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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 14: New West: Part 18: "I'd like to address (again) a few burning questions which I'm asked by Rifts® and Mechanoids® fans all the time."

Mechanoids... fans?

Bandito Arms

So, this is the arms manufacturing end of the Black Market, which in Rifts is turning out to use less as a generic term and more like another name for an organized crime group - at least in North America. It notes that the Coalition actively goes after Bandito Arms mainly because they often deal in stolen Coalition arms and have actively created knock-off versions of Coalition weapons. However, the Coalition hasn't found their central location, which as mentioned earlier, is good ol' Area 51. They also deal in a lot of good from other manufacturers, either bought in bulk, manufactured as knock-offs, or stolen, including rarer manufacturers like Triax or Naruni (at a huge mark-up). Once again, we get a finger-wagging by Siembieda for half a page about how lasers are silent), but I've already gone over this bit twice and I don't need to do it again. Check the review of Rifts World Book 8: Japan for an extended discussion of his odd claims.

On to the guns! Though I don't reproduce all the weapon art, most of these are supposed to have a more Western look, which goes with all the fashionable spurs and leather vests.


This book will have a lot of "mega-damage weapon designed to look like a real gun!" shenanigans going on.
  • Bandit IP-10 Ion Pistol: Apparently also known as the "Eye-Pie Ten", a fact that will be never referenced again, this is better than your average pistol, which is to say not very good. Looks like an old-fashioned revolver, but the chambers are just an external decoration- it fits an e-clip in the handle. Which is weird when you think about it, because e-clips are supposed to be standardized, but seem to conveniently fit into whatever the space or styling of the weapon is... the same e-clips that are shown sticking out of rifles are supposed to fit into a gun like this. Not a big deal in most games, but when you have detailed gun writeups in every book, it starts to stand out. Also known as the BB-6 but nobody cares!
  • Bandit LP1 Laser Pistol: Apparently also known as the "No Lip", another fact to forget. A high payload and attack bonus doesn't save this from a garbage 2d4 damage. Only ten shots to take down a lightly armored foe? gently caress off, Bandito Arms.
  • Bandit BigBore Revolver: A six-shooter that fires explosive shells, this is apparently so powerful that it takes a strength of 14 to use, or 17 to use one-handed. It also has a special knockdown mechanic (different than all other knockdown mechanics so far...) where human-sized targets have to roll 1d20 (no modifiers, so being strong or tough doesn't help) and beat the attack roll or get knocked on their rear end. Supernatural creatures, mecha, and cyborgs aren't affected, so a 6" faerie can stay standing strong. Also, guess how much damage it does? 1d6? What- how- how does this knock you over when a 1d6x10 mini-missile won't-
  • Bandit BigBore Sawed-Off: Basically a bigger sawed-off version of the above revolver with higher strength requirements, this gives a -6 penalty to the roll to stay standing, and can affect cyborgs and supernatural creatures too (but they get +6 instead on the roll). It does similarly poo poo damage, though, making its strength requirements bizarre.
  • Bandit BigBore Shotgun: Same as the sawed-off with better range and higher weight.
  • Bandit 5000 BigBore Rail Gun: So, this is supposed to be a man-portable rail gun without requiring the fancy nuclear reactor and ammo backpack to fire as a super-advanced pre-rifts design! Hot poo poo, huh? Well... no... it requires a strength of 20 and does 2d6 damage on a burst fire attack. Well, it has the knockdown effect like the sawed-off, bizarrely, even though more powerful rail guns don't. Also known as the "Big Bear", because literally every weapon here has some nickname because I guess Rifts westerners don't use them numbers.
  • Bandit 5500 Flechette Rail Gun: "It got its nickname, Cactus Juicer, because when used to shoot cactus for target practice, all it leaves behind is juice where the cactus once stood." Unfortunately, against non-cacti, it's worthless- it does 3d6 mega-damage on a burst, the same amount the dinky Bandit IP-10 does, and it has a strength requirement of 20, and doesn't even get the knockdown effect! Absolute trash.
  • Bandit 6000 Grenade Launcher: Only in Rifts would a burst-fire grenade launcher do less damage than many rifles. Nonetheless, it requires a strength of 24, because I guess grenade launcher technology has somehow regressed to where normal soldiers can't fire them as easily as our modern counterparts. About the only thing that's alright is that it's a blast radius. There's a note about the Coalition considering making a copy of this, but I'm not sure why given they have more effective weapons in the corebook without even bringing up Coalition War Campaign.

Now conveniently numbered!

Wow, had a lot to say compared to the usual weapons section because the guns are so poo poo this time around, mainly because kinetic weapons are usually punished uneccessarily (unless it's a boom gun) in this game. About the best you could do is outfit the party with BigBores and try and stunlock foes by bouncing them around, but given you're either going to be fighting A) a gang of human-sized foes or B) a big monster, it's not a particularly useful tactic.


Could just be painted white with "generic" on them, really.

