiring way more. I appreciate that the game's actions are so open-ended it's hard to make progress (and the typical shenanigan in freeform is probably created precisely to trigger a bizarre and unexpected plan)

Also, I noticed you don't take PMs so I'll just say here I hope you don't mind me writing about your game and I hope you'll understand I wanted to introduce it to people who would be interested, now that this thread isn't just for making fun of games!

David J Prokopetz
Oct 21, 2008


hyphz posted:

The main difficult I had with it is the extent to which the GM has to fudge the world to make sure that something requires the given number of rolls, or what happens if something ends up requiring way more.

Well, the trick there is that the GM isn't the sole author of the world-fiction in a game like CFA. The game's written under the assumption that it's both accepted and expected for players to conjure new setting details out of thin air as part of narrating their successful rolls. You don't need to go quite so far as letting players create locations, events and NPCs whole-cloth (that's explicitly optional), but the rules aren't really geared toward the traditional "players are only allowed to state intentions and the GM has absolute authority over everything else" approach.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that the GM isn't the only one doing the fudging in this context.

hyphz posted:

Also, I noticed you don't take PMs so I'll just say here I hope you don't mind me writing about your game and I hope you'll understand I wanted to introduce it to people who would be interested, now that this thread isn't just for making fun of games!

Honestly, we're small-time enough that I'm just glad people are talking about it at all!

David J Prokopetz fucked around with this message at 01:21 on Apr 23, 2017

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!




6. Example Script

The Inspector General (AKA the Government Inspector)
By Nikolai Gogol

I'm going to go ahead and apologize in advance if I've hosed something up. Hopefully I'm doing the play justice

Casting List

Anton Antonavich Skovznik-Dmukhanovsky (Who I will refer to as Anton or the Governor from here on out)

Part: Governor
Invoke: Gain two dice when performing your duties
Compel: Make sure the inspector is tended to, they control your future.

Plot: Accomplice
Invoke: Gain two dice when trying to cover up your misdeeds
Compel: You divulge knowledge of someone elseís transgression

Prop:
Money - Add a die when using money to convince someone of something.

Hlestakov - A junior Clerk

Part: Fraud
Invoke: Gain two dice when acting on your perceived authority
Compel: You must act like the high ranking, high class person you clearly, definitely are.

Plot: Lover (As in the book)

Prop: Letter, gain one dice when spreading secrets.

Osip - Hlestakovís servant

Part: Commoner
Invoke: Gain two dice when navigating the lower classes
Compel: You are hardened to the suffering of others

Plot: Servant
Invoke: Gain two dice when obeying your master
Compel: You must obey even if doing so would be awkward or even dangerous.

Anna Andreyevna - Wife
Part: Maiden
Plot: Mother
Prop: Beautiful Outfit - Gain a die when using your dress to impress.

Ammos Fedorovich - Judge
Artemy Flippovich - Supervisor of Charitable Institutions
Luka Lukich - Superintendant of Schools
Ivan Kuzmich Shpekin - Postmaster

These four characters occupy a very similar space in the play so itís easier to make a set that fits all of them
Part: Commoner
Plot: Accomplice (See the Governor)
A prop would likely relate to their profession and give them a bonus die when doing something in that vein. A symbol of authority for the judge, a book for the school superintendent etc.

Act 1
Anton, The Governor, has a meeting with several government officials including Ammos, Artemy and Luka. They have been alerted that an Inspector will be coming to the town undercover, which has them quite worried. They go over their various indiscretions and come up with ways to cover them up. They are alerted by some locals that someone strange showed up several weeks ago and the Governor firmly believes it is the inspector who has come before he could adequately prepare. Anna and Marya enter, very curious about what is happening. The Act ends with her giving orders to tidy everything in the house and learn anything about the visitor.

Act 2
Osip laments his current situation which has been caused by Hlestakov living far above his station and spending money faster than he gets it. Hlestakov enters and demands Osip fetch him food despite the hotel no longer giving them credit. Osip argues with one of the staff while Hlestakov complains of his hunger. When a servant brings a plain meal Hlestakov yells at them for it not being of better quality but eats with voracious hunger. The Governor enters believing Hlestakov to be the inspector while Hlestakov believes the Governor is here to arrest him. They both panic but Hlestakovís bravado convinces the Governor that he is the inspector. The Governor invites him to stay at his house and give him a tour of the city.

Act 3
Anna and Marya wait anxiously at home when they see Dobchinsky come bearing news. He tells them of the Governors encounter and gives them a note informing them to expect a guest and to get wine ready for the evening. Both women become very excited at the prospect of having prestigious company. Hlestakov and Anton arrive at the police station having visited the hospital off screen. Anton expounds on the positive qualities of the hospital while Hlestakov tries to find a game of cards to play. The two arrive at the governor's house for lunch during which Hlestakov makes numerous outrageous claims to his status which the people all believe. Anna and Marya are particularly smitten. The Governor worries that getting Hlestakov drunk made him more truthful and that everything that was said was accurate. He sets guards at the door to make sure no one enters the house.

Act 4
Artemy, Ammos, the Postmaster and Luka meet to discuss ongoing methods of keeping Hlestakov happy. They decide to approach him individually. Ammos awkwardly tries to bribe him which Hlestakov believes is just his way of being generous. The Postmaster meets with him and Hlestakov asks to borrow some money which the Postmaster also does believing himself to be bribing the man. Luka comes in but is immediately confused by Hlestakov asking his preference in women. Hlestakov then asks for a loan which Luka gives before exiting. Artemy enters and begins to discredit the others, writing down their misdeeds which he gives to Hlestakov before Hlestakov asks Artemy for a small loan as well. Several Merchants force their way in and begin telling Hlestakov of their mistreatment by the governor. He asks them for a loan and they give it believing he will help them. Other citizens come forward with similar complaints until he has Osip force everyone else out. Hlestakov has a confusing encounter with Marya, confessing his love for her, before being discovered by Anna, who he also declares his love for. This confuses the two before the Governor enters, doing his best to dismiss the complaints from the citizens before learning of Hlestakov seeking Maryaís hand. Hlestakov and Osip leave, telling the Governor theyíll be back in a day or two.

Act 5
The Governor relaxes with Hlestakov gone, believing himself safe. He talks with Anna about plans for the future believing heís made a great ally with the inspector marrying his daughter. He invites the merchants who complained in to chastise them. The other characters all come to congratulate Marya for accepting the marriage proposal. Anna recounts the events though saying the compliments Hlestakov gave were to herself and not Marya. More congratulations from the characters to Anna and Marya. The Postmaster enters, having opened one of Hlestakovs letters talking at length about the town. The Governor forces him to read it aloud and it is filled with criticisms and mockery of the characters heíd met. The Governor is in a terrible state and begins to blame the others for all the terrible things that have happened.

Ending:
During a heated moment a Gendarme enters and tells the Governor the Inspector has arrived and demands his presence at once.

Its not 100% complete. Itís still missing notable lines but given my lack of familiarity with the play thatís something probably done by someone more familiar with it. Its possible to come up with an entirely different synopsis of the play or its characters and thatís okay too. Regardless if the play is a tragedy or a comedy this isnít a game to be taken seriously. At least not outside of the game itself. Admittedly I was completely unfamiliar with the play beforehand so I hope I did an adequate job of turning it into a workable script for a game.


6. Romances
Back to the book itself the last section is about the Romances. These are much more fantastical than his other works and included magic and music and larger than life characters.

quote:

Like comedies, most romances end in marriage, but the context is markedly different. rather than celebrating the existing social order through the bonds of matrimony, the marriage at the end of a romance reunites two communities or individuals who were driven apart in the past, healing the social fabric that had previously been torn asunder. The marriage affirms the social order, but simultaneously reveals the fragility of the society in which it takes place.
It has a few suggestions for running these games differently than the traditional plays. First off is lowering the target numbers for making edits. These stories can turn at a moments notice, taking unpredictable paths. They donít follow a set formula like the other genres might. It also presents the option of a flashback which requires the expenditure of 5 story points but rolls back everything to the time set by the actor. Once the flashback is finished everything returns to the time previous. It also introduces magic that, while still needing edits to do things outside the script, enable edits that might otherwise seem impossible like bringing someone back from the dead. This section also introduces another Actor type.

