Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Huh, I'll be damned. Thanks for the good good math.

Shame they never really explain how non-lethal rounds interact with things that aren't human and probably can't be knocked unconscious.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Halloween Jack posted:

I know this is a bizarre thing to focus on compared to the awfulness of it all, but even the NKVD didn't just go straight to cutting people's fingers off; they were more likely to slap you with a rubber hose. It's extra-weird that AAH just assumes you'll go straight to anime guro porn.

Yeah, there's kind of a breaking in for normal people with this kind of thing - I was just watching Cartel Land and you get to see how a civilian group progresses from a few taser zaps to terrifying brutality.

But in general it's a game that wants to be psychological without ever seemingly understanding basic psychology.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, there's kind of a breaking in for normal people with this kind of thing - I was just watching Cartel Land and you get to see how a civilian group progresses from a few taser zaps to terrifying brutality.

But in general it's a game that wants to be psychological without ever seemingly understanding basic psychology.

Also, discussions about psychology in my opinion fly out the window when literal demons from hell get involved.

See also Tome of Corruption.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

But in general it's a game that wants to be psychological without ever seemingly understanding basic psychology.

The writers might be telling themselves they're "psychological" but this whole thing drips "frustrated GM's personal power fantasy" from the word go. It's not "psychological", it's the poo poo-stained flushwater from the brain of an author that thinks rape and torture are really really cool, hur hur, but has learned that people think he's an arsehole if he just tosses them into conversation. So instead there's a pile of bullshit justifications to explain that "no really it's the only rational thing to do, please don't judge me or ask where my other hand is as I describe these scenes".

Meanwhile in a much nicer place...

Night10194 posted:

more emphasis on Intelligence and Fellowship than the Spy's inexplicably massive Willpower

In a game with a lot of mind-altering magic and mutation tests just for being near Chaos, could this be a deliberate boost to the Spy class so they can stay as active and helpful PCs while undercover?

Post-Storm Fantasy Road Patrol sounds like a brilliant idea for a campaign starting point, now I think about it. Some part of my brain is quietly sifting all these nifty Imperial patrol/detective classes for some sort of Ankh-Morpork City Watch game.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Loxbourne posted:

In a game with a lot of mind-altering magic and mutation tests just for being near Chaos, could this be a deliberate boost to the Spy class so they can stay as active and helpful PCs while undercover?

Post-Storm Fantasy Road Patrol sounds like a brilliant idea for a campaign starting point, now I think about it. Some part of my brain is quietly sifting all these nifty Imperial patrol/detective classes for some sort of Ankh-Morpork City Watch game.

Yeah, I think that's always been the intent with Spy. They explicitly mention Imperial spies go undercover *inside* Chaos Cults.

E: Spies get a +35 WP advance during the career. Spies are one of the bravest classes in the game, on par with a full Witch Hunter.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Aug 12, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


gently caress, going inside chaos cults knowing full well that death is not the worst that can happen, that you may end up mutated and rejected as your reward, that your very soul may be ripped from your screaming body, that is so badass it puts grail knights to shame.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

It's pretty drat metal.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
One of the funniest differences between 40kRP and Fantasy RP is how much more of a coward the average Acolyte is than the average Adventurer. An average Acolyte will panic on seeing a demon 10% of the time. Guardsmen in particular never get much WP and so your 'heavy' fighter is going to run from pretty much anything with a Fear rating over 1. Meanwhile you've got Imperial spies infiltrating cults and not giving a gently caress, and fighters who'll actually stand and fight because the designers remembered WP is the fear check stat.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

This seems consistent with the normal competence comparison between Fantasy and 40k.

Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

I don't even want to see what happens if you gain CHIM outside of a pre-coded system.

Mors Rattus posted:

This seems consistent with the normal competence comparison between Fantasy and 40k.

Indeed- meanwhile, one in five times my Imperium Guardsman can't hit a sleeping Ork with a lasgun shoved into its snoring mouth- and that's minmaxed for starting ballistics skill. 40k Only War was the lowest-power system I've ever played.

More detail in the Murphy thread, if you're interested

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Zomborgon posted:

Indeed- meanwhile, one in five times my Imperium Guardsman can't hit a sleeping Ork with a lasgun shoved into its snoring mouth- and that's minmaxed for starting ballistics skill. 40k Only War was the lowest-power system I've ever played.

More detail in the Murphy thread, if you're interested

Only War lets you start out really, really strong at combat compared to DH.

Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

I don't even want to see what happens if you gain CHIM outside of a pre-coded system.

Night10194 posted:

Only War lets you start out really, really strong at combat compared to DH.

I don't think I hit a single thing with a gun* in 15+ sessions, so that sounds horrid.


*I did grapple a mutated tree with an Aliens-style load lifter, though. Good time to be an Operator class.

LaSquida
Nov 1, 2012

Just keep on walkin'.

Zomborgon posted:

Indeed- meanwhile, one in five times my Imperium Guardsman can't hit a sleeping Ork with a lasgun shoved into its snoring mouth- and that's minmaxed for starting ballistics skill. 40k Only War was the lowest-power system I've ever played.

More detail in the Murphy thread, if you're interested

Huh. I thought the only thing Point Blank didn't stack with was other range modifiers.

The 40k RPG system from FFG, despite having some great sourcebooks, wonderful production values, fantastic set pieces and including one of my favorite games ever...is a total mess. It got better, but the d100 system lifted from WHFRPG was never intended to do what it was trying to do, and it adapted poorly in many cases.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
All situational modifiers should have stacked there, your DM screwed you a bit.

Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

I don't even want to see what happens if you gain CHIM outside of a pre-coded system.

Night10194 posted:

All situational modifiers should have stacked there, your DM screwed you a bit.

Nah, we never quite got into that situation, that's purely on me for bad theorycrafting.

I think I just misread the maximum total bonus, which is actually +60.

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

A contract signed by a minor is not binding!
yeah the maximum bonus is +60, so a starting guard with 40 ballistic skill will hit 99% of the time under optimal circumstances (00 always fails). (+30 point blank, +30 unaware target).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Cythereal posted:

Also, discussions about psychology in my opinion fly out the window when literal demons from hell get involved.

Christian demonology is built on serious psychological issues as far as I can tell. :v:

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 TWO CONTINUED

Or

Have You Been Taking Your Pills Today, Citizen?


