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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

In which the peasantry are not simple victims but an active participant in the informal politics of the land

Peasant politics revolve around a very simple maxim: Don't get the Lord involved unless you have absolutely no other choice. When Lords get involved, they bring their men at arms and they bring their sword. They usually don't know the local situation half as well as they think they do, and when they get frustrated someone gets hung. At the same time, sometimes the Lord's bailiff is the one causing trouble, or the local sheriff is evil, so you need to go to a noble for help. A common technique to get your case heard is to try to find some good-hearted Adventurer or convenient outsider who isn't technically involved and doesn't have as much on the line, and if this fails, peasants will scurry off in a group to try to find a champion like a medieval French version of the Seven Samurai. Since the Lord can technically beat, hang, or take anything the peasants own, he is a very dangerous force in peasant politics.

Peasants devise all kinds of ways to keep the Lord out of local politics as much as possible. Underneath this, peasants pick people who are good at mediating disputes among them to try to negotiate out settlements without having to resort to force, they sometimes have mock battles/sporting contests between villages over matters like boundary stones or use of a forest, and they generally abide by the results of these contests and negotiations because again, the alternative is the Lord getting involved. A corrupt sheriff is the worst possible problem for a peasant, because a sheriff or bailiff is probably a yeoman of the Lord and has access to the Lord's men at arms. Also, only the Lord can remove him. This makes getting rid of a bailiff who causes trouble very difficult to do while trying to keep the Lord out of it; peasants will usually try various schemes to make his corruption more obvious, like hiding goods during tax season and then sneaking them into the bailiff's house, or thanking their Lord for his protection that led to such a large harvest in hopes that the Lord will start wondering why he isn't getting more in taxes (though this runs dangerously close to causing the Lord to investigate the village more generally, which again, is usually a recipe for chaos). Bailiffs know about these strategies, leading to ridiculous comedies of errors and games of wits between the wily peasants and the corrupt bailiff for their town. Smarter bailiffs will reach an accommodation with their fellow peasants to mutually defraud the Lord and protect both parties from excess tax, which gets very messy if the Lord ever decides to inspect his estates.

Sometimes taxes get excessive, especially in a year of poor harvests, even if the bailiff is in cahoots with the villagers. In this case, peasants have two options. If their Lord either has plenty of reserves or is known as a just and chivalrous man, an honest explanation might save the village for the year; they simply can't hand over their seed crops without starving or having too little to survive the winter. If that doesn't work, peasants will claim the taxes they couldn't pay were stolen by outlaws, and usually the Lord will mount up and go to hunt them down. Sometimes they might even find and remove unrelated outlaws or beastmen, protecting the village, which is usually considered a tremendous bonus by all involved.

A result of this carefully staged political theater is that many Lords believe their peasants are contented and happy, and rarely in need of their master's aid. This is seen as an endorsement of the efficacy of their rule, and talked about excitedly with their social equals as another sign of the superiority of Bretonnian chivalry. The peasants lead a simple and charmed life, not beset by the troubles and cares of nobility, after all! This is until there is another peasant revolt. Peasants hide problems until the situation is unsustainable, at which point they may be forced to rise in rebellion for their very survival. This does not go well; the Lord has arms and armor, he can call upon other knights, and he's a professional fighter. Enthusiasm and desperation don't protect someone from elite heavy cavalry and armed footmen. The suppression of a rebellion usually kills enough people that the village can survive on its remaining food stocks, at least, and most Bretonnians would agree that it is better to die fighting than starve to death in the winter; most rebelling peasants feel they win even if they lose. Foreign agitators are usually blamed, even though they are never at fault; it is another fiction that allows the survivors and the Lord to return to normalcy after the suppression. Ironically, the only time peasant revolts are particularly dangerous is when they actually need to be put down brutally, because they've been caused by the influence of Chaos. Witches and mutants might actually threaten a knight of Bretonnia, after all. Knights who are especially brutal to their people are especially likely to face these more serious rebellions, as the locals turn to dark forces in desperation. Evil begets evil.

As for foreign relations, Bretonnia borders most of the major nations of the Old World, being France and all that. This means that despite their belief in their obvious superiority, they must have regular dealings with lands that do not understand chivalry and social order as well as they do. The lawless hellhole of the Border Princes has plenty of Princes who used to be Bretonnian knights, and who still try to rule in the traditional manorial style, which makes them unpopular with the rest of the petty murderers and scum that live out there. Bretonnia and the Empire are currently enjoying their best relations in centuries, thanks to the enthusiastic support of the Bretonnians in putting down Archaon the Everfailure. The two nations don't understand one another, and each looks down on the other, but for now they remember being brothers in arms against evil, and trade and relations are at their height. Bretonnia badly wants to conquer the Not-Dutch of Marienburg, a breakaway Imperial province that bought its freedom ages ago, because they would like to control one of the best ports in the Old World. They have not been successful, because Marienburg has guns, a navy, a lot of money, and mercenaries. They don't have any desire to have a King or a Duke any more than they want an Emperor ruling over their crazy corrupt merchant country.

Next: Law, Justice, and How If You Get Caught Lying About Yourself You Go On Adventures.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Aug 4, 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



Night10194 posted:

Unfortunately, there is no lorebook for dwarves in WHFRP2e that I know of. Which is definitely worthy of a grudgin'.

That's one of the big oddities: There's no elf or dwarf book. No Lustria book, I could understand (so I'm writing one myself, wildly divergent from canon but I want to be able to run a game about rad kung fu amazons, big dumb dinosaur warriors, and terrified little lizard guys trying to keep the world running in fantasy south america while they fight canadian murder elves and rat nazis) but elves and dwarfs are a big deal, and in regular contact with the rest of the Old World. I know a reasonable amount about the dwarfs, I know some about elfs, but most of the stuff I know is from the sourcebooks on other places.

Yeah the books I've seen are very much written as if everyone in the party is human, largely dealing with humans, except books where you play a monster like a skaven or vampire, when 3/4s of the playable races are non-human but don't seem to get a lot of coverage.

I remember one book has a pretty interesting bit about the Moot halflings at least, but I don't know where, for example, you're supposed to know how and where elves teach their wizards, just that they don't use the same schools as humans.

I guess you're supposed to use some of the source books for the war game to get some of that stuff?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


marshmallow creep posted:

Yeah the books I've seen are very much written as if everyone in the party is human, largely dealing with humans, except books where you play a monster like a skaven or vampire, when 3/4s of the playable races are non-human but don't seem to get a lot of coverage.

I remember one book has a pretty interesting bit about the Moot halflings at least, but I don't know where, for example, you're supposed to know how and where elves teach their wizards, just that they don't use the same schools as humans.

I guess you're supposed to use some of the source books for the war game to get some of that stuff?

Dwarves slot into the Empire well, at least. They point out in the Empire book that the dwarves view humans a bit like the favored nephew of a childless uncle; if the worst happens and the dwarves vanish from the earth, they see the humans and their success as a legacy that will be left behind to carry on with what they learned from them. I always thought that was pretty :unsmith:

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




My best guess is that like most fantasy RPGs that cleave close to Tolkien, WFRP wants to have it both ways by making elves and dwarves playable characters, but still keeping a shroud of mystery around them.

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



Night10194 posted:

Dwarves slot into the Empire well, at least. They point out in the Empire book that the dwarves view humans a bit like the favored nephew of a childless uncle; if the worst happens and the dwarves vanish from the earth, they see the humans and their success as a legacy that will be left behind to carry on with what they learned from them. I always thought that was pretty :unsmith:

Yeah, I dig that. Dwarves are good.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I think it's actually more that Black Industries was only in business for 2 years for WHFRP2e and so they kinda closed (and production for the game line halted some) in January of 2008, right after starting to get more into non-human and non-empire stuff with Skaven, Vampires, and Kislev. I know there was a Dorf book for 1e.