The Mask is someone who uses their body as a tool more than any other person. In one moment they might have the delicate grace of a ballerina and the next the loping gait of a cripple. Think Charlie Chaplain or Mr. Bean. This is definitely the actor type for the person who likes describing their characterís actions.

Onstage Ability: Their presence and movements can be unnerving, even to their fellow actors. You can spend one story point to force an Actor to reroll their Edit. While this seems confrontational (and it is), its not really any worse than any of the other ways one might contest an edit.
Offstage Ability: The Mask is always watching and listening. Spend a story point to hear a secret from the shadows.
Direction: At the Playwrightís request the Mask must tell their story by describing their actions. It sounds like an interpretive dance of sorts, or maybe some miming.

So that sums up The Playís the Thing. Not an amazing RPG, not one youíll run a year long epic campaign with, but a breath of fresh air and a fun diversion from a lot of the more serious minded RPGs.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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


The Play's The Thing seems like it'd be great in classrooms or other non-traditional RPG venues. English Literature classes to get students to engage differently with the texts, theatre classes as another kind of structured improv game than what's already done, Shakespeare anniversary celebrations like the ones that are on now, that sort of thing.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I think you did a good job of it, and hopefully you enjoyed your time with The Inspector General. There is a rather good musical film version of it if you can stomach more of it and features some rather impressive enunciation skill on behalf of its lead actor who learned English and pantomime in order to be understood at restaurants.

Like others have said, it feels like the game proper is intended to riff on familiar plays rather than experience new ones but its quite neat.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Council of Wyrms: Frost Giant Time

Event 1, of course, is Snowfire (or his clone) showing up at the Council as the PCs are getting ready to leave. He reports on seeing a frost giant longboat heading into the cliffside caves. He'll answer anything he can about the region, the cliffs, what he saw and Clan Frostwind, though he's kind of nervous if asked about the clan. This is because the clan leaders dismissed him and he's afraid the PCs will, too. Mykell will wait for the PCs to volunteer to help, but if they don't, she will point out the trouble they've had in the past with frost giant raiders and asks them to do this one last job for her before going home.

Event 2 has Snowfire lead the PCs to Glacianta's shore. If the PCs just fly in, they go straight to the dungeon crawl. Snowfire won't accompany them inside - he's too afraid. If the PCs scout the area, they can find four entrances - the main entrance, two smaller caves with humanoid footprints leading to them and a larger fourth cave. The two small caves are too small for dragons, however. (These are the troll and yeti caves and the remorhaz cave.) If the PCs send their kindred in to scout, we go to Event 3 after some dungeon crawling.

Event 3 could happen anywhere, depending on what the kindred do inside, by themselves. At some point, the cave's inhabitants will probably defeat them. Instead of dying, however, the kindred PCs are merely knocked unconscious, if badly hurt, and thrown into the giants' prison in Location 16. It is possible for them to escape on their own, but odds are this is just more incentive for the dragons to go in themselves.

Event 4 occurs if the PCs begin to overwhelm the giants and defeat them. One of the giants will run over to Location A and smash the ice wall, releasing the remorhaz from Location 11 into the main cave complex. The remorhaz are curious, hungry creatures and will come investigate. Check the location the PCs are in. Subtract 12 from that number, then roll 1d6. That's how many rounds it takes for the remorhaz to arrive on the scene...assuming the remorhaz are still alive, anyway.

At some point, however, the PCs are likely to meet Odifal, probably in Location 21. This triggers Event 5 - the final battle. In most cases, it'll be him, his pet dragons, the shaman, half of the giants and one of the dragon slayers, probably Daress. Odifla's wives and the winter wolves may also be present. Odifal will direct the battle as intelligently as he can, focusing his allies on the strongest dragons while letting a smaller number of giants keep the weaker ones busy. He will spend his time manning the ballista behind his throne until he's forced into melee. If it is obvious that the giants cannot possibly win, Odifal will try to flee through a secret passage, but odds are he's going to go down fighting.

The adventure ends with Odifal's defeat. The game wants one of the slayers to escape and become a recurring foe - probably Daress, but Kandoz is fine too. The PCs will become aware from the stuff they find that the frost giant fleet is coming, and the GM is instructed to figure out a session where they rally the white and amethyst dragons of the island to go defeat the fleet and turn back the invasion, perhaps even getting aid from the Council. Where it goes from there is on the GM.

Next time: Hammerim's back, and this time it's personal.

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Cease to Hope posted:

that is regdar's helmet



for some reason "regdar gets owned" is a recurring theme in 3.5 art, dunno why

Long story short: The original iconic fighter was a dwarf because 3.X wanted to avoid the stereotypical white male iconic for every class. Marketing said he needed to be a human. So, they suggested an African American male. He got rejected and they were told he needed to be white. The artists were resentful about these decisions.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Council of Wyrms: One Very Angry Dwarf

Stolen Hoards is the tale of the revenge of Hammerim. You remember, the corrupt rear end in a top hat from Dwarftown who was selling metal to the gren dragons? Well, he wants revenge for having been utterly disgraced. Obviously, this adventure assumes that Hammerim's treachery was revealed during that adventure. It takes place when the PCs are adult dragons, and the DM could technically replace Hammerim with someone else the PCs have angered, but that's gonna be a lot of work. As adults, the PCs will largely have been working for their clans and themselves, coming together a few times for adventures over the last 75 years, but not usually working for the Council. Now, they need to come together to deal with the mad plot of a dwarf that wants to ruin them, and has been working very hard to be able to.

It's been over 90 years since the Dwarftown adventure, when Hammerim lost his position and was later cast out of the village. In that 90 years, Hammerim has been plotting and planning. Using the wealth he'd hidden outside the village for an emergency, he bought what he needed for his plan, and the time is finally right to enact it. He's turned a small island off Rockshore into his base, building it into the side of a mountain over the years with the aid of a clan of duergar and a group of drow, both natural foes of dragons (for some reason). With their help, Hammerim has built a deathtrap maze designed to weaken and kill dragons. The duergar brought the muscle, the drow brought the magic, and Hammerim brought the mad genius, promising wealth, dragon torture and magic items from the dragon hoards. Hammerim doesn't want any of the goods anyway - he just wants to ruin the dragons that ruined him. Hammerim has named his stronghold the death maze, and filled with monsters and traps. All he has to do now is lure the PCs in.

He does this by stealing part of the bonded hoards of each PC. The total stolen from each PC is 40,000 gp plus (1d6*10,000) gp. This theft happens before the adventure begins and cannot be prevented by any means. All the thefts occur simultaneously, as Hammerim employs many duergar. When the PCs realize their hoards are robbed, each can only find a singlue clue that will lead them to each other, and only together can they determine where to go. From there, they will travel to the island lair of Hammerim, finding a few pieces of their hoards at the mouth of an apparently natural cave leading into the mountain. Within, they must fight their way through the death maze, against drow, duergar and magically charmed monsters that will try to murder them. At the end, they must face Hammerim and his pet golems to reclaim their hoards.

The GM starts the adventure by just telling the PCs that their hoards are missing. Each finds a chunk of rock, obviously a piece of a shattered tablet. When the PCs each touch their rock, the word 'Dwarftown' appears on the fragments, which radiate magic but do nothing else. The PCs should remember this name and realize that they should contact each other. When they do, they can fit the stones together to form the table, which will then glow and reform with a message: 'Come to the smallest island off Rockshore's northwest shore. There you will find what you have lost.' The PCs can easily find the island - that's where the real trouble begins.

