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PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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


Cythereal posted:

Eh. To me, the Skaven are intensely boring. They're so powerful no one's going to seriously gently caress their poo poo up and they're never going to lose. They're so incompetent they're never going to win, either. They exist to win victories against other races and victories against them in turn are pretty much meaningless and there's never going to be meaningful headway against them.

This is kind of how I feel about Chaos. Having a fundamental force of the world as one of the major parts of the conflict, to me, makes it all feel kind of irrelevant. If there actually was a canonical and plausible way of sealing Chaos away more or less permanently, or permanently reducing their power on the mortal plane, they'd actually be an interesting force. As it is, they're really the only inevitable victors of the conflict.

The Skaven are at least theoretically a force in line with all the others, in that if someone nuked Skavenblight, they'd be pretty harshly set back. Even if the canonical stories never really seem to threaten their ascendancy much.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Skaven exist to make fun of nazis. That's the purpose of Skaven. They're a bunch of shrieking assholes who talk big about being the master race and then run off into the dark to blame each other the second anything goes wrong, who are obsessed with wunderwaffen that tend to backfire more than anything else.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

PurpleXVI posted:

This is kind of how I feel about Chaos. Having a fundamental force of the world as one of the major parts of the conflict, to me, makes it all feel kind of irrelevant.

death is inevitable OP

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Skaven exist to make fun of nazis. That's the purpose of Skaven. They're a bunch of shrieking assholes who talk big about being the master race and then run off into the dark to blame each other the second anything goes wrong, who are obsessed with wunderwaffen that tend to backfire more than anything else.

And this bores me. The people it's meant to make fun of are never going to notice or care, and in the meantime they contribute nothing of value to the setting in my opinion.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

games workshop used to sell the cone-shaped pewter personification of death in their warhammer undead line



he's like an evil traffic cone

Cease to Hope fucked around with this message at 21:11 on Jun 24, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also, I always liked to play it that everyone is continually making headway against Chaos every time you look at the world and go 'You know, parts of this aren't so bad.' It's one reason I adore 2e being set right after the Storm of Chaos ended in the international coalition of the Not poo poo people of the Old World stomping their idiot champion of darkness into the mud so hard that now people are like 'Do we really need to put forth this kind of effort to fight Chaos in the future'? and the fact that the old 'horde of dudes from up north' style of attempt to destroy the world has been rendered obsolete by guns, larger populations, and organized states.

E: It's another of those 'everyone but GW notices' moments, I feel like. The champion of good and evil are two bland idiots having an irrelevant punchup while the better characters move the world around them and GW totally misses that that could've been something to run with.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:11 on Jun 24, 2017

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





CHAPTER FOUR PART THREE

PLAYING WITH PURIFIED


There are two big factors at work in the lives of the Purified: they need Essence and to have a secure means to get it, and they also have to deal with the machinations of the spirit world. They're a lot like Sin Eaters in that regard, but the Shadow is a lot closer and more invasive than the Underworld. So it's a balancing act between the mortal world and the world of ghosts, a world you can always see overlaid over wherever you are. The problem is that the Shadow has a tighter grip than most Purified ever realize. You have to get Essence from there sure, but if you've had your body destroyed or even had your mind broken apart, you're stuck there until you get better. Purified who didn't have that much knowledge about the Shadow (like say an alchemist) end up having to get more introduced to it than they'd normally be comfy. From there, it's only a matter of time before one starts making deals and trades with spirits. Then comes the great question of "you're immortal, now what?" which is something a lot of Purified don't necessarily consider. If you got your immortality from pledging to serve a spirit, there's your reason. Other than that, how are you going to live your life and how are you going to keep your foothold in the world?

Jobs for the Bored/Intrepid Immortal

The more sinister role a Purified can fill is to be the servant on Earth for a spirit. Spirits can bend and shake the tree for favors for their dutiful servants. While they can't directly interact with the world, they know how to influence the mortal world just so with their powers. However, one should never fall under the illusion that a Purified has a partnership with a spirit. A spirit may be a benefactor, or a sugar daddy, or someone they can go to for work, but it is not an equal relationship. The spirit commands and the Purified obeys and spirits are not human and do not always want human things. You may get a job ferrying messages between courts of spirits, you may get a job that could be a God Machine job if you look at it sideways, or you might be passing out dirty needles to addicts to feed the disease spirit who handles the purse strings. Plus there's a very good chance that you're directly butting up against other spirits' goals that will earn enemies your benefactor may not care to protect you from.