Basically, GW decided RPG books didn't make enough money and so shut down its in-house RPG publisher and handed things to Fantasy Flight for awhile, and when FF produced 3e it was when GW was demanding they walk all the fluff back to pre Storm of Chaos and incorporate a lot of the stuff from 8th edition in the wargame.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



All of these Warhammer Fantasy reviews have moved my opinion on Age of Sigmar from "lol GW just pissed off a bunch of players and screwed themselves over" to "God loving dammit GW you had a legitimately great setting why would you throw all of that out the window for Sigmarines". I really want to play WHFRP now.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Part of it is they really didn't see the Storm of Chaos as the opportunity that my long-time GM and our group did. The Storm of Chaos having just ended is the perfect place to put an RPG. The big apocalyptic battle happened, but...all the allies showed up, and they won. The hero lost his big duel with the king of evil or whatever but it was totally irrelevant, because the united armies of Bretonnia, Kislev, Ulthuan, the Empire, and the Dwarves all showed up on time and kicked the poo poo out of Chaos. The alliances they made back the last time this happened held and they saved the world, with such ease that a lot of people are wondering if it's really necessary to maintain them. More importantly, the big horde still did a lot of damage and lots of soldiers were away from home for a long time; home-grown problems may have gotten worse, and these are the sorts of things Adventurers are perfect for.

Just after the Storm of Chaos, you're playing in the dawn of a new age where you're cleaning up the rubble of a failed apocalypse and wondering what the hell comes next. There's a lot of potential in where you could go and who could be the next big problem.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



and the fact GW basically cheated to get their pet chaos faction to win on top of that.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade 2e - The Firebrands: FLUTE



The Winds of Aion are also known as the Winds, the Pipers and the Gachingachin Clan. They practice Fox and Snake kung fu, and their jutsu is the Way of Deadly Crescendos. They get +1 Discipline, +1 Marksman, +1 Perform and +1 Stealth, as well as +1 Yin. See, most current people of the Izou believe that musical festivals and celebrations were introduced by the Blazing Dancers. They are very wrong. Long before that, the Gachingachin were there, entertaining and enchanting the people with their musical prowess. They began in the early days of the Izou, with a young ninja named Aion and his magic war flute. He and his followers brought their songs to the fledgling Izou forces, using them to encourage the armies in their battles, as they went to conquer. Aion and his students, at their height, numbered in the thousands. They used every kind of instrument, though Aion always led them with his war flute, and it is from this that the Winds of Aion got their name. In peace, their songs were serene, and in war, they were overpowering.

And then the Dancers came out of the Desert of Black Sand. They were hailed as heroes for doing so, the first ever, and their shows began to make inroads in the empire, ignoring boundaries and cutting in on the Winds' territories. The Izou began to prefer the energetic acrobatics to the more soothing and slow songs of the Winds, and this battle for Imperial support went into an all-out shadow war between the clans. The Dancers, however, were the clear victors. As a final symbol, they seized Aion's war flute as a trophy, and it is still held in the halls of the Wu Ji Theater. Today, the clan endures, but is near ruined. They have few villages and fewer ninja, with most seeing them as a vestige of old, archaic ways. Still, those who truly appreciate beautiful music do find them at times. Some of the Winds have joined the Lotus Coalition, largely in areas that lack a strong Blazing Dancer presence. Others, however, have managed to convince the Emperor to let them live in exchange for their service in wiping out the other clans. They are certain, if they do so, then they will once again be the top entertainers of the Empire, having wiped out the Dancers once and for all.

Life in a Gachingachin village is calm and tranquil. They play their songs for each other and their students, and while they will accept gifts of coin or jade, they do not seek it out. They believe instead that performance is done for its own sake, to be truly art. They avoid attracting the Izou by use of a constant magical melody, played in turns, which enchants those that hear it to be unable to see the village, even if they're in the middle of it. The best can hear the individual notes, using them to track down the village. This is the first real test to join the clan, followed by tests of martial skill and music appreciation. An initiate is considered a full ninja when they make their first original musical composition that gets accepted by the clan masters. Creating new songs is how you gain status, as well. The Gachingachin have been in the Izou Empire since the beginning, and they know its roads and travel ways better than any other clan. This is why the Emperor finds them valuable - they are more than able to help track down other ninja, and their songs helped win the War of Withered Fangs. To the Emperor, a Gachingachin is not a ninja, if they are loyal - just a unique kind of soldier.

The Winds could tip the balance of the Crusade...in either direction. They despise the Blazing Dancers, and their ties to the Lotus Coalition weaken as the Dancers rise within the ranks. However, it is also clear that without the Coalition as a shield, the entire clan would easily be wiped out. However, those who become Izou loyalists have used their songs to win decisive battles against the other ninja, and the already small clan is splitting at the seams over which way their loyalties should lie. For the Winds, it honestly doesn't matter who wins as long as they survive and the Dancers are taken down a peg - or better yet, killed off. Ironically, if the two clans could stop hating each other, they'd probably work together quite well.

The Gift of the Gachingachin is the ability to pick apart every sound they hear. They get +2 to any hearing-based Perception checks, and their great lung capacity means they recover from the Deprived condition twice as fast. Their Trigger is their disdain and disgust for rewards and particularly for money. The party gains 1 Karma when they react poorly to the idea of taking money for their art, causing tension and conflict. Contacts: Haruguchi Gennai (Survival), a forest hermit who is an expert at traps. Kimiyama Sawao (Knowledge), a collector of valuable musical artifacts who wishes to get his hands on a war flute. Motoori Miya (Fighting), a former Izou soldier turned mercenary who is very selective about her clients. Kawabata Toichi (Persuade), a local bandit leader who likes making deals and earning money. Odoriko Takara (Perform), a Blazing Dancer that wants to learn new styles of performance and is interested in the Winds. Gachingachin Akuro (Discipline), an elder of the Winds whose mastery of focus and peaceful music is amazing. Bonds:
  • Choose one ninja who prefers the talents of the Blazing Dancers to that of the Winds.
  • Choose one ninja who you see as confusing fame for power.
  • Choose one ninja who you would love to perform beside, but something is holding you back.



The Way of Deadly Crescendos is the Water-elemental jutsu of the Winds, focused on breathing exercises and music. Some of the jutsu require the user to maintain a song continuously. Doing so costs a Standard Action, but not any Dynamic Actions, so you can still do other things that way. On a Boost, you may reduce any mental condition you have by 1. On a Backfire, you get a cumulative -1 to Perform for the scene.
Basic Jutsu
Fine Ear (Yin+Perception): You may use this reflexively when you hear a noise. If successful, you know exactly what made the sound, how far it is, and what general direction it's in, as well as the clear content of any spoken words. On a Boost, you pinpoint it so precisely that you get +2 to find or attack the spot without ever seeing it.
Long Breath (Yin+Fortitude): You can hold your breath for several minutes. During that time, if you are able to breathe normally, you gain +2 to resist exhaustion from Athletics or Perform.
Muting Technique (Yin+Intimidation): You silence sounds from the target with a gust of air. You may activate this as a Defense against any sound-based attack or vocal mental attack, treating as a Parry. On a Boost, you also silence the attacker for the rest of the scene, making them unable to use their voice for anything but a barely audible whisper.
Perfect Song (Yin+Perform): You make a flute or reed instrument produce a beautiful sound. You get +2 to any check using the instrument, including other jutsu activations, for several checks.
Sound Deflection (Yang+Perform): You use a blast of sound to turn aside blows. You may activate this as a Defense, which counts as a Parry with a weapon. On a Boost, you also cause Sensory Loss (Hearing) 1 in the attacker.

Median Jutsu
Calm Song (Yin+Perform): You must have Perfect Song. For as long as you maintain the song, you calm emotions, causing -2 to all physical attacks by those that can hear you.
Cutting Note (Yang+Perform): You must have Sound Deflection. You blast a sharp note that can cut people. This is a weapon that has the Sharp quality, does 2 damage and can target up to Far range. A target in Cover still takes half damage, as the notes can penetrate.
Shockwave Punch (Yang+Fighting): You gather wind around your limbs to increase your explosive power for several attacks. Any Defense against your attacks for this period gets -1, and the defender is knocked down and knocked back several feet. On a Boost, twice as far.
Sound Barrier (Yang+Discipline): You must have Sound Deflection. You create a visible dome of tangible sound for a wide area around you. For as long as you maintain the song, you and anyone in Close range gets +3 Armor against attacks from outside the barrier. On a Boost, the barrier also stops people from moving through it without a Strength check.
War Song (Yang+Perform): You must have Perfect Song. For as long as you maintain the song, you inspire your allies. All of their physical attacks get +2. On a Boost, their physical defenses get +1, too.

