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Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

Cassa posted:

That's terrifying.
The osteotome! Invented in 1830 by German doctor Bernhard Heine for the purposes of cutting bone for surgery. While there are many claims to the predecessor of the chainsaw, the osteotome is the generally accepted version because it has good documentation about its creation. The osteotome is roughly the size of an electric carving knife and was originally hand-cranked to run the chain with the chisel tips along the exposed bone. Much smaller, much less dangerous and much easier to control, so much so that the osteotome has been upgraded and is still used in medicine. The principles of the chain-loop rotational method would later be patented by a California man in 1905, the first commercial chainsaw would later be made in 1918 in Canada, and the popularity of chainsaws would kick off proper in the 1930s when German companies started mass producing affordable models. So yes, it's a bit scary that they were made bigger and stronger and more powerful to cut down trees, but your friend the osteotome is smaller and works perfectly fine for the surgeries it was designed to perform.

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thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

A contract signed by a minor is not binding!
when all you have as a surgical tool is amputations, you look for faster ways to cut.

this dude would have loved a chainsaw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Liston

quote:

He was six foot two, and operated in a bottle-green coat with wellington boots. He sprung across the blood-stained boards upon his swooning, sweating, strapped-down patient like a duelist, calling, 'Time me gentlemen, time me!' to students craning with pocket watches from the iron-railinged galleries. Everyone swore that the first flash of his knife was followed so swiftly by the rasp of saw on bone that sight and sound seemed simultaneous. To free both hands, he would clasp the bloody knife between his teeth

Liston's most famous case posted:

Amputated the leg in under 2 1⁄2 minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene; they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright.

That was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality.
 Richard Gordon

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Robert Liston, on anaesthesia posted:

"This Yankee dodge beats mesmerism hollow!
Other famous cases included the 4 minute removal of a 45 pound (yes, pound, it was carried around in a wheelbarrow) tumor. Inspiring.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!

Cassa posted:

That's terrifying.

Hahaha, you sweet summer child. The REAL horror comes from what they used it for. Warning, contains pretty lovely historical treatment of women. Unfortunately continuing up until more contemporary times.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I mean, if your choice is chainsaw to the pelvis or near certain death by c-section... Definitely a bad day if those are your choices.

Edit: oh I just expanded the bit about Ireland holy moly.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

marshmallow creep posted:

I mean, if your choice is chainsaw to the pelvis or near certain death by c-section... Definitely a bad day if those are your choices.

Edit: oh I just expanded the bit about Ireland holy moly.

Yeah, they were doing this way into the far-off ancient times of 1984.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011

yospos

thatbastardken posted:

when all you have as a surgical tool is amputations, you look for faster ways to cut.

this dude would have loved a chainsaw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Liston

To be fair, speed was life in surgery back then. Dr. Robert Liston only lost about 10% of his patients, compared to the average of 25% mortality from surgery. We're just lucky enough to live when surgeons don't have to be speedrunners who carry a third bloody scalpel in their mouth. But the man could amputate a limb in under 30 seconds sometimes.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Hostile V posted:

Volcanic Gun: Unfortunately, this is not a flamethrower or a lava-shooting gun. The Volcanic Gun (pistol or rifle) is made by the American Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. They're notable for being two things: the first gun in Victoriana to shoot with metal-jacketed bullets (which they call "rocketball bullets") and for being lever-action guns fed from a tube magazine. Also due to "limitations of the rocketball the damage of a Volcanic gun is less than comparable pistols and rifles". God only knows how true that is to real life, but look at what our weapons are loaded with these days.

Historical Volcanic guns were fairly low-powered, due to the limited room for propellant in the rocketball (basically a minie ball but with the hollow filled with gunpowder).

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


golden bubble posted:

To be fair, speed was life in surgery back then. Dr. Robert Liston only lost about 10% of his patients, compared to the average of 25% mortality from surgery. We're just lucky enough to live when surgeons don't have to be speedrunners who carry a third bloody scalpel in their mouth. But the man could amputate a limb in under 30 seconds sometimes.

It's easy to lose patients when you think it's the bad air and not the dried pus and blood on your scalpel that causes infections.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star - Part Eight: "200 Ibs. (90 kg) of muscle, metal and hate."


Helmet hair.

