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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - At Least This One's Mostly An rear end in a top hat To Other Clans

Our next tutor is Ishikawa Ryota, a master of politics. He has infiltrated the Izou courts, and he and those like him are the ones that keep the idea that not all ninja are evil alive and well. He manipulates nobles easily, swaying them to the side of the ninja. He dresses very expensively, and while he is not young, he looks it due to his jutsus. He is charming, friendly and easy to get along with, very good at stroking egos...but when he wants something, he is not afraid to say so, or to persuade others to give it to him. He is also more than capable of committing bloody murder with a kindly smile. He tells the initiate that when the boy first came, his inclination was to let the nobility kill him, because he was sick of hearing about Nnami and Ganryu. However, he could see potential, and he chose to take the boy on as his student - without Nanami ever asking him to or wanting him to. She was apparently quite upset by this.

Ryota explains that Nanami is wrong - noble blood does make you superior, even to other ninja in the clan who lack it. You see, the birthright it ocmes with is something everyone wants, and the power it grants is easily wasted unless you learn how to use it. He also explains that Ganryu is an idiot who should learn to think before hitting people. Still, manners are very important and he reminds the initiate to listen to teachers, as he goes on to explain why the Strands are the true leaders of the clans. The reason is simple: they lie. They lie very well and very often. No matter what, they can spin a situation so they're on top and in charge. They tell people what they want to hear and know how to tell when others are trying to do the same. The initiate has not yet mastered this art, due to blunt and graceless former teachers who did not understand complex lies.

He has the student begin by telling white lies, and is impressed when the boy picks a scandalous rumor of a far-off province - a good way to kepe a lie from being discovered. However, it is imperfect. A true master must always study the court rosters and their families, for the boy picked a shogun having an affair with a niece who could not exist - because the shogun was an only child. Always important to make sure the person you lie to won't know that kind of thing. The goal of these lies is to alter perceptions and control people without need for jutsu or magic - just an understanding of people. A good lie should contain some amoint of truth, to give it more impact - and more weight, if challenged. Of course, sometimes you must create the truth, manipulating the situation so that your lie is not a lie. That's still a matter of control and power over the situation. Always be ready to protect your lies as if they were your own children.

Ryota explains that most members of the Strands have no Asaito blood whatsoever. Sometimes, those who do are known as Dragon-Blooded, but frankly, only they really care. Yes, Ganryu braged about it constantly, but it honestly does not matter. It is the families with power that have been brought into the clan who are the most important, because they have a vital job - to manipulate the law of the nation in service to the clan. They are the ones who keep the Strands safe, who make their schemes possible. Every class is important...but it is in the nobility that the Strands thrive, and those Strands that are nobles are the heart of the clan, bringing it wealth and power, and fighting the war in the Izou courts. However, they must never believe themselves more important than the clan. That is the height of foolishness. Everyone must work to fight the Crusade, and your own power is less important than, say, opposing legislation that perpetuates anti-ninja sentiments. You must argue with politicians, yes, but any noble could do that. A Strand must work in the system to neutralize the greatest threats - assassination, for example, or sabotage of paperwork. A ninja must not be held back by sympathy or compassion, as a normal politician might be.

Yes, the Lotus Coalition is important. The Strands demanded to join because even they could not fight the Crusade alone - and because they knew that without them, the Coalition would fail utterly. At the time, the Wardens led the Coalition, and their words were too idealistic. Ryota is cynical, and believes that true unity is impossible. The Lotus Coalition is small, because most clans still don't trust it and will not give most of their members to it. The Strands were not, at first, invited to join. The other clans feared their honesty in being liars and traitors. All ninja are liars and traitors, of course, but the Strands are better at it - and so it is common sense to fear them. However, they would not allow themselves to be left to die. So they were persistent, manipulating the other clans and making deals with them, orchestrating it so that the Strands could come in and help save the day, or so that certain leaders were eliminated, until at last they were brought in to the Coalition - a great feat, given how no one actually wanted them there.

Ryota than explains the other clans. The Bamboo Herbalists are idiot savants - stupid, mindless heroes who also possess the greatest medical minds in the world. Their power is immense, but they squander their gifts with daredevil stunts and idiotic acts. The Blazing Dancers are passionate, powerful, emotional people - but they have very little depth. They are mere cannon fodder, but they refuse to acknowledge this and continue to try and fight centuries of Strand propaganda among the ocmmoners. They won't succeed. The Grasping Shadows...well, they were the second ninjas to exist, after the Strands. They were once bodyguards and assassins for the Strands, and frankly they still are. The two clans have been allies for a long, long time. They know much of each others' sins, but would never throw each other away for a short-term gain - it'd be far too costly, as each could destroy the other. Eventually, this situation must end. But not today.

The Living Chronicle are...around. They contribute little of value. However, always be polite to them so they don't write down anything bad about you. The Pack of the Black Moon can be easily spotted - they're the smelly ones with hick accents. They are easily manipulated due to their lack of understanding of the world, and making friends with them is suggested because they are idiotically loyal once befriended. The Recoiling Serpents are to be respected - they are as ruthless as the Strands, if perhaps blinded too often by vengeance rather than survival. The Serpents are a good smokescreen to blame for things you'd rather not be caught doing, as they are the only clan more hated and feared than the Strands.

The Virtuous Body Gardeners are idiots drawing attnetion to themselves, pathetic fools trying to impress people with more than they really are. They want respect, but all they have done is paint a target on their own backs. The Wardens of Eqiulibrium are a worthy but ridiculiyus clan. Like the Strands, they are easily able to betray, with their need for false balance.However, their actions are an easy tool to accomplish your goals - just make someone appear unbalanced and let the Wardens take care of them. Be their advisors and you will command them. As for the Will of Iron? They're fools, least of all the clans. Their concept of justice is hilariously stupid, an excuse for them to kill as they wish. They are no different, at heart, than the Izou. Just make sure you are never their target. Once the Crusade is over, they will be destroyed entirely.

Ryota ends by explaining that tone and inflection and expression are all far more impor tant than the content of someone's words, in understanding them and controlling them. He could easily have been lying throughout his lecture, or at least manipulating the initiate to get him to agree. After all, he isn't exactly of high opinion towards the Lotus. However, he reminds the initiate that no matter how stupid the Lotus Coalition appears, they are dangerous - that many ninja around is a powder keg waiting to go off. You have to be sure to aim it at the Empire.

Next time: I hate these people.

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Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Night10194 posted:

Next Time: Bretonnian Careers and Character Rules

What happened to

quote:

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

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


How the hell did I skip Mousillon.

I'll get right on that, thanks for noticing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Mousillon: The Roses' Pollen Is A Deadly Poison

Back in the days when it had what is now southern Lyonesse, Mousillon was swampy and marshy, sure, but it also had good land backed up by small lakes and rivers for farming. Ever since it lost that, it's become nothing but the parts its conquerors didn't want. The area near the shore is thick swamp, which nevertheless produces the fattest frogs and tastiest snails in all of Bretonnia, and the north east is lonely and grim hills perpetually surrounded by fog and battered by storms. The weather is as moody as the rest of the province, and the hilly areas are infested with the beautiful Mousillon Rose. The pollen of the Mousillon Rose is a deadly poison that will, in fact, poison weaker characters to death (Toughness+30 or take 1 Wound per degree of failure) if they stay near it. The stuff grows thickest where it can find human corpses to grow in, so old battlefields are beautiful, hellish places of poison and sorrow.

The swamps aren't any safer, because swamp mat grows and deceives people into thinking there are safe trails where there is, in fact, quicksand. It takes Outdoor Survival or Perception (the base Perception test being -10 since it's a more general skill) to notice these sorts of traps without a mishap occurring, and the swamps are full of old bodies and undead things, too. Villages and castles are usually built on dryer spots, and are usually a little bit safer (especially the castles), but everything in the duchy is in a state of disrepair. The people are often twisted and mutated, and many in Mousillon come there because the locals will accept all sorts of outcasts. Some are monsters, some are people driven from their homes by poverty or misfortune, some are outlaws, but most people who live in Mousillon do so because they can't live elsewhere. The local castles are usually in ruins, but for the ones that are still inhabited this is a stylistic choice; the lived-in parts will be well kept up and the defenses maintained, the local knights just like having run-down and imposing old architecture. Similarly, knights of Mousillon dress in imposing black armor, sometimes with spikes and other cruel additions, and rarely raise their visors when in battle. Sometimes this is because they're mutants, mummies, wights, and vampires. Sometimes this is because they're a completely ordinary human knight and just want to fit in.

There is no Duke of Mousillon, though you could always have the Red Duke move in and start plotting his destruction of the Bretonnian nobility. Given that he only seems to care about laying waste to the nobles, he might even make a patron for radical PCs who've decided they hate the nobility too. Or PCs could try to become Duke of Mousillon. The King could use one, and dearly wants to retake this cursed land and fix it up. It used to be the domain of Landuin, who was renowned as a greater knight than even Giles d'Breton, the ideal of all Bretonnian knighthood, and the fact that it languishes in evil and sorrow is an insult in Louen's mind. Also, the place occasionally raises armies of evil, since the very soil is infused with Dark Magic similar to Sylvania in the Empire, and so conquering it and purifying it would do much to secure Bretonnia's internal security.

The actual city of Mousillon is weird as hell. It has no local economy for the necessities, but somehow carts and ships arrive with food and other basics nearly daily. Meanwhile, the shops of the town are almost exclusively sellers of forbidden books, cult gear, poison, cruel and outlawed weaponry, and all manner of exotic tools for evildoers and evil henchmen. There are taverns and fighting pits, but no tailors or bakers. It's a mystery how anyone can stay fed in such a place, but it's hardly the strangest thing about the cursed duchy. PCs from Mousillon can choose to take a random serious penalty from the local deformities and troubles (usually a full -10 to a stat!) in return for an extra fate point, but this is a bad idea. The economy of the small villages relies on snailing, frogging, and other swamp-work. Peat is one of the few exports. Mousillon is a miserable place and any PC who can leave, generally does.

Next Time: NOW it's time for characters and careers.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



In Total War: Warhammer I tend to burn Mousillon to the ground and leave it like that. It's not worth occupying.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - More horrible people.

Our final 'teacher' is Yuhura Hikari, a Strand messenger who travels in the guise of a noble. She uses this to deliver important packages and keep an eye on key areas to prevent rivals from going after them. She is extremely influential, with great pull on many major Strand leaders. She dresses to make her noble status obvious to anyone looking at her, and while she is young, she demands respect. Loudly and frequently. She is condescending, loud and obnoxious at all times unless sharing secrets with her friends or on a mission where she has to be quiet.

The initiate has been ordered to travel with her, and she wants him to spend more time enjoying his trips. She's been all over Silk Belt Province, which she views as her home, as well as other parts of the empire. She is here to bring the initiate to his next assignment, having done well in the courts of Tennokiba. She explains that she can be so loud and brash because she's hiding in plain sight, manipulating the expectations of others. The carriage is taking them to deliver messages on their journey, and she epxlains that a noble is a wonderful messenger, because it makes traveling easy and comfortable, and no one ever suspects it. Not that the job is easy - often, murder must be done to get information. Travel is safe on roads, but heading to hidden villages is less safe, and sometimes being loud and tough is all you can do to keep bandits off your back. But hey, it gets you access to deep and powerful secrets, which are the best secrets. Hell, just controlling when certain deliveries arrive or don't arrive at all is a very powerful tool. A messenger must be trusted...but they are still Strands, with all that entails.