Advanced Jutsu
Breathless Note (Yin+Intimidation): You must have Muting Technique. You attack with the activation, using your sound to steal the target's breath. If you hit, the target gets Deprived 1. Each Round, for as long as you maintain the song, the condition increases by 1, to a max of 5. Once it hits the cap, they begin to take 1 damage per Round instead.
Crashing Note (Yang+Perform): You must have Cutting Note. You channel your power into a single blast, using the activation as a physical attack against everyone in Near range and one target at Far range. Those targeted by it get -2 to Defend against it, and it does 4 damage and Sensory Loss (Hearing) 2. A successful Defense avoids damage, but still gets Sensory Loss 1.
Dissonant Song (Yang+Perform): You must have Long Breath. You play a piercing song that is uncomfortable to hear for those that cannot mold ki. Anyone who possesses ki and is in Near range or closer takes 2 damage unless they resist with Yin+Discipline. If there is a Backfire, however, the jutsu fails automatically. Anyone that can listen to the entire song quietly and respectfully and also survive earns the respect of the Winds, and doing so is a rite of passage within the clan.
Puppeteer's Rhythm (Yin+Persuade): You must have either Calm Song or War Song. You use your music to infiltrate the target's mind. If it works, they lose their Standard Action. You may use your own Dynamic Actions to force them to perform an Action as though you were taking an additional Action yourself, or you may sacrifice 1 Dynamic Action to remove 2 of the target's. This continues for as long as you maintain the song and the target can hear it. On a Boost, you may choose to instead affect all animals of one species that can hear you, or a number of additional humanoid targets.
Whirling Winds (Yang+Survival): You must have Shockwave Punch. You call down a tornado storm for several Rounds. During this storm, on each character's Initiative they must make a Fortitude+Survival check to avoid 2 damage a cumulative Dazed 1.

The book ends out on an adventure. A notable Virtuous Body Gardener has been captured and sentenced to death, but the Blazing Dancers have got a suicidal ninja whom they have convinced to take her place. (She accidentally killed an innocent child during a duel and wants to die in atonement.) The party's job is to infiltrate the palace and make the exchange of the two women under cover of a parade the Dancers will be putting on. The book assumes the party will be Inks, Dancers or a mix of the two. Things get more complicated when other prisoners try to get help to escape - some of whom probably should still be in prison. Then they'll have to escape via a walking a wire and dealing with a particularly stupid NPC Dancer starting a fight with the guards as they do. They can also gently caress around inside the palace if they want to to steal things.

The End!

Next up - the final book I haven't done, Truth and Lies.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Crime, punishment, and quests

There are two systems of law in Bretonnia, as there are with everything else. A noble is tried under a different code than a peasant, and punishments for nobles are completely different than for peasants. Under noble law, a noble who harms another noble's peasants is wronging the noble, not the peasants, for instance. Nobles are still forbidden to murder, steal, or assault others, though they are legally permitted to use force to avenge a slight on their honor. Nobles are actually legally forbidden from directly engaging in a trade. Courts to try noble offenses are always convened by a feudal superior, which means the King can convene a court and try any noble in the land. The convening Lord is judge, and 7 nobles of equivalent rank to the accused serve as a peer jury. When a noble defends themselves at court, it is the judge who decides innocence or guilt; the jury only handles the matter of sentencing.

Nobles are never imprisoned and execution is reserved for actual treason or direct ties to the Dark Powers. Fines may be levied, but these are rarer than much more symbolic punishments, such as demanding the convicted do a service for the wronged party, or sending the convicted on a quest to prove their honor and make restitution by force of arms. These long quests can be death sentences that allow the executed to maintain their honor, or they could simply be an oblique way to cost the criminal noble years of effort and exile by traveling far from Bretonnia to do their quest. Since these courts are only convened by a noble's superior, a noble with a corrupt direct superior can get away with all kinds of villainy legally. A noble who refuses the court's judgment is Outlawed, meaning that they are outside all protection of the law. They are still a noble; they don't ruin things for their descendants. But they can be killed by any person, without it being a crime, even by peasants. Curiously, noblewomen are subject to the exact same penalties as men, and thus, for one who doesn't know how to fight a sentence to a quest of valor is intended to be a death sentence. A woman discovered pretending to be a man to be a knight is customarily assigned tests of valor until one of them kills her or she agrees to cover her hair up and put a dress back on. As noted earlier, a continually questing, heroic female knight who has been 'caught' being what she is would make a good PC.

Peasants are subject to two flavors of law: The official law of nobles and the ad-hoc stuff they do to keep the nobles the hell out of their business. A peasant brought before the Lord is allowed to explain themselves if the Lord feels like it, and if not, the Lord may simply pronounce whatever judgement they feel like. These punishments are usually corporal, like beating or being locked in the stocks, or fatal. In fiefs where the Lord is conscientious and good, there can still be justice, but it is entirely up to the Lord, and this is another reason the peasants don't like to gamble on going to the Lord's justice.

Instead, they make informal agreements and go to village elders. Restitution is the most common penalty levied by the community, with the threat of taking someone who doesn't accept communal judgment before the Lord (who does not know the specifics of the case) and simply saying 'That guy did it. The thing.' and seeing what happens. Most accept communal judgment. The merchant clubs have managed to convince the lords by gifts and propaganda that any Lord who pays too much attention to mercantile affairs is plotting to become a merchant himself and thus is not chivalrous. This, combined with the bribes, gives them more free reign to enforce their local monopolies and trusts. People happening to die spontaneously in brawls after they break mercantile rules is quite common.

Bretonnia also has dozens of little rules that were passed by some king in the past and no-one has bothered to repeal. For instance, white is considered a noble color, and so even Shallyan sisters must wear yellow instead in Bretonnia. Women are specifically forbidden men's clothing, though the reverse is not true. Peasants may not officially wear armor unless marching to war under a lord's color, and plate, lances, and swords are forbidden to them as they are the weapons and armor of chivalry. The crossbow is an evil thing that goes through knights' armor, and thus is forbidden, but no-one has gotten around to outlawing these 'new' guns, yet. It is technically completely legal for any peasant to carry a pistol or musket, while being forbidden to knights under arms under their vow to forsake missile weapons while at war. Only nobles can live in houses of stone, but bricks aren't technically stone and so brick is beginning to catch on quite well in the larger towns. Lords can also exempt their peasants from any of these sumptuary laws at will, so buying exemptions for one's bodyguards isn't uncommon among merchants (or adventurers). Local lords also have total freedom to establish additional laws in their domain, which is how we end up with local laws like 'All pigs must be sworn before a Grail Damsel to show they are not servants of Chaos' (I would like to know what caused that law) or 'Peasants must wear hats of a height equivalent to the amount of tax they pay'. Bretonnia can be a silly place.

Nobles, peasants, and merchants who don't like the results of a judgment can flee into the forests as Outlaws. As mentioned above, an Outlaw is someone outside the protection and reach of the law; they are legally not people and can be murdered, robbed, etc without any consequence, by anyone, of any class. Many outlaws are actual violent criminals and brigands. Some are just on the run, with no other options to survive. But then there's another class of Outlaw: The Herrimaults, the Merry Men. The Herrimault are bands of woodsmen and outlaws (and all men, except for all the disguised women, and all peasants, except the occasional disguised knight trying to fight the system from outside it), wandering the country and fighting corrupt lords. They rob the worst of the merchants and steal from evil knights, and they give much of what they take to the peasantry. It's fitting that there be a class of outlaws just as romantic and idealistic as the knights of Bretonnia. Herrimault bands work under the direction of a Faceless, and each Faceless enforces the Code of the Herrimault within their band. These Merry Men believe you cannot fight injustice with injustice, and also explicitly say they will battle the forces of Chaos wherever they find them, as well as attacking evil lords and forest monsters to defend the peasantry.

Next: Religion and the Fae.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Aug 4, 2017

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Robindaybird posted:

and the fact GW basically cheated to get their pet chaos faction to win on top of that.