All of the Giants from Sanctuary have relocated here under the watchful eye of their new leader, one Dr. Needles. In the chaos of losing Johnson and their fortress, he seized the reins and directed the Giants to the hospital for one major reason: Cardiolax. The hospital was originally designed to service 50 cell blocks all on one level of the ship and as a result it is a huge building with a huge stockpile of food and drugs. And in order to keep the Giants calm and make sure this idea works, he has done two things. First, he’s been secretly drugging all of the Giants with Cardiolax by putting doses in the food and water. Second, he’s been lying to them and claiming that bright lights keep the Demons away. Why? Well, he wants to have a large amount of people protecting him and he enjoys control. He’s also getting to put his theories to the test and make sure that his underlings are calm. The reason he’s lying about the lights is because he believes that giving them something to believe in will give them hope and prevent them from falling further into despair.



The hospital has seen better days; the flooding that has heavily affected this deck has also hit the hospital. There’s a general overview of the hospital that I’ll be sharing.

A is the restrooms and entrance into the hospital. A sewer pipe has collapsed into the maze that G-Unit emerges from. Nevertheless, the Giants still use the rotting, decrepit, waterlogged restroom (mostly by using buckets and then pouring them in the drains that still work). There’s a 10% chance of seeing a Giant here who will be mildly surprised but not shocked at a band of women and a killer robot crawling up out of the sewers.

B is the atrium, a waiting room where nice paintings used to decorate the walls. Patients who weren’t in need of immediate medical attention could be found here with Monitor escorts. Now the atrium is flooded with sewage water and monitored by bright floodlights shining from Area C.

C is the check in desk which has been converted into an armored barricade made of old computers, furniture, cots and such. 4-5 Giants are always on guard here, armed with room brooms and rubber slugs and monitoring the lights (powered by a generator). One of the Giants has a Cell Block Special to be used in case of emergencies and to signal that the hospital is under attack. The guards are, uh. Pretty stoked about what they're doing, pretty mellow.



D is for the patient rooms, now occupied by 1-4 Giants and their trash/possessions. The Giants have either blocked or removed the doors to the rooms because they can still be remote-locked by an orderly station. There’s not much in here besides a light rod on the ceiling and personal possessions.

E is the regular pharmacy. Needles was unable to stop the Giants from thoroughly looting it for anything that could get them high or that could be used for commerce. Now all that remains are 1-2 Giants who are trying to search the place to the bone and will be willing to trade G-Unit for their drugs.

F is the restricted pharmacy, the only place that Needles was able to secure. While the Giants ransacked the regular pharmacy, he took some of his most trusted men aside and tasked them with guarding this one, keeping the key for himself. There are 2-3 men here with scatterguns and rubber rounds and they’re too well paid by Needles to be bribed (and too chemically indifferent to complain about attempts). If one was to enter the room, they’d find 40 doses of Cardiolax and 2 doses of Tranq.

G is the biohazard crematorium. Originally intended for specimens, Needles insists that all corpses be burned here to prevent spread of disease and also prevent a Devourer from spawning. Kind of a little short-sighted when you consider the, y’know, sewage waters everywhere but hey, no mosquitoes in space at least.

H contains the dental labs for, y’know, dental stuff. Each room has a chair (with straps) and general tools. They’ve been turned into rooms and the one with a * is occupied by Prisoner #2361179, Big E-Z, and 2-4 of his buddies. E-Z was Johnson’s right hand man and has gotten more powerful under Needles due to complaints the Giants have had about their new leader. What it generally amounts to is that Needles is condescending and doesn’t bother connecting with even the foot soldiers anymore. E-Z would like proof for a reason to make Needles step down. Alternately, he would like enough support to stage a coup. He’s been secretly amassing supplies for the latter: 20 bullets, 10 rubber slugs, 3 batteries and 2000 in smokes. He’s someone who can be reasoned with but he’s also got enough of a mean streak to consider G-Unit a threat if he decides he doesn’t like them.


Fun fact: Big E-Z is the last black character in the game and coincidentally the last black character to be kind of a weird stereotype.


I stands for the surgical theaters. They are empty. Exciting.

J contains the radiology department. Due to power limitations, Needles has given up trying to make them work and has told E-Z he can send men to break them down for scrap. They haven’t yet, meaning that if Tama was to get her hands on them she could be in heaven.

K used to be storage before it was ransacked by the Giants in a mad dash to get the hospital up to snuff for Needles’ requests. They’re generally a mess and contain a 25% chance of you stumbling over a sleeping Giant. If you want to search them, roll on the random item table and ignore any armor results.

L was originally for specimen testing and autopsy rooms. Needles is strictly against the Giants looting this area because he wants to see if they can get enough power into the hospital to meet the demands of the exam equipment. His ultimate goal is to get a Demon in there so he can take it apart and understand it on a biological level. For now, there are two guards making sure nobody tries to loot it (who can be bribed for 50 smokes each to go for a walk and let Tama take a crack at the stuff inside).



M is the orderly station. Since the orderlies have abandoned the hospital, the room has been vandalized and altered so it’s a guard post. The intercom in the room runs from Needles to them and if an alert is sounded the two guards will respond with beat sticks. However, their addiction to Cardiolax has made them slow; they respond to trouble in 1d3 rounds instead of immediately.

N is a break room originally meant for orderlies. Doc looks at it and mourns what used to be there: pinball machines, pool tables, televisions, vending machines like the ones from Elysium. The Giants have since trashed the room, broken the vending machines open and generally looted everything mechanical except for the pinball machines. 4-16 Giants can be found here at any time, hanging out and playing games and getting into scraps. Any loot here belongs to someone.

O is the morgue. Because Needles is absolutely against keeping dead bodies around, the room is cold and empty.

P is a locked area that contains the backup generator and all of the chemical fuel. If one was to enter this area, they would have a 25% chance of seeing someone here refueling the generators. There’s enough fuel here to be scavenged for 40 Volatile components and one could also take apart the generators for parts.

Q is the physical therapy unit where weights and exercise machines are kept. The Giants are often occupying the room and keeping up their physiques. There are generally 6-24 Giants here that can be used to get prison services from.

R was originally the emergency unit for patients in desperate immediate need of treatment (stabbing victims, etc). They were well stocked with supplies but the flooding has ruined the supplies and the area is so badly flooded nobody uses it for anything.

S is the ICU. Needles treats the sick and wounded here. There are 4-8 Giants here and three of them are recovering from accidental Cardiolax overdose caused by Needles experimenting with the drugs-to-water ratio. They’re told that they’re simply suffering from fatigue and will generally blab about their symptoms if asked.