Tennokiba is a terrible and annoying city, and Hikari hates it. It's a mass of secrets and depravity, where the criminals and politicians are often the same people. Corruption is rampant, and the STrands manipulate it to make the clan prosper...but often, it feels like Tennokiba is corrupt solely for the sake of corruption, as there are too many manipulators around and too few victims. By day, of course, it's a beautiful city of the Empire...but by night, it is a murderous cesspool. It was originally founded as neutral gorund between clans, to allow negotiation and discussion and dirty dealing. The name, meaning Heaven's Teeth, is because Heaven has been known to devour those who made the wrong choice. As the Strands were experts at deals, they quickly took control of Tennokiba, though it maintained its open neutrality officially. The Grasping Shadows could easily be blamed for many of the unpersonings that happen there, but the Strands are happy to use the city to get other clans to do terrible things so they don't have to, as well. Now, the city is the only real place a ninja can still get a job working for politicians - and even that's not totally safe any more. Tennokiba has broken free of its controls, and now even the Strands are just part of its great, terrible machinery rather than steering it. But it does, at least, have excellent taverns and drug dens. The red light district is one of the best in the world.

The next stop is Kaiko Village, the best silk producers in the province and the central village of the Strands' thread-creating operations. It must be kept safe, fat and happy, so the clan maintains its silk. Nowhere else has better silk, or silk more easily imbued with ki. The people spend their entire lives caring for, raising, harvesting and even eating silkworm larva. The cost of all this, however, is that much of the money made off the silk goes to fund the Emperor's crusade. However, it's also the home to the best threads for the Strands - for example, White Virgin thread, made only from the hair of elderly women who have never had sex. Such threads are extremely potent, as are the 100-Year Threads, which are soaked in blood for ten decades, to dye them red. The blood, of course, is from the clan's enemies.

From Kaiko, they head on to Jikankei, a city of artists. It was once the home of Tatagami, who carved the Imperial Throne and then dismembered himself out of depression. It is also the site of the death of Tetsu Chiyo, who defended the town from many ninja and has been the focus of Imperial propaganda since the Crusade began. They are now home to the Chiyo Force, an all-women battalion that is expert in the sword and hunts down ninjas. The city is also home to the Juuichi Library, where the clan (and often the Emperor) have kept vital historic texts that could not be trusted to the Living Chronicle. The clan's texts are prophecies - or rather, plans laid out centuries ago by the Strands which have culminations yet to come. Hikari, however, thinks the place is extremely boring and not worth going to because of how much they hate ninja.

The true destination, she reveals, is the port city Unmeishi. It is the main port used to trade with the Land of Mountains and Valleys, major allies of the Empire. It is also a good place to learn languages and meet people from across the world, while being rather less sinister and corrupt than Tennokiba. It is also known as the Sister of Fate, because the Strands have such control there. Many training facilities are spread through the city, and it is connected to a number of hidden villages. The clan mostly uses it to choke out the northern supply lines in order to strain ties between the Mountains and Valleys and the Emperor, at the request of the Lotus Coalition - a plan that Hikari thinks is surprisingly farsighted of them.

Then she reveals she lied - her cargo, a letter, was instead meant to go to a temple, not Unmeishi. She then attempts to murder the initiate so that she can take his place and deliver the letter. The two fight, and the initiate emerges victorious. She dares him to kill her, but he chooses to, instead, just tie her up, take the letter and leave her cursing and spitting. We end with the initiate meeting again with Nanami, who compliments him on taking the letter and not letting Hikari be the one to arrive. The letter, in fact, was a map to the temple and invitation for either the initiate or anyone that could take the letter from him to attend this meeting. Hikari wanted to steal it, but failed, though Nanami is surprised she came out of it alive. She reveals that she is one of the three masters of the Hidden Strands. The others are Master Whisper, the eldest member of the clan and its best strategist, and Master Hayari, her teacher and the leader of the triumvirate. Togeterh, they rule the Hidden Strands and plan its moves. Nanami invites the initiate to join her as her student directly, so she me reveal the truth about the Strands their involvement in the Crusade.

That's where the story ends, but you will recall the truth from the core: the Strands started the Crusade by orchestrating the murders of the Emperor's family. They claim to have killed the leaders of the clan that ordered this, but they're still the Hidden Strands and probably still think the situation can be controlled. As you might have noticed throughout this running narrative, the Strands have a history of believing themselves to be in control of situations and a tendency to believe everyone else is an idiot. They are also, uh, not very correct about that kind of thing, most of the time.

Next time: Mechanics.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ah, the good old "never questions if perhaps errors have been made and the 'complex strands of planning' are everything being on fire and out of control" kind of smug manipulators.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Their problem is they're good at what they do, but they think they're perfect rather than good.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


They also sound just wonderful to punch in the face.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night10194 posted:

They also sound just wonderful to punch in the face.

Oh my, yes. Even when you're playing one.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - You can also be horrible.

First, we get some new Temperaments (Sadistic/Fire, Treacherous/Metal), new Focus (Bounty Hunter/Warrior) and new Afflictions (Sole Survivor/Civil Discord, Hidden Strands only). But you're here for the fighting styles! Deer Style is a defensively focused martial art, designed to render opponents unable to harm you before you take them out. It focuses on blocks and damage avoidance, and often uses sai. OFfensively, they tend to hit hard, but not often.
Damaging Block
Levels 1-3: When you successfully Block, you deal 1 physical damage per level to your attacker.

Fatal Blow
Level 1: You may take a -4 penalty to your attack in order to do 4 damage on a hit.
Level 2: Your attack penalty when using Fatal Blow is reduced by 1 per successful Block made in the Round you use it.
Level 3: The penalty is reduced by 2 per Block now.

Sword Breaker
Level 1: When you get a Boost on a successful Block, you may give the attacker's weapon the Fragile quality. If you do it a second time to the same weapon, that weapon breaks.
Level 2: You now replace a Quality with Fragile rather than adding it, and the wielder also gets -1 to use the weapon.
Level 3: You now just instantly break the weapon, and when you do, the attacker takes 1 damage.

Silkworm Style is practiced almost exclusively by the Hidden STrands, mostly because it is built around using threads to fight. It focuses largely on close combat takedowns and quick entanglement, because the style has very little in the way of ability to actually take a hit.
Cocoon Wrap
Level 1: On a Boost while grappling someone, you may entangle them with strands, reducing their Actions for the round by 1. If they are knocked to 0 Actions, they become prone and unable to move. This penalty ends once the cocoon is attacked twice by a Sharp weapon, cutting the threads.
Level 2: The target also gets -1 to all Actions and Reactions while entangled in the cocoon.
Level 3: The cocoon can take four attacks from a Sharp weapon before it breaks.

Grappling Master
Level 1: You get +1 per level to Grab Action and Grab Defense rolls.
Level 2: You deal +1 damage while in a Grab.
Level 3: You can grapple with two different targets in Close range at once.

Enhanced Entanglement
Level 1: On a Boost during a Block, you may immediately cause a Grab. You get +1 to Initiate Grab Actions.
Level 2: You now only need two successes rather than a full Boost to use the level 1 ability, and the Initiate Grab bonus rises to +2.
Level 3: Now you only need one success rather than two, and the bonus rises to +3.

We also get some new 99 Styles. Precious Strands is a Hidden Strands-exclusive style, designed around utilizing one of the clan's three special kinds of thread. Even the best Strand can only ever learn one of the three technique trees, because mixing the threads is forbidden and deeply offensive to the nature of the threads and their uniqueness.
100-Year Thread
Level 1: You get special red threads soaked for a century in the blood of the clan's enemies. Attacks and jutsu using these threads ignore one level of Armor per level.
Level 2: When attacking a non-living target with the threads, you double any damage dealt.
Level 3: Damage is now tripled against non-living targets rather than doubled.

Black Widow's Thread
Level 1: You get special black threads made from the hair of widows whose hair was never cut until their deaths, then soaked in the tears of the innocent. Attacks and jutsus using these threads do +1 damage per level.
Level 2: You get +2 Intimidation during Battle.
Level 3: Attacks or jutsus using these threads cause Bleeding 2 any time they deal damage.

White Virgin Thread
Level 1: You get special white threads made from the hair of elder virgins. You get +1 to all activation checks for Basic jutsus of the Way of Spun Threads.
Level 2: Your bonus also applies to Median Jutsu of the Way of Spun Threads.
Level 3: Your bonus also applies to Advanced Jutsu of the Way of Spun Threads, and your threads are now entirely unbreakable.

Sentaka is the other 99 Style - Will of Iron exclusive, this time. It is the special training given to those members of the clan who hunt down mass murderers, serial killers and rogue ninja. It is like Summoning in that it's rank-based as well as level-based, with level 2 only available at Rank 3 and level 3 at Rank 5. When a Sentaka is given a duty, they msut complete before they return with the proof, and will only be given a new mission once all evidence has been corroborated. They generally get harder missions each time, and these are longterm, ongoing jobs which are considered to take precedence over even Lotus Coalition missions, should the two conflict.
Level 1: You get +1 to activation checks for Basic jutsu of the Way of Heaven's Judgement, and you may double your Rank bonus to social interactions within the clan. At rank 2, you get Sentaka Reputation as an 'Ally'. When you need anyone, even a platoon of Izou soldiers, to follow your orders for the greater good, you may mark the Owe Favor box and they will obey, so long as it is in pursuit of your assigned target and done only once per story. At the end of the story, you clear the box.
Level 2: You get +1 to activation checks for Median jutsu of the Way of Heaven's Judgment, and you may add your Rank to any Fighting checks made against your assigned target. At rank 4, you automatically succeed against any fear, poison or trap checks. Further, you may use Sentaka Reputation twice per story.
Level 3: You may spend 1 Yin to instantly know if your assigned target is within ten miles, and if so, in which direction. You may spend 1 Yang to get +10 Movement while pursuing your assigned target.

Next time: New jutsus and Animals.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Or PCs could try to become Duke of Mousillon. The King could use one, and dearly wants to retake this cursed land and fix it up. It used to be the domain of Landuin, who was renowned as a greater knight than even Giles d'Breton, the ideal of all Bretonnian knighthood, and the fact that it languishes in evil and sorrow is an insult in Louen's mind. Also, the place occasionally raises armies of evil, since the very soil is infused with Dark Magic similar to Sylvania in the Empire, and so conquering it and purifying it would do much to secure Bretonnia's internal security.

"Congratulations, you are now the Duke of Mousillon!" strikes me as a punishment rather than reward.

On the other hand, certainly no shortage of excitement and adventure for a campaign based around that or using the new Duke as an NPC with the PCs his elite retainers.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Night10194 posted:

The actual city of Mousillon is weird as hell. It has no local economy for the necessities, but somehow carts and ships arrive with food and other basics nearly daily. Meanwhile, the shops of the town are almost exclusively sellers of forbidden books, cult gear, poison, cruel and outlawed weaponry, and all manner of exotic tools for evildoers and evil henchmen. There are taverns and fighting pits, but no tailors or bakers. It's a mystery how anyone can stay fed in such a place, but it's hardly the strangest thing about the cursed duchy. PCs from Mousillon can choose to take a random serious penalty from the local deformities and troubles (usually a full -10 to a stat!) in return for an extra fate point, but this is a bad idea. The economy of the small villages relies on snailing, frogging, and other swamp-work. Peat is one of the few exports. Mousillon is a miserable place and any PC who can leave, generally does.

Is the wierdness of the city called out, or is that your own observation?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Angrymog posted:

Is the wierdness of the city called out, or is that your own observation?

Called out. It's the gist of the description in book. 'No-one knows how they feed themselves when every store is an evil henchman shop or evil genius supply chain' is pretty much how the book describes the local economy.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Cythereal posted:

"Congratulations, you are now the Duke of Mousillon!" strikes me as a punishment rather than reward.

