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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Wraeththu is awesome. I'm glad it exists.

It's an example of what is, AFAIK, an increasingly rare strain of game--where somebody takes a homebrew they've been sitting on for a long time, that is a more-or-less universal system, and crams some licensed property into it. (The Great War of Magellan, ripped from obscurity by System Mastery, shows all the signs of being the same.)

As for the license itself, Wraeththu are vampiric in a number of ways, most importantly because they are part of the subgenre that Anne Rice created. What I find jarring is that Wraeththu doubles down on the theme that is problematic in True Blood--where vampires are analogues for gay people, but also an Illuminati conspiracy of psycho killers. Wraeththu are literally a mutant Queer virus that will abduct you and force you to be Queer. It's a Chuck Tingle premise treated with utmost seriousness by a yaoi fanficcer.

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Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Kurieg posted:

We've run Pathfinder a few times with my playgroup, and we've kept the "Wizard runs away with the game while everyone else watches" in check by making sure the guy who wants to break the game over his knee and minmax isn't the guy behind the reigns of the full caster. Usually by their own volition. The game is more fun when everyone's having fun and we've got a guy who just likes blowing poo poo up with fireballs.

Yeah. In my group the guy playing the wizard also just wants to blast stuff, and the DM plays enemy casters with an eye to making sure things don't get too rocket-taggy. On the other hand, the guy playing the druid is the kind of guy who does research and plays to win, and he pretty much wrecks poo poo when his turn comes around. Still, he's only one person (except when he's being half a dozen cyclopes, a kami, and a giant elemental) so he can't take the game over completely.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Did "I Am Zombie" ever actually get finished? I remember something about Mark ReinDotHagan and kickstarter issues.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Halloween Jack posted:

My understanding is that when you do a Move, your stat simply determines how many options you get to pick. This is less staid than it may sound, since the relevant "stat" is always in flux based on stuff like how much Blood you have/spend, the quality of the Feeding Ground, if the fellow vamp you're dealing with owes you Debts, and so on.

There's also a lot of potential for drama because, when feeding, most options are defined in the negative. The victim doesn't scream and attract attention, they don't remember what happened, other vampires don't notice and interfere...

The other mechanics replacing dice are Debt, which are tokens you can spend to influence people (just like strings in MH) and Status, where whenever vampires interact socially, you figure out which of you is higher on the social ladder and that one will just win any argument outright... unless shenanigans take place. So as a player you have to make shenanigans happen in order to stand up to your social betters.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



There's that pretty awful Fate/Stay Night Unisystem hack, I guess.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

wiegieman posted:

What is with these people, though? Are they all just houseruling everything, or playing all caster parties, or do they really like only half the party being important?

I'm having a blast playing a human soldier. :shrug:

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Humbug Scoolbus posted:

I'm having a blast playing a human soldier. :shrug:

I don't mean to come across as telling you that you're having fun wrong, I'm not, I just don't get the draw. Whatever works for your table I guess.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I really wish I'd gotten further in reviewing Myriad Song because I feel like comparing it to Starfinder would be really productive.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

wiegieman posted:

What is with these people, though? Are they all just houseruling everything, or playing all caster parties, or do they really like only half the party being important?

3e/Pathfinder is a perfectly playable game, and a lot of what we've come to regard as "broken" doesn't even really "break" until at least level 5 and up.

We tend to look down on it because our standards are better than "literally isn't offensive and the rules are not beyond human ken", but for a lot of people, that's more than good enough for them.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Leraika posted:

There's that pretty awful Fate/Stay Night Unisystem hack, I guess.
Given how rules heavy and boring the Fate is you'd think that they'd go with GURPS or HERO instead.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

I'm having a blast playing a human soldier. :shrug:

3E and Pathfinder are perfectly playable, with the right players, houseruling and party composition they can even be fun. The issue's just that they're "dangerous" for new players because unless the GM knows the system well enough to adjust for the issues(caster supremacy and etc.) with house rules and good GM'ing, or simply by warning new players what the dangers are, you easily end up with characters that are way below power compared to others.

And even for a good GM, keeping the game fun for everyone in that sort of situation can be difficult.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The problem with Pathfinder is that the rules are easy to bog down in and don't really make it any easier to run any particular kind of story. They don't really add anything for all the complexity and system mastery annoyance.

