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Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




gradenko_2000 posted:

Magic is still literally magic in Starfinder, and is separate and distinct from technology, and technology that achieves similar effects.

What technology that does exist to achieve the same thing since NVGs isn't a thing and I'm starting to doubt Geiger Counters are as well.

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Serf
May 5, 2011





This is what I always thought a paladin should be. Too bad its wasted on 5e.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


DalaranJ posted:

The Starfinger Society is some sort of adventures guild carry over from Pathfinder, I assume. And not just an aping of Traveler's Aid Society?

It's "inspired by incomplete tales" of the Pathfinder Society, so yeah, it's a direct follow-up on that, focused more on exploration as mentioned.

FMguru posted:

TBF, that sort of half-baked "deep" alien philosophy seems entirely in place with the sort of milieu that Starfinder seems to be trying to construct - namely, the cheeseball syndicated TV SF of the 1995-2005 era like Andromeda and Lexx.

Starfinger has an exceedingly extensive and broad bibliography, so we don't have to guess. Neither Andromeda or Lexx are namedropped, though there other shows of that era - Babylon 5, Farscape, Stargate, and Star Trek are all predictably referenced, as well as Futurama-

- wait, what? What the gently caress? loving Futurama? Seriously?



Ixjuvin posted:

Starfinger question - is magic an actual thing in this game universe? Or are you just referring to some abilities derisively as spells because they might as well be.

Starfinger is supposed to be the far future of Pathfinder's Golarion fantasy setting. Magic is magic and spells are spells and elves are elves.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Starfinger is supposed to be the far future of Pathfinder's Golarion fantasy setting. Magic is magic and spells are spells and elves are elves.

And D's are G's.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




gradenko_2000 posted:

Pathfinder Society is both the name of Paizo's organized play program, and the name of an in-universe organization that's sort of equal parts generic do-gooder and inquisitive archaeologists.

Most of the organized play scenarios use the Pathfinder Society as a backdrop for getting random parties to go on random adventures all across Golarion. (adventure paths, which are much more plotted, can vary as to what the adventurers canonically are)

I should note that this isn't really accurate. The Society has do-gooders in it, but is not itself a good organization. If the Society does good it's entirely because they've decided that it furthers their goals better than the alternatives (typically because the alternatives are things like "the world is destroyed" or "the evil cult gets the artifact that we wanted"). They have definitely done horrific things in the name of research and study and they will do more in the future.

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 stand corrected. That was a hasty generalization.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


potatocubed posted:

And D's are G's.

Starfinger is a pretty silly name, but I remain unconvinced that Starfinder would have been any less silly.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


I'm honestly not sure why it's being called Starfinger here. Just a joke I don't get, I guess.

I admit to having just skimmed some of the entries.

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

Prism posted:

I'm honestly not sure why it's being called Starfinger here. Just a joke I don't get, I guess.

I admit to having just skimmed some of the entries.

It's like saying Drumpf instead

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Prism posted:

I'm honestly not sure why it's being called Starfinger here. Just a joke I don't get, I guess.

I admit to having just skimmed some of the entries.

It started as a typo that ARB thought was funny and kept.

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

Hey GimpInBlack, here's some bonus content you might want to review. (Star Wars PATROL)

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.


inklesspen posted:

Hey GimpInBlack, here's some bonus content you might want to review. (Star Wars PATROL)

Yeah, I saw that stop earlier but didn't have time to post about it. I'll probably cover it along with the Predator mini-supplement at the end.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Serf posted:

This is what I always thought a paladin should be. Too bad its wasted on 5e.

I love the mental image of a paladin proffering their holy symbol and some titled noble running away screaming about communism.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Kurieg posted:

I love the mental image of a paladin proffering their holy symbol and some titled noble running away screaming about communism.
Playing Dom Hélder Câmara in D&D sounds pretty okay.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Paladin of Common Man and Cleric of Liberation Theology, friends in struggle!

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Kurieg posted:

I love the mental image of a paladin proffering their holy symbol and some titled noble running away screaming about communism.

Ni Dieu, Ni Maitre

Works equally well on clergy.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's "inspired by incomplete tales" of the Pathfinder Society, so yeah, it's a direct follow-up on that, focused more on exploration as mentioned.


Starfinger has an exceedingly extensive and broad bibliography, so we don't have to guess. Neither Andromeda or Lexx are namedropped, though there other shows of that era - Babylon 5, Farscape, Stargate, and Star Trek are all predictably referenced, as well as Futurama-

- wait, what? What the gently caress? loving Futurama? Seriously?




Starfinger is supposed to be the far future of Pathfinder's Golarion fantasy setting. Magic is magic and spells are spells and elves are elves.

I guess they're keeping the Harlem Globe Trotter planet for a supplement.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Prism posted:

I'm honestly not sure why it's being called Starfinger here. Just a joke I don't get, I guess.

I admit to having just skimmed some of the entries.

Starfinder would have been a dumb name. I mean, how hard is it to find a star? They're made of light. We found jillions of them without even having to get our lazy asses up out of the planet.

Starfinger, is kind of clumsy and awkward, but it at least evokes going out and doing something, reaching out to touch those distant stars. Not a great name, but it's at least serviceable.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Part 9: The Wrapup


The Legacy of GURPS Voodoo
In spite of his insistence that it would happen, neither Carella nor any other author released further GURPS Voodoo sourcebooks in the years past 1995. It would receive very slight additions here and there, however; the books GURPS Who’s Who and GURPS Who’s Who II, for instance, would provide a few notes for the real world figures of John Dee, Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts, and Queen Ana Nzinga Mbande in the context of GURPS Voodoo. Its true legacy, however, would be in its magic system. Not only did ritual magic turn up again in further GURPS Third Edition titles such as GURPS Shapeshifters and GURPS Spirits, it would eventually make its way into GURPS Fourth Edition as well.

It first surfaced in the latest edition in 2008 with the publishing of GURPS Thaumatology, a book of various magic tweaks and alternate magic systems, where it commanded an entire chapter and was renamed Path Magic. The system mostly remained the same, save for increasing the number of Paths from five to eleven by adding six new paths: Cunning, Elements, Form, Gadgets, Knowledge, and Nature. An alternative Path system was also introduced in the same title, referred to as Book Magic due to each Path being related to a specific magical grimoire. Where things really kicked off, however, was a 2011 GURPS book called GURPS Monster Hunters: Champions. Written by Jason “PeeKitty” (his name as a ‘priest’ in the Church of the SubGenius, which he has decided to keep around as a nickname in production credits but usually shortens to just “PK”) Levine, GURPS Monster Hunters was a line of campaign workbooks meant to give GURPS players a quick reference for making their own settings in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, and the like. There’s a lot that could be said about that line, but we’re here for the discussion of GURPS Voodoo, so I’ll cut straight to the chase.