On the other hand, certainly no shortage of excitement and adventure for a campaign based around that or using the new Duke as an NPC with the PCs his elite retainers.

Hire some dwarfs to dredge the swamp a bit (okay, a lot) and get the water moving and you're on the way to having an actual duchy there.

LeastActionHero
Oct 23, 2008


Hostile V posted:

Who will survive and who will come out on top? If you really don't know the answer to that, you're going to be pretty surprised by how this all shakes out. But, I have a little exercise for y'all directly related to this new module and I'll need some feedback from the thread. Out of Buzzkill, Bad Habit, Ice Queen, Peacemaker and Jackpot, who falls into which category (totally accepting multiple entries per category because there's five of them)

I'll answer in the only virsimiltudinous way: by looking at the stats.

  • The most innocent.Ice Queen, cause it's right there on her sheet.
  • The most beautiful. Peacemaker, she's got the highest social, which as we know directly translates into looks.
  • The quickest. Jackpot, she's got the highest reflexes.
  • The youngest. Bad habit, for having the lowest intimidation.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - Magic powers.

The Way of Metal gets some new jutsus.
Basic Jutsu
Conductor (Yin+Fortitude): You activate this to conduct energy through yourself. When targeted by an energy attack, such as fire or lightning, you absorb it into your body. For every 2 damage you would have taken, you instead gain 1 Health, to a max of your maximum Health. This lasts for a number of absorptions.
Detect Ore (Yin+Intuition): You may sense the presence of any metal within 300 feet, and you know what kind of metal it is. On a Boost, you detect out to 600 feet.

Median Jutsu
Metal Immunity (Yin+Fortitude): You harden your skin, and it shines metallically. You automatically halve any damage you would otherwise have taken from any metal weapon or Metal-aspected jutsu.
Spiked Barrage (Yang+Marksman): You must have Sharpen Blade. You hurl a piece of metal and it becomes hundreds of tiny shards. The defender must make three Defense checks against your activation, taking 2 damage for each one they get hit by. You may, if you have no piece of metal, use this on any armor you are wearing, permanently reducing its Armor rating by 1. You can use someone else's armor this way at a -2 penalty.

Advanced Jutsu
Iron Warrior (Yin+Fortitude): You must have The Metal Within and Metal Immunity. Blades erupt out of your skin. You are considered armed with Paired weapons and get +2 to all combat actions, +2 damage and +1 Dynamic Action per Round.
Magnetic Storm (Yang+Might): You must have Spiked Barrage and Magnetic Propulsion. You affect the magnetic energies around you within a 500 foot radius. Anything that has even a little metal in it and weighs less than 1000 pounds begins to spiral around the area. All metal weapons are disarmed, pieces of armor is stripped away, someone in full metal armor will get dragged through the air. Anyone in the area must make a Dodge at -2 or take 2 damage from random debris. You may spend a Dynamic Action to spin things faster, forcing another check, at any point during the Round.

As does the Way of Heaven's Judgment.
Basic Jutsu
Punish the Guilty (Yang+Empathy): You must have Sense the Guilty. You can only use this against those who have a Mark or who you have sensed the guilt of. You get +1 Fighting and do +2 damage against them for the rest of the Battle. If they have a Mark, double these bonuses.
Biting Tongue Technique (Yin+Empathy): You must have Deception Proof. The target suffers a cumulative Pain 1 condition each time they tell a lie to a straightforward question. A clever liar can roll Intuition+Deception against your activation to avoid the damage by bending the truth rather than lying. This lasts for several questions.

Intermediate Jutsu
Justice's Martyr (Yang+Empathy): You must have Eye for an Eye. For the next few hits, you halve all damage you take, rounding down. If you take at least 3 damage after the halving, you also gain 1 ki (type of your choice) from the hit.
Justice's Survival (Yang+Empathy): You must have Hunt the Guilty. You spend one hour meditating when you activate this. After that, you do not need to sleep, eat or drink for several days. You also heal 2 damage (of either type) and reduce a single Condition of your choice by 1.

Advanced Jutsu
Justice's Mantle (Yin+Empathy): You must have Blind Justice and Part the Mystery. You glow with an aura of pure justice and authority. Anyone facing you must make a check against fear or lose 1 Psyche and get Afraid at a level based on your Yin. Any opponents in Battle who fail the check also get -2 to all checks against you.

The Way of Spun Threads, also.
Basic Jutsu
Cut Threads (Yang+Speed): You may cut any thread in half - including clothing or ki-imbued strands such as from the Thread Web or Cloth Mask jutsus. On a living target, you can cut their skin to leave a nasty scar and deal 2 damage.
Needlepoint (Yin+Crafts): You may activate this when using another jutsu. Any threads used in that jutsu ignore an amount of Armor and can burrow into walls.

Median Jutsu
Heart Strings (Yin+Holistics): You must have Needlepoint. You get -1 to activating this, but it launches threads at your foe as an attack with your activation. The attack ignores Armor and, if it hits, wraps around the heart and squeezes, doing 2 damage and causing Pain 3 and Injury 1. You may spend Dynamic Actions for the rest of the Battle (or until the threads are cut, requiring an attack at -2 that does at least 4 damage) to deal 2 damage each time, unresistably.
Lashing Whirlwind (Yang+Fighting): You must have Thread Web. You extend deadly threads to attack everyone in Near Range with your activation. Opponents can only Dodge. Those hit roll a d10 and get damage and conditions based on their roll. On a Boost, you may adjust their results up or down on the chart by 1.

Advanced Jutsu
Life Lines (Yin or Yang+Holistics): You must have Heart Strings. Threads extend from your palms, back and mouth. You get +2 to all combat checks, +2 Initiative, and +2 Health. The threads close any wounds you have, removing Bleeding entirely and reducing any other physical Conditions by 1. If you would lose a limb or even your head while the jutsu is active, the threads reach out and reattach it immediately.

Next time: I lied, animals then. Spiders, Peacocks and Silver Dragons.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



wiegieman posted:

Hire some dwarfs to dredge the swamp a bit (okay, a lot) and get the water moving and you're on the way to having an actual duchy there.

Problem is, the swamp is where Mousillon's wealth apparently comes from - selling peat, frogs, and snails (this is not-France, after all). Draining the marsh would be a great way to hurt Mousillon's economy and get people pissed off at you.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Cythereal posted:

Problem is, the swamp is where Mousillon's wealth apparently comes from - selling peat, frogs, and snails (this is not-France, after all). Draining the marsh would be a great way to hurt Mousillon's economy and get people pissed off at you.

The real way to fix Mousillon is to get South Lyonesse back. Cutting out all the productive, safe parts and cordoning them off from the dangerous ones only made the dangerous ones much worse and cut out a lot of their legitimate income (outside of the frogs).

It also removed a lot of their sources for untainted water, which leads to more of the mutation problem.

You could also get some Damsels with Life magic in there, or more likely try to hire some Imperial Jade Wizards. They could fix up the blighting and maybe get rid of the goddamn Mousillon Rose infestations.

In general, 'We're gonna try to fix Mousillon' is intended to be the kind of thing that takes an entire campaign but could be doable.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

The real way to fix Mousillon is to get South Lyonesse back. Cutting out all the productive, safe parts and cordoning them off from the dangerous ones only made the dangerous ones much worse and cut out a lot of their legitimate income (outside of the frogs).

It also removed a lot of their sources for untainted water, which leads to more of the mutation problem.

You could also get some Damsels with Life magic in there, or more likely try to hire some Imperial Jade Wizards. They could fix up the blighting and maybe get rid of the goddamn Mousillon Rose infestations.

In general, 'We're gonna try to fix Mousillon' is intended to be the kind of thing that takes an entire campaign but could be doable.

I could also see a part of it being trying to work out an arrangement with the Blood Dragons. They want enemies, especially worthy ones. Fine, get them pointed at something useful - which would probably involve proving your strength to them even if a PC isn't a Blood Dragon herself.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Another thing to remember about Dragons is that the majority of them are individual murderhobos, rather than an organization.

Problematically, the ones who *are* organized are mostly under Wallach Harkon, whose stated goal is "Exterminate humanity because they kicked my rear end once because they are weak and cannot stop me' and 'no girls allowed because I was in love with a girl but she got murdered and I can't get over it because they are too weak to cosplay Bretonnians be true knights."

Harkon is not smart, decent, nor honest with himself. He got his start by running away from the fight that Abhorash won with the great dragon and then by pretending he's the heir of the entire line ever since.

E: I just like reminding people that a good campaign seed is dunking on Harkon. I love the guy for being a great symbol of all the negatives of the Dragons in one character your PCs can probably trick and murder. He's a dumb, closed-minded bully who feels like a total coward the moment things aren't going his way.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 20:33 on Aug 5, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - HELLO I AM A SPIDER

Spiders are Metal-element, and their skill is Deception. They are master manipulators and trappers, able to achieve tricks far beyond those of humanity, though they do like teaching ninja to emulate them. They are also very easy to hide, as they can all change their size between the size of a fingernail and the size of a large hand at the least. Many like to ride on your ear, feeding you hints on how to betray and poison your foes, or using their tiny size to sneak around and gather information. Their Trigger is that they lie, uh, all the time. Pathologically. The party gains 1 Karma when they find themselves in a bad place because of the spider's lies.

The example Major Animal is Amimono, the Eight-Legged Stalker, a Warrior. She lives in the Iron Province's mountains and likes to eat humans, whom she understands deeply and lures with promises of riches. To earn her loyalty, a summoner must be able to see past her treachery and avoid getting eaten. She is hunted all the time by the Will of Iron for the killings she has done, too, so any ninja that would summon her must be able to defend her from them. If she keeps this up, she may honestly just need to leave Earth Realm in favor of the Spider Realm to avoid getting destroyed. She has 9 Health, 9 Psyche, 7 dice to attack, 6 to defend, 2 Actions per Round, Armor 1, Initiative 8, Damage +1 and 1 Dynamic Action, as well as 4 dice in a wide variety of skills. She is Stealth (+), Crafts (+), Fighting (-) - she always stalks her prey and uses traps whenever she can, but is not good at straightforward battle. She knows three jutsus from the Ways of Spun Threads, Movement and Metal, plus Unheard. She can turn into a beautiful woman if she feels like it, too, and can turn back at will. Further, anyone she bites is poisoned by her paralytics, and loses a number of Actions and/or Dynamic Actions. If her Summoner has any similar effects, they last twice as long in her presence.

The Greater Spiders tend to enjoy hanging out in Earth Realm, usually on the border of Iron Province and Five Blades. They can grow to the size of a house, but they all are able to take on human form. They like to watch humans and wait for the perfect moment to strike in order to take over a town, region or even a whole province or nation.

Peacocks are Metal-element, and their skill is Performance. They are the m\ost beautiful and elegant of the Celestial Animals, and they are known to be loud and flamboyant at all times. They also firmly believe in justice, and get on very well with the Will of Iron as a result. Their Summoners tend to wear a feather to identify themselves and allow their Peacocks to track them down if required. Their Trigger? They love justice perhaps even more than the Will of Iron. The Party gains 1 Karma when the Peacock puts themselves and their summoner in harm's way to pursue justice.

