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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



CHAPTER FOUR: SANCTUARY

Or

Driving The Whole Cannibal Tribe Idea Until The Wheels Fly Off


Alright, here's are pictures of old Sanctuary.





And here's Sanctuary today.



Warning: there's a scene of someone literally being ripped apart. If that's not your bag, keep scrolling for your own mental health.

Sanctuary isn't doing great thanks to all of the ice and structural damage. Most of the area is now inaccessible thanks to the collapses and it's a lot more cramped. After the fall of Sanctuary, only one person remained thanks to hiding through the fighting and the looting done by the forces of the damned. This man was stricken with a pathological compulsion to eat dead human flesh and emerging into the town on Free Long Pork Day was not good for his mental health. Disgusted by himself, he tried to lobotomize himself to stop the cravings, failed and woke up to a bunch of prisoners who showed up a day after the damned abandoned the city.

So the man said "hey, we're safe, the damned are gone and there's a shitload of food everywhere, let's have a buffet!" And that's how Sanctuary got taken over by a cannibal tribe lead by a King: less Plymouth Rock, more Jamestown. But, well, dead bodies only last so long and they ran out of corpses. So the King introduced a lottery system to eat some of the weaker members. This had the side effect of making only the strong cannibals survive. But then the strong cannibals were like "we should rig the lottery so the King loses" and the King was like "oh no, my power, I can't give this up, I don't want to die!" So he poisoned them and the Guilt attracted the Sorrow Leech that G-Unit killed. The King drove the Leech off with his ~secret favorite weapon~ when he went sufficiently insane thanks to its powers and has been living here since, lurking and hunting anyone who passes through. Which is, like, nobody. It's a miracle he hasn't starved.

Anyway now G-Unit is here and, well, there's seven of them, a robot and a small yet vicious dog. Things probably aren't going to go great for the King.


The water is shoulder-deep and there's five feet of air between the water and the ceiling of the tunnels. The water is cold and gross and full of obstructions and such to block the way, reducing transit to two squares a round.


"This place is eerie, but empty.". Aight. Thanks. Thanks for that.



This isn't actually a woman, this is an Apparition. You can tell by the fact that her character art has nothing but a floating head, not even a neck or a body. She's one of the people killed by the cannibals and this immediately dings Ice Queen's Sixth Sense as weird poo poo (or anyone's Supernatural Sense). She's unresponsive and staring at nothing. Trying to approach her (or being weirded out in general) results in her whispering "make sure you bring food" and running away, disappearing once out of sight. Seeing that she's gone elicits a Despair check because WEIRD poo poo MAN. I'm gonna pretend that Kira is just barking constantly at her. What a good boy.


The two chambers are flooded maintenance areas that filled up with water and trash so thick you can walk on it without sinking into the water or needing to swim. The King never poked around in here; if he did, he and his followers would have found a cache of supplies the Psychos, DOS, Embracers and Skinheads abandoned to carry more looted weapons. Inside of the cache is 7 ration bars, a light rod and a first aid kit. You see it is irony that there was food available and yet they still turned to cannibalism. Oh the foolish actions of these damned souls, oh I wail and gnash my teeth in dismay.


The alarms are made out of utensils, cans, jangly metal trash not unlike the ones Tama made way back when. Tripping the alarms means they can be heard through the complex and the sound warns the King to arm himself.


Digging around in here turns up makeshift bedding and signs of habitation. This is where the tribe slept and lived. Digging around further turns up an unexploded flashbang round that was shot out of a shotgun during the siege and small slips of paper, some of them with a black spot, that were used for the lottery.


Recently a squad of Psychos returned to Sanctuary to make sure that no Giants returned to the area. They were ambushed by the King and murdered and he has taken their legs for food. You can identify the Psychos as Psychos by a Sociability check or...having met them before. Think we're gonna go with the latter one. Anyway one of the Psychos has a syringe with Redline on him...which has frozen due to the cold and needs to be defrosted. Hooray for realism in my spooky prison hell space dimension game.


Despair check! Here is where they threw the bones when they were done chomping on them. They used to dump them in the Pit but then one of them disappeared by the Pit so this is the trash now. Examining the bones shows tooth marks and thorough nibbling of the meat off the bones. It takes a lot to stop Kira from jumping snout-first into the trash.


It's your old buddy the Pit. There's now water in the Pit. It's dark and empty. Don't fall in because despite there being water down there the fall will kill you. Also the last time they went down there they ended up having to punch a psychic teenager and then punch a whole bunch of rapists. Let's not have a repeat of that.


This is where the King repaired his ~special weapon~ and make fuel for it, turning the area into a workshop. Instead of killing the King, they should beat on him until he shares the secret of crafting ammo. You can get basic tools, 1 precision component, 2 rigid components and 5 volatile components.


The cannibals cooked their meals here in a pot, boiling the meat off the bones into a gruel for the members of the tribe who were like "I don't feel morally comfortable with chomping on a roasted haunch of dude". Inside of the pot are bones and skulls and a Despair check if you didn't already figure out the people here were eating people. Some of the tools here for cooking and eating were made out of scrap metal and count as two 1d6 improvised weapons and a shiv. In the zone marked * is a box of caustic detergent used to clean showers that the King poisoned the rest of his tribe with. If you want to take this box of Arm and Harmer, go ahead, it's 1 chemical component.


Two Creeping Confidantes live here, the new Demons for the book. Creeping Confidantes, COME ON DOWN!



CREEPING CONFIDANTES

Creeping Confidantes slither out of the darkness to hide the deeds of something that someone did. They're low-intensity Guilt Demons who are summoned when a person commits a horrible crime that has a plethora of evidence. Creeping Confidantes resemble giant centipedes with weird proportions, 50 legs and heads "strangely reminiscent of a twisted, grinning, kabuki mask". I mean. I sure am glad you told me that's what they're supposed to look like because boy howdy you didn't include any coloration or patterns that actually say "kabuki mask". After they appear they offer a deal: pact with me and I'll literally eat the evidence. They can choke down entire bodies, lick blood clean off the floor and swallow murder weapons and other evidence. In reality you don't have to make a deal with it at all; it'll just eat the evidence because it wants to, then hang out in case you do more crimes. And you will probably do more crimes because you crimed sufficiently to warrants its presence.



