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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

After seeing the new Castlevania anime, I kinda wanna rip off some of the broad strokes of WFRP's setting and play Shadow of the Vampire Lord.

I really appreciate Warhams for having vamps who are fun to play as, can make a sympathetic case for themselves, but who are on the whole allowed to be extremely powerful bad guys. It's nice to have vampires who do build giant monster-mash filled doom castles for heroes to come at them in.

E: "Killing you was the point. Living through it is a luxury." describes the mindset of most successful vampire hunters in Warhammer really, really well.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:46 on Jul 11, 2017

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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



And the vampire hunter was a smelly bum to boot.

Halloween Jack posted:

After seeing the new Castlevania anime, I kinda wanna rip off some of the broad strokes of WFRP's setting and play Shadow of the Vampire Lord.

I had a similar thought.

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



Actually, Night10194 and his friend whose username I forgot, I got some friends who are interested in trying Warhammer eventually and I am anxious about accidentally smashing their poo poo to absolute bits by not knowing how to use monsters correctly. Would you peg a guideline for what kind of and how many monsters a group of four would survive? At what point are the odds evened out against something like a strigoi? The slaughter margin in the books gives you an idea how a fairly basic soldier guy holds up against a threat, but what about people into their third career? What stuff could they stand toe to toe with without being eviscerated?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Night's Dark Masters

Why, when all is said and done, Warhams Vamps are rad.

As I've said before, one of the most important distinctions Warhammer vampires have is that the setting, fiction, and mechanics are in harmony in agreeing that they are very, very powerful. That strength is very important to them both thematically and in gameplay; as the book says early on, on the surface a vampire has everything a man could dream of. Long life, perfect health, incredible powers, and they aren't mutated horrors in thrall to dark gods that devour their personality (though Strigoi can make a good case for being mutated horrors). Warhammer vampires might be prone to dramatics, but they aren't as a whole filled with much angst. They generally enjoy who and what they are, and the desire to be one of them is an understandable temptation. The costs of vampirism are much better hidden; there's an existential horror in the way their souls are forever denied any kind of rest, but at the same time that unquiet death is the reason they can claw their way back. They are the man or woman who wants immortality because they want to exist in the physical world, forever, no matter the cost. This is a direct contrast to Chaos's desire to transcend and devalue the physical world as petty and lesser.

An awful lot is usually made of vampires as a metaphor for sex. That's the old Victorian mode, the original Brahm Stoker's metaphor. That's really not what they are in Warhammer, though it can come up sometimes. Much of the time, they're authorities and powers that be. They're the privileged and the mighty. The Carsteins being preferable to the abusive nobles of Stirland for the poor Sylvanians is an indictment of the nobility of the Empire, sure, but it doesn't mean the Carsteins aren't still draining their people dry and leaving them in poverty as they continue to build mightier castles to themselves. A wandering Dragon is how the peasantry see an army: something you can't do anything about. Maybe it kills the beastmen, maybe it starts killing your people and robbing your stores because it can, or because it's bored or upset. Vampires can choose not to abuse people, if they wish, but there's nothing stopping them and most of them will do as they want with their 'lessers'.

That acknowledged, open power is key to their role in the setting. When you oppose a vampire, you're a hero for even trying. Their strength (and the hidden, small cracks in that strength represented by their weaknesses) drives protagonists to be better in order to beat them. Vlad's death is such a memorable story because it took everything the Empire had. It felt legitimate and earned. If you're a fan of the humans, it's a big moment of triumph. If you like the bad guys, it's a moment where the other side had to go to incredible lengths even to match up. It's satisfying when the heroes manage to beat the dark and foreboding figure who seems to have endless wealth and power.

Similarly, all that power leaves them free to be eccentric. If you want to play as a vampire who's a good guy, the only thing stopping you is all the people who are going to try to kill you. And really, what vamp minds bloodshed? In a setting where most of the bad guys are yolked to something bigger than them, vampires get to stand on their own to be whatever sort of monster or person they wish to be. Playing as Wilhelm is one of the better games I've been in. Slowly going from a lackadaisical cavalry scout who got turned solely because his master was lonely and he was conveniently nearby with enough of an excuse to justify making him a Dragon (She'd just watched him out-ride a unit of Dark Elf skirmishers, taking a couple of them out by galloping through obstacles they couldn't follow him through) to a seasoned and still kind of lackadaisical Dragon who could face down a Chaos Lord was amazing fun. Being that powerful in a game that's usually about going from zero to hero can be a great change.

And really, who doesn't love being overdramatic as all hell? Warhammer vampires are all the better for getting to embrace what they are and what they do, and for being allowed to be (and to have) fun. They make great villains and they can be a great change from the norm; sometimes, you want to walk into an entire Norse raiding party, listen to them all laugh that one man is challenging their entire longboat, draw your sword, and get down to an evening's bloody work.

Next Time: Knights of the Grail, probably my favorite book in the setting.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:28 on Aug 4, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


marshmallow creep posted:

Actually, Night10194 and his friend whose username I forgot, I got some friends who are interested in trying Warhammer eventually and I am anxious about accidentally smashing their poo poo to absolute bits by not knowing how to use monsters correctly. Would you peg a guideline for what kind of and how many monsters a group of four would survive? At what point are the odds evened out against something like a strigoi? The slaughter margin in the books gives you an idea how a fairly basic soldier guy holds up against a threat, but what about people into their third career? What stuff could they stand toe to toe with without being eviscerated?

I figure double-posting to answer a direct question is fine:

Third Career characters, depending on those careers, are actually really powerful. You start to become a hero about midway through your first Advanced Career, usually. Third Careers can include stuff like Witch Hunter (Bounty Hunter to Vampire Hunter to Witch Hunter is the shortest route. Also gives you proficiency with whips!), Champion, Assassin, Master Wizard, Master Thief, Knight of the Inner Circle etc. If they ambled around taking more basic careers they might not be as powerful, but third career characters are the sorts who can handle a Vampire Thrall in open combat one on one if they're a pure fighter (unless it's a Dragon with Blademaster, that can throw off the attack economy a lot). For instance:

Say that you're a human who started with a 35 Toughness. You've made it into Champion, and bought all the toughness advances. You now have a 60 Toughness, meaning 6 base damage reduction from everything. Now add in plate armor, since you've been adventuring awhile and picked up great gear. You're now at DR 11 against most attacks. Up against minor foes like goblins, common Orc boys, or Beastmen Gors, you're taking Damage 3 each time you get hit. They need to roll a 9+ to even wound you. So they need a 35-45% to-hit, then a 20% chance to actually do any damage, then if they do do damage, it's only 1-2 Wounds. You probably have 20 or so. You hit the beastman back with your probably-60+ Strength and Strike Mighty Blow for a Damage 7 hit. He's got DR 4 and 10 Wounds. On a 7+, you kill him. You have better odds of one-shotting him than he does of doing any damage at all to you.

Now say that same hero is up against a young Strigoi rolled on the random vampire generation table instead of hand-built. The Strigoi's got them beat on Strength and Toughness, but not by much, and doesn't have the same gear advantages or 3 Attacks (Randomly rolled Strigoi only has 2). The Strigoi's probably got them beat on Wounds, too, but it would be an even fight that could go either way.

An entire party of 3rd tier characters might potentially take on and defeat a Vampire Lord or possibly a fire-breathing dragon in open combat, though they'd take losses. The key to remember is Fate. Fate is extra lives. Any PC who goes down with a Fate Point remaining can burn it to not die. Similarly, if you want to run a really heroic campaign, you can give players fate points for their heroic achievements more often; if you do I'd advise making 3 the cap that a character can have at one time, but being pretty free about giving them Fate back if they had to burn it. Also always remember that superior numbers are really powerful. If you smash 3rd tier characters into a Hydra, for instance, give it Dark Elf handlers or something. A lot of the big monsters have a lot of attacks, but relatively poor Weapon Skill. Similarly, a lot of them have poor damage reduction but a lot of wounds. This can let a party overwhelm them at great risk.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Night10194 posted:

That acknowledged, open power is key to their role in the setting. When you oppose a vampire, you're a hero for even trying. Their strength (and the hidden, small cracks in that strength represented by their weaknesses) drives protagonists to be better in order to beat them. Vlad's death is such a memorable story because it took everything the Empire had. It felt legitimate and earned. If you're a fan of the humans, it's a big moment of triumph. If you like the bad guys, it's a moment where the other side had to go to incredible lengths even to match up. It's satisfying when the heroes manage to beat the dark and foreboding figure who seems to have endless wealth and power.

This is why the Vampire Counts are the best villains in Warhammer by a mile. They've overwhelmingly powerful, but they also have direct weaknesses. Importantly, those weaknesses require their enemies to ACTIVELY exploit them.
Fighting the Skaven is just boring, because whether you fight them or not there are ten billion more of them and their plans will never work anyway. You could just not bother and they would fall apart just as certainly and the Skaven as a whole would be just as unbothered by it.
Chaos has the strength of the Vampires, but their big weakness is making stupid mistakes which kinda takes the joy out of beating them. While the story of Grimgor stomping Archaon is fun it's not really a triumph in the same way as Vlad's defeat.
Greenskins barely even feel like you're fighting against people, because they are very simple and rely almost entirely on brute force. A charging rhino is dangerous, but it's not an interesting challenge.
Dark Elves aren't bad, but they don't have the same degree of power or exploitable weaknesses that vampires do. Any fight against a Dark Elf big bad is going to be little different from fighting a human with a higher agility stat and more spikes.

Nagash is the best world-ending threat in the setting, because he has all the power and arrogance and willfully-ignored weakness of Vampires, writ in large god-sized font. It's no accident that the only good End Times book was his.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It's really telling that one of the Lahmians' long range plans is convincing people vampires aren't that powerful and that they're all romantic figures like in Twilight/Anne Rice. They sponsor artists and authors specifically to promote this notion to blind people to the threat.

When playing as Wilhelm, the story of his romance with a Shallyan priestess got sold to the Lahmian-besoted famed playwright Dietlief Sierck and became a big romantic opera, making Wilhelm and Evelyn into the Edward and Bella of Altdorf's social scene. An endless source of annoyance to the ragged murder-hobo and his wife and something other characters loved to tease him about.

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



Thanks for the pointers.

Also

Night10194 posted:

Chaos's desire to transcend and devalue the physical world as petty and lesser.

Makes me think of playing Chaos as a form of gnosticism or evil Buddha. Like a doctrine that the only way to escape the endless suffering of the mortal world is to go all in and embrace the suffering of mutation and terror in a Hellraiser like-manner until you explode out of the cycle (and become a chaos beast.) Like many have said, Chaos seems pretty boring in its evil, so I haven't paid them deep attention, so maybe that's what you are supposed to do and I haven't noticed.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


marshmallow creep posted:

Makes me think of playing Chaos as a form of gnosticism or evil Buddha. Like a doctrine that the only way to escape the endless suffering of the mortal world is to go all in and embrace the suffering of mutation and terror in a Hellraiser like-manner until you explode out of the cycle (and become a chaos beast.)

When we get to Tome of Corruption that is, in fact, the exact doctrine of most of Chaos' more thoughtful followers.

E: Chaos's status as boring and lame is directly because of GW making them their big writer's pet, and throwing the rattle out of the pram with the End Times over how people didn't like Archaon. There's a ton of good stuff you could do with Chaos, GW just kinda didn't. Tome of Corruption tries, and has some extremely awesome stuff in it like 'Oh poo poo when we tried to defile this chaos sword by putting unicorn blood and holy priestess tears in it we messed up and now it's super holy and kills Chaos guys and any of our champions who wield it slowly lose their mutations and redeem themselves'.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Jul 11, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Khorne and Nurgle both can be written extremely well. They just usually aren't.