GURPS Monster Hunters’s magic system is dubbed Ritual Path Magic (RPM for short), and is yet another retooling of the ritual magic formula. Here, there are nine Paths: Body, Chance, Crossroads, Energy, Magic, Matter, Mind, Spirit, and Undead. The Paths also have alternate names based on nine of the ten sephiroth of the Kabbalist Tree of Life, hearkening back to the good old Gnostics again, but unless I missed something about casting fireballs and raising zombies in my time looking at Jewish mysticism the names are seemingly random. More importantly than its choice of Paths, however, RPM actually codified the further creation of rituals by adding various energy modifiers, qualifier of power level as “lesser” or “greater”, and seven keywords for specific types of ritual effect – those keywords being Control, Create, Destroy, Restore, Sense, Strengthen, and Transform – with all of these codifications having specific energy costs to add up and say exactly what your ritual’s value actually is. RPM would manage to rise to the top of the heap of fan-favorite GURPS magic systems and eventually gets its own setting-neutral supplement for those who didn’t care about Monster Hunters but wanted to use its magic system. I’d say that even though GURPS Voodoo itself never had any further sourcebooks, that’s a relatively big line of inheritance for it to have.


Closing Thoughts
What are we, over two decades and one lovely review later, to make of GURPS Voodoo? Is it an unfairly ignored masterpiece of a setting that fits up there with the legendary greats? Is it one of C.J. Carella’s masterworks, worthy of as much or more admiration than something like Terra Primate, Buffy the Vampire Slayer the Roleplaying Game, and indeed the Unisystem as a whole?

...Well, no. It certainly tries, though. And really, I’d say that’s the phrase I’d describe GURPS Voodoo: The Shadow War with as a whole – “it tries”. The goal of having a roleplaying game focused around people of color and a group of religions that are often demonized in European and American pop culture is a laudable one. Ultimately, however, this goal clashes with 90s liberalism and Iron Age comic book sensibilities, creating a world crawling with a hilariously high number of serial killers, drug dealers, pimps, and gangsters that are all literally demonic in nature opposed by a wizard Burger King Kid’s Club of those who have realized that maybe both sides are bad and we all just need to all come together and put aside things like the history of chattel slavery and institutional racism in order to stop the real metaphysical evil of the world.

Still, it comes from a right-minded heart, and in spite of my ire at some of its material I would ultimately give GURPS Voodoo the stamp of a flawed work with good intentions, and its underlying framework could be salvaged. To put the cards on the table, here's my own personal and heavily opinionated "four things that could be improved upon in V:TSW".
  • Remove that line about the Corruptors supporting "ultra-conservatives and revolutionaries, racists (and reverse racists), misogynists and radical feminists, fundamentalists railing about “Satan-spawned” ideas and secular humanists undermining spiritual concepts". No, I'm still not over that quote.
  • Human agency in acts of evil is clouded by the Corruptors being at the heart of every villainous idea in history, from Trans-Atlantic Slavery and the Holocaust to secret racist cabals and roving gangs of millions of serial killers that usually know each other. It's fine to have evil creatures being evil, and I'm not suggesting that there should not be any In-Betweener murderers or Corruptor plots or whatever at all. What I'm saying is that sometimes you should just let humanity's evil be entirely human and not pawn things off on otherworldly forces. Maybe even cut the Corruptors back further, having them be less the instigators of evil and more an ominous after-effect of our own sins.
  • As was noted by commenters before, the dearth of coverage of Islam beyond placing it alongside Christianity and Judaism in the purview of the Lodges is unusual for a setting as heavily focused on black and Hispanic history in the Americas as GURPS Voodoo is. Hell, Christianity itself is kind of a big deal within that history as well, for that matter. It's tangled up in that whole very White Wolf-esque concept of monolithic Abrahamic villainy, which both muddles the idea that the Lodges are primarily white supremacists and limits the potential scope of Voodoo's protagonists.
  • While Voodoo is right there in the title of the setting, it's kind of a shame that religions that aren't either Abrahamic, European, or derived from central Africa are lumped into an extremely briefly-described "other" category. Fleshing out these various groups in between the Lodges and the Vodounistas would be an interesting thing to delve into.
I could easily see a revised modern Voodoo: the Shadow War (GURPS or otherwise) rectifying most of those missteps and turning into something I could truly love. Hell, maybe even those extra sourcebooks that Carella never got to write might have done a lot of the legwork. We'll ultimately never know. Without any more GURPS Voodoo to cover, it's time to head back into the mid-2000s for that other Carella-derived supernatural setting with a secret war going on.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Thanks to the wonderful review here, I've started organization work for what Revised Patrol ought to look like.

My goal would be to expand the amount of Stuff and add more customization and advancement, by having multiple levels of some gear, selectable Perks, and so forth, while also completely redoing the basic rules for maximum readability.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Prism posted:

I'm honestly not sure why it's being called Starfinger here. Just a joke I don't get, I guess.

I admit to having just skimmed some of the entries.

https://youtu.be/AfK1IPLpcqs

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



ALL OF THEIR STRENGTHS: Some motherfuckers always gotta ice-skate uphill.

Aw poo poo, man, you know the drill. There's monsters out there, in the shadows. Preyin' on people. Vampires. Werewolves. The Fae. Ghosts. Frankensteins. The whole drat lot. Normal people don't know about 'em until it's too late, and by then it's too late. In the spaces between the rain-drenched streets and the glow of the street lights, danger hides.

It's hiding from you. Because you are the most badass motherfucker in the room.

You ain't human. You ain't one of them either. You're somewhere in between. Half monster. Half human. Or maybe half-monster, half-other-monster, who the gently caress knows. It don't matter. Just because you come from monsters doesn't mean you're a monster yourself. Except to the real monsters. You're the boogyman to the boogymen. Because of who you are, what you are, you can take the fight to the shadows. You've got the skills, you've got the gear, you've got the awesome sunglasses, you've got the techno soundtrack, you've got it all.