All things considered this is a relatively fair Demon. The Guilt Venom is interesting enough but frankly could stand to be toned down a bit more, the debuff isn't bad, they're just not flagrantly awful and overpowered and dumb.

Anyway the Creeping Confidantes hang out here in the place that used to be the main chamber for the cannibals. There are blankets, makeshift living quarters and abandoned campfires. In the refuse and piles of stuff that you can't scavenge is an abandoned camcorder that was carried by the Psychos into battle to record their video. It's damaged but the digital memory card is intact to be reviewed with the right equipment. Ultimately this is what G-Unit is after and they have to bring it back to the Giants to find out what's on it. But first they have to deal with the Cre-oh wait they keeled over and died.


The tribe built this for their King. He doesn't really use it after he killed 'em.


The lady from 3 appears here and can be followed to a small circular chamber marked with a *. Following her lets you see how she died:



Despair check! She's forced to relive how she died, doing it over and over and over. The only thing you can find here are more lottery tickets.


The drains are kinda clogged from the ice and sheer amount of water constantly raining. If you enter in this area with the Sorrow Leech still following you, the water will foil its invisibility by running down its body as it falls. This is the only other way to see the Leech outside of going nuts. So that's nice I guess.


This is where the betrayers met their end at the dinner table. Examining the corpses shows what happens when you eat shower detergent: your cheeks, tongue and teeth rot away pretty quickly and also burn holes in your throat and chest if you remove their shirts (why would you?). Also this causes a Despair check because...well, really, I won't lie. This is a pretty awful way to die. The only items here are stuff made out of human bones: six cups made out of skulls, dice made from teeth and a hatchet made from a shoulder blade that is a 1d6 damage improvised weapon.


MADNESS REIIIIIIIIGNS! IN THE HALL! OF THE CANNIBAL KING! After he's done with his monologue, he rises from his rubble hiding space to reveal the two terrible secrets of the King of the Cannibals: his ~special weapon~ is a Scorcher he took off some dead Psychos and managed to fix.



And he's Nibble. Yup. Remember Nibble? If Nibble didn't survive D-Block, replace him with some other NPC, like Chompo, Bitemaster, Toothy Bill, Masti-Kate, Jaws "Richard Kiel" Grindmore, Crunchy Crunch and the Funky Bunch, Ol' Marrow Lips, Anthropopha Gus, Leonard The Dude Who Eats People or everyone's favorite character The Calcium From Your Bones Kid.


FIGURE A: NIBBLE

"To the PCs he looks like a plain, balding man who might have been an accountant or librarian in life, unexceptional and overlooked by a world he grew to despise for not noticing him. He has decorated his face with swirls of tribal paint, but he still seems somehow ordinary despite the mask. One would almost be forgiven for discounting the foolish cretin’s ravings, if not for the burning red light that causes his eyes to glow perceptibly…"



FIGURE B: ALSO NIBBLE

G-Unit did in fact meet Nibble on the way to Sanctuary but never ran into him in the tunnels of D-Block and figured out his terrible secret. They thought he was just a right creepy little fucker and parted ways with him ASAP. They have no idea what the hell he's on about. Anyway because he's crazy and has Rage, he can keep fighting for 7 rounds after being reduced to 0 Health and literally cannot stop fighting despite diplomacy. And, honestly, his Scorcher is a pretty good threat for a squad of PCs, especially a squad of 7 people, a robot and a small yet vicious dog.



Two problems, though: Beth and Doc both have Quickness and they now have an unexploded flashbang. They shoot it into his face and a hail of bullets, pulse laser shots and loud barking bring him down thanks to a concentrated assault.

The adventure ends when Nibble dies and the Sorrow Leech is killed or gone. Both have been achieved. You basically just jump-cut back to the Hospital and turn the camcorder over to JD who has Needles help him attach the memory card to a TV to show the contents of the card. The Furies swing by and the PCs, JD, Needles and Patch sit down for a cutscene which I will leave in here intact.



Adventure over! Cliffhanger achieved! Now is the time of 1d6 Despair reduction and the giving of 200 points plus more points!



FINAL THOUGHTS

So, unsurprisingly, when you cut way back on being filler inspired by a bunch of horror movies and Magical Realm Fetishes, you kinda get a mostly empty book that just has a lot of "go Over There because we told you to". The plot of this is really just bumbling into diplomacy, then bumbling into a coup, then bumbling into a nature hike then bumbling into the "tragic" remains of a betrayal that has something to say about the nature of man if you squint and look at it from across the room. It's less lethal but that's really just because there's less to do in general. The sole saving grace continues to be that you can obtain a pet puppy and snuggle his cuddly little tummy until all of the Despair goes away.

Five down, one to go. Now, full disclosure: I was dumb and bought the core book. I got it at a discount and it still wasn't worth it. All of these modules I downloaded off the back of a truck I pirated off the internet. This last one I had to buy, it just wasn't available on the majority of trucks I looked at. So get ready for the grand finale of Abandon All Hope, a story where G-Unit journeys into the belly of a literal deathtrap to strike at the heart of OBLIVION to rescue Johnson and end the entire product line!