So, backstory. Hammerim has been building the death maze caves for 90 years, and his hatred has consumed him utterly. He cares for nothing but revenge, abandoning even the hedonist pleasures he loved in earlier times. He started out drifting from island to island after his exile, befriending kobolds, orcs and other monstrous races before he met Zoberraz, a drow. He lived with the drow for a time, and with the help of Zoberraz, he developed his hatred into a solid plan. Together, they found the island, and Zoberraz convinced the duergar clan to help them. Hammerim has memorized the names and features of the PCs and learned everything he can about them. In the end, he will fight to the death, no matter how bad it gets. Either he dies or the dragons do. He now has plate mail +3, a battle axe +2, three potions of extra healing, a potion of fire giant strength and a potion of invulnerability. He will use the latter two just before the PCs approach him.

The duergar are led by Kolar, who has pledged his clan to aiding Hammerim. They have built the maze over these past decades in exchange for the promise of most of the treasure hoards. They lurk in strategic positions in the maze. However, if more than two thirds of the clan dies or if Kolat himself dies, the rest will flee. Kolat has both a warhammer +1 and a short sword +2, but compared to Odifal last time around he's not really much more of a challenge. The duergar are slightly worse than him, but there's 40 of them.

Zoberraz and her drow have been plotting against the islands for years. They aren't strong enough to act directly but have stolen treasure over the years. Zoberraz herself is a powerful fighter/mage with enchanted black chain mail, a dagger +2, a short sword +4, a stone of controlling earth elementals, a censer of controlling air elementals, a bowl of commanding water elementals and a brazier of commanding fire elementals. These items were used to summon and bind the elementals in the maze. Zoberraz sees Hammerim as a chance to really strike a blow against the dragons. If the maze works, it can be reused. If not, well, all that's lost is time and one obsessed dwarf. She is sure she and her warriors can escape if the dragons win. Zoberraz is very evil and hates dragons almost as much as Hammerim does. However, she hates all dragons, not just the PCs. She will avoid putting herself and her followers in danger if she can, but will not shy from a fight. She uses her magic powers to her best advantage, lurking in the back. And she's a pretty good mage - up to 6th level spells. She has 30 drow warriors, too.



This is a dungeon crawl without any real special events - just descriptions of the chambers and what happens in them. The ceilings are only 150 feet high, making it very hard to fly and impossible to use aerial combat. Location 1 is the maze entrance. Here, the PCs find a trail of stolen items - around 1000 gp from each hoard. It's unclear if they were left on purpose or not. Any PCs that examine the area can make a dragon senses check to spot the concealed metal doors, but there's not much that can be done about them. They will close as soon as all the PCs enter location 2, and they're very strong and heavily reinforced, plus wizard locked and normal locked.

Location 2 is the Hall of Statues. Each statue is a 20 foot tall dwarf, made of stone or metal. They are neither enchanted nor threatening. About 500 gp from the hoards can be found leading into the three passages out, carefully scattered so that two dragons' goods are in front of each passage, to try and get them to split up. If they do, well, the book suggests running encounters from one group and then the next, cutting between them regularly.

Next time: Elementals.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 10: "Juicer pilots often have the IPS fly up first, and then they jump up and connect with the wings in mid-air, just to show off."

Power Armor

Not exactly intended for Juicers...


Should pauldrons be allowed to bear arms?

NG-JK1A and IB Juicer Killer Power Armor

Yes, it's time for Northern Gun to wage war on the Juicer lifestyle. This has a special computerized weapon system designed to track and lead its shots against super-fast targets. Apparently Northern Gun has found no other use for this technology than to fight Juicers. Well, and Crazies, but nobody much seems to care about them as much. Sure. However, there aren't many around, partly due to them being the power armor equivalent of a golden flyswatter, and partly due to them being kind of clunky otherwise.

There are two models, the 1A and 1B, where the B has more armor and costs more, but both are towards the light end of power armor protection. The computerized laser and particle tracking beams do middling damage, but at least Juicers are relatively soft targets much of the time, and the armor grants generous bonus attacks. It has grenade launchers and rail guns that do laughably small amounts of damage. The fancy bit is the "Response Computer System", which cancels out Juicer's automatic dodge when using the lasers or particle beams, and grants 8 computerized attacks on its own in addition to its own weapons. However, any damage to its sensor array can cause malfunctions in the targeting system. It's actually pretty effective as an antipersonnel system, though it's a glass cannon - any number of organized attacks can gently caress this thing up if they get initative on it.


Choad warrior.

The Defender (J.A.P.E. II)
by Kevin Kirsten


So, this is a design - the "Juicer Apprehension Powered Exoskeleton System" created by Northern Gun but never marketed. The plans were stolen by the Black Market (once again, a proper name for an organized crime group, not just a general term according to Rifts). It's mostly designed to be a light power armor with nonlethal takedown methods... all of which are less useful against Juicers, sadly.

It's a light power armor, which means it only provides modest protection. It has a Neural Disrupter Rifle which fires a "concentrated electrical pulse" that can electrocute people through light M.D.C. armor (which is becoming rarer and rarer with each book), and heavy M.D.C. armor at greatly reduced effectiveness. It has two settings, and both inflict heavy penalities on a failed save vs. poison, though the heavier setting is likely to kill ordinary people even inside armor (making it particularly effective at just killing people, if you're into that). It has grenade launchers on the shoulders usually used for tear gas, a variable frequency laser, and a bola-firing rail gun that automatically binds and requires a high strength to break free from (or an ability to damage the binding).

The variable frequency laser is always just a head-scratcher to see, because the intent of those weapons is to damage glitter boys more, but the variable frequency feature is always on dinky weapons that can't do serious damage even without it being halved. I don't know what the intent here is - a Defender will explode after 2 hits from a Glitter Boy, while it'll take 37 hits for the Defender to take a Glitter Boy down. Why is this still a thing?

Ground Vehicles
By Vince Martin, with additional material by C.J. Carella

So, apparently there's a booming industry in vehicles aimed at Juicers, since Juicers A) earn a high income and B) don't generally put their money into savings accounts. Getting custom jobs and all sorts of fancy addons is apparently common, so be prepared to describe your post-apocalypse chrome and underlighting. Because these vehicles are designed apparently to be super-sensitive and give a heavy penalty to normal people trying to drive them. Almost all of them give a bonus for Juicers and other similarly augmented figures (Crazies, mainly) to pilot them, so I won't mention that for each one.


Gun, or drive-by hairdryer?

Tarantula Combat Jump Bike

Designed by Ultra Tech Industries, who will be explained one day, I'm sure. This is a motorcyle with jump thrusters so you can do cool flips over a spider-skull walker with your hands off the handlebars whaaaat you're so crazy! Radical!

So it has a flex-fuel system to run off of any fossil fuel with a backup electrical system, which has all sorts of buzzwords not useful to the actual mechanics of it, like aan active suspension, anti-lock braking, traction control, active aerodynamics, and... um... solid rubber tires. Yes, folks. But it's mega-damage rubber. It drives at 200 MPH and can jump 9 feet for each 1 MPH it's going. It also has a pulse laser that does perfectly decent damage.


"It's not balanced enough to drive, you just sit like this and look cool."

Road Boss Combat Chopper (W.I.)

Where W.I. is Wellington Industries, again. This is for those who want that old extended-fork 'murican design. Apparently this has "spawned entire nomadic gangs of enhanced bikers." It's tougher than the Tarantula but slower, only going 185 MPH, and doesn't have any fancy jumping moves. Instead it has a "Catapult" Assault Cannon that does solid dmaage, mini-missiles, and that stupid loving variable laser, what the gently caress do you think 4d6 damage matters against a 770 hit point behemoth, Vince?!

Anyway, it's alright.


Cool cars don't need doors.