All of their strengths. None of their weaknesses.



This one came at me out of nowhere, but come on, when a game's concept is "Blade II, but with more monsters you can be a half-breed of", how could I not take a look?

All of Their Strengths is a short RPG by Malachi Sharlow where you play hybrids; the offspring of monsters who fight monsters themselves via kickflips, katanas, and big-rear end guns. And clearly this game is a "loving parody" of a genre that's been fertile ground for RPGs since Wesley Snipes' first Bloodbath. But does the game kick an entire nightclub's worth of vampire asses, or is it just another staked corpse in the shadowed alleys of the World of Darkness?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7vRbvXcjcU
Let's be honest. There's going to be a lot of Blade in this review.

Setting-wise, this is your standard 90's Dark Urban rear end-Kicking Fantasy deal. The world as we know it is actually chock full of various types of monsters, collectively known as Kindred. And there are a lot of Kindred out there apart from the standard monster trifecta of vampires/werewolves/Frankensteins. (And yes, they're called "Frankensteins" in the book.) You also have witches, mummies, angels, demons, zombies, ghosts, reapers (as in Grim Reapers), faeries, and deepfolk (deep ones).

Oh, and there are humans in there somewhere too.

In addition to the World of Darkness potpourri, you have your weird science (mostly used for hunting monsters) and your otherwise normal dudes using magic. Really the setting is basically a page long, based on the assumption that you've probably seen Blade more times than you'd care to admit. The "meat" of the setting is actually described in the various Kindred descriptions, each of which is about two pages long.

And honestly, I like the economy of description here. Informed settings aren't really things you see often in RPGs, where the general feeling is that more description = more interesting. But one of the strengths of games like, say, Dark Souls, is that the setting isn't explicit, it's inferred. You piece it together as you play from visual clues, brief conversations, and item descriptions.

For instance, at some point in history the Gates to Heaven and Hell were slammed shut, abandoning the angels and demons on Earth. This is mentioned in passing in the angel and demon descriptions, but the time frame, circumstances, and general effect on the world isn't talked about apart from an offhand comment from a demon that souls aren't going anywhere anymore. There's a UN-funded organization called "H.U.N.T." that exists to actively hunt down monsters, but it's never said how they operate, how powerful they are, or what the acronym stands for.

The Kindred descriptions are given in a very casual style, some more casual than others. But it's all clearly based on the common gamer understanding of how this type of setting works because, again, it's making the safe assumption that if you're reading an RPG with a title based on the Blade movies, then you know how this poo poo works.

quote:

After several decades of passive aggressive theological reconciliation, it is the official belief of the Hygh Counciel Vampyr that the modern vampire is descended from Vlad Tepes Dracula, who was, in fact, the reincarnation of Cain, who himself was an avatar of an even older pre-human deity primarily concerned with bats and blood-letting.

They also invented nightclubs, industrial music, and “fetishes, in the sexual sense” to hear them tell it. They like to act like they’ve had a huge impact on human society, that they’ve got this whole “dark puppet-masters” thing going, and, I guess it isn’t entirely untrue. They’ve got pretty solid records of their involvement in a lot of dark periods in human history, but it’s a lot less purposeful than they make it sound. It’s a vampire here, a group of ‘em there. It’s never the whole Kindred, and it’s rarely even consistent at the time - Hell, I got a stack of documents about vampires working on both sides of World War II. When it comes down to it, the Hygh Counciel’s first priority has always been to keep their whole species a secret, and any alterations it made to humanity’s course through history has always come second.
The "Hygh Counciel". :allears:

Character creation: "Still, my long years of dedicated study have given me the firm belief that anything is possible with enough pixie dust."

The first thing you do when making your character is figuring out which two creatures you're directly descended from. And you have the whole list to choose from. Want to be a half-vampire/half-werewolf? Sure, no problem. Half-zombie/half-demon? Why not? You wanna be a half-Frankenstein/half-angel? loving go for it, we're doing this. The things you have to consider are the strengths they give you, the weaknesses you'll have to deal with, and how cool the mix will be.

quote:

How cool is this mix? Is it dope as hell? Is it sweet, and/or sick? Would it definitely be the strongest and win all the fights, for sure? How rad would this thing look if you sketched it on the front of your notebook?
Each Kindred has a bunch of Strengths, some Weaknesses, and a Discord rating from 1 to 3. When you pick your Lineages, you get all the base Strengths listed for that creature type.


Behold...the vampire.

The base Strengths are the ones listed with the bold plus sign; you start with all that stuff. The ones with the hollow plus signs are ones you can get later. If any of your Strengths overlap, then the effects will generally stack. This can lead to fun combos like a Zombie/Mummy hybrid being unkillable unless both the brain and the heart are destroyed.

Strengths will have various keywords such as Gift, Charm, or Issue. These terms determine when and how an ability will work. For example, Gifts will increase the potential of actions, Charms will give a flat bonus, and Issues are things that the Hybrid are incapable of doing unless they really power through.

Once you have your two Lineages, you add up their Discord stats to see how many Weaknesses you have to take from between your two Lineages. The more powerful the Lineage, the more Discord (and probably more Weaknesses) it has.

You also have the option of taking "Human" as a Lineage. Humans don't get any Strengths because we're not cool enough, but humans do have a Discord of 0, which is good if you're looking to minimize your Weaknesses. But don't worry; later on it's possible to burn off your human heritage and gain another monster Lineage in its place, because why not?

Next step is coming up with your Origin; the tragic, impossible, brood-worthy reason you're half-deepfolk and half-Frankenstein. This is pretty much whatever you want, but the three most likely options are presented: forbidden love, strange accident ("I was bitten by a vampire while undergoing witch training, and, well..."), or lost predecessor (as in, you're actually one of the ancient whatevers that your Lineages descended from, only you've been locked away somewhere for centuries).

quote:

A Hybrid’s origin doesn’t have to be long, or even very detailed, but it does have to be special. Don’t spend the first twenty minutes of the movie on it, but maybe say enough about it to make a prequel later.
"Don't spend the first twenty minutes of the movie on it" is something I'd love to write down and staple to a lot of movie makers' foreheads.

Once you have your tragic backstory, you assign your Stats. You have four: Built, Fast, Hot, and Sharp, which I hope I don't need to explain. Stats are rated from 0 to 5, and you start with 6 points distributed however you like.