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Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

So Needles is definitely the AAH authors' pet character.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Hahaha this is Nibble. What do you think? No? Well howzabout...DARKSIDE JUGGALO NIBBLE?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Slaves to Darkness

Playing as a Chaos Champion is one of the big reasons this book exists. This is another place that the modular nature of WHFRP2e really gets to shine, because the same rules work just as well for making a customized, heavily armored jackass to be a storyline-ending boss fight for your players as they do for making a group of crazed power metal would-be dark lords. Champions of Chaos are those who have offered everything they had to the Gods, and been accepted. The menacing Chaos Warriors in their huge, imposing armor are men and women who have begun the first step on this path. Warriors, commoners, and people of all walks of life, all races and genders (except halflings, they're legitimately immune to Chaos) sometimes feel the Call and begin to journey north to their destiny. The person inside that massive suit of armor may've been anyone in their past life. An elven princess, a stableboy, an engineer, a soldier, a Beastman, a Norse berserker? Any of these people could hear the Call for one reason or another and make their way to the lands of the Gods. This means that if you want to play a game about being aspiring Champions, a good way to put some variety into the party is to give them a couple 'normal' Careers each before they made their way to the Wastes and the Gods threw them together as allies.

The Champions are all a very specific manifestation of their Gods, namely of their Gods' various martial aspects. These obviously make the most sense for Khorne, and this whole thing coming from a tabletop wargame is probably one of the reasons 'WE FIGHT DUDES' is the most popular Chaos God in much of the game's material. Khorne warriors are kind of the archetype, massive red and brass armored warriors who sweep down from the north in silence, there to worship their god only in the screams of the dying and the sound of their blades hitting flesh. Nurglite warriors use their armor to hold their increasingly rotted and ruined bodies together, silently making their way south to spread corruption like the trail of a massive, armored slug. Slaaneshi really don't work as Chaos Warriors and that's always been one of the reasons GW has struggled so with Slaanesh. The huge emphasis in most Slaanesh material on crazy sadomasochism is probably a result of 'Well we gotta find some excuse to get these guys and gals on the field of combat' (I'd have personally gone with 'I pursue excellence and perfection, and the martial arts are an art', myself) and so we get an unimpressive description of Slaaneshi warbands as some kind of armored orgy-riot rather than anything a GM is ever going to use. Tzeentch Warriors also don't quite work, because 'heavily armored bruiser' doesn't go with his 'thing', but they like to dress in crazy colors and armor themselves in ridiculous styles while insisting the best change is death so they're totally servants of change and not off-brand Warriors.

The Champion Track is unique in that *generally* once you're on it you can't leave. This affords the authors a lot of leeway in designing the classes, so there aren't a lot of redundant talents at the higher levels of Champion since they can absolutely assume you got the older stuff in your last career. You also cannot advance through the Champion track without gaining sufficient mutations and rewards of Chaos. Rewards are special boons/changes earned either every 6 or so sessions on average, when your PC does something crazy and helpful to the cause of ruining the world for everyone else, or if your GM is stingy, given every time they'd grant you a Fate Point for exceptional action. Champion starts with Chaos Warrior, which is only barely stronger than a 1st Tier (aside from likely getting you a suit of full plate) and teaching you some journeying skills to help you make your way north. Once you finish Warrior and earn your first reward, you become a Chaos Knight, which is a more traveling-focused version of the normal uncorrupted Knight career (Good heavy melee 2nd tier) but also comes with a very important power: Chosen of Chaos. This lets you always reroll mutation rolls and take the one you want, in addition to any mutation rerolls from spending Fortune. As you're going to inevitably continue to mutate as a Champion PC (or while rolling up a Champion villain) you're going to really want that ability. The Aspiring Champion is a sort of Tier 2.5 character, picking up +2 Attacks and a ton of wounds, but not advancing stats that much further from Knight. You need 2 rewards to enter it and this is where most Chaos characters will end their track; actual Champions love killing off Aspiring Champions to protect their positions. Champions of Chaos are where you start to become a storyline-boss level enemy. They get some pretty immense stat increases (like +30 Toughness) and have 3 Rewards and who knows how many mutations, which are more likely to be favorable due to Chosen of Chaos. You're also intended to have a magic weapon, actual Chaos Armor, a warband, and some other relic of the Dark Gods by this point. Finally, there's the Exalted Champion, which is the single strongest fighting career in the gameline. They're meant to be bosses for an entire party to fight, like Vampire Lords, with at least 4 Rewards and the Mark of their God, crazy stat advances (+40 Toughness, +30 Strength, +40 WS makes them the most physically powerful class in the line), and +3 Attacks, something no mortal career gains. They even learn to sense magic, if not use it.

Champions and Exalted Champions basically exist to be boss fights or extremely powerful PCs. There's also a very important point in the Champion fluff. As a Warrior, you know who you were and why you came to serve. As a Knight, you begin to lose some of the trivial memories of your past, but still remember what really mattered to you. As an Aspiring Champion, you only remember the things that defined your life, with everything else lost in the howl of the Dark Gods. As a Champion, you cannot recall who you were or why you're here, any longer. Champions invent new identities for themselves, pleasing to their Gods, and think no more on what drove them north. This is obviously pretty horrifying, but it also explains why Chaos Champions get slowly more and more extreme as they advance. They're literally unmade and remade to be nothing but a vessel for the desires of their God. Playing a PC like that could be interesting and tragic (once), or you could play someone who finds ways to hang on to who they were and remember why they took up the axe.

Sorcerers get their own track of classes, though they're not as impressive as the Champions. Really, their line is much more of 'Apprentice Dark Wizard', 'Journeyman Dark Wizard', 'Master Dark Wizard', 'Dark Wizard Lord', much more closely mirroring the Imperial wizard progression. They don't even get extra attacks as they level up, unlike the insanely powerful Bray Shaman. They DO interact with some Rewards of Chaos differently, and if a Sorcerer can get Chaos Armor they can use their magic without any penalties from inside their new skin. Similar to Champions, they slowly lose all memory of who they were or why they've done this, remembering only what their God wants of them.

Next Time: Rewards of the Dark Gods.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Do they get the stupid Chaos surfboard?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

Do they get the stupid Chaos surfboard?