Bandito Body Armor

So, it notes that Bandito does knock-offs of old-style Coalition armor, which apparently has the Coalition in a tizzy. Kind of funny that the Coalition can't take them down given they managed to stop an entire multidimensional company from setting up arms trading in North America, but I guess the Bandito have favoritism armor the Naruni didn't. But they also make their own armor, listed below. I can't recall if I've previously mentioned, but now body armor has hit locations, which is advantageous for PCs looking to score sweet headshots, and also killer GMs looking to score sweet headshots. It's also bad news for PCs if your GM is using one of those random hit location charts, but good news if you're looking for an excuse to buy some new bionic limbs.
  • The Bandito: This is a light body armor designed apparently for vehicle crews, power armor pilots, and riders, but given we've never had limitations on what kind of armor you can wear in a vehicle or armor, it's not an advantage for wearing armor that's only a few M.D.C. points more than a Plastic-Man suit (the worst suit in the corebook, if you'll recall).
  • Branaghan Armor: This is named for "Jessie Branaghan", an infamous outlaw who is so infamous he'll never be mentioned again. Despite the art, the actual design sounds a lot like the rangers of Fallout with full body armor, gas mask, and duster. With the armored overcoat, it actually has more M.D.C. than regular Triax armor, which is impressive, but it has heavy penalties to most physical skills (a new penalty being given with no preamble, meaning older suits don't suffer from it, except...)
  • Old Style CS "Dead Boy" Armor: Yes, this reprinted from the corebook, but I guess it's an unstated errata / update of sorts, since now it has hit locations and penalities to all physical skills. Of course, not all the corebook armors have been "updated" like this, so you can do all the backflips in Bushman armor that you like.
  • Customized & Modified Armor: Just a list of costs for paint jobs and adjusting the styling of an armor, but no costs listed for spinner rims or LED underglow. You can also get extra armor plates to add up to 20 M.D.C. to your armor, but it gives a "-5% penalty to movement", which is one of those nicely unclear penalties you can take ten minutes arguing with your GM as to whether or not "balance" counts as "movement". Good times, good times.
  • Patchwork & Used Armor: Want to have poo poo armor that makes you look like a badass road warrior? Well, that's the price you have to pay, because *versimilitude*.
Northern Gun Armor


Left to right: Maverick, Vaqueros, Range Rider, Buffalo.

Suddenly switching manufacturers, the Michiganeers at Northern Gun are trying to profit off the western craze with armor that has "a western or Spanish look".
  • NG "Maverick" Riding Armor: Similar to the Bandito armor, but designed to look like chaps and with a mega-damage cowboy hat. Mega. Damage. Cowboy. Hat. Sure, why loving not?
  • MI "Vaqueros" Armor: This is a heavy armor in line with most of the ~100 M.D.C. armor value that seems to be more standard since Coalition War Campaign (it has 90). "The helmet comes with a light mesh covering for the lower face to give it an exotic cowboy or bandit look.[/i]
  • NG "Range Rider" Riding Armor: This is designed for "western females and riders" and "For a touch of the feminine, a leather skirt, opened in the front, hangs from the waist, and the upper body is tapered and fitted to show the waist and bosom." Thankfully, the art is better than that description might imply, but still looks a bit goofy with those pinstripes. Oh. And at 30 M.D.C., it's probably in the worst three armor sets for protection in the Rifts game line. Women have it rough even in the world of mega-damage armor.
  • NG "Buffalo" Riding Armor: A heavier riding suit that's a midpoint between the Maverick and Vaqueros. Always amusing to see these long descriptions of armor that has perfectly good art. But who can trust artists, yeah? Who can trust anyone to interpret Siembieda's genius?
  • Cavalry Armor: Armor for horses. Despite being designed for a half-ton animal, it offers no more protection than your usual human armor.
Bandito Power Armor

So, it turns out that, as revealed in Japan, that the SAMAS is based on a pre-rifts design, which Bandito Arms unearthed at Area 51. For awhile, they didn't dare build any because they were afraid of the Coalition, and then... well, I guess they stopped being afraid. Almost everybody presumes they're knockoffs of Coalition SAMAS, and Bandito keeps their real source of the technology under wraps. However, the Coalition has responded by making the use or possession of a Bandito-designed SAMAS as a crime punishable by immediate execution. However, in the western territories far from the Coalition States, most people don't know or don't give a rat's rear end. However, sales have been tough because-

Rifts World Book 14: New West posted:

The main reasons sales are so low in the Western Wilderness is because most people don't know how to pilot power armor, can't afford the armor even if they could pilot them, and because the majority of people are into the retro-look and technology of the Old American West — the SAMAS are too "new fangled" or "Eastern flyin' junkpiles, you should try sellin' em to the Coalition States. I betcha they'd love em.

ayup lemme spit into my spittoon and spin some yarns for you about how it's better to have just a lovely horse and the great outdoors than a murderous gunship killing all i see before me I tell you what for that sounds like chincy poo poo for a pussy city slicker who ain't man enough to poo poo in his own shorts and gently caress a horse oh wait i said too much durn


SAMAS #6.