T is the quarantine unit where Needles has made his home in one of the cells. He can be found here at night (he’s in the ICU during the day) because he likes the isolation and would prefer to sleep separate from the rest of the gang. His cell is decorated with medical textbooks, anatomical charts, a bar of pruno bottles and also, uh, a wall of a pictures of a couple dozen female inmates who all have identical cheekbones, eyes, nose and cupid’s bow lips. Don’t forget, he’s still a serial killer with a fixation on women. Asking what the pictures are for elicits the typical “no it’s not porn it’s a fashion magazine” response you’d expect from a teenager except his response is “no it’s not a creepy weird murder fetish I just miss being a famous plastic surgeon”. He’s also got a cache of 2500 smokes and a bug-out bag of a shiv, first aid kit, work pass emulator, 20 smokes, lighter and light rods in case this all goes south. He also has the intercom in his cell rigged up to alert the guards at M if he finds himself in danger.

U is the cafeteria which has been trashed by the Giants. There were originally machines that dispended ration packs but they’re out of order, having broken down from overuse. The food is instead contained in sealed crates of ration packs and bottled water that line two of the walls. 6-24 Giants can be found here, eating or playing cards/dice or shooting hoops. If you’re looking for stuff to trade for, a lot of the Giants are willing to trade smokes for stuff you have. Also if one was so inclined to, uh, steal all their food, there are 750 ration packs here.

V was the kitchen which used to work until the Giants caused some (contained and extinguished) fires. Originally the orderlies were supposed to cook food for the food dispensers which…makes no sense but anyway. Too many fires and too many shenanigans have caused Needles to close the kitchen. It is, however, unofficially open thanks to our good friend J.D. (aka Jelly Dawg). He managed to survive Sanctuary and (against Needles’ orders) uses the kitchen as a shop from midnight to 2 AM, brewing pruno in the vats and selling it for smokes. If you were to bottle the pruno, there’s around 400 smokes worth. EZ knows about this and tolerates it, keeping the knowledge as leverage to make JD support him when he makes his move. As Johnson’s cousin and a long-time fixture of the Giants, JD is also a valid leader of the gang. Between EZ and Needles, he’s a pretty moderate choice, willing to commit to the Furies’ alliance and work with the men but also willing to try and play safe. JD also acts as the mouthpiece for the GM if the players can’t figure out how to get rid of Needles.

W encompasses the pantries used to hold bulk food and water, guarded by 3 Giants armed with scatterguns and rubber slugs. They’re under orders to let Needles in who allegedly inventories the food daily but in reality is dosing the food with Cardiolax but you can convince them to let you in with a bribe of 200 smokes. Inside is around 300 ration packs and some Cardiolax vials that Needles didn’t dispose of yet. Sampling the water here has the effects of a mild Cardiolax buzz, reducing Despair by 1.

Arriving at the Hospital



G-Unit climbs out of the muck and mire and greet the dude in the bathrooms of A, explaining just who the hell they are and why they climbed out of a toilet hole. The Giant here is willing to answer questions and will let them in for telling him what’s up, but the whole alliance against the forces of damnation thing is kind of way above his pay grade.



Once inside of the hospital, the other Giants are downright surprised to see that Soapbox is alive and the mood changes to a much more easy-going one with the presence of G-Unit. After a little bit of catching up with the rank-and-file and meeting up with JD again, they’re allowed to go into the ICU to meet Needles.



So yeah, the game wants you to depose of Needles somehow. Normally I go to the hospital and get a sharps box but I dunno if that'll work in this case. The first option is, of course, murder. The book really doesn't want you to do a murder because c'mon, you and Needles go way back, probably. The next best option is to convince Needles to step down and get someone else to take his place. The suggested gambits for ousting Needles are:
  • Prove the lights don't actually keep the Demons away...by provoking a manifestation in the hospital or luring the Engorged Horror into the hospital. These are both terrible ideas because depending on how this shakes out, it might be real hard to kill the resulting Demon and also you'll have to explain just what the gently caress you were doing putting everyone in jeopardy like that.
  • Lead a coup on behalf of JD or EZ. This is a better idea than the previous one except you run the risk of still killing Needles or an unnecessary amount of Giants in the process depending on how zealous or violent the coup is.
  • Prove that Needles has been drugging the convicts. Ridiculously easy to do and really just requires you to go to the ICU and search the food storage. Doing this means an angry (or, well, emotionally deadened but still rather upset) mob will force Needles to step down or else he'll be strung up.
G-Unit goes for Option 3. Doc collects the evidence pretty handily because, well, she used to be an orderly and she knows what it's like to witness patients shuffle around all doped to the gills on Cardiolax. A cursory exam of the patients in the ICU and a bribe to access the food gets them all of the proof they need. The Giants are furious. Well, their words are furious, even if their faces don't say it.



If Needles dies, someone should exposit that, though Needles will just do anything in his power to resist getting killed. At any rate, JD is the new leader of the Jailhouse Giants and Soapbox pulls G-Unit in for a huddle. She really doesn't want to go back to Sanctuary on some asinine fetch quest, but it really doesn't look like they have much of a choice. We'll be back in Elysium in no time and fill the others in on our question, hopefully this won't be a complete waste of time.

Little do they know that they'll soon meet their most powerful ally to date, someone nobody could ever expect to join G-Unit.

NEXT TIME: the cold frozen road to Sanctuary, AKA "what happens when most of the maintenance of a space ship breaks down and space saps heat". But more importantly, the most important and powerful ally.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

So if the power fails for any reason, even briefly, everyone will panic and that panic will summon demons? Great job, Needles.
On the other hand sedating everyone sounds like a good plan as long as the drugs hold out. As long as you don't try to keep it secret or something.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


I think that the 'everything sucks, have some drugs' pitch would work just fine in a literally damned prison population, no lying necessary.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012



Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

I think that the 'everything sucks, have some drugs' pitch would work just fine in a literally damned prison population, no lying necessary.

"Taking these drugs makes demons much less likely to appear."

Boom. All the bonuses of the stupid lights plan, and since it's true, less risk of causing the same chaos.

chiasaur11 fucked around with this message at 08:34 on Aug 13, 2017

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Yeah the moment I saw that Cardiolax existed, I quickly realized that your best chance of survival would be to be a mildly nihilistic person armed with a shotgun and an antidepressant habit (this was before I saw the Demons proper). It's actually a little surprising to see the game be like "oh yeah no you have the right idea here" and then I lose the surprise when it spins off into a whole weird direction involving lying to people.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Yeah, as serial killers go, Needles is basically a harmless and relatively useful dude to have around in Hell.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
"He has quite the ability with strategy and tactics."

