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MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It is, but it was nearly a decade ago and I thought it was bullshit back then.

All it is, is the player has a "standard" means of determining attributes, and two other means for quick games. I don't see how offering players choice is a bad thing.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Cassa posted:

Odd Ability Score requirements, and it being one of the few times it comes up, did have me asking why Starfinger has ability scores at all, and not just crush it into the modifier.

People have been asking this question since 3e came out.

It's never been answered.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Attribute damage?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Yeah, but that really isn't enough to justify such a completely vestigial system.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Night10194 posted:

People have been asking this question since 3e came out.

It's never been answered.

That reminds me, does True20 still have games made for it?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

If I recall correctly, it was Sean K Reynolds who once tried to justify keeping ability scores on the basis that odd ability scores were used as feat prerequisites.

But that's rear end-backwards. The feat system and its interaction with ability scores didn't spring forth fully formed - they knew they had to set a number as a prerequisite, so if we were going to move to a system where you only ever dealt with +1 to +4 Strength, then it would have been trivial to take a 13 Strength feat and set its prerequisite to either be +1 Strength or +2 Strength.

Ability damage isn't a good justification either: it would be similarly trivial to change all of the effects to hit the modifier directly, or even to hit the derived stats directly.

Apologies to ARB if I'm getting way too ahead of their own F&F, but check out how 3rd Edition D&D defines the Exhausted condition:

quote:

Exhausted

An exhausted character moves at half speed and takes a -6 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. After 1 hour of complete rest, an exhausted character becomes fatigued. A fatigued character becomes exhausted by doing something else that would normally cause fatigue.

versus how Starfinder defines it:

quote:

Exhausted

You move at half speed, you canít run or charge, and you take a Ė3 penalty to your Armor Class, attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Reflex saving throws, initiative checks, and Strength- and Dexterity-based skill and ability checks. The amount of bulk you can carry without becoming encumbered is reduced by 3. After 1 hour of complete rest, you instead become fatigued.

The way Starfinder does it, you don't have to care about the ability scores at all! And that's a good thing!

Except they can't move away from the ability score model because they have to maintain backwards-compatibility with Pathfinder. Or at least, some semblance of it:

quote:

Ability Scores

Starfinder monsters donít have ability scores like player characters do; their ability scores are described in terms of the ability score modifiers that should be familiar. When converting a monster, you arenít required to express its ability scores as the associated modifiers unless a Starfinder rule directly references ability score modifiers.

They're willing to dump ability scores for monsters because you're generally expected to take monsters from a Bestiary, or from the Adventure Path you're running, or from the standardized monster creation method in Pathfinder Unchained, all of which output a complete statblock with zero regard for how it got there, but player character creation is still involved enough that even as they've modified all of the other effects to avoid interacting with ability scores, you still need to have them anyway.




MightyMatilda posted:

All it is, is the player has a "standard" means of determining attributes, and two other means for quick games. I don't see how offering players choice is a bad thing.

The choice between the point-buy and the standard array is reasonable as far as one being equivalent to the other, with one being quicker to use than the other, but retaining the option to roll for stats is Capital-B Bad because it runs into the problem of trying to create a standardized power curve across the opposition that the players will run into, and then letting the players create characters that will overshoot or undershoot that curve.

MightyMatilda posted:

That reminds me, does True20 still have games made for it?

Nope. It's been mostly superseded by the Fantasy AGE system by now.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at 05:00 on Sep 28, 2017

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The answer to why Paizo does anything is "because that's how 3.5 would do it."

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


gradenko_2000 posted:

The way Starfinder does it, you don't have to care about the ability scores at all! And that's a good thing!

But of course they literally just replaced "-6 to Str and Dex" with "-3 to every conceivable roll your Str and Dex modifier applies to," which turns the Condition into a random list of crap you have to remember individually. "Str and Dex" is a much easier to remember wrapper, even though actual ability scores are vestigial. The smarter way to do it, assuming you're not going to ditch ability scores altogether, would have been to redesign the Condition into something cleaner and more elegant than a penalty to 10 different kinds of rolls, but...

wiegieman posted:

The answer to why Paizo does anything is "because that's how 3.5 would do it."

