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Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

Crasical posted:

21 people, two robots, a baby, and a dog

Let's not forget that the dog has infinite health, yup, definitely.


By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007


gently caress I forgot that Kira is immortal, now I have to rethink my whole strategy for liberation!
An immortal bomb 🐕 trained to sneak into enemy facilities...

May 18, 2010

Night10194 posted:

I meant to type brace, yes.

Ohhh of course - I thought "brave" might have been some kind of late medieval firearm jargon.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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



Uggggggh, the Combat Mechanics Chapter

Alright, so. Combat and mechanics. Have you ever played a RPG before? Have you ever played D&D or Shadowrun before? Yes to both? Alright well then that's it, see you NEXT TIME with other systems that aren't combat.

Okay perhaps I'm selling Victoriana a bit short but let me be blunt: there is nothing new here for me to share, really. Oh sure, there are some weird quirks and odd choices. You're getting those. I'm not explaining how initiative works (exactly how you think it does) or how All Out Dodge works or how cover inflicts a penalty to hit. There is nothing new under the sun that never sets over the British Empire. Instead you're just going to get the things I think are notable. As a refresher, you amass a pool of dice, you roll them, success is on 1 or 6, 6s explode, then you roll however many black dice are inflicted as a penalty, 1 or 6 removes a success, their 6s do not explode, you never want to really make any rolls where your pools are not guaranteed to at least come up with 1 or 2 victories. Got it? Excellent.

Initiative: if you attack someone lower than you in the order, you get +2 to hit them.

Combat: rounds are 3 seconds long. You can take 1 action per round. Anything that could be done in 3 seconds is an action. There are free actions. Sometimes free actions require you to make rolls depending on what you want to do. You can make one action per round per point of Dexterity but all of your dice pools for those actions are reduced by dividing each individual pool per action by how many actions you're taking. This means you should never ever take more than one extra action and only if you have a fuckoff huge dice pool.

Drawing a weapon counts as an action unless you do it while moving into position in which case it's just counted as something you do for free.

Melee attacks can either be countered or evaded. Evading requires a dodge+combat skill roll where more successes than the attacker means you avoid it. Countering means you make an attack roll against your attacker and the one with the most successes lands a blow and deals damage. From a mechanical standpoint, one can surmise it's completely pointless to invest points into Dodge when it's more efficient to just sink more points into your weapon of choice, out-stab your opponent and steal a free attack on them in your turn. There is no limit to how many defensive moves can be made in melee. It is completely feasible to have hurt the opponent far more than they hurt you before it's even your turn.

Ranged attacks work the exact same way except instead of countering it's called dueling. Again, you just want to pump points into guns, never put points into Dodge for combat purposes. Dodging is even harder in a ranged situation because depending on distance you can either add Half or None of your points in Dodge to your dice pool.

Damage: Damage is dealt on a success when you hit. In melee, add dice equal to your Strength after any relevant penalties. In both melee and ranged, all successes over the opponent's attempt to defend are automatic damage inflicted. You roll the damage dice of a weapon. Damage is always Base 1 damage+Successes Over Defense+Successes Rolled. Punches and kicks without brass knuckles just roll 1 damage dice or 2, respectively. Therefore it stands to reason that the best weapons in the game are the ones with the highest damage dice pool. The accumulated successes deal health pips of damage which we'll get to later.

Fighting from a mount gives you +2 damage dice at the cost of a 6 black dice penalty if you're not trained.

Fighting with your off hand is harder than your dominant, go figure.

Fighting unarmed against armed is inadvisable. You have 3 black dice as a penalty to avoid getting hit or 3 more if it's a longer weapon like a sword. You can negate 3 black dice by taking 1 damage. A boxer fighting a swordsman can counter by automatically taking 2 damage.

Armor exists. It has flat damage reduction (reduce X points) and has two optional rules. 1: armor might not cover everything. 2: for every five combats your armor gets hit, reduce 1 AV until repaired.

Called shots add black penalty dice to rolls.

You are probably never going to successfully shoot someone in the eye unless specced to do it.

Grappling is Dex+Fisticuffs. A successful attack traps the opponent and they can do nothing but try to wiggle free. You can automatically deal 1+Strength dice to someone who is grappled. Escaping a grapple is, of course, contested and on 5+ success you reverse the grapple. And you can choke people or partially grapple by holding them in place.

You can smack away an opponent's weapon if you're using a two-handed weapon and clashing against their weapon to inflict a penalty for their next attack.

Charging inflicts a to-hit penalty of 6 black dice but add +3 damage dice, in what is quite honestly one of the most radical charge departures I've ever seen in a heartbreaker like this.

There are rules for missing with thrown weapons and they basically amount to "it scatters. Roll 1d6. It will either go to the left, to the right, undershot, overshot or a mix of a direction and undershot/overshot".

You can only disarm a weapon if the weapon in question is held with one hand.

Just gonna share this next one verbatim: "Slapping a Cad in the Face".

Stunning someone has a 6 black dice to-hit penalty but forces a Resolve+Stamina roll on a successful hit vs. immediately pass out.

Shooting into melee might count as surprise against the enemy if they don't see the bullet coming but it inflicts a 3 black dice penalty.

You can aim for as many rounds as you have points in a skill and gain +1 to hit for each successive round.

Rate of fire limits how many attacks you can make with a ranged weapon.

You're allowed to load a gun that can either use shot or spread with as many alternating types of ammo at you want in a clip. So if you want to load shot shot spread shot spread spread you...can.

I kinda have to share the rules for suppressive fire too because basically how I read it is "if you shoot wildly, everyone has to dodge or you hit".

You can fire as many loaded barrels as a you want at a single target but have to make a Strength+Firearms check with 3 penalty dice per shot or else you'll fall on your rear end.


Health is probably the weirdest part of this whole game. You have 2 pips of health per dice you have. You have total health of 2+Fortitude. So Fopsworth Chindribble, sword-wielding political foxman, has 0 Fortitude so he has 4 pips of health total from the 2 inherent dice. However, in addition to the basic dice you have 4 more shaded dice of health pips that you can lose where every time you lose pips from those you have a black dice penalty to everything you do (-2, -4, -8, -16). Each round you're in the shaded health zone you have to make Resolve+Fortitude to stay awake.

There are two forms of damage: bruise and lethal. Bruise damage knocks you unconscious and heals easily. Lethal damage is harder to heal and runs the risk of permanently disfiguring the character.

Right, so here's the problem with that idea: it is criminally easy to permanently disfigure a starting character. Take Fopsworth, who has 0 Fortitude. Apparently any damage at all can result in at least a scar. The upside is that permanent damage can be a scar at minimum and will gain a Complication that can be leaned on to generate XP. The downside is you can lose limbs this way depending on how your GM is feeling and you might need to spend money on a prosthetic. Scripting dice can be spent to avoid permanent injury.

If you run out of shaded dice you're at risk of immediate death. You have Fortitude+Resolve rounds where medical attention can save your life. Scripting dice can be spent to keep you alive, otherwise you automatically die. Wits+Medicine can heal 1 pip of dice for every success as long as their shaded dice are still fully unreplenished. After a night's sleep, any shaded dice are regained and the victim regains 1 health pip and will then regain 1 pip for every 2 days of rest. So basically, if you almost die, you want someone to stabilize you, then you can sleep it off, then you want someone to magic the poo poo out of you until you're healthy again.

Repairing machines is a lot like healing except you have to keep making Ad Hoc Repair rolls until you can get to a workshop.

So, in short:
  • Never take multiple actions even if you have a huge pool.
  • If you're going to take multiple actions, make sure you attack someone further down the attack order than you.
  • Only carry weapons that have the highest damage dice pool.
  • Never invest in Dodge, only invest in one melee skill and one ranged skill so you can counter-attack someone during the own attack.
  • It's a completely viable strategy for you to wear armor, only know Fisticuffs, ignore the black dice penalty and have the armor eat the damage you'd automatically take and either A: half-grapple someone when they attack you, have a gun held in one hand and shoot them in melee on your turn so they can't dodge or B: fully grapple someone as a response to their attack, hold them in place and let your friend shoot into melee so they'll have an easier time hitting them.
  • Never make called shots to anything smaller than a limb.
  • Always carry a two-handed weapon so you can never be disarmed. You can be tripped and lose your grip on your weapon, but you can't be disarmed.
  • If you have 0 Fortitude (which is considered, like, average, it's having more than 0 that's considered exceptional) you're running a constant risk of accumulating scars at any given moment you go into a fight.
  • If you don't care about aiming or ammo conservation, suppressive fire is a good way to shoot people.
  • It's easier to slap someone in the face than punch them.
  • A bush has as much basic health as someone with 0 Fortitude before accounting for shaded dice.
NEXT TIME: the end of the mechanics section.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Aug 24, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

"Anything that can be done in three seconds is an action" is almost certainly infinitely breakable. Natural language timing poo poo always is.

Apr 6, 2009

by vyelkin

Aethera Campaign Setting

Part Seventeen - Gear & Magic I

Chapter Fiveís comic is once again action-oriented, starring Arakhu and his speeder bike in a high-speed duel with a pair of frost giants, dodging and weaving between their strikes and luring them off a cliff as Arakhu composes a song about the battle. Itís a great look into the mind of an okanta, but not so great at portraying the gear involved.

We get half a page on the role magic plays in society. Itís not some esoteric mystery practiced by lone old men in secluded huts, but a skill that permeates every layer of society and can be trained, studied, and taught like anything else. The only other new piece of information we get is that the creation of undead, while universally abhorred, is still practiced by various governments whenever they can justify the necessity.

Moving on, some types of equipment may be restricted or outlawed by the various governments. Purchase of these items usually involves appropriate documentation or finding it on the black market, all of which increase the price significantly. There are four levels of restriction: None, which is self-explanatory. Restricted, which requires a license or permit which itself costs half the itemís purchase price, or the items cost 2 to 3 times as much on the black market. Military, which is limited to active-duty military or those with appropriate clearance, which usually finds itself costing about 3 times the itemís purchase price. On the black market, these items can fetch five or more times their market value, if they can be found at all. And Illegal items are outlawed by the Century Accords and can only be purchased on the black market, typically for around twice the market value. Naturally, these restrictions only apply in law-abiding settlements, and places like Complex Four donít need no steenkeeng badges, but rarity may push the price up 2 or 3 times anyway.

A small table of new trade goods tells us that 500 pounds of raw aetherite is worth 1 au, and 1 pound of refined aetherite is worth 1,000 au. And then we have a note that you can totally buy stuff from regular Pathfinder books, treating aetheric units as exactly equal to gold pieces. And au do fractionalize, so thereís no problem with paying for something in copper pieces. Equipment may be manufactured differently, but a ten-foot pole and a tent are still just as functional whether made of wood and leather or plastic and aluminum. Some things may even be cheaper because of mass production capabilities.

Clothing varies widely from culture to culture, and even different regions of the same planet may have wildly varied styles. Still, you can narrow things down into a few categories. Environment Suits protect you from the temperature and vacuum of space, providing five minutes of air on their own (And capable of being hooked to a lifeline for more time). The seal on the suit is vital and fragile, and we get rules on what breaks it and how to fix it. Notably, a critical hit with a piercing or slashing weapon forces a Reflex save to avoid breaking the seal. Armor can be worn over a suit, or you can buy integrated armor for twice the cost of the normal armor suit, but the environment suit adds a -1 armor check penalty above what the armor does. Environment suits also contain small thrusters that can be used to stop you in zero-g, reorient you, or start you moving slowly. Each use of these functions uses a minute of air each time. An environment suit costs 500 au and weighs 8 pounds. The erahthi grow fiberweave, clothing made of living plant fiber. These suits will symbiotically link with an erahthiís own biology, but if worn by another type of creature or left in storage, they need 3 hours of sunlight and a gallon of water a day to avoid becoming broken and crumbling to dust. These suits cost 10 au individually, or can be grown in the style of a specific outfit (Perhaps for a skill bonus or just to be fancier) for an additional cost of 50 au over the chosen outfit.