Bandito "Sidewinder" SAMAS

This is based on a SAMAS prototype called the "VT-SAMAS", where "VT" stands for "vectored thrust" which was cutting edge!... in the 19 loving 60s, but is still somehow a big deal with the 20 loving 70s. This is supposed to make it the super-agile dogfighter of the world of flying power armor, but given it loses a huge chunk of M.D.C., it's a bit of a joke. 10% extra chance to dodge doesn't balance out a 25% loss in M.D.C.

Issues aside, it can jet around at 250 MPH, has mini-missiles, crappy lasers, and is supposed to carry either a Bandit 6000 Grenade Launcher (crap) or a C-40R rail gun (less crap). It gets a tiny bonus (+1 or +2) to initiative, parry, and dodge, and to get all that it requires that pilot have at least a physical endurance of 16 and a prowess of 15. And they also have to specifically have Elite Robot Combat: SAMAS - the basic robot combat skills won't do. Seriously.

Basically Bandito Arms makes trash. Or rather, Siembieda writes bad mechanics that make Bandito Arms' technology trash. I guess if you don't have skulls, you don't get the love.


SAMAS #7.

Wild Weasel SAMAS

Ah, I see they're using Vietnam-era military slang. Makes sense! So, this is supposed to a scout and perform electronic counter-measures to assist other SAMAS models. This does have actual mechanics where the pilot has to roll under their Weapon Systems or Electronic Counter-Measures skill for each missile fire, and if successful, the missile gets -7 to hit. However, you have to roll for each missile in a volley, so if somebody fires 16 missiles, you have to roll 16 times. Mind, one volley only uses one to-hit roll, so I guess that modifies that single roll? It's unclear, as many rules are in Rifts. It also gets a flat 2-out-of-3 chance to jam enemy transmissions, regardless of the pilot's actual skill level.

It's the toughest SAMAS around, and jets around at 220 MPH, and in addition to missile interference and jamming, it can also give a targeting uplink bonus that gives up to 24 allies within 50 miles (?!) a small +1 bonus on initiative and dodges. It gets even better defensive bonuses than the Sidewinder with the same requirements for the pilot, plus the pilot has to have the following skills to operate the ECM suite: Basic Electronics, Weapon Systems, and Electronic Countermeasures. Alternately, instead of ECM, they can have Read Sensory Instruments and Radio: Scrambler. Oh, and the specific Robot Combat skill for SAMAS again.

Okay, maybe the horse-loving cowboy had a point about this being too new-fangled for most folks - I'm not sure why Bandito focuses on models that even most trained SAMAS pilots won't be able to use! It's weird. It's noted that the Coalition would love the Wild Weasel if A) they knew about it and B) they could manage to get their hands on an intact one to reverse-engineer. Well, it's a "Story Note" that will be largely forgotten.

Next: Free range cyborgs.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 16:28 on Jul 13, 2017

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Wine, food, and material culture: Important to being French

Material culture in Bretonnia includes a hell of a lot of wine. Wine is everywhere in the country, to the extent that it's common to drink wine with nearly every meal whether noble or peasant. 'Like a bad wine' is a Bretonnian expression for 'Completely unexpected'; the quality of their vintages is such that Bretonnian wine is one of their major exports. Most people drink it watered down, of course, so that they don't go about life tipsy and so that a bottle will go further. Nobles and people celebrating festivals will sometimes drink unmixed wine, but this is usually reserved for feasts and special occasions. While there is very little bad wine in the country, vinters and connoisseurs compete ferociously to be the best. A bottle of high quality Bretonnian wine can go for over a hundred crowns up in the Empire, enough to feed several families for a year. Brandy is only drunk by the nobility and wealthy merchants, and you never water down brandy. Some of the finest Bretonnian brandies are so valued that one noble family's entire feudal obligation is delivering two of the best bottles to the king's personal reserve every year. Bretonnians take their alcohol really, really seriously. Except their beer. Bretonnian beer makes dwarves cry for the doom and folly of manlings everywhere. Asking an Imperial landlord if his brewer is Bretonnian is a good way to start a fight.

Bretonnian food is also famous. The fields and pastures are rich and produce a wide variety of spices and herbs. Used moderately, they can make almost anything delicious. Used liberally, they can make a rotten meal palatable (though you'll still get food poisoning). Peasants have little access to meat, and their food tends to be dominated by vegetable, bread, fruit, and cheese dishes. Noble cuisine is dominated by a variety of meat courses; when a cow is slaughtered in the village, the meat usually goes to the knight as part of the village's feudal obligations. Similarly, while Bretonnian knights are foresworn from using missile weapons for war, hunting with spear and bow (or by falcon and hound) is considered fine practice for battle and a popular diversion all through the country's nobility. Venison, especially, is only permitted to nobles. Peasants caught poaching will be subject to all manner of punishments, and a crueler knight is within his rights to order the peasant ripped apart by his hunting hounds. Serving a meal to guests that one hunted oneself is considered an honor both to the guests and the knight's own household. Serving a meal of vegetables and bread as a noble host is a calculated and intentional insult to one's guests. Brets are also known for eating things other people don't much care for; boiling a frog alive and seasoning and eviscerating it at the table is considered good practice. Snails are fried in garlic and eaten from the shell. Bretonnians take great delight in introducing foreigners to these delicacies, both because uncultured foreign folk tend to scoff at them at first and also because most find them surprisingly decent once they try them.

