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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!




Degenesis: Rebirth
Primal Punk

The Longest Chapter 1 In the History of Man Continues: The Actual Final Battlers of the Final Battle

Finally, some human-on-human action!

The Crow and the Lion

OK, so the Europeans are crows: they circle the corpses of their old dead nations, picking up loot and doing other crow-sy stuff. They’re basically scavengers.

Meanwhile, Africans were too poor before the Echaton to leave loot think that “the past lives on in their ancestors and their hearts, not in ruins, laws or thinking that’s irrelevant now.” Culture and tradition do not live in your heart, but ancestors do. They think that lions are cool: they stalk the savannah (I guess there’s some in the Northern Africa now), gently caress bitches and roar fiercely. The Lion fights the Crow, because Eurotrash have hurt them in the past.

On to the actual cultures!



Pride ov ze Vaterland

I’m sorry, I’m really into Company of Heroes.

Germany is a pretty urbanized country these days, which means that 500 years into the future it’s going to be full of interesting ruins to explore (as if any modern day buildings would survive that long). There’s dust and sediment to dig through, which would explain why they can still find loot after 500 years of lawlessness. Take that, Bethesda's Fallout, and your mysteriously unlooted stores!

Ze Borkans aren’t all about loot, however. They’re an energetic people who build new cities, likely on top of the old ones. Cults flourish in this environment of civilization and order, since most of them are devoted to benevolent goals anyways. Life’s good and getting better.

Unless you’re some dirty Clanner gently caress.

quote:

But not everyone bends the knee. Some want to keep living as free folk in their ancestors’ ruins. They get no choice. Those who do not take the hand offered to them must flee underground or die in a hail of lead.
For decades, those that fled drank water from puddles, scraped lichens from walls and cracked cockroaches. They got rid of the last scraps of civilization, their hearts and minds poisoned by hatred. Now they step from the shadows. Teeth fled, spiked clubs and stone knifes in hand.
They will reclaim what was once theirs.

Anarcho-primitivists are still lovely people. “Why do I have to build a house? This ruin of an Eastern European flesh trade brothel has three walls and there’s some shelter in the corner. Who needs toilet paper and plumbing when you have a puddle outside your shack and your own palm? loving civilized people, they really grind my flint axe”



Franka is beset by Pheromancers the natural evolution of popular far-right movements. They sit on their Ziggurats (explained later), farting out pheromones and pulling people into their webs. Those that do not fall under their spell escape the bugs by taking to the rivers, where they can watch their formerly prosperous land turned to gently caress ant vents (you’d think it would be termites). Yet the spirit of the Resistance lives on.

quote:

But now, the Frankers fight. The rivers carry them deep into enemy territory, where they fire pesticide bombs, smoke out breeding colonies and assassinate. A whole people rises.

An adventure in Franka will very much indulge in your exterminator friend’s magical realm.



The most unlucky nation in history continues to suffer! City ruins rise and fall out of spore fields or spider nests. It’s unclear how that happens and how they remain intact (you can suspect the effect to be similar to what comic book Mole people do when they steal buildings). At any rate, the Pollen-ish are always on the move. Rift centipedes are mentioned for the first time, too. I guess it will be a long time before we find out what makes them special, but essentially they’re one of the custom critters that spore fields breed. This is the result of not investing in Eastern Poland.

Pollen is also the land that is very near the glaciers, and, well, weird poo poo is happening.

quote:

The permafrost thaws in circular areas, giving birth to a steaming paradise of translucent plants. The surrounding spore fields rot, their rings collapse. But they try to resist. Waves of spiders strangle the strange vegetation in their webs. Streams of Rift Centipedes dive into the feverish ground, surrounded by root membranes and skewered by quickly growing thorns. They bite themselves, poison the soil, and tear themselves free. A subterranean battle rages until the Rift Centipedes finally push through and the oasis above crumbles.

Those plants are not Psychovores, I think, and the book will expand on them later on.

Now, the Polleners live between those oases and the spore fields. Whenever an oasis crops up, their defend it to the bitter end. When an oasis inevitably collapses, they pack their poo poo and hit the road again.

I guess they have yet to rediscover the ancient rite of “Emigrate to England.”



Balkhan is basically a localized deathworld, with climate that’s arctic cold in winter, searing hot in summer, and generally unpleasant in between.

The Balkhanis are described in two paragraphs that basically repeat the trope “people who will fight each other at the drop of the hat, unite against a common threat, then fight each other again once it passes”.

The Dushmani are best known for awkward writing.

quote:

Above all this, the deep, resonating song of the Dushani rises. Nature is their music box. He can tune and shape his song to create the perfect harmony, extinguishing any dissonances as if his life depended on it. His melody infiltrates the heart and captures the mind, making changes there. Pain or comfort. Gives and takes.



