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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


The Lord of Hats posted:

So if a Slayer killed Khorne, would they just kind of be eternally stuck with their shame, or would the other dwarves go "No, we don't care what you think, your shame is gone now, congrats"? Or would they just become the new Blood God?

They'd be hailed as the new Grimnir, who also shitcanned the Chaos gods.

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Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012

Night10194 posted:

Tzeentch is the worst.
I'm incredibly disappointed anew every time you say this, because the core idea of 'this particular god of evil is fueled by hope' is so outstandingly weird. I mean, look at them! You've got your traditional (with various twists) evil gods with their traditional evil god emotional affiliates of despair, rage and lust, and then 'oh yeah and this one runs on the purely positive force that traditionally saves the heroes in every fantasy story.' It's one of those ideas that cries for a good execution just because it exists, and it's really a shame to hear that by and large this doesn't happen.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012
Max's speech about hope in Fury Road comes to mind.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

Tendales posted:

Max's speech about hope in Fury Road comes to mind.

Yeah, if Tzeentchs machinations were basically abusing hope for change or whatever to goad his followers into loving things up or subtly influencing people so even high ranking imperials question their own actions constantly to ensure these changes are the right ones itd be good and interesting.

Instead hes all mystery plot and no goal which means hes super lame.

Ive always thought Khorne would work better if he was about the "equality" of war in so far as his gift to followers ensures each is fit for war and that each has opportunities for advancement and a place in a society. Sure, the only society he promises is endless bloodshed and violence, but he doesnt care who you were what you look like or how you were born.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 20 days!

Barudak posted:

Yeah, if Tzeentchs machinations were basically abusing hope for change or whatever to goad his followers into loving things up or subtly influencing people so even high ranking imperials question their own actions constantly to ensure these changes are the right ones itd be good and interesting.

Instead hes all mystery plot and no goal which means hes super lame.

Ive always thought Khorne would work better if he was about the "equality" of war in so far as his gift to followers ensures each is fit for war and that each has opportunities for advancement and a place in a society. Sure, the only society he promises is endless bloodshed and violence, but he doesnt care who you were what you look like or how you were born.

KHORNE PROMISES A BATTLE IN EACH PROVINCE!

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Barudak posted:

Ive always thought Khorne would work better if he was about the "equality" of war in so far as his gift to followers ensures each is fit for war and that each has opportunities for advancement and a place in a society. Sure, the only society he promises is endless bloodshed and violence, but he doesnt care who you were what you look like or how you were born.

One of my favorite depictions of Khorne comes from 40k. In one book, there's a berzerker lord who dates back to the Heresy, and after ten thousand years he's devolved into little but a mindless killing machine. A really, really good killing machine, but his hatred has grown old and stale. So, Khorne notices an Imperial Guard officer who the berzerker took as a slave. She hates the forces of Chaos. Deeply and passionately. Khorne arranges for the berzerker to take his armor off for maintenance, and tempts this slave woman into putting it on. She seizes her chance for revenge and the moment she puts on the helmet her soul belongs to Khorne - who cheers her on as she kills her captor and takes his place. It's implied she eventually became a daemon princess despite almost universally preying on other followers of Chaos.

There's one last sentence as she steps into the warp to ascend: "The last shred of her sanity quietly gave in, realizing that some part of her had truly wanted this."

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I believe there is something similar in ToC that is similar--a Khornate group that began as an anti-Chaos militia of wives, daughters and mothers of men killed fighting Chaos who have gone off the reservation into bloody-minded battle lust.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

marshmallow creep posted:

I believe there is something similar in ToC that is similar--a Khornate group that began as an anti-Chaos militia of wives, daughters and mothers of men killed fighting Chaos who have gone off the reservation into bloody-minded battle lust.

Yep, the Brass Sisters.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Drakyn posted:

I'm incredibly disappointed anew every time you say this, because the core idea of 'this particular god of evil is fueled by hope' is so outstandingly weird. I mean, look at them! You've got your traditional (with various twists) evil gods with their traditional evil god emotional affiliates of despair, rage and lust, and then 'oh yeah and this one runs on the purely positive force that traditionally saves the heroes in every fantasy story.' It's one of those ideas that cries for a good execution just because it exists, and it's really a shame to hear that by and large this doesn't happen.
Here's a question:

Who said that Tzeentch is fueled by hope, exactly?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Nessus posted:

Here's a question:

Who said that Tzeentch is fueled by hope, exactly?

All his fluff likes to point out that he's the God of Hope in addition to everything else.

Just, like someone here put it, it's the hope of the sucker that he's going to beat the huckster at 3 card monte. A rube's hope.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Tzeentch would be better described as the god of Ambition, not Hope. He tells his followers to upset the current order and promises them that they'll thrive in the chaos because they deserve it, not like those nobles and merchants who are in power now.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.
I always thought there was a nice irony in the chaos god of mages and schemers and knowledge-seekers being so arbitrary he may as well be mindless, but there's not really a lt you can do with that.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


George Santayana posted:

A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.

You may entertain some grand ideal and reforms in heart,
Or maybe you start out feeling cheated like Iago and find scheming and manipulation to be their own reward.

The thing about chaos is that there are infinite paths into a singular end point.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



I mean, you could say "Tzeench is an insane idiot whose actions are completely purposeless and random, but his followers are (wrongly) convinced that there's some secret purpose to it all, which makes them feel smart and special and superior." But that's not what GW does.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


I'm firmly in the 'Chaos gods work as unfathomable forces of nature' camp.
There's more fun in the downfall of the followers and the rationale they make up than in the gods.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



CHAPTER ONE: THE ROOST

Or

G-Unit Gets Ridiculously Overpowered: The Final Chapter


Officially the name of this entire module line is Incursion, something I wasn't really familiar with until I read this book. And the introduction lays the point of the entire module thus far out plainly: the whole reason the forces of the damned exist is to eliminate anyone who can stop them from taking over the ship for whatever reason. The only way to get at them is to go down to the place called Oblivion, and the only person who knows how to get there is Needles.

Well, more specifically, a friend of Needles. Okay not a friend. A guy he shared a cell block with once. In the past, Needles shared a cell block with a member of the Jaybirds (before getting transferred somewhere else for being a creepy weirdo). As the oldest gang full of the oldest prisoners, the Jaybirds know the ship in and out. Their old stomping grounds were in a recycling center in the low security wings (due to their age). When Perdition happened, they did in fact retreat to The Roost (their name for it) and have reinforced the entire complex with traps and misdirection to compensate for their age and lack of fighting ability. Needles gives G-Unit the directions of how to get to Level 68 (of E-Wing, I guess?) and the mission is clear: get in, find the Jaybirds, get to Oblivion, rescue Johnson, discover the weaknesses of Blade because [gasp] Blade and Johnson shared a cell at one point and each man knows the others’ weaknesses!

Normally I would have to sit down and figure out which characters are going to take on this momentous task. However, I have read this entire book and I’m going to cheat a bit. The seven members who went to Sanctuary and saw the video (Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth, Pincushion, Ice Queen and Jackpot) take the knowledge of the Roost’s location and return back to Elysium to their entire operation. Conversations are had that borders on debate. Ultimately, the decision is a grim one. All of G-Unit will be marching as one with their wards in tow, abandoning Elysium and the home they’ve made out of the den of sin to act together and guarantee they have the numbers to face this challenge. Their wards in question being:
  • Helga Kolbenbumsen, who has been sticking around because she can’t exactly protect herself particularly well. She and Habit have had a bit of a talk about what exactly their relationship is and, long story short, they’re together if only because this is a convenience thing. Under other circumstances this probably won’t work out but we might die tomorrow so hey, why not have a girlfriend?
  • The women of Curval’s Londonian nightmare, Sally and Scarlet and Marina, who don’t really have anywhere to go to begin with but it’s not like Peacemaker would dare let them go without her. She’s hell-bent on protecting the three of them and nobody in G-Unit can really talk her out of it.
  • The teens of Durcet’s Shanghai fever dream, Jose and another one who has gone unnamed but let’s call them Cameron. Jose and Cameron have attached to Jackpot a bit, mostly out of gratitude but also because Jackpot isn’t entirely free of lovely teen behaviors and is still more of a kid than she’d like to admit.