Didn't they bank on that and people chose the Orks twice in a row so the Storm ended with a Warboss teleporting to Archaon and kicking him in the nuts before just leaving?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Oh poo poo, is this the part of the book with the enchantresses?

Because enchantresses take the whole gender-roles thing and make it even funnier.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Oh poo poo, is this the part of the book with the enchantresses?

Because enchantresses take the whole gender-roles thing and make it even funnier.

It is totally the part with the enchantresses.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Kavak posted:

Didn't they bank on that and people chose the Orks twice in a row so the Storm ended with a Warboss teleporting to Archaon and kicking him in the nuts before just leaving?

Combination of that and GW was trying to make the Orcs allied with Chaos. Just like when GW pulled the same thing in 40k's equivalent, the Orc players collective said oh hell no and coordinated their efforts to fight Chaos instead.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Basically, people who play Warhammer Fantasy really don't like how all the other 'evil' sides are expected to line up and help push Chaos over the finish line every time.

I mean, gently caress, after setting up all that cool fluff about how the physical-oriented Undead and the transcendentalist followers of Chaos are fundamentally philosophically opposed and hate each other the End Times was like one long parade of 'And then X vampire or necromancer was all about how awesome Chaos is and how much cooler it is than necromancy now!'

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Why the gently caress would I want to help some skullhelmet choad melt the world and my sweet Castlevania along with it? I mean, you're not even offering me a harem of daemonettes on your floating astral skull cabana. Eat poo poo, Archaon.



Edit: VVV How often have companies used some official event to guide the story, then screwed over the fanbase and everyone was raw about it? Didn't it happen with Legend of the Five Rings, more than once?

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 20:20 on Jul 25, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Basically, people who play Warhammer Fantasy really don't like how all the other 'evil' sides are expected to line up and help push Chaos over the finish line every time.

I mean, gently caress, after setting up all that cool fluff about how the physical-oriented Undead and the transcendentalist followers of Chaos are fundamentally philosophically opposed and hate each other the End Times was like one long parade of 'And then X vampire or necromancer was all about how awesome Chaos is and how much cooler it is than necromancy now!'

Also why when End Times started, people were overjoyed to have Nagash as the new big evil threat.

Still kind of stunned GW left it with "Settra does not serve. Settra rules."


Nehekara could be really interesting for a WHFRP adventure.

Jo Joestar
Oct 24, 2013


To be fair, Chaos being opposed to the Undead did come up during the original Storm of Chaos.

During his invasion of the Empire, Archaon had the brilliant idea of splitting his forces between his own direct invasion from the North, and a second force led by Crom the Conqueror, his herald and chief lieutenant, which was supposed to head south and east to hit the Empire's unguarded flank. Unfortunately for Crom, this involved passing through the sleepy, decrepit backwater province of Sylvania, and Crom's entire army disappeared while en route, presumably eaten by the locals.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West, Part 6: "This means that the Tribal Warrior might be considered the Indian equivalent of a 'grunt' while the others are more like Special Forces because of their special powers and orientation."

Guest starring Mortal Kombat's '90s token stereotype, Nightwolf.

Spirit West O.C.C.s

First, we start with notes on traditionalist O.C.C.s which require you to be a Traditionalist or Pure One and avoid all the technology associated with following either path. You also have to be Native American blood if you actually want to use new magic, but it says some other indigenous people on Pacific Islands, Australia, or Africa can use these classes if they have similar beliefs. Except all the classes have the text:

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

The character must be of Native American descent. Other races do not have strong enough spirit potentials to have totems or use fetishes.

Other than the new classes, they can also be bandits, highwaymen, professional thieves, bounty hunter, healer (not a class), rogue scholar, vagabond, wilderness scout, or saddle tramp. They can also take men at arms classes that don't rely on technology or augmentation, which is pretty close to none of them. They specifically can't be Cowboys, Gamblers, Safecrackers, or corebook magic classes. We also get a guide on what skills they can't take, and in exchange for losing skills and equipment the GM has the option (recommended strongly) to let them have an extra major fetish.


Lose sight of the spirits, gain 1001 other sight modes.

There's a long section on how no Traditional or Pure One won't get bionics for predictable reasons, though a minority might consider bio-systems. If they become cyborgs, juicers, or presumably crazies by hook or crook, they lose contact with their totems and spirits, even if it's involuntary. The spirits will still judge you, I guess. Modern Native Americans can become whatever they drat well like and use whatever they want, but can't get any totem bonuses no matter how much respect they pay to their heritage. What are totem bonuses? We'll have to wait, but it's the 90's and it's time for totems in RPGs. What's your spirit animal?


"You know you lose class features by using that gun...?" "I'm just posing with it! Don't tell the spirits!"

Traditional Warrior Classes

So, it emphasizes these warriors work like guerrilla fighters... well, it compares them to ninja, saying they gather in generic "warrior societies" that are like "brotherhoods of knights". We get a historical note that apparently only the tribal warrior is a traditional warrior, while the rest are actually shamans, but are called warriors because... reasons? Also, I'm pretty sure the role of literal magic people is of questionable historicity. Of course, it informs us only 12% of the warriors are female. We're referred to New West for old-fashioned guns, and-

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Other notable Palladium reference books that may be of value to players and G.M.s alike are Monsters & Animals, 2nd Edition™ and The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons™. The Compendium of Weapons, Armor and Castles™ might also be of some use and great interest to players looking for one excellent reference on ancient style weapons from around the world (over 700), armor (over 40 types) and castles (European and Asian).

Yes, that's exactly what I need to portray an indigenous spirit warrior, details on katanas and European castles. Makes sense.

:raise:

We also get some details on who they fight. Firstly, simvan and wild psi-stalkers are often fought in skirmishes. Brodkil, worm wraiths, and xiticix are wiped out whenever possible. Contrary to presumption, though, they don't often clash with settlers.


"Welcome to my fetish club!"

Tribal Warrior O.C.C.

So, this is the magic-enhanced hunter and warrior, and are mostly like a Wilderness Scout with less skills but more geegaws. They get an animal totem (to be detailed later), two minor fetishes and two major fetishes, a special initiative bonus and paired weapon usage for tomahawks and knives only (but they're still just S.D.C. unless you blow a major fetish slot. Oh, you want to use two magic M.D.C. tomahawks to use that paired weapon ability? Then be prepared to blow both your major fetishes to get that! Congrats, now you can do 2d6-4d6 damage, around the damage even the lowliest Coalition Grunt will have on his rifle.

Oh, and you can play one of these as a renegade, but you basically just don't get any fetishes. I'd say it's a crap punishment, but then I realize you can jump into a power armor or use a rocket launcher (once you can obtain either, anyway...) so YMMV. Seems mostly like a garbage class - it's good at wilderness stuff, but right now classes that are good at surviving in the wild are available by the dozen. Maybe you could do some interesting stuff with creative fetish picks, but otherwise it's singularly unimpressive. Oh, and you can lose your animal or fetish powers if you offend the gods, so they get a paladin clause! Lastly, there's only about a 31% chance of rolling one up.

But you get a free horse, there's that. Mind, it's got no armor so it'll die in its first fight but at least the spirits prefer a dead horse to a rad hovercycle!

(No, I'm not letting that go. Sorry. This message has been brought to you by the Hovercycle Manufacturer's Association.)


"Oh, you make fun, but this is the only illustration in the book where I've armored my horse."

Mystic Warrior O.C.C.

So, this is a psychic warrior with an... er...

... psi-tomahawk. :rolleyes:

So, somehow they get psychic powers from the spirits, and are highly feared due to it. Many become war chiefs but some go afield to become random adventurers agents of the gods that go around being guided by omens and visions. And if you're wondering if there are any mechanics for those, of course not!... but I guess you could use precognition in a pinch if you actually select it as a psychic power. So, they get some basic sensitive and mind defense powers, two picks of physical or super psychic powers, the ability to create "psi-tomahawks" and "psi-spears". Psi-tomahawks do crap damage compared to psi-swords, but you can throw them! Psi-spears are the same, but do more damage. Why would you ever use psi-tomahawks?