Next up you have to pick your Scenes. Scenes are freeform skills along the lines of 13 Age's Backgrounds; they're freeform "things you are good at", but can also be locations that are important to you, subcultures you're a part of, things like that. These are only rated from 1 to 3, but a 1 is "very familiar" while a 3 is "mastery" so the scale's a bit narrow. And yes, one of your Scenes can be "Swords". At character creation you have 5 points to spend on up to five Scenes.

After that, you get to pick your three starting pieces of Gear.

quote:

Gear is all the cool, customized, expensive, hyper-advanced, or otherwise unique tools the Hybrid uses get the job done. Explosive silver throwing-stars, prototype automatic handgun, the UV grenades, the super-charged classic muscle car, or the sword-proof smart-fabric trench coat.
Basically, your Gear will count as a rank-1 Scene for something it'd apply to and you don't already have a Scene for, or give you a +1 to a Scene you already have. It's also important to note that your capital-G gear are specialty items; if you just have a generic off-the-lot car, or some random knife that's not Gear. If your car is something you've been working on for years, customizing and hiding weapons on, or your knife is a silver-orichalchum alloy, then it's Gear.

The next step is your Look, and I'm just going to screenshot this whole thing because I couldn't just pick a sample.

There is not a word of that I don't love. :allears:

Lastly, we have Power. Power is used to fuel some of your abilities, and comes in three flavors: Charge, Juice, and Amp. The difference between the three is that they all have different names.

Well, okay, there's a few differences. Various abilities might call for a specific type of power; for instance the Werewolf power Dire Form can use Amp or Charge to boost the user's abilities, but can't use Juice. Some Strengths just call for "Power", in which case you can pay it out of any pool. You can have a max of 5 Charge, 5 Amp, and 10 Juice for 20 Power all told. Power is gained based on your Legacies (in fact, some Legacies don't even use them), but you start each session with at least 2 Power of your choice.

Lastly, you start each session with a point of Destiny. Destiny is a sort experience point that you get once per session, and is used to "blow the cap" (which is to say, remove the maximum value) off a roll. When you do this, you can also advance your character in a few ways; you can increase one of your Stats or Scenes by 1, gain a new Scene at +1, "Phoenix" on a successful action to remove all damage taken or gain 10 Power on top of getting a new Strength, or "evolving" through (and I quote) " the consumption, transfer of energy, or sharing of blood with a Kindred of great power or plot significance" you can gain that Kindred as a new Lineage on top of what they already have. The longer you describe your transformation, the more Power you get.

And in a nice touch, if you haven't used your Destiny by the end of the session, you can spend it then to get +1 to a Stat or Scene, so you don't have to worry about wasting it.

Running the Game: "Look the metaphor ain’t great, but the threat is real."

So that's how you make your cool-as-gently caress Hybrid. How do you do stuff?

Well, that's where things get a little more complicated. Or, at least, harder to explain. I'm going to break from my normal "tell you stuff in the order I read it" bit to explain it a bit clearer than the game does.

In AoTS, you're performing Actions. An action is basically one player or the GM (the "Shadow") doing one thing to one target. So when confronted with a locked door, "I kick the door off its loving hinges" is one Action, but "I kick the door off its hinges and then spray the room with gunfire" is two. In the later case, you'd have to deal with the first action (kicking the door) first, then when that's resolved you can do something else. The guideline given in the book is that if you say "and" or "then" to chain something onto what you're doing, then that's a new action.

The other definitions for Actions are pretty straightforward and obvious, but are included for clarity: you can only take Actions with things you control (so the GM can't make a PC do something, unless a Weakness says otherwise), an Action has to be a quick thing, and you can't have two Actions going on at the same time. If timing does come up, the riskier action takes priority, and the GM's Action never has priority over a PC's Action.

One last important thing: Actions always succeed. I'm going to say that again, because it's important. Actions always succeed. When someone says their character does something, it happens. If I say I'm kicking that door off its loving hinges, then that's what happens.

So wait, I hear you ask, if everything succeeds, then what's the resolution mechanic? Are success and failure a thing?

The answer is "yes, sort of". See, every Action you take generates something called Kick, which is best described as how awesome that thing you just did was. Every Action has a default Kick of 0, and assuming it's not an Action someone is trying to stop that's enough to succeed. If you have any Stats, Scenes, or Gear that would apply to your Action (such as "Awesome Sword" +1 when stabbing someone) then you add that value to your Kick. However, the maximum Kick you can have is equal to the Stat most relevant to the Action; so for swordfighting, it'd be your Fast stat.

Now, here's the thing. Whenever you take an Action, any other player, including the GM, can attempt to Foil that action. Foiling Actions are the "...but" attached to the end of the original player's Action. So to continue the door example, the Action would be "I kick the door off its loving hinges" and a Foil Action would be "...but it turns out that door is double-reinforced steel". Likewise, a GM Action might be "The mummy cult leader plunges the dagger into the woman's chest!" and a PC could respond with "...but I hum a huge throwing star at the mummy's wrist, cutting it off!" Basically a Foiling Action is just something you're doing in opposition to someone else; or (to put it in another game's terms) the GM making a move in response to a player.

When you have an Action and a Foil going up against each other, the way you determine who succeeds is by who has the higher Kick. And boosting Kick is different for players and for the GM.

If a player is trying to Foil, then they calculate their Kick by adding any relevant Stats, Scenes, Gear, or Strengths to the base value. However, your Kick can't be higher than your rating in the stat most relevant to the Action. So if you're trying to hack a computer, then your maximum Kick is your Sharp. Spending a Destiny point on the roll will remove this cap.

If the GM is the one doing the Foiling, he needs to spend dice from his Threat pool. At the start of the session, the GM rolls two d6s and keeps them in this pool. When performing an Action, the GM can spend one of these dice to give his Action or Foil that die's value as Kick, but only to a maximum of 3.

The important thing about Foiling is that Foiling does not cancel the original Action. Anything that happens stayed happened; what being Foiled means is that the Action didn't give the player the desired outcome. Foiling kicking in a door doesn't mean the door doesn't go flying off its frame; what it means is that a second emergency security gate drops down in its place when the first one is gone.

So let's go back to the door example. The player wants to kick down a door. He's got a Build of 2 and no relevant Gear or Scenes to apply, so his Kick is 2. The GM's pool has a 3 and a 5. As it stands, the GM can just spend one of his dice to get Kick 3 and stop the character from kicking in the door. To succeed, the player would need to generate at least 2 more Kick.