The class picture does, and with the right rolls you could get a Chaos Steed or Demonic Mount that counts as the flying surfboard, yes.

The Sorcerer Class Picture, I mean.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.
Interestingly, 40k does a lot more with the idea of Slaaneshi warriors who aren't into sadomasochism. Much more common are incredibly refined duelist types - the sort who are obsessed with getting the killing cut just right or being improbably fancy to try to force their opponent to admit how much better they are, things like that.

Vega from Street Fighter would be a classic Slaaneshi warrior.

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 14:00 on Aug 16, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Also, I have no idea which book this bit of fluff came from and it's not in this specific book, but I can't write this much about Chaos and not tell the story of The Cup.

See, when Slaanesh came into existence, she gave gifts to the other Gods to mark the occasion. Nurgle and Tzeentch took theirs and said something nice or whatever, but Khorne was presented with a beautiful, jeweled cup. Khorne proceeded to yell that it was decadent triviality but use fewer syllable and smashed it to pieces. Then, when the other three were gone, he carefully pieced it back together and took it with him. Every time someone notices he has it he blames Slaanesh and smashes it again, then puts it back together when no-one is watching.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
My favourite 40k story is the one about the Sensei, possibly the Emprah's mini-Jesus sons who were eventually tried for heresy and ground up to make psychic bullets or something.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

I'm pretty sure the AAH writers meant Noh Masks and not Kabuki, but being a bunch of hacks they never bother to double check their references.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.

Cythereal posted:

Interestingly, 40k does a lot more with the idea of Slaaneshi warriors who aren't into sadomasochism. Much more common are incredibly refined duelist types - the sort who are obsessed with getting the killing cut just right or being improbably fancy to try to force their opponent to admit how much better they are, things like that.

Vega from Street Fighter would be a classic Slaaneshi warrior.

Either that or the good ol' Noise Marines who desperately try to make every battle the biggest, loudest spectacle they can and draw all the attention to themselves. Even moreso than Chaos Champions usually do.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Inescapable Duck posted:

Either that or the good ol' Noise Marines who desperately try to make every battle the biggest, loudest spectacle they can and draw all the attention to themselves. Even moreso than Chaos Champions usually do.

40k also has examples of purely martial warriors of Tzeentch. They're most often the sort of intellectual warrior who believes in winning by outwitting and out-planning their opponent - the chess player sort who crows that with every sword stroke, every step you fall further and further into their trap exactly as predicted.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018

In fairness, 40k also has less in the way of 'literal wizards' - psykers aren't quite the same, even if they fill the same mechanical role.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Mors Rattus posted:

In fairness, 40k also has less in the way of 'literal wizards' - psykers aren't quite the same, even if they fill the same mechanical role.

True, but Tzeentch can be just as much about the warrior who fights with guile and cunning or obsessively studies and rehearses her tactics or is a shapeshifter.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Well, I mean, Tzeentch can be whatever you say Tzeentch is, because Tzeentch is a cardboard cutout with the words 'CHANGE' and 'PUPPETMASTER' scribbled in sharpie.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Mors Rattus posted:

Well, I mean, Tzeentch can be whatever you say Tzeentch is, because Tzeentch is a cardboard cutout with the words 'CHANGE' and 'PUPPETMASTER' scribbled in sharpie.

This is the problem with Chaos in general. I was trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. >_>

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Warhammer Fantasy seems like a great setting to steal ideas from (I may have basically have Brettonnia be a nation of D&D Dragonborn, with all the irony that implies) but with a fair few difficulties actually running it unless you take liberties with underdeveloped and poorly realised aspects of the setting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Service guarantees tentacles

Talking about the rewards of Chaos is going to give us a good excuse to get into one of the major problems with Chaos, and with playing as Chaos. There are multiple methods given for deciding when to Reward a Champion or Chaos PC. One is to do it by GM fiat, completely at random, emulating the Gods in their fickle and controlling ways. Another is to give players a Reward per 4-6 major sessions of play, suggesting that their simply existing and adventuring is strengthening and pleasing the Gods. Another is to give players a Reward whenever they accomplish a major quest or gain a Fate Point. You don't gain Fate Points very often, so that's likely to leave players unable to move up the Champion track very easily. Finally, one suggestion is that for every month in-game you roll a d10. If you get the sacred number of the PC's God (8 for Khorne, 7 for Nurgle, 6 for Slaanesh, 9 for Tzeentch) they get a reward. If you get the sacred number of their God's enemy (Nurgle for Tzeentch, Khorne for Slaanesh, and vice-versa) they gain a Mutation instead. Every time you gain a Reward, you gain Insanity equal to d10/5 (round up)+1 per point of Mag your character has, with a WP test to reduce the IP by your Degrees of Success. This means most Champions will go crazy very quickly, and wizard champions moreso. Yes, Chaos should be nuts and all but the Insanity system's insanities are almost all crippling to actually playing your character and designed to ruin a PC. They're not the crazy epic 'I'm a mad dark lord who's going to plot to destroy my foes' eccentricities you'd expect, they just destroy your PC. And remember you're also getting these from mutating. Honestly, I'd just say an actual Champion of Darkness is beyond Insanity points as it is, since they're already dealing with mind-shattering eldritch horror all the time.