That's the one.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


I'm actually having a lot of fun playing a Solarian in a Starfinger game, but I feel it has less to do with the rules than the fact my character is basically space Baron Munchausen.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


MonsieurChoc posted:

I'm actually having a lot of fun playing a Solarian in a Starfinger game, but I feel it has less to do with the rules than the fact my character is basically space Baron Munchausen.

This has ever been the dealio with Pathfinder, 3.5, etc.

You can have fun with almost every RPG (some are simply too bad to even be basically playable) if your PC and campaign are fun and your GM ignores the most annoying of the rules.

I mean one of the best campaigns I ever played was a 3.5 campaign as a Marshal who also turned out to be the secret king of all werewolves while going around negotiating peace treaties between humans and various Fantasy Monster Races while our wizard casually blew up every fight that started. I accomplished basically nothing outside of diplomacy and talky stuff (Kurt was basically useless in combat, as our wizard did all the lifting) but it was still a great game! Just the fact that it was 3.5 had nothing to do with that.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

I kept forgetting to mention this while we were talking about Phoenix Command / Living Steel, but goon phi230 does have a running Let's Play of Phoenix Command: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3816353

It's not really any sort of proof that the system is playable in the same kind of table context that we expect with most other RPGs, since phi230 is running it on his own and using the forums input in broad strokes, but the first mission does illustrate that not only does the game work, it also doesn't create wildly unrealistic outcomes despite the fine-grained granularity of the impulse system.

Further, the various rules interactions with regards to noise, aiming, cover, movement, and initiative combine to create a gameplay where real-world small-arms tactics work.

Back when Roleplaying Public Radio "reviewed" Phoenix Command, they were having a laugh at how one of the "tips" in the game was "don't get shot". And while I get the "joke" that it seems counter-productive to have an extremely detailed gunshot simulator and then avoid having to use it at all costs, it's also true that you are going to die if you get shot, and modern small-arms tactics is based getting around that problem, hence things like suppression, overwatch, fire-and-maneuver, and so on and so forth.

And all that stuff actually works in Phoenix Command. You could LP Jagged Alliance in this thing, or even XCOM with Living Steel's sci-fi weapons.


.


EDIT: I am turning into That Guy that writes strongly worded emails about System Mastery reviews:

Average humans are going to have 1 Action per half-second impulse, or 4 Actions per 2-second Phase.

It costs 1 Action to move 1 hex in a Running Stance. That's 4 hexes per Phase. A hex is 2 yards across, so you can run at the rate of 4 yards per second. That's 25 seconds to run a 100-yard dash, which is just about bang-on for average human performance.

gradenko_2000 fucked around with this message at 13:19 on Sep 28, 2017

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.




Table of Contents Part Four: Paint it Black
Vietnam is a war of attrition (literally: kill ratio doctrine was a major part of FWF strategy), and PATROL measures that with five Status Tracks: Exhaustion, Hunger, Thirst, Injury, and Doubt. Characters start out each mission fed, watered, and rested, but between the Weight of their gear, the merciless heat and humidity of the jungle, and the exertion of combat, that won't last long. We've already seen the Roundel that tracks when to advance the Hunger, Thirst, and Exhaustion tracks, and that's the main way you'll accrue those Statuses. Some other effects tick those three--bleeding causes you to accrue Thirst faster, and a forced march can rack up Exhaustion--but mostly it's the Roundel that increases those. Unsurprisingly, you can clear them by eating, drinking, and resting (or, in a pinch, popping pills). You also have an Injury track, the source of which I hope is obvious, that you can clear with medical treatment (or, perhaps more likely for serious injury, medevac). Doubt is more involved, and we'll give it more attention in a moment.