And for G-Unit, we have the returning characters of Soapbox, Doc, Tama, Beth and Pincushion. Their only real changes are that they’ve gotten a bit stronger, a bit more health and have been preparing for the fight ahead. They understand perfectly well how possible it is that they’re walking to their deaths and are prepared to bring out the big guns to accommodate this.



As for their understudies of Ice Queen, Buzzkill, Bad Habit, Peacemaker and Jackpot, well. The big changes for them are that they’ve picked up more health and gotten some character development. And also there’s the fact that no rule stats that a character gained by Criminal Mastermind cannot in fact take it again. So while they’ve been helping out back at Elysium or running back-up around Sanctuary and weird diplomacy questing, they’ve been picking up survivors of their own to make friends with. So without further ado, let’s introduce Tier 3 of G-Unit, who will sadly probably get even less screen time that Tier 2. But trust me, they’re there and they’re armed and they’re willing to fight.

#0085165, ”MRS. PEACOCK”
CONVICTION: MURDERER
TIME SERVED: 28 YEARS
GOAL: SURVIVAL



Victoria “Mrs. Peacock” Warwick was one of the daughters of Weston Warwick, businessman and creator of the illustrious Warwick Meat and Dairy plant. Weston was responsible for saving a substantial amount of cattle during the Last War and was basically a goods profiteer, selling meat and cheese and milk to anyone who could afford it. When the PTM went into place, Warwick M&D became a fixture of rebuilding the economy and the Warwicks became public celebrities. A dilettante and socialite, youngest daughter Victoria had a (not undeserved) reputation for being a party girl, a drama queen and tabloid fixture. The drama of their rich and public life plagued the family as both a boon and a curse, providing free advertisement for their products that regular marketing never could. But when Victoria murdered her husband Chet and her sister Geneva in cold blood when Chet cheated on Victoria when Geneva, the Warwick name and money could only go so far as to get her put into minimum security. When the Gehenna was built, Weston Warwick was no longer in control of the company and her other siblings didn’t dare lift a finger to spare Victoria from further punishment. That’s how life goes when you’re written to be a soap opera character (or as someone requested, "make them be a character from the musical Chicago").

Victoria has been in prison ever since, still a bit nostalgic for the times when her trial ruled the airwaves. Now age 53, she’s refined her ability to use her wit offensively to survive prison this long and when that doesn’t work a well-placed slap to the face often does the job. Those are basically her biggest weapons in her arsenal; otherwise she’s a woman that’s never really grown up out of her younger persona and carries herself with the entire attitude she was infamous for. Hell, she still uses the name the media gave her, owing to the fact that the murder was committed with a revolver in the Warwick study. Bad Habit found her scavenging and tried to bring her back to Elysium, but she refused to leave without the love of her life:

#0547679, ”FEVER”
CONVICTION: MURDERER
TIME SERVED: 33 YEARS
GOAL: REDEMPTION



Nicole “Fever” Avison was a biologist who worked on an experimental weapons program during the Final War. Starting off as a relatively low-key technician and researcher, she eventually managed to assemble a collection of other scientists and funding to become the head of a biological weapons program. She was ultimately responsible for creating a contagion that became the cornerstone of urban warfare: an infectious altered virus that caused suffocation and death by overheating and a vaccine for the troops, allowing the soldiers to take the streets while the virus was being deployed. In the end, Nicole was one of the many researchers who were arrested for war crimes and was readily sentenced to life behind bars. She managed to avoid lobotomy that was common for weapons designers due to the fact that mass distribution of the vaccine lead to her virus becoming harmless.

A couple of decades of jail have lead to a once uptight, straight-laced scientist into becoming rather laid back and free-thinking individual. At the age of 63, she’s one of the older female prisoners, winkingly playing the role of cool grandma. Granted she’s has successfully figured out how to bake cookies out of the components of ration packs and stolen materials and a steam pipe but that’s more of a comfort thing. Somewhere along the line she shacked up with Mrs. Peacock and the two of them have been romantically connected, providing the anchor to Peacock’s energy. Buzzkill is amazed to have found someone who understands chemistry and science the way they do and has a tendency of talking Fever’s ear off.

#6141990, ”JACK OF SPADES”
CONVICTION: ANARCHIST
TIME SERVED: 12 YEARS
GOAL: SURVIVAL



Yuki “Jack of Spades” Macbeth is a colonial separatist (or a terrorist, depending on who you ask). Her nickname stems from her post-War designation in the hierarchy of uncontrolled threats to the PTM. Originally born and raised on the colony planet of Persephone, Yuki lived a life of constant danger. Persephone’s role as a colony was to provide food and vegetables to Terra and the other colonies, but the horrors of the Last War lead to mass defoliation of her home. The end of the war leads to a period of unsure recovery as they did their best to reverse the damage done under the boot of the PTM. But the PTM isn’t exactly the savior that Persephone wants. Persephone didn’t participate in the War, being mostly interested in existing and lacking the infrastructure to fight, so they looked to Terra for protection. This protection was never really provided during the war and the PTM sends psychologists and smiling happy people holding hands to Persephone but they don’t send cleanup crews and relief. As a result, Yuki willingly joined the Persephone Separation Movement and hardened herself to a life of infiltration and violence.

Her arrest took the better part of a special police unit to track her down and subdue her. Unwilling to roll on the rest of the movement, her imprisonment without trial was used to send a message to the PSM. Being behind bars hasn’t really tempered her nature to rebel and protect her home and some part of her still holds out hope that she’ll be able to get home and restart the fight. Peacemaker doesn’t entirely agree with this idea but they both agree that they hate the PTM and have since bonded over that. She may not be able to get more soldiers on her sides, but more folks capable of fighting are helpful.

#7455402, ”SCRATCH”
CONVICTION: VICE OFFENDER
TIME SERVED: 9 YEARS
GOAL: POWER



Porsche “Scratch” Buchanan worked hard, played hard, gambled hard and lost a lot. A saleswoman by trade, she was a dynamo of energy on the sales floor and happily thriving in the business of rebuilding. Need a contractor? She’s got six on speed dial. Purchasing medical supplies? A man she knows down at the transport depot can get you what you need. Looking for pets? Funny story about how I got this tank of fish. The world after the War needed people to move commodities and Porsche wanted money. Shaking the invisible hand of the free market was the only clear decision by her metric. And, of course, you make the most money when you get the cash up front and don’t need to actually provide a product…

Long story short, the courts are still dividing up all of her assets amongst the victims and trying to figure out who is owed what from what’s left. The house always wins in the end. She’s still perky and eager and in saleswoman mode on the Gehenna, using the prison economy to her own advantage as a fixer. She’s traded the goal of getting an awesome future Jacuzzi for the goal of having enough smokes to buy all the snack cakes in a vending machine to sell them for markups. Jackpot likes the cut of her hypercapitalist jib, plus she still had plenty of those snack cakes leftover when she found Scratch holed up in an air duct.

#7767300, ”APPLEDAY”
CONVICTION: DISSIDENT
TIME SERVED: 7 YEARS
GOAL: ESCAPE



Malikah “Appleday” Chalet used to be a school teacher before her arrest. Her original post was in a private high school for the children of PTM officials, living a relatively quiet life of education and instruction. For a while she struggled against the curriculum that was mandated by the government and eventually she decided to sneak extra lessons to her more intelligent and inquisitive students. Malikah’s true passion was world history and the governments that came before and plenty of teens wanted to know more about the world before the War. Unfortunately even more students were willing to snitch on her when their parents found out they were harboring unsavory views. And that’s how she got to prison. Her time in prison was pretty uneventful, mostly keeping to herself; she got the name Appleday from someone misremembering the old adage about doctors and apples in regards to teachers. The only real thing of note in her time behind bars would be Perdition and eventually being rescued from Blangis’ castle by Ice Queen.