"Rolling Thunder" All-Purpose Vehicle

Another flex-fuel feature-laden vehicle made by Northern Gun, this one is a dune buggy that somehow has less M.D.C. than the Road Boss. I guess it's made out of mega-damage fiberglass or something. Well, with its low protection, you friends can at least die faster together. In any case, it can go up to 166 MPH, has a rail gun that does middling damage, particle beams for good damage, and a minedropper system that could be pretty neat if there were any rules for placing or avoiding mines.


Not going to look cool no matter how many flames you paint on it.

Assault Hover Bike (W.I.)

This is supposed to be Wellington Industries competitor to Northern Gun's Sky King (an impractical-looking sunfish-shaped flying bike from way back in the corebook). This doesn't seem to be a special Juicer vehicle, but it doesn't actually say either way. It can fly up to 300 MPH, has particle beams or lasers for decent damage, and mini-missiles. The lasers have a weird custom rule where they can be used to strafe areas for minimal damage. It's tough for a flying bike, at least, and there's nothing much else to mention. It's generic is what it is.


The leading cause of back problems amongst Juicers.

Icarus Flight System (UTI)

This is essentially a jet pack crossed with a flying wing made by Ultra Tech Industries, and it's supposed to be so maneuverable you have to be a Juicer or similar enhanced pilot to take the G-forces. It also comes with a remote control so you can detach from it and come falling onto the battlefield in pure Liefeldian "leaping off of nothing" fashion. It's a VTOL because nearly anything that takes off in Rifts, which sadly spares us the sight of Juicers having to run full tilt to achieve airspeed. It can fly up to MACH 1, and though it doesn't say armor is mandatory I'd presume it must be. It has passable lasers and mini-missiles, and that's about it. Unlike other Juicer vehicles, they list no special bonus for them to pilot it, and it underlines you need the "Flight Pack Combat" that's used for nothing else to pilot it - er, they goofed the name, it should be "Flight System Combat". Ooops.

Next: The darkness consumes.

LuiCypher
Apr 24, 2010

:dva:NERF THIS!:dva:


Aw, yiss, it's time for more DEATHWATCH


Step 6: Finalizing your swole-as-hell SPESS MEHREEN

Itís been some time, so letís recap on Character Creation thus far.

In Step 1, we rolled our attributes. These are the basic building blocks for your character and suggest what they might be good at/what they might be bad at. Deathwatch uses a pretty standard ability score generation mechanic, where you roll for each attribute using 2d10+30. As a reminder, you donít get to pick and choose where that roll goes unless your GM allows otherwise - itís like OD&D in that sense. After Step 1, our character looks like this:

pre:
WS: 47
BS: 38 
S: 46 
T: 38 
Ag: 44
Int: 40
Per: 39
WP: 42
Fel: 43
In Step 2, we chose our Chapter - the Storm Wardens. Basically, theyíre Space Scotsmen who run around with Claymores instead of Combat Knives. They can take a little more damage than brothers from other chapters, and are a little stronger to boot.

For Step 3, we got into some fun stuff - Specialties! This determines what role we fill on the Kill Team. Because we are awesome, we chose Lightning Space Wizard or as itís better known as, Librarian.

Step 4 gave us our derived attributes - things like how fast we move, how much punishment taking we can do, and how much Big Daddy E (or rather, the Emperor) favors us. Using all of these previous steps, we can fill in our character sheet a little better. Now, we look like this:

pre:
Name:
Chapter: Storm Wardens
Specialty: Librarian
Past: 
Demeanor: 


-Attributes- 
WS: 47
BS: 38 
S: 46 
T: 38 
Ag: 44
Int: 40
Per: 39
WP: 42
Fel: 43

-Derived Attributes-

Movement
Half Move: 4
Full Move: 8
Charge: 12
Run: 24

Wounds: 21

Fate Points: 4

Experience: 1,000
Finally, Step 5 gave us cool things like our starting gear. As a Librarian we get a Force Sword, Bolt Pistol, Power Armor, and a lot of other good stuff that comes with being a Space Marine. Right out of the gate, we can pretty much explode Imperial Guardsmen like blood sausages while their lasguns do nothing more than illuminate our glorious power armor like a flashlight.

But you may have noticed that part of the character sheet that I outlined above is incomplete. Strange and incomprehensible things like our name, our past, and something even weirder called a demeanor are mentioned. While name is pretty self-explanatory, our past and demeanor are strictly role-playing hooks for our character.

Fantasy Flight and GW sort of understood (Iím going to say that Fantasy Flight understood a little better) that roleplaying Space Marines can be dull. Others might point to Chapters are being a great role-playing angle, and they are, but what the hell are you supposed to do when you have multiple brothers from the same Chapter on a Kill-Team? A full team of Ultramarines trying to out-Codex Astartes each other is going to get old really fast, and the GM is probably going to kill them out of spite if he has an ounce of self respect ;)

Enter your past and your demeanors! With regards to your past, for every chapter there are five possibilities that Fantasy Flight offers up for you to choose. These are typically tied into something thatís really special to your Chapter or critical moment in recent history. Pasts have absolutely no mechanical impact on the game - they solely exist as roleplaying hooks for both you and your GM. To choose your past, you can either roll 1d5, choose a specific one, or just create one with the help of your GM - Iíd really only recommend the last option if youíre a true 40k turbonerd aficionado and youíve got your fluff down. The options offered in the rulebook are still solid though.

Because Iím going on my screw GW binge, Iím just going to select The Scouring of Vigil from the Storm Wardensí pasts. Essentially, the Storm Wardens had to cleanse the planet Vigil and they encountered one of the foulest of Xenos (the alien maggot-men known as the Slaugth). According to the rulebook, it was a pretty Bad Time with lots of close-quarters battle in the tunnels beneath the planetís surface.

The GM can use this past by introducing elements of the Slaugth to either get my blood boiling or to give me a little more insight than the rest of the group into a potential enemy we might fight. Additionally, he could use this with other Storm Wardens that are serving with the Deathwatch as a way to give me a little more positive regard with them - the memories of the Scouring of Vigil are fresh, but as a survivor I am seen in a better light. In the end though, I donít really get anything for this.

Demeanors are a word to describe how your character generally interacts with the world around them. Theyíre part of your personality, so to speak. Within Deathwatch, you get two demeanors to choose from - one is a generic demeanor, while the other is your Chapter demeanor. There are about 10 different generic demeanors to choose from, while you only ever get the one for your Chapter. Like pasts, demeanors have no practical mechanical impact, though the game recommends that GMs should throw players a bone if they describe their actions - particularly if they go against the obvious course of action - in line with their demeanor.

As a Librarian, Studious might be a little too on the nose, or even perhaps a bit boring. For the basic demeanor of our Librarian, Iím going to leave it up to fate - Iím going to roll 1d10 for it! Like pasts, you can roll at random or pick the one that best suits your fancy on the list. We are Calculating, which is described as:

quote:

The Space Marineís mind is highly analytical, constantly aware of the pros and cons of any decisions he faces.

This means that our Librarian might typically offer an objective analysis when asked for his opinion on certain situations, rather than a ďTO THE LAST, KILL THEM ALLĒ type of judgment.

His Chapter demeanor is called ďAspire to GloryĒ. The short of it is that heís much more keen on identifying the Ďboss monsterí and trying to kill it, for only in taking down mighty foes do Storm Wardens achieve glory! Some other aspects of this attitude are also described - Storm Wardens are slow to make friends due to being somewhat clannish (how very Scottish of them), but also live up to their word - they regard their word as their bond.

The combination of Specialty and Demeanors already looks a bit interesting - if I were playing this character, Iíd always argue for taking down the largest, most powerful enemy that the Kill-Team could find. But because Iím a Librarian, Iíd also argue that objectively, I would be the best Battle-Brother to take them down - weíll get into it later, but itís safe to tell you that Librarians are really, really good at invalidating the existence of really tough enemies.