Every level of Status Effect levies a cumulative -1 penalty to one or more Attributes: Exhausted soldiers are less Vigilant, thirsty soldiers are weaker, and hungry ones have a hard time using all that fancy gear thanks to the shakes. Injury hits you with a penalty to all Attributes, so, y'know. Try not to get shot. Maybe dig a foxhole. Doubt, meanwhile, gives you a penalty specifically to Opposed Negotiate actions, meaning that you're more easily swayed to do things you otherwise might not. Maxing out a track is very, very bad--max out Exhaustion and you just pass out, but max out Thirst, Hunger, or Injury and you're just dead. Doubt doesn't have a Forfeit like this--I'm not sure if that means it has no cap, or if it just stops at 8 with no effect.

More importantly, every level of Status Effect gives you a certain amount of Fatigue, the general measure of your "gently caress Vietnam" meter. Hunger, Thirst and Exhaustion give you a small buffer before you start accruing Fatigue, but Injury and Doubt throw it at you right from the jump.

Equipment Status
Firearms and electronics also have Status Tracks for ammo and battery charge. Ammo can be magazine, belt, or feed--magazine ammo has a three-stage track before you run out of ammo and have to stop shooting for this turn (and also add 1 to your attack difficulty, for running out at an inopportune moment). Belt ammo is only a two-stage track, but when you roll off the bottom you can just expend an Ammo consumable and keep firing--though if you fire too long you might have to swap out the barrel. Finally, feed ammo isn't really a track per se, it's a simple "every time you fire, use 1 Ammo." It's for heavy weapons and artillery, mainly.

Battery tracks come in Large and Small, and have an extra wrinkle: the last few boxes on the track are "low power," which only matters for radios and reduces their effective range. Speaking of radios, remember how back in the first post I talked a little bit about how the book has some organizational problems? This is one of them, because here in this section is the only place we're told how much battery power the various radio actions use up. The radios in the Equipment section don't include that information, and neither do the various radio Actions--which, given that that's where all the other rules are for using a radio, they really should be.

Doubt
Doubt gets its own section, because it's the main engine of the Status Track system and, I'd argue, the most important rule in the game. This is the machine that drives the slow descent into madness and despair that is the hallmark of PATROL. If this mechanic didn't work, the whole game would fall apart--fortunately, it works extremely well.

Gaining and losing Doubt is heavily tied to your Alignment--there's a full-page table of common stimuli and how much Doubt soldiers of each Alignment gain or lose--for example, an Idealist removes 2 Doubt when removed from hazardous duty, but a Righteous character gains 1 for being taken out of the fight. That same Righteous character takes no Doubt for being singled out for a dangerous task, but his Egotistical buddy takes a whopping 4! The table is obviously not comprehensive, but it's a good baseline for your ad hoc rulings.


PVT Snafu is not at all sure about this poo poo.

Of course, repeated trauma tends to have a numbing effect--as a general rule of thumb, for every 5 Fatigue, reduce the amount of Doubt inflicted by 1. This can actually take the Doubt gained below 0 and into removal territory. Get burned out enough and even the horrors of war start to seem like a cosmic joke. This rule even applies to things that already remove Doubt, making them even more meaningful. Like, okay, it's not a Vietnam movie, but remember that scene in Saving Private Ryan where the squad, battered and exhausted, finds that record player and listens to that Edith Piaf song? And even though it's a lovely, distorted recording of a song none of them can understand, in that moment it's the most beautiful, uplifting thing in the world? That's this rule in action. Guaranteed, that song wouldn't have had the same effect on a fresh, well-rested, non-traumatized group.

I know I don't tend to editorialize a ton in my F&Fs, but I have to stop and admire just how drat elegant this rule is. A single mechanic that covers both the numbing effect of trauma and the brief rays of hope that become incredibly meaningful is just a wonderfully artful piece of game design. Bravo, open_sketchbook.

Fatigue and Victory Points
At the end of the player turn, after everybody's had a chance to counteract any Statuses gained during the Turn, you add up the Fatigue values for the highest Status Effect you have marked on each Track. If that value is higher than your current Fatigue, your Fatigue is reset to the new value. If it's lower (because you managed to clear some Status Effects), your Fatigue stays the same. There is no way to reduce your Fatigue on a mission, but if you manage to clear some Statuses you at least get a few Turns worth of buffer before you start accruing Fatigue again.