It’s basically “Reconquista meets Mad Max,” so let me just post it in full

quote:

Africans roam the Alhambra’s gardens, sitting in the shadows of awnings and drinking tea with native Hybrispanians. In the midday heat, they retreat to libraries and shadowed halls of ancient peoples. They have grown fond of the land. Sevilla to them is a second Tripoli.
It seems as if the Neolibyan consuls tightly controlled ancient Al-Andalus in southern Hybrispania. But the borders were drawn with the blood of Hybrispanian resistance fighters and Scourgers. The pinpricks of the Guerreros deplete Cordoba; the Scourgers follow up by driving the Hybrispaniards into the jungles, shooting them from their buggies and cutting down men, women and children alike.
Fear and hatred take over. The Hybrispaniards are in no way inferior to them, planting sting and explosive traps and quietly enter the Africans’ homes at night. Acts of mercy are punished – if not by the enemy, then by other Guerreros.
Every Hybrispaniard is instilled with the idea of freedom and reconquest at birth. All around him, friends, brothers, sisters and companions rise to heroes in battle, then fall in a hail of bullets the very next moment. These martyrs form the foundation of Hybrispanian culture: battle paintings adorn houses, songs prepare for death, texts teach the use of weapons and survival in the jungle. Life falls by the wayside.
The Scourgers are superior in number and weaponry. The resistance would have died long ago if the Guerreros hadn’t received help from the enigmatic Pregnoctics. These strangers delve into past and future and offer snippets of the future to the daring: the outcome of skirmishes and attack routes.
Of course, the price can be one’s soul.

Fear not, many of the proper nouns will be explained soon!



It states that Italians always wanted to be lead by a god, so it was an easy land for Anabaptists to take over. The country is divided in two by mountains. The east side has all the grapes, olives and caring for one’s genealogy one can find in “American book of stereotypes about the Old Country.” The west is hosed by the Reaper (a volcano? A crater?): there are fields of ash and lava flows into the Med.

They also have the Psychokinectics, which basically turn the land into Zone. Cheeki breeki, that’s a-spice meatball!



I guess they ran out of steam while writing about Africa – or they naturally care less about the region where the game is unlikely to be marketed in – so all of the North Africa is one ‘culture.’

The Africans don’t forget that they have suffered from the white man before. However, they are now super prosperous. The place is described in a way an ancient traveler would describe Arabian Nights: the place is rich, the markets are vibrant, poo poo’s a lot better than it is Europe. To them, Europeans are mostly strange barbarians, especially the Hibrispanians and Balkhanis.

On the other hand, psychovores!

quote:

It [rain] will fall on the jungle, too. Where once a sandy desert glowed in the sun, rivers now meander through the land. Mangroves sink their roots into the water, as the jungle steams in the heat. But in this jungle, something strange is growing: plants with pentagonal to octagonal leaves, prickly and tangled like a nightmare. The Psychovores. One scratch and a human’s skin starts to blister, boils searing and blackening within seconds.
Replacing the old vegetation, Psychovores have transformed the land and its peoples. Everyone around
the Psychovores find themselves abandoning their native languages, relapsing into a primordial tongue that only those nearby can understand. Under the influence of Psychovores, all language barriers have fallen and Africa has united, but the diversity of their tribes and cultures diluted as well.

:psyduck:

Scourgers and Anubites are super important for the military and spiritual sides of things.

Now we get to the thirteen cults. They are less geographically oriented, and they will likely determine your character class.

THIRTEEN CULTS



The Spitalians are kickass doctors who believe in amputating and cauterizing the problem – and the biggest problem in their view is anything space mushroom-y. Further into the book we’ll find out that whenever someone recovers some old tech, a Spitalians first thought is “but can I kill Sepsis with it?”

When not shaking fists at a spore field and unleashing barely understood nanotech, they provide medicine service in the cities. Anything related to Burn (spore drug) is prosecuted and Burners are burned (exact phrasing used in the book). It’s implied that Franka’s hosed up state is the result of their leniency, which is why they’re more aggressive these days.

That naked butt guy in the intro I linked in one of the posts is a Spitalian. That fleshy twitching thing on the spear? Spore infested muscle that helps them detect the tainted.

And Spitalians hate the tainted



What if Techpriests of Mars wanted to resurrect the internet? The Stream was the super internet of 2070s and something (likely an AI) stirred in its deep. Some Streamers believed in it (?) and they eventually became the Chroniclers. This lot is desperately trying to find surviving servers while incidentally also becoming the guys most well versed in the old tech.

quote:

One day, they will reactivate the Stream and lead Humankind back to the light. Until then, they must be strong and resist the unruly clans and cults. They are not fighters, but with voice-amplifying Vocoders, cascades of light, and shock gloves, they are considered cruel gods in the wasteland. People in the cities consider them strange. Their language is riddled with archaic technical expressions, and they prefer the companionship of machines over humans.