Meanwhile, the Hierarchy has its own spectrum of military uniforms, ranging from basic gray fatigues to dress uniforms covered in scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and macaroni. The fur-lined leather pilotís jacket is included in this category, and all uniforms include rank insignia on the shoulder and metal pips on the collar. Price ranges from 5 to 100 au. Laborerís jumpsuits cost half an au, and are your typical sturdy jumpsuit with pockets and a logo embroidered on the chest and shoulders. Wasteland attire is made of salvaged leather, metal, and other materials, but still costs 10 au a suit. It includes an integrated waterskin backpack that holds 3 gallons of water, and provides a +1 bonus on Survival checks to get along in desert terrain.

You can modify clothing a bit, too. Fire-resistant clothing adds 300 au to the cost of an outfit and doubles its weight, but adds a +2 bonus to Reflex saves to avoid catching on fire. And of course we canít forget the ever-present threat of radiation, seriously, why is the money made of plutonium? Lead lining costs 100 au and triples the weight of the outfit, but adds a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves to resist radiation. Itís not thick enough to foil detection spells, however.

A short section on adventuring tools, mostly useful for space exploration. The aeronite fan and the lifeline are meant to hook together. The fan costs 1,000 au and can be used as a move action to provide one round of breathable air for an environment suit. The lifeline is a 60-foot hose that links two objects, like an aethership hull or an aeronite fan and an environment suit. This lets them share breathable atmosphere, or in the case of the fan, just supply air as itís cranked. A lifeline costs 25 au and you can hook multiples together to extend the length.. It has hardness 2 and 10 HP, but starts to leak atmosphere when reduced to half of that. And an astrogation kit contains star charts and astrogational tools, providing a +2 bonus on Knowledge (Geography) for the purpose.

Music and warfare have been intertwined for thousands of years, and so it is little wonder that people have combined the two in the form of instrument weapons. These combine a masterwork musical instrument and a masterwork weapon, although the combination should at least make a little sense. Flute daggers, oboe spears, guitar axes (:rock:), and harp bows are listed as examples, while a drum longsword is explicitly not feasible. These are not cheap: Take the costs of both the masterwork weapon and masterwork instrument and multiply by 3. So youíre looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500-2,000 au for one before enchantment, and both parts must be enchanted separately. An instrument weapon has only half the normal hit points of a regular weapon of its type, counts as the base weapon for the purpose of weapon-specific feats and class features, but an exotic weapon for proficiency purposes. Chapter, the pregenerated phalanx cantor, has one of these at level 1. Which is nowhere near overpowered and Iíd allow any first-level character to take one, itís just another example of a pregen technically breaking the rules.

Drugs! :2bong: for those unaware, a drug in Pathfinder is a tradeoff: A small amount of ability damage for a short-lived effect, and a chance of addiction, stronger if you use the drug again before your ability damage heals. Bluegrass is weed. Itís a very light drug, doing only 1 Wis damage and providing a +1 save bonus versus emotional effects. It costs 10 au a dose. Catapsy is a heavy drug derived from netherite, developed by the Paragons in their investigations into the azaka and netherite. It deals 1d4 Wis damage and gives a nice +4 bonus versus mind-affecting effects and aetherite poisoning, but it also induces paranoia for several hours (Forcing you to make saves against even harmless and beneficial effects) and doesnít react well with those with the aether subtype. Or azaka, but why would you be feeding the azaka drugs? 250 au a dose. Deepglow is an erahthi drug derived from the spores of luminescent mushrooms. While under its effects, you gain both low-light vision and light sensitivity. 25 au a dose, it deals 1d2 Wis damage.

Echo is an aetherite-based drug initially developed for treatment of post-traumatic stress, but has drifted into a crutch for the downtrodden and hopeless. Itís a heavy drug, dealing 1d4 Wis damage and placing the user into a catatonic state for several hours as they relive happier memories. If addicted, however, the drug has further effects, forcing Fort saves to avoid taking more Wis damage as the aetherite injects chaotic impressions into the memories. Additionally, the drug lowers the mental defense of its users against those who prey on dreams, allowing night hags to target them with their dream haunting ability regardless of alignment, and further inflicting a -4 penalty to saves against that ability or other dream-based effects. 50 au a dose. Gnarl is a hallucinogen and paralytic distilled from the venom of an ambulatory carnivorous plant from Kir-Sharaat. Not far removed from the venom, it deals 1d4 damage to both Wis and Con, while providing a Calm Emotions effect and a +4 bonus to concentration checks for a few hours. 150 au a dose. Jump is a basic stimulant, suppressing fatigue and exhaustion and giving a +2 bonus against effects that inflict those conditions, while dealing 1d4 Con damage. 25 au a dose, easily affordable.

Kinetic (50 au/dose, 1d2 Wis) is basically a party drug. A benign side discovery from the Paragon Project, research into the drug was abandoned until the Blue Star Consortium realized its potential. Users can use Mage Hand at will for an hour, but those addicted to the drug are afflicted by night terrors. Levin is a psychotropic harvested from a rare vine on Kir-Sharaat and used by artists seeking inspiration. For 100 au a dose and 1d4 con damage, users gain +4 Perception for a few hours at the cost of being fascinated. Levo, meanwhile, is a cheap pick-me-up that kept wounded soldiers alive for triage through the Century War. 50 au/dose, 1d4 Wis damage, 1d8 temporary HP for an hour. Meld isÖ a byproduct of processing azaka blood? :stare: Who decided to snort this poo poo? It costs 50 au a dose, but the price quadruples outside of Orbis Aurea due to the relative rarity of the bugs. Users can use Detect Thoughts at will for an hour, but suffer a -4 penalty to saves versus mind-affecting effects for a few hours. Itís otherwise a very light drug, doing only 1 Cha damage and only minor addiction chance.

On the other end of the scale is Metamorph, a hallucinogenic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, highly-addictive brain drug. Costing 150 au per dose and dealing 1d4 Con and Cha damage with a severe chance of addiction, it provides +4 bonuses to Int and Wis for an hour, causing confusion for a few hours after the smarts wear off. If someone dies while addicted to metamorph, they have a 25% chance (rising to 50% if they die of ability damage from taking metamorph) of rising as a zombie, shambling to some quiet, secluded place, and incubating for a week before an insectile horror claws its way out of their skin. Metamorph is a greenish-black substance that acts disturbingly at high temperatures: It begins to writhe, eventually actively seeking out creatures to inject itself into. The drug is usually sold in sealed, chilled dermal patches to avoid scaring the users. And rounding out the drugs we have Swerve, a hallucinogenic cocktail that grants a rush of insight and inspiration. It deals 1d4 Wis damage, but grants a +2 bonus to a single Int, Wis, or Cha-based skill, chosen when the drug is first taken. 50 au per dose.

Moving on to Medical Equipment, we learn that the advancement of medical technology in the Aethera system results in a 20% reduction in the cost of any alchemical item that provides medical benefits from another book, and get the following new items. Gut Cleanser is an expensive toxin cleanse in a large, unpleasant pill. Costing 250 au, each of these horse-chokers immediately ends any ingested poison (But not the ability damage) and provides a +5 bonus against further ingested poisons for an hour. An updated healerís kit functions as normal, but includes more modern tools and tinctures and weighs 5 pounds instead of the normal 1. More interesting are the upgraded versions: The trauma kit (500 au, 10 lbs.) that has 20 charges and reduces the time for treating wounds to 10 minutes, and the surgical lab (1,000 au, 500 lbs.) which reduces the number of charges a given procedure expends from a healerís/trauma kit. We also have the stasis patch (300 au, 1 lb.), which is a hand-sized brass plate with a bunch of dieselpunk on top and hypodermic needles on the bottom. Properly applied, it places a creature into medical stasis for 24 hours, rendering them unconscious and halting all biological processes, suppressing bleed, poison, disease, and oxygen deprivation. Applying one to a corpse will delay decomposition for 24 hours, allowing for more time to cast revival spells or get them to a doctor capable of revivifying the dead.

Armor has advanced as well, and just some good leather clothes can help stave off attacks. A leather coat is +1 armor with absolutely no drawbacks, and can be cut either as a jacket or longcoat. Additionally, they come as armored variants reinforced with chainmail or spidersilk inserts. The short jacket is +2 armor with its only drawback being a 5% arcane spell failure chance, while the longcoat is +4 armor. All three are light armor, better in all respects than the armored coat from base Pathfinder. Trooper armor is your basic Hierarchy soldier gear, and comes in four variants. The light form is a leather suit with metal and ceramic plates, typically enameled with insignia. Medium and heavy versions just up the protection, with helmet and gauntlets coming into play on the medium class. The fourth level is the Shocktrooper Armor, an environmentally-sealed suit of armor resembling archaic plate mail. The helmet filters grant a +2 bonus against radiation and inhaled poisons, and integrated pouches and compartments grant the carrying space of a backpack and increase your effective strength by 2 when determining carrying capacity. It costs 2,000 au a suit and provides a +10 AC bonus.

On the erahthi side, they can alchemically treat spider silk into web-fiber armor, it provides a +3 armor bonus and can be woven into the style of ordinary clothes, needing a DC 20 Perception check to tell it apart from normal clothes. You can also get it with steel and ceramic plating installed, increasing it to medium armor and a +6 AC bonus, but making it a bit more obvious, lowering the Perception DC to 15. We also get the amber cuirass, which has exactly the same numbers as plated web-fiber armor except for weighing 5 pounds less and costing 50 au more. Itís made of layered and treated spidersilk, usually in a translucent amber color, but available in Tactical Black as well. It is usable by druids, to boot. And rounding out the armor we have a radiation suit, which is poor armor, being only +3 AC for medium armor, but the filters and lead plating provide a +2 bonus versus radiation and poison gas, while also treating radiation as a step lower, to a minimum of low.

There are a few addons you can slap on your armor, too. Ballistic enhancement is a catchall term for alchemical coatings, duranite weaves, and reinforced plates meant to defend against firearms. Itís pricey at 800 au, but it adds damage reduction against firearms equal to half the bonus of your armor. A clockwork atmosphere costs 150 au and adds a small wind-up aeronite fan to a radiation suit or shocktrooper armor. This completely immunizes you to inhaled poisons and atmospheric hazards at the trivial cost of needing to wind it up every so often. Lead paint can be applied to most armors thanks to its special alchemical composition, granting a bonus on saves versus radiation based on the class of armor: Light +1, medium +3, and heavy +5. Cheap at 50 au, but it does worsen the armorís armor check penalty and arcane spell failure chance, and adds 10 pounds.

Weíve mentioned firearms in the setting before, now letís actually talk about them. Basic muzzle-loading black powder weapons were developed about a hundred years before the Century War kicked off, and the innovation of war spurred rapid development in quality and lethality. The erahthi, preferring their bioengineered symbionts, were slow to pick up guns, but the relative ease of manufacturing guns and training soldiers to use them won them over eventually. Mostly the erahthi base their designs on Hierarchy models, although the rare model of erahthi-designed firearm is a hotly-desired collectorís item.

Early firearms are seen as antiques, advanced firearms proliferate. One- and two-handed firearms are simple weapons, while heavy firearms are martial weapons. Guns and ammunition cost 10% of the costs given for them in other books, and gunslingers lose gunsmithing in favor of gun training at 1st (Which incidentally means they need to buy their starting firearm). There are four firing modes for firearms in Aethera:
  • Automatic fire is a line attack that resolves as a single shot against every target in the line. Concealment and precision damage do not apply to these attacks, and each automatic fire attack takes 10 bullets (or au, for energy weapons). You can full attack with autofire, if you have enough bullets.
  • Semi-auto fire is just like single shots, but you can double-tap with a semi-auto gun as if using the Rapid Fire feat. If you have the Rapid Fire feat and use it with a semi-auto gun, you can fire three shots, but at a -6 penalty.
  • Single shot firing is the standard, you can make one attack per iterative attack youíre capable of making.
  • Slow-firing weapons take a full-round action to fire.

We get some more rules, like how long it takes to reload various types of magazine: Box magazines are a swift action, revolvers a move, internal magazines a standard action, and belt-fed weapons can have a second character simultaneously link ammo belts together and aid another on the firerís attack rolls. Stabilized weapons should be mounted on a bi-or tripod, or a vehicle mount. Firing them without setting up inflicts a -4 attack penalty and knocks the shooter prone unless they resist it. Thereís also an optional recoil rule, inflicting an attack penalty on firearm attacks equal to the weaponís average damage, increasing if itís fired more than once in a round. High strength and gunslinging training reduces this, but come on, who decides to play a setting full of guns and then says ďYou want to use guns? gently caress you!Ē

The layout editor admits to having trouble laying out the equipment section, because the artist provided nothing but these blueprint-style drawings.