How can the player do that? By rolling Risk. Risk is opening yourself up for trouble down the road. For each point of Kick you want, you roll a d6. The values on the dice aren't added to the Kick; you just one point of that per die you roll. Instead, these dice (with their rolled values) are added to the GM's Threat pool for him to use against you later. Fortunately, there's a table that gives you the appropriate Threat ratings of common foes, so the GM has a good idea of what an appropriate Threat is for common obstacles and foes.

If the GM gets two matching dice, they have the option of spending them to create a Doom. Dooms are major, serious threats that (among other things) let the GM get around his Kick ceiling. There's more to Dooms, of course, but I don't want to give away the whole system here.

If the action was something that would deal damage (physical, mental, social, or emotional) and it isn't Foiled, then it deals Hurt. Characters have five Hurt, and once that's filled they're dead (assuming they don't have a Strength that gives them a special "can only be killed by "X" condition). When you take damage, your Hurt meter fills to the amount of damage you just took, instead of adding up. So if you have 2 Hurt and take a 4-Hurt hit, you set your meter to 2. You always have a penalty to your Kick total equal to your current Hurt; the more beat-up you get, the more Risks you'll have to take.

That's the basic back-and-forth flow of the game. Players do things, the GM spends dice to create difficulties, and the players give the GM dice to succeed at difficult tasks, which sets them up for bigger threats later. Since everything automatically succeeds unless challenged, the game encourages over-the-top insane acts of badassery since it's drat near impossible to kill anything supernatural without doing a bunch of insane stunts with reinforced silver weapons and UV guns at your disposal.

Normally I'd save this for the end, but here's my biggest problem with the game: the gameplay flow is not described well. The main problem is that the mechanics are split across the book in three different places; the stuff about Actions and Kick are at the front of the book, the damage stuff is under character creation, and the Threat stuff is in the GM's section. And without the context of how the GM spends their dice to generate Kick, the basic Action/Kick mechanic doesn't make sense. All told the rules are about four pages long, but I had to read them a bunch of times to understand them. That being said, once I "got" it, it seemed pretty simple, but without actually seeing it in motion it's a bit hard to say.

Pretty much everything I've told you about up to this point is in the first half of the 66-page book. The remainder of the text describes the various Kindred, complete with social structures, general appearances, and the various Strengths and Weaknesses they have. I'll run throught the list and cover some of the high points.

One thing to bring up before we get to the meat, here: most of the Kindred have a Weakness they can take called "Lose Control". If you have this Weakness, the GM can force your character to take an Action of their choosing under specific circumstances. For example, the Vampire's "Loose Control" is Bloodthirst; the GM can take actions for the PC, but only if a) the Vamp is at 0 Juice, and b) those actions are to hunt or feed.

Vampires are, well, vampires. They claim to be "descended from Vlad Tepes Dracula, who was, in fact, the reincarnation of Cain, who himself was an avatar of an even older pre-human deity primarily concerned with bats and blood-letting." I already shared their stat block earlier so let's keep going.

Werewolves in this game are created via a disease that's transmitted either through offspring or via a bite or scratch. They don't really have an organized society; they prefer to hunt in family-based packs and keep more or less to themselves. Their big power is shifting into a gigantic humanoid wolf form and tearing poo poo appart.

quote:

Direform The Hybrid can assume a hulking, wolf-like “direform.” This takes at least one Action, but for each Action they use to describe this transformation, they may gain +1 Charge or Amp. While in direform, they add their Charge to Built, and their Amp to Fast, up to their normal maximum. When taking Actions to hunt, claw, bite, jump, or run, they add half their combined Charge and Amp to its Kick. Returning to human form takes only a single Action, but instantly reduces their Charge and Amp to 0.


Witches are, or at least were, humans that began training in mystic arts and herbology and all that New Age crap. Which sounds fine, until you realize that being around weird magical fumes and mushrooms all day can have a bad effect on you. Such as turning your skin green. And giving you warts. Or making your fingers and toes longer. You know, stuff like that. Unlike most other Kindred, witches are chosen. They're generally vetted through a series of tests (that the person may not even be aware they're taking), and if the potential witch passes, then they get the REAL initiation.

The witch's main ability is Ritualist. The witch gains a point of Charge for each Action they spend doing properly witchy spell prep, and then they can spend that Charge to activate an ability like Precognition, Psychokinesis, or Healing Touch. As they gain in power, they can start doing these spells without having to prep.


Mummies have been around a long time, and as such do not like change.

quote:

They aren’t just Egyptian, right? Like, there are mummies form just about everywhere. I’m Chinese. There are Chinese mummies. There was that movie, remember, the third one? It’s a global tradition. There’s a lot of history there.

And it’s all kings and queens and emperors and pharaohs. All rulers, right? And sometimes cats. Cats are a whole thing. But the majority, that’s leaders. Important people. So I told the lady, yeah, sure, I’m not using most of those organs anyway! A couple of them don’t even do anything!

So that happened, and I just feel like I’m part of this big tradition, and that’s cool. She keeps asking me to study all these scrolls though, and, like, asking me to copy news articles onto them, and I’m like, “I can send you the site,” and she just looks sad.

I think she's got a lot going on.

-Cynthia Xu, Recently Mummified
Yeah, they're the monster equivalent of that old office manager who won't read his emails unless they're printed out first. They're also really gross looking, basically being dried-up husks of people wrapped in bandages and with no eyes. Some mummies try to do the best they can with makeup over the bandages, but no amount of eyeshadow is gonna help you out there.

The central mummy ability is Grave Authority. If a mummy uses an Action to command someone and isn't Foiled, then the mummy can control that person for a few hours. They don't have a "Lose Control" weakness, but can take one that forces them to Defer to Cats: the mummy cannot take any action that would disturb a cat, and if a cat they've pissed off can see them, they lose their inherent "unkillable unless the heart is removed" Strength.


It would not surprise me if I'm the only one here who watched and enjoyed this cartoon.

Frankensteins are made, not born. Again, they're not really a "species" or "culture". They do have a yearly newsletter that gets around (spoiler: it's very dull) and a yearly get-together. Despite the general lack of mad scientists in remote castles in modern times, new Frankensteins keep appearing because they know how to make more of their kind. And there's nothing really stopping an inventive Frankenstein from seeing what happens if he uses a few parts from other Kindred in his latest creation.