Remember how earlier we said coming home with more Fatigue than Victory Points is bad? Well, it is, and the VP you get from completing Objectives usually isn't enough to cover the difference unless the mission goes startlingly well. Fortunately, your Alignment has ways to gain VPs (and also destroy unit cohesion and make you turn on your buddies like a pack of angry badgers).

Every Alignment has six VP triggers of escalating intensity and escalating reward. For example, a Pragmatic character gets 1 additional VP from Objectives, while an Idealist can get 1 VP from helping noncombatants, prisoners, or wounded. The higher level VP rewards, however, are locked off behind Fatigue requirements--you can't use the 3 VP triggers until you have 6 Fatigue, for example. The number of VPs you gain always lags behind the amount of Fatigue you need to use the triggers, so you're always in the hole. By 9 Fatigue, Righteous characters are refusing surrenders and massacring the wounded for 4 VP, while their Righteous comrades are giving serious thought to forcibly stopping their allies from using violence. Incidentally, several of the Pragmatic options are "go along with another alignment's VP gaining action," so Pragmatists are basically giant swing votes with assault rifles. It gets exciting.


[/sub]Idealist mission of mercy or Righteous war-crime-to-be? Who knows, it's Vietnam![/sub]

Self-Medication
In the face of all that psychological trauma, is it any wonder up to 40% of American GIs were addicted to drugs in Vietnam? Patrol divides drugs into Uppers, Downers, Opiates, and Hallucinogens, and they all do various things with Status tracks. Uppers let you ignore Exhaustion and Injury at the cost of being unable to rest, for instance, while hallucinogens make you ignore anything that would give you Doubt for the duration at the cost of tripping all the balls. Like, all of them. Oh, and careful you don't get addicted, because then you'll take a bunch of Doubt if you miss your fix, or OD, because then you might die making GBS threads your pants in the jungle.

And that's Status Tracks. It's a slick little system, and though we didn't talk much about the actual numbers, they're really well-calibrated to make you feel like you're always in the hole with Fatigue, and push you toward unlocking those high-VP reward actions. The Doubt mechanic is one of my favorite examples of a mental trauma system--I want to get more play experience with it to say for sure, but on paper, at least, it's up there with Unknown Armies' Shock Gauges for me. This was the system that convinced me to give PATROL a shot, and it does not disappoint.



Next Time: All Along the Watchtower - Detection and Movement

GimpInBlack fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Oct 9, 2017

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MightyMatilda posted:

All it is, is the player has a "standard" means of determining attributes, and two other means for quick games. I don't see how offering players choice is a bad thing.

I'm not thrilled with games that offer random attribute generation for games with long campaigns. I think random generation can work, but it's usually with games where A) the random generation doesn't impact your character's competency too much (Reign, Gamma World 7th Edition) or B) games where characters don't persist every long, either because of the length of the game or the lifespan of a character (Maid, Recon). But with a game where you're expected to stick with a character from anywhere between six months to three years on a weekly basis, the idea of getting stuck with a lousy set of attributes for that length of time. And yeah, as gradneko_2000 mentioned, it can muck with balance, though that's less true than with Pathfinder (due to the maximum of 18 in an attribute).

There's also the weird badfeels effect where your racial or trait bonuses can let you roll an attribute over 18, but then that just becomes 18 because it's the maximum - it feels to me like offering random attributes is more a nod to the grogs than anything intended or particularly functional.

MonsieurChoc posted:

I'm actually having a lot of fun playing a Solarian in a Starfinger game, but I feel it has less to do with the rules than the fact my character is basically space Baron Munchausen.

It's an interesting class design compared to most Pathfinder base classes, at least, you get some interesting choices to make in terms of build and combat.