And now we have the actual guns. Many of them are recognizable real-world implementations used as standard issue, like the combat shotgun, light revolver, and Torrent Armaments Model 3811A, which is basically a 1911 nineteen centuries later. Thereís an odd mix of generic guns and very specific model names which would have been just as usable as a generic with a note that most in service are such-and-such.

The hive pistol is the most unique gun, being a 7-shot revolver capable of firing all seven (And only seven) shots at once as a scatter attack. The Hammersmith autoloader is the standard Hierarchy battle rifle, capable of switching between full-auto and semi-auto fire. The Central Industries T26 ďWoodsplitterĒ is a heavy machine gun, nicknamed after one mowed down an entire grove of erahthi commandos. It needs to be mounted, although okanta have been seen firing it from the hip. The Woodsplitter and Hammersmith were merged together in a feat of battlefield ingenuity, the resulting light machine gun being refined and manufactured as the Cavalier Arms Heavy Knight. And the Reliant & Resilient Industries Type 3 ďLong BobbieĒ is a five-foot-long marksmanís rifle with a range increment of 250 feet. Oddly, itís capable of autofire, but only has a 4-round magazine. It might just be a typo, because the Hammersmith above it in the table is not listed as autofire despite the description mentioning it.

Thereís also scrap weapons, made out of junk, prone to misfire, and highly illegal. They can be disassembled or reassembled in a minute, and while disassembled provide a +10 bonus to checks made when concealing its true nature. Thereís one for every implementation, coming in pistol, rifle, and cannon variants. Incidentally, guns and ammo are the only place that legal restrictions show up: Scrap weapons are illegal, light revolvers and hive pistols arenít, the 3811, Hammersmith, and combat shotgun are restricted, and the Long Bobbie, Woodsplitter, and Heavy Knight are military.

Ammunition comes in many flavors, although a few of them are just slight variants on regular ammo. Slugs and pellets are your standard cartridges, costing 5 au for 20, no restriction. Slugs are copper-jacketed lead, and pellets are shotgun ammo. Scrap slugs or ďscrappiesĒ are hand-loaded ammo made out of whatever could be found and melted down. These are illegal, but cheap, costing only 1 au for 20. They inflict a -1 penalty to attack rolls and increase the misfire chance of a firearm by 1. Pulse rounds are upgraded bullets used by military and private security forces (10 au/20, no restriction). These use aetherite in their powder, giving the bullet an extra telekinetic kick and making a distinctive flash and report when fired. Pulse rounds reduce range penalties by half. And flechette rounds (395 au/20, restricted) give any weapon the scatter quality, removing the ability to target touch AC but additionally inflicting 1d6 bleed damage.

Now for the actual special things. Anthem rounds (175 au/10, no restriction) are made of singing steel with whistling holes drilled in them. Firing one just makes a loud shriek (It says -20 on Perception checks to hear them, but I think that should be a plus), but a full-auto burst sounds a warbling ululation that taps into martial elements of the Score, granting nearby allies a bonus to attack rolls for one round. Entropic rounds are not listed on the table, but I assume theyíre expensive and illegal. Crafted of netherite, these override the base damage of your gun, instead dealing 1d6 piercing and slashing, plus 1d6 negative energy damage to living creatures, doubled against those with the aether subtype. Misfires cause an explosion of negative energy around the hapless firer. Explosive rounds (100 au each, illegal) deal additional damage equal to the average result of the weaponís damage, which bypasses hardness and damage reduction. Hellbore rounds (900 au each, illegal) are adorable little aetherite-powered drills that halve the weaponís range increment, but stick in the target and drill into them, dealing the weaponís damage each round for five rounds and ignoring hardness and DR in the bargain. ...Did I say Ďadorable?í

Rust ammo (200 au each, illegal) is an alchemical preparation based on rust monster antennae, and deals an additional 3d6 damage to ferrous objects and creatures, including phalanx. Incendiary tracers, or star rounds (90 au/20, restricted) are made of flauros, fire-elemental metal from Ashra. These do an additional point of fire damage to targets, forcing Reflex saves to avoid catching fire. Iím almost certain thatís not what tracer rounds are usually for. And Zombiemakers (500 au/20, illegal) are made from aetherite processing waste. While they donít actually make zombies, they are treated as magic for purposes of damage reduction, and critical hits lodge the bullet in the target, exposing the target to mild aetherite radiation poisoning until a medic removes it. The nickname comes from the catatonic state aetherite poisoning induces.

By default, the setting assumes that tracking calibers is unfun and doesnít care that much about a difference between rifle and pistol rounds. But they do provide alternate rules for treating each class of weapon (1H, 2H, heavy) as requiring its own ammo, or even going further and stating that each individual weapon type needs its own ammo, including separate individual scrap guns, even of the same type. I reiterate my earlier question about playing a setting full of guns and penalizing gun-users.

Now we get to aethertech, the melding of magic and ancient Progenitor technology to develop equipment thatís basically emulating World War 2 levels of technology Which is fine, itís hard to come up with something really new, I basically just ported radium paints, the Swiss Army Knife and the pop-up camper into the system in my own designing. Aethertech can be dispelled and affected by antimagic, but the caster level for an aethertech item is equal to its Craft DC or 20, whichever is lower. Aethertech always detects as the transmutation school, regardless of the effects going into it, but detects as a caster level of ⅓ its Craft DC. Aethertech can be enchanted, either created as such or enchanted after the fact. Creating enchanted aethertech requires both Craft Aethertech and the appropriate item creation feat, but enchanting an existing piece requires only the feat you would use in the enchanting. Creating new aethertech should use price guidelines for existing magic items, although since aethertech can be recharged, an item with charges should not be priced as a wand would.

The basic technology making all this possible is the aetheric capacitor, a piece of refined aetherite specially engineered to hold an abundant amount of aetheric energy. Come in two flavors: 100-au and 1,000-au. Each costs a tenth of its capacity. Itís a battery the size of a soda can, so buying expensive goods is actually going to involve suitcases full of money. Or banknotes, but whereís the fun in that. Any aethertech item can be charged from a capacitor, which makes laser guns literally throwing money at your enemies. Itís fairly balanced, considering that physical ammo that would come close to the functionality of an energy weapon costs over an au a piece. We have some basic adventuring aethertech. Handlights and floodlights are flashlights, casting cones of light. And the aeronite turbine is a motorized aeronite fan often used for aethership life support. Lasts for ten hours on a full charge, costs 2500 au. Can be scaled up for a commensurate cost.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, youíre my only hope.

Aetheric power opened the way for long-range communication, as well as audiovisual recording equipment. The farcaster is your basic radio. The basic models are cheap, coming in at 50 or 200 au for a Mark I or II farcaster, but the size, price, and operating costs for anything bigger rapidly begins to outpace a typical budget, topping out at 20,000 au for the Mark V, which has a broadcast range of 5,000 miles and eats 16 au an hour in operation. These are not easily portable, with a Mark I weighing 200 pounds and being roughly the size of a desk. For man-portable versions, the portable farcaster doubles the price of a Mark I or II farcaster and turns it into a 25-pound backpack. Signal boosters can be purchased to act as relays, expanding the effective range a farcaster can cover. Farcasters can reproduce bardic performances or other audio-based effects, although Mark III and below have lower audio quality and apply a penalty to the effective level of the bard, potentially nullifying the effect if the penalty drops them below the level needed to use a given bardic performance. Voxographs are record players, everything you know about audio recording and reproduction applies here. They do not yet have the fidelity to reproduce bardic effects, however. And the effigraph is a hologram recorder. It can record up to a minute of audiovisual information from a five-foot square, and play it back in a six-inch area atop its player. Voxograph discs are made of coated steel, while effigraph discs are refined aetherite.

Pictured: A woman who will never play the violin again.

Automata is a blanket term covering any aethertech designed to interface with the bodyís systems. These are prosthetics and augmentations, installed by a trained surgeon over the course of several hours. Many veterans of the Century War have janky, first-generation prosthetics, although the current crop is pretty streamlined. Automata connect to a patientís consciousness through the link between aetherite and the soul, a process that is only partially understood. A given character is limited in the automata they can install by either their Constitution or Charisma score, representing the strength of their body and soul to accommodate and control their augmentations. Itís fairly generous, you can have all your limbs replaced and still have room for upgrades if you have average or better scores. Installation deals Con damage and requires a Heal check on the part of the doctor. Phalanx double their Con and Cha for the purposes of how many automata they can accept, and never take Con damage from the process. Additionally, phalanx apply a +10 bonus to the Heal check to install automata into them, take only half the time to install, and can have automata enhancements installed in their own body parts without needing replacement limbs. Creatures with the aether subtype merely double their Cha. As might be expected, having an automata installed counts as wearing metal armor for the purposes of druids and any other class that might care. Each automata has an internal aetheric capacitor, and drains power from it on a daily, round-by-round, or per-use basis, which leads me to picture a veteran on the street with a sign: ďArm Dead, Please Help.Ē :(

Whether partial or full, a prosthetic limb automata simply replaces a missing limb and restores function. It does, however, serve as a base for further enhancements, most of which require a full pair of prosthetics to have any effect. As mentioned, phalanx donít need to install prosthetic limbs to install enhancements, but they do need a phalanx battery installed to power them. The Aether Thruster is an enhancement that occupies both hands, and is basically Iron Manís repulsor rays. You can fly with it, or shoot things and knock them back. The gun part is underwhelming, but it is a force effect in case you need to punch a ghost. Implanted Weaponry can be placed in an arm and lets you deploy a light melee weapon or a one-handed firearm, flicking it into place or just firing out a port in the hand or finger. It does increase the reload time of an implanted gun to a full-round action, but thatís a small price to pay to be Megaman. The 5,000 au it needs is a rather more significant price. A Prosthetic Claw replaces one hand with a three-pronged claw, giving you a 1d4 claw attack, but inflicting a -2 attack penalty to use weapons in that hand. Underwhelming, but cheap. Automata can have Strength Boosts installed, which can be activated and suck power to boost your Strength score. This applies only to the limb itís installed in, and at least two limbs need to be boosted to increase carrying capacity. Theyíre also obvious, adding bulk or attachments to the limb unless you pay extra to streamline them into the limb. Surefoot Talons replace both feet with bird-like claws, which boost movement speed by 5 feet and allow you to ignore difficult terrain. Useful, and cheap at twice the price. Quickstrider Legs are those ďBlade RunnerĒ prosthetics, replacing both legs and granting +10 feet to land speed, a +20 bonus to jump, and the ability to make standing jumps as if youíd had a running start.

Aethertech weapons function mostly like regular guns, with the main difference being that they draw power from an internal aetheric capacitor that can be recharged, rather than requiring specific ammo cartridges. As such they lose a little utility versus cartridge firearms, but you will only rarely be out of money to recharge them with compared to running out of ammo. The Arc Cutter (500 au, no restriction) is an industrial cutting torch that gained popularity as an impromptu sidearm during the Century War. I, too, have played Dead Space*. Itís very short-range with a range increment of 10 feet, and deals 1d6 ďplasmaĒ damage: half fire, half electricity. It also ignores 10 points of hardness when used on objects. The Flame Lance (3,000 au, military) is a heavy flamethrower. It takes three rounds to heat up the flauros coils before it can start firing, and can be fired in either single-target (30-foot range increment) or wide-angle (20-foot cone) mode. Either way, it does 4d6 fire damage. The Netherbeam Cannon (9,000 au, illegal) is reverse-engineered from captured Taur weaponry, and fires a chaotic arcing beam of negative energy thatís hard to hit with initially, but locks onto a target once it hits and can hit them even behind cover. It deals 3d8 negative energy damage, +2d8 against creatures with the aether subtype.