The main Strength of Frankensteins is that they have Modular Organs. Which is a polite way of saying they can jam new organs into their bodies when the previous owner is done with said organ. Installing a new organ gets you one Amp, and have the option of spending a point of Amp instead of taking damage. Frankensteins are also unkillable as long as they have at least one Amp unless the brain is destroyed. Advanced powers include being able to add on extra limbs or a coaxial cable port. They also have the unsurprising Weakness of "Cannot Approach Fire", because as we all know, fire bad.

Angels and Demons are flip sides of the same coin. They were both kicked out of their respective afterlives after "the doors were slammed shut", and are now stuck wandering the world. Angels dedicate themselves to general freelance goodness and maintainign the status quo, whereas demons are all about random chaos. Angels see demons as unruly teens, and demons see angels as boring stuck-ups. That's probably a metaphor or something.

Angel and demon powers are pretty much the same, just infernal or diving (delete whichever is appropriate). Both beings can conjure divine/infernal fire to blast enemies, create shields, and form into cool-looking weapons Green Lantern style. However, in order to use their abilites, angels have to reveal their wings and demons have to reveal their horns. These features are also their weak points; as long as they're still attached, they're unkillable and immune to most human ailments.

Zombies are what they say on the label. OR ARE THEY? :tinfoil:

Regardless of where they come from, zombies are probably the most un-organized Kindred. They mostly appear as shock troops for other Kindred, mainly because nobody else likes them enough to do anything else with or for them. One thing that the movies got wrong is that zombies aren't mindless; they actually have access to a sort of hive mind that forms when they gather together. The problem is that the hive mind is sort of intelligence-reversing; the more minds are linked up, the worst the mental white noise is and the harder it is for individual zombies to think.

Zombies only form from corpses, but the Z-Virus will sit dormant in a person until they do die, at which point they'll immediately rise. Fun fact: it's estimated that as much as 40% of the world population actually carries the Z-Virus!

The zombie's main Strength is that they're Already Dead. Unless the brain is damaged, they can't die. That said, they don't have any inherent way to heal or regenerate. The hivemind also lets Zombie Hybrids control and take Actions with other zombies within 10 feet.


Not to say you can't still look good.

Ghosts are, again, what they say on the label. Nobody knows what causes people to come back as ghosts, let alone why they have ectoplasmic clothing. I mean, there's not much to say. They're ghosts.

Ghosts all get the Spectre ability, which lets them shift into their astral form. While astral, they're invisible 9 (the first attempt to see them with a Kick less than 3 automatically fails) and can pass through anything. More advanced ghosts can teleport or possess people, which lets them take Actions as the host. And yes, they can be thwarted by the ol' salt ring trick.

Reapers are...well...

quote:

Your standard reaper is between four and six feet from skull to tail, and weighing roughly twenty pounds. They resemble a cleaned, legless human skeleton with sharpened teeth and pinpoints of blue light visible within the eye sockets. Closer inspection will reveal a notable distinction in the form of an elongated tail bone tipped with a thin shard or stinger of what appears to be platinum.

When aggravated or engaged in reaping, the tail bone will extend to a length of up to the reaper’s height, and the stinger will flip out to reveal a micrometre-thick blade resembling a traditional farming sickle or scythe in shape.
Yikes.

The origins, goals, and organization of reapers is unknown. Recent H.U.N.T. projects have raised the theory that reapers are somehow "born" from humans, but given how dangerous they are it's hard to get close enough to actually study one, let alone ask it questions.

And yeah, they are loving dangerous. The main reaper ability is the Retractable Tail Scythe: this is both a physical and astral object and completely ignores every immunity ability and bypasses any "unkillable except X" power, and has a default Kick of 3. However, if a reaper rolls a Risk of 6 while using the scythe, the reaper immediately takes 5 Hurt and the blade is dulled (losing all benefits except being physical and astral) until it can be sharpened on the bones of a reaper. Oh, and they can only be killed by the blade or bones of a reaper. Shockingly, reapers also have the highest Discord at 3, so you're taking a lot of weaknesses.

Faeries are not cute twikly fluttery things. They are, and I again quote: "bugs that spray drugs out of poison sacks in their lungs". They have very insectile features (particularly, multifaceted eyes), and are very much an endangered species due to mankind's constant dependence on iron. There are still Faery Courts, but a Court would be lucky to have a hundred members as opposed to the several thousand from the old days.

All faeries can use the Fae Face ability to look and sound like any human they've ever seen until they take Hurt. Like the ghost's invisibility, this automatically cancels any Kick 3 or less attempt to see through the disguise. They can also produce Pixie Dust, which inflicts such fun effects as sleep, memory wiping, or overpowering emotions when inhaled.

And lastly, there are Deepfolk.

Yup, these are Deep Ones. I mean, what's a Gothic Urban Dark Fantasy Setting without at least one Lovecraftian thing, right?

Deepfolk look mostly like people, only with scaly skin and webbed fingers and toes. They live in sunken cities at the bottom of the ocean in what may or may not be the ruins of Atlantis, only coming to the surface during the full moon to...uh...y'know. Hang out. Meet people. People like them, who seek knowledge no matter the cost. And unto those people, they bestow the gift of knowledge. Terrible, terrible knowledge.

Deepfolk Hybrids can use the Merskin ability to take on the features of aquatic life by spending a point of Amp. They also have the Sea's Blessing, which gives them automatic Kick based on how wet they are. They also have one of the weirder weaknesses:

quote:

Lose Control+Issue: Deepmind While the Hybrid has 1 or more Amp, the Shadow may take Actions as the Hybrid to speak in vaguely poetic sentences or outright gibberish. They may have the Hybrid say a number of words equal to their Amp. The Hybrid has the Issue Do Not Contradict Deepmind Statements.

And with that, the book's over. Again, it's only 67 pages, half of which is Kindred descriptions and abilities.

--

Ages ago, I did a read-through of a "WoD heartbreaker" called "After Midnight". It was written by a minor industry "name" and I loving hated it. The reason I hated it was because it started with a pretty valid thesis ("World of Darkness games are supposed to be personal horror but tend to devolve into Superfriends With Fangs"), and tried to address the idea by just throwing monster types together with lovely mechanics; it was basically someone looking at a project they didn't like and making fun of by making something similar but deliberately terrible to show how dumb he thinks the core idea of "everyone plays a monster" is. It's impossible to tell at that point if they're being petty or sarcastic or ironic or just stupid.