That said, for levels 1-9, the last time I ran PF (years ago) what mattered more to my players was 'I'm an Inquisitor, so I get to make a cool speech and pronounce judgment when this fight starts' or 'I'm a Bard but I can fluff it as a sephardic mystic and we can kidnap a guy while retreating under cover of flashbangs and a biblical rain of frogs.'

E: Thinking on it, I think the key to that game was every PC being a half caster (Inquisitor, Alchemist, Bard, with NPC Fighters and such filling them out when they needed 'em) and none of them knowing the system at all, so no-one bothered too much with optimization. Also, we just allowed retraining if someone found they were never using a feat.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 11:30 on Oct 6, 2017

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


gradenko_2000 posted:

3e/Pathfinder is a perfectly playable game, and a lot of what we've come to regard as "broken" doesn't even really "break" until at least level 5 and up.

We tend to look down on it because our standards are better than "literally isn't offensive and the rules are not beyond human ken", but for a lot of people, that's more than good enough for them.

Also a lot of the design problems with game systems aren't exposed to the players at all until they suddenly explode. So GMs (should) naturally have a more pronounced sense of what good design looks like and players don't really have to care.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Starfinger Core Rules Part #10: "If some guy just walks in off the street and says, 'I want a rocket launcher!', most people are going to say, we don't think you're rocket launcher-ready."

Owen K.C. Stephens, Starfinger Design Lead, GenCon Q&A Transcript posted:

You can have a .38.

Going onward with weapons, some have special properties. Some notable ones new to Starfinger include:
  • Automatic: Automatic fire uses your remaining clip, letting you attack one person per two shots with a cone attack, using a full attack. You can't avoid shooting allies, since it's random, so aim that cone template carefully.
  • Blast: Another cone effect, this time for shotguns and the like, which lets you do extra attacks at a -2 penalty against targets in the cone from closest to nearest. Hone your arguements to have with your GM about this.
  • Entangle: Resisted by Acrobatics or Strength, so the tanglefoot effect is alive and well in Starfinger.
  • Operative: Required to use the trick attack class feature, so what's why your operative is using an advanced baton.
  • Sniper: This lets you fire farther if you spend a move action to brace it.
There are also a variety of new crit effects, most of which inflict some condition or another. There's also the "wounding" crit effect that does a hit location effect like a crippled arm or bleeding, and it looks suspiciously to me like a scaled-down version of the "Table of Ouch" from Fantasy Craft.



We also get descriptions of all these crazy weapons, such as:
  • Cryo Weapons: These fire supercooled gas in a "containment beam" from pistols, rifles, and cannons, though there is a "cyropike" which is a spear with a freezing blade.
  • Flame Weapons: Flamethrowers in pistol or rifle configurations, but there are also a "doshko", a "skyfire sword" which is basically just a hollow blade with a bunch of flame jets (seems like it'd break, but this is the future), and... a flare gun.
  • Grenades: These come in all the elemental types save acid, and there are also flash grenades (blinds on a failed save), smoke grenades, and stickybomb grenades (tanglefoot rides again).
  • Laser Weapons: Your usual lasers and rifles. Note that invisible targets are immune, despite all the heat created in a laser's path, but invisible force shields aren't. Sure. There's also "autobeam artillery", aka gatling lasers, not to be confused with "artillery lasers", which aren't to be confused with indirect artillery - they're just really big lasers. Clear? Well, not invisible, I mean the the colloquial sense of the word...
  • Operative Weapons: These are knives and batons used by operatives, because you can't do tricky stabs with big weapons because... that's not what rogues do, okay?! Some of the batons have electric shocks or a generic "pulse", not to be confused with the advanced baton at 19th level, which apparently is just a very well weighted baton.
  • Plasma Weapons: These are either projected plasma beams or plasma contained in a magnetic field so you can sword with it. There are doshko (here we're told they're "traditional vesk weapons"), and otherwise we have pistols, rifles, swords, and "caster" (which apparently fire orbs instead of coherent lines of plasma for more damage but less area).
  • Projectile Weapons: Bullets, mainly, but also gyrojet weapons, magnetar rifles (their odd name for rail weapons), acid dart rifles (with "whatever acid the wielder desires"), crossbolter (no relation to bowcasters, I'm sure), stellar cannons (really just cannons), x-gen gun (machine guns with external generators), and reaction cannon (uses "advanced materials and and technology to redirect the recoil of a projectile back into the projectile itself").
  • Shock Weapons: Arc weapons that fire cones or shots of electrical energy, casters that "fire a blast of electrical energy that explodes when it impacts, creating an electrical storm", and electrified batons. Well, truncheons. If they were batons, that's different!... somehow.
  • Solarian Weapon Crystals: Graviton, photon, w-boson, or gluon crystals that add damage to your solar weapon. Those are science words!
  • Sonic Weapons: Generic sound pistols and rifles, "streetsweepers" that fire a "low-intensity 'punch' of sound", screamers that fire cones of energy, or pulse gauntlets that let you sound-punch people.
Then, there are uncategorized weapons that include old-fashioned melee weapons and bows (often with high-tech construction), missile and grenade launchers, injection gloves, etc. We get a full list of ammo you need for given weapons, and that's that.