*Last appearance saw his main strategy be 'throw more men at it, get my poo poo kicked in'*

E: Like, if you want to, say 'He somehow inspired fanatical loyalty in a bunch of disparate psychos, who will fight to the death' or something. But every hack author trying to talk up their 'waves of my own men at it' guy as a great general gets on my nerves.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 12:43 on Aug 13, 2017

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Not like it doesn't happen in real life.

I think there's an Imperial Guard general who specialises in the human wave strategy and is massively decorated for it, played for black comedy.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012

Inescapable Duck posted:

Not like it doesn't happen in real life.

I think there's an Imperial Guard general who specialises in the human wave strategy and is massively decorated for it, played for black comedy.

See also: Zapp Brannigan.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

Night10194 posted:

E: Like, if you want to, say 'He somehow inspired fanatical loyalty in a bunch of disparate psychos, who will fight to the death' or something. But every hack author trying to talk up their 'waves of my own men at it' guy as a great general gets on my nerves.

I think it's more of the usual problem of hack writers. They want to write someone as brilliant or skilled in a particular field, but they don't really know what that means and are too lazy or arrogant to do the research. So when they try to demonstrate the genius of the character, what you see is the writer's lack of understanding come
through.

Inescapable Duck posted:

Not like it doesn't happen in real life.

I think there's an Imperial Guard general who specialises in the human wave strategy and is massively decorated for it, played for black comedy.
Historically speaking you have to get smashed really badly for anyone to gainsay a victory (unless they're already politically opposed to the general). If you win, people mostly don't care how you did it.

Even the famous Pyrrhic victory doesn't really count. Greek historians report that Pyrrhus of Epirus gave his famous response - "Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone" - in response to someone congratulating him on beating the Romans at Asculum. The battle that inspired the very term we use for a damaging victory was seen as a praiseworthy one except by the guy who won it.

Plus, sometimes it does take a skilled general to look at a situation and realize that waves of men are the correct solution. Especially after less clear thinking commanders have failed with overly clever plans.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
It's just funny because they actually have a scary trait, in setting, that was already demonstrated that they could attribute to him. People mentioned how weird it was that there was no friction between the various allies of darkness. If your guy is responsible for that, if he can keep multiple groups of killers and psychos all pointed at one purpose and fighting to the death, it doesn't matter if his tactics are simple and lovely. He's already established as a big problem and scary as hell.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Which, given how in real life so many violent and reactionary movements tend to spend most of their time fighting each other over petty slights and differences of dogma, is also a legitimately scary talent.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

If you ever had a reason to go here, these places would be rad

The Chaos Wastes are up north, past lines of mysterious monoliths that warn people of great danger. They extend out, radiating from the source of corruption at the north pole, and what people in the south don't realize is that the Wastes are a buffer zone. The place where the energies coming from the shattered gate get soaked up and fail to penetrate any further, because they encounter too much solidity and reality. This would sound insane to any southerner with the misfortune to be traveling in the Wastes, because the place already seems like a kaleidoscopic nightmare. There are all sorts of things lost in a land where space has very little meaning and time can be strangely distorted: Ancient cities that didn't exist until two seconds ago, deep jungle growing out of frozen tundra, deserts of ice and entire oceans that really only cover a single square mile. If everything up here wasn't full of mutating evil power/cursed, coming up to look for hidden treasures and wonders could be an awesome adventure.

One of the most common features in the Wastes is a multitude of ancient battlefields, some of them older than the planet itself, some of them still fresh from the slaughter even though no-one's seen them for centuries. The Chaos Wastes are full of would-be Warriors of Chaos, Champions and their Warbands fighting for the favor of the Gods, worshipers drawn to the madness from the north, orcs who've just noticed there's a shitload of endless fighting to do up here, and even champions of the better lands coming in a misguided belief that stabbing Chaos beasts in their house is going to make their deaths more permanent. Slaughter is common here, and who knows what an adventuring party could find among the bones and broken banners of the dead?

One of the annoying features in Out of Place Terrain is that every mention of water, fruit, or food points out it's totally inedible and just a trick. How the hell do the various armies wandering this place and peoples fighting over it for centuries survive up here? You'd think Slaanesh would be all over putting down the occasional verdant paradise to invite people to live in idyll forever until one of his champions gets bored and takes the sword to them. Still, out of place terrain is pretty cool! You've got a crazy little table to roll up combos of terrain types and temperatures to surprise people with truly random terrain, and this is one of the few places I'd say yeah, roll for that; you're wandering the warped, ever-changing altered space that's the buffer between reality and hell. If there's anywhere players should encounter some really, really weird stuff this is it. I wish the tables went further; they really only roll for stuff like 'Oh look a jungle in the tundra' and not 'Look a swamp where the mud is designed to put drugs in you' or 'an entire ocean of living ice.'.

Monoliths are another common encounter out here, some of the only little pockets of 'stability' in that Gods usually don't destroy monuments to themselves (if there's one overriding trait of all of the Dark Four, it's vanity and jealousy of worship). What's interesting is that among the various monoliths, which are about what you'd expect (Slaanesh is full of forbidden verse and porn, Khornate monoliths are piled with offertory weapons and skulls and make you want to fight, Tzeentch one are wizardy but otherwise whatever they feel like, Nurglites are icky) there's also the Monoliths of the Great Beast. These are monoliths not so much to the usual Chaos Undivided as to the idea of Chaos as a primal force, beyond even the Gods, and are the only monoliths that all followers of all gods consider sacrosanct. The warbands war over the other Monoliths (and PCs can try to destroy them, they have DR 10 and 500 Wounds but summon demons every 50 wounds they take to try to prevent their destruction) but none will touch the Great Beast. Destroying monoliths does seem to hurt the power of the God they're dedicated to in a small way, or at least angers them. Monoliths also add power like Waystones (+d10 Casting) but make magic much more unstable. Khorne monoliths instead siphon magic and punish wizards, because KHORNE DESPISES ALL WIELDERS OF THE BLACK ARTS except that magic weapons and armor are fine. Khorne is cool with your +1 sword and armor.

Change Storms exist to dick you over and are basically anomalous weather. They're very random but everything they do hurts you; rains of frogs and fetal pigs cause Insanity, crazy wind whispers dark secrets that cause (you guessed it) Insanity, hails of fire send you scurrying for cover or you're going to catch fire and die, temperatures suddenly reverse completely, acid rain comes down in hydrocholric form at high molarity, diseased blood rains from the sky and gives you the flux, and Aethyric Storms can cause everyone in the party to roll on the miscast tables even if they don't know magic. These are little things to remind you you're in hostile territory, or give your PCs a reason to seek shelter inside that ancient ruined castle in the distance.