Hane of the West is the example Major Animal, a Warrior. He once lived in the Imperial palace, pretending to be the former pet of the Emperor's now dead mother. Her death was a great shock to him, especially as he got sent away by the boy Emperor due to being a reminder of her loss. He watched the Emperor mature, and prevented numerous assassination attempts in the hope that he might one day rejoin the Imperial family. That ended when the Ninja Crusade began, and now Hane leads a number of freedom fighters who are trying to free the captive Celestial Animals of the Izou. He appears to be an entirely normal peacock, but is extremely intelligent and very firmly believes in defending the weak. He speaks quietly and with few words, but always important ones. Those that would summon him must have similar views on the importance of freedom and loyalty, and he especially likes the Will of Iron, as well as some very lucky Herbalists and Dancers. He has 9 Health, 9 Psyche, 7 dice to attack, 6 to defend, Initiative 8, 1 Action per Round, Armor 1, +1 Damage and 2 Dynamic Actions, plus 4 dice in a number of physical and mental skills. He is Fighting (+), Might (+) and Speed (-) - he's known for slow, methodical attacks, using his overwhelming strength in battle. He knows four jutsu of the Ways of the Warrior, Fire and Metal. He is immune to the Pain, Confused and Afraid conditions and automatically passes all fear-based checks. Further, he may spread his plumage to reflect the sun's power, blinding nearby foes that fail a Percpetion+Fortitude check (Sensory Loss 4), which fades by 1 per round...and even on a success, it causes Sensory Loss 1.

The Greater Peacocks are exceptionally proud, even by Peacock standards. It is said that the Emperor's slight against Hane of the West has reached their ears, and many have vowed to never enter Earth Realm again. They really have no need for humans, and their pride will not allow them to accept disrespect. If they did come, however, they wield the sun's might and could probably burn the entire Empire to the ground in seconds. Few would bother to do so, however. It would be beneath them.

Silver Dragons are Metal-aligned and their skill is Perception. Befriending them is a slow, difficult process in which one must prove to be a benefit to the dragons. If they are convinced, they will give the honor of protecting a young Silver Dragon, which resembles a three-foot-long silver python. How they handle this will determine their entire future relationship with the dragons. These dragons are able to grow wings and look through solid objects at will, but they are quite fragile until their scales grow in. They care a lot about knowledge, hoping to learn everything they can about life. Treating them well is also a good way to find out what their elders will like as gifts. Their Trigger is that thirst for knowledge. The party gains 1 Karma when the demands of the dragon for knowledge bring them to greater danger than may have been expected.

The example Major Animal is Asuya, the Great Collector, a Master. She is unlike most dragons in that she enjoys visiting the world of ninjas, and will happily allow foolish ones to summon her in exchange for a promised favor. Thus her name - she has collected debts from almost every ninja master. She is 25 feet long and very potent, but a shrewd and greedy bargainer. She lvoes meddling in human affairs, and is particularly enjoying doing so in the Crusade. She firmly denies any idea of the Hidden Strands being descendants of her kind, but is more than happy to use these legends to manipulate that clan, often guiding them to terrible acts that serve her desires. Some believe she even caused the Crusade. She has 24 Health, 36 Psyche, 7 dice to attack, 10 to defend, Initiative 8, 2 Actions per Round, Armor 2, Damage +2, 3 Dynamic Actions and 5 dice to a number of physical and knowledge-based skills. She is Knowledge (++), Marskman (+), Intuition (-) - she is very intelligent and can easily turn this to use in battle, but she can sometimes lose her head in doing so. She knows whatever jutsu she needs, but mostly uses the Ways of Spun Threads and the Unseen. She can see through physical objects at will (as can all her kind) and can teach Penetrating Senses even to non-Wardens. She can also choose, on defeating a foe, to gain a Favor from them rather than killing them, and iwll often set her summoners to follow up on these favors due to how busy she is. Any given ninja can have up to three such Favors at any one time, and calling one in gives +4 to an attempt to do something with the assistance of the person owing the Favor. Once it is called in, the Favor is erased.

Some believe that the Living Chronicle serve a Greater Silver Dragon named Takayuki, who is said to live below the Grand Library in the Land of Crashing Waves. If this is true, the eldest of the clan g ive him scrolls filled with the world's knowledge, allowing him to follow world events despite not rising in centuries, if not more. However, wherever he is, Takayuki is hated by all non-silver dragons, because he does not care at all about humanity except in terms of what knowledge they can give him.

Next time: The Sons of Steel

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Silver Dragons exist to cause havoc and plot lines, I remember this from Feng Shui.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West, Part 18: "When fighting non-Indians, Strong Eagle will fight them the way they fight, which means not only using high-tech weapons, but in the case of the Coalition States, often killing every man who isn't on your side. "

Gods

Yep, all we just did was cover the most powerful spirits. Gods are different because they're purely physical... kind of. As to why these gods A) inhabit the Spirit Realm despite not being spirits or B) favor Native Americans...



Apparently this gods can open their own rifts to travel between worlds. It's completely unclear whether or not this is a general power of gods that's now being established (like they need more) or just specific to these gods. Despite them being "gods" they still use the spirit rules, even though gods were supposed to be a different sort of creature? I'm confused.

And because we clearly need another pack of powerful patrons to the Native American peoples, here we go again. And yeah, these are presented like your standard Greco-Roman-Norse meddlers, because that kind of polytheism is really the only way Rifts seems able to parse religion aside from animism. Take any culture, irregardless of how it fits, slot in humanoid gods with specific domains and call it a day. Not that we're just aping D&D here or anything...


Prepare your cool ice puns, kids.

Beautiful Rock Dancer
The Goddess of Ice and Valuable Minerals


Yep, it's not enough to have elemental spirits who are effectively gods, here's some gods that cover the elements. Totally different thing! Specifically, Dancer is in charge of earth and water. See, ice is beautiful, like her, but also strong and deadly, and she apparently favors mortal women (implied to be just Native American women, for the record) and will teach them arts or give them gifts. She can either turn into a - yes, inhumanly beautiful (score is 30, tops) - Native American woman or a 30' ice / crystal giant. With 12,000 MDC, she's not the strongest god but that's all academic. Apparently she can shoot ice blasts that do hilariously low damage, possess birds / mammals / gems, summon earth or water elementals, has all psionic powers except the physical sort, cast a variety of regular, earth, and water spells, and cast any shaman spirit spell.

Getting pretty tired of these and we've only started on them.


Suuupergod.

Bright Sky
The Sun God


The son of Spider Woman (not Jessica Drew) who may be the named "father of all Native Americans" which would mean a lot of loving, I'd presume. So he's supposed to run across the sky and be the sun looking for trouble to smite, but that only seems to be true in the Spirit Realm. If the Earth has trouble, he doesn't care quite as much. He's the other half of Beautiful Rock Dancer's elemental - so earth and fire. Also, I guess he's her husband and lives in a mountain cave with her, but they never mentioned that under her profile. Unlike the other gods, he has a more universal view and has worshippers on other dimensionals, making him a bit distance as he keeps plates spinning. As such, despite his Scruplous alignment, he generally doesn't actually help earthly followers in trouble unless there is a "great imblance and/or tens of thousands of pleas for help". Otherwise, he lets Splugorth and vampires chow down on his people unless they chow down too much. He can turn into a Native American warrior or a burning clay giant.

With 15,000 MDC, he can shoot better blasts than his wife can (fire, this time), can possess elementals, birds of prey, bats, or willing worshipers, summon elementals of fire or earth, has all psionics except healing, has a variety of fire and air spells, all regular spells, and all shaman and plant magic.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Bullets, punches, rail gun rounds, missiles and explosives all do normal damage to the god.

That is not an actual weakness, Spirit West.


"Welcome to the farmer's market... of the gods!"

He Who Gives Life
The God of Agriculture and Fertility


So this is apparently the god who creates the totem spirits to perpetuate the "Circle of Life" and People turn to him to ensure fertility in its myriad forms. Apparently he oversees a village of humans in the Spirit Realm where he keeps thousands of seeds of every plant that has ever lived. Kinda think that'd need a facility larger than a village, but I'm no god. He apparently is quite pleased with nature reclaiming much of Earth (gently caress highways) and often will give people food that never spoils. He'll never kill any living thing but will occasionally beat the crap out of them.

He has 10,000 MDC, can talk with elementals, has various plant powers, can summon any elementals, take on human or (small nonpredatory) animal form or turn into a bush, so look out for that bush, it's a 10K MDC bush!... he can possess some stuff. and gets a bunch of ridiculous custom fetishes (including one that lets him create ley line storms), has all psionics except physical, can cast any non-paradox shaman spell, mid-level warlock spells, and a variety of normal spells.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Some argue He Who Gives Life's pacifistic nature is a detriment to others and a personal weakness.

Reallly stretching to include something in the "vulnerability" part of the template.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

He Who Gives Life spends as much time as possible on Earth. It is a joy to him to see the abundance of life that fills Rifts Earth once again.

Well, that seems like a major part of his characterization, certainly you wouldn't forget that two pages later-

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Habitat: The Spirit Realm and elsewhere in the Megaverse. He seldom enters the mortal world.




"Owl punish you!"

She Who Walks the Circle
Goddess of the dead and bringer of bad medicine


So, this was originally a shaman whose people were slaughtered by the Two-Faced Star-People, and prayed and danced for seven days and seven nights for revenge, and the gods apparently decided to fulfill her request by making her into a god of vengeanges. She apparently goes around delivering bad luck and misfortune to those who break the trust of spirits or "violate the Circle of Life". "Because of her mortal origins, she remains fond of Native Americans..." Well, at least that's an explanation for a change. Usually she draws out the punishment she's supposed to deal out to maximize suffering.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

As a Native American and spirit of revenge, she resents the white man for what he has done to her people over the centuries, but does not strike against them because they have done nothing against the Circle of Life.

(What the hell does a crime against the Circle of Life entail then, anyway?)

Being a young god, she has a mere 7,500 MDC. So weak! She has all the powers of a Spirit Warrior, can take the form of a human or owl, or possess owls, summon animal and totem spirits, inflict a variety of curses with no apparent save, a bunch of psionic powers, all shaman spirit / paradox spells plus a variety of normal spells. There's a throwaway line about the Federation of Magic trying to enslave greater spirits in a plot beat that will likely not be remembered later.


"Let us celebrate this victory over a creature with 1/200th of my Mega-Damage Capacity!"

Strong Eagle
The War God


Like it says above - he's apparently the front line of defense against invasions into the Spirit Realm with 24 greater elemental spirits, 1500 animal spirits, and 500 totem spirits as an army. He generally does not seek to start wars himself, but will make war back on attackers. Apparently sometimes he wanders the Earth finding plucky underdog sides in wars to bring to victory. He prefers not to kill and never tortures, but-

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

When fighting non-Indians, Strong Eagle will fight them the way they fight, which means not only using high-tech weapons, but in the case of the Coalition States, often killing every man who isn't on your side.

He has about 15,000 MDC, turns into any animal (usually eagles), can turn into a "normal" SDC human form to go have RL iron man fites (but he still has a Strength of 55, so normal is relative...), turn into a "giant Native American warrior", and he can possess animals, willing worshippers, and the comatose. He has all non-Healing psionic powers, can summon animal and totem spirits, can cast all shaman animal and spirit spells, all low-to-mid level normal spells and a variety of others, and-

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Strong Eagle can use any of the white man's energy weapons, body armor, and related equipment like jetpacks, hovercycles and explosives, especially when in disguise, as well as magic weapons and items and Techno-Wizard devices.

Um. Note to Breaux and Siembieda. You do know other people invented technology that aren't white, right? That happened.

You know that, right?



Culture Notes: Not sure what this is from. The golden eagle is symbolic of war agmonst the Cherokee and some other groups, but couldn't find a specific god that resembles this one.


Shortly thereafter, the eight legs emerge from her mouth.

Spider Woman
The Deep Earth Goddess


Supposedly the oldest and first of the (Native American) gods. "Some legends
say that all Native Americans are descended from her children, the Sun God and the Goddess of Gems." Keepin' it in the family, then, yuck. Spider Woman (not Julia Carpenter) is, of course, a kindly old woman, but sometimes she'll turn into a tiny spider to hide upon somebody while giving them advice. She moves like a slow, doddering old woman but it's mostly just an act because she prefers to act through magic or indirectly or something. Apparently she's the best fetish maker even though Giver of Life invented fetishes.