That’s right, I’m turning the pregnant woman who was going to get eaten by drug-crazed perverts into an Algerian teacher. You could ask her about what happened during Perdition and she will not answer that. The main reason she’s a character now is that she’s given birth to her newborn son in the downtime, a little boy she’s named Aaron Chalet. I have given her the Trait “Trusty Companion” to accurately reflect the fact that she’s got a baby slung across her chest. You may think a baby is not a pet. I disagree, mostly for the purposes of abusing the mechanics. Anyway the baby and labor turned out fine while the rest were in Sanctuary, it turns out Bad Habit knows how to deliver children much to the amazement of a flummoxed Peacemaker and Buzzkill. It was a laugh riot, it’s a shame the camera couldn’t be here to record it.

Alright, enough fooling around. I promised you the beginning of the end. And from what I've heard about the beginning of the end, it's a great place to end.

DAS ROOST

Getting the Roost isn't particularly tricky, it's all a manner of going down and G-Unit raids all of their goods to get all of the rope they can muster (around 1000 feet). There should be a few encounters along the way, the book recommends, but the outer reaches of the Roost are mostly abandoned and dark and dirty. Sample encounters:
  • 2-4 convicts who scrounge and act all piteous before turning on their benefactors...who promptly see a mob of 20 people coming their way and loving book it.
  • A chasm that's ripped through six levels of the ship and can't be crossed easily to the extent it needs a solution to get around it, bypassed by using all of the rope to create a means to get across and recollecting the rope.
  • 4-16 punks in a roving band who are breaking stuff and defacing the area who can either be fought or bypassed by hiding, dealt with by proving they have superior numbers and using the combined intimidation might of Ice Queen and Mrs. Peacock to make them back off.
  • Minor traps on the same level of Sanctuary's traps: cans alarms, tripwires that seal doors. These are old traps left by the Jaybirds, no longer tended to and not causing any sorts of attacks or dangers.

Gray/black circles indicate doors that won't open, red doors are locked and need a work pass, blue doors are shut and can be opened by hand. Fortunately, G-Unit does in fact have a work pass.



The plant was initially meant for elderly and low risk prisoners to work, sorting metal and plastic and paper or unclogging waste water or picking through garbage. The Jaybirds have made this deeper section of the Roost their home and are actually in the process of trying to legitimately escape the Gehenna with the use of a salvaged escape pod. Here is where the traps get dangerous.


This section isn't trapped yet, it's just a warning for those who dare tread here to turn back. There's muttering amongst the wards of G-Unit but the group splits into two to guard the rear and the front.

In AREA 2 is a corridor full of knee-deep trash. The trash is full of bullet traps: slugs attached to trip-wires that will shoot a bullet up into the foot of the person who triggered the trap for 1d6+2 damage, exploding on a 6. There are 10 traps total and Wits checks will avoid the traps, but you can also search the trash to recover bullets without a roll (searching is a 1d6 where a 1 is a recovered bullet and a 6 means the trap goes off and shoots the searcher). This trap is ultimately circumvented not going that way.


Convicts working here would wash and suit up before getting down to business. While this area was looted, the Jaybirds left behind more cumbersome equipment for scavenging in Area 12, such as a pair of chem-resistant overalls, 60 feet of nylon rope and a flashlight with a full hydrogen cell.


4 is just like 3 except there's no goodies left behind. Searching the lockers will trip a trap that consists of a chemical component (either acid or lye or other caustic chemical materials) being flung in the face of the person looting the lockers. The trap is avoided on a Wits check. Tripping it deals 1d6 damage, blinds the victim for 1d10 hours and on a 6 for damage, the victim is permanently scarred (with no ingame effect).


The far end of this room is welded shut. The Jaybirds had members herd the Devourers into the room and then welded one entrance shut and just closed the door on the end that lead into the corridor. The idea behind this trap is that curiosity kills cats, so six zombies should do the job just fine. Opening the door provokes a Surprise round where the zombies can act immediately.



This would be a messy end for the one to open the door if not for the fact that opening the door immediately forces the Devourers to keel over and die.


An elevator runs up and down this room and the elevator is currently up. Normally it was used to carry materials accumulated by Custodians and conveyor belts, fill to the brim, lower, be emptied and raise again. It's out of commission so this one is empty.


This one is also empty but roll 1d12 when the PCs enter.



Wits check in AREA 8 to avoid a snare trap. The snare is a knotted loop of wire that pulls one character up into the air, dealing 1d4 damage from the tightness of the wire and the whiplash. The purpose of this trap was to raise an alarm so the Jaybirds could investigate what got stuck on the upper levels and approach them at their own caution. The Jaybirds won't respond to the alarm because they have bigger fish to fry. The pain from the trap hobbles the victim for a day, lowering movement by 1 square.


The chamber looks abandoned but someone in 11 is at the controls of the crane arm and you do not want to fight the arm. It has 4 Prowess to attack with and deals 2d10 damage should it manage to collide with someone. In addition to causing harm, the GM rolls 1d10 where a 1 or a 10 means the damage done breaks a bone: a broken arm is -1 Reflex and no using two-handed weapons and a broken leg halves Movement. The upside is that attacks against the arm hit automatically. The downside is that it has 100 HP. Avoiding/beating the arm is done by staying out of reach, evading its attacks or going to 11 to scare the controller into abandoning the arm. There's nothing in the room to boot.


The area here is a workshop for building parts for the shuttle and for crafting the pipes necessary to allow the ship to fuel up. They also used the tools to make Junk Robots and armor. You can find Precision Tools, 2 Conductors, 3 Precision parts, 2 Rigid parts, a fire extinguisher with five sprays left and a half-built Junk Robot made out of a Custodian frame missing an Electromagnetic component and four Rigid components. After G-Unit wanders into here, Tama will fix up the Junk Robot and turn the controls over to the worst fighter in the group, Bad Habit. She proceeds to christen it Beepy despite Tama's protests that it should be named Big O. They currently don't have a good gun for Beepy to use but if you think I'm gonna let that stop me, you got another thing coming.


The room here is operated by a Jaybird known as Mitya, a 69 (nice) year old man who has been in prison since he was 16. Mitya Abramova (#0912170) was a hacker wunderkind whose shenanigans at the age of 16 lead to a financial crisis some believe was a cause of the Final War. He's been behind bars for so long he hasn't really had a life to speak of and that suits him just fine. Despite his social awkwardness, he's risen to #2 in the Jaybirds due to his brilliance and likes the gang just fine. He was sent back to find the man in Area 12 and will run when faced with danger, doing his best to evade G-Unit (and will come back as a plot important PC). Capturing him and shaking him down will divulge info that the man in 12 will, so let's not share it yet.





Waste here was sifted through and sorted by prison crews and the Jailbirds have been using it to find the pieces they need. The man here (#0836994) has been listening to his music player and completely missed the announcement to return to the ship. He will easily be surprised by the presence of 20 some odd beings in the room with him and will attempt to fight his way out (yeah right) unless faced with an unwinnable situation (a gun in his face). He will immediately surrender and if treated nicely will slip into Grandpa Simpson mode: amenable and easygoing but rambling and planning to run ASAP. An Interrogation check (a glare from Ice Queen) makes him spill his guts.





G-Unit decides to bundle the old man into the group, keeping an eye on him and using his directions to get down to where the ship is, interested in taking a ride themselves.


This area is buried behind trash and behind a work pass-only locked door. Managing to find it and get it open reveals an absolute bounty of goodies: 9 shovels that deal 1d6 damage as improvised weapons, four flashlights, 10 full hydrogen cells, motion detector, 80 feet of rope, 4 Chemical components, 2 Precision, 1 Pressurizing, 3 Rigid.


Waste water was originally pumped into here for treatment, treated with chemicals, purified and pumped back out. Someone with Educated and a Wits check can recognize that this clear liquid sure isn't water but highly flammable chemical fuel. The fuel was redirected by Mitya's hacking to use the treatment room as a temporary storage facility before fueling the pod's tanks, taking the chemical liquid from a storage reservoir to redirect it here. It's not worth going in this room and definitely don't do it with any sort of open flame on your person. A spark will create a 2d10 damage fireball that will engulf the room and the hallway and light any survivors on fire for a constant 1d6 damage until extinguished.


This was like 14 but the fuel was already pumped into the ship's storage pods. The fact that the fuel is gone but the room still smells like fuel is a hint that the Jaybirds are up to something, should one not get info from Mitya or Hank.