The other problem is the single largest entry on the Rewards table is 'Gain a Mutation'. Which is meant to be the booby-prize or punishment in Chaos Rewards. There's also Exalted Daemon, where your PC is destroyed completely and used as host for a Greater Daemon (with the suggestion you roll up a new PC rather than play the insanely powerful demon-host), Frenzy (OH YAY, though if you roll Frenzy as a reward multiple times it starts permanently buffing your Str and Tough by +d10), Chaos Weapon (These are rad, we'll get to them in a later chapter), Chaos Armor (Which means you can't take the stuff off, even if it's the best armor in the game), a Chaos Steed (random but substantial mount), Chaos Spawn (A bunch of them will come to serve you, rather than you becoming one, thankfully), The Might Of Chaos, where you roll a d10 and get that many points to distribute as you wish to your stats as a permanent buff (no more than half in one stat) which is much more useful than it sounds, a Daemonic Weapon (Which are, hilariously, worse than a Chaos Weapon and you can't actually get one unless you're an Exalted Champion, instead getting a mutation), a Demonic Steed (VERY powerful mount), a Gift specific to your God (roll on another table), a bunch of Chaos Hounds to serve you, or The Eye of God. If you roll the Eye of God, tally your rewards and mutations. If you have 6 Rewards and fewer than 6 Mutations, you are ascended into Daemon Princedom. This effectively kills your PC because they've won at Chaos and become a demigod to go hang out with their God as one of their favored servants. Your new PC should get more Fate, more free advances, and more options to set a low stat to 'average' in return for you being willing to give up your old PC, which makes me wonder if anyone really introduces totally fresh 1st tier PCs into like a 3rd-4th tier party because a PC died or became unplayable. If you have 6 or more mutations, you die and become a Chaos Spawn because you didn't get enough favor. If you have fewer than 6 of both, the Gods are pleased and give you Chaos Armor and a Daemon Weapon (regardless of your status). If you're a Sorcerer, instead of either of those things, they give you a permanent +1 Attacks.

The big thing about this table is that it's a d100 table, and many of these results are only 1 or 2% chances individually. While Gifts of the Gods is like 20%, Might of Chaos is 10%, and Just Mutate is 39%. Some of these gifts also only become really rad if you roll them multiple times. The average character isn't going to get many of these, and expecting the character to roll, say, Chaos Weapon (a 5% chance overall) more than once to get more than one special ability on their Chaos Weapon is a little absurd. Similarly, if you're using the strict Trappings system, you absolutely have to earn Chaos Armor at some point to get into the higher ranks of Champion, and that's another 5% chance. On a table you won't be rolling on often. And as you see with Eye of God and the Chaos Spawn rules, accruing Mutations will eventually doom your PC. Your chances of actually getting the Chaos Good End (which also just effectively kills your PC anyway) are, uh, slight.

Which has always been one of the problems with Chaos. The people serving it don't, generally, get very much out of it. The Gods don't give a poo poo about you, until they suddenly give all the shits about you the second you try to act out of 'character' for them. You get some powers and maybe some nice magic items if you're lucky, but for the most part they eat your personality, spit out a weird caricature that doesn't remember why it's here, and then destroy that weird caricature later for not being enough of a caricature. You just don't win with Chaos, and it feels like people in setting that know it well enough would start to catch on to that and it'd start having recruiting problems. It's so *consistent* about dicking over its own followers. It could at least let a few people get the thing they always wanted before revealing THE TERRIBLE PRICE or whatever. Like with the magic items, the way to win Chaos's game is just not to play. The degree to which the Gods hate and delight in loving over their own, not to mention the way their goals always boil down to 'destroy the world', make playing as Chaos without shifting the fluff a little or messing with the rules really dull sounding.

Next Time: God Specific Rewards, Most Of Them Aren't Good.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

The only real purpose of Chaos is to have a constantly renewable set of supervillains to fight who take themselves somewhat more seriously than Greenskins do.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

The only real purpose of Chaos is to have a constantly renewable set of supervillains to fight who take themselves somewhat more seriously than Greenskins do.

Like, the problem with Chaos's writing is that it doesn't acknowledge that. It needs to either be like 'Yeah, these guys are crazy assholes for the good guys to face', or it needs to rein things in a little. Chaos feels like it badly needs to be less or more than it is right now; it either needs to be more mysterious and unknowable, like the weirdness with Hashut, or it needs to acknowledge it's A Villain rather than The Villain, you know?

The Gods always just feel like petty monomaniacs. The human Gods let their followers get up to all kinds of crazy religious wars and complaints and doctrinal splits, why can't the Demon Gods do the same?

E: I mean, imagine if the Chaos Gods sat back and let doctrinal differences develop *where they have less influence*. You could have southern cults that are totally unrecognizable to the sort of homogenized northern warriors (who are most effected by the raw horror from the wound in the world) and that work against and crusade against one another, etc.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Aug 16, 2017

The Lemondrop Dandy
Jun 7, 2007

If my memory serves me correctly...


Wedge Regret
Boy, nothing really happens in that last AAH adventure, other than forced torture, huh? At least you find a rad doggie.

The return to sanctuary seems like a big wet fart of nothing in particular. It could have been spiced up with a bunch more Gonzo traps or weird alien Flora or something.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

The Lemondrop Dandy posted:

Boy, nothing really happens in that last AAH adventure, other than forced torture, huh? At least you find a rad doggie.

The return to sanctuary seems like a big wet fart of nothing in particular. It could have been spiced up with a bunch more Gonzo traps or weird alien Flora or something.
Hell, just have the cannibals thrive because even more prisoners acting on outdated info show up and are put to the sword under join or be eaten. You can still keep Nibble and have a threat that is greater than just one man armed with a flamethrower.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