(The other reason I hated it was because the person who wrote it drove me nuts back in the day. Ceterum autem censeo Trollman esse delendum.)

This game? This game is the opposite of that.

It's a parody, yes, but it's a loving parody. It knows what beats to hit, be they in the lore, the presentation, or the ridiculous game terms. It also sees the whole "Superfriends With Fangs" problem, but addresses it by leaning into the skid. It doesn't try to "fix" the problem with the oWoD, nor does it shame anyone who played the game that way. Because let's be honest, for most of us that was how we played it. So instead of condemning the mindset, it embraces it. What's the only thing cooler than playing a badass tortured rear end-kicking monster? Playing two at the same time! With more abilities!

Like I said, I feel like the game's biggest drawback based on a read-only pass is that the core system isn't well-explained. Once I understood how the back-and-forth worked, it seemed like it'd flow pretty well, but getting that flow down in the first place isn't easy. The author has said that he's working on an expanded version, so that might help with the clarity.

Still, I think the game's brevity works to its favor. It doesn't waste time explaining setting stuff you'd already know, instead giving you bits and pieces you can build off of in the Kindred descriptions. It's always heartening to see a game with an expected setting that doesn't hammer you over the head with details you don't care about or would already know. It's laughing with, not laughing at; it kids because it loves. And that's an important difference; it's what makes parody great.

Admittedly, I can't see this game lasting for a long-term campaign, but who cares? The life of a Hybrid is tragically short, despite their undying natures, and if you can't look completely badass during that time you're not worthy of either of the bloods flowing through your veins.

All Of Their Strengths is available on DriveThruRPG for $8 in PDF, $15 in print with the PDF. There's also a small expansion out just in time for Halloween that adds two new Hybrid options: Jackoleers and Skeletons.

Now if you'll excuse me, the techno music is starting up again. I need to put on my leather trenchcoat, grab my moonsteel katana, and kill a whole nightclub full of undead motherfuckers.

This is my gift.

This is my curse.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



ALL OF THEIR STRENGTHS sounds loving amazing. :allears:

I kinda wanna run a oneshot of it at some point.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Also there have to be at least, I dunno, five of us who enjoyed Mummies Alive!

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




holy poo poo that sounds rad

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


senrath posted:

Also there have to be at least, I dunno, five of us who enjoyed Mummies Alive!

I'm betting on an even dozen, honestly.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



senrath posted:

Also there have to be at least, I dunno, five of us who enjoyed Mummies Alive!

When you say enjoyed, you mean "Was aware of and enjoy knowing it existed" right? Because the show actually was sub-TMNT garbage town bullshit.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




theironjef posted:

When you say enjoyed, you mean "Was aware of and enjoy knowing it existed" right? Because the show actually was sub-TMNT garbage town bullshit.

Given how old I was when it aired? I enjoyed it at the time.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



God drat it EM, you know just how much to share to force me to buy the drat book, gently caress.

I'm not actually angry, I'm just glad I know about this thing now.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


senrath posted:

Given how old I was when it aired? I enjoyed it at the time.

Yeah, Mummies Alive is one of those "what the poo poo is this, this is the dumbest thing i've ever heard of, why the gently caress can't I stop watching?" shows.


Also yeah this book sounds loving amazing.

Wait can I be a half angel half demon?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Hijo de Sparda y de Eva.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Futurama as a reference/inspiration for Starfinger isn't the dumbest idea on paper; it draws on the same sci-fi cliches that the game is, something they can expect most of their audience to be familiar with, and has a lot of entertaining ideas to work with.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


You know what, I got All of Their Strengths via an official giveaway (no idea if it is still going or not, though), but now that you told me what's inside this book I went and bought the Halloween mini expansion cause it's only $2.50 and the author definitely deserves at least some of my money.

One of the two lineages it contains is a real honest-to-god skeleton. Hell YEAH my Hybrid was born of a forbidden love that has bloomed between a werewolfstress and a dapper skelly.
:skeltal:

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.



Holy poo poo, Katanas & Trenchcoats just got some competition. Purchased, because this sounds delightful.


open_sketchbook posted:

Thanks to the wonderful review here, I've started organization work for what Revised Patrol ought to look like.

My goal would be to expand the amount of Stuff and add more customization and advancement, by having multiple levels of some gear, selectable Perks, and so forth, while also completely redoing the basic rules for maximum readability.

Awesome! This sounds like a really promising list. Might I also humbly suggest adding some guidelines for grouping NPC unit actions for time-saving? A way to handle things like "okay, these 4 V.C. are going to suppress the squad while these other four move around here and throw grenades" or "all six of the firebase's howitzers fire on the enemy position" with just a couple of rolls would speed play. (It would also give a baseline for potentially scaling up to larger engagements.)

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Can both my Lineages be the same? Can i be half-werewolf and half-werewolf?

Antilles
Feb 22, 2008




So I'm assuming there's a box in there, with the header "How do these pairings even work?" and filled with a picture of Jeff Goldblum and the caption "Life, uh, finds a way"?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




I didn't even know that I had the need for this sort of game!
I think this could even be used to revive tired old concepts like RoboCop Robert cop Vs the terminator.

E: I should seriously run a forum game of Robert cop the terminator hunter.

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 09:24 on Oct 3, 2017

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





The Lone Badger posted:

Can both my Lineages be the same? Can i be half-werewolf and half-werewolf?
And are there mechanical differences between being the childe of two half-werewolfs, or someone who has a werewolf on both sides of the family?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I am amazed that All of Their Strengths doesn't have gargoyles.

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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 Seven: Guns and Ships
Unsurprisingly, jungle warfare isn't terribly friendly to most vehicles, but both sides of the conflict deployed tanks and self-propelled guns as infantry support, and of course there are few images of the war more iconic than the Huey gunship/medevac chopper.


Officially the UH-1 Iroquois, but only FNGs call it that.

Accordingly, PATROL's vehicle rules are fairly simple--there's enough depth there that you could play an US Army tank crew (or the various commanders of a tank brigade, if you want MOAR TANKS) or US Navy/Marine patrol boat crews (insert dated John Kerry joke here). An Air Force game is probably outside the scope of the rules, though.

Anyways, we've already seen a couple of Vehicles' special rules--they always count as their own Unit for targeting purposes, and you can see them from much farther away than infantry. Also, vehicles don't take suppression--though characters riding on them can--and since tanks don't take cover, they effectively subtract 1 from all To-Hit numbers, just like characters who are being ambushed.