Now there's attempts to explain why one type of weapon is better than another from time to time, and sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. Why does a dimensional slice longsword do so much damage? Well, it's surrounded by a "blade-shaped aura". Oh. That explains... not much...

So, weapons can be made from special materials, because overcoming Damage Reduction is still a thing, just like in Dungeons & Digits 3.5. Presumably there are space werewolves and star demons to fight! So, we have the usual - adamantine, cold iron, and silver, and you can make melee weapons out of them or ammo. A literal reading of the rules implies you can also make adamantine lasers or cold iron sonic weapons by making them out of the right materials, but I get the impression that's not intended.



We also have "Weapon Fusions" which are the new form of weapon enchantment. Yes, because working out weapons wasn't complicated enough. They're supposed to be magical mods you plug in like Final Fantasy 7's materia but are hard to remove, and it takes half the cost of the original fusion to move it from one weapon to another. Exactly what you're paying for is unclear; maybe the fusion comes with a credstick reader to take the transfer charge itself? There are also "Fusion Seals" which can be more easily moved between weapons at a surcharge. However, Weapon Fusions and Fusion Seals have an item level they're rated for, and can't be placed on a weapon of a higher level... because... that's what it says in the rules. So if you have a 12th level holy Fusion Seal, you can put it on a yellow star plasma pistol but not a white star plasma pistol, because the cost of Fusions is based entirely on what weapons they can affect.

Did I mention this weapon system can be highly arbitrary?

So, if you know magic weapons from d20 games, most of these will seem familiar. You've got your aligned boosts (anarchic, holy, etc.), your elemental types (corrosive, flaming, etc.), and general effects (ghost killer, dispelling, etc.). Many don't even add direct boosts - aligned weapons just count as aligned, elemental weapons do elemental damage, while others add actual effects. Some have minimum levels they can be purchased at - vorpal is tops at level 10, which is weird because it all it does is grant the severe wound effect, which some weapons get by level 6. But, you know. It's arbitrary!

Next: Make sure you button down that shirt before you step into deep space.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 14:57 on Oct 6, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Does going to full auto require you to aim at multiple targets? Like you can't just hold your gun at one guy and fire the clip at that guy?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Alien Rope Burn posted:

We also have "Weapon Fusions" which are the new form of weapon enchantment. Yes, because working out weapons wasn't complicated enough. They're supposed to be magical mods you plug in like Final Fantasy 7's materia but are hard to remove, and it takes half the cost of the original fusion to move it from one weapon to another. Exactly what you're paying for is unclear; maybe the fusion comes with a credstick reader to take the transfer charge itself? There are also "Fusion Seals" which can be more easily moved between weapons at a surcharge. However, Weapon Fusions and Fusion Seals have an item level they're rated for, and can't be placed on a weapon of a higher level... because... that's what it says in the rules. So if you have a 12th level holy Fusion Seal, you can put it on a yellow star plasma pistol but not a white star plasma pistol, because the cost of Fusions is based entirely on what weapons they can affect.
It's a real shame they didn't go whole hog and literally make it a DRM issue, because that's actually kind of a fun idea. "You can pay 1/2 and transfer it all legal like, or you can jailbreak and move it for less/free/pay time instead of cash/whatever but in most places that's illegal."