Just watch out for the trap options, mostly.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



So in Starfinder, if only someone with Outlaw gets the special Bribe rules, does that mean nobody else can successfully bribe someone?

gradenko_2000 posted:

I kept forgetting to mention this while we were talking about Phoenix Command / Living Steel, but goon phi230 does have a running Let's Play of Phoenix Command: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3816353

It's not really any sort of proof that the system is playable in the same kind of table context that we expect with most other RPGs, since phi230 is running it on his own and using the forums input in broad strokes, but the first mission does illustrate that not only does the game work, it also doesn't create wildly unrealistic outcomes despite the fine-grained granularity of the impulse system.

Further, the various rules interactions with regards to noise, aiming, cover, movement, and initiative combine to create a gameplay where real-world small-arms tactics work.

Back when Roleplaying Public Radio "reviewed" Phoenix Command, they were having a laugh at how one of the "tips" in the game was "don't get shot". And while I get the "joke" that it seems counter-productive to have an extremely detailed gunshot simulator and then avoid having to use it at all costs, it's also true that you are going to die if you get shot, and modern small-arms tactics is based getting around that problem, hence things like suppression, overwatch, fire-and-maneuver, and so on and so forth.

And all that stuff actually works in Phoenix Command. You could LP Jagged Alliance in this thing, or even XCOM with Living Steel's sci-fi weapons.

It's good and the OP is a hero for daring to do it. Also, the thread voted on a thunderdome with random melee weapons to determine pecking order.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The scissors fight justifies EVERYTHING.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's an interesting class design compared to most Pathfinder base classes, at least, you get some interesting choices to make in terms of build and combat.

Just watch out for the trap options, mostly.

I feel like I already selected one (the jump bonus power), but I'll live with it. I'm always jumping on stuff anyway.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Starfinger Core Rules Part #03: "Are you going to care about your brother marrying a man when your sister's marrying a sentient jellyfish?"
(James Sutter, Starfinger Creative Director, Game Informer interview.)



We have are seven core races of the "Pact Worlds" (whatever those are) in Starfinger, but before that, we have languages. So many languages. Everybody speaks... can you guess? Can you guess the language that everybody speaks? Yep, let's give a hand for good ol' Common! The language of the Commonians, I suppose? In any case, you speak your racial tongue if you have one (sorry, humans, you're still indistinct and get nothin') and your planet's language if it has one. And this game has no less than thirty languages, most of them relating either to regional languages we have no frame of reference for or the innummerable racial and planar languages of D&D Pathfinder. Even in the far future, speaking Halfling is still a thing. Halfthing. Something. Language barriers seem to be something the writers seem really keen on.

Unless you just pick up comprehend languages or tongues because you're a spellcaster. No, translator machines aren't a thing. "But maybe I can use the custom computer creation rules to make a translating compu-" No, that doesn't work either, not an option. Computers can only speak one language at a time, as far as I can tell. Go gently caress yourself, C-3P0! Unless you're a wizard C-3P0. Then you can translate as much as you like.

It's a little early for us to be squinting at caster shenanigans, though, and there'll be time enough for that. Instead, let's have some people.



Androids (+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha)

These are androids modeled after humans, and largely just humans, so if you want to be an orcdroid, no doubt you'll get picked on for being a snowflake. Their big deals are being able to survive in space, low-light vision, and being able to install an armor upgrade in their bodies (which I presume they still have to pay for). They apparently were made for labor until they revolted and became independent, though sometimes people still make them unscrupulously for slavery. They're kind of impassive but... deep down, even an android can cry.



Humans (+2 to one ability)

There are no surprises here. Same as they ever was.



Kasathas (+2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int)

Four-armed coneheads, they get to ignore most terrain penalties and get four arms which lets them... hold more stuff. I mean, sure, they get some dime bonuses but who cares? (Not me.) They're from a desert world and apparently were derived from the "plane-hopping witchwyrds". These witchwyrds, whatever they are, told them to go to a planet and they did. Only they found out it had been already settled! Dammit, witchwyrds, check that poo poo first before you guide an entire race on a wild goose chase! So many of them emigrated around but a lot of them still survive on their giant colony ship. They're matriarchal and nomadic and prefer stabs to shoots. They have mysterious traditions! Traditions that are so mysterious that they aren't really discussed. And that's that!