A Phineas Resonator (4,750 au, restricted) is named after the unfortunate researcher who discovered its effect, and is a crowd-control weapon. Only able to fire in automatic mode, it emits a series of sonic pulses that deal 2d4 sonic damage and force a Fort save or be nauseated. Akasaati riot-control officers and its victims have dubbed it the Gut-Blaster. The Sap Cannon (4.250 au, military) is an area-effect biotech weapon reverse-engineered from captured erahthi symbionts. It affects every creature within 10 feet of a targeted square, dealing 2d6 acid damage and hitting them with a tanglefoot bag. The Spark Thrower (1,000 au, restricted) is a small pistol that fires a blast of fire, dealing 1d8 damage and setting things on fire. And rounding things out, the Thundergun (1,000 au, restricted) fires electrical bolts for 2d6 damage, usually nonlethal, but you can crank the wattage up and deal lethal damage at a greater cost in ammo.

The next few sections are very wordy and have much more content, so next time weíll look at power armor! Aetherships! And special materials!

* I havenít actually played Dead Space, I just watched a very good LP.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Crime and Punishment

Considering the overall centralizing project of the Tsarina, it should not be a surprise that she would like all legal authority to flow from her office. Enforcing the law without permission from above (as adventurers often do) can be severely punished in Gospodar lands. A group of adventurers with no legal authority who set on a group of bandits are technically criminals, as they enforced the law without direct permission from the Tsarina or a licensed officer of hers. Thus, adventurers who are not directly associated with the Tsarina's agents in the Realm of the Ice Queen often either find ways to make their exploits plausibly self defense (which is always legal), claim their foes were servants of the Ruinous Powers (it's never illegal to kill Chaos Worshipers, they're outlawed by nature), or find a drunk or pragmatic chekist to rubber-stamp their actions. Alternatively, you can just do your business in the north, well away from the Tsarina's courts, where the local Hetman isn't likely to complain about a bunch of dead kyazak. Similarly, if you took a job from any city watch, judge, or other legal agent in the country, you are technically properly enforcing the Tsarina's justice, as she has given them all permission to do so; like many of her proclamations and plans, she wants to start with surface form and work her way back to function. 'This is in the name of the Tsarina' is a formality right now, but she wants people to get used to thinking of all criminal justice this way.

Tsar Boris won the loyalty of the Ungol Hetmans and stanistas when he permitted them to resume practice of their traditional legal codes in primarily Ungol areas of the country. This was more a case of the Tsar recognizing what was already happening rather than a return to an ancient form; Ungol settlements and nomadic groups (called krugs) already mostly practiced Ungol law. But recognizing and respecting it officially was a great relief to the people. Tsarina Katarin is not pleased with this state of affairs and would prefer a single law code for the entirety of Kislev, but her father was a highly respected Tsar and she does not wish to overturn a popular provision; she needs the Ungol's support just as much as her father did. Instead, she allows Ungol areas that wish to do so to petition to be placed under Gospodar law, with significant incentives, and does not permit petitions in the other direction, so she can claim to be respecting the will of her subjects on the matter while she chips away at Ungol legal practices.

Ungol law is not written down, but rather passed down by oral tradition and practice. The fundamental element of Ungol law is group responsibility and collective punishment. If your family member commits a crime, you are legally responsible for it, because it was your duty to stop them and under Ungol law, they suspect it may've been done to benefit you. In larger cases, your entire clan, tribe, or stanitsa may be considered responsible for an individual's crime and you may have to give collective restitution. The family is also the smallest legal unit in Ungol law, and you cannot actually commit a crime against a family member, since it there is not 'aggrieved' party under their understanding of legal responsibility. If a father beats his son, there is no legal victim under Ungol understanding of culpability, though the family may informally try to intervene. If a father beats another man's son, though, a crime has been committed and any member of that father's family is legally liable for the penalty the judge levels; it will not necessarily fall upon the father. If a father beats a boy from another stanitsa, then the father's entire stanitsa is on the hook for his crime. An important part of this is that nationalities can also be considered a legal unit, and the Ungol consider Gospodar a different clan/family. Thus, to Ungol law, if a Gospodar commits a crime against them, they are legally permitted to take revenge as set down by a judge upon any Gospodar. The Tsarina *hates* this (as you might imagine), as do most foreigners, and this is one of the major reasons she wants to destroy Ungol legal practice and precedent within Kislev. For now, she has an agreement that Gospodar bounty hunters be permitted to at least try to track down the actual criminal before the Ungol start up some crazy feud over a stolen cow. PCs can easily find themselves caught up in these messes.

Ungol courts consist of a single judge from outside the two groups that are bringing complaint against one another. This person is thus considered impartial. This also means that in the case of a trial between a Gospodar and Ungol, the judge must be a foreigner; another great place to involve your PCs in high stakes murder mysteries! The Tsarina is also permitted to serve as judge in such a case, in honor of her father and on the argument that she represents her own, higher legal group (the Tsars). Settlements electing permanent judges (say, asking a foreigner who was a good judge to stay and solve more mysteries) send the names to Kislev for approval in the Bohka Palace, a task often handled by younger Ice Witches. This is another good excuse to get an apprentice Ice Witch out of the cities and into the steppe for adventure if you have one in a party. Judges are also aided in remembering the law and justice by the Wise Women, who advise on 'common sense' and how the spirits feel about legal proceedings or divination.

The most serious crime among the Ungol, even worse than murder, is refusing or abusing hospitality. Traveling the steppe in winter is a nightmare, and refusing to allow a wanderer into your home to sit by your fire is tantamount to saying you want them to die the worst of deaths. By the same token, the wanderer owes you gratitude and good behavior for your allowing them into your home and aiding them. It is important to everyone that a host be able to trust a guest unconditionally, and in return the guest be able to trust their host. A guest abusing the hospitality of their host to steal from them or harm them. This is one of very few crimes where a judge will *regularly* order uninvolved members of the criminal's group punished. In general, when meting out collective punishment, a member of the criminal's group is usually only chosen if they benefited from the criminal's actions or had a clear duty to stop them and did not. This crime is so serious that innocent members of a group may be punished solely for the sake of revenge. Similarly, the Ungol will go to tremendous lengths to punish the actual criminal. One Tilean follower of Ranald who took advantage of Ungol hospitality was tracked down years later in goddamn Lustria and hacked apart by a half dozen now-very-experienced-and-travel-hardened Ungol.

Ungol punishments are primarily corporal and non-crippling. For all the collective punishment and all, most crimes are solved with a public flogging, or a brand to both hurt the criminal and remind others of their dishonor in future dealings. Crippling punishments, like loss of a hand, are considered a good way to punish an entire group while only directly hurting the individual; by hurting a family member in a permanent way, they can't work and the family must decide whether to mercy-kill the crippled member or deal with the cost of supporting them. Minor mutilations like a missing pinky finger are used for serious, but not collective, crimes, much like a brand. Capital punishment is common in really serious cases like rape, murder, or abuse of hospitality.

Gospodar law is a lot more like Imperial law. It's written down, and the written laws must be obeyed, as must the accepted sentences for them. Gospodar law also places all responsibility on the individual criminal, with no collective punishments; indeed, trying to take revenge on a criminal's family because you believe the legal punishment was too light will get you killed and is a very serious offense under Gospodar law. Gospodar written law is looser than Imperial law, and intended to leave the judge a great deal of leeway in both deciding guilt or innocence, and in deciding punishments. Gospodar law also allows for formally declared feuds between families, and the Tsarina hates this, both because it resembles Ungol collective punishment and because it makes the stupid Boyar families fight each other. The Boyars, on the other hand, like it because it allows them an outlet to use force without needing approval from the higher government.

Gospodar courts do not have the same requirement for a judge to be 'neutral'. Judges are appointees, holding their position by permission from the Bohka Palaces. The Tsarina is eagerly encouraging the establishment of law schools and the professionalization of the bureaucrats and magistrates in the legal system, rather than allowing the local Hetman and Druzhina and Boyars to do the judging; ostensibly this is so that judges will be well trained in the law and serve according to ability, but anyone can see this is also another way to increase her personal hold on the legal system. One of the key legal privileges of nobility in Kislev is that a Druzhina or Boyar must be tried by 3 judges, who must all agree they are guilty for them to be found guilty. A peasant gets a single judge with the power to declare innocence or guilt. Punishments are requested by the wronged party and the judge approves or disapproves of them. The provision allowing formally declared feuds is meant to check the severity of punishments the victim can demand; after all, if you call for someone who called you a pig to be fed to the pigs there's a good chance his family is going to try to get you back for it. This means that when there is a large power differential between the criminal and victim, such that the 'victim' need not fear any feud, they can do some awful things. Boyars can be legendarily dickish to peasants who commit crimes against them.

An important provision of Gospodar Law is that all able-bodied males must own weaponry and equipment in case of war. Every single one. You must be willing to present this to your Hetman or to city officials if they ask, to be sure you have not sold your spear/bow/gun and that you will be ready to report for training if asked. Women are not legally obligated to own weapons, but it is encouraged and respected if they do. This is one of the few divisions between men and women on the matter of war in Kislev; men and women have explicitly equal legal rights in both Ungol and Gospodar culture, but for men war is a matter of legal obligation, while for women being prepared for war is simply respectable. Amusingly, it is illegal to criticize the Tsarina, but this law is not enforced against peasants, only nobles. Jokes and murmuring among the common people are expected, tolerated, maybe even celebrated if they're funny. If a Boyar makes a terrible ice pun that suggests the Ice Queen is not good at her job, however, he may be in real trouble. Meanwhile, nobles try to enforce laws against disrespect against their own peasantry. Being allowed to joke about the Tsarina while the local Druzhina might have you killed for the same thing if it was pointed at him has had the queer effect of making the peasants very sympathetic to her; they feel like she can take a joke and her actions with the guilds of Erengrad make many think that perhaps she favors the causes of the common man more than she does her nobles. She merely planned to only go after people with the power to make threats of themselves, but she's noticed the affection this is giving people for the office of the Tsar and is taking steps to ensure it continues.

Finally, there is the matter of the Chekists. Chekists are a bit like Imperial Witch Hunters, but they're much more explicitly secret police. These men and women of the secret office are charged with ensuring the security of the Tsar or Tsarina. By decree, Chekists is not legally liable if they accidentally arrest or do harm to innocent people. They are much more numerous than Witch Hunters, serving as spies and agents against sedition who happen to also fight Chaos rather than agents against Chaos who also happen to fight sedition. They have elaborate black uniforms, bronze-tipped cudgels, and fancy medallions for when they want to scare people, and normal clothes for when they want to spy and work as secret police. They're feared and hated by most of the people of Kislev. They're also, interestingly, a Basic career that a PC can start as from the getgo.

Next: Gods of Kislev.

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 like that Chekist is an entry level job; given that the number one requirement is absolute loyalty to the Tsarina, that doesn't mean you necessarily get the most experienced and competent people. Officially, Katarina doesn't want incompetents or bloodthirsty idiots, so she'll have other chekists dispose of you if you prove to be a problem, but you can't help but wonder what would be done with them if she changes her mind or someone takes her place.

Well, really we don't have to wonder, because there's a very good reason the class is called "Chekist."

Because of the way Ice Witches are chosen and how chekist is an entry level job, I like the idea of tragic romance featuring a couple who planning their lives together only for her to be selected to join the witches and disappeared from normal life and he decides to give up everything he's supposed to be in order to join the chekists simply because it's the closest he's likely to get to her again.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
It's also nice because it makes it a lot easier for your players to punch the poo poo out of some chekists.

Like, you get into a fight with a full bore Witch Hunter who's gone crazy or joined the Ordo Fidelus (renegade Hunters who behave a lot more like 40k Inquisitors) and you're in for a lot of trouble. It'd still be a good adventure, sure, but the chekists can be mooks for the PCs to show up and take down without nearly as much setup.

E: Basically, the chances your players end up fighting corrupt or vicious chekists in Kislev are higher because PCs from day 1 are able to handle an individual corrupt or vicious chekist, so it's much easier to work them in as antagonists, too, if you want.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Aug 25, 2017

Dec 10, 2007


I'm really digging how the Tsarina is portrayed, in that it manages to balance portraying her as competent and committed to the well-being of Kislev without whitewashing the uglier side of her reign. Every time I'm about to join the Katarin fan club I get some more info and say "ooh right, she's a tyrant that wants to monopolize power for its own sake."