General Loni Kashbrook
Head of Lone Star (the State) Operations & Administration


Bizarrely getting second billing, Kashbrook is head of the actual Coalition State of Lone Star... not to be confused with the Lone Star Complex. Instead, the Lone Star Complex is part of the Lone Star state. Clear? Well, whether or not, we're going on.

Kashbrook is a military adminstrator who's been working for the last decade to ensure the defense of Lone Star and to maintain an illusion of force in the state. Her primary goal is just to make sure it looks like a model Coalition state from the outside, without letting outside forces aware that it's actually more of a token territory. Oh, and she uses kill hounds and others to "rid the world of vermin", where vermin includes d-bees, bandits, native Americans (yeah, really), and pretty much anybody not with the Coalition. And she's somehow "Aberrant" and "defender of
the weak, innocent and downtrodden" and "not a bloodthirsty zealot". No, Siembieda, I'm pretty sure slaughtering people for being on the wrong patch of land or having the wrong batch of genes is unambiguous fascist psychopathy. She's generically no-nonsense and brilliant and in the Prosek's pocket, and even Bradford begrudgingly acknowledges her competence. The people being casually slaughtered by her probably don't, though.

Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star posted:

The General likes Doctor Bradford, but is acutely aware that he teeters on the edge of insanity. Accepting the faith Emperor Prosek has in Bradford, and the fact that there is often a thin line between genius and madness, she tries to stay out of the affairs of the Lone Star Complex. Instead, she focuses on the defense and security of the Complex and other military matters in the State.

Yeah, I don't think he's on the edge anymore. I'm pretty sure Bradford leaped off into crazy gulch decades ago.

We get stats for her - she's a 12th level Military Specialist with nearly all of her attributes at exceptional levels in a classic Palladium "you could never roll this" sense, with only her Physical Prowess and Endurance only being merely above average. She has some basic cybernetic implants (headjack, compass, etc.) and is wealthy and well-armed but nothing worth digging into.

Like with Bradford, she has "adventure notes", which I'll come out and say is actually a good idea. Most of the time Palladium has powerful characters like Prosek or Thoth or Splynncryth where there's not much reason for PCs to bump up against them, and so adding in reasons to justify their existence helps a lot. There's a metaplot bit where she's poised to wipe out the Kingdom of Worth (more on them later) that will be forgotten and never followed up on.

But.

The first bit is how PCs might ally with her against a greater foe in a number of circumstances, in case you're up for having PCs ally with a fascist monster. After a decent amount of text on that it begrudgingly admits she's more likely to be used as a foe where the PCs might be trying to fight off Coalition expansion or keep them from discovering some dangerous secret Indiana Jones-style. Siembieda really, really wants her to be in some sort of grey area but when you're gunning down civilians, you're pretty well on the dark side.

Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star posted:

Most heroic characters who believe all intelligent life forms have a right to life and the pursuit of happiness will find themselves at odds with the CS and the Coalition's primary henchman in the State, General Kashbrook.

Y'think? :shobon:

CS Military Divisions & Departments

Randomly in the middle of the NPC section here, we get a full listing of the various branches of the Coalition military. You may say "surely, this is repeated from Coalition War Machine, right?" And the answer is no, they didn't think to include it there. But there it is, so you can tell your RPA-AAC from your RPA-MC, your SDF from your RDF, and your KH-Bat from your K-9 Bat. And it's all conveniently located in the middle of the NPC section in an unrelated book!

Rifts!


Can you tell which parts are photoreferenced?

Brigadier General Ivan Kalpov

The "bad cop" to Kashbrook's "good cop", as it were. And considering Kashbrook will exterminate villages of rogue dog boys without batting an eye, that's saying something. He's an old, cranky, bitter veteran nicknamed "Old Blood & Circuits" by his soldiers. Having been through numerous campaigns, he has obvious bionic prosthetics to replace lost parts of himself. If it was up to him, the Coalition would just go to war against the Pecos Empire and murder everything without a skull logo in the Texas region, and drat the casualties. Compared to him, Kashbrook is downright reserved in her genocide. Thankfully, he doesn't get a say. He'd rather be off throwing troops away against Tolkeen in the upcoming war campaign, but for whatever unstated reason has been stuck "baby-sitting a kennel". Probably something to do with him having the same regard Kashbrook and Bradford both essentially consider him to be a brutish lout. Considering he goes out and hunts D-bees and sorcerers for sport, and enjoys torture as a pastime, this is relatively true.

Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star posted:

Weight: 200 Ibs. (90 kg) of muscle, metal and hate.