Lashuntas (+2 Cha, +2 Str, -2 Wis or +2 Cha, +2 Int, -2 Con)

These are antennaed psychic sorts, and they get some basic mind reading (once a day), mild teke (whenever), daze (whenever), and limited telechat (whenever). They evolve into one of two subspecies depending on their early experiences, either the buff korasha or the smart damaya. Apparently this used to be a gender thing, but modern lashunta are more progressive and develop means to guide one's evolution towards the role one chooses for oneself. They have "natural pheremones" and "almost perfect physical symmetry" which apparently makes them the hotness of the galaxy but the art is not convincing me. Pink antennae on humans still looks weird to my eyes. (Sorry, Mantis, but it's true.) Otherwise, they're kind of generically enlightened and honorable hippie sorts. If there weren't already space elves, these would be space elves.



Shirrens (+2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha)

Bug-people that apparently freed themselves from a hive mind called THE SWARM recently. They have blindsense, telechat, and one-a-day reroll when they're near a teammate, and that's most of what defines this race. It's also the first race we see with bonus HP compared to the others (+2). They have three sexes (female, male, and "hosts" which actually incubate the offspring of the first two), and carry around their baby larva in protective containers. Apparently choice and individuality has a druglike quality for them, and they're generally friendly since they fall back on old hivelike cooperation.

Probably the most interesting sorts I've seen so far.



Vesk (+2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int)

Big lizard guys, which is of questionable benefit in a setting where people get lasers. They get nightvision and a bunch of garbage bonuses - a nickel armor bonus, a dime fear bonus, and a 1d3 lethal damage claw, be still, my heart. Well, they get an HP bonus, too. They're organized and militaristic and aggressive but honorable... okay, they're lizard Klingons. I can just leave it at that, these guys are painfully generic. I like the visual design, but their personality is [insert warlike race here]. They're the kind of race that stole space travel just to make war on other races. But they've chilled out a bit since then.



Ysoki (+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Str)

The only "small" race we get, these rat-guys get... uh... cheek pouches. Seriously, one of their racial benefits is shoving poo poo in their mouth, and the designers think having a gun in your cheek is pretty rad. Hm. They also get darkvision, stand up really fast, ignore penalties for zero gravity, and get bonuses to run past people. They're about the only race that gets a HP penalty relative to the others (-2). They're kind of ubiquitous and do lovely jobs because they have blue-collar pride, apparently. Scrappy and energetic, they pretty much embody a generic but positive stereotype of rats. Or maybe raccoons? Wait, why did I just think of raccoons? Well, it can't be too important. Also, they love nicknames, like Blackjack. Or Sale. Or Rocket.

Oh, and it's all the way in the back of the book, but we still have dwarves, elves, half-elves, half-orcs, and halflings. There aren't vast changes to them save for their opinions on space (they're in it) and halflings are annoying "where are they?!" snipers now. Most of their statblocks have been adjusted but largely just to adapt them slightly to the new rules. It's all pretty much as you'd expect - dwarves like making poo poo, drow are still evil, halflings are now a bit redundant with ysoki around, etc. I might cover them a bit more when we get to their section, but for now you can sleep easy knowing that Paizo hasn't taken your elves away. There, there. It's okay. The elves are still there. The elves are still there.

Next: Space Bards and Mecha Rangers.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 21:06 on Sep 28, 2017

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Yeah, Lashunta were in PF with the male/female split and the game was kind of weirdly :biotruths: about it even beyond the statblock.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Androids (+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha)

These are androids modeled after humans, and only humans, so if you want to be an orcdroid, tough luck. Man, just mentioning that is disappointing, isn't it? Their big deals are being able to survive in space, low-light vision, and being able to install an armor upgrade in their bodies (which I presume they still have to pay for). They apparently were made for labor until they revolted and became independent, though sometimes people still make them unscrupulously for slavery. They're kind of impassive but... deep down, even an android can cry.
I think the book says there can be non-human-ish androids but they've kind of evolved culturally into what they are now due to them being lost technology from Golarion.

quote:

Kasathas (+2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int)