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

SirPhoebos posted:

I'm really digging how the Tsarina is portrayed, in that it manages to balance portraying her as competent and committed to the well-being of Kislev without whitewashing the uglier side of her reign. Every time I'm about to join the Katarin fan club I get some more info and say "ooh right, she's a tyrant that wants to monopolize power for its own sake."

But the flip side is that her monopolizing power might end up working better for Kislev's eternal fight against Chaos in the long run. She wants to reduce Kislev's internal divisions and get everything running more efficiently from a central command structure. The caveat, of course, is that doing so also benefits her personally.

She's really feeling like a combination of Russia's Greats - Catherine and Peter.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


Grimey Drawer
Adding to the compliments on how Hostile V handled AAH. I can tell it's a bad game but also something that *might* have worked if A) the designers had thought much harder about the mechanics and B) they hadn't succumbed to "dark horror = rape monsters". It's by turns too serious and not serious enough- like if you could get over the sneering "are you shocked yet?" goofiness and focused more on the pure cosmic horror.

But yeah, Long Live G-Unit.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Strong like bear

Ursun is the most popular God in Kislev. This is partly because Tsar Boris was popular, and was also the first high priest in 400 years because of that time he and a bear teamed up to eat wolves and battle Chaos. Ursun is a lot like Ulric down in the Empire, but with way less accidental white supremacist overtones to some of his writing and also sleepier and more laid back. Ursun is also a bit fickle. He'll answer anyone's prayers sometimes if you nail a fish to your door in his honor. Dude loves fish. Kislevites like Ursun because he's a god of honest strength and if you respect him, he won't rend you apart. That, and hunting bears or taming bears is a big deal; they mention many Kislevite rotas like to have a bear for a mascot since they think it brings them divine favor, and the occasional Boyar manages to train an entire unit of sacred attack bears. Ursun's cult gets along fine with Ulric, Taal, and Rhya, and worship of him usually coexists with worship of them. Ulricans and Ursunites are supposed to wrestle and playfight to argue gently over whether wolves or bears are more awesome. The devout of Ursun are told to only hunt bears with melee weaponry or bows (no guns, but guns are fine for war. Just not for bear-fights), to leave hibernating bears or bear cubs be, to celebrate the waking of the bears in spring (awakening day is a huge festival all over Kislev), to enjoy fish, and not to show off bear paraphernalia unless you killed the bear. Wearing a bearskin coat is fine, but displaying a bear-claw necklace is not cool unless you killed the bear. High priests are specifically chosen because they get lost and end up becoming buddies with a bear somehow. This is a regular religious thing. The Tsarina is a devout patron of the Cult of Ursun in honor of her father, and while she is not a High Priest like he was, the cult supports her and appreciates the patronage of the Bohka Palaces.

Dazh is great. Dazh is absolutely the best. I don't usually do pictures because I am not an especially visual person, but here's Dazh, because I think seeing his picture tells a lot about the God of the Sun, Royalty, Fire, and Hospitality.

When the world was new, Dazh rode across the sky in his flaming chariot that is also the sun, and people could live while he was doing this. When he was resting in his amazing golden palace, the young prince of the heavens looked down and saw all the people were cold and shivering in darkness, so he sent his magical firebirds to dance for them and show them how to use fire (and create the aurora borealis) so they could stay warm while he rested his horses. Dazh is the kindest of all the Kislevite gods, and cares the most about humans' welfare. He is also a dashing heaven prince and gets up to all kinds of antics in his adventures in myth, where he often fails to show proper respect to someone and so inadvertently causes disaster, or on the flipside, where his dedication to proper respect and behavior helps save the world again. The glint of gold is the holy metal of Dazh, and many of his temples are gilded, gaudy, magnificent places lit by eternal flames. As the book puts it, every Stanitsa has a priest of Ursun, but every *home* has an icon of Dazh. The pious followers of Dazh live by strictures to never deny another hospitality, because leaving someone out in the cold is improper behavior, and to tend to the hearth through any and all long nights and winters. His cult is powerful and centralized, but as came up before the current High Watcher is sort of an incompetent and unpopular doofus. Whoever replaces him is likely to understand the authority of the office better, and that could bode well or ill for any number of political forces in Kislev.

Also one of his spells is an orbital sun laser, so his priests can call down fire from the heavens, and his priests are renowned as cooks. Dazh rules.

Tor is good guy Khorne. Like, even more directly than Ulric. Tor is the Ungol god of lightning and strength, a lord of storms who splits the sky with his massive axe to ask you why you aren't doing something badass at this very moment. He is a god of courage and resilience, granting strength to those who fight for justice with all of their hearts. Tor also believes hammers are lame and that axes rule. This is an actual stricture. He has only a single stricture: Don't stand under trees during thunderstorms. He also has no actual cult. Most Kislevites will offer a prayer to Tor before battle, and sometimes those who are more devout will find themselves able to work miracles in his name. That's it. No hierarchy, no structure, no set temples besides the occasional stone watchtower or altar to commemorate a great victory. Tor is a simple god, but Tor is specifically a god of beating the poo poo out of evil and awesome lightning storms, and the Kislevites consider that good enough.

One interesting divergence from normal Old World religion: No-one in Kislev worships Morr. They consider worship of death an insane and foolhardy practice, and find the god abhorrent. Death is too close all the time to bother praying to it. Similarly, while they are fine with Ulric, they refuse to worship him as the lord of Winter, only wolves and battle. Shallya is known as Salyak, and is worshiped differently than usual. Salyak is much more of a nurturing god, devoted to raising strong, healthy children and comforting her children in their hurts. The Kislevite idea of Shallya is older and wiser, closer to a steppe wise woman or kindly grandmother watching over her family.

In addition to Gods, though, the Kislevites are infamous for their superstitions and worship of spirits, something the rest of the Old World thinks leans too close to Chaos worship. The Hags and Wise Women know better.

Next: The Hags and Wise Women know better.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

It really sounds like Tor's two strictures are from a mix of some guy chatting with him and him giving that guy some practical advice.

Feb 19, 2014

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

Night10194 posted:

Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Strong like bear

High priests are specifically chosen because they get lost and end up becoming buddies with a bear somehow. This is a regular religious thing.


Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.

Grimey Drawer
Hymns sung to the A&W jingle theme.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Kislevite gods aren't all that complex, but they are hilarious.

Oh, also, I forgot the blessed hero of Tor, a young soldier who has been struck by lightning twice and survived it, so now he runs around in an iron cone helmet trying to get struck again because he thinks it will make him superhumanly powerful and brave.

Another highlight is Tor's PATRIOTISM spell. If cast successfully it causes all Kislevites to get to double attack on the charge. All Kislevites within one mile while the sky goes crazy with thunder. The Kislevite God Spells are awesome when we get to them.

Mors Rattus posted:

It really sounds like Tor's two strictures are from a mix of some guy chatting with him and him giving that guy some practical advice.

Basically. Tor's casual.

The specific reason is 'If you're going to wield something so heavy, why not have a blade, eh?'

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 22:37 on Aug 25, 2017

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.
Kislev is so folkloric (including modern folklore) Russia it hurts, in a good way.

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

Looking forward to the wise women. They own.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Cythereal posted:

But the flip side is that her monopolizing power might end up working better for Kislev's eternal fight against Chaos in the long run. She wants to reduce Kislev's internal divisions and get everything running more efficiently from a central command structure.

Assuming a highly competent Tsar. If her successor is less capable at statecraft then the need for them to get personally involved with everything will end up crippling efficiency instead.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

The Lone Badger posted:

Assuming a highly competent Tsar. If her successor is less capable at statecraft then the need for them to get personally involved with everything will end up crippling efficiency instead.

True, Kislev lacks the Lady of the Lake as a check and balance on the crown.


Bretonnia having a potentially better functioning government than any nation in Warhammer is deeply distressing.

Feb 13, 2012

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

Cythereal posted:

True, Kislev lacks the Lady of the Lake as a check and balance on the crown.


Bretonnia having a potentially better functioning government than any nation in Warhammer is deeply distressing.

That's making some highly risky assumptions about the intentions of the Lady, too.

Also the point of Louen is that he's the perfect king and the government still doesn't work that great.

E: Also, all three major human nations have competent people running them at the time of WHFRP2e and it's great.

Basically, all three major human nations are predominantly governed, at moment, by people who are trying to do what they think is right and best for their country as guided by the traditions and history of their homelands. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're not, and it's one of the reasons all three are interesting.

Also, Louen, Katarin, and Franz would make a pretty badass party themselves. Noble Lord, Ice Witch/Captain, and Grail Knight.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 03:46 on Aug 26, 2017

Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn
Soiled Meat
Wouldn't Franz be considered a Knight of the Inner Circle?

Feb 13, 2012

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

mcclay posted:

Wouldn't Franz be considered a Knight of the Inner Circle?

True, but that also Exits into Noble Lord.

May 5, 2011

Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 14: Equipment

Equipment in Shadow of the Demon Lord is tracked in a system that I personally find a little too fiddly for my tastes. But before I start injecting my own biases into the game, letís jump right in.

The game has four tiers of currency, with an exchange rate that any WoW player will understand easily: 10 pieces of the lower tier of currency equal 1 piece of the next highest tier.

Copper pennies
Silver shillings
Golden crowns

So if you have 10 cp, you can exchange that for 1 ss. I like how this part of the system works. It feels like the lower tiers of currency will remain useful in higher level play because most people in the world deal in bits or coppers, and all that normally-useless lower value currency can still take you far depending on where you are in the world.

Similarly, the game has a four-tiered system to describe how hard it is to find certain things. The rarity is determined by how likely you are to find the item in a settlement of a certain size.

Common - these items can be found anywhere for sale.
Uncommon - specialized production chains are needed, so these are for sale in communities of 1,000 people or more.
Rare - this stuff requires exceptionally skilled labor and extensive facilities, and can be found in areas with a population of 5,000 or more.
Exotic - usually magical in nature or requires unusual materials. These advanced items are only found in cities with a population of 10,000 or more.

Carrying limits are where things start to get a little silly for more. As a rule, you can only carry a number of discrete items equal to your Strength score. If you think about the amount of random poo poo a typical adventuring party accumulates in the course of an expedition and beyond, this becomes weird real fast. You clothing counts as one item, every 10 loose coins or 5 loose gems count as 1 item, but any container you have like a backpack or satchel, counts as 1 item no matter how much you put in there. A 1-foot cube of space can apparently hold 500 coins and reduce them to 1 item. Each 1-foot cube of space can hold the equivalent of 500 coins, so a 4-foot cube can reduce 5000 coins to 1 item. Except that when loaded up in this manner, containers become heavy and count as 3 items.

This is a little too fiddly and weird for me, but I can see what the game is trying to do. Though coins are the only example item it gives on fitting into that 1-foot cube of space. It could do with a few more examples of how much can fit into what area and whether they will count as 1 item or more.

Next up are living expenses. When you finish an adventure, you get to pick what level of lifestyle you want to live for the next adventure. You pay the listed amount of money and you get a small detriment/benefit for your choice. This abstracts all the bookkeeping of buy incidental stuff and lets you just skip right to what is most important to your character.

Destitute - no upkeep, and when you start an adventure you have a chance of losing some small valuables. If you canít lose anymore, you become diseased.
Poor - 2cp upkeep, same as Destitute except the roll you have to make to avoid losing something is a little easier.
Getting By - 1ss and no detriment or benefit.
Comfortable - 2ss and at the start of the adventure you have a chance to save some of your investment.
Wealthy - 1 gc upkeep and you have a chance to save even more.
Rich - 2gc+ and you have a good chance to save a lot of money.

Armor and Clothing

Armor is pretty simple in SotDL, but it works a little differently than you might expect. You of course have penalties to certain things like swimming and climbing and youíre slower while wearing heavier armor. Armor also has required Strength scores to use it, and if you donít meet that, you take a penalty to Speed and make all Strength and Agility challenge and attack rolls with 1 bane. When wearing armor, the Defense of the armor is not a bonus to you existing Defense unless it says exactly that. Instead, and this is true for all armor heavier than light armor, you replace your Defense with that of the armor.