I sure hope you didn't build a social PC

Every set of God gifts starts out with a set of 'face' gifts, which turn your face into something demonic and hateful. For instance, Face of Khorne gives you Terrifying as it turns your head into a crazy shadowy bull head that speaks with the echoes of the voices of every mortal you've killed. Effectively, aside from the fluff (and the fact that you'll obviously be unable to pass for human ever again) they're not very exciting and just a succession of 'Gain a bite attack' or 'gain horns' or 'Become Terrifying'. I'll mostly be skipping them. Khorne's next gift after faces of everything he throws into battle is 'skin of Khorne', which randomly changes your skin color and has no benefit at all unless you roll a 9-10 on a d10 and get Skin of Brass for +d10 Toughness. The Hand of Khorne gives your fists the ability to do SB-1 damage and count as magic, and any further rolls of this gift give them +1 damage. Given the Street Fighting talent gives +1 damage and +10 WS when unarmed (normally not something you ever want to be) you could make a pretty awesome Khornate Godhand out of this so I kinda approve of this one. The Mark of Khorne gives you a free suit of Chaos Armor as he sets you up to never do anything but war the rest of your life, or gives your Chaos Armor +1 AV on one location if you already had it, plus +10% Fellowship with other Khornates. If you roll it again, it's stripped from you for displeasing the God somehow and replaced with a mutation. Musk of Hate lets you cause everyone around you to roll WP or fall into a totally uncontrolled Frenzy whenever you Frenzy, during which they attack whatever's closest rather than still being able to go for 'closest enemy'. Poison Bite is exactly like the mutation, giving you an SB-2 Precise bite attack that does d5 extra Wounds if someone fails Tough. Regeneration is just the Regeneration mutation, healing you completely between fights and 1 wound a round during them. Frenzy is, uh, Frenzy. Our good friend. Cross Breed turns you into a weird dog-centaur thing that averages all your stats between your current stats and a Flesh Hound of Khorne. As you're a Chaos Champion, your stats are almost certainly better than a mook demon. This will suck for you and also make using armor and weapons hard. gently caress Cross Breed. Personality Loss is fitting for a Khornate and accelerates the normal Warrior's personality loss, reducing all your mental stats by 2d10. *All of them*. Permanently. Including WP, which you use for bravery. Khorne considers this a *reward*. Weapon Hand replaces one of your hands with one of your weapons with no real benefit. A Demonic Name doesn't actually do anything game wise besides make it seem like maybe you might make Demon Prince soon enough. And finally you can just Mutate instead. Khorne's Rewards suck.

Nurgle gives you the various forms of Face Gift, and Face of Nurgle's description is missing and only has a description of Khorne giving you a Demonic Name (nice editing), so I have no idea what it'd do but it was probably icky. You can get an extra tongue attack via Biting Tongue, which is only Damage 1 but happens in addition to all your other attacks as your tongue decides to become a tentacle. Immensity makes you fatter and filthier like Nurgle, giving -10 Agi but +10 Tough because Nurglites are nearly impossible to kill. Neglish Rot makes you a host for the insane save or die mutagenic virus that terrifies people so much, which won't matter during your actual fights but will really piss off players if you put it on a villain. Horns of Nurgle gives you the Horns mutation without counting as a mutation. Plague gives you a disease that you can spread, but which will also slowly kill you and that you can never recover from. Yay. Hide of Nurgle makes you unable to heal unless your injuries are treated because you never heal and continue rotting away, but each instance of it gives all foes in melee -10% WS since you're horrifying to be anywhere near. You can get cross-bred with a Beast of Nurgle and it sucks as much as it does with Flesh Hounds. You can get infested with tiny Nurglings who will charge out and annoy/disease your foes in combat. You can gain a magic little familiar, or a slime trail left behind you that spreads disease. The Mark of Nurgle makes you grow d10 inches in height and increase your body weight by 50%, and gives +2d10 Toughness and +10 to Fellowship with Nurglites, but can be lost like the Khorne one. You can get a Demonic Name or a Mutation at the end of every one of these tables so I won't repeat them. Nurgle's Gifts are a pain in the rear end to deal with if you're a PC fighting a Nurglite, but aside from all the Toughness they don't do the Nurglite much good in direct combat. They mostly exist to gently caress with people and spread disease after you're gone.

Fair warning, the Slaanesh gifts are going to be as bad as you'd expect.

Face gifts, blah blah, same as the others but without copy errors. Sadomasochist gives you +10 to Str, Tough, and WP every time you either take or do one wound during combat, for d10 Rounds. It does not stack unless you get multiple instances of the Gift, in which case you add 10 more to the bonuses, which can stack to the heavens quickly if you get a couple instances of this. Crabclaw gives you a Daemonette's weird-rear end crabclaw, ruining a hand to give you a natural weapon. Meh. Curious Eruptions, uh...look, it makes your bodily fluids give people the Sadomasochist gift. Christ, guys, this is why it ended up being a good idea for Slaanesh to get squatted eventually. All you had to do was make her satan instead of...this. Ensnaring Tongue lets you use your tongue like a weapon with Snare. Intoxicating Personality is a rare example of a Gift that doesn't suck: +1d10 WP and Fel, no drawback. Familiar gives you a little demon buddy. Cross Breed does the same lovely thing it does with every God, just with a Fiend of Slaanesh. Horns of Slaanesh gives you horns. Musk gives you a Keeper of Secrets' ability to enthrall people with pheromones, making living creatures who are affects try to run close to you and make themselves Helpless (WP to resist, WP-10 to resist each round after they're ensnared) which is crazily good in combat even if it's creepy. Razor Tail gives you a sharp tail that gives an extra limb with a Natural Weapon. Mark of Slaanesh curiously increases WP instead of Fel, by +2d10, and acts like all the other Marks. Slaanesh's gifts are terrible. We really didn't need the weird 'S&M juice' stuff, guys. We really, *really* didn't. This is what I mean when I say Slaanesh can be done well, and this book does not do it. For contrast, go check out Black Crusade's Slaanesh book. It actually manages to be non-creepy (mostly)! FFG did a way better job with this God.