Four-armed coneheads, they get to ignore most terrain penalties and get four arms which lets them... hold more stuff. I mean, sure, they get some dime bonuses but who cares? (Not me.) They're from a desert world and apparently were derived from the "plane-hopping witchwyrds". These witchwyrds, whatever they are, told them to go to a planet and they did. Only they found out it had been already settled! Dammit, witchwyrds, check that poo poo first before you guide an entire race on a wild goose chase! So many of them emigrated around but a lot of them still survive on their giant colony ship. They're matriarchal and nomadic and prefer stabs to shoots. They have mysterious traditions! Traditions that are so mysterious that they aren't really discussed. And that's that!

The world that the Witchwyrds selected for them was 400 light years away and they hadn't invented FTL travel yet, so their giant colony ship was also a sleeper ship, when they arrived and it was already colonized their response was a pragmatic "Well this is our holy land, we should take it back by force! Unfortunately there are those giant lizard men with plasma axes over there so let's just park ourselves in orbit and call it good."

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Sep 28, 2017

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Green Intern posted:

So in Starfinder, if only someone with Outlaw gets the special Bribe rules, does that mean nobody else can successfully bribe someone?
d20gamedesign.txt

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Whereas the lost technology from Golarion bit on androids doesn't make sense because in Pathfinder they're lost technology from crashed starships that landed on Golarion soooooo

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


MollyMetroid posted:

Whereas the lost technology from Golarion bit on androids doesn't make sense because in Pathfinder they're lost technology from crashed starships that landed on Golarion soooooo

Which is what I meant. By the time they started getting souls there was no one around who was capable of building new androids in different configurations, they all look the way they do because of whoever built them on that first crashed starship.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



That's still super lame that I can't be a robot dog or a robot floaty thing or R2-D2.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Mors Rattus posted:

That's still super lame that I can't be a robot dog or a robot floaty thing or R2-D2.

The engineer class can build those, though, and make them fully sentient. *shrugs* But it's not eclipse phase if that's what you're asking for.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Cheek pouches would be really cool in a different game where it doesn't come down to a minor bonus to hiding small items.

EDIT: Also all the art of those species was clearly ordered as two separate pieces per, and then they ham-handedly overlapped them in the layout. It's kind of amazing. I'm sure they're using them separately somewhere else, but still.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Kurieg posted:

Which is what I meant. By the time they started getting souls there was no one around who was capable of building new androids in different configurations, they all look the way they do because of whoever built them on that first crashed starship.

Oh so that's why they all look like Brent Spiner.


Alien Rope Burn posted:





Ysoki (+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Str)

Continuing the grand tradition of hydrocephalic animal-head humans that couldn't possibly get their shirts on.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




GimpInBlack posted:

That sounds fascinating and also more than a little depressing.
Less so than the story about tentacle rape. I swear to Tsathogghua, if I ever seize control of Chaosium's fiction outlet, no more stories about tentacle rape, ever.

Rosemont
Nov 4, 2009


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Shirrens (+2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha)

Bug-people that apparently freed themselves from a hive mind called THE SWARM recently. They have blindsense, telechat, and one-a-day reroll when they're near a teammate, and that's most of what defines this race. It's also the first race we see with bonus HP (+2 per level). They have three sexes (female, male, and "hosts" which actually incubate the offspring of the first two), and carry around their baby larva in protective containers. Apparently choice and individuality has a druglike quality for them, and they're generally friendly since they fall back on old hivelike cooperation.

Probably the most interesting sorts I've seen so far.

Er, all the races have an HP bonus, though? I just looked and Vesk and Shirren get a +6, Ysoki a +2 and everybody else +4. :confused:

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Four is the baseline, so Shirren have a bonus of 2 and the rats have a penalty of 2.