She has about 12,000 MDC, can turn into a bunch of crap or possess a bunch of crap but mostly just turns into humans or spiders. She gets all psionics except for physical ones, all shaman magic, all spell magic, and almost all of earth elemental magic. She has the crawlback that if she's captured as a animal or insect (like being put in a jar) she can't user any of her powers.

Culture Notes: This is supposed to be Sussistanako / Tse-che-nako, mainly found in (but is hardly limited to) the myths of the Choctaw Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo, and Navajo peoples.


*cue Colbert Report theme*

Thunderbird
The Great God of the Air


Apparently there were thousands of beings like Thunderbird (not diet Thunderbirds listed earlier) that died in some cosmic battle, and Thunderbird is one of only "less than a dozen" left. The Native American gods recruited him, and when he found the Ondi Thunderbirds first found him they're like "Oh hey you're our god-king" with apparently no prompting and have followed him ever since. Thunderbird lives on a mountain called Thunder Peak, where he no doubt plays Thunder Cards and has Thunder Drinks with his Thunder Bros. He fights Uktena a lot but apparently respects the wishes of the other gods and doesn't just murder him. I'm sure the seemingly millions or billions dead because of Uktena's schemes understand.


... is go.

He has about 8,000 MDC, and despite being some foreign being to the pantheon still works like all other spirits do, outside of the fact that he can attack while immaterial. He can do all the things Ondi Thunderbirds can do with bigger numbers (turning into a lightning bolt does 1d6 x 100 MDC now), does damage even just being touched while in energy form, can shoot lightning as an area effect which can disable electronics, can summon ondi thunderbirds or elementals, gets all sensitive and healing psionics, can cast low and mid-level normal spells plus some weather-related stuff. He takes double damage from cold or water-based attacks, because that's the way pokemon gods work now.

Culture Notes: Mainly from the mythologies of the Algonquian, Menominee, and Ojibwe people, but hardly limited to them, Thunderbird or thunderbirds usually go around battling one form of horned serpent or another.

And that is that for the parade of nonsensical deific statblocks. That's loving done, son.

Next: Maybe you thought we'd get out of this without some giant robots? A vain hope, you.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Next: Maybe you thought we'd get out of this without some giant robots? A vain hope, you.

What a twist!

Much like the real book, I've been mostly fast-forwarding through the reviews for this book until we got to the robots, with perhaps only pausing for the egregious casual racism of the book.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

Much like the real book, I've been mostly fast-forwarding through the reviews for this book until we got to the robots, with perhaps only pausing for the egregious casual racism of the book.

Yeah, its eyes-dulling text is probably the only thing that's kept it from being tarred with the same rep that Gypsies has, in the end. Well, maybe the fact that the stereotypes are more "positive", but in the end I don't find that a terribly meaningful distinction.

But hey, just because we're getting to tech doesn't mean the stupid has stopped! Two words: laser bows.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018



Ninja Crusade 2e: Truth and Lies - Robot Ninja



The Sons of Steel are also known as the Coldhearts, the Murkonin Clan and the Stones. They practice Bear and Deer Styles, and their jutsu is the Way of the Iron Mind. They get +1 Discipline, +1 Fighting, +1 Intuition, +1 Travel and +1 Yin. They are outcasts not only from other ninja, but from humanity in general. They believe that emotion is holding us back from nirvana, and they spend their time in meditation designed to quell their own hate, anger and passion in order to become perfect beings - which is to say, beings whose every action is calculated and driven by logic. You see, back when the Izou Empire was first founded, there was a radical movement in the temples along the Five Blades border. Several ninja, tired of the endless battles and coups between their clans, debated over what the real cause of suffering in the land was.

One ninja claimed it was walth - only by abolishing greed could all be content. Another said it was fear of others that caused fighting, and peace could come only by uniting all into one clan. The third listened to the other two with great intenseity, and he found his answer only in his own anger. Emotion, he realized, was the cause of suffering. Envy over another's possessions only gnawed at you because you allowed it. To feel hatred and fear for those you don't know is possible only if you let it. By mastering all emotion, one could perfect this stillness in the soul, which he called the Iron Mind, and channel themselves to greater things. This trio, who would become the Murkonin Clan, established a remote observatory on top of a nearby mountain. Thus were the Sons of Steel born, open to anyone who would purge themselves of emotion and focus on order.

The Murkonin have learned exercises that, while painful, reduce future pain. They focus on a life governed wholly by the mind ratehr than the heart, and their time is spent either in meditation on this or intense physical training. The Sons of Steel are respected for their dedication to life without emotion, but others insult and fear them for it. The Sons accept the insults hurled upon them as a test of resolve. They are welcomed by those that do not like brash, loud people, but are rejected for their coldness and unfeeling nature. They view the Will of Iron as pretenders, claiming to follow a higher creed. They cannot truly impose order on the universe until they accept order in themselves. Thus, the Murkonin believe that the Hagane have the potential to enforce a perfect empire only if they take the logical step and achieve the Iron Mind. Until this happens, they are only deluding themselves.

The Sons of Steel have joined the Lotus Coalition because, in the current political climate, it is only logical to take power in numbers. However, the organization has many problems, as tempers and feuds plague it despite the Empire's threat. While there are not many Sons of Steel, they have been instrumental in solving many rivalries within the Coalition in order to increase the chances of survival. When the Crusade ends, they plan to return to their normal life - bringing blind and total justice and order to the land.

The Gift of the Murkonin is that their minds and bodies are in tune with each other almost totally. They may use Discipline for any check that would normally use Fortitude, and they get +2 on all checks against thigns that might affect their emotional state. Their Trigger is their lack of emotion. They have no empathy, nothing but calmness and contempt towards display of emotion. The party gains 1 Karma when showing emotion would have saved them from tough times. Their Contacts are Seta Sawako (Fighting), a wandering swordswoman always looking for a challenge. Tabata Hozumi (Perception), a genius mathematician who works for many Izou generals. Sako Ichisake (Empathy), a childhood friend who is always trying to bring about an emotional response. Onaga Katsumoto (Crafts), a swordsmith who dreams of outfitting an entire army with custom blades. Domen Kenshin (Athletics), a mountain climber who is always pushing himself and always has a good story to tell. Matsushima Ema (Survival), a woman determined to catalog all the creatures that enter the Izou lands from the Land of Five Blades. Bonds:
  • Choose one ninja who you steer clear of because they show so much emotion it makes you uneasy.
  • Choose one ninja who also shows little meotion, making them your go-to for strategy and companionship.
  • Choose one ninja who used to be your friend, but is now put off by your current emotionless existence.



The Way of the Iron Mind is the Metal-elemental jutsu of the Sons of Steel, designed to give mental power to those who can control their emotions. On a Boost, you may use iether Closed Mind or Without Emotions for free, even if you don't know the jutsu used. On a Backfire, yo get a cumulative -1 penalty to Discipline.
Basic Jutsu
Closed Mind (Yin+Discipline): For the rest of the scene, you get +2 against fear, illusions or any effects that might alter your emotions.
Eating My Emotions (Yang+Discipline): If you have any emotion-altering Conditions, such as Afraid or Dosed, you may remove a number of them and recover 1 Health or Psyche.
Focused Might (Yang+Discipline): You focus on a specific target, ignoring all distractions. You get +2 to combat checks and +1 to damage against that target. You also get +2 against all Feints attempted on you. These all last for the rest of the Battle.
Forget the Pain (Yin+Discipline): For the rest of the scene or Battle, you may ignore all Pain conditions, though they are not removed or lowered.
Without Emotion (Yin+Empathy): You remove your emotions, gaining Armor 1 against mental attacks.

Median Jutsu
Burdening Strikes (Yin+Fighting): You focus energy into your blows, shoving your grief and sadness onto your targets for several attacks. Successful hits do +1 damage and cause Slowed 1 due to despair.
Centering the Self (Yin+Intuition): You cast out your senses, treating all foes as if they were one Range closer - Near foes are Close, Far are Near and Distant are Far.
Clearing the Mind (Yin+Discipline): You must have Eating My Emotions. You clear your mind of doubt and confusion, instantly removing any Confused, Dazed or Embarrassed conditions.
Emotionless Stance (Yang+Intuition): You take a defensive posture and abandon emotion, allowing you total understanding of the foe. You get +3 to a number of Defense checks, and Armor 1 for the rest of the Battle.
Loss Technique (Yin+Discipline): You must have Without Emotion. You touch someone and remove one emotion from them, such as fear or compassion. This is often used during training by the clan to get initiates used to operating without emotional urges. The target may automatically succeed against one relevant trial - removing lust, for example, would grant immunity to seduction, while removal of mercy would make it easier to carry out an assassination. This lasts for several days, and any target can only have one use of this jutsu active on them at any time.

Advanced Jutsu
Charged Emotion (Yang+Discipline): You must have Emotionless Stance. You place your emotional energies into your weapon. You get +2 to all attacks with the weapon and can ignore up to Armor 2. Your weapon deals 3 damage, is indestructible and cannot be disarmed. These effects all last for the rest of the Battle.
Festival Antithesis Mantra (Yin+Discipline): You must have Loss Technique. You remove all emotion from anyone within a very wide area (potentially several miles) for the rest of the scene. They are all driven entirely by logic for that time.
Purging the System (Yin+Fortitude): You must have Eating My Emotions. You remove all foreign bodies within yourself, instantly removing any Diseased, Poisoned or Dosed conditions.
Striking Back (Yang+Speed): You must have Emotionless Stance. You sense the flow of the universe around you. Any time you successfully Block an attack, you may use a Counterattack free, without needing to spend a Dynamic Action.
Whiplash (Yang+Fighting): You must have Centering the Self. This jutsu works even if you fail to activate it. On a successful activation, you may perform an immediate attack on any target within Far Range, using Fighting+Discipline+Speed. You launch at the target, attack, then jump back in a single action, with no Range penalties. The foe cannot make a Retreating Attack. On a failed activation, you do this, but can only target out to Near Range and only use Fighting+Discipline for the attack roll.

Next time: The Veiled Ones.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



I know that the Bretonnia book intends for Pegasi to be nesting on high cliffs and rocky places, but I'm just imagining a really confused horse stuck in a tree.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





CHAPTER ONE: EXPLORATION

Or

You Won't BELIEVE What We Found In This Abandoned Mall! Click Here!


Having made their way to G Wing from (well I said it was W wing but I guess ultimately it was E wing, this is explained in-fiction kinda) the abandoned sanitarium, G-Unit is back in kind of familiar territory what with being back in sort-of home turf. They've staked out an intact cell block to live in as they get acquainted with the new members and work on figuring out their next move going forward while Tama works on building her new robot. As part of a team-building exercise, the newest members have been tasked with working together by scrounging and recovering food, medicine, equipment and scrap. It's been a pretty mellow experience so far under the watchful (albeit inexperienced) eye of Ice Queen and the haul has been good so far. Demons and dangerous prisoners have been scarce and it's just been quiet, slow goings.

And then Ice Queen, Bad Habit, Buzzkill, Peacemaker and Jackpot find the first living people they've seen in a while.



The two of them will try to cover themselves up as soon as they're spotted, and unless reassured that the squad means them no harm they'll try to remain hidden and protected. It's apparent they've both been physically abused and can be coaxed into talking: the woman is named Paloma and the man is named Angelo. Paloma will explain that they were kidnapped by a cruel group of people who have turned a rec center into their own playground. She claims they took the most attractive victims and forced them into situations of sexual abuse, having them killed when they were no longer interested or too injured to keep "performing". According to Paloma, she escaped with Angelo when their master (described as being Blangis) fell asleep while high on drugs and they barely escaped notice. They want people to help them sneak back into the center to kill the Lords and rescue Paloma's sister, Dulcinea.