:iiam:

Seems familiar, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQNTnixfou4

They get an animal totem, two minor fetishes and 1 major fetish (armor only, so they they have solid M.D.C. defense). They're slightly less good at wilderness stuff than the Tribal Warrior, but overall they're just flatly better. While psionics aren't massively powerful, they do have some creative tricks. Unfortunately, if they offend the spirits their psychic powers are reduced by half and they lose the other effects. Ironically, they're easier to qualify for than being a Tribal Warrior at a straight 50% chance. Once again, renegades can be these, but they don't get any fetishes. Given they didn't think to give renegades M.D.C. armor to compensate for the lack of fetishistic protection, this is a real problem for a starting character. But, you know, it's the price of being as '90s as possible.

Free horse.


Wait, why is it a leopard? Why is it a leopard?!

Totem Warrior O.C.C.

So, this is apparently a person who trades part of their spirit with an their totemic animal spirit to-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_03vIgyPog

- yeah, that. Not sure what the spirit gets out of the trade, or how the trade is done (maybe at Totems-R-Us), but you get to become an animorph and can change into an animal. Some people presume that the totem warrior is enslaved by the spirits, but it turns out that they're actually completely free to do as they like. In fact, there's no "if you're bad at Native Americaning like we've stereotyped your totem goes away" blurb, so that seems to be the case. (What does the spirit get out of the trade, again?) This one seems to be Traditionalists and Pure Ones only, but it doesn't mention Renegades one way or the other, so it's not clear. If Renegades are playable as these, they don't get fetishes as usual. But it's not clear.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Totem Warriors are the most free-roaming of the O.C.C.s which has led some non-Indians to call them "Indian Knights."

Uuuuugh, please stop comparing poo poo to knights, Palladium. Europe is not the be-all-end-all of wandering fantasy heroism. Hey, maybe knights are the "White Totem Warriors"!... okay, that doesn't work, but the converse doesn't make much sense either. In any case, this means they get your usual license Rifts loves to give for a class to be a wandering do-righter.

As a class, they get super-strength, mega-damage toughness, heightened senses, and regeneration (even as a human). They can turn into their (one) totem animal or turn into a giant version with more strength and size. (Yes, you can turn into a super-strong "giant mouse" at like six to twelve inches, if that's your totem...) They can sense the supernatural like dog boys do, and mentally influence examples of their totem animal. They get a minor fetish and a major fetish and your usual package of wilderness skills. Once again, there's no punishment for doing bad things. You have about a 39% chance to qualify to play as one of these.

Free horse? Free horse!


"Sorry, our nature called dibs before your nature."

Spirit Warrior O.C.C.

So, this is supposed to be a new, post-cataclysm only tradition that's supposed to be a "monster hunter and ultimate defender of the Pure Ones". They trade part of their spirit with multiple spirits to devote themselves to protecting all Native Americans, totem animals, and "the Circle of Life". However, they apparently respect all people and that sometimes makes them outsiders even amongst their own tribes.

As a class, they get to choose "three realms of power" out of six realms: earth, air, fire, water, animal, or plant realms. Each one gives different powers:
  • Earth Realm: You get super-strength and become a mega-damage creature, can identify minerals (ooooo), act like a living seismograph, notice pitfalls and burrows, dowse, and have absolute direction.
  • Air Realm: You can fly, turn invisible, sense danger, predict the weather, and notice pollutants and chemicals in the air.
  • Fire Realm: Breath fire for crap damage, thermal vision, sense temperature, and detect and analyze fires. You know fire facts!
  • Water Realm: Chameleon (the crap version of invisibility), a healing touch, see the invisible, sense and analyze water and currents, absolute direction (only in water), immune to pressure (but no ability to see in the dark...), and dowsing.
  • Animal Realm: Grow mega-damage claws, nightvision, heightened senses, and bonuses to tracking.
  • Plant Realm: Lets you create save-or-suck touch-based poisons, live up to 1,000 years, get sustenance from sunlight, and becoming mega-damage.
Regardless of what powersets they have, they can regenerate lost limbs (slowly), get a minor fetish, major fetish, and a legendary fetish, making them probably the best of the warrior classes despite their anemic skills. Well, except for the fact you only have 5% chance to roll one of these up.

Horse? You bet!

Next: The power of androgyny.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

What I like about reading this Bretonnia review is that underlies the basic degree of sense that runs through the setting. As in all the none evil factions will squabble but the moment that poo poo gets real they are willing to put it all aside to make sure that they have a tomorrow to argue about.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Hunt11 posted:

What I like about reading this Bretonnia review is that underlies the basic degree of sense that runs through the setting. As in all the none evil factions will squabble but the moment that poo poo gets real they are willing to put it all aside to make sure that they have a tomorrow to argue about.

Hell, even some of the evil guys will. See: Skaven saving the world from Nagash that one time, or the Vampire Counts killing Archaon's flanking army.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


Night10194 posted:

Basically, people who play Warhammer Fantasy really don't like how all the other 'evil' sides are expected to line up and help push Chaos over the finish line every time.

I mean, gently caress, after setting up all that cool fluff about how the physical-oriented Undead and the transcendentalist followers of Chaos are fundamentally philosophically opposed and hate each other the End Times was like one long parade of 'And then X vampire or necromancer was all about how awesome Chaos is and how much cooler it is than necromancy now!'

As one who played Warham Fantasy Battle, I can attest to this. Greenskin, Skaven, Dark Elves, and the various undead players tend to resent being forced into the role of Chaos' lackey. Especially as these other factions are the ones that tend to actually be effective and accomplish things while also have ample lore reasons on why they'd not actually help Chaos.

And so it resulted in things like Archaon, Lord of the End Times, Everchosen of Chaos, failing to kill the champion of the Empire because he gets coldcocked by Interrupting Orc and his kill gets stolen by a Skaven assassin.

Chaos is the writer's pet, but it also tends to have a very dumb writer most of the time. Even people who played Chaos got sick of it some times. Especially as the gameplay didn't back up the overblown reputation GW built for Chaos.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Cythereal posted:

There's also the great bit from Angron where he flat-out tells Leman Russ that the Imperium is the worst, most tyrannical dictatorship in the history of mankind, the Great Crusade's objective is to enslave all mankind and exterminate everyone who would dare dissent, and the Primarchs are willing slaves of history's greatest monster. And that if Angron was a better, more moral man like Russ had encouraged him to be, Angron would assault Terra himself to kill the Emperor as the only moral thing to do.
I'd really like it if 40k was bought out by other people and followed up on the numerous "Chaos is the more reasonable option" plot threads. If only for how drat sympathetic Angron and Magnus are.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Terrible Opinions posted:

I'd really like it if 40k was bought out by other people and followed up on the numerous "Chaos is the more reasonable option" plot threads. If only for how drat sympathetic Angron and Magnus are.

Eh, the same book with that Angron bit also observes that the Imperium being awful and evil does not make Chaos good, or right, or even better. When Kharn (later known as The Betrayer) observes that they're on the wrong side, the first Possessed Marine asks how he can say that. Angron simply but accurately concludes that both sides are wrong.

And Magnus may have been sympathetic, but he was also monstrously arrogant and played for a fool from the very beginning while lying to his men, the Imperium, and the Emperor about the nature of the Warp and how he "solved" the Flesh Change.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Even from the most angry pro-Imperium in character sources Chaos doesn't seem that bad compared to the capital F Fascism of the Imperium. Yeah you get all tentacly but is it really any worse than living inn a society worse than the Nazis?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Terrible Opinions posted:

Even from the most angry pro-Imperium in character sources Chaos doesn't seem that bad compared to the capital F Fascism of the Imperium. Yeah you get all tentacly but is it really any worse than living inn a society worse than the Nazis?

Chaos is actually more authoritarian in every way in both settings, which I always took to be the joke.

Basically, you can have the nazis, or you can have the nazis, but with tentacles.

This is also why I stopped running/playing 40kRP.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Tau for best Starfleet.

(Y'know, once you ignore the retcons caused by people who didn't get that the joke was this legitimately good, friendly union of species were utterly hosed.)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

Tau for best Starfleet.

(Y'know, once you ignore the retcons caused by people who didn't get that the joke was this legitimately good, friendly union of species were utterly hosed.)