On the other hand, you could protect humanity from the spirits. If that's your bag, my recommendation would be to go meet some werewolves who could help protect you in turn. Most Purified who become protectors stake out an area and start exploring the Shadow around it. The business becomes a threefold affair: learn about the ecosystem of Shadow around you and get in good with it, protect mortals from the predations of hungry spirits, keep an eye on mortals who are dabbling in affairs they may not understand. It's not necessarily a glamorous job, but it's rewarding to some and it also gives the werewolves a little bit of a break.

Don't care about serving either side? Serve neither! Become a broker of knowledge thanks to your ability to spy on people from Twilight and your tendency to be very hard to kill. Blackmail people with knowledge you shouldn't know. Explore the poo poo out of the Shadow and figure out how to bring weird artifacts and items back. Just don't go native amongst the spirits lest you give up your humanity for a totally incorporeal existence.

Purified Characters

Rachel Cartwright


"So, what is it that you are really looking for - no, don't tell me yet, I can often be more help if I can figure it out on my own."
"Leave my shop immediately. If you don't, you shall surely regret not doing so."


Rachel was born in Boston in 1825, the daughter of an archaeologist and a wealthy woman. When her mother passed when she turned 12, Rachel ended up accompanying her father on expeditions to India and Egypt. This sparked a lifelong love of both countries and her research into both dug up bits and pieces of the Purification ritual. When her father grew older and weaker, she started to put the pieces together. She didn't want to grow old and weak, but she also wanted to help him and keep him alive. In the end, Rachel pieced it together and offered to perform it first to prove it worked. Her dad was horrified, but when he came to understand that she would try this with or without him, he agreed to help.

It did work. Rachel Cartwright came back 12 days after the ritual was complete. Problem was that at day 10, her dad became convinced it didn't and his heart gave out from grief. The next few years were spent grieving his passing. After that, she started to really explore the supernatural world around her. Originally she wanted to find a way to bring him back, but, well, it's been more than a 150 years and if she's still looking, she's not really showing it. Her current lot in life is to run an antique shop in Boston that specializes in Eurasian antiquities. To more discerning or supernatural customers, she's got plenty of other goods to offer for a high price (or a later favor to be fulfilled). She's got standards, but she also has a very good stockpile that a lot of people are more than willing to pay for. She's also got the added benefit of immortality and resurrection going for her if people decide they'd rather kill her than pay.



Rachel is relatively unobtrusive: mid-20s, slim build, sandy brown hair, blue eyes, light freckles. She generally dresses to be overlooked in earth-tone clothes (that are more expensive than they seem) and wire-rimmed glasses. The big thing that stands out is the fact that she likes to wear Eurasian jewelry made from silver and gems.

Thoughts on Rachel Cartwright: she's just...alright, I guess? The tragedy of her father's death is really the only thing she has going for her when it comes to back-story. She's really just a blank slate outside-context supernatural for people to use as a plot device.

Karl Gorinksi

"Yes, burning down those trees would definitely put that development project back on track. Don't worry, I'll take care of that."
"I don't care if you don't have a reservation for me, I phone one in three hours ago. Do you know who I am? I either want a table for three within the next three hours or to speak to the owner."


Karl was born in 1916 in a South Side tenement in Chicago. Karl was a natural medium, able to listen to spirits if he put his mind to it, and started doing favors for them from an early age. He really came into power when he started doing errands for a particularly powerful spirit: Chicago's local spirit of commerce and business. The spirit had plenty of dirt and data for Karl to use to help the city grow and make money and richly rewarded him for his service, transforming him into the local canny politician. Ultimately, Karl was hooked for good when he asked the spirit for a means to extend his life and got the Purification ritual in return. The last century has been one of changed identities and constant service at the behest of his inhuman master. Every time he changes identities, Karl will always slip back into the role of a local politician or bureaucrat or head of business.

The power has also gone to his head and then some. His main boss may be the spirit of commerce, but Karl runs plenty of jobs for the other major spirits. This has netted him a giant mansion in the Shadow and unparalleled power in the city of Chicago along with a sense of superiority. Because the spirits know the best way to get him to do what they want is to flatter his ego, he's began to see himself as something better than a regular human. His temper flares if he feels like he's not getting the dues he deserves and he demands the contacts and luxuries he's become accustomed to. If the spirits keep their manipulation up, they'll have a properly dangerous and ambitiously amoral pawn to use in their games.