Vocoders let you debate the enemy to death and use their logic against them! The only reason they can’t be hikkikimori is that there aren't enough basements left.



The Swiss military expected the Echaton and dug deep. When the Reaper’s blow landed (wait, that’s the long crater bisecting Borca and probably one of the big impact sites), they got hosed up. However, with the best Dwarf Fortress players in the world at their lead, they effectively seal entrances, rerouted lava and eventually emerged as the most military competent culture. They expanded their fortresses, build bridges, dug tunnels and are now demanding money for passage.

They’re also consummate badasses and great shots, but that might not be enough to cut it these days:

quote:

But the world around them is changing. Psychonautic phenomenons crystallize to razor sharp Filaments in the tunnels. Grotesquely misshapen creatures hurry through the Balkhan section and open high security gates with a gesture. The cantons resist the military government and rise up. The Hellvetics must march out into the world. They must watch, learn and fight.



This imaginatively-named faction is the Law. If Judge Dredd was basically a musket and hammer wielding WHFB priest, he’d be a Judge. They value order and law over freedom, they have built the great city of Justitian (I wonder what’s it named after) and they have crushed clans time and time again.

But the clans are resurgent (Golum has really undersold “drinking from puddles and eating fish” as a viable way to expand society) and the Judges have to learn “the law of the jungle,” whatever the gently caress that means in the context of dudes who started out as a very militant society.



Clanners range from stone-age savages to those that “clung to traditional knowledge, indulging in morality, manners and rapid-fire rifles.”

You are invited to Lady Copperbottom’s tea party. Bring your AK-74

Most clanners are nomads. And that’s it! Barely a paragraph for the most loose of all groups.



OK, here’s another fairly loose grouping, because Degenesis regards loot whores to be a cult. Scrappers are basically stalkers: they know the ruins really well, they dig for tech, they sell it to techpriests Chroniclers, have some fun in the city, and then go back out to dig up some more lostech dildos.



The first of the two (three?) African factions! They’re basically rogue traders. They deal in regular trade, they take giant tracked fortresses (they'll be called 'Surge Tanks' later on) to Europe to sell guns to savages, they explore both the icy north and the Psychovore south (only Spitalians are interested in Spore east, because they want to kill every last spore there is). They also like going on hunting trips to shoot Psychonauts.

quote:

Neolibyans take a no for a yes. For them, there are no problems, only options – and in the best cases, an adventure.

Rogue traders.



Having one faction named “Scrappers” and the other “Scourgers” is great idea, you guys.

Scourgers are a warrior culture which is the embodiment of all racist /k/ (4chan’s TFR) poster's “chimpout” fears:

quote:

In the land of the Crow, they are considered harbingers of death. They hide their faces behind ancestral masks and carry shield, spear and rifle. The Damu assess the enemy, anticipating their movement and recognizing every weakness. Then the Chaga charge, leading the pack into battle. The Simba are entitled to the strongest of all opponents. Theirs is the greatest feat on a day of blood. Conquered enemies are enslaved and handed over to the Neolibyans. On vast plantations, they will work off the white man’s collective debt.

Bold part aside, look the the words I italicized. One of the book’s failings is the fact that cults are separated into (likely gameplay) classes and these pages describing the cults don’t always mention or explain them. The Scourgers are the first ones that have their classes mentioned, but you’ll eventually be reading about proper noun dudes doing stuff and you’ll be confused as to what they are supposed to be.



This is the page that goes after the Scourger part. Might be a Spitalier, tho.



Anubians are not leaping dog-head soldiers from Age of Mythology. Anubians are poorly explained weird:

quote:

The Anubians consider themselves chosen ones. The seven Circles tattooed onto their skin represent the seven transformations they must endure to make their body a perfect vessel of Ka. They guide their people from life until death, perform ceremonies and placate their ancestral spirits in their grudge against everything that lives.
With every Anubis canopy they empty, one skin Circle vanishes, and they begin to realize that believing in spirits, rites and traditions is a peculiar matter. They continue evolving, walking the world with eyes wide and a sharp mind. Some recognize the healer in themselves and learn to catalyze highly poisonous Psychovore seeds in their bodies into potent drugs. Others take the sickle and leave the land
of the Crow, cutting the lifelines of Psychonauts and thus obliterate a disturbance of the wave.
They always end up in Cairo. When the third Circle vanishes, the Anubians prepare to advance into the city that is overgrown by Psychovores, already feeling the pull of the pyramids. Soon, the last mysteries will be revealed to them.