Now the fun begins. The man on the intercom is Louie, leader of the Jailbirds. They really are planning for blastoff and the collateral damage here will be pretty bad if G-Unit doesn't stop them or get onboard. At this point, a countdown begins for the GM to keep track of. For each turn that passes in certain areas, the number of turns that it'll take to stop the Jaybirds reduces by 1.


The area here has supplies to help refuel the pod, but none of the goods here are of any use.


The last trap here is a Junk Robot armed with a laser cutter and a hydrogen cell. I'm going to continue to pretend that the guns don't need batteries if attached to Junk Robots. Laser cutters are incredibly dangerous weapons, dealing 3d6 damage that explodes on a 6 and capable of cutting through steel. The encounter is meant to delay the party and stop them from interfering, meaning that every round of combat removes 1 round from the countdown.



Two things, though. 1: G-Unit has Hank, the robot won't shoot if the party has Hank or Mitya. 2: the robot immediately shuts down and dies mysteriously. On the way past the robot, Tama steals the laser cutter to mount it on Beepy once she gets the chance.


The bombs installed here are attached to a timer that is connected to the launch timer. The Jaybirds have rigged the bombs to collapse the passage into the elevator below so nobody can follow them. Disarming the bomb is optional; it won't trigger with their presence and requires Hacking, Military Training or Improvisation to attempt disarming, rolling 1d6 and disarming on an even number. On an odd, it remains armed and tied to the timer. The bomb is just here to waste time because every round spent disarming wastes 1 round from the clock. Being here if they explode is instant death outside of using Hope. Disarming them nets you enhanced Cell Block Specials that deal 10d6 damage instead across 6 squares with exploding 6s.

The elevator at AREA 20 requires a Wits check to call or Hacking to make it come immediately. Each failed check wastes 1 round.



The elevator immediately takes G-Unit up to the launch bay where they've been repairing the escape pod they found. The main reason they're willing to take the shot of escaping is because the "dimensional hole is still open" which like...was it ever gonna close? Was the hole into the Nether an intentional thing? Who loving knows. Anyway Louie and the Jaybirds really don't care about the fight between gangs and want to escape before they're asked to help. Time to stop them! No it's not an rear end in a top hat thing; if they try to escape, they die.



Time is of the essence here. You have 40 rounds to stop the Jaybirds from leaving and dying in the process and the bomb will go off and block off the elevator. Each round spent is ticked off the counter. I will not be updating this counter.


This the elevator they took to get here. The control panel has burned out and needs a capacitor to be repaired. But you can fix that later.


Hank/Mitya (just Hank) immediately flees. One man is in 23 and Hank/Mitya/both join him in 23 to control the three Junk Robots that are here. The point of this room is to waste time, one of them blocking off the exit. The people in 23 will flee if the robots are destroyed or will automatically leave the area with 10 rounds left, each round in combat getting ticked off the countdown. Fortunately, if there's only one person in 23, they can only control one robot at a time. Also fortunately, the robots are armed with just irritant throwers.



The robots just keel over and die and the people in 23 flee. Only one round is wasted being here and they immediately move on. Tama makes a mental note to come back here and steal these robots.


Mitya will be here controlling the robots if he escaped or it's just some random Jaybird. Again, they'll bail with 10 rounds left to get back to the ship at 25.


Despair check! Randy here (literally his name) is wounded and dying, armed with a zip gun and 8 bullets. He was told to hold off G-Unit with Mitya but heard noises in 27 and went to investigate, coming back wounded and dying. You can mercy kill Randy if you want. Doc makes a mental note to save his life later.



Meet Louie. Hi Louie. He doesn't want to kill G-Unit with rocket exhaust. You can talk him into stopping the launch here but G-Unit needs more ammo to convince him not to take off.


The hatches here lead to the pipelines for fueling the ship. You can enter by opening the hatch and climbing in to poke around inside of the fueling system.


A TTSNB is here and is sabotaging the launch with the help of some other buddies. Better kill it oh wait.



Whoops it's dead. Each round here fighting a dead critter will waste time.


Wits check! The Scuttling Impossibilities have eaten through wiring attached to the ship that will activate takeoff. With the pipes full of fuel and the wiring sparking, it'll force a pre-emptive takeoff and an explosion that will kill the Jaybirds.



Also the Scuttling Impossibilities keel over, die and float quietly in the fuel.

Time to negotiate! Go Soapbox go!



She uses the tactic of "this pod is gonna explode" and invoking Needles and gentle guilting about their help. If all else fails, Hope can be invoked to make it succeed.

Fail state: the escape pod launches and immediately explodes. Mitya's not on board and will be found later.

Success State:



Doc drags Randy to safety as they bail out into the tunnels and Tama loudly mourns the loss of three new robot friends she can dress up like giant robots.

NEXT TIME: G-Unit makes their way to the elevators and get stuck in a motel before they can use it. On the upside: hot showers. On the downside: awful room service and house arrest.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
That was at least a scenario where the antagonists weren't 'bad' and the heroes could sorta do something, you know? "We got past your traps and figured out you were all going to die if you launched, then saved you."

Just how bad would those demon fights have been if they didn't die due to bad copy-editing? I can't remember which one the Thing That Should Not Be was.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


Yes, how many people of the 20+ would have survived?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

That crazy wizbiz

I will give Chaos Magic one thing. It is legitimately more powerful than standard magic, while coming with a legitimately dangerous additional drawback to make using it frivolously unwise. Anyway, we begin with fluff.

Chaos is the essence of magic and always has been. If the Gate didn't exist, either in broken or unbroken form, there would be no magic. However, when Imperial magisters refract the raw stuff of Chaos through their own will and focus it into a single Wind of Magic, a single idea of what magic is, they make the process of handling and shaping the stuff much safer. The problem is that the humans are talented enough at magic to know that this style is limited in power and scope. A talented human magister will be able to see that there is so much more they could do, if they just had the time and materials to learn. Time is the real limiter on human magic; it takes an elf centuries to be able to handle High Magic, while a human can master a single Wind in a time scale that would baffle an elf. Humans can learn to use multiple Winds in the same time scale they learn to use a single, focused aspect of power, but the only way to achieve this is to channel raw Chaos stuff and use the Dark Magic of Dhar, the winds in disharmony.

Dark Magic is done by plunging one's will directly into raw Chaos and shaping whatever you find into exactly what you need right now. Not bothering to gather what you can and use it as you can; forcing the raw magic into the form you desire without regard for focus or safety. Dark Magic creates localized wounds in reality, increasing the risk of miscast and bringing with it its own special side effects and curses, but the raw power someone can achieve quickly through using Dark Magic is immense. Well beyond what a sane magister of similar training and ability could do. The other reason this is so powerful is that the Winds blow differently at different times (part of hitting or not hitting your Casting Number isn't just your personal magical skill, but rather whether or not you could find enough raw magic at that moment to do what you needed to do). A magister who is only using Hysh (Light) for Light magic can only do what they're trying to do if there is precisely enough Hysh energy in the area at the moment they're trying to use the spell. The same magister using the Dark Magic talent to cast a Lore of Light spell can grab energy from other Winds and force it to *act* like Hysh for a moment. This is why they get to roll an extra die when casting and take their choice of the highest rolls, but also why they use the extra, unkept die for miscasts, too. The leftover and ruined pieces of other Winds' energy after they're ravaged and transformed like this form a sort of wriggling, magical fallout in areas where this sort of magic gets used often. Sometimes this leaving can be channeled by dark wizards for even more power. Sometimes it coalesces and congeals into Warpstone. Even if a sane mage uses spells in an area infested with this 'True Dhar', the effects are going to be spectacular, whether they want them to be or not.

One thing the book suggests is using Witchsight, the Magical Sense ability, to scare the piss out of Wizard players when you're dealing with Chaos. Wizards who are overusing their powers begin to sense terrible eldritch apparitions and entities, even if they're lucky and don't suffer miscasts. These things take the form of persistent folk-tales among wizards about dark things that seek the souls and flesh of magi who are profligate in their casting. In reality, these terrible demons and visions appear solely because wizards are taught to expect them to appear: Mages fear their own magic, and so as they overuse it, they begin to subconsciously fear that terrible things are watching them in the dark, and those things begin to take shape at the corners of their perception. Mages see nightmares as they work their magic because they expect to see nightmares. Normally, these things will never physically manifest, but if you feel like really scaring your players, or if they start to cotton on that the terrible portents don't really do much but be terrible portents, you could always have the dark thing pull itself into reality some time. Especially if you're in an area infested with dark magic already.