There's also the Inn of the Last Hope, on the borders of the Wastes. This is the last outpost of reason and order before you hit madness, run by a hardened and badass Norse innkeeper and guarded by tough, grim mercenaries. Nothing seems to make a serious attempt for this inn, even though it's built like a fortress and it's needed defending a few times over the generations. All guests are welcome, and people of all nations relinquish their weapons and sit down to trade rumors and have one last drink, and one last safe night's sleep, before venturing into the madness. This place is designed to serve as a home base for PCs making expeditions into the Wastes, or a last stop and chance to turn back for someone who has heard the Gods' call and is making their way north.

I really wish all the treasure and stuff in there wasn't cursed, because the Chaos Wastes could be a rad place to send PCs to adventure. But everything inside is cursed and poisoned, and most of the adventure seeds revolve around going up there to rescue someone who was captured, or stupid enough to go adventuring there, or finding treasure that turns out to be cursed. There's one pretty cool one about stopping a Sorceress of Nurgle who maaaaaybe found The Thing up in the icy wastes as you hunt for the source of a weird new sickness she's been spreading. But otherwise, you just don't have enough reason to be here for how dangerous the place is. I wish it was more like the Zone in Stalker (I know I made that comparison for Loren before, but it's more fitting up here) and had, say, lots of materials you couldn't find anywhere else in the world, caused by the weird spatial and physical alterations of the place. If it had more wonders to go with the horrors, it'd be worth being one of the grim outcasts, criminals, rebels, and adventurers selling what they can to the usurious Innkeeper at the Last Hope and then shouldering their pack to trudge back in, seeking the jackpot that'll bring them all their dreams. The Wastes could be really cool with a little more incentive.

Next Time: The Norse, Learned Helplessness, and Rationalization.

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Cute but fanged

The Lone Badger posted:

So if the power fails for any reason, even briefly, everyone will panic and that panic will summon demons? Great job, Needles.
On the other hand sedating everyone sounds like a good plan as long as the drugs hold out. As long as you don't try to keep it secret or something.

As far as demons go, a horde spawning in then suddenly keeling over dead due to lacking health stats should surely reduce panic overall :haw:. And yeah, really given we're talking about a prison environment, I'm surprised Needles would even feel he'd need to hide what he's doing. You'd think announcing "I believe the smart thing to do is to get stoned" would not exactly get a lot of protesting. Hell, between that and arranging food, all he'd need is to get the Giants laid on a regular basis and he'd get himself elected god-king for life.

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 THREE: DANGERS IN THE DARK

Or

We Had The Sewer Level, Now It's The Ice Level


Because G-Unit put JD in power, he's got goodies to help them for the journey to Sanctuary: three light rods, makeshift digging tools that work as improvised weapons, 50 feet of braided-sheet rope and a first aid kit. JD gives them directions to Sanctuary and warns that it should take a day but due to structural dangers it might take longer. They should stay on guard and go carefully through the dark tunnels.


For some reason this whole part of explaining gets a big ol' comic panel.

And he's right: damage done to this segment of the Gehenna has stripped it of power and heat from what used to be a constant source of warmth from everything running in the maintenance tunnels. It's so dark and hazardous, the party can only move three squares per hour and will not be able to travel for more than eight hours at a time (letting them take at minimum of a hour between excursions). The air is cold and has made patches of ice and frost in the ship and it's chilled the flooded segments to dangerous levels of cold without actually freezing it. Strangely there are no mechanical intricacies to swimming through cold water, so.




The map also has a problem of, uh. The items on the map being laid out in a nonsensical way. The idea is that you're going to want to, like, simulate this being a hardcore dungeon crawl with rationing time and food and labor and poo poo. There's no easy way through the tunnels here and we're going to pretend that these things are structured in such a way as to make sense for this being, like, a long excursion.


Despair check! Welcome to the entrance of the maze. Occasionally you can hear the howl through the tunnels, close enough to be scary but far enough away to not provoke another Despair check.

At Area 8, Ice Queen's Sixth Sense goes off to alert her that something is wrong. What's wrong is that a Sorrow Leech has been lurking here, preying on people who pass by. It originally came from the ruins of Sanctuary and preyed on the King of the Cannibals until he could see the Leech and drove it away. Now it wants to prey on the person in the party with the most Guilt...except Pincushion is here and can see it and will want to nibble on his fears instead. Unless stopped, the Leech will follow the party silently and every day it will use its aura to drive its prey to further madness along with offering symbiosis.



It can only grant one benefit, not all, and the cost is that it has the ability to force a Will check whenever combat begins to take Pincushion over and make him turn against his allies. Instead what happens is that Pincushion whispers to Ice Queen that he can see the Sorrow Leech, G-Unit uses a molotov to set the Leech on fire and then they shoot it to death.


Each cell block is abandoned. Spending a hour and making a Wits check allows a roll on the d99 item table here.


The rivers are too dangerous to travel via wading or swimming. Six hours of construction and three Rigid components per passengers (and Improvisation) would allow the construction of a raft. It's not really said how much faster it is to travel by raft, but it is said that the water gets choppy every 50 feet (every square) and requires a Reflexes check from the person with the highest Reflexes to avoid it capsizing. Capsizing runs the risk of gear getting lost in the water and Reflex checks to swim to the nearest tunnel. Also if you killed that Engorged Horror...



Any area with fungus is the only area with any light due to the magic of bioluminescence. It glows like a candle and is in fact a weird form of life native to the Nether. Which, like, alright, I know that there has been weird mutated plants before and patches of fungus glowing on the walls. I just have no idea what the Nether looks like and nobody has any idea what the Nether looks like. I thought it was just a weird space hole. Why is there moss in the space hole. Anyway don't sleep in the moss, it'll gnaw your face off. That's not a joke.


The energies of the Nether have warped this room to make a place to generate more pain for people who enter. Anyone who enters with a Guilt of 1 or more and succeeds on a Wits check will see the faces of their victims reflected in the glass and ice and this causes a Guilt check. Anyone who takes a closer look will see that the glass is just normal and can be used as a weapon.