Nurgle at his best is the Evil Bodhissatva. He loves you, deeply and personally. And all living creatures. Including viruses. Nurgle loves all of them, all personally, all equally, and sees no difference in value between a microbe and you. Both of you are his beloved children, and should be friends.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Wil's great enemy was a Nurglite who took incredible, personal religious offense at the existence of undead, because they stopped the proper cycle of decay and rebirth. "Even when you die you become worthless ash! There is no getting anything holy or proper from you!" sort of thing.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




When I finally get to run that forums 40k game I've been planning to I'm having revivalist evangelist nurglites.
"Leave your burdens behind/ There's no need to be/In uncertainty
God is waiting for you."

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 16:54 on Jul 11, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Really though, and normally I'd save this until I get to the Chaos book, what kills Chaos so often is that the gods are micromanaging dicks. Chaos characters explicitly slowly lose their original personality around the time they get their Chaos Armor and it continues to get progressively worse as they climb up the ladder. By the time you're a Chaos Lord you don't remember your family or your friends. You don't remember why you started on this road. All you know is what your God wants you to know and you build a new personality from there. That's horrifying and all, but it means that most of Chaos' leadership are absolute puppets. Worse, lower level Chaos types who stray get smacked down really hard. The Gods don't let go once they have the claws in, and Chaos is, if anything, way more enthusiastic about enforcing its norms than the Empire, Vampires, Bretonnia, or any other group in the setting. The norms might be skullpits and crazy excess, but if you step out of line they are going to do very bad things to you very fast. When your leaders are rebuilt specifically to serve their Gods' personalities and wishes in all ways and your soldiers are kept in order by divine and immediate punishment if they stop adhering to their god, there isn't a lot of room for personalities and individuals.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




That works great in 40k.
The great contradiction of Chaos, you join because your faith in the Imperium is shattered but the more you carve your own path the more individuality you lose.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



\

§3.2 Castes

The Caste scale is a sort of in-universe equivalent of Levels in other games. It is a hierarchy of power and influence in the Castle, and all denizens are placed somewhere on this scale. It is important to note that Caste is fluid and does not define any particular role or nature. Beings can move up and down through the Castes as they gather power and influence, or as they stagnate and weaken.

§3.2.1 Refuse



Once, after losing all my power, I spent a decade raising
snakeveg in Foyer. Easy work, but the tedium nearly Broke
me.


This Caste is the home of the lowest of the low, the weakest beings in Oubliette. Most things in this Caste are small non-sentient animals. Anything considered actually dangerous doesn’t belong here, this is the Caste of vermin and food. Refuse aren’t concerned with any high ideals, and spend their entire existence fighting for survival as the definitive bottom of the food chain. While some sentients do exist in this caste, they too are small, weak, and generally inconsequential.

§3.2.1 Dregs



They keep us in pens, like the cattle the giants keep to the south. I don’t know where I
am. Or why I’m here. I don’t even know what my name is, it’s been so long since I used
it last.

All I know is that the pale men come every night to drink our blood, and there’s
nothing in the world we can do to stop them.

— #2820, Livestock Enclosure C


The Dregs are the Caste for the weakest humans, larger but non-agressive or dangerous beasts, and many of the smaller races such as Goblins and lesser Fae. The Dregs are the majority of the population of the Interior, and act as the manual labor force of the city. They pull carts, plow fields, clean, and do many forms of simple but grueling labor. Often dregs make a supplemental living by growing small plots of food, doing simple trading, and scavenging.

The main concern of the Dreg caste is food: most of a Dregs life is in pursuit of making sure that they can have enough food today to get enough food tomorrow to get enough food for the day after than, and so on. Material resources are basic, and luxuries are a rare thing to them.

The best comparison would be your typical medieval peasant dirt-farmer in other settings.

§3.2.3 Rabble


It came through in the night. Dragged off an ox. Third time this week. Now
when the night falls, we all sleep in the headman’s house.

—Folt, a Butcherblock scav


This is the lowest caste that most PCs would reasonably start in. Rabble are the “middle class” of the city, made up of skilled professionals, merchants, hostile but mundane animals, and the weaker of supernatural beings. Your average footsoldier, town guard, blacksmith, etc would fit here.

Rabble still work for food and necessities but they have enough power and influence to get them reliably, and have some luxuries on the side. Rabble often are in the positions of direct power over the Dregs.

§3.2.4 Lost



He strolled past the center of town, every inch of him
shining. The sun caught his armor and it hurt our eyes
to watch, but watch we did. It was not every day we got to meet
someone who had sworn to kill a dragon.

—A low-blood in Grandhall


The Lost are where you find the most powerful beings that could conceivably exist in the World of Life, and is the upper-tier of “mundane” beings. Heroes, master-warriors, supremely skilled professionals, dangerous animals, and the weaker forms of supernatural beings reside in this category. Lost are the highest Caste that the masses of Oubliette will encounter with any regularity.

Lost are mostly beyond worrying about daily necessities, and instead are the lowest caste where focusing on their own personal goals or ideals take up much of their time.

§3.2.5 Fallen



She leaves footprints that burn. You can see her sometimes from this ridge,
down where the slope meets the Murder Heat. Best not to approach,
however. She’s perfumed in sulfur and her kiss can melt steel.

—Lod, a goblin scout and hopeless romantic


This is the lowest Caste where you start seeing blatantly supernatural beings. This is where most of your traditional monsters, your trolls, Werethings, elementals, lesser dragons, etc reside. This is also where you start getting people with blatant magical or supernatural abilities beyond what is possible in the World of Life.

Fallen make up the bottom of the “middle rank” Castes, and so act as a sort of big fish in a small pond to the lesser Castes. To those below them Fallen are rare and storied and rarely encountered, but are in fact as the bottom of a whole new pecking order.

§3.2.6 Forsaken



I’ve been bringing him drinks when I can. A sip of water carried fve
miles from the well. A waterskin left on a rock. Except when I
interrupt him, he just keeps digging. The quarry is a fathom deep
and his hands are broad, distended paddles, but this is what he has to
do, he tells me. Tunnel until he hits bottom.


The Forsaken Caste forms a sort of midpoint in the Caste rankings, creating a clear delineation between those below and those above. Forsaken are the highest beings that those of lower Caste will likely ever personally interact with, and achieving this caste is the start of getting to become a legitimate power-player in the Castle. This is the Caste of lesser-spirit, the weaker Dragonkin, personifications of abstract concepts, common Demons, true Magicians and the like.

Forsaken are driven by the desire for more power, more influence, and the furthering of their ideals or goals. To reach this caste and beyond passive accumulation of power and prestige is not enough, and from here on actively seeking to improve oneself or pursue some goal is necessary. Passivity breeds weakness.

§3.2.7 Eminent



Staggering under its burden, the bird-lizard trudges. It
has been piled high with heaps of plate mail and kevlar,
chain-links and silk and what looks to be bottled mercury. A tattered
sign on its side proclaims deals for any merchant daring enough to
approach. Its talons are red, however, and I wonder who all that
armor used to belong to. When it swings its blood-shot, smiling
eyes at me, I no longer want to know.


The Eminent are where the true movers and shakers of the Castle start showing up. These are the top-tier of what the lower Caste can even conceive of existing. This is the domain of Archmagi, Vampire Lords, True Dragons, demi-gods, mythic heroes, and the like. Eminent Caste beings are the upper echelon of power in Oubliette, sort of the “nobility” of the City. They cannot rule unopposed but wield incredible and almost godlike power over those below them.

§3.2.8 Eldritch



The harbinger of doom came to our court. Ours. Of all the
councils in Spearfield, Vlad visits ours the most. Terror
gripped us, as you can surely imagine, and while the most
brave of us spoke to this holy abomination, the strongest of
our knights crept around to bracket her from all sides.

I’m sure that Yvienne meant no harm, but it was her
words that set the thing off. In an instant it had torn
through the court, through the lords, through the
knights, and through the walls.

We were forced to abandon Toullers afer of
that. I’m sure they won’t forget. But I myself
took away something different. Ambition.
—Marie Gyul, supplicating to Linthara.


The Eldritch caste is the de-facto rulers of Castle Oubliette. Godlike beings, many faction leaders, greater elementals and living concepts, Archangels, and God-Kings reside in this caste. These beings fan eliminate entire armies of lesser foes without effort, and sit at the top of the “mundane” politics of the city. For the majority of beings in Oubliette, the Eldritch caste is the end of the line with only rare exceptions being above them.

§3.2.9 Ancient



[/i]It’s not like it happens every Tuesday or anything, but you see
her up there from time to time. She’s called Nine Sky, or at
least that’s what I’ve heard. Yep, right up there, between the
towers of Celeste. It’s a crazy light show. Depending on who’s
throwing down, you can see her summon swarms of swords,
or just gigantic blades the size of skyscrapers.

Sometimes there’s earthquakes, sure. Occasionally the Wall
collapses and takes a few wards with it. Whatever. Best seats
in the house, if you ask me.

—Averow Stradlett, a Marauder from South Spearfield[/i]

The Ancients are the truly Godlike beings of the Castle, those so far above the petty politicking of their lessers that their maneuvering and influence are hidden, seeming to be the natural actions of the city. Ancient beings are things like Demon Lords, Vampire Kings, Dragon-Gods, Titans, and the like. These are the beings that know the true nature of reality and are privy to the deepest secrets of Castle Oubliette.

Most Ancients are disconnected from the day-to-day of the Castle though, being absorbed either in their own personal goals, or in the high-level politicking and infighting far beyond the concern and influence of their lessers.

§3.2.10 Divine



The King? Got bigger concerns than the Castle, I daresay.
There's a world beyond this, I’ve been told, although maybe
that’s all a pretext. If it’s true, I shudder to imagine what kind
of creatures could survive in the wilds beyond purgatory


The Divine Caste is made up of individuals, no category or group of beings exist at this level. These beings are ghost-like, a myth to the lower Castes at best, the invisible rulers of the Universe beyond even the Ancients ability to challenge. The Divine are concerned by matters far beyond the Castle itself, being concerned with cosmic issues that most beings are not even aware of, the equivalent of international conflicts of the afterlife.

And that’s it for the Castes! Now these may seem a bit vague at the moment, but Caste is essentially this game's equivalent of Levels, or if you’re familiar with the Dresden Files RPG the power-levels in that game. They have mechanical effects during character creation, and the differences will be more obvious when we get to going over NPCs and the Bestiary.

Next time though, the most common sentient Races of Oubliette!

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

That works great in 40k.
The great contradiction of Chaos, you join because your faith in the Imperium is shattered but the more you carve your own path the more individuality you lose.

The thing though is that the process is not nearly as absolute in 40k as it is in fantasy.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


One of the things that always helped Chaos Warriors stand out in Fantasy compared to the CSMs in 40k is that A: They don't generally talk that much. The Lords and Champions will, but Warriors have much more of an aura of quiet, professional menace. And B: No-one else has anything quite like them. 8 foot tall men and women (again, it's explicit that it doesn't matter. The Gods don't care who you were before you put on the armor) towering over their foes, clad in thick cloaks and imposing plate, make a hell of a lot more of an impression when you have to oppose them entirely with normal sized folk with normal gear. The baseline for 'are you a badass yet' in WHFRP is 'can you win a duel with a Chaos Warrior'.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Also the part where they spent their hanging out with goat people. Beastmen were a pretty distinctive set of ground troops.

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!


Night10194 posted:

Worse, lower level Chaos types who stray get smacked down really hard. The Gods don't let go once they have the claws in, and Chaos is, if anything, way more enthusiastic about enforcing its norms than the Empire, Vampires, Bretonnia, or any other group in the setting. The norms might be skullpits and crazy excess, but if you step out of line they are going to do very bad things to you very fast

This just makes me imagine a Chaos game run with Paranoia. Punishments for not wearing the right shade of bloody red, not fulfilling your skull quotas, etc.