Karl is a sturdily-built man in his 20s, not necessarily tall but definitely carrying himself with a sense of intimidating power. He has dark hair and dresses the part of Mr. Powerful, liking expensive clothes that border on conspicuous consumption. The big sign of who he is can be seen in how he moves, moving with a confidence and drive as he gets in your personal space and makes you pay attention.

Thoughts on Karl: he's clearly meant to fill the role as a villain but, well, he literally gets less space than Rachel. He's perfectly usable as an enemy but really the ST has to do all the heavy lifting because he's very much a one-dimensional outside-context foe.

Final thoughts on the Purified: I really would have liked to see an older type of Purified. Yeah, Rachel is almost 200 years old, but these rituals came about in China and Egypt and from a variety of people digging into the occult throughout the ages. Someone older or more interesting would have been pretty nice.

Despite the Purified being the more PC-friendly skin for your players to pick, ultimately they get less than the Body Thieves and Blood Bathers. Whereas the lack of general history for the latter two make sense because it was lost or an erratic ability throughout the ages, the Purified don't get too much info outside of parallels to alchemy and mysticism. Where the Thieves and the Bathers have relative diversity in abilities and causes, the Purified just get diversity in powers. Which, don't get me wrong, they're decent powers and they're enjoyably varied. They just don't get a particular lot due to being a lesser template compared to, well, Sin Eaters. They can't even really offer up playable characters that do something with the base history, they're just relatively fresh immortals who have found a role but for real it's very plausible that they didn't even die once past their resurrection. I do, ultimately, like the Purified. It just feels like they didn't have as much content when you look at the Bathers or the Thieves and as a result they got relegated to the third quarter of the book.

In the end I guess I have to say that I'm pretty optimistic about their rewrite because they're being updated for the GMC and I hope they get better.

NEXT TIME: Chapter 5, the lesser immortals. The good, the bad, the weird and the edgy.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 06:24 on Jun 25, 2017

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




It's funny that you bring up Sin Eaters, because someone who's been around for 200 years would definitely know enough of them to find one tough enough to go down to the Underworld and talk to the Kerberoi about bringing her father back to life.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Covok posted:

Random question but when and why did Games Workshop forget that the setting of Warhammer 40K is meant as a joke?
It's the same reason that anime characters talk like weird human adjacent aliens instead of normal humans. Super fans have been hired as authors. Specifically super fans whose only media consumption was the thing they are now writing for. So instead of hiring people who have normal human interaction and happened to like 2000AD you're hiring people who read nothing but Warhammer books and adjacent media.

Imagine I inserted the Miyazaki "anime was a mistake" image here but changing anime to Warhammer.

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Having been reading up on my Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser lately, I have to wonder if the Skaven are basically pulled from The Swords of Lankhmar, which is about an invasion of the city by ratmen from below. The similarities are notable, but it's hard to find anything more than just supposition on the matter.

Everything in Warhammer Fantasy made a lot more sense (to me at least) when someone I know pointed out that they were the European distributor for D&D and the European publisher of Call of Cthulhu back in the day and and WHF was them deciding that they didn't want to pay the license fees for those anymore.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
the forum where people post about insurance in case they have to kill someone is mad at this guy again lol

8one6 posted:

Everything in Warhammer Fantasy made a lot more sense (to me at least) when someone I know pointed out that they were the European distributor for D&D and the European publisher of Call of Cthulhu back in the day and and WHF was them deciding that they didn't want to pay the license fees for those anymore.

It wasn't over licensing fees. TSR wanted to buy out Games Workshop and the owners weren't interested.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 14: New West Part 2: "It is interesting to note that the term 'Indian' is as popular on Rifts Earth as ever."


This was drawn before the big diatribe about Native Americans hating cybernetics, I guess!

So, we're told technology has generally reverted to "1830s to 1900s", which seems pretty dangerous for a time in which a mega-bear can laugh off six-shooter, and even the high-tech stuff around has a western theme, so riding animals are joined by robot horses, there are "hover-stagecoaches" and techno-wizard hover-trains. See, like the Siembieda-penned "World Books" England, Africa, and Japan, there was just a bunch of people waiting to get back to the most blatant stereotypes of their region. So you have folks who were just waiting for the world to get blown up, apparently, so they could just put on spurs and chaps again, to bust out the howdies and ya'lls, to put on a rodeo and a hoedown. Well, not like that stuff went away, but now everybody's doing it, not just ranchers and country nerds.