In any case, he's strong-willed, charming (What? Nobody likes this guy in the description.) partial cyborg, with only his Beauty being below average. He gets a horror factor for some reason (12), and is a 14th level Military Specialist. We get a very short chunk of adventure notes for him that, naturally, mark him and his men as direct antagonists for PCs.


Eyeball a fella.

Colonel Roger Collins
Intelligence Corps


Mentored by Kalpov, Collins is the head of the SS Intelligence and has all the charm you might have from a psychopathic Coalition hardliner. He doesn't even particularly worry about justifying the means, and is all about maintaining security and human supremacy. He won't use the term "dog boys" because he thinks "boy" anthropomorphizes them too much. He's got a sharp eye for noticing deception but is thin-skinned with a hair-trigger temper.

He's physically fit as hell and strong-willed, but pretty average otherwise. He's a 10th level military specialist with minor psionics (psychometry and danger sense). It notes that he is "almost certain to escape any confrontation to return" with no justification, and is likely to be highly vindictive against any PCs that foil him. But if you kill him, it emphasizes at length how Kalpov and the Coalition will chase his murders to the ends of the Earth, and it all feels very passive aggressive in a "don't kill my snowflakes kinda way", even though Collins feels like he's just set up to get knocked out of a window and have a slow-motion plunge toward the Earth before cutting away to somebody's wincing expression.


"The Rocketeer? Who's that?"

Colonel Buck Murphy
Commander of the 93rd
RPA Airborne Armored Cavalry


The head of the Lone Star air cavalry, Murphy is regarded as a heroic flying ace and is well-liked by Coalition high command and likely to be promoted. However, he's secretly burnt out, struggling with having lost a great deal of men fighting the Xiticix and generally being bothered by his conscience over having had to slaughter relatively helpless nonhumans. He's the first sympathetic - or at least nuanced - Coalition character we've seen, but there'll be at least one more amongst the parade of psychopaths coming up.

He's an eighth level Coalition RPA Pilot, and has with all these writeups, has ridiculous stats - his charisma is the highest a human can have, and his prowess is close to it, his beauty is similarly near maximum, etc. It notes that PCs are likely to first meet them on the battlefield, but if they show honor or mercy he's likely to let them go ot demonstrate the same. He also might go incognito to try and find himself in the outside world and meet the PCs, where he might be impressed by their valor - or, if they turn out to be bad dudes, reaffirm his loyalty to the Coalition. Alternately, he could get hit on the head with a coconut and lose his memories and... well it doesn't really have an obvious route for that hook, so we can leave things there.

Next: The skull parade continues.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Epyllion: Don't forget about Dre

Epyllion is a Kickstarter game, made by Marissa Kelly, cofounder of Magpie Games. I bought it a few days ago at Origins based on that cover, basically. It is not a dragon epic. Its Kickstarter bills at as YA fiction like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, and I would argue it really isn't that either. Its closest relative, to my mind, is My Little Pony, but it is not actually that good at it. The core is the Apocalypse Engine...but it isn't that good at that, either.

But hey, maybe the fluff is good! It gets top billing in the table of contents, after all. The game is about the lands of Dragonia, and how the ancient dragons drove away the Darkness, but now it is returning, and you and your young clutch of dragons must stop it and "discover the true value of friendship."

Dragonia is a massive megacontinent with a nearby archipelago, covering vastly different terrains. It is a tough place, but dragons thrive there. Their capital, Capital, is always packed with dragons of all kinds, and full of meeting gardens and rooftop eating basin restaurants. It is also home to the rulers of Dragonia, the Council, whose members are appointed by the dragon Houses to represent all dragons. They often use young clutches as messengers, as they usually have plenty of free time anyway.

Dragons, as a note, have neither sex nor gender.



When two dragons love each other very much, they get permission to form an affinity clutch, which is a social unit dedicated to caring for each other and, with further permission, laying eggs. The eggs are laid in a nest containing a rare or precious object, to soothe and comfort the clutch, and watched over by magic plant golems, called Guardians, who take care of the eggs while the parents are working. The Guardians also assign the hatchlings, once they hatch, to a dragon House to be raised. No one knows how this planty sorting hat works.

Dragon hierarchy is purely age-based, and every dragon of every age knows dris place. Older dragons are much bigger than young ones, and most buildings are made with older ones in mind. Young dragons have weaker but more versatile magic, while older ones specialize more but are more potent. The five age groups are Raw-Scaled Drake, Winged Drake, Long-Toothed Dragon, Bearded Dragon, and Elder Dragon.