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



"Instead of skulls for the Skull Throne, why not a pelvis ottoman? A scapula TV tray?"

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Really, part of why I love the vamps is you're allowed to be a hero against the vamps. You can beat them. They don't have the author in their corner going 'You didn't really hurt him! He's fine! And also you're corrupted!' at every single fight with the drat things. They make people be better in order to beat them. Chaos just drags everyone down to its level.

You have to change Chaos up a bit or emphasize parts the official authors don't to make it interesting or fun. You can do the vamps off the shelf and it'll be fun.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade: Land of Seed and Blossom - Lands of Seed and Blossom

The seven provinces of Seed and Blossom are kind of a revolving door of Izou rulership. Generals and garrisons are swapped out quickly - sometimes monthly. The clans, meanwhile, spread themselves out to focus on strategic points in taking back their land, using their knowledge of the area as a weapon. The first province is Hiroki Province, or Dust Province. It was the first to be attacked by the Izou, and the place where the First Immortal came. It was ruled over, in theory, by the Crystal Bearers - and that is why it was attacked first, as they were the leaders of the nation. The area is warm, wet and humid, and much of its natural resources have been entirely stripped from the land. Several species are either wiped out or have left the area, and the people of the province are the poorest in the entire Land. Constant war has ravaged the land, but it can still be managed with hard work.

However, the locals are also the most loyal to the old ways of the Blossom and to the Uprising. Even in the smallest village there are hidden shrines to the Immortals, despite the heavy Izou presence. They villagers act as the Crystal Bearers have advised them to - they are smiling, accomodating, friendly...right up until the moment they can best help the ninja. The ninja show themselves when needed, but prefer to remain hidden from the invaders whenever possible. The old rite to call them still works, but these days it's mostly easier to just talk to the Shouka representative in your village, since the clan has put a contact into just about every community in the province. While they are subtle, they are the clan with the strongest ties to their people, and they work hard to protect them out of their intense need to fulfill the duties given by the Immortals.

Trespassers will be warned of danger by crystalline cocoons around plants or corpses. While the Bearers are not as violent as some, their lack of numbers means they need to guard themselves well, and it's usually safer to avoid the wild places where they lay their traps and just summon them by other methods. They are neighbored on the east by the Splendid Chameleons, who make no real encroachments, and on the south by the Sisterhood of Blood. The Sisterhood and the Bearers often argue over ideals, but because both are clans that favor negotiation, they don't usually come into violent conflict.

One of the most important landmarks in the area is the Seiseki Ruins, where Lu Dongbin first emerged. (It is said that, when a citizen has been deemed worthy by the Shouka, they can be taken to the very place Lu Dongbin first stood, and will see a path before them that leads three miles. Walking it is said to enrich the soul deeply.) Once, the ruins were home to a massive city, which people across the Land made pilgrimages to for the Birthstone rituals. However, the Izou took it as an obvious target, and thanks to the Izou cannon and ninja, it fell. Now, it is a small town surrounded by rubble and ruin. Now, it is still a place of pilgrimage, but for journeys of mourning and loss.

One of the few towns in the province to remain prosperous is Shojo no Me, the Virgin's Eye, which lies between Shitashii Lake and the Shin'yuu River. Local history claims the town was born of those rejected by other areas, but that a beautiful virgin came to town - perhaps an avatar of the Fifth Immortal - who charmed all the local men but who would take no stolen goods as gifts. This turned the town around, pushing out the criminals and bringing in much tourism. However, the women of the town were very jealous of her, and she was eventually murdered by her handmaiden, with her eyes torn from her head and thrown into a well. The end, no moral! The town is doing well, however. It is believed the water supply is enchanted by the woman's energy, and a single sip is said to reduce the signs of age by several years. (Not that this is attractive to all Blossoms, given their respect for age.)

The Jishin Fort is the largest garrison in the province - and, indeed, the entire nation. It is a tower of iron and steal in the midst of a now-barren landscape, a massive spiral-shaped symbol of oppression. Vast resources have been used to make the fort, which is now both a noble embassy and a training center for newly arrived soldiers. The cultural education offered is only partially accurate, but it's better than nothing. The fort is surrounded by oil refineries, weapons plants and factories, now largely self-sustaining. Worst of all, for the Blossom people, is the Birthstone removal service, which is offered to any Blossom citizen that wants it. This is sacrilege to the Shouka - removal of the Birthstone is a punishment for criminals, and then only the worst, after all. However, the fort has withstood several attacks and infiltrations by the Crystal Bearers that want to destroy it, and at this point, its destruction is fairly low on the Uprising priority list until a new method is found.

Kokuso Chitai Province, aka the Breadbasket Province, is full of many rivers and inhabited by the Sisterhood of Blood, who keep the land clean and fertile. Its small jungles and rainforests are separated by large areas of grassland, and most of the locals practice hunting, fhsing or farming, with most trade done in barter rather than Izou coin. The villages are mostly along the rivers or the coastline. The Sisterhood encourage people to avoid the border they share with Yakubyo's Pox, as they dislike the disease-causing clan. They respect them, but avoid them if possible...which isn't always doable, as they must sometimes serve as intermediaries between the Bearers and the Pox. Both sides quietly resent them for this, but the Sisterhood will do whatever they can to prevent war between those two clans, even if they find the Pox rash and shortsighted. The Blossom people have always seen the Sisterhood as bringers of good tidings, and the discovery that the Fa Disease is not totally eradicated has only cemented their belief that the Sisters are deeply needed. The Sisters work to help guide the lives of their people and give good advice. In their lands, men are not looked down on, but women are distinctly encouraged towards independence and power.

The biggest city of the area is Xianguqui, where the Fifth Immortal first arrived. It is home to 20,000 people and is mainly a giant marketplace for the local farmers and fishermen. Yo ucan get almost anything you want there, either in the bustling farmer's market or the equally bustling (and gender-neutral) red light district. There is also an Adventurers Guild - a meeting place for the Adventurer Caste to trade information and rumors, as well as stay in one of several inns or taverns. Outside the market is the home of the Council of Three, who lead the Sisterhood of Blood and have great power in the province. The Ketsueki have strings just about everywhere, and they work hard to keep the city beautiful and self-sufficient. As a result, few are poor there. The area is also used as a meeting ground between the Crystal Bearers and Sisterhood of Blood, to maintain good relations as much as possible, as well as to trade medicines and information. It is rumored that they are working together to make their own version of the Uprising more effective, but so far no one has proof of this.

Mori Hogosha, on the other hand, is a thousand-strong village in the rainforest. It's still lightly traveled, as the road becomes a swamp during the rainy season. However, the Sisterhood and their mastery of water prevents much damage and ensures the floods are mostly beneficial. During the rainy season, the village mostly practices hunting and gathering in the jungle, where many animals live. Once the Two Dragons Bridge opens once more, however, there's a huge celebration and it becomes a great place to pick up weapons and armor. The area sits near Izou territory - specifically the Oak Leaf Province, once known as Treeside, and the loss is still felt there.

The coast is home to Iriai, or Sunset, a fishing town noted for..well, beautiful sunsets and extremely good art, especially art done by some Sisters in the blood of animals. It's a tourist town, insofar as anywhere in the Land of Seed and Blossom is, and in this area, the Uprising is mostly an afterthought. The place is basically an artist's commune, ruled over by Koukon, the greatest artist of the Sisters. At this point, she is a slave to her inspiration. When she isn't painting, she is watching out for other artists and giving them advice. She still attends to the rituals of the clan, but is not much for fighting any more. Her work is especially focused on life and the depiction of women as both strong and sexual beings. The area is also a port for fishing and minor trade, but while the Lost Island is close, the Sisters leave that to the Pox.

The Lost Island has been fought over since time immemorial by the Blossoms and the Land of Five Blades. No one is certain what's actually on the island, due its powerful magical barriers, and neither country has actually landed on the beaches. The magic and the rock formations have destroyed all ships sent there so far. The Blossom, however, believe the island is the home of the Immortals. They seek the place to gain the guidance of the Immortals, in the hopes that this will make the Uprising stronger.

Hanei Province is the home of Yakubyo's Pox, and from there, they manage their three great goals: control the Blossom population, find a way to get to Lost Island, and kill the Izou. Unsurprisingly, the place is a very violent area. They neighbor the Sisterhood of Blood, whom they respect deeply but could not be more different from. Men in the Pox lands are required by Izou mandate to join the Citizens Militia for five years when they turn 18, as the Izou believe the local 'savages' should police themselves. Refusal or failure to pass physical training is usually lethal. The Izou didn't keep the Pox from taking over, however - and that was a mistake. They just gave distinguished members of the Militia land and pensions. The Pox are happy to subvert the Militia and use them to help kill more Izou when they can get away with it. After all, the Pox don't just want the Izou gone - they want genocide.

Women in Hanei are taught to be homemakers first - but to do so, they are expected to master several martial arts techniques, so they can defend their homes. The Pox do not look down on their women - they just don't let them become ninja. (As a result, women in Pox lands are known to leave for Sisterhood rule. This is accepted as normal.) Most of the population is rural, living in villages run by the Citizen's Militia. There are very few cities in the territory, and there's a lot of hostile jungles between settlements. Even the best roads are stalked by predators, and the Pox are rumored to use the wild lands to experiment on diseases and their uses against humans. They also strictly maintain control over how many children you can have. Those who go over two children find the 'extras' murdered or kidnapped.

The only city of the province is Yuuki, which is also the capital of the Land asa a whole and the former home of the Elders. Right now, it's mainly a walled compound full of Advisors protecting the Capital Tower. This area is full of sickly, tainted chi, which is favored by the Pox ninja, after all. The area is also home to Kai Shik Theater and Tavern, run by the titular Kai Shik, a Splendid Chameleon who runs an acting troupe to entertain the locals. He spies on the Izou soldiers in the area, who quite like the theater, and tries to avoid direct conflicts. The Outer Ring of the city, outside the walls, is a patchwork nightmare of urban sprawl, a defensive buffer to protect the central tower. Danger and chaos reign here - slaving, black markets and crime. The Militia patrol the area, but there's nowhere near enough of them. The neighborhoods mostly police themselves with 'gangs' of justice-enforcers who all have different rules. The area is also home to the Militia training grounds, where the Pox and Militia practice combat and especially amphibious assault training. The training is intense and sometimes lethal.

Shinde Shizukana Province is claimed by the Phantom Voices, who maintain the cemetaries and graveyards. They used to spread across the whole land, but they've mostly retreated to their strongholds to hide from the Izou. The area is excellent farmland, though it is occasionally raided by Izou soldiers. However, there aren't that many villages, and the ninja ones are especially well-hidden, and usually resemble graveyards with houses interspersed. The locals are at ease with this, but even Blossoms of other provinces tend to be initially wary. The burials are of the Pure Ones, people who don't need full ritual purification. The rituals are long, arduous and involve more work the worse a person was. Criminals usually get their corpses skinned and fed to wolves, then their bones ground to dust and spread over holy land. The less corrupt instead are cremated with peach tree oil and scattered. The bodies of the Pure Ones, however, are kept intact and are seen as good luck to be around.