I like how this works because it makes sense that you donít get the benefit of your speediness while wearing armor. The armor acts like armor is supposed to: it absorbs blows that would otherwise hit you. Letís get into the armor and what it gives you
  • Clothing - no bonus to Defense, costs little and is available everywhere.
  • Soft Leather - +1 to Defense and it costs 2ss, also available anywhere.
Light Armor (Strength 11)
  • Hard Leather - +2 to Defense, costs 5ss and common availability.
  • Brigandine - 13 Defense, 5ss cost and again common.
Medium Armor (Strength 13)
  • Mail - 15 Defense, 1 gc cost and uncommon availability.
  • Scale - 16 Defense, costs 2gc and is uncommonly available.
Heavy Armor (Strength 15)
  • Plate and Mail - 17 Defense, costs 5gc and is rare.
  • Full Plate - 18 Defense, 25gc cost and is exotic.
That jump in cost between Plate and Mail and Plate is realistic, if I remember my medieval history, and definitely worth the cost. 18 Defense is nothing to sneeze at, and makes you immune to a lot of extra effects provided the enemy doesnít roll more than a 23. Also the requirements mean that these armors are off-limits to anyone who doesnít build for them, but as far as your tanking need go, this stuff will do what you want.


If you were expecting a chart of weapons like good old D&D, well youíre going to get exactly that. SotDL doesnít exactly do anything new with weapons. Youíve got the types youíre accustomed to: melee, ranged, simple, military, heavy etc. Some of them have Strength requirements and give you 1 bane if you donít meet it. Some weapons are two-handed, others are one, and a few are ďoffĒ, which means you can wield them in your off-hand.

Some weapons have special properties. Big weapons are generally Cumbersome, giving you a bane to all attacks with them, some are Finesse, which means you can attack with either Strength or Agility when using them, others, like the guns and crossbows, need to be reloaded after every shot. Guns in SotDL also have the Misfire property, meaning that when you attack with it, if you get a 0 or less, the gun has a chance of being just jammed or it can explode in your hand. Defensive is a property applied to shields, giving you a bonus to Defense.

All weapons in SotDL deal either 1 damage, 1d3 or a number of d6s and possibly a little extra. The most common amount of damage is 1d6. Your standard spear does 1d6, and a sword/axe does 1d6 + 1. Guns are particularly powerful, with pistols dealing 2d6 and rifles doing 3d6. The damage for weapons tops out an an innate 3d6 for the rifle and the great weapons, which require a Strength of 13 to use. More damage comes from specific talents. Iíve seen damage as high as an 8d6 with a great weapon and it can get up to 10d6. Fighters in SotDL are the damage kings, as spells generally donít do that much damage, and a ton of monsters take half damage from spells. A few take half damage from weapons, but generally speaking the guy with the weapon is going to be doing the most damage.

You can either track ammo manually or use the abstract system: if you roll a 0 or lower on your ranged attack, you are out of ammo and canít use the weapon until you recover more.

Adventuring Gear

This is your standard list of stuff an adventurer might need. Your universal adventurerís kit has the classics: backpack, bedroll, cutlery (actually, huh?), tinderbox, torches, 20 yards of robe, a grapnel, a week of rations and a waterskin. Most of that is pretty familiar. Youíve then got your sources of illumination, from matches up to spotlight lanterns.

After that is a wide variety of stuff. Things like a crowbar, which gives 1 boon on Strength challenge rolls to open closed things or an implement of magic for casting your spells for most Traditions. There are knuckledusters, listed here and not under weapons because they act as an enhancement for your unarmed strikes, adding a whopping 1 damage to them! Enjoy punching goatmen to death 2 damage at a time. Nets are listed here, and they do what you think they would do, while there are also torturerís tools.

The torturerís tools are a problem for me. They allow you to spend time torturing a creature (though the game never says this directly. This description is all mechanics), you can deal damage to the creature after attacking their Will with yours. So essentially tortture is a contest of personalities that can hurt the tortured target. At the end of this, if you succeed, you can ask the target a question that they must answer truthfully, or make up something if they donít know. As a person who is anti-torture and knows the evidence backs me up on that view, this tacit endorsement of torture as an effective tactic is really off-putting. But in the end, it serves to underline the kind of world SotDL takes place in: one where evil methods get results.

The chapter ends with the prices for common foods, drinks, services and the cost of various retainers, OD&D style. There are potions, among which are your standards like healing potions, resistance potions and antitoxins. But a few stand out to me.
  • The fleeting youth potion lets you heal damage and appear to be in the prime of your life for a few days.
  • The growth potion is a Hulk serum that increases your Size to 2 and gives you all the attendant bonuses to Health and damage.
  • The seeing potion lets you see stuff in the dark.
Finally we have Incantations, which are scrolls by another name. They let you make copies of your spells if youíre a spellcaster, or cast spells through them if youíre not. When casting a spell through a scroll that requires more Power than you have, you make the roll with 1 bane for each rank of Power over yours.

And thatís it for the equipment chapter! It oscillates between good stuff like the abstract ammo tracking system to weird, fiddly crap like the carrying limits rules. Equipment in SotDL is meant to be simple and easy to get your head around and for the most part I think it accomplishes that. If youíre an old D&D player most of this is second nature, aside from how armor works. And for folks not inured to d20 stuff, it is easy enough to understand. The simplification of weapon damage in particular is nice, as it makes the math easier to get and cuts down on the number of dice you need (even if I do like all my pretty d8s and d10s).

Thatís it for this Shadow of the Demon Lord update. Next time weíll get started on covering the magic traditions!

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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


Introduction: Actually Using the Word Kamikaze Correctly in a Historical Context

Kuro (Japanese for Black) is a game I had never heard of until recently. It was originally written by the French RPG publisher Le SeptiŤme Cercle and given an English translation through Cubicle 7. Itís kinda hard to explain this without sounding, like, clinical but the main thing that intrigued me about Kuro is the fact that it was A: kind of obscure and B: dropped from Cubicle 7 without much fanfare or explanation.

See, Kuro was written in French and was being presented along with three other games: Yggdrasill (sic) (Viking-era RPG), Keltia (5th century post-Rome Britain RPG) and Qin (Warring States Wuxia RPG). LSC was writing them, Cubicle 7 was translating them andÖnobody was buying them or reviewing them. The books came out in 2014 and 2015 and last June Cubicle 7 ended up dropping all of them at the end of June of this year (2017). Itís probably because it didnít sell pretty well which is a little unfortunate (on paper) because itís got a good elevator pitch that made me (a known fool/bad-idea-haver) sit up and say ďalright how am I finding these filesĒ:

ďJapanese horror cyberpunk in the near futureĒ.

So, spoilers, the files are available if you know where to look but you literally canít buy Kuro, Kuro Makkura or Kuro Tensei anywhere right now. And thatís kind of a good thing? Because as interesting as that elevator pitch sounds (because for real itís a good elevator pitch that had me hooked until it fell off hard), Kuro is not a good game. Having taken the time to read most of these books in advance (because it turns out thatís a real good way to decide if something is worth the time of day), Kuro fails significantly at being cyberpunk and has some of the worst module/narrative structure Iíve ever seen and its premise goes in a weird stupid direction and I would daresay that it fails at being Japanese horror. Now, does it do some things right? Yes. The main thing Iíll give credit for this game is the fact that itís pretty heavily researched to provide a cultural context for Japan for an audience who probably isnít a western otaku. On the other hand, itís pretty heavily researched to provide a cultural context for Japan for an audience who probably isnít a western otaku and that does not translate well to a tabletop RPG.

To put this in further context, I found out that this game existed through an ad in the back of the Victoriana 3e corebook and, uh, yeah. Victoriana and Kuro share a lot in common.


The big problems of the 21st century turn out to be A: energy crisis and B: global warming/ecological damage. The game places the blame mostly at the feet of the Western World and Europe for the latter because "Emerging countries like China or India did not have the chance to pollute as much as their Western neighbours, international regulations out of the Kyoto protocol having forced them to limit their emissions since 2020."

[glances at Beijing and the Ganges river]

Okay so this game is wildly naive/optimistic in places, which is pretty prevalent with the fact that everyone ends up recognizing the two big problems after thousands of migrants are forced from their international homes due to ecological disasters. Anyway the big salve to help soothe the damage done ends up being an advance in nanotech and green energy tech working together to get more out of hydroelectric, wind power, solar and thermal power by revamping batteries and engines and stuff. This helped revamp the Chinese economy while in turn the Middle East fell into turmoil from plunging oil prices. The rebuilding of the Chinese economy ended up leading to big friction between China, India and Russia. That's when Japan decided to hike up its britches, snap its suspenders and say "look I'm making good money from all of these innovations I'm helping work on, America's great and all but I could use more money and I'd like financial control over the East again" and promptly slides in between the three countries offering to help smooth things over and figure out a plan everyone would like.

The successive Japanese governments invest in a group called the Aosis Alliance, a group dedicated to fighting rising tides and damage caused by global warming which is also basically just a deepening of bonds between China and Japan. China starts rolling out new dams and levees using materials designed by China, they work great, money is made and Japan then doubles down by investing in the Chinese space program, sliding bureaucrats and workers into the program. America, in turn, is immediately suspicious that Japan is funding the space program as part of a way to have China host Japan's weapons for them and this leads to debates in the United Nations where western countries start accusing China and Japan of being in collusion to start something. "Alright Chuckles, let's play hardball" says Japan, withdrawing all of its assets from NASA and offering its top engineers, gengineers and research scientists to China who immediately agree to take them in and work on a joint space program. America and Europe are enraged by this and start sinking more money into their own developments, but it's a bit too little too late compared to the joint partnership of an industrial giant and a research-oriented country working together.

2044 is the year that Japan and China land androids on Mars as the first steps towards building a Martian colony: the Japanese androids make a landing site for China's taikonauts, gengineered astronauts who are born in space and will never be able to live on Earth but can colonize Mars. Once this whole plan is in place and the taikonauts are on the way, China immediately allies with North and South Korea, forming a group called the Panasiatic Federation (sic) to counter the rise of Pakistan and India. Japan is asked to join as well (along with Vietnam, who we'll assume does choose to join and is happy to be invited) but Japan declines due to the fact that North Korea is allowed to be in the Federation. In fact, they do much more than simply decline: Japan severs all past agreements with China, offers India military support in claiming Taiwan as their own and starts a program of self sufficiency and independence under the influence of a rising political party called New Komeito.

China is understandably upset by this, stealing the Senkaku Islands for themselves and arming North Korea with weapons to use against Japan if they did anything funny. The next two years are spent arguing loudly on the public stage, drawing everyone's attention with their bickering. Then everything goes to hell. On May 4th 2046, an 8.5 earthquake in the Pacific is misread by a Chinese defense program as a nuclear strike and before anyone realizes that it's not an attack the AI in charge of the sensors had launched gigaton warheads at its two biggest enemies: India and Japan. The India-bound missile suffers a malfunction mid-flight and instead it airbursts over North Korea, irradiating most of the country, killing thousands and knocking out all of the power.

The second missile never hits Japan. It just disappears. Like, this is not hyperbole. One moment there's a nuclear warhead about to hit Japan. The next second it ceases to exist. It is gone. There's a bright flash in the sky that causes electrical outages for all of Japan for two hours and a windstorm and it's not from a nuclear explosion. Granted, there's still collateral damage done: the disruptions caused from the nuclear missile loving disappearing scrambles the hell out of two airliners taking off and they collide into each other and destroy a neighborhood from the crash of the wreckage and hundreds die, but that's it.

And China loses its poo poo.

Everyone in the international community is like "what the gently caress, China, you have a loving Dead Hand?" but China is like "okay yes I have a Dead Hand but what the gently caress, Japan!?" China starts pointing the finger at Japan, claiming that the fact that the nuclear warhead is just plain gone is proof of some secret anti-nuke arsenal that Japan has been illegally working on in defiance of international treaties. "And furthermore," China says, "if these guys have a goddamn anti-nuke shield, they must be working on nukes of their own, right?" "This logic is spurious at best but what the gently caress, Japan?" says the rest of the world, who is pretty drat angry at how Japan has been treating them the last few decades. "No for real I have no loving clue what happened" said Japan, "I don't know why that happened, I legitimately can't explain it". Japan is just plain unable to explain what happened or where the missile went, a fact that isn't helped by the fact that the election they were holding on the 4th would have resulted in a radical change between governments and neither governmental party can really explain anything. Because Japan can't explain what happened, China's claim of an anti-nuke shield gets a lot of traction.