What is an Anubis canopy? What wave are the Psychonauts disturbing? If they are the spiritual heart of Africa, how can they “leave the land of Crow” to hunt Psychonauts, who only exist in Europe? Did the editor sleep through this? :psyduck:



Jehammedans are… erzatc Muslims? gently caress, I don’t know. They follow the teachings of the last prophet Jehammed. Their lives are determined from their birth – most are likely Ismaelis, who do menial jobs. However, if they pass some test, they might become a Sword of Jehammed, and fight Anabaptists and other dudes. They may also find a Hagari wife (is wife a class now?).

quote:

Yet there is a third path. This boy may one day heed the call of Aries, the ram-headed one, and learn more about the unknown truth of the Jehammedans than he ever desired.

So they’re Greek restorationists now?



Apocalyptics are vice gypsies.

quote:

Apocalyptics live a pure and unbridled life. They appear in flocks, swooping into gambling dens and nesting in bordellos. Their distillates are stronger, their Burn more potent, their whores more beautiful. Any vice finds a welcome home with them. They live in the present. All emotions are sacred to them and equally celebrated as if they were the last.

They gather in flocks. The fighters are called Stormcrows, the whores and thieves are Magpies, the Woodpeckers are smugglers and shebeen (A shebeen (Irish: síbín) was originally an illicit bar or club where excisable alcoholic beverages were sold without a license. - wiki) runners, and the leader is the Raven. He uses the Apocalyptic Tarot deck as an “arbitrary tool” to give flair to his decisions.

Judges are mentioned as their natural enemies, though I’d think Spitaliers would be angry with Burn smugglers, too.



Original anabaptists were some cooky and super militant folk that sprung out of the Radical Reformation. These guys are following neognostic teachings, which makes their Christianity-derived name a bizarre choice.

The Anabaptists are here to cleanse and burn.

quote:

The Anabaptists have made this purge their goal in life. Their Ascetics heal and till the tortured soil, sow wheat and baptize it with the purest water. They produce oils and blend them to create essences that lend strength and heal pain. The Orgiastics are the Anabaptist fighters: full of elysian oils, they confront the Psychonauts with swords and flame throwers. The flan battle for Humanity is being
fought here and now, and the Anabaptists carry the torch.

Ascetics are a crafting class, while ORGIASTICS are natural allies to Spitalians because fire is still the best answer to all sorts of unsavory stuff.



Palers are Morlock vault dwellers, a people of Golums that are lead by what I assume are holograms and guys that can speak really well.

quote:

Centuries in eternal darkness have transformed them into pale, squat creatures with heightened senses, but without any moral regards for the surface dwellers. Dulcet voices are very important to them.
Their demagogues are masters of mental manipulation. One word from them, correctly annunciated with the proper tone and posture, can conjure emotions like fear, desire or pure blinding pain.

Some Vampire player is working in the bolded part into his character description as we speak.

The palers have a plan to open 44 other bunkers and something big is supposed to happen then. I guess it’s one of the plot hooks that the book doles out generously.

Boy, I sure am tired of writing about these cults that aren’t even cult-like. Tune in next time when we’ll cap off Chapter 1 with mad cyborgs.

Next time: Chapter 1: Cyborg Assholes

JcDent fucked around with this message at 11:38 on Aug 4, 2017

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Wow, I wasn't expecting the MAGICAL REALMS to be quite so, uh, literal.

RedSnapper
Nov 22, 2016


JcDent posted:



Degenesis: Rebirth
Primal Punk


What is it with Germans and throwing explosive projectiles at my country? :poland:

To think about it - don't the Teutonic-looking, hospitallers Spitalians in pikelhaubes control Danzig Gdańsk now?



Having read 120 days of Sodom, I knew where they were going as soon as I saw the names.

"Four amoral assholes and their torture pit" can probably get you some decent plot hooks, but naming the said assholes after the book's proantagonists and then even namedropping that very book is just hamfisted. Not to mention we already had ample samples of AAH's creator's skills and I wouldn't trust most GOOD GMs I know with that source material.

Btw, didn't Blangis notice he's sharing the name and main character traits with the Duke? Didn't they notice that their 'pal' Curval is the same person as in the book (well, minus the extremely poor hygiene and a perchant for passive sodomy)? I mean, I'd get freaked out if I saw myself and a bunch of guys I met last night in a 500 year old book.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Yeah, y'say that's hamfisted, but then there's also the Literally Hitler guy.

pls tell me that the PCs are never railroaded into actively participating in these magical realms (lol u gotta get this guy off to proceed, for example) instead of just kicking down the door and burning everything.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


This has to be a photo trace of someone's head on someone else's body, the perspective and proportions are all wrong.
[quote]

Lawrence of Arabia


Hitler


Jack the Ripper


....Arkham Knight's Scarecrow?