The primary city of the region is Tengoko no Jundo, or Heavenly Purity. It's at the center of the province, near the holy Suikokyu Lake. It's hard to reach except by boat, and even after the Izou invasion, it has been kept well-defended. The city appears to be a massive, sprawling graveyard along the lakeside, with each building surrounded by headstones of the Pure Ones. Some are evne built into the cliff faces that surround the city or on rocks out in the lake. A thin layer of mist usually covers the area even by day, and gets thicker by night. The city is friendly to those allied to the Phantom Voices, but it's hard to get to it at all if you aren't. The roads and boats are carefully watched, and unwanted guests are diverted by ninja magic. The city is where most Phantom Voices train, at the Temple of Passage, and as a result the city is believed to be the most pure location in the entire southern half of the nation. Outsiders rarely get to see it at all.

The lake, Suikokyu, is the largest in the entire Land and is the heart of the Phantom Voice territories. It is believed to purify all those around it, and it is a lake covered in fog and full of good, rich fishing. By night, the fog gets so thick that you can't even cross the lake at all. The waters are unusually calm and smooth, even in bad weather, and the Voices hold it as their holiest natural site, with only Tengoko no Jundo being a holier place at all. As a result, it is often the place where the ashes and dust of the violent dead are strewn.

Midori Province (Green Province, yes) is the home of the Bamboo Alchemists, and most of it isn't actually green. About half is made of the Hougo Range of mountains, though there are forests at the base. The loyal Ika have retreated into the mountains since the Izou takeover and the clan's split. They live as hermits, emerging to heal the sick or help people but otherwise rarely seen. They can sense the sickness of the land wherever they go, however. They have made the Hougos their own, using the steep paths and difficult ascent to protect themselves, as well as trapping the caves and tunnels they hide within. They are pretty much the main occupants of the mountains - the rest of the population mostly lives away from them. Those that do live in the mountains, however, live in bountiful natural safe areas, protected from harm and disease by the Alchemists. These are the only people that know the safe paths through the mountains, but they rarely leave, and tend to be as xenophobic as their ninja masters.

The Midori border has actually expanded, however, now that the Ika are starting to come down to join the Uprising. Their potions and tea leaf divinations have told them it is time to claim more land. The Phantom Voices have been happy to give up some of their territory to the clan, but the Grim Creepers were not. However, even with the Alchemists not at the strength they once held, they were more than enough to cow the young clan into obedience.

Within the mountains is a place known as Chinmoku no Dangai, the Cliffs of Silence, where a rogue Oni was killed by the Fourth Immortal. It is said that the Oni's blood drained all life from the cliff, and there is certainly a hundred-foot area in which the air does not move, ever, and in which no plant can grow. Small animals die within an hour of touching its dead earth, and even the undead avoid it. It is a chi-dead zone. Despite this, the Ika have found a use for the place - it is a good gathering spot if you want to avoid detection, as no sensory jutsu can operate within its bounds. It also makes a good place to practice meditation rituals without the distractions of the world around you. It also makes a decent punishment for trainees that over-rely on their jutsu abilities. The Phantom Voices also sometimes visit it to study its mysteries, for they know that the Fourth Immortal could easily have cleaned it up but chose not to.

The most notable town in the area is Jujihoka, or Crossfire Point. It isn't really notable for size, but it is the center of a bitter war between four different clans. Jujihoka is the only place that the Akasuta flower grows, and that flower can cure any illness, poison or disease. This makes a great tension - everyone wants it. The Bamboo Alchemists desire it for obvious reasons and took the town quickly when the flower was discovered. However, it was in Grim Creeper territory, and they didn't like to give it up. While the two clans have been trying to make nice since, the town is something they still fight over - violently, at times. The Splendid Chameleons, meanwhile, claim they should own the town because of the beauty the flower brings. However, they care more about the townsfolk, who live in constant fear of ninja battles. They are a strong people who do not use the flower for anyone that asks, but without a defender, they will have to submit eventually. Yakubyo's Pox also want to control the flower so that it cannot be used against them and can give them a tool to cure the Fa Disease without need for the Sisterhood of Blood.

The Jikuyuu Monastery is also in the area, home to the Jikuyuu Monks. These are an order of usually peaceful Immortalists that have chosen to remove themselves from the outside world and the social pressure of rising in Caste. They take oaths of celibacy, sobriety and pacifism, but train constantly in self-defense techniques to keep their compound safe. They are rumored to exist on a more spiritual plane, becoming closer to the Immortals and gaining visions from them. The monasteryh as existed since the Second Immortal came, and it has always successfully predicted the coming of the next Immortal. Even the ninja cannot foretell the future like the mountain monks. The monastery has been kept secret from the Izou so far, and its monks are the most devout people in the entire Land. To lose them would be terrifying. The Ika have protected the monastery by illusion, to guard against anyone that does not already know exactly where it is - even other clans, in case they defected.

Toguchi Province, or Doorway Province, is the home of the Warawara Clan, though they've not had much time to carve it out. They claim an area of rocky plains, grassland and forest, most of which none of the other clans wanted in the first place. They have slowly expanded, taking lands that were once Bamboo Alchemist, but have since stabilized and don't want to expand further, except to retake Jujihoka. The see the Izou occupation as a much higher priority than interclan disputes, though. Their forests are rough and dense, left largely wild. There's a number of roads that lead into the Untamed Wilds, of course, and while the Izou patrol constantly, the Creepers monitor them to be sure their hospitality isn't taken advantage of. For their own travel, they use the Dakupasu - underground roads made of old lava tubes, caves and underground rivers. These have been modified enough to move a cart, if it's small, and the ninja can use them to quickly cross the province without the Izou noticing. Of course, there are still bottomless chasms and underground rivers to deal with, so travel without a Creeper guide is ill-advised. (Wilderness travel is cery difficult, due to the Creeper love for pit traps, especially those with dangerous animals or punji sticks.)

The province is, in theory, fertile. However, the suu are extremely territorial insects and eat any other bug that comes into their territory, which drastically reduces the amount of pollination that can happen. Crops should thrive, in theory, but few do except along the Ouka river, where cherry trees grow shockingly well. The forested areas are less affected by this than the grasslands, as the trees can pollinate largely without insects and are allowed to grow wild, as the clan lives mostly underground, in their city-networks. The province itself is populated less than any clan's land but the Pox - there's a few towns and villages, but not many, due to the poor crop growth. They do producve fine cherry wines, however, and excellent minerals from the clan's excavations.

The largest city in Creeper land is Yokoso Kagushi, the Hidden Welcome. It's one of the most audacious projects ever undertaken in Seed annd Blossom, and it'd have utterly failed if the Splendid Chameleons had not come to help in exchange for safe passage and friendship. It's central in the province and connected to several other small towns by the Dakupasu. The entire city is underground, built into a number of branching cavern hubs, with most of its entrances and paths concealed. It's very hard to actually enter the city itself from above ground if you don't know where oyu're going. This is the headwuarters of the Warawara, but they also maintain housing for their civilians and traders, and the caves are actually full of buildings rather than the more normal carved-out homes of other Warawara underground towns. Half of the cavern has access to a freshwater lake that is used to provide water to the city, and which balances the Yin chi of the city itself with a powerful Yang.

Entering the Untamed Wilds requires the approval of the Chameleons of the Creepers. The Chameleons enforce strict but unrwritten rules, and they punish them harshly when broken. The Creepers will happily warn people if they're about to gently caress up and cross the Idou, however. They can be scary, but they really only have two requirements to get into the Wilds. They demand tribute, first of all. They often have food shortages, so they use the passage as a way to get food from travelers - enough for the travelers and every ninja they meet, typically in the form of a bag of rice. Money or other items of value are accepted only if the traveler has no food to share. The second requirement is that a traveler must be accompanied by a Grim Creeper guide. They see the Wilds as a sort of homeland, given the suu came from there, and they like to travel it. Being guides gives them a good excuse, and that's why they insist on it. Only one ninja can guide a group of travelers at a time, but they maintain a relay system, to allow each new ninja to demand tribute if they choose and to get some time on the road. Lucky travelers get an experienced guide early and don't have to deal with all the passing between ninja.

Nejireta Tsuri Province is the home of the Splendid Chameleons. They are a joyous clan, lighting up the lives of those they interact iwth, but they are also able to use their strange contortionist talents to fight the Izou.They are ninja, after all, before they are entertainers. The province itself is cared for rather like a garden, with no overgrowth or wild decay. There are many fruit orchards, and the land is healthy and fertile, far more than anywhere else but Sisterhood territory. The local villages specialize in fruit and alcohol trading, and what they produce is exceptionally valuable. However, the rest of the land is not great for farming - it's mostly lumber wood.

The Idou demand respect for the Untamed Wilds, however, and forbid any unauthorized logging. Arrangements must be made in advance to cut down trees, usually in exchange for alliances or gifts of valuable art or weapons. The Chameleon villages are hidden among the trees, using the terrain to hide their strange, sculpture-like buildings well. These are known as the ten-mura, or sky villages, because they are often built into living trees. Most do have traditional housing near the best of the trees, but not all. The Idou also grow special trees around stone and metal, known as the Kuiaratame no Kessaku - the Masterpiece of Repentance. That is because they take a human being that has broken their laws and put them into the tree, usually in an uncomfortable position, before sealing them in with thestone and metal. They can be released only by the total destruction of the prison, which is usually quite dangerous to the prisoner. Those that harm innocents or dishonor the clan massively are generally left in these prisons until they starve to death.

The most beautiful city of the province, even the entire Land, is Hareyakana Karafuto, Radiant Craft. It is in the geographical center of the province, so while it is concealed, it is easy to get to if you know where it is. The woods around it are carefully crafted to be so thick as to be impassable without ninja help. Indeed, the city is built from the forest itself, in the way of Idou architecture. The primary difference is that there are no ground-based structures at all - the entire city is built into the 50-odd ten-mura that currently make up the city. (Even more are being built yearly.) The tallest is 200 feet high, and is the home of the Chameleon clan leadership as well as where young students train. Each of the ten-mura is a work of art, but is also constructed for defense. The walkways that connect them can be either retracted or dropped, while the walkways around the trees themselves are designed to allow for stones to be rolled off onto attackers. The ten-mura are also built so that the frame can survive the tree being burned. However, none of these defenses have ever been needed - no enemy has ever found the city.

The Idou see themselves as the benevolent protectors of the Untamed Wilds, and a trip through Idou lands into them means dealing with their rules. They are generally peaceful about it, as long as the land is respected, however, and collateral damage isn't too blatant. While most of the time permission is sought in Idou villages, any Chameleon ninja may, technically, grant permission to enter as long as an oath to respect the land is performed and the traveler is deemed worthy. Most travelers are also given one or two Chameleon escorts, who will harp on the importance of admiring and caring for the land, then leave after a few days (and secretly tail the group to see how they act while 'alone'). Those that break the oath will likely be attacked.

The greatest construction of the Splend Chameleons is Kiri to Ni Ho To, the Tower of Mist and Fire, which sits on a small island near the coast. It appears to be a giant lighthouse of weathered, stacked stone that should collapse easily - but in the two years it's been standing, the many waves have never harmed it. It just appeared one night. While many Izou and peasants believe the thing was made by magic, the truth is the Chameleons built it out of quarried stone carefully manipulated by jutsu to appear weathered and rough. The Izou have tried to tear it down twice and have investigated its supernatural nature once; all three expeditions failed because the ships sank or the crews vanished mysteriously. Within the tower is a secret passage into a concealed cave system under the island, used by the Chameleons to hide in and put out the lighthouse when the Izou drop by. They are actively trying to maintain the illusion that the thing is a magical ghost lighthouse.