Bretonnian clothing is the same regardless of social class, differing mostly in finery and color rather than basic design. Men wear pants, boots, a shirt, and a cloak for weather or warmth. Cloaks are hooded by custom, but the hood is only to be used for poor weather. Otherwise it serves as a pocket. Knights wear their cloak over their armor, and so a noble wearing a patched and tattered cloak is claiming he is a knight who has seen combat and deserves to have it recognized. Faking battle damage to one's cloak is frowned upon in the extreme. The cloak is usually the best part of a peasant man's outfit, designed to cover over his old breeches and shirt and to make him look a little more respectable and wealthy than he would otherwise. Women wear dresses and skirts beneath the ever-present Bretonnian cloak, with the current noble fashion being one so short that it is mostly a scarf, with a dress that leaves the shoulders scandalously bare. Peasant women wear long cloaks like the men, needing to keep warm and keep off the elements. Bretonnian women always keep their hair covered; showing the hair of your head to anyone but your husband is a scandal. It's said that if a Bretonnian woman was surprised in the bath she'd use the towel to cover her head before anything else. Most Bretonnian women thus keep their hair short, to make it easier to hide it. Grail Damsels are, of course, the exception; their flowing locks are the subject of many romantic poems and as they are outside of society, they are immune to petty scandal.

Next: Architecture!

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:37 on Aug 4, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

I promised you wine in Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Material culture in Bretonnia includes a hell of a lot of wine. Wine is everywhere in the country, to the extent that it's common to drink wine with nearly every meal whether noble or peasant. 'Like a bad wine' is a Bretonnian expression for 'Completely unexpected'; the quality of their vintages is such that Bretonnian wine is one of their major exports. Most people drink it watered down, of course, so that they don't go about life tipsy and so that a bottle will go further. Nobles and people celebrating festivals will sometimes drink unmixed wine, but this is usually reserved for feasts and special occasions. While there is very little bad wine in the country, vinters and connoisseurs compete ferociously to be the best. A bottle of high quality Bretonnian wine can go for over a hundred crowns up in the Empire, enough to feed several families for a year. Brandy is only drunk by the nobility and wealthy merchants, and you never water down brandy. Some of the finest Bretonnian brandies are so valued that one noble family's entire feudal obligation is delivering two of the best bottles to the king's personal reserve every year. Bretonnians take their alcohol really, really seriously. Except their beer. Bretonnian beer makes dwarves cry for the doom and folly of manlings everywhere. Asking an Imperial landlord if his brewer is Bretonnian is a good way to start a fight.

Bretonnian food is also famous. The fields and pastures are rich and produce a wide variety of spices and herbs. Used moderately, they can make almost anything delicious. Used liberally, they can make a rotten meal palatable (though you'll still get food poisoning). Peasants have little access to meat, and their food tends to be dominated by vegetable, bread, fruit, and cheese dishes. Noble cuisine is dominated by a variety of meat courses; when a cow is slaughtered in the village, the meat usually goes to the knight as part of the village's feudal obligations. Similarly, while Bretonnian knights are foresworn from using missile weapons for war, hunting with spear and bow (or by falcon and hound) is considered fine practice for battle and a popular diversion all through the country's nobility. Venison, especially, is only permitted to nobles. Peasants caught poaching will be subject to all manner of punishments, and a crueler knight is within his rights to order the peasant ripped apart by his hunting hounds. Serving a meal to guests that one hunted oneself is considered an honor both to the guests and the knight's own household. Serving a meal of vegetables and bread as a noble host is a calculated and intentional insult to one's guests. Brets are also known for eating things other people don't much care for; boiling a frog alive and seasoning and eviscerating it at the table is considered good practice. Snails are fried in garlic and eaten from the shell. Bretonnians take great delight in introducing foreigners to these delicacies, both because uncultured foreign folk tend to scoff at them at first and also because most find them surprisingly decent once they try them.