When using magic in an unsafe area, you'll add Chaos Dice to the spell. These don't add to Casting Number and do nothing but count towards doubles, triples, or quadruples for miscasts. Interestingly, using the Dark Magic talent will actually eliminate some of the Chaos Dice for dangerous environments; it's actually safer to try to use Chaos Magic or channel the Dhar in areas of high infestation than it is to try to ignore it. I really like this touch; it suddenly gives an otherwise sane wizard a good reason to consider picking up Dark Magic, even if they never learn a Dark Lore, because otherwise they risk being at a serious disadvantage in using their powers on enemy terrain. At the same time, even knowing the Dark Magic talent and getting caught using it can have consequences. This is a reasonable reason to learn some of the techniques of the enemy and to risk them at times, a rare reason to actually engage with Chaos. Major celestial phenomena also add to magic; if the stars are right you'll get +1 to +4 on every die for spells, which is a huge bonus.

Side Effects suck. Side Effects are permanent debuffs that you can pick up when using dark magic. If you miscast while using the Dark Magic talent, or in a place that's very heavily infested, if the percentile dice for your roll on the miscast table are doubles you pick up a permanent debuff. These give you things like terrible allergies or aversions to normal things like sunlight. They can drop stats by d10 permanently, they can give you permanent penalties on skills, they can lower movement, give you *d10* Insanity points in one go, make you catch on fire randomly if you touch flour or wine, mutate you, etc. They hurt real bad. If you get doubles on a Miscast just fate to reroll and pray you don't do it again/kill yourself with the miscast.

Next: The Actual Wizbiz.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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(Note: the above metaphysical explanation stops working even slightly if you look at High Magic, even from a distance. Please ignore elves and lizardmen if you want magic metaphysics to continue making any sense at all.)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
There's actually a bit of fluff somewhere that what Teclis taught the humans was a rare and very powerful technique among elves designed to unlock mastery of a single wind incredibly quickly. The problem? It will drive the user insane in an average of 200 years. This made it useless for elves, but for humans? No problem at all.

E: I'm not sure where that comes from but I've always run with it as true, because I love the idea of what would be a terrible forbidden technique for people who live for a millennia or so being no big deal for the 'short lived' 'lesser' race.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:41 on Aug 18, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


What does it do to a vampire then?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Night10194 posted:

There's actually a bit of fluff somewhere that what Teclis taught the humans was a rare and very powerful technique among elves designed to unlock mastery of a single wind incredibly quickly.
Did he ask them to pull his finger?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
l love that whatever editing program they used to put together AAH auto-corrected "1-6" into a date on their dice roll table, and nobody seems to have noticed.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

What does it do to a vampire then?

Vampires are generally insane, so...

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

So many spells

Chaos gets its own Petty Magic table, notable for having no actual basic attack spell like Magic Dart. They do get a great, easy debuff (-20 to all characteristics for d10 rounds if you fail a WP test, CN 4, but a Touch spell), they can curse people a little, make people a little sick, make milk spoil and mess with livestock, normal witchy maleficium. They also get some new Lesser Magic that isn't necessarily Chaos. Bind is great and lets you bind someone's hands and make them drop what they're carrying, always useful. Hand of the God specifically helps protect you against mutation, and Suppress Mutation will force a mutant to look completely human for a few hours, which is very useful. Tremor lets you knock everyone around you on their butt if they fail an Agi test, which is never bad. The weird one is Sidestep. A minor teleport spell with a 10% chance per cast of instantly killing your PC as you don't reappear from the Aethyr. I don't see why anyone would use this, ever.

The Lore of Chaos is reprinted from the main book and is just as badass here. The interesting bit is every specific God Lore's spell lists has a few spells from the basic Chaos Lore mixed in with the God's spells. Also, this would've come up in Realm of Sorcery, but the books had an interesting response to adding new spells in subsequent books, to prevent D&D Wizard Problems where any new spells added instantly give the wizard more abilities (since learning a Lore normally gives you all the Lore's spells): Spell Lists. You only get 10 spells when you learn a Lore. You can learn all the normal 10 spells form the core-book Lore, or you can pick from two other spell lists that incorporate some of the new spells mixed in with the old, so that no PC is getting 'more' for buying a Lore talent just for having more splatbooks. You can also learn extra spells that your Lore talent didn't give you by finding and studying grimoires and then spending EXP to buy Extra Spell for every spell you wish to learn.

I'm sure you can guess what the Lore of Nurgle focuses on. Nurglites can summon swarms of flies to buzz out messages for them or harass people, they can turn INTO a swarm of vermin and scuttle through small places to get into guarded areas, they can make people appear completely healthy and asymptomatic (and unmutated, even better than Suppress Mutation and with a much lower CN), they can eat someone's disease (curing that person) and then spew it onto someone else, debuff everyone around them, cause Neglish Rot in a large template with a -20% Tough save (and remember Neglish Rot is Save Or Die unless you're in good with Shallyans), age and rot living and unliving material (permanently debuffing people and aging them by 2d10 years!), sicken others, vomit streams of Damage 4 hits onto people who fail a Toughness test (Stream of Corruption does Tough or take *3* Damage 4 Hits to everyone in a cone template, AND it debuffs them from sickness. Don't get hit by it), and just straight up cause all sorts of plagues. As you can see by how dangerous Stream of Corruption is (And it's only CN 18!) Chaos Magic is not to be hosed with. The mechanical power is balanced by the danger of using it and the difficulty of getting hold of it. It isn't *that* far beyond normal magic, but it definitely gets you some serious punch for having to risk miscasts and those awful side effects.

The Lore of Slaanesh lets you force people to do your bidding, take over peoples' bodies like puppets, inspire others to greatness, create horrible tongue tentacles that kill by pulses of pure sensory overload (Damage 3, ignores armor, very easy to cast basic attack spell), cause someone to go full cronenberg/akira (Curse of Flesh is pretty much a save or die that causes the afflicted to start growing horrible mutant flesh all over out of nowhere), switch up someone's ability to sense pleasure versus pain by loving with their nerves, hit people with (sigh) a 'golden torrent of light' that makes them unable to do anything but stand helpless, remove all outward signs of injury and instantly curse someone of any sickness caused by OD or lack of sleep, force everyone to do a magical musical number for you, or turn into a dark spirit and run around attacking people in their dreams and trying to steal their souls. They called the loving spell 'golden torrent'. Why. Otherwise, a pretty powerful lore. And really, I can't hate anything that has 'I cause everyone to break into an eldritch musical number while I make my escape'.

Tzeentch's Lore is, obviously, actually real good. They can drop all magical properties on an enchanted item for longer and better than a Gold Wizard can, they have a literal 'teleport the person to hell' instant-kill spell (though it's CN 30 and the target does get a WP-30 save still), they can drive animals insane (not sure how this is Tzeentch), they can summon extra Fortune point rerolls for themselves, they have a crazy spell that causes insanity in the sane and cures insanity in the insane (while hurting the insane very badly), they get a solid, powerful basic fire spell (Two Damage 4 Ignores Armor hits, ouch, for CN 15. No avoiding it, either), they can mindtake a guy and make him do whatever they want, stun someone by mutating them painfully, cause hard objects to turn soft or soft objects to turn hard, cast a spell with a 50-50 chance of giving them access to any other spell in the game for a day or giving them a mutation, or cause a massive firestorm that inflicts *4* Damage 4 hits on every character caught in it (though not armor ignoring) and causes anyone who dies from it to summon a minor Tzeentch demon. This is a spell with CN 25, though, so it's hard to pull off.

Khorne's lore is yelling 'I CAST FIST' and then punching someone. (There's no Khorne lore, for Khorne despises all wielders of the black arts).

Chaos's lores are actually really powerful, and they needed to be to make it worth using them. Tzeentch's is a little incoherent compared to the other two, but eh, Tzeentch. Spells all either give saves or are hard-ish to pull off, which is nice. The Lores aren't invincible, just scarily powerful.