Raw-Scaled Drakes have soft scales and can only glide, not fly. Older dragons are expected to help them. Winged Drakes can fly, but not for long distances. They are bigger, but not big by dragon standards, and can call on younger dragons to help carry stuff. They lose connection with one of the moons and its magic. Long-Toothed Dragons have strong jaw, can fly very far and are quite big. They are heavily relied on. Bearded Dragons are old giants, strong and potent. They have lost three moon ties, but have great magical power in the other two. They are leaders. ElderDragons are immensely potent, and some never reach is stage. They require tons of rest,and are elders and teachers, cared for above all other concerns.

Some can arise, becoming Ancients or Mystics. Ancients sacrifice their bodies to become mute lunar spirits, wandering and serving the will of the moons. For this, an Ancient is given a special nest dre can use as a home to be communicated with at. Mystics become statues that can give advice to those that seek them out.

Next time: Houses.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
Is medical practice important in dragon society?

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten
Wait, the possessive pronoun is "theirs" instead of something like "dreirs"? Way to fail to commit to your gimmick.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

Alright this sounds like the setup to a Young Adult Dystopian Romance Action Thriller Novel.

Thunderclaw Moonscale was assigned to House Ticklewings since they were but a young hatchling. But dre has always felt different from the other Ticklewings, feeling more at home with the high-flying battledragons of House Sploderface. Beguiled by the enticing charms and many riches of young Sploderface heir Rockdog Laserhorse, they have felt a temptation like never before to switch houses. But the elders forbid it, wielding their mighty lunar magics to force young dragons to give them spongebaths and listen to their stories about how things used to be worse until they made them better and now they're getting worse again. Can Thunderclaw Moonscale truly understand what it means to be...

DREVIRGENT

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


It is a truism that the quality of a work is inversely proportional to the number of new words its author created for its use.

Tasoth
Dec 13, 2011
I'm kind of on-board with this so far, but am awaiting for it to hit the wall and go to pieces.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

So what Ive gathered is the main play hook is being a young, purple dragon who has to awaken the ancient dragon statues and rescue the eggs across various islands while collecting plenty of gems.

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009

by vyelkin

wiegieman posted:

It is a truism that the quality of a work is inversely proportional to the number of new words its author created for its use.

*faint laughter from Shakespeare's direction*

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Dareon posted:

*faint laughter from Shakespeare's direction*

Not all truisms are true all the time, but they are often true. Do any of these people making up their own pronouns really think that they're the next Shakespeare?

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

wiegieman posted:

Not all truisms are true all the time, but they are often true. Do any of these people making up their own pronouns really think that they're the next Shakespeare?

Of course they do, or some other renowned literary figure.

Nobody says "I'm mediocre at writing fluff, let's publish a bunch of it", really.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what



Dareon posted:

*faint laughter from Shakespeare's direction*

Shakespeare didn't invent most of those words, he's just the first surviving example we have of their use. Presumably most of them existed in earlier but shittier literature that didn't have many copies made.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.

Mors Rattus posted:

Its closest relative, to my mind, is My Little Pony, but it is not actually that good at it.

I immediately guessed this after your previous descriptions.

I think that charts puts a real point on how versatile the tenses of "they" really are, since every single use of Dre is just a stupid distortion of "they".
Either everyone is a dragon, and "Dre" is completely unnecessary, or there are other sentient folk and dragons are racist.

While we're at it, how does an egg come about? Do the parents psychically combine their DNA, or do they hug it out or something?

DalaranJ fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Jun 18, 2017

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

The permission to make babies comes in the form of paperwork, which both parents sign and have notarized and then the dragon lawyer folds the document into an origami egg and then laminates the egg. And that origami egg is then tended to by the kudzu golem.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

:shrug:

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Dareon posted:

*faint laughter from Shakespeare's direction*

Shakespeare mostly made up words in the service of making further dick jokes though, which is an exemption from that rule.

Tasoth
Dec 13, 2011

Hostile V posted:

The permission to make babies comes in the form of paperwork, which both parents sign and have notarized and then the dragon lawyer folds the document into an origami egg and then laminates the egg. And that origami egg is then tended to by the kudzu golem.