Finally, someone else gets it!

The whole goddamn point was they were basically an entire species of Call of Cthulhu investigators at the beginning of a campaign crossed with Starfleet.

Like the time they wasted one Greater Demon and went around telling everyone they'd killed Slaanesh, it was cool, it was safe now.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Finally, someone else gets it!

The whole goddamn point was they were basically an entire species of Call of Cthulhu investigators at the beginning of a campaign crossed with Starfleet.

Like the time they wasted one Greater Demon and went around telling everyone they'd killed Slaanesh, it was cool, it was safe now.

I was always a Necron fan, to be honest. They don't hate you. They don't want to enslave you. They don't want to torture you. They have no interest in your resources or planets. They're just killing you.

And that's refreshing.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Space Tomb Kings are pretty cool, yeah.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD



Update 8 (Native American Nations)

So, the year is 2014. You may recall that in december of 2011, during the opening days for the Awakening, Daniel “Howling Coyote” Coleman was one of the first Shamans to come into existence, completely baffled the US government with his magic, broke out of a re-education camp, and disappeared. He’s been on ‘Most Wanted’ lists since that point, and now, in June, he’s finally poised to make his reappearance. Daniel has been gathering forces behind him, and on June 10th, he makes his ultimatum:

Daniel “Howling Coyote” Coleman posted:

There are no more treaties to be signed. There are no more agreements to be made. We will not put another bit of faith in an entirely faithless people. This is our land, and the land of our fathers; the occupiers who have never been welcome here now must leave. There are no terms. There is no timeline. You must leave immediately, and those who do not will feel the consequences. We will offer little rhetoric beyond this point. We have no need to explain ourselves or to justify our actions. We have no desire to convince anyone of the rightness of our cause or the power behind our demands. The land is ours. It is not yours. You—all of you, whether you invaded from Europe or Asia or Africa—are trespassers, and from this point on you will finally be treated as such. There will be no more warnings, for none were necessary to begin with. Your false empire no longer has a foundation. The land and its people have returned to their proper place. You may question our strength, but you can only do so if you overlook our ally, the greatest ally we could ever hope to have. That ally is the land itself. We are its children, and it longs for us, and us alone, to walk its surface after the centuries of abuse it has endured from invaders. It, like us, is ready to do more than just suffer under the long burden of oppression. It is ready to play an active role in its liberation. You will see what it can do to reclaim its freedom.

Incumbent president Jesse Garrety and his vice president William Jarman pay no heed to the threat, other than to vow to recapture Howling Coyote. The US has a policy of non-negotiation with terrorists, of course. A little more than one month passes, but on July 12th, the Redondo Peak in New Mexico suddenly and violently erupts. The town of Los Alamos and the Los Alamos National Laboratory are gone in seconds, buried in burning volcanic ash. Daniel and his followers take credit for the eruption, presumably with a raised eyebrow and a “What did you THINK we meant when we said that the earth itself was going to rise up against you?”

Naturally, federal troops are sent to apprehend the terrorists, but sudden storms (including tornados) delay their arrival, preventing them from arriving until Daniel has already slipped through their net and evaded capture. For the next few years, Daniel and his followers wage continue to strike out against the US, even temporarily seizing the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

In-universe scholars, years after the fact, debate his actions: Some note that the revolutionary action following a public demand, backed by a statement of grievance and a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the oppressors, mirror the American war of independance, making Daniel Howling Coyote in some ways the spiritual heir of George Washington. Others decry his actions, pointing out that the eruption of Redondo Peak was an act of terror that targeted a civilian population, in an effort to intimidate the nation into submitting to their demands.



The Face of Revolution


On October 15th, 2016, US President Jesse Garrety is assassinated. His killer, William Springer, escapes justice, and William Jarman takes over as president for the remaining half-month until the november elections, which he handily wins. President Jarman immediately launches into action as soon as his position is legitimized, striking out hard against the native american population. Executive Order 17-321 is put into place, ordering the removal of all Native Americans from the US by any means necessary, effective immediately. Opponents protest that this legitimizes the extermination of the Native American tribes, but the act is put into place regardless.

President Jarman posted:

America does not seek conflict. America does not initiate conflict. When conflict is brought to America, however, we are certain to end it in a way that ensures that freedom prevails and that the American people are kept safe. We are at war. It is not a war that we chose, and it is not a war that we declared. Most insidiously, it is a war declared by people who are already within our borders and are intent on our extermination. They have declared as much, and they have rejoiced in the death of our people. We cannot wait for further action from them. Wars are not won by those who only react. The road ahead of us is difficult, and the fact that we must travel it fills us with regret and pain. The people we must now fight are people we once considered our countrymen. They are our co-workers, our friends, and even our spouses. If we had our choice, those relationships, that fellowship, would continue. The reason I must speak to you tonight, though, is that we do not have a choice in the matter. The action I am taking is the only choice we have before us. I have ordered the removal of all Native Americans from United States soil. They are to be treated as enemy combatants. If they do not voluntarily leave the country, they will be arrested as prisoners of war. If they resist this arrest, then we will use the force that is applied to enemy armies.

One month after Order 17-321 is put into place, innocent blood is spilled. An army ranger battalion, operating under false intelligence, opens fire on an enemy position. Rather than insurgents, however, this is a tribe of Kiowa refugees, who are wiped out almost to a man, effectively driving the tribe to extinction. Later investigation points at Cheyenne nationalists as the source of the bad intelligence, who had used the order to settle a long-standing tribal dispute in a grimly final fashion. Regardless of the inciting factors, however, a tribe of innocents had been massacred by US soldiers. Daniel Howling Coyote could stand by idly no longer.



Had enough of your poo poo.

August 17th, 2017. 10:32 AM.
Daniel Howling Coyote and his followers, powerful shamans, pool their collective magical power. Using summoned spirit proxies, a powerful confluence of ley-lines, their own tremendous magical skill and willpower, the collective performs one of the most dangerous and influential magic rituals of the Sixth World: The Great Ghost Dance. Mount Hood, Mount Ranier, Mout St. Helens, and Mount Adams erupt simultaneously. Chaotic, magically-charged storms rage in the wake of the eruptions, seeming to deliberately target military bases and any forces deployed to track down the Shamans and end their ritual.
At this point, we need to remember that magic had only existed a scant few years. People turned to scientists at this point, asking for an explanation, which they couldn’t give. It wasn’t known how magic worked, or if it was an application of consistent natural laws, or if it could bend and distort physics. No-one knew what it was really capable of, and if this was something that could be repeated. I imagine it was like the use of the atomic bomb: Something terrifying, a weapon beyond our comprehension. And in the face of that power, President Jarman chose surrender.

April 25th, 2018: The united states of America, Canada, Aztlan, and the newly formed Native American Nations ratify the Treaty of Denver, which cedes control of most of the western US to the NAN. California and Seattle remain American territories to function as pacific sea-ports, and Hawaii chooses to declare independance, urged by native leader King Kamehameha IV, knowing that the diminished US has no power to prevent them from leaving. Daniel Howling Coyote becomes the new head of the Sovereign Tribal Council, and the ceded land is divided up between various nation-states: the Salish-Shidhe Council, the Sioux Nation, the Pueblo Corporate Council, the Ute Nation, the Algonkian-Manitou Council, the Athabaskan Council, the Trans-Polar Aleut Nation, and the Tsimshian Nation. Many declare this to be the death of America.



Shadowrun is not entirely unknown in Japan. Enough to get a few Replays, and a Manga. Some ‘NAN’ characters are shown above.

Bonus Update (Religion)
On September 13, 2013, John Paul IV dies in his sleep.
A moderate Brazilian Cardinal, who takes the name John XXV, is set to replace him. However, the damage is already done. The schisms that John Paul IV caused with his proclamations that Magic and metahumans are unholy and ungodly cannot be healed or forgotten. Irish Catholic bishops split from the Catholic Church and instead go to form the Church of Ireland. Following their lead, the German Catholic church also splits from the Vatican. The church is falling apart, with Czech, Irish, French, and German dissidents.