Also it's not per level, it's once. The racial bonus to Hit Points applies only at first level, after that only the class HP matters.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

@GimpInBlack, I'm just letting you know that I'm using your review as a jumping off point for a bullet-point list of stuff to do for a Revised Patrol. I'm not starting that project, but I want to keep it in mind and build something compatible with all the previous rules, but better organized, better laid out, and more expansive. See if I can't cut down the core rules volume by about half while preferably doubling the background information, and doing a lot more research into the NVA and locals. What I really need to do is find a Vietnamese speaker to help me go through some sources from the other side I could only skim with autotranslate before; its basically impossible to give a nuanced view of a conflict with information from only one tiny chunk of one side...

I have a terrible tendency to keep fiddling with my rules forever; PATROL was definitely a case of a game being released rather than being done, and I still spent a year and sixteen versions changing it after that. That's why the game has so many editors: I kept having to bug new people into reading through it after I changed it, moved stuff around, and rewrote whole pages. It's a total mess.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

SirPhoebos posted:

ARB you should include a "recommended reads" for inklesspen's archives. I just got done reading through Hc Svnt Dracones and it was pure-strained :stonklol:.

PurpleXVI posted:

Maybe just an option for people to upvote reviews in the Inklesspen archive, that'd probably be the easiest way to do a "recommended reads"-list.

Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

I was even thinking a tag system like the lparchive has, for when you want [SCI-FI] [GROSS] [RULES DON'T WORK] to drive what you're going to hateread that day.

This kind of stuff is nice in theory but I know for a fact that what will happen is I get emailed by people who want to fight over whether their favorite space furry libertarian game deserves the [NOTHING WORKS LIKE THAT] tag or not.

Not ruling it out, mind. But while I'm happy to handle the actual coding implementation, someone else is going to have to figure out how to make it a system driven by the goonhive consensus or something.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


inklesspen posted:

This kind of stuff is nice in theory but I know for a fact that what will happen is I get emailed by people who want to fight over whether their favorite space furry libertarian game deserves the [NOTHING WORKS LIKE THAT] tag or not.

[LEGO GENETICS] [AYN RAND'S WET DREAM] [ROBOSEX] [PREGNANT ROBOTS] [BUT NOT WITH FLESH BABIES] [THAT'D BE WEIRD] and 78909 other tags

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

You're not actually helping, pal.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



inklesspen posted:

This kind of stuff is nice in theory but I know for a fact that what will happen is I get emailed by people who want to fight over whether their favorite space furry libertarian game deserves the [NOTHING WORKS LIKE THAT] tag or not.

Not ruling it out, mind. But while I'm happy to handle the actual coding implementation, someone else is going to have to figure out how to make it a system driven by the goonhive consensus or something.

I kinda feel like it wouldn't be an issue if the tags kept to the non-editorial except when necessary - [GROSS] and [BROKEN RULES] would probably be necessary just as categories but everything else along those lines should probably be kept to the review itself*

*fake edit: oh right, we need a [CHRIS FIELDS] tag, too

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


inklesspen posted:

You're not actually helping, pal.

:(

I was joking. I think the point is beyond things like a "Recommended" tag and pure genre tags (d20, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc) doing actual editorializing via the tags is probably a bad idea.

Maybe things like a NSWF or Gross tag like the guy above me said.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



According to the Starfinder bulk rules, the mousefolk can put a cubic foot in each cheek. Unfortunately they do not provide appropriate art.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



inklesspen posted:

You're not actually helping, pal.
So how about this...in addition to the tag system, you also put in a place where people can review the reviews, giving them thumbs-up or thumbs-down, maybe with a few paragraphs of commentary.

Of course, to prevent the system from being abused you'd have to do something like being able to track overall review reviews over time, in case someone gets review-bombed.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Evil Mastermind posted:

So how about this...in addition to the tag system, you also put in a place where people can review the reviews, giving them thumbs-up or thumbs-down, maybe with a few paragraphs of commentary.
Paragraphs of commentary on a F&F review is called "this thread"

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Halloween Jack posted:

Paragraphs of commentary on a F&F review is called "this thread"

But there's no thumbs up button for me to press to like your post here.

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Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Halloween Jack posted:

Paragraphs of commentary on a F&F review is called "this thread"

Yeah, I don't really think reviews (or even up/downvoting) are needed, just some way of sorting out categories.

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