Paloma and Angelo are of course accomplices of the Lords and are leading the squad into a trap to capture them. Paloma is basically the greatest bait that the Lords have at their disposal, able to utilize her looks and acting ability to ensnare people. Because of the fact that she's very good at lying, only people with Sixth Sense will have an idea that something's wrong and only that going with her will put them in danger. Since Ice Queen and Bad Habit have Sixth Sense, they share an uneasy look and bring G-Unit into a huddle to discuss this. Chen is firmly opposed to walking away from this if she has a chance to help others, Jackpot is down for a chance to shake up some cruel authority and Buzzkill needs a little persuading in one direction of the other but offers a compromise and a plan for this being the worst possible scenario. Ice Queen ends up utilizing Buzzkill's plan, explaining to Paloma and Angelo that they'll help...tomorrow, needing to prepare for infiltration and deposit their goods back at home base. For good measure, Ice Queen relays the situation to Soapbox who lets her protégé know that if they're not back in a day, they'll come after them as rescue. Paloma and Angelo agree to this compromise, promising to remain safe and hidden until they return and Paloma answers any further questions (short of if she's in league with the Lords and all that).

One night of good rest and a hearty breakfast later, the five of them leave home base with their weapons and tools on their back to do some good.

The rec complex is called Elysium by the Lords and it's split into multiple levels. The way in is through the top floor. Dulcinea is allegedly being held on the lower floor. All things considered, she is a real person, just not actually in danger.



Area #1 is where Paloma and Angelo are found.


The barricades were built by the Lords to keep people out. Paloma and Angelo have a hole in the fence they managed to widen and will lead the squad in through it.


There's an Access reader attached to this door but it's burnt out and you can just open the door with a nudge.


Originally Trustees would sit at this station to check prisoners in and search people going in and out. The room has been ransacked, containing scattered papers, a destroyed computer and a hand-held metal detector that's broken but can be scavenged. There's also an intact first aid kit that can be taken.


The vault requires Access 3 to open but it's already open. Stuff had to be left here and would be returned upon leaving, or if it was something like a weapon it would just be taken away and not returned. The vault is empty save for a beat stick and a jar of black shoe polish.


The security monitors here have actually be rerouted to allow monitoring from the bottom of the complex. Inspecting the computer that still works reveals a small data device that has been hooked in, clean and free of dust like someone put it there recently. The data on the drive is still accessible from a functioning computer (like this one) but it's scrambled and chunks are missing.



This is really just to hint at the metaplot a bit and then share more information about other events that are going on. It's not really clear who left this drive here or when it was left here. Also this is why I mention that apparently the sanitarium was just on a lower floor in E or something based on what was written here. The only other thing of interest is a large piece of glass that could be used as a weapon.


The cell needs Access 3 to open and is currently open. The main purpose of this room was to hold rowdy prisoners who were misbehaving in the center. That's really it. The only thing of note is a functioning security camera relaying a feed.


Originally an aerobics/exercise classroom, it's now home to three accomplices armed with chains who are guarding the entrance of the complex. The accomplices don't know that Paloma and Angelo are also accomplices in order to maintain the lie, so they're more than willing to try to subdue and capture them as well. Defeating the accomplices reveals that the room is just pretty empty of anything that isn't garbage from their meals but closer inspection will turn up 1d100 smokes and a single ration pack. Also if the players are captured, three new guards will replace them when the players make their escape, providing one last obstacle.


The door would normally open out into the bottom floor but there's a barricade on the other side, holding it shut to force their victims to go deeper into the facility.


The annex is basically like if you were to go into the central terminus of a mall where there's open space and you can see to the top and bottom of the mall. It was meant to be a common area where the prisoners in the complex could relax, smoke, listen to the muzak and look at the plants and flowers. There’s an elevator in the middle of the annex that leads down to the bottom floor and to a higher level. Here, have some of my only favorite writing in this whole series: “The annex is now dark and deserted; the plants are dying, the fountains no longer work, and the music no longer plays.” The elevator is also offline, stuck on the bottom floor.


The workout center is dark. The only things of note are the fact that you can loot all of the exercise machines for parts and that there’s a security camera here that is on.


The arcade is full of recent video games and “old classics from the Golden Age of video games” which I guess would be like Frogger and Galaga and Pac Man and poo poo. I don’t reckon that 600+ year old video games would stand up particularly well. Anyway the arcade is empty and violent video games are not allowed, so…man I don’t think there would be a lot of old, old games there then. You can also loot the machines for parts.


The showers are empty. Exciting! The only thing of note is an old sewing kit.


It’s. It’s a gym. You know what a gym looks like. You probably know what a YMCA gym looks like. The only thing of note is a broken ball dispenser that is supposed to spit out the kind of ball you ask for. It still has basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls and dodge balls and begs the question “why are prisoners allowed to play dodge ball but not play violent video games?”. You can break open the dispenser and 1d6 of each ball type will spill out onto the floor and make noise that alerts the guys from Area 8. Henceforth, there is no conceivable reason to do this.


This is the only way down into the trap.


The machines operate by accepting smokes as payment as part of the PTM’s attempt to push smokes as a viable form of commerce. There’s, like, no reasonable use for this except that “the machines would cycle cigarettes out of convict hands in exchange for easily replaced goods.” N. No? You’re. You’re in space. Is there a loving deck of the ship that was sponsored by Coca Cola and where prisoners make Space Coke as part of work detail? Is K Deck the Kuerig Deck? What do they do with the smokes? Do they just destroy them? Smokes are literally made on the ship out of tobacco plants and paper. You can literally just make money. The inflation is limitless. Where the gently caress do you get potato chips in space. Anyway you can crack the machines open in 1d4 hours. One of the machines is still working and can be looted for the goods and 200+1d100 smokes. Or you can just spend smokes to buy products. This raises so many questions.



The cinema is based on old Terran theaters and contains a huge auditorium and a flight of stairs that leads to the booth. Inside of the booth are reels of micro-coded films, containing hundreds of PTM-friendly films with such titles as "Work Liberates the Soul", "Peace Equals Prosperity", "Life in a New Colony" and "Bambi". The theater is currently occupied by four helpers watching cartoons while one runs the projector. They're armed with beat sticks and one of them has 200 smokes but the show is loud and they won't notice intruders without making a Wits check.

LOWER LEVEL



The lower level is where the Lords reside and where the titular Dream Cages are. Helpers also stay here and this is where everyone generally passes the time in between indulging in simulations.


The annex has been converted into a dormitory for the helpers to stay in but it's currently empty due to the ambush that has been planned. The fence can't be surpassed without outside tools.


The pool is the way into the eastern half of the lower floor and this is where the trap is sprung.




Five accomplices lead by Dubois enter from Area 20 while three more flank the party from behind, coming from 21 A. They don't really say much but they do gesture for the party to surrender their weapons and come quietly or else they'll beat and stun them into submission. And, unfortunately, this section of G-Unit is fit for fighting but not strong enough to fight off double their number. They reluctantly surrender. If the rest of the squad was with them, this would be immediately derailed by G-Unit fighting their way out in a riot of violence and gunfire, mowing down the Lords and setting the accomplices free. Alas.




Dubois himself is no pushover compared to the rest of the accomplices. On the outside he was a bodybuilder and professional athlete who didn't do well enough to please his sponsor who had him arrested. Abducted like the rest of the accomplishments, Dubois enjoys his position because the Lords keep him well-fed and entertained. His trap is monitored by another camera.


These are showers that are actually being used by people and as such show the wear of use. Still not much to be found here.


The aquarium was initially stocked with fish, eels, turtles and other life that was monitored by automated systems that simulated day and night and cared for the sea life. Most of these systems are inactive due to damage and power failure, meaning that the water is now filthy and murky. But if one is to look closely...


Yeah, the sea life is mutated by the energies of the Nether or perhaps aquatic Demons have just made the water their home. Some of them will bump up to the glass to display their teeth and scratch at it before losing interest and floating away. There's ultimately no danger from the life here; they won't break through and they can't survive without water. The danger here is if the prisoners went this way first and didn't go to the pool. The accomplices would wait in the dark of the observatory, only attacking early if spotted with a Wits check and forcing the trap to relocate to the aquarium.


Everything here is nautical-themed from the porthole with a TV that constantly shows Caribbean waters to pictures of prison hulks with plaques explaining their historical significance. The Lords lounge here when they want to eat or talk and plan. A Dining Custodian remains here and will engage in light conversation or offer the prisoners brandy; it won't and can't attack, being constructed to have limited intelligence and do nothing more than serve food. There's also an older servant here whose role is limited to mending due to his advanced age and fleeting mental faculties. He'll keep the presence of the PCs quiet if they supply him with anything he can use to sew or shine shoes or keep clothes in good condition. If one was to loot the joint, they'd find 750 smokes worth of fine liquors, a carton of 200 smokes and a cabinet full of assorted dining gear like fine silverware that can be used as shivs, matches, candles, candelabras and a serving tray that can be used as an improvised weapon to beat heads in.


Here is where the Lords meet for official business. If here under less-kidnapped circumstances, the players encounter two elderly servants who are cleaning up and won't fight but will try to get help ASAP. Looting the area nets the players fresh tapas which act as a ration pack, two sealed gourmet ration packs (no extra effects), 400 smokes worth of cognac, 5000 smokes worth of a pile of cocaine and three doses of kaleidoscope. In addition to the drugs and food, players can find Blangis' journal and read the last entry.



The caretaker of the library is Mr. Thomas, an accomplice who acts as a butler because he was a butler (until he killed his employee's grandchildren in a particularly awful way). Blangis found him when a Thing That Should Not Be left Mr. Thomas alone and Blangis figured "hey this guy must be special". He acts normal and calm but he's a sneeze away from a homicidal rage. Mr. Thomas will try to show off the working computer to the people in the library because A: Mr. Thomas is insane and B: the computer is possessed by a Demon. No, really.


Here have some art. Mr. Thomas is a creepy motherfucker.


This computer is what Blangis first read 120 Days of Sodom on to begin with, not knowing that it was haunted and warped by a Demon. This Demon, known as a Ghost in the Machine, has taken the form of a text file that transforms into whatever would appeal to the corruption of the reader. It turned into the work this whole shebang is based on and Blangis was like "holy poo poo this is a great idea" and got the others to read it. Despite all reading something different, they never really talked about what they read which is basically written off as being like "well they're irrational and slipping into madness and the fact nobody noticed this is damning evidence of their insanity".
  • What Levec read: My Secret Life by Henry Spencer Ashbee.
  • What Curval read: The Greatest Game which is also said to be about hunting humans so I imagine that the authors just heavily botched The Most Dangerous Game because everything I look up for "the greatest game novel" either redirects to rugby or The Most Dangerous Game. If Curval got fixated on rugby, things probably would have turned out differently.
  • What Durcet read: one of her private journals that detailed what she did to her adopted children and had in fact been burned by the PTM after her sentencing.
  • What Ice Queen would probably see: the entirety of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean because the story of an rear end-kicking teenage girl getting sent to prison would probably appeal heavily to her.
  • What Bad Habit would probably see: a transcript of the movie "Monster", the one that starred Charlize Theron.
  • What Jackpot would probably see: Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book or the Unabomber Manifesto.
  • What Buzzkill would probably see: Pretty much anything from the works of John C. Lilly that involved giving LSD to dolphins and then...well the less said about that the better.
  • What Peacemaker would probably see: "The Complete Judge Dredd Omnibus", a collection of comics that would baffle her because...well, she's no Judge Dredd but she would probably appreciate the tale of a soldier who follows the letter and spirit of the law to protect the downtrodden and is able to resist corruption in all forms.
Witnessing the transformation of the file to the thing the viewer enjoys forces an Insanity check. The GITM can only be killed by destroying the computer but it's not really that much of a threat; it's described as being able to electrocute people but it has no stats because it doesn't want to electrocute people. Actually you wouldn't even really know it's on the computer and you wouldn't want to smash the computer to kill it because the computer runs all of the Dream-Chamber programming. If you were to interact with this computer and hack it, you could open the Chambers and let the occupants out.