Why?

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

Romanticism with the past. Nobody knows exactly who started it...



So yeah, people randomly decided westerns were the happenest thing and decided to get back to the romantic idea of company mining towns, backbreaking frontier labor, and nobody really being safe in the slightest! Ah, the Old West, where horses could poo poo in the street, Typhoid Fever was riding high, and people gunned down buffalo as a form of entertainment. Glad we're getting back to that!

Somehow, simultaneously, we have a illiterate craft economy with people living or dying on a single trade, but at the same time we have enough manufacturing to build gun lines (a lack of copyrights giving us "Colt", "Remington", and "Winchester" knockoff) and whole lines of clothing so that people can reenact the days where amputation as a regular medical service. People believe in might making right, and small towns generally only have one or two industries. Large towns might have a radio station and rarely television broadcasting. You know. Despite it being "1830s to 1900s" and "80% illiteracy".

You know, after reading 30+ books, I'm surprised. If we're cutting and pasting the real Old West, the illiteracy rate in the US was only about 20% at that time. Even if you double that for rural communities out West, that's still most people being able to read and write. After all, the local newspaper is a heavy Old West trope, as are wanted posters. And people certainly did like to read their bibles. Moreover, if you want trends like wearing chaps and spurs to spread, there needs to be a shared media for that - and books and newspapers are lot easier to distribute on 19th century technology.

But if I stop for every galling moment of , I'm never getting through this. We have local sheriffs and deputies, but the "law" might also be held by a powerful business, family, or gang. There's a lot of effectively lawless towns, though groups like Cyber-Knights, Reid's Rangers, or the newer "Justice Rangers" wander the land in the wandering knight righting wrongs that Siembieda loves to death. We're also told that 50% of towns are d-bees... who still put on the spurs and chaps like everybody else. Death tends to be the punishment for major theft, cold-blooded murder...

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

Stealing a man's woman (i.e. kidnapping and/or rape) is usually (not always) a death sentence too.



Well, looks like old-school sexism is back in force, as we'll see. Jail, fines, or getting tarred and feathered is relatively common. So Siembieda can enforce the image of the gunslinger and punish other character types, most anything larger than a pistol or smallsword is usually banned from most communities. Alternately, weapons are often banned but and searches are uncommon, justifying the use of six-shooters over plasma throwers so you can hide your murder implements.


"Don't need any of your highfalutin yankee armor!"

Bandits are back, and gunfighters and mercenaries are a way of life that people fround on. Most people do have weapons and know how to use them for self-defense at the least, as there are monsters wandering the land. Vampires are an issue in the south, while Rifts standbys like brodkil, simvan, psi-stalkers, and... Indians. Yes, it's othering them already and putting indigenous Americans in the monsters 'n bandits lineup. Of course, we also have new monsters like the gwylack, rad freaks, or dream snakes we'll see later. We also get told that:

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

Many (not all) "Indians" have returned to the ways of their ancestors, seeing the Great Cataclysm and the return of the ancient gods as a sign to return to the land, magic and old traditions.

If you've read these reviews this should be no surprise. We'll get more on them in Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West. Look forward to that tome of cringe. Cyber-Knights wander the land righting wrongs and are generally well-respected, save by criminals who consider them to be extralegal busibodies (which, to be fair, they are). The Cyber-Knights are said to be based out of the Rockies, but that's just a rumor. We get a note that Reid's Rangers go around the south protecting people from vampires, monsters, and the Coalition, in about that order. We're referred to Rifts World Book 1: Vampire Kingdoms for more on them. The Coalition States sends exploratory teams out west, but doesn't plan to expand further west than Kansas or Oklahoma. However, sometimes the fascists send out death squads to murder towns of d-bees, magical practitioners, or... just, you know. Anybody who isn't part of the Coalition. They also send out agents after wanted criminals, runaway mutants, and... refugees. (I think he means defectors?) Alternately, they might conduct military operations against criminal enterprises and enemy forces.


"Just stopping by to make sure we get some skull in this book."

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

The emptiness, lawlessness and violence of the west has changed little in the past 200 years, and in many ways, harkens back to the Dark Ages that followed the Great Catacylsm.