Leraika posted:

Yeah, y'say that's hamfisted, but then there's also the Literally Hitler guy.

pls tell me that the PCs are never railroaded into actively participating in these magical realms (lol u gotta get this guy off to proceed, for example) instead of just kicking down the door and burning everything.
Dare you enter the Whizzard's magical realm?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




I have a bad feeling that 'kick down doors, burn horrible people, free prisoners' is way way too fun to be in this module.
I'm fully expecting a complete failure at dark psychological horror.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

My first encounter with the word "nunnehi" was "things from oChangeling that were always banned for being OP I guess. I don't know, I never got too far into Changeling stuff. The whole spirits section is again Rifts presenting an overpowered horde of creatures, but at least this time they aren't psycho killers who love to murder, they just hate iphones and wypipo with a blinding but ~*mysterious*~ fury.


Also Degenesis sounds kind of interesting or at least different from a lot of other settings, but the writing snippets from the book are really dryly written, which in combination with the graphic-designer-gone-mad aesthetic seems like it'd make the actual book a chore to read.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


occamsnailfile posted:

My first encounter with the word "nunnehi" was "things from oChangeling that were always banned for being OP I guess. I don't know, I never got too far into Changeling stuff.

They were the Native American changeling splat, and oChangeling was rather notorious for not being very well balanced even against itself, as well as creating a new changeling splat for every, single, loving, region, in order to sell more books.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



See, for me Degenesis Is now a waiting game for racism, because I really, really don't trust them to be handling the African factions or Anabaptists or Muslims well.

Especially with a name that is a clear pastiche on 'Mohammedans' which is, uh

not a good or correct term

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



You know, I know I should be offended or wary of the Magical Realm adventure but I can't stop chuckling at those lovely cosplayer NPC portraits.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mors Rattus posted:

See, for me Degenesis Is now a waiting game for racism, because I really, really don't trust them to be handling the African factions or Anabaptists or Muslims well.

Especially with a name that is a clear pastiche on 'Mohammedans' which is, uh

not a good or correct term

Well, real Anabaptists weren't gnostic, right? So the Jehemmedans don't really map out to Muslims or even stereotypes. I mean, who ever claimed that Muslims had a very deterministic and rigid caste structure?


occamsnailfile posted:

Also Degenesis sounds kind of interesting or at least different from a lot of other settings, but the writing snippets from the book are really dryly written, which in combination with the graphic-designer-gone-mad aesthetic seems like it'd make the actual book a chore to read.

Maybe because I'm not a native speaker, but it reads at quite a steady clip. Except for the parts where you don't understand what's happening because proper nouns have not been explained. The English just feels a little wrong when you read it.

Unlike in Divine Cybermancy, where I stopped reading lore because the only thing I could gather was "this is bad anime."

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I'm trying to figure out if AAH writers connected Durect's infertility with her pedophilia or it's an accident of them being poo poo writers.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Those are not mutually exclusive.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



It's 100 percent supposed to be a causal relationship. Much like her feminism.

These writers need a swirly.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



JcDent posted:

Well, real Anabaptists weren't gnostic, right? So the Jehemmedans don't really map out to Muslims or even stereotypes. I mean, who ever claimed that Muslims had a very deterministic and rigid caste structure?

The choices we make in naming things and referencing them does matter. If you don't want the connections to be made don't put them there, let alone so obviously and deliberately.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JcDent posted:

Well, real Anabaptists weren't gnostic, right?

Correct. Real Anabaptists were an early strain of the Protestant movement, and have direct modern day descendants sometimes referred to as Anabaptists today: the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites.

some FUCKING LIAR
Sep 19, 2002



Fallen Rib

Mors Rattus posted:

See, for me Degenesis Is now a waiting game for racism, because I really, really don't trust them to be handling the African factions or Anabaptists or Muslims well.

Especially with a name that is a clear pastiche on 'Mohammedans' which is, uh

not a good or correct term

A "waiting game"? Did you not notice the part where the children of every non-German ethnic region in Europe are virtually predestined to become mind control fungus monsters of various stripes?

Also some of the dumb names I will give a pass to because they're either copied verbatim or calqued clumsily from the German (e.g. Wiedertäufer -> Anabaptists; Jehammedaner -> Jehammedan) and I'm not sure that thought was given to the English resonances of the term as opposed to the German. For instance, I think that one of the big associations you're supposed to make about the Anabaptists is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_Rebellion.

ETA:

Cythereal posted:

Correct. Real Anabaptists were an early strain of the Protestant movement, and have direct modern day descendants sometimes referred to as Anabaptists today: the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites.
Also American Southern Baptists.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


occamsnailfile posted:

My first encounter with the word "nunnehi" was "things from oChangeling that were always banned for being OP I guess. I don't know, I never got too far into Changeling stuff. The whole spirits section is again Rifts presenting an overpowered horde of creatures, but at least this time they aren't psycho killers who love to murder, they just hate iphones and wypipo with a blinding but ~*mysterious*~ fury.