I like to think that these factions all have their own antipope and there are five popes running around Europe at this point.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


poo poo yeah, more stuff needs hot anti-pope action.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I'm starting to wonder if misinterpreting the Ghost Dance was just a thing every '90s RPG had to get out of their system, gosh. :rolleyes:

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


The NAN in general is what I consider 'Peak 90s-ness' in Shadowrun, and considering the 'japan took over the world', unregulated, amoral mega corporations, and....well, the rest of the setting, that's saying something.

:shrug:

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Mors Rattus posted:

The Space Tomb Kings are pretty cool, yeah.

I prefer original recipe Necrons.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

And Shadowrun had the least obnoxious version of the Ghost Dance too...somehow (See Rifts or Deadlands).

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

And Shadowrun had the least obnoxious version of the Ghost Dance too...somehow (See Rifts or Deadlands).

The Deadlands version is weirdly closer to the actual historical movement, just, like...20 years too early. Like, yeah, it ascribes weird magical powers to it, but literally every actual believing Christian, Jew, and Moslem (as defined by 'having a faith skill') can use the protection miracle to drive monsters back by brandishing a holy symbol, so eh.

unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 02:18 on Jul 26, 2017

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





INTRODUCTION

Ah yes, The Right To Live. The module where the players tackle the greatest Demon of them all: the topic of abortion. Wait hold on I think I'm reading from a Chris Fields book. My bad. The Right To Live in question in this scenario is the right to not be murdered by a horde of angry Demons. Let me just share this little section real quick, verbatim:



Ha ha yeah. Characters who identify as women? Why the hell would you play as those? They're segregated from the men! Anyway, to joke a little bit less, we're going to pretend that this is all going to be experienced by the convicts of G-Unit because they couldn't technically do Seeds of Rage due to the fact that most of them are women.


Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth and Pincushion, respectively.

Their character profiles have been updated accordingly. SOAPBOX can now heal the team of Despair and has Max Social. DOC can now take advantage of bad wording in Doc (this has no limitations to how many times it can be used a day!) and has gotten more nimble in a fight. TAMA is still pretty bad at fighting but she's now able to make more things and get more components. BETHAMPHETAMINE has been dramatically improved by the acquisition of armor, Brute, the ability to always go first in combat and Knife-Fighter. She's still going to struggle against Demons but that's okay, this module focuses on convict combat more. And our buddy PINCUSHION has unlocked his Real Ultimate Power and continues to be useless at everything else so he's better able to run away from danger. The equipment of the team is generally going to be fudged because it's silly to be particular about it; I just went off what would be reasonable to be found during Seeds and handed stuff out.

So what was their experience like? Good question.



Yup, I sure did both of these things.



And for all intents and purposes they basically went through the second scenario; they found Pincushion and Doc recognized him and couldn't really bear to live him to die. Also:



G-Unit just kind of met up with Needles and Sugar and Felix and everyone who was involved in Seeds of Rage. The PCs of Seeds of Rage ended up dying to the Violator that exploded from Slag's chest which was a technical victory for the challengers so the Psychos let the rest of the party past.

Anyway, enough introduction. Have some more introduction!

THIS IS ALL STILL THE INTRODUCTION



Three convicts are fighting a female convict by the light of a light rod. The prisoners are all escapees from the cell blocks who saw a woman who was alone and decided "well we outnumber her and we're rapists I guess". The woman, in turn, is from the Daughters of Slaughter and is what's called a Silent Sister, vicious melee fighters who get doped up on drugs and brawl and totally aren't Witch Elves from Hamwar. If the PCs get involved and try to help her (because they likely will see her and not realize she's a DOS), she'll attack them as well. So basically the PCs should just hang back and let the fight happen because the Silent Sister is more than a match for her attackers. She takes two punches and then kills them handily with acrobatics and brutal flippy kicks.




The only purpose of this fight is to show off that the DOS will be involved and that oh no they're super dangerous and capable!!!!! Trying to follow her just gets you turned around and then all you have to do is just continue on the path you've been following. Well, better just continue along with no hassle-




The convicts won't attack if you approach and try to talk to them. They'll attempt to try to interrogate you but can be pretty easily persuaded to explain that they're trying to fix two turrets and that they're working on defenses for Sanctuary, the stronghold in question. The two turrets are the best defenses (and only) for this tunnel and someone with Jury-Rig, Improvisation or Educated can notice the control computer is damaged (requiring Basic Tools and 2 Conductor Components to fix it). The characters can find out some gossip from the convicts if they talk them into leading them back to Sanctuary which isn't hard; they're pretty welcoming and looking for more hands.



CHAPTER ONE: SANCTUARY

Or

The Magic of Off-Screen Construction and Incredibly Nebulous Time Spans




Wow! What does this look like in execution?



Oh.

Okay so let me level with you real quick: despite all of the painstaking attempts to illustrate Sanctuary, I have, like, no mental image of this place. Check the maps below.




“Three cell blocks connected by a bunch of tunnels but somehow they have figured out how to connect the floors together and also collapse the plastisteel walls” doesn’t really ring as a medieval village to me. The closest thing I can imagine is a Fallout-style Vault that’s had some collapses recently. Anyway when the PCs show up here, they’ve got free reign to dick around and explore as long as they don’t make a nuisance of themselves. Needles will look around and be like “hey this place is cool” and decide to stay.

Key to Sanctuary

The Armory is a decent little stockpile but pretty lacking for the 50 some-odd occupants.



The Casino is run by #4419121 (aka Texas Bob), an inmate who used to live in this block and was going to just ride-out Perdition (as best as one can) when Johnson and the Giants showed up. The purpose of the casino is to provide a place for the locals to cool their heels and play games of pinball, darts and pools using games taken from a nearby rec center. There are always going to be a handful of Giants relaxing her and occasionally playing cards.

Texas Bob was originally from the Midwest and was arrested for, I poo poo you not, cable theft for his RV. A 7-year Texas BBQ Cook-Off champ, Bob runs the casino and is also the main cook. He managed to find a handful of rats and has been letting the little rascals breed as a source of meat for his cooking, able to put his BBQ skills to use making Texas-style BBQ rat. This meat is actually the major source of the casino’s relaxing atmosphere because I mean yeah it’s rat, but it’s also professionally prepared rat and also the first hot meat meal prisoners have eaten in ages. Bob is joined by Ricky, an older man from Cuba who was a professional croupier for the Family and got arrested as part of that whole roundup. Ricky is an easy-going guy who doesn’t mind the crude nature of his cards and tools because it reminds him of growing up on Havana streets. Rounding out the casino is Vicki, an ex-socialite and dilettante who the book is very eager to point out has aged badly and the customers insult her over her looks. Vicki’s former life of partying constantly has left her with bartending skills and knowledge of how to make drugs if she has the supplies. Not included in this book at all is a character named Mickey whose name also rhymes and his main job is being so fine it blows your mind.

City Hall is where Johnson hangs out most of the time. This was previously a chamber used to hold maintenance items; the Giants have put chairs and a table in here to turn it into a proper office. The main reason City Hall is here is because it’s pretty out of the way and ensures privacy for meetings.



Anything marked C is a claimed cell meaning that there’s 1d3 prisoners living in each cell. The people here can be hired for unofficial services like in the book but also there is a risk of running into a pickpocket.

Dan and Nan are a brother and sister petty crime duo arrested for a handful of minor offenses. Nowadays they live next to each other in Sanctuary in cells decorated with lace curtains, cheap incense and jasmine perfume because they’re both the local prostitutes. I’m just gonna put this part in here unedited real quick: “Nan is a reasonably pretty strawberry blonde, while Dan is only slightly less feminine. The pair makes their living as the resident “prostitutes” of Sanctuary; Nan is the genuine article, while Dan is a loud-dressing transvestite who only finds customers in either the really drunk – or those who aren’t necessarily “picky”.” Absolutely delightful and tasteful. It’s 50 smokes to have sex with either of them but Dan can be negotiated with and also if you want to rob them everything is kept under Dan’s bed in a box: 890 smokes, a syringe, a dose of Frenzy and a pocket shocker missing a battery. They have no purpose unless your PCs want to gently caress or just ask them for intel because they’re reasonably tuned into the gossip.