Finally, of course, we have to have a name. Dougie MacIsaac is already taken, so weíll go with the next best thing. Which is, of course, Feargus MacLeod or Fergie fer short.

So weíll finish Step 6 on this note:

pre:
Name: Feargus MacLeod
Chapter: Storm Wardens
Specialty: Librarian
Past: Scouring of Vigil 
Demeanor: Calculating, Aspire to Glory


-Attributes- 
WS: 47
BS: 38 
S: 46 
T: 38 
Ag: 44
Int: 40
Per: 39
WP: 42
Fel: 43

-Derived Attributes-

Movement
Half Move: 4
Full Move: 8
Charge: 12
Run: 24

Wounds: 21

Fate Points: 4

Experience: 1,000
With that out of the way, weíve finally finished Chapter 1! But our character is incomplete still - weíve got experience to spend! Weíll actually cover this when we go over Skills, Traits, and Talents in subsequent chapters.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: One Very Angry Dwarf

Location 3 begins the elemental passages. It's the home of a water elemental that leaps between two ponds, attacking as it goes. It does not want to be here and does not like anything that's going on, and it's working out its frustration at having been summoned on any dragon it sees, as fast as it can. It will remain on the plane until it is defeated, Zoberraz dismisses it or the summoning device (hidden in Location 7) is destroyed. However, due to the narrow passages of this area, the dragon PCs will likely be forced to spread down the hall and face two elementals at a time. Further, once two dragons enter the chamber, the duergar hiding in the walls will slam the doors shut, cutting the chamber off from the rest of the party.

Location 4 is the fire elemental's room. It has two giant braziers and a fire elemental hanging out in one of them. Further, the room is so hot that any dragon not immune to fire or heat will take 1d4 damage per round. The elemental just wants to burn everything and will attack one dragon at a time. Like the other elementals, it will remain until defeated, dismissed by Zoberraz or the summoning device in Location 7 is destroyed. The fire elemental is eager to fight, as the sooner the dragons are destroyed, the sooner it can go home. This room also has a secret door leading to Location 7, which can be spotted on a dragon senses roll, but which is only large enough for human-sized creatures.

Location 5 is the earth elemental's room, and it's full of dirt. The earth elemental lives in the pit of soil that fills the room, and its eyes are precious gems from one of the stolen hoards, chosen at random. It will focus on the owner of said gems, if possible. It will work with the other elementals to fight the PCs if possible, particularly the air elemental in Location 6. Same rules apply - defeat, get Zoberraz to dismiss it (ain't happening, by the way) or destroy the summoning device. The ceiling is only 100 feet high here, so flight is essentially impossible, except via magic.

Location 6 is the air elemental chamber, and it actually has a 700 foot ceiling, so you could fly if you wanted. The air elemental prefers to attack after the PCs fly, or if they reach the center of the room, or if it has a chance to help the earth elemental. Same rules as all the others.

Location 7 has two secret entrances on its east and west walls. The area's designed for humanoids, only 10 feet tall and 75 feet wide. Zoberraz keeps the elemental summoning devices here. She and 12 of her drow will remian in the location until the PCs get past Location 7, at which point Zoberraz will leave to meet up with Hammerim in Location 16. However, if the PCs somehow enter the chamber before the elementals are defeated, Zoberraz will lead the drow against them...until it seems the dragons are too strong for them. At that point, she'll order them to retreat and will flee to Location 16 via teleportation or dimension door magic.

The path through Location 8 contains a group of 18 duergar, armed with nine ballistae. Six are mounted on a high platform on one side, while the other three are on a platform in the opposite side. Two duergar man each one. They need to be reloaded after every shot, and each shot has a range of 960 feet and causes 3d6 damage to large creatures. It takes them four rounds to reload each ballista, and they're not very accurate. However, they fire three ballistae each round once the PCs enter, to try and game the reloads. They are unlikely to succeed at more than a single shot each, however, and as soon as the PCs attack them, they will flee through secret passages designed for demihumans. If the dragons rush them, however, and head for the south doors, there are a pair of metal doors that will slam to cut off their exit, allowing all the ballistae at least one shot. Once the duergar flee, however, the doors will open to Location 10.

Location 9 appears to be a safe dead end, but is actually a pit trap that will activate as soon as one dragon of 15 HD or more (or two smaller dragons) enter it. Once that happens, the floor opens up and drops the occupants 100 feet down onto a spike pit. A Dex roll at -4 will let you prevent the fall through flight, but otherwise the dragons take 6d6 damage, between gravity, their weight and the spikes. Any dragon that survives can make two Str checks to climb out, but if either fails, they fall back in and take 3d6 (if the first fails) or 6d6 (if the second does).

Location 10 is a chamber with four stone statues in it, each shaped like a 20-foot dwarf. Attempting to enter by any direction but the north will reveal that the doors leading to Lcoation 8 are closed and wizard locked. If they arrive from the north, the doors will shut behind them. A dragon sense check will reveal an invisible drow warrior sneaking to Location 9, trying to reach Location 7 under cloak of a potion of invisibility from Location 15. He didn't expect the dragons to get here in time, see. If captured, he will reveal some of the maze's backstory...but first, they have to deal with the golems. Three of the four stations are stone golems commanded to kill dragons. The fourth is not magical in any way. The golems are larger than normal to better fight the PCs, and also are enchanted with haste. They will not stop fighting until the dragons are dead, they're dead or Zoberraz tells them to. Once they're down, the PCs can capture the drow, who will tell them only that the maze was made for the sole purpose of their destruction, in revenge for Dwarftown. It will take powerful psionics to make him reveal Zoberraz or Hammerim's names.

Location 11 is a garbage pit, 30 feet deep in some areas and 15 feet deep in others. A dragon sense check will reveal a pair of giant slugs hiding in the garbage. They will spit acid at the dragons for three rounds before closing for melee, and if forced into melee they will instead bite. They do pretty good damage and have good HP, but they're not very hard to hit.

Location 12 is the bulette chamber and the third major split from the start. It's full of packed earth and four bulettes, which Zoberraz has enchanted to stay in the room. They'll attack anything that enters, so the drow and duergar avoid this area religiously. Once the dragons enter, two of the bulettes will start doing the jaws fin thing in front of them while the other two come in from below to ambush. The floor is actually a 50 foot pit full of dit, and the bulettes will swim below the surface to try and ambush after every attack. If a bulette ghets reduced to 10 hp, the enchantment on it will break. However, it will keep fighting as long as the PCs are present. There is, however, a 40% chance that it will attack one of the other bulettes if it comes within 10 feet of them.

Next time: More golems. So many golems.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:


Cool cars don't need doors.

"Rolling Thunder" All-Purpose Vehicle

Another flex-fuel feature-laden vehicle made by Northern Gun, this one is a dune buggy that somehow has less M.D.C. than the Road Boss. I guess it's made out of mega-damage fiberglass or something. Well, with its low protection, you friends can at least die faster together. In any case, it can go up to 166 MPH, has a rail gun that does middling damage, particle beams for good damage, and a minedropper system that could be pretty neat if there were any rules for placing or avoiding mines.

Do MDC objects deal MDC damage if you use them as thrown weapons? Aka can you instagib people by throwing a tire at them?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Doresh posted:

Do MDC objects deal MDC damage if you use them as thrown weapons? Aka can you instagib people by throwing a tire at them?

Not necessarily, you'd have to have mega-damage strength to do so.

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009



Aethera Campaign Setting

Part Eight - Aethera, Ashra, Akasaat I



This is a two-page spread in the full book. I enjoy the Art Deco stylings, gives you kind of a reference timeframe based on our world.

Now we get into a breakdown of the planets. Each celestial body has a little sidebar of various physical and demographic statistics.