The Untamed Wilds themselves are mostly pristine wilderness, and even when under threat of attack, the Blossom people do not make many incursions into them en masse. They could, if they wanted, but deliberately choose not to, and punish those who try. Passage into the Wilds is a mark of adulthood, and visitors are often there to explore and fight beasts to prove their worth. Some go seeking out medicinal plants or mystical animals, while others hunt for ancestral ruins (which, so far, have not proven to exist at all). The region is extremely diverse, and there are many kinds of plant and animal, including a shocking number of large, deadly and carnivorous plants. Travel in the are is extremely limited, especially without a Creeper or Chameleon guide. So far, all attempts to access the wilderness by sea have either failed or been immediately set upon by the forces of nature and forced to flee. The constant storms of the Arashi Sea don't exactly help, either. Only the Land of Exalted Flame has ever managed to gain enough of a foothold to make a permanent settlement.

That settlement is Honshiken, who made it in an effort to explore the world. Many Blossoms consider the place a desecration or even an act of war, especially as the residents have razed entire sections of jungle for lumber and farmland. Only this total destruction has allowed the place to survive with only limited animal harassment. The local ninja were attacked when they tried to investigate and driven off before a full assessment could be made. The clans agree that the colony is a blight on the perfect savagery of the Wilds. However, while they've made a few raids to test it and see how strong it is, no one has returned from any of these attempts. A fullscale assault is coming, but many fear going in blind.

Next time: Mechanics!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I really wanna get ahold of Oubliette now.

I'm glad we are talking about WFRP vampires. I super wanna run an Akumajou Dracula PbP now. I just made a very good chicken paprikash so I am very qualified to pit an adventuring party against not-Hungarian vampires.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade: Land of Seed and Blossom - How 2 Ninja

Mechanically, Blossom ninja remain largely identical to Izou ninja. However, Steps 1 and 2 differ somewhat. Step 1 is mostly a reskin - each of the elements is reskinned as your Birthstone and gives a slightly different set of stat boosts, and they also give a few more selections you can pick for Gift/Trigger for each one. Step 2, however, replaces Profession with Caste. You can select any of the Castes except Gatherer - all full ninja are at least Family Bearer, after all. Note that your actual IC caste can shift during play much more easily than a Profession might, though, and you can take Chief Caste even if you aren't actually a Chief - you might be a next in line for the job, say. We also get a few new afflictions for step 4, like being a carrier for Fa Disease or having no Birthstone.

We also get some new fighting styles! Frog Style focuses on movement, a mix of rushes and distance combat, and low damage whittling.
Wall Launch
Level 1: You can use Athletics as a secondary skill when attacking to get +1 per level to the attack, as long as you have a sturdy surface to jump off.
Level 2: When making such an attack, you also get a full Move action.
Level 3: Select an environment type. When making such an attack in that environment (for example, urban or swamps), you get an additional +2.

Expert Dodger
Level 1: You may spend 1 Dynamic Action to get +1 to all Dodge checks for the Round, up to (Level) times per Round.
Level 2: You get +1 Marksman to Counterattack immediately when you Dodge.
Level 3: Pick a specific kind of weapon, such as swords or unarmed. You get +2 to Dodging attacks from that kind of weapon.

Poison Training
Level 1-3: +1 Holistics per level when dealing with Poisoned conditions or when using Alchemy to make poisons.

Rhino Style: Up close, heavy rushdown and knocking the foe off balance. Not so good at ranged combat.
Destabilizing Strikes
Level 1: With a Boost, you may instantly apply send your foe back (Might+5) feet, forcing them to make an Athletic+Speed check to avoid knockdown.
Level 2: Double the distance.
Level 3: You do +2 damage to prone targets.

Pushing Through the Wind
Level 1: Attackers get -3 to hit you instead of -2 when you Sprint, and you do +2 damage rather than +1 on your followup attack.
Level 2: You can Dodge normally while Sprinting.
Level 3: You get Armor 2 while Sprinting.

Thick Hide
Level 1-3: You reduce the penalties for wearing Armor by (Level*2).

Sloth Style: Slow, calculated combat. Very tactical.
Calculated Movements
Level 1: When acting after Initiative 5, you get +1 per level to attacks.
Level 2: When acting after Initiative 4, you ignore up to 2 levels of Armor.
Level 3: When acting after Initiative 3, you cause Slowed 1 when you hit on top of normal damage.

Slow and Strong
Level 1: You may sacrifice 2 Initiative to get +1 damage for the Round, up to (Level) times per Round.
Level 2: When acting at Initiative 5 or after, your Actions cannot be Interrupted.
Level 3: When acting at Initiative 4 or after, you get +1 damage.

In the Trees
Level 1-3: You get +1 Athletics per level when in the wilds.

Spider Style: Attack with every part of your body. Every part.
Deceptive Movements
Level 1: You get +1 Deception per level for Feints.
Level 2: You may make one free Feint per Round.
Level 3: If you successfully Feint, you get +4 to the followup attack rather than +2.

Spider STriking
Level 1-3: You may equip one extra weapon per level simultaneously, as long as each shares at least one Quality and is a small weapon. You also do +1 damage per additional weapon.

8 Legs Strike At Once
Level 1-3: You may spend 1 Dynamic Action to get +1 to your next attack per opponent, capped at (Level*3). You can do this only once per Round. If facing a Squad, The GM decides how many squaddies are fighting you for this. Against a Legion, you get the maximum bonus automatically.

Next time: New jutsu!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 14: New West: Part 16: "Black hearted in the extreme, these Devilish beasts will deliberately slaughter animals, from pets to livestock, without taking a bite to eat; kidnap women and children, kill children, women, preachers and so-called protectors and leave them gutted and displayed for all to see (spreadeagle, impaled on a tree or fence, or hung from a pole, tree or rafters), and steal or destroy things people hold of value, including shrines, churches, hospitals, generators, important vehicles and equipment, etc."

We're reminded that dinosaurs have returned to Rifts Earth, or at least their alien unscientific equivalents? Why? Because dinosaurs are rad, that's why.

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

Predators are among themost common, because there are a number of large and varied prey to feed on, including humanoids!

Uh, aren't plants common enough, too? Rifts explicitly isn't a post-apocalypse wasteland, after all. And then there's how the predator / prey balance actually works...

plus it's not like a dumb animal would know there's food on the other side of a crackling blue light anyway ugh


Dinodillos.

Desert Sleepers

So, this is a 10-11' theropod with an armored back so it can just dig in the sand and curl up to survive through cold desert nights, and their armor protects from other predators for the most part. Unusually for Rifts, they only attack small animals and won't eat living people (though they'll scavenge dead ones).

They're not much tougher than an armored human aside from their armored back, which about doubles their M.D.C. if you're not shooting their underbelly. They're fast and physically capable as animals, of course, but not particularly smart. They can knock people around with a head butt or claw. They're not great to ride and only Simvan and Psi-Stalkers and their like can even try. Sometimes people kill them for their meat and armor.


It's corny, at least!

Devil Unicorn

Oh the other side of the realism spectrum, this is a supernatural monster that is deliberately sadistic and vicious. Not particularly unicorny other than having a unihorn, this is a creature that will generally maim people but keep them alive to torture. It even has a "hellish" or "demonic" laugh. Why is it so evil?



So, it's got typical monster stats - strong, fast, tough, but dumb and ugly. It's tougher than a hatchling dragon or even most power armor, but the fact that it relies on melee limits its offensive capacity. Even so, it gets a 74% automatic pounce attack and can do solid damage if it does manage to pin people. It has a large bonus against fear and that's pretty much it. It's a bulletproof rhino with claws that hates everybody.


If only all of the book was like this!

Duckbilled Honkers

These may or may not be related to our own hardosaurids, gathering in herds, and apparently feed on trees in contrast (or it could just be bad research) to our own duckbilled dinosaurs. Some people raise them as herd animals. They're called honkers for the loud honking noises they make, of course.

They're about 20'-30' and are actually tougher than a hatchling dragon and most power armor, and are strong and tough but dumb. They can hold their breath for minutes, and their natural weapons don't do much damage. Their hide is used to make things like mega-damage ponchos, coats, and tents. Like desert sleepers, they aren't very good for riding.

Giant Canyon Worms

These are large 25'-40' "worm-like" scavengers. However, it's dumb and sometimes accidentally attacks live prey, which it tries to shake or slam around until it tears a chunk free. Their "chemical slobber" also attracts other canyon worms, which is a weird adaptation.

They're strong, but surprisingly not that strong for something that's multi-ton (a bodybuilder can match them). They're tougher than humans in armor but not by much more. They're basically just less aggressive, scavenging graboids, and sometimes people use their hides to make armor or their fat to make lamp oil. People don't generally eat them but they're made into dog food sometimes.

Oh, and people ride them at rodeos sometimes because we have art of that.


"I was thinking of this alien horror that-" "I drew a snake." "- looks exactly like a snake."

Great Dream Snakes
By Chris Kornmann & Kevin Siembieda


So, Siembieda loves evil tempter / deciever monsters, and these ones are rattlesnakes between 3' and 100' long depending on their age. Naturally, they're ridiculously powerful, because ridiculously powerful monsters obviously need to rely on deception and trickery to get their way. Some people seek them out for power but it's a sham, as we'll see.

Strictly NPCs, they have almost all exceptional attributes, and young ones have around 2000 M.D.C. while adults will have around 20,000 M.D.C., can teleport, shapechange, turn invisible, see the invisible, hide in shadows, inflict mega-damage poison bites, become a super-snake with 20% more M.D.C. (like they fuckin' need it), and has a wish-granting ability that is either just illusion or event-manipulation that's only temporary so it basically can just fool people into thinking it's granted their wish and then yank it away and laff and laff. It has variety of big bonuses against mind control and fear, is a powerful spellcaster and illusionist, has "all psionics", and only modest skills. It likes hanging out on the astral plane, even though it takes quad damage from attacks while there. They're supposed to be "dream" snakes because they grant dreams but eventually you wake up, isn't that deep? It also refers us to Dragons & Gods (not a Rifts book) for some extra powers and to the Rifts Conversion Book to calculate their damage because it can't be bothered.

Once again, though, it's not clear why they worry about working through confederates and playing master manipulators when they can take dozens of nukes and fight a god. It's like the world's laziest godzilla. "Yeah, I could smash the city but-"

Great Plains Buffalo

So, the "American Plains Indians" long ago did a magical ritual to hide buffalo (or, rather, bison) in another dimension to save them from extinction, which... wasn't necessary, as it turns out! But when a rifts opened "millions" of them came back. Nothing special In them, mind. They're buffalo (actually bison). They have a horror factor of 10 when charging, despite the fact it can't do even do damage to most PCs within their bulletproof M.D.C. speedsuits.


Can hear you scream.

Grigleapers

Apparently these are named after the guy who discovered them, Bartholamew P. Griggs, who will never be mentioned again. So, they're essentially just your generic xenomorph-type predators, except without the hive or acid blood or putting eggs in you or really any of the parts that made xenomorphs aliens weird and terrifying. But these creatures have tentacles in their palms! That's scary!

They're about as tough as an armored human, and are physically exceptional but not amazing. They're fast, reasonably sneaky, hard to sneak up on, and can jump and climb well so they can be comin' out of the wall at any time. They have a pounce attack and need to land it to do serious damage by rending with all six of their limbs. They don't know fear and... well. They're just pretty generic predators to throw in packs at PCs. Their horror factor is ridiculously high at 15, or "18 from a pack of 10 or more". Yeah, a pack of these is as scary as literal gods, because Rifts doesn't keep track of benchmarks for that poo poo.

Blah. A lot of these feel like a shameful waste of Ramon Perez's art on relatively cookie-cutter statblocks. Give them acid on their tentacles or poison or... something? It seems trivial to come up with something interesting, but nope! Not here!

Gwylack
By Chris Kornmann


Because Siembieda keeps all the Perez art to himself.