Bretonnian clothing is the same regardless of social class, differing mostly in finery and color rather than basic design. Men wear pants, boots, a shirt, and a cloak for weather or warmth. Cloaks are hooded by custom, but the hood is only to be used for poor weather. Otherwise it serves as a pocket. Knights wear their cloak over their armor, and so a noble wearing a patched and tattered cloak is claiming he is a knight who has seen combat and deserves to have it recognized. Faking battle damage to one's cloak is frowned upon in the extreme. The cloak is usually the best part of a peasant man's outfit, designed to cover over his old breeches and shirt and to make him look a little more respectable and wealthy than he would otherwise. Women wear dresses and skirts beneath the ever-present Bretonnian cloak, with the current noble fashion being one so short that it is mostly a scarf, with a dress that leaves the shoulders scandalously bare. Peasant women wear long cloaks like the men, needing to keep warm and keep off the elements. Bretonnian women always keep their hair covered; showing the hair of your head to anyone but your husband is a scandal. It's said that if a Bretonnian woman was surprised in the bath she'd use the towel to cover her head before anything else. Most Bretonnian women thus keep their hair short, to make it easier to hide it. Grail Damsels are, of course, the exception; their flowing locks are the subject of many romantic poems and as they are outside of society, they are immune to petty scandal.

Next: Architecture!

In case you missed this at the bottom of the last page, your previous post made me think:

Cythereal posted:

Also makes me think Bretonnia might be, odd as it sounds, one of the easiest places in Warhammer Fantasy to be a gay woman.

For a setting like this, what you've posted of Bretonnia so far does intrigue me. Could have a lot of fun with the woman pretending to be a man in a society as theatrical and fixated on appearances as this. Even letting her grow her hair long, and her companions attest that she's just one fancy guy.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The reason I like Bretonnia is that nothing about the place is simple. The nobles oppress the hell out of the peasants, but they don't really realize they're doing it. They're socially isolated from the people who serve them. Similarly, the noble knights really are brave warriors who fight the worst monsters in the setting with zeal, and many take protecting their people very seriously. The peasants aren't just passive victims, either. Some of them take up the bow and become Herrimaults, so the forests are full of bands of Merry Men (many of which are women in disguise, some of whom are knights in disguise who are trying to fix problems they can't fix as knights!). Others find all kinds of ways to keep the noble knight away from the village with quests or resolving disputes among themselves so as to get on with surviving. Merchants wander around breaking the rules but paying 'fines' and 'gifts' that are necessary for the economy to function. Everyone is doing what they can to get by, plenty of people strain against and bend their social role, and there's all kinds of places to put a party of player characters who don't quite fit in but can pretend they do.

It's similar to how the Empire is a messy hodge-podge of powerful individual provinces, religious strife, regional tradition, and many cultures, where the merchants are trying to buy the world from the nobles. Or how the people of Sylvania tolerate the Von Carsteins because they do a better job than the Von Draks before them or the Stirlanders after them. Places in Fantasy are allowed to be a mess and it gives them much more texture.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:46 on Jul 13, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Yeah, I'm just immediately struck by the PC idea of a powerful, successful woman who wears her hair long, hunts monsters, pursues courtly love with other noblewomen and perhaps even marries one, and is awarded huge honors by liege and lady. But for the sake of saving face because such a person is such a shocking breach of social mores everyone attests that she's a man and she gets on with her life.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Cythereal posted:

For a setting like this, what you've posted of Bretonnia so far does intrigue me. Could have a lot of fun with the woman pretending to be a man in a society as theatrical and fixated on appearances as this. Even letting her grow her hair long, and her companions attest that she's just one fancy guy.

This is literally one of the example characters.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also it comes up later but if you get caught being a woman dressing and fighting as a man the punishment by law is that you're sent on a punitive quest. Normally this would be something like 'Go fight the Red Duke but do it in women's dress with a knife' (I met that character as Wil, she was one of the Red Duke's students, who he'd made a Blood Dragon for being willing to come before him and challenge him unarmed and unarmored) but it could be anything. Your punishment for adventuring could just be 'go on more adventures'.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Cythereal posted:

Yeah, I'm just immediately struck by the PC idea of a powerful, successful woman who wears her hair long, hunts monsters, pursues courtly love with other noblewomen and perhaps even marries one, and is awarded huge honors by liege and lady. But for the sake of saving face because such a person is such a shocking breach of social mores everyone attests that she's a man and she gets on with her life.

I see what you're going for, but I think it would amount to much ado about nothing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Honestly it'd make a pretty hilarious plot arc. A party of people caught being who they aren't supposed to be who keep getting sent on dramatic suicide missions and succeeding, leading to wide acclaim and fortune while still being officially condemned. Like some kind of crazy medieval French A-Team.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Subjunctive posted:

I see what you're going for, but I think it would amount to much ado about nothing.

Yeah, but it could be fun[ny] to play. Personally, I'd be all behind inventing a guillotine in Bretonnia and getting started on the Reign of Terror.


wiegieman posted:

This is literally one of the example characters.

Oh, nice.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Cythereal posted:

Yeah, but it could be fun[ny] to play. Personally, I'd be all behind inventing a guillotine in Bretonnia and getting started on the Reign of Terror.

Sorry, I was making a Shakespeare joke that didn't land.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Somewhere a copy of Monstrous Regiment is sweating profusely.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Basically the only way Bretonnia can function is that everyone has agreed that, regardless of what is actually true, everyone is just going to assume everyone is what they seem to be at face value.