Having actually played Nunnehi twice (I was young) I'd say it was less them being more OP and more that vague sort of snowflakiness that online World of Darkness games detested... even though every World of Darkness game was and is about being a smug exception to the blind sheeple anyway.

Not that the Nunnehi were well-conceived, as you may be able to tell just based on the name.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I hadn't noticed - before doing this Let's Read - that Borca was exempt from shroom mutants, even if Reaper's blow cut Germany in twain. On the other hand, Africans aren't mutating either, besides gaining One True Tongue from strange plants, but that's likely a super clumsy handwave as to how all of North Africa now shares a language and culture.

I think an another interesting distinction is that even if North Africa today is kinda Arabic, I only imagine Neolybians as such; Scourgers are deffo black, even if most of black Africa would have been killed by Dhoruba and psychovores.

Guys are better designers than they are worldbuilders, I guess.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



some loving LIAR posted:

A "waiting game"? Did you not notice the part where the children of every non-German ethnic region in Europe are virtually predestined to become mind control fungus monsters of various stripes?

Also some of the dumb names I will give a pass to because they're either copied verbatim or calqued clumsily from the German (e.g. Wiedertäufer -> Anabaptists; Jehammedaner -> Jehammedan) and I'm not sure that thought was given to the English resonances of the term as opposed to the German. For instance, I think that one of the big associations you're supposed to make about the Anabaptists is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_Rebellion.

actually, yes, my mind scabbed over those.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



some loving LIAR posted:

Also American Southern Baptists.

By way of a drunken one night stand with Calvinism, yeah.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



I'm impressed with how AAH's writers continue to prove how terrible they are.

OutOfPrint
Apr 9, 2009



Fun Shoe

AAH is, what, 3 for 4 about basing the core and source books off of movies? I can't wait for the next adventure, about a mysterious pre-Perdition artifact from Malta said to contain thousands of cigarettes only to be opened and have nothing inside.

Seriously, though, the AAH reviews are great and I genuinely enjoy them.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




I have had written better adventures then AAH when I was 10 , in that I didn't include any weird sex/torture stuff.
I'm dying to see how bad it gets.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




*extremely Tobias Funke voice* caaalled iiit...

Not only do I now feel justified in examining the game by speculating on the authors' psychological issues, I don't think any other approach would be meaningful. The setting of AAH is a great big slop bucket of psychosexual issues with political implications, all happening within the context of what is only vaguely and superficially a prison--people sometimes wear uniforms, and use cigarettes as currency. I believe I detect a lot of repression here.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I went back and changed every non-archived post of mine to have a clearer bolded header and a bit of italicized text underneath for easier archiving, and for the chap asking, I resumed the WHFRP review on December 1st of 2016, picking up where the archived stuff left off.

Also, the art for AAH looks like a terrible 2000s era webcomic.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Night10194 posted:

Also, the art for AAH looks like a terrible 2000s era webcomic.

It's got the issue lot of the Witch Girl Adventures and Bella - whatever that other game Abby Soto does: Obvious tracing of photographs and/or poser models, with no sense of color or shading.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Robindaybird posted:

It's got the issue lot of the Witch Girl Adventures and Bella - whatever that other game Abby Soto does: Obvious tracing of photographs and/or poser models, with no sense of color or shading.

Bellum Maga.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Night10194 posted:

Wow, I wasn't expecting the MAGICAL REALMS to be quite so, uh, literal.
[to the tune of the Monorail song] Holodeck. Holodeck! HOLODEEEEEEECK!

RedSnapper posted:

Btw, didn't Blangis notice he's sharing the name and main character traits with the Duke? Didn't they notice that their 'pal' Curval is the same person as in the book (well, minus the extremely poor hygiene and a perchant for passive sodomy)? I mean, I'd get freaked out if I saw myself and a bunch of guys I met last night in a 500 year old book.
This is actually explained, believe it or not, when we get further in.

Leraika posted:

pls tell me that the PCs are never railroaded into actively participating in these magical realms (lol u gotta get this guy off to proceed, for example) instead of just kicking down the door and burning everything.
Do you want me to tell you or do you want me to lie to you. Like a..."pleasant" side effect of abusing Criminal Mastermind is that I had characters for this where the looming question was "why don't they just murder everyone". There is railroading but they're definitely able to get around the unpleasant nature of it, I'm going to do my best to avoid making this any more awkward and inappropriate than it already is.