This is a human-sized tarantula that is also a scorpion, a requirement for any post-apocalypse RPG. They're about as tough as an armored human and can lay (S.D.C.) webs. They have a deadly venom but it's not as dangerous to M.D.C. creatures, though it'll kill most humans outright because it does damage straight to hit points. Otherwise they do poo poo for damage and if you flip them on their back they get stuck, where you can hit them for... well, the same damage as you'll always do, they just can do a lot less about it. Granted, there are no rules for knocking them over, so work that out with your GM. They're really strong and immune to poison and all that. People kill them for food because they apparently "taste like chicken" and their poison is useful in anti-venom serums. Homeopathy?


More dinosaurs changed to avoid copyright violation.

Leatherwing

A "massive pterodacyl type flying dinosaur, probably from another dimension". Sometimes Simvan ride around on them to attack from the sky.

You know the drill - physically capable but dumb, about as tough a as a dragon hatchling, and can use up all their attacks in a round do an attacks about as strong as a boom gun hit (!). They like mountains and canyons and apparently have gotten all over, which is alarming given what bullet sponges they are. Like many other mega-damage creatures, they're killed for their hide.

I'm getting pretty bored with these claw / claw / bite critters. Can I review another Pathfinder Bestiary? I mean. That was really long and full of all sorts of cookie-hunter evil demihumans but there's an at least an attempt to have creatures that do more than kill with claws and soak bullets erry day.


Buttclaws.

Mammoth Brontodon

Once again, not an actual dinosaur, but a sketch done by Ramon Perez written into another meh writeup by Siembieda. So, these are kinda like stegosaurs, but are omnivores in the sense that they're scavengers in addition to leaf-munchers. They're apparently very popular riding animals amongst the Simvan, since we had art of them doing that in a previous book and probably not again.

In keeping with the bullet sponge dinos, these are about as tough as a glitter boy and are around as physically strong as giants or gods. They're about 70' long and 20' tall, have a "superior sense of smell" from the little holes in their head, a ram that automatically knocks power armor and small figures over. There's also a special rule that even if you're a human in power armor you take 6d6 damage direct to hit points and S.D.C. unless you make the (relatively low) coma/death save, which is a death sentence for most low-level characters, and a cheesy way to pulp glitter boy pilots. It also automatically breaks "1d6 ribs" (why are we rolling for that?) and reduces all combat bonuses by half for 2 weeks and knocks the character out for 10 minutes to an hour! gently caress making all sorts of fancy power armor to fight GBs, I suppose, just get a bunch of simvan on dinos and have them charge? It's a fairly awful mechanic, but good for simvan players, I suppose. Naturally, their hide is made into mega-damage stuff again.

It bears mentioning how weird these rules are, especially since this animal has a average top speed of... 15 MPH.

15 MPH.

Thanks to the internet, I can look up the statistical chance of a "severe injury" of a person hit by a car or light truck at 16 MPH, and the chances are 10%. It may not be fair to be able to pick up on that, but certainly wearing power armor would be be protection against a 15 MPH headbutt. Maybe the magic of the Rifts changed the world to where everybody has brittle bone disease, though. It'd at least explain how S.D.C. works.


Overslept.

Moss-Back Scuttler

So, this is a 12' long "land turtle from another world" that sits down and waits around looking like a lump or hill, and when a creature comes close, it gets up and ambushes with its long, sticky tongue. So, more an armored toad than a turtle. But let's not split hairs. So, this is even tougher than the other dinos. With its damage, though, it's likely only to be able to kill S.D.C. creatures. There are no rules for getting caught by its tongue, and it's not particularly strong for its size. Kinda dull, all it has is the one trick, and that one trick is mostly just a weak gotcha for PCs. "The hill gets up and bites you!" "I walk away." "Oh, it's not that fast, so... you walk away." "I walk away."

ENCOUNTER SUCCESS!

Next: The rest of the alphabet.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


marshmallow creep posted:

Actually, Night10194 and his friend whose username I forgot, I got some friends who are interested in trying Warhammer eventually and I am anxious about accidentally smashing their poo poo to absolute bits by not knowing how to use monsters correctly. Would you peg a guideline for what kind of and how many monsters a group of four would survive? At what point are the odds evened out against something like a strigoi? The slaughter margin in the books gives you an idea how a fairly basic soldier guy holds up against a threat, but what about people into their third career? What stuff could they stand toe to toe with without being eviscerated?

I'm the friend so I'll chime in with my own answer.

During the first Career, it's pretty easy to judge monsters and encounters. The Slaughter Margin is a decent approximation and there are a ton of low level foes that are equivalent to your Adventurers. Clanrats, skeletons, goblins, beastmen, Norse raiders, etc. all work pretty well as one-to-one matches for First Career PCs. Heck, most starting players can and will find ways to chew through these common foes with surprising ease.

It gets a little harder to judge as they get a lot of EXP and move into new Careers. Combat capability can start varying wildly depending on what paths your players take through the Career system and you start having to tailor your encounters more. And the more advanced monsters can have specific, nasty attributes to them. For example, ghosts and other such undead can only be hurt by magic. So you really don't want to surprise a party with a murderous Wraith that can't be hurt by your non-magic using party, even if they are normally extremely stabby. Other monsters might have nasty poisonous effects, Chaos corruption, or other effects. A lucky roll or mistakenly finding a monster that exploits a weakness in your party can happen. Fate will help cover yourself from doing a TPK by accident, but it can still frustrate players. You need to get a little experience in what your party can and can't do to use the really exotic stuff you can find in the beastiaries and splatbooks. Or you can make them something of a puzzleboss, such as making the Wraith vulnerable to being tricked. Or making the party search for some clue or magick weapon to deal with it.

There certainly are intermediate monsters and foes you can try out on them if you want them to face something more interesting than Goblin #482. Chaos Warriors are the prime example. They can make a good boss fight for a starting party and you can generally guage how killy they are by how easily they take these behemoths down. Generally, a PC that has finished their second combat Career will be more than a match for a Chaos Warrior one on one. There are other foes in a similar vein. And don't forget, you can also just upgrade normal foes a little to get something more interesting. Want a couple more elite foes? Take the normal foes, add some fancy equipment and a modest stat boost. With Skaven, give them halberds, heavy armor, and ten more points of Weapon Skill. Easy Stormvermin. Add heavy armor and great weapons to skeletons, add ten points of Strength and Toughness, and you have a low end Wight.

For vampires in particular, it's fairly easy. A randomly rolled, Old World Beastiary, or Vampire Thrall Career vampire is roughly equivalent to a Chaos Warrior. A serious opponent for a second tier combat career or a boss for a First Career party. A Vampire Count is a boss for a second Career party, but is probably a little too dangerous for most Third Career PCs to handle alone. Possible, though. If it's a very capable Vampire Count, it could also be a less intimidating boss for a Third Career party. Vampire Lords are boss fights for parties only and typically a capstone to a long campaign arc. Note that these are suggestions for facing the vampire alone. Most Counts and Lords will have plenty of undead minions and possibly lesser vampires and living servants. A lot of them can make more minions during combat, in fact.

So if you want a vampire foe that can equal but not surpass your Third Career party, I'd try a Vampire Count with some suitable minions. A Strigoi Vampire Count can hit like a train once you find him and some Ghouls give you options for helping to keep the fight interesting. And remember to give your players the ability to discover it's weaknesses as they track it down.

I wouldn't recommend starting a party at their third Career, though. If I wanted to do an advanced start, I'd have the party start at the beginning of their second Career. That's when the options really start to open up and prevents most arguments over buying +10s to skills or if a player would get to take all the options from previous Careers rather than just the minimum.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also note that gear is going to matter a lot. When we had to fight a Chaos Warrior as a first boss in one campaign, our party had one guy with a gun (my Streltsi) and another with a crossbow that helped us really, really even things out before we went up against the big bastard.

Medium armor or heavy armor is also going to make a huge difference in survivability in either enemies or players because it's very, very hard to negate armor in WHFRP, unlike WH40KRP where armor is basically useless against anything but scrubs.

Vulpes Vulpes
Apr 28, 2013

"...for you, it is all over...!"

PurpleXVI posted:

This just makes me imagine a Chaos game run with Paranoia. Punishments for not wearing the right shade of bloody red, not fulfilling your skull quotas, etc.

GW apparently agreed with you in 1989, at least in part (orks rather than chaos)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade: Land of Seed and Blossom - The Terrifying Power of Creepy Ninja Land

The Way of Denied Repose is the Earth-elemental jutsu of the Phantom Voices, focused on...well, necromancy and death manipulation. On a boost during activation, you get +1 Persuade when dealing with the dead. On a Backfire, you get -2 to your next check due to spiritual disfavor.
Basic Jutsu
Death Immunity (Yin+Discipline): The next time this Scene you'd hit Health 0, you instead hit Health 1. You may spend 1 Yin to use this reflexively.
Death State (Yin+Discipline): You enter a trance state, appearing dead. Your blood stops flowing and your heart stops beating, your skin becomes pale. You are fully aware of everything, but can neither move nor react. This lasts for several days or until you choose to end it.
Reanimate Beast (Yang+Survival): You touch a dead animal and animate it as a zombie. No time limit on how long it's been dead. It has the statistics it had in life, but must have appropriate body parts to use some abilities - no feathers means your zombie bird can't fly, no paws means your zombie cat can't scratch. The zombie remains animate for several minutes. A corpse can only ever be animated this way once. On a Boost, it appears alive while animated.
Shallow Grave (Yang+Survival): You make an opening in the earth the size of a person. Once someting is thrown in, it instantly fills back up with dirt.
Voice on the Wind (Yin+Intuition): You can see, speak with and fully understand nearby spirits. On a Boost, you also get +2 to track spirits for the Scene.

Median Jutsu
Death Gaze (Yin+Intimidation): You look into the eyes of a corpse or skull and sense the last moments before the owner's death.
Corpse Disposal (Yin+Crafts): You turn a corpse into dust instantly. This only works on true corpses - a living person, even in Death State, is immune.
Corpse Recreation (Yang+Crafts): You return a corpse to its original state, even if it has been utterly destroyed, turned to ash or dusted with Corpse Disposal.
Reanimate Person (Yang+Empathy): You must have Reanimate Beast and Death Gaze. You create a human zombie from a corpse. If they died within the past six hours, they retain their knowledge and personality from life. Otherwise, they are mindless. If used to fight, they have either the target's stats in life but at -3 to all checks, or have the stats of a mob of Average Citizens. This lasts for several minutes.
The Dead Know Secrets (Yin+Persuade): You must have Voice on the Wind. You ask the local spirits for information on the target, reading their aura and listening in on them. They relay the information to you when the scene ends, giving you +2 to mental attacks on the target for several days.

Advanced Jutsu
Audience with the Ancestors (Yin+Persuade): You must have The Dead Know Secrets. You spend 20 minutes reciting a sacred mantra to summon the ancestors. Once they arrive, you may ask them a number of questions, and they'll answer to their best of their knowledge. They know many things, but are not omniscient.
Hoard Jutsu (Yang+Crafts): You must have Reanimate Person. You use this before using Reanimate Person or Reanimate Beast to animate a number of zombies at once.
Infuse Corpse (Yang+Persuade): You must have Death Gaze. You infuse a corpse with Yang. Any time in the next ten minutes, you may spend an Action to make it explode, doing 4 damage that ignores 2 Armor to everyone in Close Range. If you do not ignite it in that time, the body disintegrates tracelessly.
Reanimate Self (Yang+Discipline): You must have Death Immunity, Death State and Reanimate Person. You place a piece of your soul into your Birthstone. You must this before you are killed or die. When you die or are killed, you remain aware of your surroundings but cannot move, and may instantly revive yourself at any time in the next six hours. Any lost major organs or limbs are restored. You return with the Revived 5 condition, giving -1 to all checks and preventing you from molding Yang ki while you have it. This Condition cannot be removed or lowered by Holistics.
Spirit Shock (Yang+Marksman): You must have The Dead Know Secrets. You release a wave of spirit energy, using the activation as an attack hitting everyone and everything in Near range for 2 damage, which is unblockable.