China demands proof of the anti-nuke shield. European nations and America agree and support this 100%. Japan throws up its hands and says "I seriously can't share any technology we don't have". So China goes to the UN and points a finger at Japan and claims they're an enemy of world peace. If they have a nuke shield, they should share it with all countries so death by nuclear warhead is no longer a threat. Because Japan is refusing, they're an enemy to world peace, so they should give up the technology to everyone. The UN movement passes and Japan refuses because, again, you can't share something that doesn't exist. "Alright then, you want to go back to being totally self sufficient? We can play that game" says China, still pushing forward with the belief that Japan has violated its defense treaties and that they're holding illegal weapons they refuse to confirm or deny the existence of.

So welcome to the present day where an international blockade and embargo on Japan have cut Japan off from the rest of the world of the last six months. May 4th 2046 has been called the Kuro Incident as a result and Japan has started to feel the actual effects of their self sufficiency plans. Which is to say, the economy is in turmoil and they are absolutely not self sufficient. The Emperor has renamed Tokyo to Shin-Edo as a sign that Japan will not bow to international demands but the reality of the situation is that things are starting to get dire and the inherent politeness of Japanese society is beginning to falter. Power failures happen occasionally. There are fears that extremist factions of the government will rise up against the sitting party in response to the blockade. Food will be rationed soon. There's not even any communication with the rest of the world; 90% of transmissions in and out of Japan are blocked unless they're on certain radio frequencies. And there are storms that are occasionally happening, a rise in typhoons and other unnatural windy weather. Something is wrong in the streets of Shin-Edo, no matter how anyone tries to dress it up.

There are two big theories floating around for what caused the nuke to disappear (outside of the still-pervasive theory that it was an anti-nuke shield). The more optimistic people believe that it was the actual Kamikaze, the Divine Wind, that intervened when Japan needed it the most and took the nuke away, a sign that the spirits are still looking out for Japan. The more pessimistic believe that the nuke hit, everyone's dead and nobody has realized it yet. They believe Japan is dead and in Hell and it's not gonna be pretty when the populace at large has figured this out. The latter theory is gaining a lot of traction with the people who are afraid of the weird occurrences in Shin-Edo. There have been reports of sinister malfunctions with androids or simple communication programs, stories of robots going berserk without warning and attacking people or seeing strange figures in AR but not in the real world. There's been a resurgence in occultism and interest in Japanese mythology and Shinto/Buddhism, a rise in cults and superstition.

There's no concrete explanation for what's going on in Japan at the moment, but people are watching the shadows with dread as they wait to see what's going to happen under the oppression of the blockade.

The glossary for this game is...huge.

NEXT TIME: current tech trends in Japan and a brief look at where the culture and society are currently at. Long story short: the things we know to be wrong with Japanese society at the moment, in regards to declining population, xenophobia and women's rights? They don't really get fixed. They mostly try to fix their problems with robots.

Apr 6, 2009

by vyelkin
2046 is the near future now, huh. I remember when RPGs would take place in the far future of 2020. :corsair:

So far, I'm on board with the concept, but I'm well aware how easily a game can swing from kinda neat to absolute poo poo in the space of a paragraph. Also the way they angled the text on those post-its is doing my head in. Like, they don't have a layout tool that can just twist text, they need to move pieces down a few points every so often? But wait, it's only the body text, the header text on the notes is perfectly angled! :psyduck:

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

Try as they might, no one will ever outdo Far Cry Blood Dragon in futureness.


Jan 29, 2009
I think I got Kuro from a bundle of holding, got some decent art and I do love the cover.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

They did do a bundle for it and the art for the first game's cover is gorgeous. Some of the later art, less so, but this book's art is pretty good.

That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012


wiegieman posted:

Try as they might, no one will ever outdo Far Cry Blood Dragon in futureness.


I can't believe they actually ended that game by licensing music from insane 80's action-disaster Miami Connection. I've been pining for a PS4 re-release for an excuse to play it again, but I just realized my new computer is an even better excuse to spend $15 again on a game I already own.

I loving love Blood Dragon.

May 13, 2013

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


Chapter 1: Marauders

The ride continues! So, what are the Marauders? To put it shortly, they are monstrous lostech cyborgs that are wandering the Earth and working towards mysteeerious goals. The cops arenít looking and theyíre filled with tech thatís nearly magical, so whoís gonna stop them?


Ignorant people consider them gods like Mother Sun and Brother Moon, to be appeased with animal sacrifices. It is said that artifacts of Bygone eras come alive in their hands, machines talk to them and impossible portals into the mountain depths swing open before them. Some describe them as dead husks, kept in shape by bandages and kept alive by malice. Others see them as a twist of fate. Through them, Aries destroyed the Anabaptist attack force in the Jehammedansí hour of reckoning.

Theyíre like that cyborg dude from the Mortal Machines books.

Nobody really knows what the Marauders want, but people will try and contact them. Of course, some people are better suited for it than others. Techpriests Chroniclers are those people!


The Chroniclersí Cult has been watching the Maraudersí tracks since the beginning. Their Streamers traverse the land, questioning the natives and listening to old campfire stories about gods from the shadows of time. The details of every sighting are new pieces in the puzzle of their digital nexus, The Cluster. One day, this information will reach critical mass and everything will fall into place. Finally they will discern the Maraudersí plan.

If you ever wanted to understand how strange the world of Degenesis is, take note that Streamers are people who go outside to talk to people they donít know.


Then we a get a story piece that takes up nearly two of the four pages dedicated to Marauders. The first one, Core Data: Aspera, is about Chroniclers trying to contact marauder Aspera in Borca, 2359. Besides the Narrator, we have Streamer Monitor and Mediator Delete. Chroniclers are a bunch of nerds.

These guys caught a signal coming from the Alps and having ďenough score to know what the signal meant and what we were getting ourselves intoĒ set out for the journey. Naturally, thereís snow. At one point, Narrator tries to have a chat.


I communicated with Delete. It got personal. He told me about a sister, Fregga. He had collected bugs with her in the Black Lung, he said. He also said the snow was bringing back some old memories. I asked how heíd felt that day. He did not understand, at least not at first. He even got angry. Said it should drat well be possible to have a normal conversation without returning to the default communication codes for intensifying contact with savages. I said I was sorry.


Delete cries in his sleep and scratches the barcode tattoo on his forehead. Narrator thinks about asking him if he ever regrets that his parents gave him over to the Chroniclers.

They also meet some real savages, which they chase away with their Vocoders, which I assume is a weapon that amplifies their voices. Traitor Emperorís Children players in the audience start sketching their character sheets.

The group gets closer to the signal location. Monitor reveals an artifact heís carrying: a large needle with an ergonomic grip and a lot of duct tape Ė definitely a survival game weapon crafting product. He doesnít comment on the object. Then, they see Aspera.


Then I saw her. Standing there. Just like in the descriptions. Two braids jutted out at both sides of her
head, the meter-long hair joined on her back. Her face was small. Youthful. Her gaze inscrutable. She moved towards Monitor. Her mechanical leg had nothing at all in common with human anatomy, but still it was a hydraulic masterpiece. Softly, the metal slid over guide rails, articulated joints swiveled and racks interlocked with gears. Lithe as a predator.

The writing gets really messy at this point. Monitor starts acting strange and begins communicating with Aspera in some unknown language. Narrator is freaking out. Thereís a lot of shouting, and milky discharge starts coming from Monitorís mouth and eyes. Aspera knows something we donít, so she interrogates Monitor while lifting him up by the neck before taking the artifact, connecting one of her tubes to it, and planting the needle in Monitorís neck. Then she starts sucking him dry via the artifact-pump.

Delete tries to intervene, but Narrator screams him down.


She broke off the spigot and looked at me again. Stared at me. I wasnít sure whether she had fallen asleep or was caught in a state unknown to mere mortals. Again I saw the movement beneath her skin and knew that she was going to speak. ďThis man was a fake.Ē Her eyes looked this way and that as if she was thinking. She nodded. ďNo Chronicler.Ē

She leaves and the story ends.


Linked Core Data: Ambrosia is about white ceramic cylinders that contain some sort of nanotech medicine. The piece doesnít say that outright; we are first lead through a hard-to-parse description of what happens when cylinders activate. The nerds have them, know that Marauders are interested in them, but they still canít contact the mysterious Ďborgs nor find out what the cylinders do. They are marked with RG, for Recombination Group, a terribly named pre-Echaton pharma company.


The last efforts to contact Aspera were useless to unpleasant. Our Shutters have not reported back from
Chernobogís domain either. And the Ice Breaker is visiting the hospital at Danzig only once per year. Thus far, weíve missed him. We are following other leads now. For example, those that hint at an Ancient called Gusev. The Marauders are aware that we have the Ambrosia cartridges, and we know that the Marauders want them. Maybe we will come to an agreement for them, but maybeÖ we have
sealed our own fate.

You bet your rear end those cylinders will be used with disastrous results!


The other two pages are dedicated to Chernobog, an rear end in a top hat cyborg named after a Slavic pagan deity that lives in Eastern Borca.


Those who dared to approach him saw the giant. His conical body, the empty eye sockets, the browsed nose. They saw the bleached cables sticking out from its skull, cascading like a waterfall over a black cape. Some cables pierced through his skin. Other ended in riveted-on rat skulls and glittering artifacts. The giant moved his skull back and forth as if he was sniffing.

Like some sort of Chaos Space Marine groundhog, he would awaken periodically to wander through the woods and displace savages. Then, he started waking up sooner and sooner, as well as demolishing villages (because even if you reject civilization, you still want to live in clumps of people Ė Clanners are great fans of the Benedict option) or chasing people down until he beat them to pulp.

However, the dirty dirty savages eventually had some luck.


One day, a fist-sized artifact lay amidst a destroyed village. It was black and shapeless. Barbs rose from it. The village Shaman conjured the friendly forest spirits, sprinkled ancestral ashes on the artifact and reached for it. It awoke at once. A voice sank through the octaves down to a vibrating bass. Calling itself ďThe CorresponderĒ, the artifact shared the secrets of the Black God with the Shaman. After that, Chernobog spoke to the Shamans through the Corresponder. As more Corresponders were bestowed, temples were erected around them, rites were devised, and chosen ones were named. The Shamans knew now how to appease their god. They offered him willow bark brew, lowered baskets full of datura, belladonna and black henbane down into his domicile. They set traps. Nothing should disturb his rest

If anyone understands the significance of the herbs offered to Chernobog, please enlighten the thread (and me).

Anyways, Chernobog was back to sleepÖ until 2593, when a faint signal from Purgare and Balkhan was detected. It activated the Corresponders, and Chernobog awakened to set on the warpath. He gathered the clans and set out to do what every Ottoman youth always wanted to do: destroy Prague (called Praha in game). Previously, the minefields and machineguns had been enough to deter assault. Now, Chernobog used 1337 hax and the city fell within days.

This made clans extremely fuckiní uppity. Borcan tribes thing they can reclaim burial grounds from Judges and Spitalians. Balkhans tell Jehemedans to gently caress off.

An unwashed threat rises!

An anarcho-primitivist fends off polio vaccination.

And thatís how Chapter 1 ends. Chapter 2, Cultures, is going to be super long, as it will cover cultural regions in more depth, talking about cities and major plot hooks in the areas. Stay tuned!

Next time: Chapter 2: Borca Borca

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012


All of those herbs are serious, serious deliriants, also essentially just poison when you get down to it.

Theyre also, when used correctly (which is hard as hell to do) can act as anaesthetics and can induce general anaesthesia.

Oh yeah totally, and not a synthetic version though: its a slightly different (just 1 reaction step, really) molecule thats much less likely to rip your gut lining apart. [Salicylic acid in willow bark : acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin]
I forgot it even mentioned willow bark.
Though what i posted is true for datura, belladonna and henbane.

So im guessing chernobog is in debilitating pain and cant source opioids.

Rigged Death Trap fucked around with this message at 13:14 on Aug 26, 2017

Jul 9, 2003

Isn't Apsrin a synthetic version of a willow bark extract?