Tzeentch has the Faces like everyone does, then has Ecstatic Duplication, which causes you to split into Tzeentch Horrors when you die. You're still dead, though, so mostly a way for a villain to take one last stab at PCs. Hand of Tzeentch just gives you a Natural Weapon tentacle, though the fluff for it has your fingers wage a terrible civil war on one another because your hand is misbehaving and destroy one another in the process, then the hand turn into a tentacle in grief, and I thought that was pretty funny. Flaming Arm lets you shoot fireballs out of a hand-mouth, doing 3 Damage 3 hits to a target if you succeed BS, which is a pretty useful ranged attack. Gift of Magic gives you an instant +1 Mag! You can also access Tzeentch's Lores and powers, even if your class wouldn't allow them! If this Gift makes your Mag become 5 or more, though, you explode in wizard sparkles. Reckoning of Tzeentch has you flip a coin for every stat. 1-5, you take -d10 to it. 6-10, you get +d10 to it. Cross Breed actually does something different: On a 1-4 you get Flaming Arm instead. On 5-8, you get Flaming Arm but the arm can still be used normally, too! On a 9 your legs turn into hover engines or something and you float above the ground. On a 10 you die instantly and turn into a Chaos Spawn. Whoops. Magic of Tzeentch gives you a single spell you can cast at Mag 3 with a magic wand given to your by Tzeentch. Familiar gives you a little useless demon buddy. Wings lets you fly and gives you working wings. Changing of Ways makes you reroll all your starting stats. Withering Gaze lets you give people -10% to attack you in melee because you got crazy void eyes, man. Mark of Tzeentch immediately gives you d5 Mutations (not counting towards your Spawn/loving up Eye of God limit) and +1 Mag (which will not explode you if it raises it to 5 or whatever) and Dark Lore (Tzeentch). If you have the Dark Lore, Tzeentch sends you a random magic item that you must keep or he'll kill you. Name and Mutation are the same as always. Tzeentch actually has the least lovely gifts and they're still super random.

Rewards kind of suck and really could've used another look. The God Specific rewards are just kinda meh and most of them don't do anything exciting beyond edgy, try-hard flavor texts about cutting your own face off to see if you can still feel and other dumb poo poo like that.

I'm still mad about writing up the Slaanesh section.

Next Time: Groupies.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

It's inevitable: The gibbering, slavering minions of Chaos are attracted to power.

Retinues suck for PCs as actual on-screen help. I'm just gonna say that right now. You've seen how powerful the leadership feat is in 3.5 or Pathfinder. You've seen how almost any game that has an option to get you a bunch of expendable NPC backup is usually extremely overpowered. You get a roll on the Retinue table every 2 Rewards, and that determines if you get to roll on the *actual* Retinue table 0, 1, or 2 times. You've got a 30% chance of attracting no followers, a 60% chance of some, and a 10% chance of double. The actual Retinue table is a bunch of very random 'roll again to see if you get your 40% chance of a minotaur after rolling to see if you get any characters at all and then rolling this result' and it's terrible. There's a good way to use a chart for random generation and there's a bad way to use a chart for random generation, and this is a Bad Way.

The game even acknowledges that if you're lucky on this table, an individual Chaos PC can achieve an enormous number of troops (troops you're supposed to roll up separately as full NPCs, too! Even track advances!) who will trivialize or slow down RPG scale encounters, suggesting maybe you make your warband into a WHFB unit and play out games to determine your really big battles, which is a terrible idea that shouldn't even be entertained. They also suggest that instead your NPCs should just handle enemy mooks off-screen while the party deals with the real threats, which is fine but begs the question as to why there's all these goddamn tables and making them as NPCs and other random bullshit. There's even special tables for distributing your Rewards to your minions.

Similarly, they suggest that PCs could start out as the Retinue of a powerful Chaos Lord or Demon Prince as patron, collecting these sorts of bonus rewards as they work their way up and then either split off or overthrow their master. This will also result in some players being unfairly more rewarded than others, which it acknowledges will annoy them, and suggests letting them rotate playing as the Chaos Lord or Prince each session, which just doesn't seem like it'd work.

The problem with this section, short as it is, is that it's the worst kind of randomization. I can't use this stuff, either as GM making villains for players, because I'd rather actually plan out the encounters around what the players can handle rather than 'Yeah, I rolled that the Chaos Knight has 3 Chaos Trolls and your newly 2nd tier party is just turbofucked' happening because of some bad rolling in Enemy Warband Creation. I can't use this for a Chaos Party (if I ever wanted to run one) because it takes a lot of focus off the PCs and it's a huge amount of book-keeping and isn't something the system was ever designed to handle. It doesn't produce fun villains or good encounters for PCs, and it's useless for a player party without either bogging down or unbalancing the game.

Retinues suck, and worse, they're just sort of lazy. These issues are glaring ones that anyone familiar with this system should be able to see. This little section feels tacked on just because, well, a Chaos Champion always has a warband, right? But what if you aren't playing a one on one game? Do you just play all the PCs warbands at once? What if one PC never attracts followers, since it's random? Does that player just get to sit out whenever the team does anything large scale or leads armies? This is here because they think it has to be here, with very little thought put into it, and it's bad.

Next: We make a Chaos Champion to demonstrate creating a villain to murder.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Hostile V posted:

Hell, just have the cannibals thrive because even more prisoners acting on outdated info show up and are put to the sword under join or be eaten. You can still keep Nibble and have a threat that is greater than just one man armed with a flamethrower.

It's weird how neutered the final areas are, given how they love their bullshit fights and elaborate set pieces.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Robindaybird posted:

It's weird how neutered the final areas are, given how they love their bullshit fights and elaborate set pieces.