Aethera is a white dwarf linked to the element of aether. It shrank to its current size during the Collapse, but not in the typical mass ejection that would have sterilized the rest of the system. Instead, the energy of its collapse was funneled into the changes of the other planets. Ashra was a gas giant that shifted to the element of fire, igniting the atmosphere and turning it into a familiar yellow sun. The two stars have some interesting gravitation. Each orbits the other, or technically they orbit a shared point, the barycenter, in 24 hours. You can orbit each one or orbit the both at greater distance, but there are also Lagrange points: areas of lessened or counterbalanced gravitational pull, where an object can remain in the same position relative to its host body. Or at least they'd be called Lagrange points if anyone named Lagrange had discovered them, the technical term is libration points. The book calls them gravitic sinks. These regions tend to collect debris, making them good spots for treasure hunting.

Ashra has all the weather we'd expect from our own sun, but the causation is different. Solar flares are from battles between elementals, sunspots are artificial structures that surface and submerge periodically. No one's sure what those structures actually are. Ashra still has its Gate Hub, floating in a protective bubble in the upper reaches of the corona. Thus, it attracts a significant amount of researchers, traders, and explorers, as well as pirates preying on the aforementioned. The radiation of Aethera has odd effects on aetherite: Raw aetherite levitates and hums, and aetheric plasma induces temporally-cognitive hallucinations and telepathic whispers of a host of voices.

Notable locations in the neighborhood:
-The Ebon Knight is a non-natural satellite around Aethera that was assumed to be an enemy installation by both sides in the Century War. It changes orbits occasionally, and annihilates any ship straying too close to it.
-First Light of Flame was an attempt by the Hierarchy to establish an orbital supply depot around Ashra. A year after its construction, a coronal mass ejection struck it and flung it out of orbit. Originally assumed incinerated completely, fragments of hull have been found in one of the gravitic sinks, suggesting that the station and, more importantly, its large aetherite stores may still be out there somewhere.
-The Silent Cathedral is a taur maze-ship whose crew were slaughtered by the bound demons they once commanded. It drifts in orbit around Aethera, silent and unpowered, but still fully functional.
-Ashra's original moon Torchbearer still orbits as a molten orb of metal and stone, populated by fire-elemental outsiders.
-The Sentinels are a collection of vaguely humanoid statues, each several miles long, drifting in one of the gravitic sinks. Exploration and research teams landing on the statues have all disappeared without a trace. Remote inspection via an Arcane Eye spell resulted in the caster going mad and catatonic, and a clockwork servant sent to record surveillance disappeared as well, only to be discovered fused into a wall in a Progenitor ruin in the Amrita Belt. The Hierarchy confiscated the servant's recording crystal and is keeping its contents under wraps.
-The Snowglobe is a politically-independent trading and resupply station created by a coalition of scavengers and miners from the Amrita Belt who found a comet that was due to crash into Ashra and towed it into a gravitic sink. It's all-inclusive, selling the comet's organics and both ammonia and water ice to anyone who can afford it.
-Vitae Station was a Hierarchy solar power research station. And I don't mean solar power as in green sustainable solar power, I mean "Let's see if the sun puts out the same kind of energy as aetherite." An unknown disaster struck the station, knocking it out of orbit and infesting it with allips and a caller in darkness.


This is not a very useful map.

Akasaat is the arid home of humanity, linked to the Plane of Earth. It used to be an ocean world, and the evidence of that is everywhere. Nearly all indigenous life perished in the Collapse, and honestly I'm not too clear on what kind of aquatic or amphibious fauna could have survived a sudden desertification. It's not completely a desert world, featuring three large deserts, but the rest of the globe is made of dried lakebeds, salt flats, mountains, plateaus, and ravines. And, of course, the scattered ruins of Progenitor structures which now serve as landmarks, settlement foundations, or the lairs of ferocious predators. Any loose water is usually heavily saline, and fresh drinking water needs to be pulled from deep aquifers. Enormous caverns honeycomb the planet, mostly unexplored, and full of fantastic geological features like lakes of lava, mercury, or sulphur.

We get a bit more detail into human history here, or at least the official Hierarchy stance, but it is pretty much just detail, there's nothing in this section that's not covered in my earlier post on history. Human society is split between the authoritarian, arcology-dwelling Hierarchy, and the scattered nomadic tribes colloquially known as wastelanders. The term also encompasses the other sentient indigenous populations of tengu, ratfolk, lizardfolk, etc. But to an off-worlder, if you mention humanity, they think of the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy sees itself as the overseer of all humanity, which tends to grate on those wasteland tribes who prefer being an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

The Hierarchy itself is structured in a combination of military and religious structure, with the Lord Marshal holding the highest temporal power as commander-in-chief, but the Lord Marshal is appointed by the prophets of the Symphonium, based on their interpretation of the Score. The Symphonium technically holds the power to make the Lord Marshal retire, but to date they've all served until death. The prophets of the Symphonium are similarly picked due to prophecy, but they're taken from all walks of life. Below these positions sit the five (technically four) Grand Marshals who represent the ruling elite of each of the other arcologies. The fifth is the honorary, but largely powerless, Grand Marshal of Vale, which was destroyed by erahthi saboteurs during the war. The descendants of Vale occasionally call for him to try and get the Hierarchy to rebuild Vale. I feel like that's another Eberron parallel, what with Cyre and all.

Below the Grand Marshals is the Council of Nobles, who theoretically represent their city's inhabitants and bring concerns from the lower tiers to the attention of those able to do things about them. However, the positions are for life, appointed by the Grand Marshals, and very cushy, so decadence, nepotism, and corruption rule the day. There's also way too many of them. The number of councilors is usually based on the population of the arcologies, but during the Century War the population dropped sharply with no corresponding change in number of council members. Below the Council now lies the Slotted hierarchy. Before the war, the lower echelons fluctuated, with citizens gaining prestigious jobs and power based on accomplishments and merit. However, with the war dealing significant damage to the lower and middle classes, key civil and social positions were in danger of going unfilled. To combat this, the Hierarchy abandoned the free market and instituted a system of appointed employment, where all necessities would be supplied by the government with the agreement that the Slotted citizen was not eligible to move from that station without appointment from a councilor. Those who refuse to be Slotted are afforded no rights of citizenship and have no protection under the law. Presto, a permanent working class, and a system rife with bias and corruption that ensures non-humans (including infused and phalanx war veterans) can never reach a position to affect real societal change.

There's a sidebar on the system of timekeeping on Akassat. It has a 24-hour day, and an orbital period of 365 days, divided into 6 60-day months. Each month is named after one of the first six followers of Luthias. At the end of the year is a five-day "holiday" known as the Reflection where citizens are encouraged to reflect on the past and plan for the future. This Luthian calendar is not used very often outside of Hierarchy holdings, and the wasteland tribes generally measure the year based on pre-Collapse seasons that don't have much impact on the actual weather anymore. Non-human civilizations have their own means of measuring time. I'm always slightly annoyed when a setting defaults to those numbers because it feels lazy, but splitting it into six months with the five-day holiday at the end is a nice nod to the fantastical.

And now we're into the Century War's impact on humanity. Before the planetary defenses were in place, erahthi raids through the Gate Hub killed thousands of wastelanders and tens of thousands of arcology-dwellers. As the human war machine grew and security around the Gate Hub increased, these raids and suicide attacks slacked off. But the sheer length of the war lead to its own problems. Scarcity lead to food riots, lead to crackdowns on public congregations, lead to increased military scrutiny, lead to the word "lead" no longer looking like a word. Citizens were so relieved by the end of the war they hardly even noticed the Slot system going into place. At the end of the war, all Akasaati citizens underwent performance and skill evaluations cross-referenced with their military records. Those with useful tradeskills or talents were placed into positions vacated by war casualties, while less-useful ones were placed into lower-ranking positions. Many retired or injured veterans were stuck in low-paying maintenance and civil engineering positions like waste management.