Kudzu golems are a terrifying concept. You build one, the next week the entire South is under siege from pissy topiary monsters.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Tasoth posted:

Kudzu golems are a terrifying concept. You build one, the next week the entire South is under siege from pissy topiary monsters.

I once had an idea for a fantasy race that was basically sapient vines. Due to the generally expansionist nature of vines, they were also basically Great Vine Britain. Built their own skeletons to aid in movement and such and were surprisingly industrious for plant based creatures. Invented gunpowder in the theoretical setting in which they existed.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
So when Mors grabbed this off the rack at Origins I was like, huh, that's a pretty stylish cover, if it turns out to be any good I'll pick it up, too.

It didn't turn out to be any good, so I pretty much dodged a bullet there. I did pick up something else from the same booth, though. If it turns out to be either good or entertainingly bad, I'll review it for the thread. If not, well, astoundingly mediocre just isn't fun for anyone.

Epyllion is gonna be a hell of a ride for you guys though. As I said to Mors at the con, PBTA games are at their best when they're doing genre emulation, and "dragonz" isn't actually a genre...

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Obligatum VII posted:

I once had an idea for a fantasy race that was basically sapient vines. Due to the generally expansionist nature of vines, they were also basically Great Vine Britain. Built their own skeletons to aid in movement and such and were surprisingly industrious for plant based creatures. Invented gunpowder in the theoretical setting in which they existed.

Sounds quite a bit like the Unfallen in Endless Space 2.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Cythereal posted:

Sounds quite a bit like the Unfallen in Endless Space 2.

Haven't played that, but wouldn't surprise me if someone else had done the concept already.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013


Why can't they just use 'they' as a singular gender-neutral pronoun?

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
Because reasons.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Imagining a kingdom of dragon rappers is honestly way more interesting than the game's actual setup so it probably shouldn't use Dre.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Because there's being progressive with purpose and awareness, and then there's being progressive because it feels vaguely clever.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

Night10194 posted:

Imagining a kingdom of dragon rappers is honestly way more interesting than the game's actual setup so it probably shouldn't use Dre.

If you don't make players hunt the Great Drake "Drake" the whole adventure was a waste of time.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007

Night10194 posted:

Imagining a kingdom of dragon rappers is honestly way more interesting than the game's actual setup so it probably shouldn't use Dre.

Hc Svnt Dre-cones :smaug:

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all the contents of the...



:spooky::spooky: HORRIBLE ADVENTURES Part 10: Spirit Bomb :spooky::spooky:

Time for more spells, starting with F. The scariest part of all of this bland chaff is having to actually read it.

Flesh Puppet is an evil third/fourth-level spell that animates a single zombie and disguises it as a living person. The puppet is tied to the caster with an invisible, sort-of-incorporeal string, which allows the caster to control the zombie and make it speak, but cutting or overextending the string ends the spell immediately. I like this! It has a neat visual, and its uses for a story are obvious. Flesh Puppet Horde (why not mass flesh puppet?) at fourth/fifth-level less so; it removes too many of flesh puppet's interesting qualities and leaves it redundant with animate dead.

Flesh Wall is an evil sixth-level spell that makes a wall of zombies that you can turn into actual zombies. It's ridiculously overcost: "sixth-level spells" and "human zombie" are not going to fit into the same encounter.

Flickering Lights is a spell that creates an area of random magical light or magical darkness, changing every turn based on a percentile table. Horror films have flickering lights, sure, but that doesn't translate into Pathfinder. Flickering light gives you flashes of view and is associated with the failure of reassuring, safe things like electric lights. Pathfinder is not only lit by firelight normally, but characters can often just see in the dark anyway. And why does this take a full round to cast?

Grasping Corpse is an evil first-level spell that makes a corpse animate temporarily to grapple or trip someone. This owns, and would be even better if Pathfinder's rules for grappling and tripping weren't godawful.

Green Caress, at sixth-level, slowly turns the target into an ordinary shrub, dealing STR/CON/DEX damage every day for seven days. If a stat hits zero, they turn into a mundane plant. Or a mushroom I guess. I get what this is going for, but it doesn't belong in the spell section. This book has chapters for corruptions and curses and weird magical diseases, while this is baleful polymorph except weaker and slower and one higher spell level.

Hedging Weapons is shield of faith except it's weaker and made up of floating weapons you can subsequently fling at enemies, consuming the AC buff. I am pretty sure it's only in this book because they have an illustration of the Pathfinder stock cleric using it on the facing page.