E stands for elevator, platforms that can hold up to 4 people but require one of them to focus on operating the machine.

The Front Gate was built by excavating the maglev platform and making a ditch. You can’t jump across but it’s only 10 feet deep. The gate itself is made out of some steel rigged up to raise and lower at the command of the two guards who are always out front watching for pedestrians.

The Guard Post is always staffed by a Giant with a scattergun loaded with rubber slugs, close enough to the Armory to hear any trespassing or shenanigans. If he needs to, the guard can raise the alarm by blowing on a Trustee whistle to summon 1d6 more guards in 2-8 rounds.

The Infirmary was formerly a high-security isolation block, like an Ultramax-lite for the purpose of keeping prisoners out of the general population without needing to be explosively decompressed if necessary. Now it’s just a quiet place where the Giants keep the wounded out of the way. Needles will gravitate towards the infirmary to help the wounded and become a necessary part of the structure of Sanctuary. The infirmary is kind of woefully underequipped with just 7 first aid packs, 3 syringes, 11 doses of Tranq and 2 doses of Cardiolax at the beginning of the campaign. The PCs can contribute from their own supplies if necessary.

J stands for Johnson, meaning this is where he lives. He’s got a lot of nice personal belongings, like a real old-fashioned shaving kit, extra sunglasses, shoes on a shoe tree and 500 smokes.

The Kitchen is where Bob sells his rat cooking and where one can buy pruno (made out of cleaning chemicals and fermented nutri-sludge, has no in-game effect but costs 10 smokes to get drunk).



The Morgue used to be part of the ventilation system but is now holding corpses until the residents can figure out what to do with them.

The Old Man is an older prisoner who mostly keeps to himself and sells basic services (shoeshine, haircut, laundry services, tailoring services). Nobody really knows who he is or how he got onboard The Gehenna and he’s also not opening up about it.

O stands for Outbuilding which is just a guard post or storage space that has nothing interesting.

P stands for Pillbox, made of scrap metal and are really kind of purposeless due to the fact that guns are rare. You’re immune to melee in a pillbox and it’s -4 to an attack against the defender in the pillbox.

The Rat Cave is where Bob lets the little buddies breed. There’s a scrap metal gate that stops the rats from escaping but let’s be honest, they’re probably escaping anyway. As far as ideas go, this is kind of decent except for the rats becoming horrifically inbred within a few years due to, like, rats being pretty uncommon on the Gehenna. The main reason you would ever bother to enter the Rat Cave is because this used to be part of a cell block that collapsed and there’s a hidden stash in here that Bob isn’t aware of. Hidden behind some debris in a wall is a shitload of cocaine (2000 smokes worth) and a fully-loaded slug pistol wrapped up in airtight black bags.

The Rear Exit is locked at all times and leads to the maglev tunnels. This was the main reason Johnson picked this area to be Sanctuary; easy to defend, easy to escape.

The Sally Port is a secondary escape route watched over by one Giant ordered to keep it shut.

Three cells converted into a Smithy are used to work metal crudely for Sanctuary. The smoke is shunted out through the vents which are defended with reinforced grates. The smith of the Smithy is #2557812 aka “Ringo”, a tattoo artist/piercer/piercing fetishist from Vegas who was involved in the drug trade. Fortunately his focus on making his own piercings have taught him how to work hot metal, and he can do minor jobs for the PCs but can’t get too invested their bigger projects. He can be persuaded to part with two items from the following stockpiles: Basic Tools, 1 Conductor, 1 Precision, 15 Rigid.

The Tank is what passes for a brig/prison. There are a bunch of crudely made niches where people who misbehave are placed and left in darkness while two Giants guard outside.

The Pit is two floors of Fallout 3 DLC a poorly fashioned "sports coliseum" where two people having a dispute are brought so they can fight it out. It's also used to just generally punch each other and blow off steam. The Pit is so named because the ring has a grated floor over an empty shaft and there's an empty shaft that stretched up further before a collapse sealed it off. Nobody knows what the original purpose is, so naturally it was turned into a non-lethal bloodsport arena.

T is for Tower, two-story towers that monitor the tunnels and have a 50% chance of being occupied at any time. The top is accessed by retractable ladder or rope.

The Trader is Johnson's cousin #7511091, a black man named...[sighs] "Jelly Dawg" who I will henceforth call JD. People who scavenge are mandated to bring things to JD who will assess the item, repair it and find a place for it. Anything that isn't needed goes up for sale. JD is a canny man; he's not doing this for profit, he's doing this for Sanctuary and as a result he'd much prefer barter than smokes (though he'll accept smokes). People keen to barter are more likely to get a crack at trading for items in his wider stores. His average wares for sale are below:



U is for Unmarked Cell, a place to claim for your own and hang your head. The doors lock from the inside thanks to crude locks and tend to not have much more than beds and mattresses.

The Warrens are where people who aren't allowed in Sanctuary live. They're a "village" of niches and scrap huts and caves. The rejects aren't banned for, like, moral reasons but health and hygiene reasons: seven inmates have lice, one has tuberculosis, three have STDs that will kill them and two are mutants. They're still safer than if they weren't anywhere near Sanctuary but it's really just an unfortunate affair that puts them on edge. All of the occupants of the Warrens have Joe Average stats. The rejects probably won't appreciate the PCs approaching them, but offering them medicine, items or smokes can be repaid with 1d4+1 rolls on the Random Item table.

gently caress you here's a 1d12 Random Inhabitant of Sanctuary Table!



Two of these NPCs are directly linked to future modules. I won't say who.

After a day of being in Sanctuary or as soon as the PCs are done looking around, the PCs are brought before Johnson who proceeds to monologue wildly at them.



Yeah this is Johnson, the man who is responsible for this grand vision, protector of the tortured and abused. Even if he's a black man with positive features and goals, this is how he talks and his name ultimately is kind of ridiculous (or at least the focus of ridiculous jokes). Anyway, if the PCs agree to help, Johnson will ask for names and what skills they can contribute, which would roughly be:
  • Soapbox: education, knowledge, able to peacefully mediate.
  • Doc: medical knowledge, fighting ability, military background.
  • Beth: fighting ability, military background.
  • Tama: invention knowledge, scrapping and scrounging ability.
  • Pincushion: PSYCHIC POWERS (they really don't have much of a use for this).
Needles will say "sup I am a doctor" and Johnson and Bradley will immediately hire him and give him free reign of the infirmary. Over the next day or so, Johnson will pick the PCs' brains for suggestions about how to improve Sanctuary. There are a handful of improvements that require the PC to have the Trait necessary to suggest and implement it.
  • Establish Scrounging Patrols (Scrounging): Tama has this one on lock, meaning that she can suggest there be unified squads of looters picking through local abandoned blocks and rubble for useful goods.
  • Devise a System for Screening Refugees for Threats (Medical Knowledge): This is in Doc's wheelhouse so she'll be able to help set up a screening system to check possible new residents for diseases or being a secret agent of another faction.
  • Establish a System of Scouts to Patrol the Vicinity (Military Experience): Nobody has this, meaning that Sanctuary won't have a scouting force dedicated to early detection of threats.
  • Establish Rotating Guard Duty (Military Training): Either Doc or Beth can basically teach the guards to switch out and take different shifts to reduce fatigue.
  • Devise a Rudimentary Alarm System (Improvisation): Tama will be able to rig up something to act as an early alert system in case of trespassers.
Soapbox and Pincushion don't have much to offer for now, but Soapbox eventually will. Each improvement takes 1d2 days of uninterrupted focus of the PC in question and to pass a related Attribute check (along with some light role-play). Doing these tasks has two effects: extra BP and also the GM should incorporate minor effects caused by the PCs improving Sanctuary. So in about 4 days max, G-Unit should be able to make Sanctuary a better, safer place with enough effort and focus. 4/5 isn't perfect, but it's still pretty drat good.

And that's really all Johnson and Bradley will need of the PCs for now, mostly just using them as advisors and guides. But NEXT TIME (Chapter 2) they'll need the PCs for a more important mission and send them off into a quest into the tunnels around Sanctuary.

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Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Hostile V posted:



Two of these NPCs are directly linked to future modules. I won't say who.

7 and 11.

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