It doesn't matter if you are obviously a woman - you're wearing pants and armor and that means you are a knight and therefore a man and no one will ever question this unless forced to do so.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Kurieg posted:

Somewhere a copy of Monstrous Regiment is sweating profusely.

I scrolled down just to make this reference. And giggle at the Shakespeare joke.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Bretonnia also seem like one of the better places for transmen too for the same reason as it is for Lesbians.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Robindaybird posted:

Bretonnia also seem like one of the better places for transmen too for the same reason as it is for Lesbians.

We actually had a Bret Knight transman in one of the games I played in. Abel (originally Astrid) was not a woman pretending to be a man, even if he did not have words to describe exactly how he felt about it.

We also never actually found out his biological gender in character. He was fantastic. Especially whenever he'd leave our little party of mercenaries and go among other nobles and suddenly go from an awkward, brave young french knight to incredibly suave and charming like someone was turning on a light.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




A female identifing guy who adventures would need SOOOO many outfits.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

A female identifing guy who adventures would need SOOOO many outfits.

That's what baggage trains are for.


Night10194 posted:

Honestly it'd make a pretty hilarious plot arc. A party of people caught being who they aren't supposed to be who keep getting sent on dramatic suicide missions and succeeding, leading to wide acclaim and fortune while still being officially condemned. Like some kind of crazy medieval French A-Team.

I would play this game. The saviors of Bretonnia are a woman, a peasant, a flamboyantly gay man, a Strigoi, and a halfling. And for the love of the King and the Lady, they are all proper noblemen who epitomize chivalry and the virtues of the land, got it?!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Also, if I am recalling right, there is exactly one reason a Bretonnian man might dress up as a woman.

Bretonnia doesn't have wizards - only witches and sorceresses.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



When there's monsters to slay and justice to be done, you can't be picky about who's wearing the pants.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Giles d'Breton, the Sigmar of Bretonnia (or as they'd say in Bretonnia, Sigmar, the Giles d'Breton of the Empire)

Ages ago, the ancestors of the Bretonnians, the Bretoni, came to the land of Bretonnia shortly after most of the elves had abandoned it when they lost their colonies to the dwarves. This in a war the elves had started by shaving the beard of a dwarven ambassador when he came to ask them why elves were attacking dwarven merchants (the elves attacking them were the other side of an elven civil war the elves didn't want to admit was happening). Elves are idiots. The Bretoni were skilled horsemen and used their talents as plains nomads to drive the greenskins off of the ruins of the old elven colonies. They set up there, and began to build sedentary towns and do agriculture. They also attempted to penetrate the wood of the Athel Loren, but when expeditions only produced a few insane survivors, they quickly backed off. When Sigmar sent ambassadors to ask the Bretoni to join his empire, they refused and continued to keep to themselves, refusing to bow to a foreigner. Without the aid of the dwarves, they didn't gain the sudden boost in metallurgy and technology that the Empire did, and began to struggle to hold on against the tide of orcs and goblins that always sought to retake their lands. Chaos and Undead joined in, whittling away at the original twenty tribes of Bretoni.

The orcs continued to overrun the Bretoni. They simply didn't have the equipment, numbers, or strength to deal with the seemingly limitless green tide, even without undead and norse raiders pecking at their heels. Every tribe that tried to face these foes alone was crushed. Into this came Giles d'Breton, the young duke of Bastonne, the center-most region of the country. Having slain a dragon and fought hard for his people, he was famous enough to attract other tribal lords to his banner, convincing them to unite in the face of the greenskins to try to relieve their neighbors. As Giles of Bastonne, Landuin of Mousillon (known to many as the greatest knight in Bretonnian history), and his great friend Thierulf of Lyonesse made their way to try to relieve the western realm of Bordeleaux, they came upon something that would change Bretonnia's history forever. While the three lords planned the battle to come, they saw a vision of a beautiful woman standing in a nearby lake, untouched by its waters. She walked across its surface to the three companions and held forth a golden cup, spilling with light. She offered it to them to drink, and when Giles and the companions did so, they found themselves empowered beyond their wildest dreams. As the Lady implored them to go under her sign and conquer, Giles' banner changed from that of a dragon to the visage of the Lady, and thus were made the first of the Grail Companions.

The epics of Giles d' Breton speak of twelve great battles fought over the next two years, where he slowly accumulated the other lords of the land who yet lived, the Lady choosing great knights to become his Companions as they battled every conceivable foe to make Bretonnia safe at last. Warriors who drank of the Lady's great gained the ability to strike at spirits and devils as though they wielded magic weapons, no matter what they carried, as well as unnaturally long life and physical strength. Grail Knights are, to this day, literally superhuman. By the time the fourteen original Grail Companions had been gathered, none of the monsters plaguing their land could stand against them. Having made their country safe by unity, they turned and swore their allegiance as dukes to their new King, Giles d' Breton, as the Lady of the Lake herself placed the crown on his head.