Considering how uncreative everything in the game was, I think they're running out of steam as the campaign/line goes on. Like, the fight for Sanctuary was clumsy and all, but the idea of 'here's a bunch of relatively sane people, PCs can take command and try to lead them through a major conflict' is at least an interesting adventure seed. It was done badly, but there was some energy to it. Some of it also seems to be the lack of an actual idea for what the PCs are trying to do, overall, in this campaign. So far, Hostile's interpretation that G-Unit is mostly just trying to survive, find decent food, find safe places to sleep, and recruit a few extra soldiers seems to be the best you could do with what you're given. You can't actually directly fight the demons and it's pointless to do so since it only inconveniences them. Your gear and weapons are heavily limited. The ship's badly damaged and there doesn't seem to be any hint of a way to get it moving again. Most of the prisoners are dead and more are dying the longer this mess goes on. It's a campaign with nothing to do, written by people who haven't a single creative bone in their bodies, and it shouldn't be a surprise that they're straight up running out of lovely horror movie homage filler to throw at the party.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Robindaybird posted:

It's weird how neutered the final areas are, given how they love their bullshit fights and elaborate set pieces.
Oblivion contains the most ludicrously bullshit setpiece 3/4ths of the way in. The beginning of the module is kind of a cakewalk then the second quarter only really has one fight. Then comes the setpiece that will probably kill half of the party, no joke, and is a series of skill checks rather than combat so the problem won't just keel over and die. Then comes the boss fights. It's legit like a false sense of security thing.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
So there's an encounter that's designed to kill everyone except the skill monkies, then an encounter that's guaranteed to kill the skill monkies?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Kurieg posted:

So there's an encounter that's designed to kill everyone except the skill monkies, then an encounter that's guaranteed to kill the skill monkies?
Is your Prowess, Reflexes or Wits lower than 5? Well then, go grab another slice of pizza and a handful of cheetos then watch the real players try to beat the final fights of the module. All two of them.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Inescapable Duck posted:

Warhammer Fantasy seems like a great setting to steal ideas from (I may have basically have Brettonnia be a nation of D&D Dragonborn, with all the irony that implies) but with a fair few difficulties actually running it unless you take liberties with underdeveloped and poorly realised aspects of the setting.

War ham in general will always feel underdeveloped because it's a minatures war game and the role playing elements were stapled on later. There's only a certain level of nuance the setting can tolerate when it's designed to be a battleground for overpriced army-mans.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013



As dumb as it sounds, warhammer did not start out as a wargame. It started out as a way for GW to make RPG products while avoiding paying licensing fees to TSR. It then became a war game and dropped the RPG stuff. Then later still it revived the RPG.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I think the real problem with the Rewards is, compare them to Virtues in Bretonnia or Blood Gifts. Those are all cool as hell abilities that give you unique powers and things you can base a character around, both concept wise and mechanically.

Rewards are totally random and are basically the Gods deciding to write over your PC. All of Chaos, if played as written, is the Gods overwriting your PC concept and forcing you to play by their rules. That sucks and isn't any fun.

Also, mechanically, they're just disappointing and not that well thought out.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.
You can see the underlying theme they were aiming it - stack up enough divine favour before the mutations overwhelm you. That's been the regular depiction of the life of a Chaos champion in the fluff. You aim high because you have to make demon prince before you degenerate into spawn.

They just urgently needed mechanically solid ways to get that divine favour and have it do meaningful, good things to the character to counteract the LOLRANDOM mutation table.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Terrible Opinions posted:

As dumb as it sounds, warhammer did not start out as a wargame. It started out as a way for GW to make RPG products while avoiding paying licensing fees to TSR. It then became a war game and dropped the RPG stuff. Then later still it revived the RPG.

Huh. That's interesting! I stand corrected.

The Skeep
Sep 15, 2007

That Chicken sure loves to drum...sticks

Hostile V posted:

Oblivion contains the most ludicrously bullshit setpiece 3/4ths of the way in. The beginning of the module is kind of a cakewalk then the second quarter only really has one fight. Then comes the setpiece that will probably kill half of the party, no joke, and is a series of skill checks rather than combat so the problem won't just keel over and die. Then comes the boss fights. It's legit like a false sense of security thing.

Anyone want to take bets on what dumb mechanic they'll use for the setpiece? My guess is on the party having to run through a operating factory belt.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Hostile V had said the adventures got cut short, but like others said - what's the eventual point. Far as it looks, the only thing anyone can do is try to survive as long as possible, there's no hints of any means to get out of the hellhole or even get the ship functional in more than a few patches.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements



Isn't the point to find out that Perdition was actually planned, and when the force field generators power down (as was hinted in one of these goddamn things) you run in and presumably get access to the hellproof equipment after beating up some labcoated evil scientists?
And then I would assume you can choose to either blow the ship up or crash it on Earth, ripping a hole to the Nether and infesting the planet with demons. But that's just because that would be a somewhat reasonable endpoint for this terrible setting.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Joe Slowboat posted:

Isn't the point to find out that Perdition was actually planned, and when the force field generators power down (as was hinted in one of these goddamn things) you run in and presumably get access to the hellproof equipment after beating up some labcoated evil scientists?
And then I would assume you can choose to either blow the ship up or crash it on Earth, ripping a hole to the Nether and infesting the planet with demons. But that's just because that would be a somewhat reasonable endpoint for this terrible setting.
That's actually a pretty good idea for an end module. Shame that's not what happens. It might be the ultimate end point at some point, but I think the fact that the line didn't really succeed they dropped future plans and focused on Darwin's World further.

And then the OGL bubble burst and it sales for that dropped off further.

But also good catch on the shield generators. Dream Cages says in one of the data logs that some external sabotage is starting to cause failures to the shields protecting the scientists involved in Project: Lord of the Flies. This actually does come into play.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



Halloween Jack posted:

My favourite 40k story is the one about the Sensei, possibly the Emprah's mini-Jesus sons who were eventually tried for heresy and ground up to make psychic bullets or something.
I thought it was that they made anti-psi stuff out of the Emperor's dialysis filters. The Sensei thing was the anti-psy guys, like that dude who hangs out with Ciaphas Cain. Apparently they were all descended directly from where the Emperor got his Bone on in the past, and the plan was to do a mass sacrifice of them as the Emperor finally died, at which point Mercy says "Heroes never die!" off-screen and the Emperor is rezzed at full health.

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Zomborgon
Feb 19, 2014

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

Nessus posted:

Apparently they were all descended directly from where the Emperor got his Bone on in the past

I enjoy that His Great Dongus could be revered as a proper noun.

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