Yep. Changed little in 200 years. That's how history works, folks! Places are static and unchanging. Also, that's how, on a personal level, my sarcasm works.

how am I only 15 pages in and already whining about this much nonsense, help

Next: Prosekonomics.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Cease to Hope posted:

It wasn't over licensing fees. TSR wanted to buy out Games Workshop and the owners weren't interested.

Man what would the industry look like today if that had happened?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Midjack posted:

Man what would the industry look like today if that had happened?
Alright monkey's paw, just this once I'd like to see TSR's 40k/Cyberpunk mashup.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Is there an actual reason that the fascists refuse to conquer a bunch of land that has basically no defense besides bringing a gun to a mech/immortal drug addict fight?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


DalaranJ posted:

Is there an actual reason that the fascists refuse to conquer a bunch of land that has basically no defense besides bringing a gun to a mech/immortal drug addict fight?

Well, there are other city-states there, plus a bunch of vaguely hostile and intensely magical Native Americans (sigh), but we'll be getting to those.

Also the Coalition as of this point in the metaplot has two wars brewing (with Tolkeen and New Quebec), so they admittedly have a fair amount on their plate.

ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

Cease to Hope posted:

games workshop used to sell the cone-shaped pewter personification of death in their warhammer undead line



he's like an evil traffic cone

Oh, so that's what DA MF Sharezone was doing before Twitter

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Epyllion: When your clutch seems to be getting along with Fayright Thunderbelly and the encounter seems a bit boring...

We are now discussing moves! A brief discussion is had on moves being soft or hard, depending on how nasty a thing you are doing. The trick is to balance soft and hard moves. The game instructs the DM to make a move when there's a lull in the action, a player misses a roll or there is a golden opportunity to do so. Basically, the DM does stuff when things get boring or when the PCs mess up somehow. Moves push the story along. The game divides them into Wilderness, Culture and Darkness Moves.

Wilderness moves are:
Put someone in a high-stakes situation, either directly or by threatening offscreen NPCs.
Reveal a new and fantastic creature, because the game is very proud of its chimerical animals.
Awaken something better left sleeping, which I assume can be metaphorical as well as the literal 'you find a bear,' but you never know with this game.
Take away one of the clutch's Things. Things is being used as a game term here for the very first time in the book!
Obfuscate the way home, to remind the PCs that the wilderness isn't home for dragons.
Unleash chaos, disruptive and unmanageable.
Tempt a dragon with mysteries and ruins.
Present a path or structure for exploration.
Show the roots of Darkness taking hold, which...I find odd, because really, it's hard to corrupt stuff that isn't even people, but sure. Maybe monsters or something, or an animal that's a real rear end in a top hat.

Culture moves are:
Announce off-screen challenges and conflicts, because nothing makes the game more exciting than off-screen stuff.
Pressure them with competing ideologies, and I have no idea what they're competing with because as we've seen, the game doesn't have a coherent ideology besides 'tradition is always good.'
Turn their move back on them, which isn't a hard move anywhere else because...reasons.
Reveal an unpleasant truth, again culture-only because...why are these even divided up?
Charge them with a task or obligation.
Offer an opportunity, with or without a cost.
Lock down an important place.
Show the Darkness feeding on a dragon's pain.

Darkness moves are:
Corrupt them with Shadows.
Announce the coming Darkness, which is infuriatingly vague.
Confront them with corruption.
Reveal the Darkness's hold on Dragonia.
Demand a meaningful sacrifice.
Bind someone or something to an object. What?
Put someone in direct and immediate danger.
Activate the clutch's stuff's downsides. So it's stuff, now, not Things?
Tempt them with power and promises.

We then get some 'tips and tricks' which boil down to borrowing stuff other people made, albeit with credits. The first is John Stavropolous' X-Card, and this baffles me, because a game that wants to be MLP With Dragons should absolutely not need to go into uncomfortable territory in the first place. Though it does note that the X-Card "can be used for the tone of the story" - so you can tone police if you think dragons can't, say, be clowns. They also suggest "roses and thorns" which is a fancy way of saying 'ask everyone for one thing they thought was good and one thing they didn't like.'

That's basically the game. There's a bit on hazards, but it's really just more of the same - examples of problems you can get from animals, friendship, traditions, etc., or how to use a countdown clock to track an event's progress, though that is so vague that you might as well not use the clock because there's no real specifics on when to advance it besides 'when it feels right.' Oh, and it talks about custom moves, for when new situations come up or when hazards need to feel special, but go into no real detail on what is and isn't appropriate for them besides the basic '10+ is success, 7-9 has a cost' stuff. Instead it points us at Urban Shadows, with a warning that it "isn't a book for small drakes."