Evil Mastermind posted:

You know, I know I should be offended or wary of the Magical Realm adventure but I can't stop chuckling at those lovely cosplayer NPC portraits.
The moment I saw Hitler Levec I knew that this was going to be something special. I have been...lightly tempted to cover stuff for this thread that's in the same vein as Blood In The Chocolate but, ultimately, I don't want to spring something as repugnant as that on the thread. It's not good reading and it's all just gross all the time, you can hear the author masturbating with every page you turn. The fact that this is so inept and stupid as it wildly postures about horror and poo poo, that it's not just All Fetish All The Time and the fact that I can at least find comedy in it was a major deciding factor in covering this series to begin with.

Robindaybird posted:

I'm trying to figure out if AAH writers connected Durect's infertility with her pedophilia or it's an accident of them being poo poo writers.
I'm erring on the side of "this is totally intentional" because oh irony of ironies, a feminist who can't have children and this brings about her fall from grace.

Keep voting! I'm thankful for the response I get to this and I'm interested in who you want to see to kill who.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Degenesis seemed cool at first but just seems like a jumbled mess with good art direction in the current edition. It reminds me a lot of the style over substance stuff people hold out as being genius but is actually pretty mediocre half the time or nonsensical the other half.

The Neolibyans and Scroungers strike me as more of a hamfisted social commentary out of the 60's than present day racist ramblings. Don't get me wrong, it's poorly conceived commentary, but that's where I see it coming from instead of a far right speech about the Islamic invasion of Europe.

Nunnehi Chat posted:


I think the only thing the Nunnehi in CtD benefited from was better writing than most Changeling books, it wasn't being phoned it like half the splats, and the game system being better understood when it was released, as in someone actually read it and played it. Regardless of that, as pointed out, they're not really anything special other than being well thought out. Changeling is weird too for having a fully fleshed out group of Hawaiian Changelings, the menehune, that a group can play a diverse game with them alone. The overall system is still garbage so it's not like they're going to be dunking on another supernatural.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I am glad I have never heard of these badly drawn comics.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Montfort: Mountains, famine, smoldering, sexy dukes

Montfort is almost entirely enclosed in the Grey Mountains, and cannot sustain itself by agriculture alone. In a good year it will barely feed the duchy, and with how little arable land the mountainous terrain presents, it doesn't have many good years. The lonely, rough trails are also haunted by constant greenskin attacks, making the place even more miserable to live in. What it does have is exclusive access to the tolls and taxes of the Axe Bite Pass, and plenty of good mining; most of Bretonnia's home-produced iron ore comes from Montfort. The pass's importance can't be overstated, either; it's one of the arteries of overland trade between Reikland and Bretonnia. Keeping the pass clear so that international trade can flow is both a local and national economic imperative. The mining is important, too, and Montfort even has one of Bretonnia's only productive gold mines. The people of Montfort live in a hostile environment, and it makes them even more eager to live in the moment than other Bretonnians. You could be dead tomorrow, so any chance to enjoy something or make a difference should be seized on today!

Montfort is also militarily essential to Bretonnia, though with relations between them and the Empire being good it isn't quite as important these days. Axe Bite Pass is the only Grey Mountain pass large enough to march an army through. This means the Imperial half is heavily guarded by the prestigious military fortress at Helmgart, which is also the site of a prominent Imperial military academy, while the Duke of Montfort is charged with ensuring the border remains secure on the Bretonnian side. In practice, with relations being as they are right now, Imperial state patrols and Bretonnian knights are likely to work together to fight orcs and defend merchants rather than glaring at one another across the pass. The Duke also does everything he can to keep things this way: Military aggression or plots to take good farmland in Reikland are ruthlessly suppressed both because of Montfort's obligation to honor Louen's treaties with the Empire, and because anything risking war or a stoppage of trade would starve the duchy. Nobles from the foothills regions often try to press out into Quenelles, Gisoreaux, and Bastonne in hopes of securing more farmland, but the Duke refuses to recognize their claims to any land they take and so far, none of this has quite gotten to the point of a civil war.

Villages in Montfort are all fortified against greenskin attack, and his considerable contributions to this project are why Duke Folcard is one of the most popular Dukes in the whole kingdom. Folcard is unusual in that he shows no hesitation in speaking to peasants, and actively coordinates with them in his plans to build a large line of signal towers to warn his troops of attacks on any Montfortian settlement in the mountains. Folcard's willingness to talk to his peasants (and probably some influence from contact with Helmgart) lead to Montfortian Men at Arms being better equipped, better coordinated, and better trained than most peasant soldiers in Bretonnia. He is also dedicated to responding to alerts and attacks on his people, and he goes personally whenever he can. Whenever he rescues a village under attack, after the wounded are taken care of, he speaks to the elders and community leaders to see about strengthening fortifications and correcting any injustices they may be suffering at the hands of their lords. Dozens of peasants in Montfort can say the Duke saved their lives personally, and he's universally hailed as a hero by his people. He's also a tall, dark-haired, handsome man with what's described as an 'intense' gaze, and as he's currently unmarried, he's the crush of many peasant maids and noblewomen in his lands.