Then, strangely, while he was sweeping some of the last orcs from his lands, Giles was struck down by an unseen assailant, shot with an arrow out of nowhere. They say he was shot by a minion of the Warboss he was challenging, but for a single missile to drop the great Uniter? It's one of the setting's little mysteries. As he lay dying, he was born away across the surface of a nearby lake, to be with his Lady, and supposedly told his people he would return when their need was greatest. This left the problem of succession. Some wanted Louis, Giles' son, to be crowned king as was the norm of the time for passing on titles. Others argued that if the Grail made men more than men, only one who had supped from the Grail could be king. Louis responded by declaring he would seek it himself, then, and proceeded to go on the first ever Errantry Tour, then to be the first to take up the great Quest, wandering the land in search of visions of the Lady and heroic deeds to do. When he returned, now known as Louis the Rash for his restless and daring life, he shined with the light of the Grail and drew up the accords of Chivalry, to set down how future knights should progress their journey. It was Louis who hammered out the original codes of conduct in war and peace for the Knights of Bretonnia, as well as the periods of proving and the rites of questing for the Grail. He was crowned the second King, and Bretonnia was truly a nation.

Next: Errantry Wars, Mousillon's Downfall, and Undead

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:38 on Aug 4, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Has there been someone crazy enough to say "gently caress this society, I'm off to the lands of Chaos to kill heathens. Bitches"?

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.


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Has there been someone crazy enough to say "gently caress this society, I'm off to the lands of Chaos to kill heathens. Bitches"?

I mean, in a racist way, the Crusades. Like, I'm not saying it's right, but from their perspective.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Has there been someone crazy enough to say "gently caress this society, I'm off to the lands of Chaos to kill heathens. Bitches"?

Yes. In either direction, actually. Either 'I'm gonna go fight the hell out of Chaos' or 'I'm off to go where the Gods don't give a poo poo what nationality, gender, or species I am and will give me terrifying hell armor regardless if I prove myself'.

Chaos feeds on injustice, which is one of the more interesting bits about it in Tome of Corruption.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




So the rulers of the old world feed the gods of Chaos just as well as 40k's Imperium? That's a very delicious irony.
Any good stories I can read about people abandoning the sane lands to fight chaos?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It's more...if you try to fight Chaos solely by killing it, you're going to fail. If you burn down entire villages to get one cult, you just create people who want to kill you for murdering their friends and family. Those people are more likely to listen to Chaos. When you oppress your people, they're more likely to listen to things that whisper they have a way to get rid of you. Similarly, debauched nobles and wealthy folk who lose their sense of consequence are more likely to blunder into doing something really stupid that ends in tentacles.

This is why, say, Shallya and Verena (healing/mercy and justice/wisdom) are just as important in stopping the Dark Gods as all the warrior Gods.

Up until the lovely end times story, what differentiated Fantasy from 40k was that it felt like people had a really good chance of winning. Yes, the world is a mess and full of problems. Yes, you have terrible nobles and vampires all over. But between technology and the real possibility of society figuring out that injustice was one of the things feeding evil, and without the full on idiocy of the Imperium, they looked like they had a good shot at making it over the hump.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 18:41 on Jul 13, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018



It's not as if there isn't an entire faction of Chaos that is like 'yes, please, come run at me and fight me, this is exactly the point of what I do, getting people to do that because all conflict is good'.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Up until the lovely end times story, what differentiated Fantasy from 40k was that it felt like people had a really good chance of winning. Yes, the world is a mess and full of problems. Yes, you have terrible nobles and vampires all over. But between technology and the real possibility of society figuring out that injustice was one of the things feeding evil, and without the full on idiocy of the Imperium, they looked like they had a good shot at making it over the hump.

And you have the lizardmen and slann busy working on the problem at its source. They might not know exactly what they're doing, but they've got a pretty decent shot at cutting off Chaos at the roots.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The Lizardmen are the sanest, most helpful people in the setting. They just get on poorly with most humans because the humans keep trying to steal their gold (which they need for reasons related to the specific but unexplained instructions of the Old Ones) rather than being happy with the pearls they consider worthless, or because humans just keep trying to kill them for looking weird. They were and are the best hope of the world, even with most of their leadership dead and no ability to birth new ones. And they've managed to fight a holding action mostly successfully against the undead and Chaos for millennia, to say nothing of having the trump card against the Skaven in the form of a giant snake god that really, really likes eating rats.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Who also isn't supposed to be a God. There is no God named Sotek. Except he's obviously there, ever since that one skink came up with him. Possibly a hint as to what Gods are, possibly not.

Now, if only the lizardmen hadn't ruined the dwarves' empire and caused the first of their many apocalypses by trying to declare war on continental drift.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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2014-2018



To be fair they pretty much won that war.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

But at the cost of crippling a source of stability in the world.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


And doing it for pretty much no reason except that they're a cargo cult of their old masters who don't really know what they're doing anymore.

And who knows what their old masters even wanted of the world?