Mar 19, 2009
It is. Willow bark contains salicylic acid, which is itself named for the willow tree (salix).

Those three herbs are all relatives, and contain the same poisons - atropine and a few similar compounds. They're neurotoxins - acetylcholine inhibitors, to be specific - and have a few medical uses as muscle dampeners and exocrine suppressants. You can get high off them, too, but it's not a great plan since they're nerve agents, too much will stop your heart, and dosage control is kinda tricky when you're eating flowers. Also it shuts your guts down so enjoy constipation.

They aren't painkillers on their own, but anticholinergics can exaggerate the effects of painkillers. Medically it's usually done with opiates, though - not sure if it works with aspirin. Also, dosage control! Drug interactions are pretty dangerous to gently caress around with even when one of them isn't deadly nightshade.

Sounds to me like the dude's in pain. Probably to be expected with a bunch of rusty wires in your skull. That or he's got really bad diarrhoea. Pretty bad excuse for burning villages either way.

Probably not a great loss if he poisons himself, to be honest, but I doubt the guys who made this would have their super deadly invincible robot mummy accidentally kill himself with a blocked colon. Alas.

May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
It would probably be easier to get no poo poo (and no constipation) painkillers from Spitaliers, but archeotech horrors making sensible decisions does not a mysterious plothook make.

Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
I never played Kuro, but Qin is pretty good. Some rules weirdness, a railroady campaign, but overall a solid Wuxia rpg.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012

Part 8: "White sugar, the most addictive foodstuff ever developed"

Chapter 5: Lands of Voodoo
History of the Caribbean
The penultimate chapter of GURPS Voodoo, Lands of Voodoo unsurprisingly focuses on the Caribbean, starting with a rough outline of its history...or the history as told by 1995 C.J. Carella, at least, which isnít necessarily 100% accurate. Iíll freely admit that while I know some of what is wrong with this section, I donít know enough about the history of the Caribbean before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade to go into massive detail, so feel free to give your own comments on anything thatís extremely wrong if you are more knowledgeable.

It begins in the pre-Columbian times, with the Taino and the Sea Caribs. The Taino were a group of peaceful indigenous peoples, living a semi-nomadic lifestyle of hunting and gathering as well as raising domesticated manioc (cassava). The Sea Caribs, by contrast, were a warrior culture descended from mainland South American tribes that engaged in both widespread slavery and ritual cannibalism. The Aztec and Mayan Empires also existed, but they don't matter because they're not in the Caribbean and thus only get a brief mention as a rare trade partner for Caribbean tribes.

In 1492, a "misguided Italian adventurer" you may know as Christopher Columbus sailed in and set up shop in the name of Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain. Things didn't go well for the Carib-weakened Taino, with disease, slave labor, and guns decimating their already fragile numbers. A Dominican friar by the name of Bartolome de las Casas was part of growing opposition to this mistreatment, however, and suggested that the Spanish plantations and mines be worked by slaves taken from Africa instead. And thus the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was born. The British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese Empires wanted in on this action as well, and made their own settlements in the Caribbean and South America soon after.

On these islands, the planter culture and its cash crops reigned supreme, with African people suffering from the grueling oversea voyages on inhumane slave ships and at the plantation mastersí lashes. Class systems were developed from conceptual blood quantums, with terms like maroon, quadroon, and octaroon coming to exist simply to demarcate just how much white blood vs. black blood one had in them. Interracial people, referred to collectively as mulattos, were a middle class between the purely white and purely black, and racial animus between the mulattos and the black slaves was and still is heated. There was also a fair bit of piracy and privateering in the shipping lanes during the 16th Century, but this eventually ground to a halt as more and more imperial control over the seas was exerted.

Entering the 19th Century, things start getting more shaky for the imperial powers. Populist uprisings begin to form across the Caribbean and Latin America. The Spanish Empire in the New World fell apart island by island, and the French-owned Haiti underwent the Haitian Revolution, where slaves and Maroons (escaped slaves who formed their own communities in the wilderness) overthrew the aristocracy of the islands and formed their own sovereign nation. American forces would occupy Haiti from 1915 to 1934, where paternalistic racism was present, but this eventually ended and "a lot of positive results" came from the occupation in the form of improved healthcare, better roads, and a better organized society. For the rest of the 20th Century, itís dictatorships, poverty, and general not-greatness that gets but a few sentences of text.

Caribbean Occult History
Rather than interweave the paranormal and historical parts of its history, a separate section of this chapter goes over that timeline from the perspective of the supernatural elements of the setting. Or parts of that timeline, at least, as there are four major beats of this two page long section: slavery, the Haitian Revolution, Papa Doc Duvalier, and Fidel Castro. For the first, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade is the second worst human sacrifice to the dark gods that has ever happened, the only worse on being the Holocaust. For the second, the Haitian Revolution was mostly the work of Maroon Initiates, who were able to rally the rebelling slaves and use their magic to overpower the technologically superior French. "As a symbol for African Americans, Haiti is both an example and a terrible warning", however, due to a dark legend. Dutty Boukman was the Maroon houngan who helped spark off the Haitian Revolution in both real life and the world of GURPS Voodoo. In GURPS Voodoo, however, things go a bit further than sparking.

After killing thousands of white slave owners, Boukman and his houngans force the hand of some of the French Lodge members left alive to: namely, sacrificing thirteen slaves to summon a Corruptor. The Corruptor claims it is willing to assist the French colonials as long as they let it live on the island forevermore. Scared to death of the rebels coming for their heads, the Lodge members accept. The Corruptor scares away the rebels' loas, causing them to lose that battle to the French. In retaliation, the colonials massacre black Haitians en mass, "making little distinction between rebels and innocent people of the wrong color".

After this defeat, the same Corruptor appears to the rebels, offering them the same deal it did the French: as long as it got to stay on the island forever, it would crush their foes. They agree, and the Corruptor goes to royally gently caress up the Napoleonic Army with plague and disaster, allowing the Haitians to win the day. The Haitian Revolution wins the black people of Haiti their freedom, "but at a terrible price", as the Corruptor remains under the totally binding interracial pact it made and is the cause of all the poverty, hurricanes, and other woes of Haiti. The land itself is tainted forever by this ancient spirit. If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that may be because "the Haitian rebels made a pact with the Devil" is literally a claim made by several evangelical Christians such as Pat Robertson and Lowell Ponte. Itís always a fine line to walk between using conspiracy beliefs in fiction and accidentally promoting really horrible ideology, and in this case I feel Carella unwittingly stepped over the line.

The section on Papa Doc Duvalier reiterates the statement from last update that some of the Tontons Macoutes were actual tonton makout spirits, but now ups the number of them from a few of the organizationís members to "most of" them. It is also hypothesized that both Papa Doc and his son Jean-Claude (AKA Baby Doc) were either dark Initiates or directly Corruptor-possessed. Itís also stated that in retaliation for John F. Kennedy suspending financial aid to Haiti, Papa Doc used a powerful curse to force Lee Harvey Oswald to make the now infamous fatal shot in Texas on August 22, 1963.

Finally, we've got Fidel Castro. Rather than through his own charisma and the strength of the people, Castro's overthrow of the Batista regime was done through a pact with a Corruptor. The CIA being unable to kill him? Corruptor. Staying in power for so long? Corruptor. The Cuban Missile Crisis? You guessed it, Corruptor. In-Betweeners and dark Initiates run rampant, drug trafficking and terrorism are rife, and the Corruptors generally love Cuba and their servant Castro for it.

Chapter 6: Campaigns
The very final chapter, GURPS Voodoo ends off with the classic ďso, whatís the GM going to do with all this information?Ē chapter.

Campaign Setting
The natural assumption for a GURPS Voodoo campaign is that youíre going to set it in either the Caribbean or urban United States, but what if you go off the script?

...No, not like playing on other continents besides North America, that would be silly! What we have here are suggestions on integrating other settings entirely. Want a Voodoo supers setting? Consider reading Marshall Law or George R.R. Martinís Wild Cards for inspiration on the GURPS Voodoo cosmology in a supers setting! Cyberpunk? Street samurai melee fighting In-Betweeners and netrunners vs. e-Corruptors are go! Want to mix GURPS Voodoo and the Old World of Darkness...for...some reason? Vampires and werewolves become In-Betweeners, Gaia is a spirit that the Lodges and bizongues both recognize while the Wyrm is the biggest of the baddest of the Corruptors, and the Technocracy and Mages are users of some weird type of non-spiritual magic that doesn't work at all with the Initiates' ways and everybody hates them.

Time Period
While GURPS Voodoo is meant to be played in the current, very modern year of 1995, you can optionally set it in other time periods of the settingís history. You could even go as far back as the Pleistocene, where Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Initiates channeled totem spirits to survive in a harsh world. Thereís also the possibility of the Crusades, where the Muslim Lodges, Byzantine Lodges, and western European Lodges were all at each othersí throats. Alternatively, you could go into a dark near-future (like the shocking future year of 2017!) where the Corruptors have won the fight and the world is an even shittier place. Most of this section, however, relates to the Golden Age of Piracy and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade onward. Since itís mostly stuff we already heard in previous chapters, though, thereís not much to talk about and we can move ahead.

Campaign Style
This section is literally just an expansion of the point buy options from back in chapter 2. While this may be mostly redundant and possibly would have been better served by moving these more detailed overviews up into chapter 2, it at least does go over the benefits and drawbacks of doing the campaign in different ways. For instance, the 100 to 150 point scrubs tier of campaign is great for personal stories and people who think rather than fight, but it has a definite lethality not suited to all play groups and limits you to using the weakest spirits and cultists while ignoring the vast majority of the weird supernatural poo poo in the setting.

Campaign Themes
Last, but not least, GURPS Voodoo finishes off with a look at some thematic frameworks that help outline just what it is the players are going to end up doing. While one theme can be a campaign unto itself, the book suggests that having an adventure or two Ė hell, even the whole campaign potentially Ė reaching into several themes can bring more life to the playersí experience. Going over them briefly one by one, we have...
  • Discovering the Conspiracies: The classic "uninitiated Average Joes and Janes get a rude awakening to the truth" style campaign. Your playersí characters start out not knowing anything about Initiates, In-Betweeners, spirits, or anything else related to the paranormal, and assuming theyíre still alive by the end they still may not even know about things like the Lodges and Corruptors yet.
  • War Against the Mayombe: The very direct monster-fighting game. The players are directly hunting the Corruptors and their servitors to make the world a safer place, one stopped cult or slain In-Betweener at a time.
  • Voodoo vs. the Lodges: The "I want to directly get into the colonialism-related part of the setting" theme. The players create Voodoo or Lodge Initiates engaging directly in the struggle between African and European magical dynasties, though there is the possibility the campaign may morph into a more amicable situation once the party members' characters see the light of harmony and cooperation and all that jazz.
  • Uneasy Alliances: The "my players can't unanimously decide between the two Initiate traditions" campaign. The party is a mixture of Voodoo and Lodge Initiates working together toward a common goal, usually related to In-Betweeners and/or the Corruptors.
  • True Independents: The "screw the system, man" campaign. Forget the Lodges and the Voodoo bizongues, you're an independent Initiate! Players in this campaign are some manner of spontaneous Initiate, surviving member of a hounded mystic tradition, or some other manner of character that has an excuse for not taking sides between the Voodoo folks and the Lodges. They have to be especially careful, as both the monstrous servants of the Corruptors and both major Initiate organizations wonít hesitate to take them down a peg.
  • I, Monster: The "guy who insists on bringing a copy of Savage Species to every D&D game you start" campaign. Everybody plays In-Betweeners trying to make their place in the supernatural world or stand up to the Corruptors and their frequently kinfolk servants, often with the angst that comes with being a horrible monster.
  • Back From the Dead: As above, but with ghosts.
  • The Paths of Magic: The "power, and those who seek it" campaign. Everything's about achieving gnosis and becoming the most powerful and mystically enlightened Initiate around.

Next Time: With the bulk of GURPS Voodoo covered, the only thing left to do now is to coordinate and give out some final thoughts before moving on to that certain other C.J. Carella-adjacent game once more.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

Really loving the artwork of Cool Skeleton, and the one of somebody showing off their fart gun to a friend.


Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012


On the internet
No one knows youre already dead

Internet trolls

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