Burst pipes from a whole bunch of levels are flooding down this chamber and the entry in this room is 20 feet below the falls. The bottom of the chamber is full of alien fungus and plants and maybe other stuff, we'll leave it up to the GM. Climbing up to the mouth of the falls requires a Reflexes check and another Reflexes check if you fail to resist falling to the bottom of the chamber. Rope helps.


Despair check! SOB (#2246361) is an older man with a long history of homelessness, alcoholism and squatting, eventually arrested in Alaska and interred for rehab (societal and for his alcoholism). When rehab didn't work, he was arrested for stealing food and sent to Gehenna. When Perdition hit, he roamed the corridors on his own. Ultimately his mistake was sleeping too close to the glowing fungus, which has started consuming his body. You can't save him and coming across him means that he'll weakly gesture to a cardboard box near him before passing away, unable to speak.

Opening the box reveals the best NPC in the game: Killer the pitbull puppy. SOB found Killer when he accidentally stumbled across one of the colonization vaults, one that was full of Terran life in cryostasis to be used to populate the planet with familiar animals. He found Killer while he was escaping from a brown bear that had somehow got loose and had been watching over the puppy since. He kept Killer in the cardboard box when he woke up and found that he'd been half-eaten by fungus, hoping the cardboard would protect him from the fungus.



It's real nice of the devs to have the foresight of wanting to keep the dog healthy and safe by getting the stats right. Killer is a little skittish at first but will follow G-Unit (especially after they feed him a ration pack). He can be used to replace a lost Trusty Companion but he is now a proper member of G-Unit and is promptly renamed Kira by some prodding from Tama. Outside of a nice warm dog in these trying times, SOB had three ration packs, two light rods, 2d20 smokes, 1d10 matches, 200 smokes worth of scotch and an ignition component.


The message will only appear when nobody else is looking so Jackpot tells everyone to turn around and leave the room.




The convict in question is found in Area 17 and has been murdering Trustees. Despite the sidebar above, the Warden is completely fine with you killing the convict and his buddies. Also, hilariously, the reward for this task isn't found in this adventure but the next one.


This counts for both locations marked 16. The sentries are equipped with night vision goggles and unless G-Unit hides with a Wits check, they'll retreat back to Area 17 and return with the rest of their gang.



The Nightstalkers are run by a prisoner called El Loco, picking their name due to the darkness of this section of the ship. A former stick-up artist, Loco is the man that the Warden wants dealt with. He (and the rest of the Stalkers) were repeatedly abused by Trustees before Perdition and this has lead to a full-blown hateboner for them and a burning desire to get revenge. He killed his block's Trustee by strangulation and has been hunting any and all Trustees he can get his hands on, capturing them with stun weaponry (tasers and such) before executing them. The Nightstalkers have killed a dozen or so Trustees and now due to their relative scarcity the gang has decided to be more lenient with who they kill. There are 9 Nightstalkers (counting Loco and the Sentries) and they live in this abandoned block, keeping it warm with fires. Loco himself stays in the showers, having converted it to a room.




Loco starts off wary of G-Unit but can be made more friendly if they brag about killing Trustees or are openly wearing Trustee gear that isn't theirs (one would assume their riot gear would count). Anyone who is opposed to his goal of hunting down and killing Trustees will earn his ire. Also Loco or the Nightstalkers are allowed to make Sociability checks to determine if anyone in the group is a Trustee ("if the players gripe, explain to them that the same sort of check that allows PCs to learn the secrets of NPCs they’ve met, also applies to them", so sayeth the book). If he's made friendly, you can trade for stuff the Nightstalkers have and he'll give you advice.




Walking on an ice patch forces a Reflexes check to avoid slipping.

Loco is not going to be friendly. This is because of Jackpot's past history of openly bragging about how she's a Trustee and openly abusing her privileges to misbehave. Now, granted, this misbehavior mostly consisted of opening doors to other prisoners so they could loot stuff or go in places they weren't allowed. This doesn't really matter to him. Loco will attempt to subdue Jackpot with a cattle prod while the other 8 Nightstalkers split into groups of two to "try and use their Backstabber traits to their advantage" but oh man this wasn't really designed for a party consisting of 7 women, a robot armed with a pulse rifle and a small but vicious dog. Loco is the hardest to kill due to his armor and his Riot Shield being able to eat an attack but when the dust settles there's plenty of loot to be had: two riot helmets, riot armor that needs to be repaired with a rigid component, mace canister, riot baton, slug gun, nine ration packs, nine light rods, 50 feet of rope, can of oil to be used for starting fires, 500 pounds of flammable kindling taken from wherever, 1000 smokes, six hydrogen cells, 1 chemical component, 3 precision, 1 torsion components and 8 Breaching Rounds, new rounds for a slug gun. They're probably not bringing 500 pounds of wood and paper with them.



And, honestly, I was not having them fight the Nightstalkers just to fight them. I mean, kinda, but. Loco targets Trustees but will also make Stool Pigeons, Moles, Orderlies or generally nice, clean-nosed people his target. If not Jackpot, Doc, if not Doc, Ice Queen and Soapbox.


Roughly every hour a jet of plasma shoots up this hole which is actually an emergency heat-vent for the irradiated air of the engines. Loco uses this to execute captured victims, tying them to a wire bed frame and leaving them on the edge of a catwalk and waiting to watch the firestorm incinerate the victim. Roll 1d12 when the party enters and on a 1 or 12 it's time for the vent. You should leave the chamber ASAP because 1d3 rounds later the venting will deal 3d10 damage to anyone in the area.


You have stepped in poop. Examining the poop reveals human bones and a roll on the random find table.


These are places where the tunnels have collapsed and need to either be circumvented or dug out. Considering how the only way to the exit requires at least one excavation, the former idea is a load of crap. Thankfully there are 7 people to dig so they're not that much of a speedbump.



There are no escape pods, that sign is just from wherever. It's a Reflex check to attempt to climb up into the waterfall and pushing forward eventually hits a dead end because the water is coming from a cluster of smaller pipes in a wall at the end. So yeah, just...gently caress you, I guess.


Not intervening means that one will kill the other and the winner loots the loser and departs. However, willingly letting the masked stranger (a member of The Fittest) causes a Guilt check for inaction. Any distractions (making noise, shooting at the Psycho, etc.) will give the masked stranger the opening to kill the Psycho with his shiv. So G-Unit just yells insults down at the Psycho to distract him while the stranger cuts his throat. The stranger loots the body, looks up, nods at the party and leaves. The debt will be repaid eventually.