Many Akasaati who were placed into lower positions, especially wasteland natives who were moved into the Slot system, saw their personal possessions deemed "unnecessary" for their positions and either liquidated by the government or given to higher-ranked citizens. This and other incidents of disenfranchisement lead to protests by Unslotted. Slotted participants within these protests were dubbed provocateurs attempting to destabilize society, and could be moved to lower positions, stripped of citizenship, or imprisoned and shipped to the Amrita Belt for their "crimes". Dissident groups took to pirate radio to air their grievances, taking to mobile broadcasters in aetherships after government raids and signal jamming forced them out of entrenched positions. Known as Riders now (after the term Wave Riders which was coined during the war to refer to migratory anarchic broadcasters), many hide among the populace with forged Slot documentation, broadcasting at night, holding temporary jobs by day.

Today, Akasaat is split between extremes. The wastelanders live as they have for millennia, trying their best to ignore the Hierarchy and offworld problems. Phalanx take human cultural concepts and meld them into their own society, erahthi share their communal agricultural views, okanta fuse their spirituality with human ingenuity... All of humanity was united in fear and hatred of the erahthi, but that's come to an end rapidly. Now the first generation to not have to worry about being drafted and hurled into the inky blackness of space, to not need air-raid drills, the first generation to not need to be raised to be soldiers is coming of age. But they've grown up with the Slot system, with the hand of the Hierarchy firmly clamped on their shoulder and the Riders whispering songs of dissent in their ears at night. Humanity is balanced on a razor's edge, and not even the Score knows which way it will fall.

Speaking of the Score, now we're into religion! The non-humans on Akasaat mostly practice their own religions and spiritual traditions, some of which have been taken up by scattered humans, but Scorism is the big, holey cheese here. The Score was known before Luthias in different names and interpretations, but the Luthian interpretation is the most common now. The Score is interpreted as a divine work that blends music and mathematics into the fabric of reality itself. Prophets of the Score believe that they can forewarn of events and change them by perceiving, interpreting, and transcribing the Score correctly. Cantors and other magical performers use known fragments of the Score to produce many of their effects.

The prophet Luthias was the first (definitely the first human, perhaps the first ever) to determine the prophetic qualities of the Score. Scorist tablature states that Luthias was a warrior who was struck blind by aetherite poisoning, his blindness allowing him to more clearly hear the Score. Other records proclaim he was born blind and was a a philosopher/naturalist, not a warrior. The Symphonium claims the blind warrior account as canon, however. Luthias developed a method to examine the mathematics behind the music and reveal possible branching outcomes. The Score is not a vision of predestination, but illustrates what could be if certain events take place. Many prophets and cantors spend their entire lives contemplating the Score, seeking meaning in the predictions of the smallest and most meaningless events. Interpretation is difficult due to the complexity of the musical and mathematical notation, and the amount of room available for personal biases and projection.

Luthias is said to have proclaimed five prophecies outlined in the Score, each of which outlined his leadership of humanity. The First Prophecy claimed that when the oasis of Shangaraan dried up, it would lead to unprecedented war among humanity. Three years later, the sole above-ground source of water in the Shangaraan Desert dried up, leading to the tribes that shared the space beginning the Tableland Wars. The Second Prophecy predicted that six tribes of humanity found on the Crescent Tablelands would, if united, become the most powerful tribe to ever exist. Luthias fulfilled this by uniting the six tribes under his banner to fight the raiding tribes of the Shangaraan desert. The Third Prophecy said that if the six tribes traveled to the Kashranaan Mountains in the remote Samarasati Tablelands and built a city in the ruins they found, it would last for all time and weather any attack. They accomplished this by founding the city that would become Central, the seat of the Hierarchy. It remains to be seen if the actual result will be borne out.

The fourth prophecy of Luthias claimed that when the elements of air, earth, fire, and water were combined, a power unparalleled in all the universe would be bestowed upon humanity, and through this power they would bring about a golden age. This is interpreted to refer to the discovery of aetherite, which exists in a crystalline form, supercharged plasma, aetheric energy, and an inert liquid state. The Fifth Prophecy claimed the greatest enemy of humanity would come from beyond Akasaat, and that this enemy would be "rebel children of the Progenitors of a world beyond" who would seek to destroy humanity, and in their defeat would a new age begin. Most prophets used this to justify the Century War, and the Symphonium classifies this prophecy as canonically fulfilled, but non-Hierarchy students of the Score dispute this, because the erahthi were never truly defeated, and there's still a few troublesome lines in the prophecy about this enemy being "set in the homes of their foes' fallen" and "cast of the contrast between song and silence." Now who could possibly fill all those criteria? Hint: It's the taur. No one in-universe really knows that yet, though.

The number six features heavily in the prophecies of Luthias, and scholars of such have often proposed the existence of a Sixth Prophecy, but no historical evidence exists and the Symphonium denies any such prophecy exists. Another minor parallel with Eberron, which has the numerical theme of thirteen minus one.

Akasaat's economic history parallels our own significantly. For most of humanity's history, goods and services were paid for in gold coins. When the Hierarchy came to power, it began issuing gold-backed banknotes, which lasted until the discovery of aetherite. Aethertech mining equipment meant more gold was being unearthed easier, the price of gold dropped, and the Hierarchy was forced to decouple their banknotes from the gold standard. This caused the familiar hyperinflation until the top five mining and energy families formed a cartel called the United Consortium and fixed the price of aetherite. The Hierarchy, normally opposed to such cartels, embraced this one and worked with them to devise a new currency system based on units of aetheric charge. The government began collecting taxes and paying salaries only in aetheric units (au), stabilizing prices in a few years and getting the whole of humanity onboard in a generation. This amuses me, because I picture a party of adventurers fighting their way through a monster-infested ruin and getting pissed because the treasure is a chest full of gold. Which was actually a plot in a Star Wars EU story. Aetheric units are basically just reskinned gold pieces, anyway, any item in another book with prices in GP can be bought with au 1-for-1.

After the war ended, Akasaat faced another economic crisis, this time in the form of an influx of phalanx laborers. If the society held true to their meritocratic ideals, eventually they'd have to promote some robots into positions over actual humans. Shock. Horror. The Slot System thus helps to keep them in their place. Involving a licensed psychic, aura reader, or diviner, the registration process ostensibly tests for aptitude and skills, but it also screens out potential rabble-rousers, tracks the magically-adept, and of course, keeps the non-humans down.

All Slots include housing, transportation, meals, and a virtual stipend of au in the form of requisitioned goods and services, no Slotted individual has personal finances. Requisitioned things arrive within 1d6 days, faster the higher-Slotted one is. You can't requisition illegal or restricted items, of course. A Slotted person must work at their appointed job for at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Repeatedly missing work or trying to aquisition illegal goods can result in loss of Slot status and all possessions provided by the government. There is an appeals process, but it's long and usually fruitless. There are five Slot levels, determined exclusively by the job you hold. It's impossible to change Slot levels without changing jobs, and an administrator needs to okay any job change.

Slots are essentially like paying for a lifestyle, but provided free of charge to those within the Slot system. Unslotted may buy similar accomodations at a premium, representing heavy taxes and regulatory abuse.
Slot I is for farmers and laborers, the basic unskilled. They get a substandad apartment on the lowest level of an arcology, poor-quality but nutritious meals, and unlimited access to public transportation. Unslotted may buy this for 200 au/month.
Slot II covers soldiers and metalworkers, skilled physical workers. They are allotted a good-quality apartment on the edge of an arcology's second tier, unlimited public transportation, and fair-quality meals. They can procure any nonmagical item worth 1 au or less within minutes with home delivery. This costs 500 au/month for Unslotted.
Slot III gets into the more mental disciplines for technicians, general-purpose mechanics, and teachers. It bestows a high-quality apartment on the second tier of an arcology, a personal aethership shuttle, and good-quality meals. They can get items worth 10 au or less home-delivered in 1d10 minutes. This tier costs Unslotted 1,000 au per month.
Slot IV is for engineers and healers, specialized and important trades. Provides a full-sized home, personal shuttle, and high-quality meals. They can get anything worth 25 au or less with Aethera Prime. 2,000 au a month for the plebeians.
Slot V: Administrators and researchers. Large home, personal shuttle, exquisite meals, anything of 50 au or less to your door in 1d10 minutes. 5,000 radioactive shekels every month if you want to taste the good life.