Next: How to make poor life decisions with demonology.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Speaking of the sorcery book, did you plan on covering it? I want to know how mechanically worthwhile the Runecarver careers are compared to magic.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

Speaking of the sorcery book, did you plan on covering it? I want to know how mechanically worthwhile the Runecarver careers are compared to magic.

Either kommy or I will cover it in time, I've just never read my copy very thoroughly since I don't generally like playing as wizards.

Rune magic is both really powerful, but kinda unsuited to an RPG character the way they implemented it. They do it as a thing where you make temporary or permanent magic items using it, but it takes a ton of time and effort (usually). At the same time, a PC who can eventually make loving Runefangs (you can learn the Master Rune of Alaric the Mad and make weapons that get 'ignores all Armor') is pretty crazy. Basically, they suffer some of the normal problems 'item crafter' characters can suffer in RPGs. The lack of Dispel Dice in WHFRP also means they can't use their Magic and runes to try to stop others' magic bullshit like I think they do on TT.

They are way more badass at fighting than normal 'magic' characters, though, and they're great scholars and craftsmen, so awkward or not they'd probably still work fine in a party at the end of the day.

E: To be a bit more specific, a Runelord will have multiple Master Runes they can forge temporarily or even permanently (though no more than one Master Rune per item), a ton of lesser runes to make, 2 attacks, Strike Mighty Blow, some special weapon proficiencies, about the fighting ability of a 2nd tier fighting character, +40% WP, +30% Int, and a ton of academic and engineering skills. Even without the Rune Forging stuff they'd still be useful just for being a talented academic/engineer who can fight.

E2: Also for reference, that same character could, given a couple months, make a flaming sword that does SB+2 and SBx2 against anything with Toughness over 50. They can't make the same item twice, ever, unless it's temporary but holy poo poo is the stuff you can make with Runecraft powerful if you've got time to work. Alternately, give them a day or so and they could make the same sword, it would just only work for a minute once you turned it on before the runes fade.

The power of Runecraft is going to depend entirely on how much and how often your GM is willing to allow a montage of a shirtless dwarf carefully pounding runes into a blazing sword, chanting words of power and grumbling about calculations, before cutting to one of the party saying the activation word and their sword turning into a dwarven lightsaber of pure justice.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:54 on Aug 18, 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.

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Yes, how many people of the 20+ would have survived?



The problem with the TTSNB is that it's got a pretty chufty amount of health and the ability to no-sell damage and its mutations are cumulative. I do feel like you could just poke your head in and then go elsewhere once you see it, it doesn't say you can't run. If you did have to fight, the safest way G-Unit could kill it would be to have Beepy and Shining Finger block the path and unload their high-damage weapons into it as everyone else stayed back.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

theironjef posted:


Oh a scotsman clad all goff wrote a book one evenin' fair,
And one could tell from how it read that he'd dyed black all his hair,
He fumbled round with rules a while until he lost that thread,
Then he filled the book with grim bullshit and misery instead

System Mastery reviews A|State
There are three RPG books from Scotland I'm aware of.

The first is SLA Industries. It's a cyberpunk game, set entirely in one massive city, has way too much flavour fiction, with supernatural secrets that are hidden from even the GM, that rubs in your face that real power is out of your reach.

The second is a|state. It's a cyberpunk game, set entirely in one massive city, has way too much flavour fiction, with supernatural secrets that are hidden from even the GM, that rubs in your face that real power is out of your reach.

The third was a supplement for Cyberpunk 2020.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Bad Mages Making Bad Decisions

Summoning demons is a bad idea with a sliver of a chance of working out absolutely perfectly. Summoning and binding demons is one of the big things a dark wizard should be doing, right? Calling up demons is done by creating a ritual; the ritual is different for any individual demon. The problem is that the demons you can 'easily' call on, and who won't kill you instantly if you gently caress up, well, they aren't too impressive. No-one's going to be that impressed that your dark cult worked for months to summon a Daemonette and then the Adventurers killed it as their first (disappointing) boss fight. You're going to want a magic circle for this, something to contain the demon when you call it up so that if your WP tests go badly you *might* be able to send it back. You're also going to want extra casters, a place infested with dark magic, and all sorts of other stuff to make sure this goes off properly, because if you try to call a 'serious' demon like a Greater Demon or Demon Prince and gently caress up, you will get instantly sucked into hell. You'll probably want the demon's true name, too. If you don't have that, all tests to control it will be at -20 and you're already pitting your puny mortal WP against stuff that tends to have a WP stat in the 80s or 90s. Of course, as said, you could stick to small and weak demons and bind them for minor tasks, but really, who becomes a dark wizard to call on mooks? The more DoS you get on a Knowledge (Demonology) test while making the circle, the more you get a bonus to WP when trying to bind the demon.

Once you hit the CN and manage to call the demon without killing yourself, you have another table to roll on. Roll a d10. On a 1? The portal you made to call the demon doesn't call it and instead sucks you in. Dead, roll a new PC. On a 2, the demon arrives but cannot be controlled at all and will randomly attack or help out as it wants. On a 3, you screw up and summon the next weakest class of demon instead, but success on a contest of wills will take control of it. On a 4-7, you summon the right demon and have to bind it with a WP vs. WP test. If you win, it does what you want for a number of weeks equal to your Mag before deciding to do whatevs until it goes home. On an 8-9, everything works as planned and you have the same contest of wills, with success getting you a month of service per Mag. On a 10, though? Everything goes awesome. The demon is actually really impressed and recognizes you as being as cool as you think you are, and swears to serve you at no cost until it's Banished or you die, no WP test necessary. I genuinely like that there's a small chance that this Very Bad Idea goes absolutely perfectly. Chaos needs more of these 'success stories' and needs to publicize them as much as it can; they'd be great lures.

You can also bind a demon to you as a familiar. This is usually done with Least Demons, tiny little imps and such, since they're easiest to bargain with. You could do it with any demon, though. Someone who manages to get lucky as above and then somehow barter in a Demon Prince or Greater Demon is going to be scary. You bargain with the demon for service, at base, by rolling Fellowship-20 against its WP. You might notice that roll really favors the demon and it's probably not going to listen to you. You can make it easier by offering it stuff it wants: Your soul when its term ends gives you +20, killing a sentient as part of the ritual gives you +20, killing animals gives +10, and limiting service gives +10-+30 depending on how short it it. If you succeed, the demon happily signs a contract, which means you could, if lucky enough, swindle a demon into serving you forever while getting nothing. Again, that small chance of 'I can totally get everything I want' is what Chaos needs more of. A Demon in service to you actually slowly gains power from the Familiar career, gaining EXP at half your rate rather than you spending EXP on it like most mount/pet rules. A demon familiar also shows up with one boon for its master as long as it's around, and can gain more by spending 300 EXP apiece. These boons are, of course, randomly rolled.

1: It can catch spells aimed at you or it by rolling WP-20, at which point it can store the spell for up to d10 days and release it at any time, firing it off itself. If you hold it too long, your familiar might explode and you take serious damage.
2: You and the Familiar have a total mind-link that lets you both process problems together and share mental loads. As long as you're both conscious, you can talk wordlessly and both gain +10% Int and WP.
3: The stupid thing is lucky as hell. It has a reserve of 2 Fortune points that it can spent on you or it every day.
4: You can use it to double the range, duration, or AoE of spells, but if you do you add a Chaos Die to the mix.
5: As long as it's alive, you get +1 Mag. Neat.
6: You can cast any spells requiring touch, line of sight, etc through the Familiar. So if it's looking right at people and you're miles away, you can still hit 'em with the old laser eyes.
7: You can cast spells and talk through your familiar's mouth. Kind of lame compared to the others.
8: The Familiar lets you reroll your casting check if you triggered a miscast, letting you try to get a result less likely to make you explode.
9: Player's Choice.
10: DM's Choice.