The ceiling is covered with a shimmering silver liquid that reflects everything on the floor perfectly, dripping lightly. Touching the liquid immediately wracks the victim with pain and forces an Insanity check for a temporary gain of 1d4 Insanity that fades at 1 point per day. Any Madness gained fades with the loss of the Insanity as well. The liquid is inert once it hits the floor and does not remain potent in the pot, which begs the question of "under which circumstances would one want to bottle this poo poo?".


Attempting to excavate here is met with more debris falling due to how unstable the structural supports and ceilings are. Evading falling rubble is a Reflexes check that deals 1d3 damage on a failure. Instead of digging, you can pick through the rubble for 1d3 hours to find something below but really isn't worth the effort.



Multiple levels of the ship have collapsed here and it's kind of not meant for you to explore it. If you do, getting down is hard and the contents of the cavern are ill-defined outside of "if you fall you probably die". The debris on the floor of the cavern is just full of cell blocks that have fallen wholesale down here and gotten compacted somehow along with broken Custodians and hundreds of dead bodies. The game suggests this place either be empty, a draining point of floodwaters or home to dozens of Demons.


I was incredibly confused until I googled "cataract" and learned it's also a word for waterfall. So. Why not just say "three waterfalls". C'mon. The area is littered with debris from the Giants fleeing Sanctuary, the contents amounting to three rolls on the d99 table. It's easy to climb from one waterfall to the next, the next requires a Reflexes check to scale 30 feet and the last doesn't require a check. Easy.

And just like that, G-Unit is back to Sanctuary and what evidence might remain of Johnson's survival. Can they brave the ruins of the fallen "city" and the wicked fury of the King of the Cannibals?

I mean they have a robot armed with a pulse rifle, they'll probably be fine.

NEXT TIME: return to Sanctuary.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
G-Unit now has a robot *and* a small, but vicious dog.

They are unstoppable.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
I vaguely recall G-Unit being the name of 50 Cent's posse in Blood On The Sand.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora
Also in real life.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


Hostile V posted:



It's real nice of the devs to have the foresight of wanting to keep the dog healthy and safe by getting the stats right.

:3:

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013
What I'm seeing reading that stat block is the puppy can drive a demon back by barking and growling, and that's rad, Killer is the best part of AAH

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

The Norse

A friend commented to me that ToC feels like a bit of a mess, where the part on Mutation is really detailed and filled in, then there's a bunch of stuff the authors felt they had to include but either didn't have the pagecount to cover in enough detail (The Chaos Wastes), was in other books (Hunter stuff), or wasn't that interesting but 'expected' (Items that kill your PC), and that it isn't until the chapter on the Norse and later the other peoples on Chaos that things feel properly detailed and filled in again. He is correct; the Norscans are a big, big part of the book. The Norse are where we get our first taste of how the people who are brutalized and victimized by Chaos the most (the people nearest the portal) contextualize it. The Norse are also far enough away from the portal that while its dark influence on their people is undeniable, they aren't entirely in its thrall. You can totally play as Norse characters who have nothing to do with the Dark Gods beyond the occasional background mutation and who spend their time sailing around, exploring, fighting monsters, defending their Jarl and King, and trying to get rich/drunk.

While Norsca has more riches than most southerners think, it is not a rich land by itself. It's a cold, inhospitable place across the Sea of Claws from the Empire, locked in twilight half the year and endless sunlight the rest. The thick, foreboding northern forests provide excellent timber and furs, and the harsh mountains that make up much of the country hide rich veins of gold, silver, and iron. Not to mention warpstone. The Sea of Claws produces great fishing and the whaling business is unique to Norsca, its people trading what they take from the sea and their harsh lands to the people down south who have crops and food. That is, when they don't sail down to raid them instead. The lack of good land in Norsca and its inability to feed a large population is a large part of what causes the raiding, the trading, and the exploring that the Norse are famous for. They simply can't feed themselves when they're doing well and the population grows too much, leading them to attack the southern lands to steal food, wealth, and enslaved labor to keep their economy viable. Alternately, if it's more favorable or they don't have signs from the Gods, they're also happy to sell their riches for southern riches and food, and plenty of Norse also make their way down to the sunnier lands to serve as mercenaries and earn their keep.

The people who originally settled Norsca were the defeated enemies of Sigmar. Not everyone liked the idea of having an Emperor and an 'Empire'. Some tribes wanted to remain separate, or refused to join the new warlord after he slew their chief or did something else during the conquest that they felt made swearing to him impossible. Rather than kill these tribes, Sigmar had them driven north, away from his lands. When they went north, they were driven further by the Ungol tribes of early Kislev (we'll get to them in Realm of the Ice Queen) since they didn't have the military strength to carve out their own territory among the steppes. Then they encountered the Kurgan, another dangerous steppe people, and were driven west, into the mountainous and forested lands where all these goddamn steppe nomads would stop cleaning their clocks. There, in Norsca, they settled in a cold and snowy land with little good land and little food, expecting to die. The Norsii tribes survived, and slowly incorporated other outcasts and renegades to become the Norse we know today. They still consider themselves owed a debt by the Empire, as its great founder drove them into the icy North with the expectation they'd be slaughtered. Being closer to the portal and bitter about their defeats also let darker things whisper into the ears of their Vikti and Shamans, and many of the tribes' pantheons include versions of the Dark Gods among their heroes and tribal gods.

An important distinction with the Norse is where the individual tribe you're dealing with comes from. The southern coastal tribes are as likely to be allies or honest traders as brutal raiders. Quite a few of them have been thinking that maybe it's easier to get what they want from the south by exploring, colonizing distant lands, and trading rather than fighting, and they tend to be the least influenced by the Dark Gods. As the book says, Marienburg has shown an especial interest in cultivating some of the tribes as traders and partners, hiring the warriors as mercenaries and guards and paying the freeholders and merchants well for their ivory, whale oil, and amber. In doing, they hope the prosperity will turn some of those tribes fully away from the Dark Gods and help create a real buffer state. Norse bodyguards are even the big 'fashion' in Marienburg right now, with plenty of salacious romances about forbidden love between a handsome Norse warrior and his noblewoman charge circulating the courts and a firm sort of 'noble savage' thing going on. Northern tribes are much more likely to be hostile. They're much closer to the portal and much more likely to receive direct orders from the Gods. Norse make good antagonists because their preferred way of attacking the Old World is to sail in unseen (the Empire has a notoriously terrible navy at this time in its history. Even the Bretonnian navy is supposedly better) with a warband, sack a small village (or threaten it into giving them tribute), then flee home before the Imperial regiments can catch them. With the northern Empire so depleted in soldiers in the wake of the Storm, this is a great sort of threat for a party of 5-6 badasses and the local militia to handle. This is especially true because the Jarls and Warleaders of the Norse are forbidden to refuse direct challenges, much like Bretonnian knights. So the rest of the party and any local forces can hold off the marauders while your best guy duels their leader, and as the Norse are raiding and not really looking for 'serious' battles, they'll probably back off if their noses are bloodied. Similarly, the Norse love to take captives to either ransom or work their farms (or serve as sacrifices in the darker tribes) and PCs could be hired to go up there, meet saner Norse as guides, and rescue or ransom captives.