Way of the Hive Body is the Wood-elemental jutsu of the Grim Creepers, which hollows out their bodies for the suu. On a Boost during activation, you get +2 to the next Hive Body activation. On a Backfire, your bugs eat some of you and you get a cumulative -1 Fortitude penalty.
Basic Jutsu
Bug Bomb (Yang+Discipline): You make one of your suu the size of a fist, then have it fly over to something. You may make an Action to have it explode, doing 2 damage to a 10 foot radius, which ignores Armor. However, it is big and slow, so you may need to make a Stealth check to hide it if you want to use it as a trap. On a Boost, the suu stays small so you don't have to do that.
Empowered by the Hive (Yang+Fortitude): You draw on the power of the suu within, binding them into your body and gaining +2 Strength and +2 Initiative for several rounds or until you choose to release the suu.
Gifted Wings (Yang+Survival): You send the suu into your hands and feet, allowing you to hover a good distance off the ground and move at +5 Movement. While hovering, you get +1 to Dodge but cannot hold weapons because your hands are full of bugs. This lasts for the scene or Battle.
Under the Skin (Yin+Stealth): You plant one of your bugs inside the target with a touch. It lowers the target's Initiative by 1 for several hours and is undetectable.
Words in the Sky (Yin+Crafts): You emit a stream of bugs that you can send to a location nearby, where they form into kanji. You can have them be small and personal, or be large enough to be visible in the sky for several miles.

Median Jutsu
Barrier Devourer (Yin+Survival): You make your suu eat an object in your way. They deal 2 damge per Round to any non-living target, ignoring Armor, until it is destroyed. In combat, this can be used to disarm or destroy armor, but this requires a Marksman+Speed check at -2 and cannot harm enchanted, magical or master-crafted weapons. On a Boost, the suu do 4 damage per Round, devouring twice as fast.
Insect Cloud (Yang+Intimidation): You must have Words in the Sky. You summon several thousand suu and expel them from all orifices into a cloud that covers a decent area. They obscure vision and crawl into the ears, noses and mouths of anyone in range. Everyone gets -2 to all checks except Grapple and jutsu activation, except for you. This lasts for several Rounds. On a Boost, victims must also make a Fortitude check each Round to avoid gaining cumulative Poisoned 1.
Insect Spiral (Yang+Marksma): You fire a torrent of suu that descend on a foe in Near range, doing 2 damage and forcing a Fortitude check to avoid another 2 damage from poison.
Mask of Insects (Yin+Fortitude): Your suu erupt out of your body, revealing a mixture of blood, bone and viscera that crawl with insects. Anyone looking must make a Discipline+Empathy check to against fear or take 1 mental damage and Afraid 1. On a Boost, they take Afraid 3 instead.
Track the Female (Yin+Perception): You must have Under the Skin. You now inject female suu using Under the Skin, allowing the male suu within you to track the pheromones they produce. You may track anyone marked by Under the Skin within several miles, wherever they go.

Advanced Jutsu
Into Your Heart (Yang+Survival): You must have Under the Skin. Your embedded suu may now crawl into the enemy's heart and make them like you. This deals 1 mental damage and causes both Convinced 1 and Confused 1. On a Boost, both conditions are level 2 instead.
Ki-Gobblers (Yin+Intimidation): You must have Barrier Devourer. You send a cloud of suu to attack someone with the activation check. The suu deal 1 physical and 1 mental damage, ignoring up to 2 Armor, and destroy 1 Yin or 1 Yang ki. On a Boost, you gain the ki from the target.
Multiply Attack (Yang+Intimidation): You must have Under the Skin and Insect Cloud. You cause the implanted suu from Under the Skin to multiple a thousandfold inside the target, doing 3 physical damage that cannot be negated in any way, then causes Bruised 1 and Deprived 1 as the bugs burrow out and leave.
Swarm Form (Yang+Fortitude): You must have Gifted Wings. You turn into a swarm of a thousand suu and fly off. You can enter areas humans cannot in this form, obviously, and can evade most attacks outright. You may speak with the sound of a thousand buzzing wings, can move at (Movement*3) and can fly as high as any insect. If even a single suu survives, you cannot be killed, though loss of large portions of the swarm may result in scars or missing limbs. You also get +2 Intimidation for the scene.
10,000 Eyes (Yin+Perception): You must have Words in the Sky. You send hundreds of thousands of suu in all directions for several miles. You may use their hearing and vision as you please for the scene, and they can get into anywhere a bug can get into.

The Way of Molded Bones is the Fire-elemental jutsu of the Splendid Chameleons, which allows them to manipulate their own flesh and bones. On a Boost during activation, you get a cumulative +1 Athletics bonus. On a Backfire, you take either 1 physical damage that can't be negated in any way or Bruised 1.
Basic Jutsu
Bending Body (Yang+Athletics): You can contort yourself impossibly. You get +2 Athletics to release yourself from any bindings and can fit into very small spaces. This lasts for the entire scene. If used in Battle, you get +1 to Parry or Dodge checks for one Round.
Bone Capture (Yin+Fortitude): You spontaneously sprout bones through your skin as a Defense when someone attacks you. These entangle the attacker's weapon or limb, and you are now in a Grapple. The bones retract when the Grapple ends or you choose to release the enemy. On a Boost, you disarm the foe when the bones retract.
Defense of Holes (Yin+Speed): You create holes in your body to allow attacks to pass through. You get +2 to Defense checks against Ranged weapons and +1 against all other physical attacks for several Rounds.
Malleable Flesh (Yang+Perform): Your skin becomes malleable, allowing you to alter your appearance. You get your choice of +1 to Persuade or Intimidate, depending on how you alter your features and appearance. The changes remain in place for up to half a day, but you probably want a mirror while doing the reshaping.
Stretch Attack (Yang+Fighting): You attack with the activation check by having stretchy Dhalsim limbs, which can hit out to Near Range and deal +1 damage. After the activation attack, the stretchy limbs remain for the Scene or Battle.

Median Jutsu
Bone Weapons (Yang+Fortitude): You must have Bone Capture. You erupt a weapon made of bone into your hand. You can make any type of weapon you want, and it gets the Piercing quality on top of its normal ones.
Change of Face (Yang+Crafts): You must have Malleable Flesh. You instantly mold your face into someone else's. By touching their face, you can even take on their exact features, skin tone, speech patterns and accent. However, they must be the same gender as you. (It specifically notes gender rather than sex, so that could be interesting. However, the game seems to think the two terms are synonymous.)
Flesh Servant (Yang+Crafts): You must have Stretch Attack. You pull off a body part and turn it into a small creature under your control. A hand might become a spider or mouse, a leg might be a dog. The more limbs you pull off, the more mass it has. You can use the servant to attack, deliver messages or just do whatever you want, really. If it is defeated, it falls limp and you need to go retrieve it. If it is destroyed, you lose the limbs involved permanently.
Mend Wounds (Yin+Fortitude): You must have Bending Body. You instantly heal yourself, regaining 3 Health and getting a decent bonus against Poison, Disease and Pain for the Battle.
Sweet Fragrances (Yin+Persuade): You infuse your pores with ki, releasing a sweet-scented pheromone. Anyone within a wide area who inhales the fumes must make a Fortitude check against poison. On a failure, they get -2 to all checks for several rounds, or -3 to resist seduction, as the pheromones lower inhibitions as well.

Advanced Jutsu
Bone for Blood (Yang+Intimidation): You must have Bone Weapons. For the rest of the Battle, any time you are physically attacked, you fire off a boney spike at the attacker, who must make a Defense check or take 1 damage. On a Boost, the Defense check gets harder.
Clone Technique (Yang+Fortitude): You remove a strip of skin from your body that grows into a clone of you within a Round and is under your control. It has your exact skills and abilities. If it is destroyed apart from you, you learn all the information it learned. In combat, it acts on its own Initiative but is at -2 to all combat checks. If you make more than one, the penalty increases by 1 per additional clone and applies to all of them. The clone has its own ki but starts with 0 ki, though it can mold ki and use jutsu. However, any jutsu usage requires it to spend 1 Ki of the appropriate type on type of anything else.
Flesh Stealing Technique (Yin+Crafts): You must have Mend Wounds. On your next attack, you can swap damage for causing the Injured condition, 1-for-1, to a max of 5. Any damage you swapped is restored to you as Health, lowering conditions, or regrowing lost limbs, as you choose.
Gender Switch (Yin or Yang+Fortitude): You must have Change of Face. You instantly change your sex. This is permanent until you use this again. 1 Ki must be spent when activating; Yang is used to become male, Yin female. The change is not illusory or superficial, and is total.
Putrid Stench (Yin+Persuade): You must have Sweet Fragrances. This functions similarly, but instead causes a rancid aroma. Animals flee immediately unless their owner commands them to stay. People in the cloud must make a Fortitude check against poison or take Dazed 2 and become unable to do anything but flee as well.

The Way of Shards is the Earth-elemental jutsu of the Crystal Bearers. On a Boost during activation, you get a +1 bonus to your Birthstone Gift for the scene. On a Backfire, you either take 1 mental damage or Confused 1.
Basic Jutsu
Birthstone Knowledge (Yin+Perception): You peer into a Birthstone and instantly learn the owner's name, immediate intentions, wants, needs and desires. You get +2 to social checks against the owner.
Crystal Weapon (Yang+Crafts): You create a crystalline weapon in your hands. It is essentially unbreakable but vanishes when you no longer need it. You get +1 to all checks with it, but no one else can wield it at all.
Focused Journey (Yang+Perception): Your Birthstone gives you the correct path. Each time you use this, you get +1 to checks during the Ocean or River stage of a Journey.
Swirling Eyes (Yin+Perception): You look into the target's eyes. They resist with Discipline+Speed, and if they fail, they get Confused 2 due to the swirling and shining in your eyes.
Swirling Shards (Yang+Crafts): You make a swirling cloud of crystal in the air around you, giving +1 to Block for several rounds. You may fire the crystals at foes for 2 damage with Marksman+Intuition, but each time you do it eats a Round of defensive bonus.

Median Jutsu
The Crystal Within (Yang+Fortitude): Your skin peels off and you become a being of pure crystal. In this form, you get a decent amount of extra Health and +1 to Fortitude and Stealth.
Reflection Stance (Yin+Perception): You must have Shimmering Barrier. You surround yourself and your target with a number of crystal mirrors that show your image. The target cannot tell you from the reflections, giving you +4 to combat checks against them and +4 Initiative. If the foe attacks the mirrors, they break after 3 damage, with each broken mirror reducing your bonus by 1. However, you may defend against attacks on the mirrors as if they targeted you normally.
Shimmering Barrier (Yang+Crafts): You must have Swirling Shards. You make a reflective crystal barrier that can be quite long. You can use it to stop attacks or seal entries, and the wall has a decent amount of Health. If it is struck with a ranged attack and any of the attacker's dice are a 1, the attack is also reflected at the attacker, who must now defend against it. This does not apply to melee attacks.
Spikes From Below (Yang+Marksman): You must have Swirling Shards. You turn the earth under someone into crystal shards as an attack with the activation. The ground shifts enough that the target may Dodge, but only Dodge or jutsu may be used to Defend. If the attack hits, it does 3 damage and the crystals lodge in the skin, giving -2 Initiative for the Round.
Window to the Soul (Yin+Perception): You must have Birthstone Knowledge. By peering into a Birthstone, you may see everything the target has seen, said or done in the last few days.