These theaters used to have musicals and plays done by prisoners. Now it's where the Lords hold court and watch the feeds to the security cameras. People who are captured (like G-Unit) are brought here to be auctioned off ritually. There are always 8-10 people here watching the room with one or two watching the monitors. Dubois and Angelo chill here after the trap. Everything taken off people thrown into the Cages will be here along with various components and precision tools.

BOTTOM LEVEL



The bottom floor is where the Dream Cages are located and that's really it.


Three older servants will be here to move captured people to the prep rooms to be stripped and frisked. Once folks are in the Cages, they'll be replaced by three accomplices armed with beat sticks. There's a camera here but enough shadows that can be used to sneak around.


Prisoners used to wait here for their turns in the simulators and then pick the experience they wanted. The initial controls for the simulators were also found here. The room is empty and a Hacking or Wits check will let the inspector know that the computers in here no longer control the simulators.


The bottom of the stairs have a rescue locker which contains emergency items and a deactivated Monitor whose sole purpose is to tend to the occupants of the Cage if something goes wrong. There are first aid kits, light rods and either a fire axe or crowbar.


Victims are stripped naked and have all of their stuff confiscated here. That's really it.

Area #30 contains the Dream Cages and their specifics come later. It's not hard to enter them but leaving requires Access 1 or, well, murder. Someone who escapes from a Cage can try to enter another to help another victim or just run for safety.

CHAPTER TWO: THE TRAP IS SPRUNG



You jump to this chapter when the players are kidnapped and dragged before the Lords, so this is where G-Unit immediately ends up after Area 20.



Anyone who is an Awakened Psychic or has Demented Insight can see the true Blangis, but we'll get to that in depth later. Long story short he's turning into a Demon but there's a glamour up and not even he knows it's happening. Witnessing this is a Despair check and nobody will believe the ravings.



Accomplices will disarm G-Unit and start rummaging through their stuff because despite their appearances, the whole shebang here is pretty hard-up for basic commodities. Blangis will apologize for the searching and then start fielding questions, keeping details close to his chest and hiding the true scenario they're in for. He'll treat them like guests and the fact that he's skirting around answers should annoy the players until:



And this is illustrated as well. There's no real definition outside of dots for nipples, the vulva doesn't even have detail and the sideboob doesn't have any nipples, but it's still just...rampant pointless titillation and nudity.

And so begins the auction. The GM should roleplay it out, an event that is basically a chat that turns into a debate that turns into a shouting match as they try to figure out who is getting which victim.



If there are less than four players, you can decide whose Cage is getting cut or they can stay together as a group and each exit leads into the next Lord's cage. If there are more than four players, doubling up is okay. Extra people should go Blangis first, Levec's second, Levec's third (the game's words, not mine. I think they mean Curval) and then Durcet's last.



Once the destinations are chosen, each victim is taken away by two accomplices down to the prep room to be stripped and searched. The Lords will already be inside and NEXT TIME we will be tackling Durcet's little pleasuredome, a place she's based on her Oriental Fetishism to become her own view of Shanghai 1936, the palace of the Princess of Pins.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 15:43 on Aug 6, 2017

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


I'm just expecting allllllllllll of the racism.

And I get that it's the future, but the vending machine bit just made me realise how formalised cigarette's as currency are. Like, why. Of all the terrible ideas on this spaceship whose was that?

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

I'm listening MegaDumbCast, the podcast about Ninjas and Superspies someone shared earlier, and while it could really do with a cohost, I'm laughing hard about cyber blackface so it's doing something right.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


At least they're keeping to some demonic involvement in this silliness, but it's pretty amazing that an entire torture-murder dungeon doesn't produce enough psychological breaks to summon devils all over the place.

That was the premise, right!? Fear and horror cause devils, like how if you leave a doughnut out you instantly get ants.

Also, like, what is G-Unit's objective in any of this? The whole ship's overrun, there's seemingly no way out, is their goal right now just 'find food, hide from monsters'? Like, the low-hanging fruit is that the PCs just got sold to a hitler cosplayer, a dude who likes Marquis d' Sade, a guy who wants to be Jack the Ripper, and the authors' insane idea of what must lurk behind the eyes of all feminists, but beyond that there's still no actual goals or anything beyond 'Let awful poo poo happen to you, die, mostly'.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Hostile V posted:

Is K Deck the Kurieg Deck?

*Screeches in pain as he unfolds into a tessaract of flesh*
NO YOU HAVE UNCOVERED MY DEVIOUS PLAN, MORTAL! KNOW THAT THIS DAY YOU SHALL SUFFER UNDER A TIDE OF SUBSTANDARD COFFEE!

(The coffee company is Keurig)

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hostile V posted:

[*]What Peacemaker would probably see: "The Complete Judge Dredd Omnibus", a collection of comics that would baffle her because...well, she's no Judge Dredd but she would probably appreciate the tale of a soldier who follows the letter and spirit of the law to protect the downtrodden and is able to resist corruption in all forms.[/list]

I would have gone with Mamoru Oshii's Kereberos Saga, since it's largely about a bunch of super cops who get hosed over by their superiors.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West, Part 19: "The only name that seemed appropriate was Uktena, the Death God and Destroyer (something this dangerous god found both amusing and satisfying)."

High Technology for Modern Indians

So, these are build by Native Americans who run Preserves. What are those? No time to explain that, time for some cool robots! It notes they also get a lot of tech from the Black Market. You may wonder who builds these! Well, many of them are really vague and it's not clear. The SAMAS obviously come from some communities that captured old military facilities, there's no obvious source for these other than "Modern Indians". Make up your own story, I guess?

By "robot" they mean "robot vehicle" or "mecha", by the way, with multiple pilots / gunners... not an autonomous robot.


"Maybe if we name a robot after it, it'll want to kill us all... less."

Uktena Combat Robot

Yep, why not model a robot after a real monster that wants to annihilate your people? Makes sense, man. So, this is supposed to be a 62' giant robot with four legs that can submerge underwater. It's supposed to be used for long-term searches and patrols, and the Coalition has encountered a few as a result but hasn't connected them with the "retro-savages". Yes, that's one of their terms for the Native Americans, and those who have gone over my Dead Reign review might note it was used for an entirely different Amish / Memmonite-themed cult there.

So it's pretty tough, in line with other large robots (but still more vulnerable than a Glitter Boy). It has lasers, but it's main worthwhile weapons are its plasma cannon, particle beams, and mini-missiles. It has a special "charging underwater ram" it can use for surprisingly decent damage, but no idea why it doesn't work on the surface (it's not like it goes particularly fast in water, so...)


Big bird.

Thunderbird Assault Robot

Well, if you had an Uktena robot, this was inevitable. It's used to patrol large areas or for rapid-response, of course. It's supposed to be one of their main air support craft.

It's surprisingly vulnerable for a 26' robot, not being too much tougher than many suits of power armor. It has an average rail gun and plasma cannon, and most of its firepower would come from mini-missiles and its medium range missiles. However, it has a "LAWLO" (Laser All-Weapon Lock-On) system that lets it perform an attack with a targeting laser - and if that laser hits, all of its weapons will target and auto-hit the target, but it burns all the attacks it has for the round. So it's useful for alpha strikes, but if you don't kill your foe, then you won't have any attacks for defense (nor it is the most efficient way to burn up one's attacks). So it's interesting, but it often won't be the best option.


Don't aim those turrets forward.

Wolf Assault Robot

This is supposed to be a heavy ground assault robot that uses mobility to try and overwhelm foes... no rules for that, but you can imagine it! It's a giant 24' robot-wolf with about average durability. Let's see: crap lasers, mixed particle-beam/laser turrets, and mini-missiles, of course. It can also do claw attacks and pounces for descent damage, with an 80% chance of knocking equally-sized and smaller targets over.

So a 24' robot has the same chance of knocking over a giant 'mech as it does a tiny person. Just FYI.

Native American Power Armor

We get a fiction chunk where two Coalition officers - since we can't have one of these books without some skull-faces - discuss having seen a robot that looks like a SAMAS, and both of them turn out to have seen the rare confidential files that show the original, pre-rifts SAMAS design, and they conclude it must be a pre-rifts SAMAS.

It's a lot of to get to that point, though.


Even the non-skull version here looks a lot like a skull.

U.S.A. SAMAS Power Armor
By Kevin Siembieda with additions by Wayne Breaux Jr.


So, a group of "Modern Indians" found a pre-rifts SAMAS automated production facility, and started it up. Apparently it had enough supplies to produce "hundreds" of SAMAS suits before it ran out of supplies. However, they've become aware of how wary the Coalition is of them using "their" design and so generally try to avoid Coalition entanglements. For some reason, we're told the Coalition is blithely unaware of these suits even though we had a whole fiction chunk earlier that implied otherwise.

The SAMAS stats that follow are essentially identical to the Coalition models, save for the fact it has a heavier rail gun and some models have a few extra mini-missiles. It also has an optional extra mini-missile launcher that replaces the rail gun ammo drum (and thusly prohibits the rail gun if it's used). Overall, it's just better, because we always know, the original prototype surpasses the production model. It's mecha law.


Yes, it has a... robo-headdress.

War Chief Power Armor

But that's not all, they had to develop a SAMAS with a faux-feather headdress. Yeah, this happened. It's lighter and faster but slightly less armored, and replaces the solid rail gun with a crappy ion gun instead. It still has the mini-missiles, but overall it's a step back. It's supposed to have the advantage of having a more reliable weapon system (since it doesn't require ammo), but that's a very situational advantage.


Sadly, not wearable by actual bears.

The Iron Bear Power Armor

So, this is designed for urban combat, which seems kind of limited for a group that lives largely in areas reclaimed by wilderness. It's supposed to be a Glitter Boy Substitute, but... it it isn't in any sense. It doesn't have the firepower, durability, or range. It's a pretty average suit of power armor - it's pretty tough for one, but slow. Its main weapons are a set of dual ion cannons, mini-missiles, smoke / gas dispensers, and vibro-claws. None of it is too lousy but none of it is particularly devastating, either.

Next: Laser Bows. Seriously.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 15:25 on Aug 6, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Game Mechanics can reinforce themes

First, we get some alternate human abilities for humans from different places. Brets replace the 'Speak Reikspiel' and 'Common Knowledge: Empire' skills from Human with Bretonnian, as well as a rule where if you're going to be in the Empire you can replace one of your class's starting skills with Speak Reikspiel to be bilingual. It suggests doing the reverse for an Imperial character in a primarily Bretonnian party. Fair enough, the two countries are close enough and trade enough that bilingualism would probably be quite common, especially along the border.

You can also take a Provincial set of abilities in place of the normal human ones, if you want to be from a specific province and reflect it more wholeheartedly. These are little variations like Lyonesse getting to replace one of their rolled human Talents with Schemer, or people from Couronne getting to know how to ride and take care of horses, and knowing Trick Riding, but in return getting no rolled human talents. All of these options add up to the same number of 'free' human advances a normal character would get; if your provincial skills include an extra skill over the normal number a human character would get, you get one less starting talent, that sort of thing. It's reasonably balanced, if a bit niche, and some of the options are genuinely interesting, like the Birth Sword of Carcassone (non-nobles or women raised as women get Warrior Born for +5% base WS instead, which is also great), or how Quenelles characters get the normal Dwarven bonus for fighting orcs despite being human. These bonuses are mostly for flavor and to add more variety if you're playing all human Brets.