Unslotted do have their own levels of lifestyle, and this can also represent the lifestyle of a non-citizen visitor.
Destitute characters are homeless and may need to make Survival or Sleight of Hand checks to eat. The upside is it's free.
Subsistence level costs 10 au a month and is usually how people in the wastelands live.
Poverty (100 au/mo) is most common among Unslotted in the arcologies, living in a slum on the bottom of the arcology with minimal food and utilities. They only need to track meals or taxes if they cost more than 1 au.
Freelancers are those Unslotted skilled, connected, or lucky enough to achieve the same standard of living as a Slot II or III citizen. They pay 1,000 au/month, including high taxes. They may have a decent apartment in a low-class area and a pre-owned aethership. They can get any nonmagical item worth 5 au or less within 1d10 minutes and only need to track meals and fees in excess of 10 au.
The Hierarch tier represents those on the Hierarchy's Council of Nobles or people who can otherwise spring for the 10,000 aetheric units a month to sustain it. They're no longer worried about basic expenditures, capable of getting their hands on anything under 100 au within minutes and similarly ignoring the cost of meals or taxes under 100 au. They almost certainly have homes on the third tier of an arcology, may own rental properties, and have magnificent aetherships that may even be space-capable.

This is getting quite long, I didn't know quite how big the sections on each planet were. Next time we'll cover Akasaati organizations, adventuring on the planet (including environmental hazards), and notable locations, including the massive capital arcology of Central.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Not necessarily, you'd have to have mega-damage strength to do so.

Or if it had an alternate means of dealing mega-damage than raw strength. For instance, a vibro-tire could do it. This sounds absolutely ridiculous and stupid, but I can't rule out it exists in a RIFTS book somewhere.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



The tire is actuall minimissiles chained together and then launched.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


gourdcaptain posted:

Or if it had an alternate means of dealing mega-damage than raw strength. For instance, a vibro-tire could do it. This sounds absolutely ridiculous and stupid, but I can't rule out it exists in a RIFTS book somewhere.

Well, yeah, a few classes let you do mega-damage with normal weapons, like the Sea Inquisitor or the Pogtal Dragon Slayer, so they could murder a dragon with a tire (very, very slowly).

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Does suffocation count as megadamage?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Council of Wyrms: Imagine hating someone so much you dedicate a third of your life to building a death trap.

Location 13 is the clay golem chamber. It has two giant clay dwarf statues, which in fact are two oversized clay golems. They are a really tough fight - dragon claws and teeth can't hurt them, just tail sweeps or other blunt weapons, or magical powers. The golems will fight until defeated, destroyed or Zoberraz instructs them to stop. It is possible that the dragons will flee to Location 14; this is a very bad idea, as it is trapped. Meanwhile, two duergar were about to leave when the dragons enter, on their way to the passages in the wall that lead to Location 8, which do not appear on the map. The duergar will attempt to hide behind non-golem statues, but can be spotted with dragon sense checks. If they are, they will both be utterly terrified and cannot give coherent answers, but a Cha check at -6 will get them to explain that Hammerim built the place, Kolar is their leader and they very much do not want to go near the south passage at all for any reason. Also of note - damage from the clay golems requires a 17th-level caster's heal spell or better. The PCs can get that at All Clans Island if and when they get out.

Location 14 is a trap, as noted. It's got two statues in it and otherwise appears empty. The moment anything living enters the chamber, however, lightning flashes around the room in a sudden, blinding display. This deals 6d6 electrical damage to anyone in the room, and if they fail the save for half damage, they are also stunned and will be attacked again the next round. This will repeat until they make the save. Obviously, dragons immune to lightning can handle this trap easily, and the lightning stops when everything living either dies or leaves the room.

Location 15 is an even worse room. It appears to be just a room full of mold, plants and fungi. Once everyone enters it, however, another set of metal doors slam shut an an olive slime creature that, at one point, was a juvenile black dragon will attack the party from the east. In the west half of the room, there is an olive slime waiting on the ceiling to drop onto the first dragon that gets near it. That dragon has to make a save vs poison to even notice the slime landing on it, and any other dragon must make a dragon sense roll to spot it on the PC it landed on. If no one notices it, the host will become protective of it within 2d4 hours. In 1d6+6 days, the host will be transformed into an olive slime creature, no save. Meanwhile, the olive slime creature has only one goal: infect the rest. It has a 10% chance on hit of infecting its target. Once it does, it will move on to the next. Those infected are treated the same way as the dragon the slime drops on. Location 15 is basically an awful hell pit.

Eventually, the PCs will make it Location 16. If the group has been seperated or has ignored most of the maze, however, the room is sealed behind metal doors that resist even magical unlocking. Hammerim wants the PCs worn down before the final fight, and the duergar keep him informed of how things are going. However, he also wants all the survivors assembled so that he can give his evil speech, against the advice of Zoberraz. Only when everything is ready will the doors be opened. All of the treasure is in Location 16, except for the stuff previously noted. When the PCs finally enter, the doors seal shut behind them. There are six iron statues of 20 foot tall dwarves, four of which, of course, are iron golems.

Hammerim will set the golems against the dragons. Of note: magic electrical damage slows the golems, while magic fire damage heals them. All other magic bounces off. Every 7 rounds, the golems will also release 10x10x10 poison clouds. Cubic clouds, because...iron golems. Hammerim spends his time hiding behind the southern treasure mound. After 1d4 rounds of combat, however, his anger takes over and he rushes out to fight, shouting constantly about the crimes he believes the PCs have perpetrated against him. He will fight to the death. Zoberraz is hiding behind hte western mound, invisible, and is using a projected image to monitor the battle, possibly protected by a wall of force to hide that it's not real. If she is attacked, she will fight until she can escape. Once Hammerim attacks, she'll cast spells to help him, but is always ready to flee if needed. If Hammerim dies, she is going to run like hell.

Once Hammerim and the golems are down, the PCs can find the controls for the doors, built into the south wall. Of course, they're not meant for dragon claws, but the PCs will surely find some way to operate the delicate levers. Zobarraz and her crew will flee, and with them, the magic on the maze will fade. The golems will become inert and harmless, while the trapped monsters will flee for the exits. The PCs can take their time to gather up their treasure, release all the locks on the doors and make their way out. Zoberraz and Kolar can easily return to be enemies of the dragons again - especially since Zoberraz's ultimate plan is to conquer the islands, somehow. The GM is left to decide how that's going to go. The book again notes that anyone infected by the olive slime is going to be permanently transformed into an olive slime creature in 1d6+6 days unless someone notices it and removes the infection.

The End.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




So there's a very real chance of total party infestation leading to a TPK.
I'd throttle the DM.:commissar:

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



Alien Rope Burn posted:


Cool cars don't need doors.

"Rolling Thunder" All-Purpose Vehicle

this is the car from blaster master, including its original english-language name, IIRC

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


ARB latest RIFTS review is as good as ever, but still a bit disappointing. He promised it would be the most 90s book RIFTS has, yet we're ten parts in and I haven't seen a single backwards baseball cap!

Joking aside, it's odd how 90s RIFTS is, considering how it started in 1990 and the nineties didn't start until 1993, or maybe the release of Sonic the Hedgehog at the very earliest.

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



siembada got a good hold of the zeitgeist early and never, ever let go

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