Advanced Jutsu
Encase (Yin+Crafts): You must have Shimmering Barrier. You can encase just about any target in a crystal cocoon - a person, an animal, a fireball. You instantly cover the target in a carapace of crystal up to 200 feet square. Anything inside is perserved agelessly (but safely) for several days, and you can reapply during that time. The cocoon cannot be broken from inside. From outside, has 20 Health and Armor 4, and too much force may damage the contents.
Imbue Birthstone (Yang+Perception): You must have Window to the Soul. You choose a gem and cut based on the target's personality and implant the gem in their forehead. This is painful for a moment, but painless after. If the target is willing, this can be done to adults. (It can be done to unwilling children.) This removes the target's Elemental nature and replaces it with a Birthstone. This ritual is very culturally important and is not done lightly.
Lights in the Sky (Yin+Perception): You release crystal molecules into the sky, making the area glitter and shine. No one who lacks a Birthstone may Mold or spend Ki for several rounds, and the difficulty of jutsu activation increases by 1 for everyone but you if you want it to.
Release True Power (Yang+Perception): You must have Imbue Birthstone. You release the seal on your Birthstone, causing your skin to glow and your eyes to become the same kind of jewel. You heal all damage, lower all Conditions by 2 and get +4 to all combat checks and +2 to all non-combat checks for the scene. You may freely use any jutsu and get +3 to the activation check, and you automatically resist all fear effects. When this ends, you get Recovering 3, which causes -2 to all checks and cannot be lowered by Holistics.
Spikes from Above (Yang+Marksman): You must have Swirling Shards. You grow large crystal spikes from the ground that fire into the air and explode into shards. Anyone within a wide area takes 3 damage and Bleeding 1 if they fail their Defense. Crystal Bearers are immune to this.

The Way of Unending Blight is the Metal-elemental disease jutsu of the Yakubyo's Pox. On a Boost, you may raise or lower the Diseased condition of someone in Near range by 1. On a Backfire, you get a cumulative -1 Might penalty.
Basic Jutsu
Aura of Sickness (Yin+Crafts): You become eerie and hard to be around. You get +1 Intimidation and may automatically cause Afraid 1 on Boosts.
Disease Dissolution (Yin+Holistics): With a touch, you instantly cure any sickness, removing all Diseased conditions from the target. They also get +2 to resist new Disease conditions for one day. If you use this on a sickness made by Pox Creation, however, this only reduces the Condition by 1 per use and cannot be used more than once per session for that purpose.
Overwhelm Poison (Yin+Fortitude): You fill yourself with sickness, removing all Poison conditions. On a Boost, you also remove Dosed conditions.
Sense Disease (Yin+Intuition): You can detect sickness within a few miles, no matter how weak it is. You can't pinpoint the source or type, but get +2 Survival to track it down.
Spoil Technique (Yang+Crafts): You spoil food or perishable goods with a look. Spoiled food that is eaten requires a Fortitude check to avoid gaining Diseased. On a Boost, you may affect a room, silo or other large amount of food at once.

Median Jutsu
Plague Transference Gem (Yin+Holistics): You must have Disease Dissolution. You remove the sickness from a target, placing it in a magical crystal similar to a Birthstone. The target is healthy, and you may touch the crystal to someone to give them the sickness the original subject had, at the same level as the original subject. It is noted that the Pox have farms of sick people to make powerful sickness gems.
Rotting Technique (Yin+Crafts): You degrade something normally nonperishable, such as stone or metal. This causes -1 to use the target for several uses. On a Boost, the penalty is -2. (For a wall or suit of armor, this would reduce Armor for several strikes against it, while a weapon would get the penalty on attacks due to rust, say.)
Secret Carrier (Yin+Holistics): You must have Disease Dissolution. You may suppress the effects of a target's Diseased condition for the scene. For the next few days, anyone they come in contact with must make a Fortitude check to avoid gaining the same disease within a few days after that. When the duration ends, the target regains their Diseased condition at double the level and effects.
Sick Lung Blast (Yang+Marksman): You must have Spoil Technique. You inhale all local bacteria, then exhale a blast of diseased wind as an attack with the activation. This hits anyone in a 20-foot cone in front of you, forcing a Fortitude check to avoid 2 damage and Diseased 1.
Sick STrength (Yang+Fortitude): You must have Overwhelm Poison. You absorb the target's disease to gain physical strength. When near anyone with Diseased or Poisoned, you may take a deep breath to absorb the disease. For each condition level you take in, you get +1 to combat checks and +1 damage, capped by Yang. This lasts for several Rounds.

Advanced Jutsu
Corrupted Land (Yin+Survival): You must have Sick Strength. You kneel and pound the earth, tainting a wide area with diseased ki. Trees wither and die, the ground cracks, the air becomes stale, water evaporates instantly. This removes any Elemental bonuses of ninja in the area and givs +2 difficulty to any jutsu affecting the environment directly.
The Dead Tree (Yang+Survival): You must have Corrupted Land. If you activate this while Corrupted Land is active, the effects extend up to a several mile radius, rendering an entire area basically uninhabitable. However, if you use this, you automatically lose all Contacts, as you are shunned by anyone that isn't of the Pox.
Pox Creation (Yang+Holistics): You must have Plague Transference Gem and Secret Carrier. You may create a new disease via 3 days of chanting and dancing, imbuing it into a gem. You choose a number of -2 penalties, Level 1 conditions and 1-damagehits, which then get applied to the victim. The disease takes several dies to take full effect after that, becoming two Diseased 5 conditions. One will not fade until the other is totally gone. This is usually fatal to those who do not give the Pox enough tribute to be cured, and the disease is automatically contagious.
Sick Cloud (Yang+Might): You must have Plague Transference Gem. You crush a plague gem, releasing the sickness in a cloud that hits everyone in Near rang of you instantly, automatically causing Diseased 2 in anyone that has to breathe.
Temple of Death (Yin+Holistics): You must have Sense Disease. You meditate, extending your senses out several miles, pinpointing anyone that has a sickness. You may remove their Diseased conditions and heal yourself of damage or conditions of any kind equal to the level of Diseased cured.

The Way of Vital Currents is the Water-elemental jutsu of the Sisterhood of Blood, which manipulates blood. On a Boost during activation, you get +1 to Intuition. On a Backfire, you get cumulative -1 Perception for the scene.
Basic Jutsu
Adrenaline Technique (Yang+Fortitude): You boost your bloodflow, getting +1 Athletics and +1 Might. You may spend 1 Yang to use this on someone besides yourself.
Blood Darts (Yang+Marksman): You draw blood from your fingers, making a number of kunai that get Brutal on top of their normal Qualities. The darts leave only small bloodstains on impact.
Perfect Cleansing (Yang+Fortitude): You cleanse the blood of the target, lowering Poisoned, Dosed or Diseased conditions and giving +3 Fortitude against Blossom-born poisons and diseases for a day.
Sense Bleeding (Yin+Perception): You can sense bleeding within half a mile, thoug not the cause or severity. You may follow your sense to the location of a source with an Intuition+Perception check. This lasts for the scene.
Stop the Flow (Yin+Discipline): You remove any Bleeding conditions in a decent area, and damage cannot be converted into Bleeding for the rest of the scene.

Median Jutsu
Blood Whip (Yang+Fortitude): You must have Blood Darts. You form a 7-foot whip of blood from your palm. On a Boost while using it, you may automatically cause Knockdown or Disarm.
Draining Trap (Yin+Survival): You must have Sense Bleeding. You trap a decent area you can see. Anyone passing through it must make a Fortitude check or get Bleeding 1 and -2 to all physical rolls for the scene.
Draw Out Blood (Yang+Discipline): You must have Stop the Flow. You draw blood from the living or freshly dead. You may draw as much as you like from the dead. On the living, you cause Bleeding 1 and 1 damage with a touch, and the Bleeding goes up by 1 per Round.
Hideous Blood Mask (Yin+Intimidation): You must have Sense Bleeding. You open the pores of your neck and face, drawing out a layer of blood to cover them. Anyone who sees you while you have the blood mask must make a check against fear or get Afraid 2.
Sacrifice to the Land (Yang+Survival): When you kill someone, you may use this to tap into their passing to replenish the land's ki. All taps on the environment are reset. On a Boost, all friendly ninja in Near range also get +1 Yang.

Advanced Jutsu
Bending Blood to Will (Yin+Discipline): you must have Draw Out Blood. You manipulate the target's blood. For several hours, you totally control them and they can only vaguely recall what they do with a Knowledge+Discipline check. If you force them to harm an Ally or loved one, they get an immediate Empathy+Discipline check against your Yin+Discipline to break free. You do not have fine motor control, so the target gets -2 to all physical rolls while controlled, and you do not know what they are thinking or access their memories. However, you can see through their eyes.
Blood Form (Yang+Fortitude): You must have Adrenaline Technique. You transform into a pool of blood and viscera. You can move at half Movement, are immune to physical damage and may flow anywhere that a liquid could. If you enter a body of water, you fuse with the current and move at triple Movement while in the water.
Blood Mist (Yang+Crafts): You must have Perfect Cleansing. You collect blood in your throat and expel it as a red mist over everything in Near range, causing Sensory Loss 3 to anyone in the blood fog. Also, anyone in it must make a Might check to not drop their weapon or Speed check not to fall over if on a flat surface. You are immune to all effects of your own fog.
Leech Touch (Yin+Fortitude): You must have Hideous Blood Mask. When you hit with unarmed strikes, you drain blood out of the foe and use it to heal yourself. This lasts for one minute and gives you +1 Fighting while active. You heal any damage you cause with unarmed attacks, but cannot go above your max Health.
Sacrifice to the Ancestors (Yin+Survival): You must have Sacrifice to the Land. You call out to the ancestors for aid. For the rest of the Battle, any time anyone takes physical damage - ally or enemy - your party gains 1 Karma.

Next time: Celestial Bats, Boars and Frogs.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




At this point hunting ninjas down seems like a pretty good idea.

LaSquida
Nov 1, 2012

Just keep on walkin'.


ZeroCount posted:

At this point hunting ninjas down seems like a pretty good idea.

Just don't go to the Land of Seed and Blossom.

Just don't.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



Alien Rope Burn posted:

We're reminded that dinosaurs have returned to Rifts Earth, or at least their alien unscientific equivalents? Why? Because dinosaurs are rad, that's why.
drat right they are

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Look, all the body horror ninjas had to live somewhere.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Look, all the body horror ninjas had to live somewhere.

But why did there have to BE body horror ninjas? Why couldn't they have been like, Ninja Popes or Ninja Building Contractors?

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I mean, Ninja Scroll had that one bug ninja guy...

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Part of it is that, yeah, Ninja Scroll and Naruto had body horror guys, and part is that Seed and Blossom is the Wood land, and Wood is associated with life and death in a way the other elements aren't.

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.


Night10194 posted:

But why did there have to BE body horror ninjas? Why couldn't they have been like, Ninja Popes or Ninja Building Contractors?

http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Shino_Aburame

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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



Not gonna lie, I was really hoping this would be a ninja building contractor.

I want stealthy architects who use subtle jutsus to constract cages around people who don't expect them or undermine supports on fortresses.

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.


Night10194 posted:

Not gonna lie, I was really hoping this would be a ninja building contractor.

I want stealthy architects who use subtle jutsus to constract cages around people who don't expect them or undermine supports on fortresses.

I mean, it's a sheuisha battle manga.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Oh, also, for anyone who wants to run WHFRP2e, I strongly recommend the Old World Bestiary. I have no idea how I'll eventually cover it, but it's a great set of fluff and very helpful to have a ton of common and wild monsters and suggestions on using them. The whole 'Common View, Scholar's View, Our Own Words' style of describing each monster is fantastic.

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