In similar fashion, the example NPC for Montfort is a former Man At Arms, Heinrich Jakersdorf, who gained an appreciation for the military life in his very first battle, when he saved a wounded young woman from an orc warrior and paid his own wages to see her nursed back to health. They've been married for five years, and it's filled him with a sense of purpose in fighting against the monsters that threaten his homeland and his family. He's advanced through the ranks to the level of Sergeant, and his given stats make him a very impressive warrior, especially for a peasant. He's meant to be the sort of chap that serves as a model for how a Montfortian PC's career could go, or to be used as a commander or mentor for PCs working in the area.

Next Time: Mousillon, the land of black knights, snails, frogs, and sadness.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Do they say what the other nobles think of Duke Jakersdorf for being so ready to speak to those below his station?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ratoslov posted:

Do they say what the other nobles think of Duke Jakersdorf for being so ready to speak to those below his station?

Duke Folcard has the Virtue of Empathy. In the Knighthood chapter, you get one of the Virtues of Knighthood once you reach Knight of the Realm, in emulation of one of the Grail Companions of Giles d'Breton. The Companion from what became Montfort was Martrud, and he was known as the advocate of the common man and champion to the peasantry. He would often speak for them to Giles and the others in council, arguing it was chivalrous for a knight to know the people he was championing and defending. Thus, if you follow that tradition, one of the explicit gameplay benefits is that other knights do not think less of you for speaking directly to your social inferiors.

They might think you're kind of crazy for choosing that instead of something more glorious like mastering the lance or slaying giant beasts, though.

E: Also, the fact that he's happy to be seen talking to peasants means he's another very easy patron for PCs. Folcard would happily hire adventurers of any social class if they can help him defend his people.

The Virtues can be pretty awe inspiring, too. And every Knight of the Realm gets one. And Grail Knights get improved versions of their original one. Bret Knights are mechanically very, very good fighter-type characters, if limited to melee and a bit awkward at times.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Aug 4, 2017

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




And if they happen to go Blood Dragon, Brets get to keep their knightly virtues making them even scarier. I think there's even a line about going on an evil (or at least "not for the Grail") quest to upgrade their virtue later.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


wiegieman posted:

And if they happen to go Blood Dragon, Brets get to keep their knightly virtues making them even scarier. I think there's even a line about going on an evil (or at least "not for the Grail") quest to upgrade their virtue later.

The true reason Dragons recruit Bret Knights when they can: Minmaxing.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Just how scary is a blood dragon lord/grail knight? What power level are we talking about here?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Just how scary is a blood dragon lord/grail knight? What power level are we talking about here?

They wouldn't be able to get a Grail virtue, most likely, but someone with Questing Knight and then Blood Dragon Lord is going to have most of the physical stat boost talents, a total of +50% from their rolled WS, 6 Blood Gifts, a Knightly Virtue, and 5 attacks. We're talking 'can wipe out a party of high level PCs in direct combat, action economy be damned'.

E: It's entirely possible to hit a 90% WS and to have an 8 SB and 9 TB this way. Not to mention an 80+ Agi. A guy (or gal) like that would be going through people like a blender.

Let's also say that knight's a pure Dragon and has Piercing Strike, Iron Sinews, Blademaster, etc, and Virtue of the Ideal. They go up to 6 Attacks as long as they're outnumbered from Ideal, and their Lance Charge does Damage 10 Impact Fast and ignores all armor. I think if you're up against an enemy like that you officially need to consider subterfuge your only option unless you're willing to lose a few PCs getting into melee range of that thing. Subterfuge, cannon, or a shitload of muskets.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:55 on Aug 4, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

E: Also, the fact that he's happy to be seen talking to peasants means he's another very easy patron for PCs. Folcard would happily hire adventurers of any social class if they can help him defend his people.

I have none of the books, but this review has made me very interested in running or playing in a Bretonnia-centric WHFRP game. Given my preference for DMing, of everything presented so far Folcard would be my choice for introducing the game. PCs happen to be in a village and stave off a greenskin attack, Folcard comes by afterwards or as the literal cavalry to save the day, stops to speak with the PCs afterwards, and it's off to the races.

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Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Hostile V posted:



Do you want me to tell you or do you want me to lie to you. Like a..."pleasant" side effect of abusing Criminal Mastermind is that I had characters for this where the looming question was "why don't they just murder everyone". There is railroading but they're definitely able to get around the unpleasant nature of it, I'm going to do my best to avoid making this any more awkward and inappropriate than it already is.


I guess the better-phrased question is 'is this gonna be like the end of the last book where everything was one extended cutscene of horrid poo poo happening'.

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