And finally, in a perfect encapsulation of the tonal incoherence of this book, the list of inspirational media! Books and movies are combined, and are: Avengers, Dragonheart, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of hte Rings, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke and Percy Jackson. Games: 7th Sea, Apocalypse World, Blood and Honor, Dungeon World, Houses of the Blooded, Monsterhearts, Mouse Guard, Urban Shadows. Television: My Little Pony: Friendshi Is Magic, Sailor Moon. Video GameS: Legend of Spyro, Mass Effect, Skies of Arcadia.

I defy you to find a linking thread to those lists.

The End.

The other major things I purchased at Origins were Ninja Crusade 2e and Blades in the Dark, both of which are much better books.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Cythereal posted:

Eh. To me, the Skaven are intensely boring. They're so powerful no one's going to seriously gently caress their poo poo up and they're never going to lose. They're so incompetent they're never going to win, either. They exist to win victories against other races and victories against them in turn are pretty much meaningless and there's never going to be meaningful headway against them.

Of all the races of Warhammer Fantasy, the Skaven are the one that could be removed and I'd never notice their absence.

The fun of the Skaven, to me, is that on the one hand if they could stop loving themselves over, they'd have a good shot at winning because they're really good at poisons and tech, and they breed like rats. But they'll never stop loving themselves over, because they're skaven, and all skaven know that the greatest enemy of skaven is, well, other skaven.

Meanwhile, if the forces of order put the skaven as a high priority, knuckled down and tried to exterminate them rather than treating them as a pest problem you can trust to some peasants and a very vicious dog, they could probably wipe them out, because skaven have special knives for backstabbing even with their backs against the loving wall. But no-one else will do that, because they're just loving skaven, and it's not like they're actually an important threat.

Basically, in a setting where everything is potentially apocalyptic, they're the apocalypse no-one actually takes seriously.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Including themselves.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



chiasaur11 posted:

The fun of the Skaven, to me, is that on the one hand if they could stop loving themselves over, they'd have a good shot at winning because they're really good at poisons and tech, and they breed like rats. But they'll never stop loving themselves over, because they're skaven, and all skaven know that the greatest enemy of skaven is, well, other skaven.

Meanwhile, if the forces of order put the skaven as a high priority, knuckled down and tried to exterminate them rather than treating them as a pest problem you can trust to some peasants and a very vicious dog, they could probably wipe them out, because skaven have special knives for backstabbing even with their backs against the loving wall. But no-one else will do that, because they're just loving skaven, and it's not like they're actually an important threat.

Basically, in a setting where everything is potentially apocalyptic, they're the apocalypse no-one actually takes seriously.

I don't find them entertaining or funny. To each their own.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I'm not gonna lie, I was really expecting, uh, the Dragon book to not be over so fast? Like, wow, I know this is a summary but I have seen plenty of PBTA games that have roughly as much depth when it comes to the world (like, if Dragontopia is a supercontinent, does that mean it's the ONLY continent like a Pangaea deal?) but have felt much more full and rich and interesting. You're bang on when you say it's boring and derivative as all hell to the extent that such a flavorless smoothie of inspirations barely made any real impact outside of lazy Draconic MLP youth adventure. I'd call the ending of it a wet fart but really it's more like when you have to sneeze and start sucking in air and then you don't and the feeling just passes entirely without incident.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


The terrifying thing is that Mors didn't actually cut down too much on the actual included content. Like, it's just not that long a book.

Precambrian
Apr 30, 2008



I think Skaven work better in WHFR than in the wider game line; they fit better to the "small band of scrappy heroes" narrative than full-scale armies. They're a threat the authorities don't acknowledge until it's too late (so you can be the action movie scientist whose warnings fall on deaf ears), they're hordes of little fighters, so everyone gets to score a bunch of kills, and they favor wildly unstable super weapons that make them a legitimate large scale threat, but one that can be bested by fighting through a horde of rats and kicking the weak point that makes it explode. Throw in their overdramatic, treacherous personalities, and they're a good fit for "medieval James Bond."