Vehicles have a Speed stat, but it's presented slightly differently--ground vehicles have a max. Speed and a combat Speed, the latter of which they're limited to in combat scenarios or Difficult Terrain--the actual Speed Down rating doesn't matter, so it's down to GM discretion how Difficult is too Difficult for a vehicle. Aircraft instead have a maximum and minimum Speed--they're not limited in combat scenarios, but they have to move their minimum Speed to avoid crashing. Yes, even helicopters--remember that Turns are 30 minutes, and the helicopter hasn't built that can hover that long without the engine overheating. Vehicles have a Fuel capacity as well, and burn 1 Fuel every X turns of operation--X depends on the vehicle, so you'll want to be ready to mark up the Roundel if you need to track a vehicle's Fuel consumption. Happily, with one exception (I'm looking at you Soviet rocket artillery truck), all of the vehicles in the book burn fuel at a rate that divides evenly into 12, so you don't have to worry about not lining up with the Roundel.

Armour tells you how tough a vehicle is--any attack with Armor Penetration less than the vehicle's Armour are straight-up ignored. (In a nice touch, AP is usually a random value, so tank duels are a little more interesting than "I can damage this tank/I cannot damage that tank.") Virtually no small arms have any AP. If you see a tank, pray it doesn't see you. (Fortunately, it probably won't.) Instead of Injury, vehicles have a Damage track, though it has no ongoing penalties associated with it and just serves as the Difficulty for Shock checks. Toughness is what vehicles roll for those checks, and just like a character, if it fails the roll it's disabled. Unlike a character, getting an M41 Walker Bulldog back up and running is a lot harder than slapping an infantryman back to consciousness. Also, if a vehicle takes damage equal to its Toughness in a single attack, it's catastrophically destroyed and everybody dies.

Hey, you want rules for running people over with a tank? 'Course ya do! If a vehicle drives over a Unit, the driver makes an opposed Operate Vehicle action vs. everybody in the Unit's Fortitude. Andone who loses takes 1d3+1/100th the vehicle's Weight in Injury. Vehicles range from 60 for a jeep or civilian car up to 650 for a British-built Centurion Mk5 tank. Defensive positions can still reduce this damage, but if you're driving a Vehicle whose Weight is over 300, you can collapse foxholes by doing donuts on them. This automatically kills 1d3 people in the foxhole and may be the most :rock: thing in the game. Except maybe this sentence:

PATROL posted:

Any incapacitated, immobilized, restrained or consenting characters run down by a tank or similar are instantly killed.

Vietnam, y'all! On a less murderous note, you can take cover against a friendly or disabled vehicle and treat it as a Defensive Position equal to the vehicle's Armour--so huddle up close to those Armour 5 main battle tanks.

Next up is how you load crew into a vehicle. Every vehicle has a number of crew "slots," which can either be "In" the vehicle or "On" it. Characters In vehicles benefit from the vehicle's armor and aren't exposed to attacks, but have a tougher time bailing out if something goes wrong. Characters On the vehicle... well, you get the idea. Attacks against a vehicle always hit the vehicle first, but any additional Hits can be randomly divided between the vehicle and anyone riding On it. "In" slots also put a cap on your Vigilance for purposes of Perception--although most such slots have a hatch you can pop to remove that limit, at the cost of being exposed (mostly--you still get some protection, like being in a defensive position). Finally, if the slot has any weapons or equipment it controls, that's listed here. If a crewman controls multiple weapons, he can fire all of them in a single Turn, even if it's normally a Regular action for each. He can either direct all the attacks at a single target, or sacrifice one or more attacks as ranging shots to reduce the To-Hit with the main gun by 1 (to a minimum of 1.)

Aircraft work almost identically, except the Speed issue above, and the fact that they have an Altitude that works basically like (and in addition to) the regular Range rules. Aircraft also reduce the To-Hit for targets on the ground by 1 and ignore some Defensive Position, since a slit trench doesn't do much against a helicopter.

So, with all that terrifying firepower at their disposal, what can you, the lowly infantryman, do about a vehicle? Exploit that Visibility cap, for one. A fully buttoned-up NVA T-54 can't see anything past 50 meters or so in concealing terrain, which is enough for even a pretty slow gunner to stay out of range with a recoilless rifle and do some damage. If they pop a hatch to get some air circulation (it's hot as balls inside a tank--while it's not in the rules, I for one would treat being in a buttoned-up tank as being in Heat Wave conditions for purposes of Exhaustion and Thirst ticks) or improved visibility, a sniper can dissuade them real quick. And if you can get in close enough with a crowbar, you can pull my favorite trick in the game: Pry open a hatch and hot box the bastards. A Hot Box is a special Throw Grenade action wherein both successes and failures generate Hits on the vehicle's crew. (The action also doesn't technically say you have to be within 10m of the vehicle, but it's pretty clearly the intent. Also, the difficulty for prying open a hatch is listed as "Door," but there's no guideline on what that means.)

The book includes a decent selection of vehicles, including the expected jeeps, Hueys (both "Slick" and "Hog"--transport/medevac and armored gunship, respectively), a few varieties of FWF tanks, a military bulldozer (babysitting one of these while it clears jungle around a firebase--or to set up a new firebase--is a great mission), and... the M50 Ontos. Essentially 6 large recoilless rifles on a tracked chassis, it was designed as a tank-killer but was primarily used as infantry support on account of there not being enough enemy tanks.


I had one of these as a kid. I'm pretty sure it came with an exclusive Cover Girl action figure.

Communist forces get slightly fewer varieties, and we only get one each of a generic "jet fighter" and "prop raider" for aircraft--which is fine, most of the Air Force is busy bombing the same railway bridge every couple months north of the border. Jet fighters do have a neat ability to "go supersonic," burning 3 Fuel to get anywhere in the country in a single turn, but you're probably not going to see them much in a reasonably historical game.



Next Time: Everybody's Talkin' - Communications. This will probably be the last of the rules updates--I might do one more sweep of miscellaneous cool stuff that hasn't quite fit into any of the main topics, depending if there'sd enough stuff to go in such an update. Otherwise we'll move on to the (really excellent and well-researched) setting and GM information parts.

GimpInBlack fucked around with this message at 14:37 on Oct 9, 2017

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