As you can see, Familiars actually totally rule! Except the part where they probably hate you, are planning to get you killed eventually so they can get your soul, and required darkest magic to summon. They're also a sure sign you're, you know, a demonologist. Normal familiars made out of cats and crows are sometimes enough to get the Witch Hunters antsy, having an actual devil running around your lab is grounds for the instant revocation of your wizarding license via fire. If you get your familiar killed, too, it'll be spiteful and pissed off and looking for ways to screw you the next time you miscast. As your familiar grows in power, you have to make +20 WP tests to avoid becoming obsessed with your pet every time it buys a new advance or power, as wizards become too dependent on their allied spirit. Also, if other wizards capture your familiar, they can use it for magic themselves, which will hurt you and the familiar. Don't let people catch your evil wizarding pet.

Next: Demons, and a chance to talk about how boring most Hams demons are.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I feel like your best bet on a Familiar is something small, weak but clever and brave, with the ability to take the shape of something harmless, like a bird or cat.

...so, you know, a familiar.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

I feel like your best bet on a Familiar is something small, weak but clever and brave, with the ability to take the shape of something harmless, like a bird or cat.

...so, you know, a familiar.

Apparently Realms of Sorcery has rules for making 'normal' familiar animals out of the classical familiar candidates. Using a tiny demon imp for one just makes it more powerful and risky.

That said, I want to see one Sorcerer Lord who managed to make a Bloodthirster their familiar just to piss it off.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Are there even any demons that can shapeshift or are they all about as subtle as Khorne?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Demons: Less impressive than you'd think.

Demons get talked up more than any other aspect of Chaos. Summoning a single Lesser Demon is a major ritual that's supposed to be a big deal. The first campaign book ends with the PCs expected to fight a bunch of 3rd tier knights in full plate, then it pulls out a single lesser demon of Khorne and expects your players to be way more frightened of that then the knights that probably just kicked their asses (and who are SIGNIFICANTLY MORE POWERFUL, individually). I don't know where the crazy demonic blindspot comes from. In reality, a Bloodletter of Khorne is dangerous but not all that durable and a solid 2nd tier fighter can beat it solo, possibly in a single round of combat.

Anyway, demons are the manifestation of congealed emotion and horror. They're formed in the Realms of Chaos by the collective fears and hopes of the sentient people of the world. Somehow this mostly results in 'big red guy with horns', 'sexy lady with crabclaw', 'walking pile of poo poo', and 'gribbly little dude who throws fire', I dunno. There are supposedly myriad other sorts of demons, and even demons not associated with a God, but you don't get much material for making or using those. Similarly, most demons are given really high Int scores, but almost every demon is monomaniacal. A Bloodletter is *only* going to go around killing as much as it can until it gets pulled back into hell, etc. Demons cannot remain in reality without fuel to keep their physical body intact; they're not naturally real. Some very powerful demons are formed out of what's left of a person's soul once the Gods decide that person has served them enough; those are Demon Princes, and they never get stats besides 'Their last mortal form but with +20 to a couple stats and x2 Wounds' anywhere in this book. Demons come in three general flavors: Beasts are mindless creatures that are usually given to favored servants to ride or fight for them. Lesser Demons are the aforementioned horde of cookie-cutter generic demons. Greater Demons are still uniform in ability, but generally have more of a personality and are frighteningly strong; you're very unlikely to bee a Bloodthirster of Khorne in combat, even with the strongest of PCs, unless you bring cannon to the fight (Note: The Empire has been shooting those things with cannons ever since they started building cannons). As a general rule, Demons cause Fear or Terror and get +2 Toughness Bonus unless they get hit by magic or magic weapons. Another general rule is Instability: If you wound a demon in melee and it can't hurt you back that round, it has to roll WP or 'die' instantly as it's disrupted by being faced down by solid, physically real courage and skill.

You should also note you don't actually kill a demon when you cut it down. You just force it back to hell. They might be stuck there an especially long time, though, and stuff like Greater Demons is so hard to summon that killing one is effectively permanent as far as your PC is probably concerned.

The Demons of Khorne are simple. They're summoned by blood rites and they exist to kill. Juggernauts are big firey rhino-hound things that champions ride. They're pretty drat tough, though a good warrior can put one down, but they're stupid and easily tricked. They also attack the nearest enemy every turn, unless their rider can control them. Flesh Hounds are fragile but skilled and fast, and take the form of big demon dogs who like human hearts. They're also poison. Bloodletters are talked up as masterful tacticians and manifestations of war. Their tactic is to run at you while screaming and waving a big sword, then get killed by a PC party because their statline isn't nearly as impressive as they think it is. If they get hit by a non-magic weapon they have a respectable 7 DR (5 if hit with wizbiz), they have 12 Wounds. As much as the average mook. They're actually slightly less solid than an Orc Boy. They do have 2 Attacks and do Damage 6 Impact, though, so if they hit you they could hurt. But a skilled PC will be able to handle these alone.

Demons of Nurgle are also simple. They exist to dick over your PCs by losing a fight but then diseasing them anyway. Nurglings are agile little shits (literally) who are very hard to hit but fall apart the second they get nailed. They sometimes come in huge swarms, treated as one creature, taking their statline and adding a bunch of stats to represent you're killing dozens of the little bastards. They also do what all Nurgle demons do: If you took any Wounds fighting them you have to make a Tough test after the fight or get GM's Choice of diseases; I do like this decision because it means you only risk one plague hit per fight that you get hit in, instead of forcing you to save every time you get hit. Beasts of Nurgle are horrifying sacks of tentacles that get a whopping 6 attacks a round, but don't do much damage, still only have 15 Wounds, and aren't that tough. But they've got the game's favorite Every Significant Nurgle Foe Gives You Neglish Rot trait! (Seriously, for a supposedly rare, top-tier disease that save-or-die poo poo is everywhere with Nurgle). Plaguebearers are terribly slow and weak for normal demon foes, but can vomit Damage 3 plague on people that can only be Dodged, not parried, and carries its own disease save in addition to the end of fight disease save. Nurgle: I hope you have Resistance (Disease) and a shitload of toughness (Or a Shallyan).

Demons of Slaanesh are also simple because all demons are. They run around trying to drug you and mess with your WP. Fiends of Slaanesh are actually real dangerous, as they can lick you to give you crazy contact drugs that make you go on an LSD trip and turn helpless, and they have a shut-everyone-within-8-yards-down Musk they can spray once a fight. Hope your WP save is good. Steeds of Slaanesh aren't anything special, besides being incredibly agile and the fastest ground critter in the game, making them a pretty good mount for a Slaanesh champion. Daemonettes are basically weaker Bloodletters (and about as subtle) who trade 2 points of DR and the Great Weapon for using their silly crab claws in melee, being more agile and dodgy, and an aura that automatically penalizes the WP and WS of any *living* creature in melee with them by 10. Still easily smashed by a solid PC fighter and 1st tier parties will be able to handle one or two pretty easily. The emphasis on living creatures is because let me tell you, ain't nobody makes a demon hunter like a vampire.

Tzeentch gets the surfboard as his first demon. Discs of Tzeentch are magic flying surfboard with eyes and spikes. Sorcerers love riding these things so they can fly around shooting lightning and fire at people, because no matter how much your God is supposed to be about subtle planning you became a dark wizard to fly around on a demon surfboard shooting lightning and fire at people and I respect that. Flamers are flying manta-rays that shoot fire. They're terrible outside of the fire shooting, but the fire is pretty dangerous. Screamers are more flying manta rays who are a bit tougher but don't have the fire spewing. Finally, you have pink and blue Horrors, which are gribbly little imps that throw fire and caper about. Horrors get a Mag characteristic based on how many of them there are, and use it to throw fireballs at you or cause mutation. They get really dangerous if there's 8 or more, but otherwise they're mostly a joke enemy.

Behold ye, the terrible hordes of darkness.

Next Time: Making your own demons, a section that could've been way radder and is not.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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IIRC there's a few weapons out there that can permakill a demon but we're talking, like, 'the lizardmen have one, the elves have one, the empire has one, and the dwarves might have one.'

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Forget the actual demons, but the idea of a Prince as a emotional resonance/psychic impression of a powerful figure like a dead adventurer, distinct even from their actual life or livelihood but just a congealed manifestation of the idea of them, is really good fodder for stories and adventures that would be easy to make in any flavor you need. Hell, imagine being a hero who left such an impression that a wizard can conjure up his folk legend as a weapon. Talk about a mirror match.