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



MollyMetroid posted:

The terrifying thing is that Mors didn't actually cut down too much on the actual included content. Like, it's just not that long a book.
Yeah I'm entirely not surprised. The game is apparently 160 pages and they sound like they have wide margins and a big font.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



All that list does is confirm I called it that Spyro was a big influence on their dumb dragon setting and gently caress it hurts to be right.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Hostile V posted:

Yeah I'm entirely not surprised. The game is apparently 160 pages and they sound like they have wide margins and a big font.

It's around the same size as Masks in physical format with a fairly generous layout, yeah.

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.


Barudak posted:

All that list does is confirm I called it that Spyro was a big influence on their dumb dragon setting and gently caress it hurts to be right.

Spyro is good and fun and should get a PS4 remaster like Crash is getting.

Unrelated to what you're saying, but the truth must be spoken.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

And finally, in a perfect encapsulation of the tonal incoherence of this book, the list of inspirational media! Books and movies are combined, and are: Avengers, Dragonheart, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of hte Rings, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke and Percy Jackson. Games: 7th Sea, Apocalypse World, Blood and Honor, Dungeon World, Houses of the Blooded, Monsterhearts, Mouse Guard, Urban Shadows. Television: My Little Pony: Friendshi Is Magic, Sailor Moon. Video GameS: Legend of Spyro, Mass Effect, Skies of Arcadia.

Wait wait wait. They're suggesting using John Wick's "gently caress you for playing" game of rear end in a top hat doomed highborn manchildren as an inspiration? For a game that seems most inspired by MLP?

I mean not only is this list hilariously incoherent and lacking in theme, but some of these seem MASSIVELY out of tone.

Ego Trip
Aug 28, 2012


I can see it in the setting. They've both got similar houses with weighty history and traditions. And the statue thing, too.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 14: New West Part 3: "Polecat: A skunk, or treacherous individual without honor or respect for 'The Code.'"

Like Coalition War Campaign, we get a list of slang, most of which should be perfectly familiar to anybody who's even heard of a western. Do you know what it means to "call out" someone? What a "desperado" is? What a loving "revolver" is? If you have, this section is useless to you! Other terms it defines you likely already know unless you're new to the English language or American culture: backstabber, call out, cold blooded killer, draw (as in gun), drifter, lawman, lynching, outlaw, pistols, posse, rustler, shootout, showdown, six-shooter, spitting, tycoon, and "yellow-belly coward". Oh, sure, there's a few things that are a little more obscure like homesteader, polecat, or sodbuster. The only thing that's really new is "remi or wilks-remi", which refers to a Wilk's rifle modeled after the 1873 Winchester Rifle we'll see later. But mostly he's just filling page count.

Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.


Snake vs. Bird, Rifts-style.


The Trouble with Credits
By Kevin Siembieda


You know, there's a weird feeling when you're 26 books into a game line and they've only just now stopped to explain how the currency works. So credits are essentially debit cards for money transfers created by the Coalition States. The CS created it in order to prevent counterfeiting and to track transactions. "Now..." you may wonder, "... how does the Coalition possibly manage such a thing without the broad, world-wide communications communications network necessary for it work?"



Some shady sorts avoid the credit so that the Coalition can't get in their business, though the Black Market apparently uses front companies and cover identities to somehow stymie Coalition information tracking. We're given a long list of places and companies that use it. "Wait..." you may say, "... doesn't Triax use the credit? Didn't they use it before they even knew about the Coalition? What about Atlantis? How on Earth does the Coalition connect their economy to a bunch of human-loathing monsters?"



Credits are generally on non-personalized cards, which means anybody can steal them. You can get personalized cards secured too... but the Coalition can track you personally with those, so they aren't particularly popular. "Well...", you may say, "... how do they track businesses and goods accurately outside of their domain to begin with? How do they prevent false information being filed by a merchant or counterfeiting in general in a world where there's psychic hackers and sinister AIs?"



There are some debit cards provided by other kingdoms - that is, cards that use credits. It's confusing terminology. However, these tend to be regional and less stable, and blocked by the Coalition States, because gently caress foreign trade. Notable local credit systems include one established by Lazlo & New Lazlo, as well as one created by Northern Gun & Manistique Imperium. The latter is probably the second-most accepted form of credit, since NG businesses are widespread. "But hold on...", you interrupt with again, "... certainly that would lead to some sort of currency trade, even unofficial? Why wouldn't that go on at all?"