The Brets have a bunch of new careers available to them, but the big standout is obviously the Knight Errant, Knight of the Realm, Questing Knight, Grail Knight track. For one, it's unique for being the only 'fighting' track with 4 tiers. That's usually limited to Wizard and Priest. Knight Errants are already a pretty powerful, if inflexible, T1 Fighter. They get an amazingly good WS advance for T1 (+15%), a second attack, and start with a mixture of decent armor (Their starting armor comes out to AV4 Head, AV3 Body, AV1 Arms with no leg armor, but that's easy enough to acquire), a warhorse, a lance, a shield, and a sword. They also learn some foreign languages, can survive outdoors, and learn to deal with court, though they have no actual diplomatic skills. Their big unique thing is the Virtue of Chivalry. I didn't mention this ages ago because it was wedged in with the fluff on religion, but a Knight with this virtue (even if they're a woman, peasant, peasant woman, or foreign peasant woman) can spend time and a fate point to pray to the Lady for a blessing before a big encounter. These benefits can range from giving all the Knight's weapons Impact (not stacking with weapons that already have Impact) to giving +1 AV on all locations (and letting it stack up to 6, beyond what's normally possible). The knight asks for the benefit they want, but the GM picks the one they get (though the GM is only supposed to pick a different one if the one the Knight was praying for wouldn't be useful in the upcoming encounter, and should explain this to the PC). Knight Errants are very strong starting characters. Also, the Knight will lose this benefit if they act unchivalrously during a battle: If they flee or disengage from an opponent, the blessing is lost. Knights Errant travel all over the place, so you could be a Knight Errant in a campaign anywhere in the Old World (or even beyond), much to the annoyance of the locals.

Knight of the Realm is about on par with a normal Empire Knight in ability, with solid WS, good physical advances, and some skills to reflect that they're a little less heedless than Knights Errant (They learn Perception and Strategy, etc). The Knight of the Realm career can only be entered if you have been made a Household Knight for a Lord of Bretonnia or given a fief, so you have to have actually completed your Errantry (and during your Errantry, might take other careers until you do, depending on how the campaign is going). It gains the marquee ability for Bret Knights, a Knightly Virtue. I'll get to the exact effects of these in the Knighthood chapter, but they're all really good and useful unique abilities, of which you can only have one. Knights of the Realm can exit into a wide variety of careers; it's perfectly honorable to end your knightly progress as a landed lord or household warrior, and being able to go into other advanced careers like Noble Lord, Explorer, or Captain reflects that. The majority of Bret Knights who make Knight of the Realm will not go on to Questing Knight in-setting, though plenty of PCs will.

Questing Knights are total, complete badasses. They cannot use Lances anymore (The Virtue of the Quest absolutely removes your ability to use a lance) since it's a symbol of the normal feudal order and duty, so most wield massive two-handed weapons or swords and shields instead. The Virtue of the Quest gives them visions of dangers and evil enchanters and stuff that they should be facing, and it also lets them spend a half action and a fortune point to instantly heal d10 Wounds, no matter how hurt they were. They learn some very powerful talents, including Luck (one more fortune point per day), Warrior Born, Very Strong, Very Resilient, and Sturdy (Eliminate all heavy armor penalties). They get melee talents on par with a powerful Dwarven Slayer or Imperial Champion. They have great physical advances. A Questing Knight is an extremely powerful 3rd tier fighter (though what 3rd tier fighter isn't) and will mop the floor with almost any mook enemy. This is the kind of guy who can take on a Vampire Thrall openly and have good odds, or handle more than one Chaos Warrior at a time. Most career lines would end with a character this skilled, and if you aren't a male bretonnian noble (and your campaign isn't going to be about making an exception to this) yours will end here. Questing Knights are meant to be paragons of chivalry, and their wide travels expose them to a lot more of what's really going on in Bretonnia. They try very hard not to bankrupt peasants when they ask for sustenance in their wanderings, but most are still learning what a peasant can and can't afford.

Grail Knights are straight up the most powerful human-available fighting career in the game. It will probably take you all of a long campaign to even reach Grail Knight, but if you do, your PC can now make a legitimate claim to being superhuman. They finally acquire actually diplomatic and public speaking abilities, gain plenty of Fellowship in addition to some of the highest physical stats and WS of any human-oriented career in the game (their stat growths are on par with Vampire Lords or Chaos Lords, though they lack the innate stat boosts of a Vamp), and even more importantly, they upgrade their Virtue to a Grail Virtue. It still grants the original benefit, they still have the Virtue of Chivalry for praying for other buffs (though they lose the Virtue of the Quest), and it gets an even more awe-inspiring bonus on top of it. Mechanically, Bret Knights are on the upper scale of what could be considered 'balanced' for a PC party; they're very good, but they can't use shooting weapons (which can really hurt) and their full career track can be inflexible. Grail Knights also get access to a unique ability: Resistant to Chaos. Halflings have this by nature, but it makes it so the Knight is now immune to all Chaos mutation and gets significant save bonuses against anything Chaos tries to do to him.

Peasant warriors will often start in Man at Arms (it replaced the Soldier starting career) and it's kind of meh. They don't get a second attack like Soldier, can't be a gunner like Soldier (for obvious reasons) and generally work more like a militiaman with better equipment. Instead of the basic Veteran career, though, they can go into Yeoman. Yeoman is interesting in that (outside lacking a Virtue) it's intentionally just as good at fighting as a Knight of the Realm. In place of the virtues of a more chivalrous warrior, Yeomen also get stealth and scouting skills, and are generally perceptive and able to spot dangers the knights they serve might miss. They're very solid fighters with a good core of survival and information gathering skills in place of the whole 'shining armor' thing, and they can go into being leaders of bands of merry men, officers, or skilled woodsmen and scouts. "These are the elite peasant warriors of Bretonnia, a term their knightly betters equate with 'largest mouse'."

Starting PCs can also be Carcassone Shepards, which have the unique quality of allowing women who *aren't* disguising themselves. They're a good scout and 1st tier fighter, getting a second attack, a bonus to movement when trying to escape danger, and the very rare Fleet of Foot (+1 Movement Rate) ability. This means they can go up to Movement 6 when fleeing from danger, allowing them to outrun elves. This might be important if you're near the Loren. They go into a variety of good second tier scouting and outlaw careers, or the very solid and basic Veteran for a pure fighter.

Grail Pilgrims are kind of lackluster 1st tier fighters whose schtick is getting a bunch of the bravery talents and some basic diplomacy abilities. These are the crazy people following Grail Knights around like groupies. They have their own unique 2nd tier promotion, though; Battle Pilgrim. This becomes a mixture of a Sargent and a preacher, though it still lacks some staples of full fighting careers like Strike Mighty Blow (+1 Melee Damage). They're very good with people and incredibly brave, at least, and they learn to lead. They can promote into official Sargents, get disillusioned and go off to lead Merry Men (or follow their Knight into it, Faceless is an Exit for Knights of the Realm, Questing Knights, AND Grail Knights), or become normal veterans and fill in their fighting abilities.

Mediators are diplomats and lawyers, peasants who deal with peasant disputes without involving the lord as often as possible. As you'd expect, they're not good in a fight, but they're great with people and surprisingly brave. They can become a variety of con-man style careers, or go into the unique Village Elder, who is a curious career with no real fighting ability but great WP, Fellowship, and Int. From there, a Village Elder could finish the career surprisingly quickly and become a leader of Merry Men, a more official politician, or a leader of brutal outlaws. It's a weird career track.

Herrimaults are a Basic career; you can start off as one of Robin Hood's extras. They're likeable, charming, and good shots, who also get a second attack and Dodge (marking them as a fighting career) along with wilderness knowledge and Longbow use. They can't go directly into Faceless, but can go into a lot of Veteran, Scouting, and thieving careers that will. Faceless are enormously good shots with a +30% BS advance, but they're even more charming at +35% Fel. They also get a second attack, a ton of shooting talents, and a lot of leadership ability. They also get the rather unique Unsettling talent, which is a weaker form of Fear. It causes enemies in melee to need to make a WP save or take -10% to WS against you, until the first time they make that Fear save; this is usually reserved for creatures like Lahmian sisters.

Wall Wardens are another special career, a good second tier for a Man at Arms or a smarter peasant. They're the engineers and workmen of Bretonnia, and the ones who build and run the trebuchets (they get Engineer weapon proficiency, which also means they can use Imperial repeaters and hand grenades if it comes up). They're terrible in melee but learn a little about shooting, and a lot about keeping the Lord off their back so they can do their jobs without listening to his ideas of how perfect a tower would look right there, where it would have no lanes of fire against anything. They're intelligent, well educated (though they don't learn to read?), and perpetually annoyed by the people they work for.

Next Time: The Mechanics and Ideals of Knighthood, and how to deal with PCs owning lands. Also, bird-horse adventures.

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:

Also, like, what is G-Unit's objective in any of this? The whole ship's overrun, there's seemingly no way out, is their goal right now just 'find food, hide from monsters'? Like, the low-hanging fruit is that the PCs just got sold to a hitler cosplayer, a dude who likes Marquis d' Sade, a guy who wants to be Jack the Ripper, and the authors' insane idea of what must lurk behind the eyes of all feminists, but beyond that there's still no actual goals or anything beyond 'Let awful poo poo happen to you, die, mostly'.
Somewhere In Between and LOTDC are basically mid-season filler in this whole campaign arc. SIB at least has the benefit of "you kinda ended up here when you escaped from Sanctuary" but there's...no easy or logical way to include LOTDC which is why I'm really just shrugging. Like the goal of this module is to kill the Lords but you could just say no and walk away to begin with. Hell you can just walk away and say no when it comes to SIB. So yeah they have no real objective besides "well this happened, kill people".

Young Freud posted:

I would have gone with Mamoru Oshii's Kereberos Saga, since it's largely about a bunch of super cops who get hosed over by their superiors.
Ooh, fair. I'm just less familiar with it.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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


Night10194 posted:

Similarly, knights of Mousillon dress in imposing black armor, sometimes with spikes and other cruel additions, and rarely raise their visors when in battle. Sometimes this is because they're mutants, mummies, wights, and vampires. Sometimes this is because they're a completely ordinary human knight and just want to fit in.

I'm imagining a human knight who just wants to be a bit dark and brooding, so he becomes a knight in Mousillon, and the local knights invite him to a gathering... where it turns out they're all undead(though otherwise reasonably pleasant). So he keeps his visor down and tries his best not to out himself as a human.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


PurpleXVI posted:

I'm imagining a human knight who just wants to be a bit dark and brooding, so he becomes a knight in Mousillon, and the local knights invite him to a gathering... where it turns out they're all undead(though otherwise reasonably pleasant). So he keeps his visor down and tries his best not to out himself as a human.

I love how hard Mousillon leans into 'we're where all the edgy and brooding and weird stuff comes from.'

I sometimes suspect Bretonnia leaves it there so they'll always have cool dark knights around for contrast.

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

I love how hard Mousillon leans into 'we're where all the edgy and brooding and weird stuff comes from.'

I sometimes suspect Bretonnia leaves it there so they'll always have cool dark knights around for contrast.

Not hard to imagine a Bretonnian knight consciously choosing that, too. "Oh woe is me! I was rejected by my one true love in favor of another man! I shall paint my armor black to obscure my heraldry out of shame, and go into dark places to keep the light alive!"

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