I am not that into it, but isn't the Fate series of anime products something like that, where people can summon Gilgamesh or King Arthur?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Making Demons: A Bunch Of Irrelevant Tables

Randomization can go too far. I like randomization. I know it's a bit of a contentious subject in character and game design, but if your system is built to handle it and you're willing to let players reroll abysmal stat sets it can be a nice way to start getting some hooks and ideas. It can go too far, though. With demons, they really needed some sort of 'building' system, or more elements of building your own demon. Instead, you roll a d10, 20% chance for what God or Unaligned (1-2 Khorne, etc), then you add a couple mutations based on the God, some stats based on the God, and roll on some relatively unimpressive stat tables (Lesser Demons don't have anything higher than a base 30+2d10 for stats). Then you roll for some deformities and oddities. Then some odd bits of anatomy. And then you roll up an unpronounceable name and it's all just really dull. I can write up the entire demon creation section in this one paragraph and that's a huge disappointment. Chaos's book was the perfect time to get really weird with making your own demons, so you could go beyond the cookie-cutter, uninspiring basic demons of the Gods and make some impressive and alien stuff. Look, I know the normal demons are held back by needing standardized looks for table-top unit models. This was the chance to get into the stuff the RPG lets you get into! And instead we get XARTHRODOZ THE SLAYER, who is 'impressive' because he has a sea anenome for a head and an axe. Demons being so drat dull is one of the reasons Chaos falls so flat as some great and cosmic force. The demons are predictable, unimpressive, and mundane.

So let's get into Greater Demons and finally finish this book.

Greater Demons are absolutely the most powerful foes your PCs can ever face, mechanically. The book isn't kidding when it says you aren't going to beat most of them in direct combat by throwing dice at them, and to its credit, none of them are designed to be beaten that way. These are monsters you defeat by foiling their plans, stopping them from being summoned, leading them in front of cannons, or maybe holding them off for a round or three of direct combat to buy time for the circle of allied wizards to blast them back into hell. Granted, you definitely *can* beat a Lord of Change or Keeper of Secrets in direct combat, but it's still probably better to find another way. These demons are also powerful enough to have personalities, which means they're often the masters behind cults and plots, working through their agents in the mortal world. They also really need those agents; these kinds of monsters can't be summoned easily and killing off their cults or stopping their physical henchmen hurts them.

Bloodthirsters are giant balrog ripoffs. Big chap with the horns, big axe, and a whip. There's nothing exciting about them except that they're hands down the most powerful physical combatant in the game. They cause people to turn more violent wherever they walk, they do piles of damage, they have big axes, they can fly, they have tons of DR and HP, and they have 7 attacks and WS *90*. Hilariously, though? They can't use their Whip at all, RAW. Whips are a ranged weapon and use BS, and they have BS 0. Their special rules don't matter that much because if you're trying to fight one in melee you already screwed up. Hilariously, they have 90 something Int scores, and they sure as hell don't earn them. You beat these predictable critters by stopping their summoning or luring them into an artillery barrage, either of which you can probably do because they don't think much beyond BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD.

Great Unclean Ones are awful. The greatest embodiment of filth and horrible disease. You're not going to kill one in combat. Even trying is almost impossible; they're so toxic they destroy non-magical weapons used against them, though the weapon does damage first. And they have like 70 Wounds (69). They debuff and plague anyone around them and go marching along, singing the praises of their father and happily recounting all the good deeds of their attendants; they're just so gosh-darn proud of the cult for managing to summon them! They're also happy to sit at the center of a cult without being directly summoned, sharing new diseases and spreading horror through their followers. They're chill, they don't really care how people get Father Nurgle's blessings, only that they do. They're giant, horrible blobs of corruption and jolliness, and really they work fine for Nurgle. If one gets summoned, bring more cannons or find some kind of banishing ritual because swords aren't going to do it.

Keepers of Secrets are giant ever-shifting things with big crab-claws and long tongues because they never really nailed down a Slaaneshi aesthetic. What's interesting about them is that their presence does as much damage as their killing. They lower inhibitions and inspire passion and mad creativity all around them, just by existing in reality; the plot hook suggested for them is that one's been summoned underneath Nuln and is just chilling, watching as the city slowly goes mad with energy and sickness above it. When they do decide to go get their claws dirty, they like to use their mind control pheromones and stuff to dominate people, then drag them over to kill at their leisure. They're tough and heavily armored, but don't hit as hard nor as often as the other two Greater Daemons. A 3rd tier party *might* be able to kill one in open combat. A terrible thing sitting at the center of a city that's gone mad with the urge to create, destroy, and create again as all its people are wracked with dreams and desperate energy is better than you're going to get for most Slaanesh plots, and the PCs might even be able to beat it when they find its lair (though a better plan would still be safer).

Lords of Change suck. All they have is Mag 5 and a ton of defense against magic. They're big vulture nerds with sticks who also aren't that good at fighting. They can fly and shoot lightning, but if your PCs can catch them a solid PC party will stuff one of these jerks in his locker right quick. They're impossible to attack with magic, they have powerful magic of their own, they make their own miscasts much less serious, but if you just catch one you'll be able to smash it if your PCs are on the level they'd need to be on to be taking on actual Greater Demons.

I'm going to include their plot hook because it's a wonderful example of why Tzeentch is awful. It's a plan where a Lord of Change realizes his cult is going to get rocked in about 30 years. So he has a cultist get a baker to murder his wife, so she can't fund the orphanage, so an orphanage closes, so a good and pious boy falls in with and becomes buddies with a demonologist (who he doesn't know is a wizard), who gets killed by Hunters, who make the boy watch to learn him, who decides he hates Hunters, who becomes a cultist, who doesn't destroy the demon's cult 30 years later. How is that an adventure seed. That's pure 'I wrote this so it all goes just so' bullshit that bad writers think is how you write hyper-intelligent characters.

We close the book out with another irritating little in-character note about how really, at the end, it's the physical that isn't real and Chaos is everyone and everything, and why fight it, it's just so powerful. Which then ends with 'Unless everything I've written is lies, which it could be!' and that's the end of the book. Thanks for reminding me of Chaos's worst trait one more time right at the end, book!

Look, Tome of Corruption isn't bad. It has some missteps and it's messy. It has a bunch of stuff it doesn't feel like it had enough pages to cover. It has a real problem with 'And then players would be smartest to never engage with this again.' But I think its core problem is more that Chaos isn't a very compelling villain. The core of Chaos's problem is that it tried to be THE villain of the setting, not A villain. It tries to make every single conflict about Chaos. It also tries to be a big cosmic horror, which doesn't work when you're based entirely on very easily understood, very human concepts in your entirety. Many of the Gods are just catnip for the habits of bad writers. Most of them don't have much depth. Then you've got the non-engagement problem: The best solution with Chaos is to plug your ears and keep swinging. You don't have to banter with the Chaos Lord, he's a puppet that's been thoroughly rebuilt by the all-consuming, all-controlling force that can't help but eat its own followers. You don't need special knowledge to fight him, you just need a cannon. The strongest moments in the book are the actual mysteries, like Hashut. Chaos is much too small and petty to pull off being a cosmic force, it's too beatable to be the unstoppable horror it wants to be, and if it wasn't, it doesn't take small wins. Chaos's goal is always 'destroy everything, ruin everything, hurt everything', so handing it a real win just results in the setting ending. We know this, because they did it! (Good job, GW). And without any major wins, when it struts around about how invincible it is it's really hard to take it seriously.

On a mechanical level, this book was way, way too in love with save or die effects, too. And much too in love with Insanity Points, especially with how poor the Insanity system is. They couldn't seem to find ways to try to make the monsters scary without handing them lots of ways to do permanent, lasting damage if they failed to kill you.

Some of the book is good, and useful, and can be fun. But a lot of it is weakened by poor source material, an over-reliance on heavy randomization, and a lack of reason for players to deal with the stuff in here on any level but shooting it in the face. Just sort of a disappointment to cover after Night's Dark Masters and Knights of the Grail.

Next Time: Not sure. Maybe the Empire. Maybe Kislev.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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So what's a Bloodthirster's Movement? Can an elf just kite them forever?

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Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


If Kislev is good do Kislev. We need to get back to good Warhams before we do the Empire book.

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