The Black Market also provides their own credit system on a black debit card, which seems counterintuitive if you're trying to keep it a secret. I mean, if Coalition cops find you with a black card, wouldn't they know you're up to some poo poo? Seems like a dumb branding. "Certainly," you bug incessantly, "How does the Black Market keep their monetary system honest in a world of thieves and cheats?"



All of this rigmarole is to establish that Western towns often are tiny communities with no ties to the Coalition banking network, and so "88%" of purchases are back to barter or local currencies from coins to paper to local credits. "Wait, that's what this is all about?", you mumble in frustration. "The Coalition can extend their financial empire to a monster-dominated nightmare world in the middle of the Atlantic, but can't get a foothold in Tombstone, Arizona?"



Next: gently caress you, Canada. Mexico, too!

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 05:10 on Jun 26, 2017

The Lemondrop Dandy
Jun 7, 2007

If my memory serves me correctly...




Wedge Regret

The whole economy of rifts makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They would have done better to not even bring it up or just pretend that everyone just trades gold-pressed latinum or w/e.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





The Lemondrop Dandy posted:

The whole economy of rifts makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They would have done better to not even bring it up or just pretend that everyone just trades gold-pressed latinum or w/e.
This is why my theory that they had at least soft post-scarcity technology before the Rifts poo poo brought down the house seems to hold up.

Alternately, the Coalition uses Dogecoin.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The Lemondrop Dandy posted:

The whole economy of rifts makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They would have done better to not even bring it up or just pretend that everyone just trades gold-pressed latinum or w/e.

Yes. The explanation actively makes things far more bewildering given that everybody uses the credit, from the Phoenix Empire to New Babylon to Tritonia. But apparently not Tombstone. (Japan's money is different, tho.)

I'm reminded of bizarre conceits like Eoris Essence that ends up going so far as to create an astral dimension from which money can be stored and transferred, with special coins minted that can be transferred in or out of that dimension. Why does such a thing exist?

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yes. The explanation actively makes things far more bewildering given that everybody uses the credit, from the Phoenix Empire to New Babylon to Tritonia. But apparently not Tombstone. (Japan's money is different, tho.)

I'm reminded of bizarre conceits like Eoris Essence that ends up going so far as to create an astral dimension from which money can be stored and transferred, with special coins minted that can be transferred in or out of that dimension. Why does such a thing exist?



And the whole thing is a distraction from what Rifts aims to be. Unless the game is based on currency exchange, a unit of money should be the same regardless of where you are.

EDIT: Is there going to be a Currency Trader OCC, ARB?

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Epyillon using the X-card is just an artifact of the game being terrible at explaining its own tone.
It's a light hearted dragon fantasy game, that explores generational conflict, also the darkness is corrupting and destroying the kingdom. No, we're not going to explain how to reconcile those together.

On a somewhat related note, things came into perspective when I learned this was written by the same people who did urban shadows.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Covok posted:

Spyro is good and fun and should get a PS4 remaster like Crash is getting.

Unrelated to what you're saying, but the truth must be spoken.

Spyro is alas deep in the grip of the Skylander money-printing machine and we'll never see another game in that vein not connected to a series of overpriced landfill-bound figures.


Related to thread: Really Siembieda? Now is when you want to talk about credits being insane? I always just pretended they were some pre-Rifts banking system carried forward that people were still sort of willing to trust because worrying about currency conversion was well beyond uninteresting and not what the game was about. I mean it did get steadily more and more ridiculous, especially when products like Phase World finally acknowledged the problem, but among the many inconsistencies of the setting, that's the one he chooses to address?

Reflections85
Apr 30, 2013



DalaranJ posted:

Epyillon using the X-card is just an artifact of the game being terrible at explaining its own tone.
It's a light hearted dragon fantasy game, that explores generational conflict, also the darkness is corrupting and destroying the kingdom. No, we're not going to explain how to reconcile those together.

On a somewhat related note, things came into perspective when I learned this was written by the same people who did urban shadows.

Is Urban Shadows that bad?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



They also did Masks, too, which is tonally more on-point...but yeah, Urban Shadows is not so great. It's probably better than this, but not by much.

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DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Reflections85 posted:

Is Urban Shadows that bad?

It's tonally unbalanced since it's gimmick is "every World of Darkness game at the same time." And the system's grasp of how PBTA works was sketchy at best.

Seems like exactly the same issues as Epyllion to me.

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