Norsca is also intentionally left a little blank in the interior. Old Worlders really only know the most famous tribes and kings, and even then it's mostly limited to the southern ones. The book suggests all kinds of things could be lurking in the interior of Norsca. Fabulous treasure, lost Dwarf Holds, missing artifacts of the Old Ones that were intended to stop the spread of darkness in case of a portal accident... Anything could be up there.

Norse society is divided by class. Class isn't determined by birth, but by wealth and circumstance, unless you're a thrall. If you're a thrall you're probably hosed. These are criminals, debtors, those taken captive on raids (either from other tribes or from the south). Thralls are the lowest rung in Norse society and their deaths are not mourned. Indeed, their deaths are required by the darker ceremonies and augers performed by the Viktis and Shamans of some tribes, and plenty of festivals and celebrations will include human sacrifice drawn from the thrall population. The Norse need these slaves badly, and getting hold of them is one of the reasons for the constant raiding and fighting. Peasants hold a low place, too; these are people who are free, who have useful skills, but no skill at arms. They're necessary, and the Jarls and Kings understand they're necessary, but it's not glorious work and no-one celebrates the life of a peasant.

Warriors are the ideal of Norscan society and what every young boy aspires to be. A warrior becomes such by showing skill at arms and passing various tests as a young man. While women are not normally warriors (Norsca is very heavily patriarchal, though not as much as Bretonnia tries to be on paper) they are still expected to learn to fight to defend the settlement when the men go raiding. As such, sometimes a woman will display enough skill and strength to simply pummel anyone who says that she isn't a warrior, at which point she'll be accepted into a raiding party or a jarl's bondsman. Still, if you ask the Norse, they'll tell you the ideal warrior is a tall, strong lad who doesn't fear death, treats his fellows as his brothers, his Jarl as his father, and his axe like his wife. When there's no war to be fought, warriors go out patrolling, hunting, and whaling to provide extra food for the tribe and practice their skills. A warrior who can kill a whale in one throw of the harpoon can become a legend, as can a great hunter of monsters. Norse warriors also have a rich tradition of jokingly lying to one another about their exploits while getting drunk and sweating together in the sauna. This is all in good fun, and you should do it all the time, leading to a reputation for Norse telling tall tales, when really what they're doing is trying to tell stories with a kernel of truth to show off but enough extra silliness to keep everyone laughing during the long winter months.

There's a short sidebar about women in Norsca that notes that while they are second class citizens in the general (it's a threat among warriors that if you don't die gloriously enough you'll be reincarnated as a woman, or worse, an Imperial), they are allowed to choose their own husbands (no-one can force a free woman to marry) and permitted to seek divorce without needing to give reason why before the Jarl. Similarly, women are permitted to own property without restriction and a woman can become a Jarl if she's strong enough to hold the title against other comers or if her husband was Jarl and they have no son when he dies. Similarly, the whole 'expected to defend the home' thing is no idle boast. Norsca is very dangerous, and a settlement is vulnerable when its warriors are away on a raid. Even if they aren't officially warriors, many Norscan women serve as their home's militia and plenty are serious veterans.

Seers advise on the will of the gods. Vikti are like seers, except they have more direct magical power and Witchcraft, and a really interesting Casting career that doesn't even necessarily involve the Dark Gods (we'll get to that when I get to Careers, but Vikti are actually pretty cool). Many seers are actually immigrants, hedge mages and witches who've fled north after being driven out of the Empire or Kislev. In some tribes, Seers have the right to kill any thrall they need if they pay recompense to the owner in order to perform their rites. Vikti can order any peasant killed due to the will of the Gods, as well as thralls. This will be much more common in some tribes than others.

Jarls are the leaders of individual settlements. These are the Big Men (and occasionally women) who give gifts to their warriors, control the distribution of land to peasants and freeholders, and hold most of a settlement's wealth. Jarls are surrounded by their direct Bondsmen, the warriors of the tribe, bound by oath and recognition of their service. A Jarl is expected to show generosity and to lead his warriors and his settlement to good plunder and safety. Much of Jarlship is about knowing when to shut someone down, when to placate both sides with gifts and poetry, and when and how to rule on matters of justice. They're also expected to lead the warriors in battle, to be the best warrior in the settlement, and to show total loyalty to their King. The latter doesn't always happen, of course, and it's even expected that if a King is incompetent or leading poorly, a Jarl should try to gather his (or her) peers and overthrow him. Kings, meanwhile, are often chosen of the Gods and rule over multiple smaller settlements from one of the larger and more prosperous ones. In northern tribes, there is no succession for the position of tribal king. The Jarls compete for it, often on bloody and terrible contests with one another, whenever the King dies. In the southern tribes, Kings' firstborn sons (or wives if they have no sons) inherit the title, but then must prove they can hold it by keeping their Jarls in check.

Next: Culture, Religion, and Rationalization.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

The southern Norscans are also, side note, the best explorers on the planet. Like, yeah, the Empire and Cathay have been to Lustria.

The Norscans built a town there, even if they have then made the terrible decision to murder all lizards they see.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

The southern Norscans are also, side note, the best explorers on the planet. Like, yeah, the Empire and Cathay have been to Lustria.

The Norscans built a town there, even if they have then made the terrible decision to murder all lizards they see.

A party of an Estalian Diestro (wandering spanish math swordspeople), a Norse explorer, and a Bretonnian Knight Errant would be like maximum 'Go everywhere we can, bumble through the local situation while yelling about three unique brands of honor, get into a shitload of trouble, then all get drunk while each complaining about the other's choice in drinks' party. Maybe add a Dwarf Ranger, one of those weirdos who likes the surface, and an elf who's sick of Ulthuan.

E: Also, the construction of Skeggi in Lustria is specifically mentioned in the book as the big example of why Norse are amazing explorers.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:07 on Aug 15, 2017

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5