Holy Javelin is third-level divine acid arrow, only it does holy damage and slightly debuffs the target. Also they have a lit magical javelin sticking out of them. You could print this spell in any Pathfinder book ever.

Horrific Doubles, at fourth level, is mirror image but creepy. The doubles passively make anyone who sees them scared, and do WIS/sanity damage when popped. I like the imagery, but the reliance on ability damage makes this spell obnoxiously impractical for PC use, because tracking ability damage on NPCs is a pain.

Hunger For Flesh is a fourth-level evil reskin of confusion from Core, with a neat visual. (There's also a seventh-level Mass version.) The target is staggered, gets a bite attack, and has a chance each turn to be compelled to try to move and bite a creature of the same type and subtype.

This is a neat spell but it has three problems. The first, and largest, is that the big payoff - you're forced to bite your allies! - will almost never happen unless the target is already adjacent to a character of the exact same species, because the biter is staggered and thus can't move and attack. This mixes straight into the second problem, that unless there's another, friendly person of the exact same species nearby, this is a boring save-or-staggered effect. Lastly, since biting someone of the exact same species (willingly or otherwise) removes all of the penalties except for the compulsion to bite people, then you can just bite a friend every turn or so for fairly minor damage as part of a full attack action that is otherwise directed at enemies and mostly shrug off the whole spell.

Life Blast is a fourth-level druid/ranger/shaman spell that is either Goku's spirit bomb or that bizarre scene in Dark Knight Returns where Superman drains a field of flowers (or possibly a rainforest? It's not entirely clear) to dust in order to repower himself after being blasted to a withered husk by a nuclear missile. You drain all of the non-creature vegetation in a X' radius circle to dust to shoot a d6/level beam of positive energy damage at undead. The visual is cool and all, but why are druids allowed to cast a spell that literally blights the land? It's also garbage that's pretty much 100% worse than flame strike, which can affect anyone, has a more useful AOE, and doesn't require convenient vegetation to blight.


It's easy to forget how weird Dark Knight Returns (Miller/Janson/Varley) was.

Locate Gate is a fifth-level spell that locates gates. Interdimensional ones, not the kind that have a portcullis.

Mad Sultan's Melody is a fourth-level version of Core's fascinate, except it ignores immunity to mind-affecting effects but only works on "creatures with the ooze type, creatures with the amorphous special ability, and non-bipedal creatures with a special association with the Outer Gods." (What constitutes the last is left vague.) Casting it also does WIS/sanity damage to the user. This has to be some hyper-specific reference to a Lovecraft story I'm not familiar with because I can't see any reason any character in any game would ever have any occasion to have this spell.

Massacre is ninth-level circle of death, except it's a line and has a 17HD-per-creature cap instead of a 9HD, and also it explodes at the end of the line for damage that isn't especially impressive for a ninth-level spell.

Maze of Madness and Suffering is an evil ninth-level version of maze, except the maze traps the target in a randomly-chosen creepy environment with corresponding effects. Creepy circus, haunted forest, cyclopean ruins, etc. It solves the problem that getting mazed is an extremely boring way to sit out a combat, but each environment requires three or four rolls each turn in order to accomplish results varying from 3d6 damage to permanent mental illness, so it's a little fiddly.

Night Terrors is a sixth-level evil spell that prevents people from getting any rest and causes WIS/sanity damage every time they try. It also has an overcomplicated interaction where it intensifies other fear effects, which makes even weak fear effects crippling if you're playing with vanilla fear, but is negligible if you're playing with the (optional!) fear rules from this book.

This is just an absolute mess. For one, wisdom damage already intensifies fear: it lowers your will save. You don't need all of this extra template-breaking nonsense. For another, this interacts with two separate optional systems in this book, and depending on which rules you're using the effects range from incredibly crippling (sanity and vanilla fear) to worrying but manageable (vice versa). For a third, this is a dispellable effect instead of a curse, so it's trivial to remove when it should be in the curse section of the next chapter with all of the other long-lasting curses. Finally, why is this evil? Tormenting someone with visions of their misdeeds is just as reasonable a use for this spell as gratuitously tormenting someone. This spell is poorly conceived at every level and isn't practically usable for anything.