E: Which gets at another thing I like about Fantasy: It has the sense to leave some of this stuff up to the reader. I'm sure some would make the Old Ones benevolent creators who just like making things. Others might make them dicks. Two people will have different answers as to if Athel Loren is running Bretonnia entirely through the Fae Enchantress crowning kings, or what the hell Sotek really is or what's going on in that drat forest. There's enough weirdness to fill in your own stuff without being as undefined as 40k.

Hell, even the degree to which the lizards know what they're doing is up to the reader. They're not going to tell you.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:04 on Jul 13, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I'm still on the side of my scaly buddies. They are good dudes who have dinosaurs and do good things with them.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




A lot of the Bretonnia/Lady of the Lake confusion comes from there being two continuities. There's the end times where the Lady was actually an elven god all along who was collecting worthy mortals for use in the next world, and the old continuity where Ladrielle was an entirely separate goddess who was the patron of Bretonnia and a good friend of Ariel's.

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



Mors Rattus posted:

Also, if I am recalling right, there is exactly one reason a Bretonnian man might dress up as a woman.

Bretonnia doesn't have wizards - only witches and sorceresses.

Before I had ever heard of Bretonnia (in Warhammer I mean), I had just such an idea for a story about a young man whose mother was a witch that was rather irked she'd had nothing but boys who grew up to be wandering knights, so she dressed him like a girl and made him a witch because their society simply didn't do wizards or warlocks. Clearly I need to take another crack at that story but Bretonnia makes it playable.

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Jul 13, 2017

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Look up 'Lord Fanny.'

The Chad Jihad
Feb 24, 2007




We've moved past it, but I always liked this bit of flavor:

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Hostile V posted:

Anyway, the 24th century was a century of horrific war for mankind. We had left Earth to form colonies and invent amazing new technologies, but chaos and greed and decay permeated the Imperial government and lead to a century of war between nations of Earth and the colonies. Millions were killed by starvation and warfare, countries were left crippled by destroyed infrastructure and every war was fought with either nuclear, biological or chemical weapons (sometimes all three). By the time the year 2400 rolls around, some countries are absolutely sick of constant war and the armistices that accomplish nothing before collapsing. This lead to the creation of the Unification Movement.

The Unification Movement was an idealistic utopian coalition of nations and people who decided that this all just had to stop. The war had ended for good at the turn of the 2400s and the members of the Unification Movement wanted change. They had enough activists and radical agitators to influence the highest levels of government and in the end they got what they wanted. The pan-Terran "New Regime", as it was called at the time, took power and with this power the armies, navies and aerospace forces were disbanded permanently. All that remained was a token police force to enforce the law and protect the populace.

It's particularly hard to tell if the New Regime was corrupt from the word go or if it was subverted by fascists and people hungry for power and control. Perhaps it was a mix of both. The game never addresses this as such, this is all me reading into it. What the game does say is that after the New Regime took control, they decided that disarmament wasn't enough. The people who were involved in the wars, grunts and politicians alike, were removed from the office and the public eye and sent to re-education camps. The idea was that without their influence on the world the next generation would be able to grow up in peace, untainted by old ideas of war and combat held by the people in charge. "Extremist liberal policies" and radical legislation got passed by the Regime's government and funding was put in place to understand the psychology of crime. They also squished all religion so everyone could be the same but that just gets a passing mention.

Shame the thing that came out of it was hacky pseudo-science.
Okay, now that I've finally found the time to go back and read it, Abandon All Hope's premise kinda gets my motor running, in the bad way. The way where I yell at the television and quote Zizek and my wife has to tell me to stop reading the news.

So the world was consumed with war, and a utopian internationalist movement somehow rose up, seized control of all major armies and governments and dismantled them, removing all their agents from power. But this was a bad thing, because the new One World Government was basically every paranoid fantasy about the Liberal Agenda.

I mean I know this is a low-budget, low-effort, ill-considered background written to setup up what the authors really wanted to focus on, and is probably overwritten even at 4 pages. But it still has me doubting that the authors are pleasant people.

As for the mechanics, I think the game's goals would be better served by a rules light-ish system grounded in psychological horror, like Cold City, with the addition of some combat crunch. Because it's OK to want filthy storygaming and tactical combat in the same game.

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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



As someone who has generally had enough exposure to really, really awful right-wing thriller fiction that generally has a hypercompetent yet woefully foolish and stupidly doodooheaded Liberal Menace as the main enemy, you are absolutely correct. The main issue I have with backing that line of thinking up is that this is such a small company and a general search of authors says their RPG careers are generally over; their small indie company based on the back of d20 is now on life support and they never made it big, they never really made it out past 2012 to share their terrible opinions openly and in a more public forum or on social media.

That being said.

There is still plenty in the text of this whole shebang that I don't really need a a smoking gun, I just have a lot of weird stereotypes and awful attempts to shock and scare and be adult and mature that I can very easily point at being the authors' stances.

And oh yes I definitely agree because I guarantee you'll hate the psychological horror mechanics.

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