Pessimism is the negative counterpart to Core's (third-level) heroism. Why is save-or-minus-2-to-everything a fifth-level spell, though? The part where the enchanted character will catastrophize any natural one or roll that misses by 5 or more and increase the penalty to -3 for a round is fiddly but a nice touch on a dumb spell that is about two spell levels too high to bother with.

Phantasmal Asphyxiation is a fourth-level remake of Core's phantasmal killer. Instead of killer's save-twice-or-die, instead if the target fails the will save, they think they're suffocating and has to make a fort save every round. One fort failure means they're staggered for a round, and a second fort failure means they pass out (and resume breathing by reflex). Phantasmal killer is only okay to begin with, so I'm not sure why a save-three-times-or-die variant is something anyone would want. I like that it isn't as all-or-nothing as phantasmal killer, but it is much weaker and (annoyingly) doesn't use Pathfinder's standard rules for suffocation.

Phantasmal Putrefaction is sixth-level AOE phantasmal killer, although everyone who fails their check takes a gratuitous WIS/sanity damage hit, failing the fort save only causes unconsciousness, and the will save repeats for rounds/level until each victim succeeds on it or fails the fort save and pass out. This is a usable spell with an interesting visual, but it seems like Paizo could have sanded off some of the extraneous effects like the WIS damage or unaffected people giving bonuses to affected people.

Phobia is a sixth-level spell that gives a character a permanent phobia on a failed will save. It's comparable with Core's geas as an obvious plot device. No mention is made of how it interacts with the sanity/madness rules from elsewhere in this book, of course, and this phobia does not work like those phobias.

Plundered Power is an seventh-level spell that allows an evil spellcaster to sacrifice an intelligent creature to make a gem into temporary magic item that can cast one spell or spell-like ability the sacrificed creature could use once per day. Why can't this just use the rules for making magic items or the ritual rules elsewhere in this book? :shrug:

Profane and Sacred Nimbus are evil and good (respectively) fifth-level spells that give you a shield that damages any good/evil character who attacks you in melee. They also reduce damage from good/evil spells by half and give evasion against such spells if they involve a reflex save (although I can't actually think of any aligned spells with a reflex save).

Pyrotechnic Eruption is a fourth-level d6/level blast, but it targets one single creature and repeats each round for [level] rounds. The spell is described as "jets of flame erupt[ing] from the ground" and there are some bizarrely complicated rules for one creature to displace the target and take over as the new target, but no explanation for what happens when the target of the spell is flying.

Okay. One more update of these.

Next time on HORRIBLE ADVENTURES: da skull zone


Image credit: DeviantArt user LucifericChrist

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos

Cease to Hope posted:


Hunger For Flesh is a fourth-level evil reskin of confusion from Core, with a neat visual. (There's also a seventh-level Mass version.) The target is staggered, gets a bite attack, and has a chance each turn to be compelled to try to move and bite a creature of the same type and subtype.

This is a neat spell but it has three problems. The first, and largest, is that the big payoff - you're forced to bite your allies! - will almost never happen unless the target is already adjacent to a character of the exact same species, because the biter is staggered and thus can't move and attack. This mixes straight into the second problem, that unless there's another, friendly person of the exact same species nearby, this is a boring save-or-staggered effect. Lastly, since biting someone of the exact same species (willingly or otherwise) removes all of the penalties except for the compulsion to bite people, then you can just bite a friend every turn or so for fairly minor damage as part of a full attack action that is otherwise directed at enemies and mostly shrug off the whole spell.

Though many of the spells listed here have issues, this has less, because problem one isn't actually a problem and also helps with the other problems.

A staggered character can make a charge attack (at normal movement speed, instead of double like a normal charge), which will both make them bite people and tie up their attacks since if you charge you can only attack once unless you have Pounce or an equivalent ability.

Zombies actually are permanently staggered and thus pretty much always do this, which is almost certainly why the spell is written this way.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011

Prism posted:

A staggered character can make a charge attack (at normal movement speed, instead of double like a normal charge), which will both make them bite people and tie up their attacks since if you charge you can only attack once unless you have Pounce or an equivalent ability.

The spell specifically says you make a separate move action and attack action to bite, and that "if the target lacks enough actions to attack on that turn, it moves as close to the creature as it can." Not only does it work badly, AFAICT it's intended to work badly.

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Barudak
May 7, 2007

Mad Sultans Melody sounds like a reference that, and I could be remembering totally wrong here, in the Lovecraft Mythos Azathotg has top billing among the gods because his song of madness controls them.

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