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Comrade Gorbash posted:

It's a real shame they didn't go whole hog and literally make it a DRM issue, because that's actually kind of a fun idea. "You can pay 1/2 and transfer it all legal like, or you can jailbreak and move it for less/free/pay time instead of cash/whatever but in most places that's illegal."
Or make it DLC, complete with special funbux fake currency you have to buy.

"Buy the +2 AP extension for your rifle, only 150 gems! Gems can only be purchased in sets of 17 for 10 credits each."

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Mors Rattus posted:

Does going to full auto require you to aim at multiple targets? Like you can't just hold your gun at one guy and fire the clip at that guy?

Technically you could, but there'd be no point to it. If you go full-auto and your template only targets one person, it still targets that one person. However, it doesn't do any extra damage, requires a full attack (edited the post to note that), can't score crits, and eats up extra ammo.

So yeah, firing at a single target on automatic is actively worse and less deadly than taking a single shot, I realize.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Has any RPG company ever sold DLC-like cards with extra rules?
I remember just jokes from KODT.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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2014-2018



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Technically you could, but there'd be no point to it. If you go full-auto and your template only targets one person, it still targets that one person. However, it doesn't do any extra damage, requires a full attack (edited the post to note that), can't score crits, and eats up extra ammo.

So yeah, firing at a single target on automatic is actively worse and less deadly than taking a single shot, I realize.

It's nice to know that firing an entire clip of bullets into someone can only do extra damage if you do it over a long period of time. I assume this is because Starfinger characters have I-frames.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Mors Rattus posted:

Does going to full auto require you to aim at multiple targets? Like you can't just hold your gun at one guy and fire the clip at that guy?

Sir, SIR, it is called a magazine

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Has any RPG company ever sold DLC-like cards with extra rules?
I remember just jokes from KODT.

As much as it's beloved in retrospect, isn't that Gamma World 7th Edition? I mean, it's just extra crunch IIRC, but it's as close as we've come. Granted, if you're just talking about statblocks, that could go back to some of the collectible cards for AD&D, but I think a lot of that was already in books in one form or another. But Gamma World is probably the purest interpretation of that notion.

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.


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Has any RPG company ever sold DLC-like cards with extra rules?
I remember just jokes from KODT.

Yes. They're called "sourcebooks."

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


gradenko_2000 posted:

Sir, SIR, it is called a magazine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_fmN45GAh4

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


To be fair, Starfinger does call them magazines.

You have to buy them off the rack, though, you can't get a subscription.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Sorry Im stuck at the initial quote because if you have enough money and your checks clear nobody gives a poo poo what you buy barring possibly an ICBM and nuclear warhead combo.

poo poo, you can walk into a flordia gun store today and assuming you have cash on hand you can walk out with literally everything in it and all that will happen is the gunstore owner will close early for the day.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Barudak posted:

Sorry Im stuck at the initial quote because if you have enough money and your checks clear nobody gives a poo poo what you buy barring possibly an ICBM and nuclear warhead combo.

poo poo, you can walk into a flordia gun store today and assuming you have cash on hand you can walk out with literally everything in it and all that will happen is the gunstore owner will close early for the day.
That's not true.

This is American capitalism, the owner would make the clerk to stay until close so they can take down future orders and field complaints from annoyed customers who can't buy bullets.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Why does d&d seem to break down way more thoroughly whenever guns show up? Incorporating guns always seems to mess with it especially.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Night10194 posted:

Why does d&d seem to break down way more thoroughly whenever guns show up? Incorporating guns always seems to mess with it especially.

Because was D&D was originally about medieval castle sieges so guns are like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole?

This is especially true when you start talking about "realism" as it relates to guns.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Barudak posted:

Sorry Im stuck at the initial quote because if you have enough money and your checks clear nobody gives a poo poo what you buy barring possibly an ICBM and nuclear warhead combo.

I'll just spoil out at this point that nearly all equipment is leveled. Not just weapons and armor.

Work that poo poo out.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Literally just replace the name "bow" with "gun" and that solves every problem.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I refuse to figure out why someone wont sell you a +2 shirt if you have the money.

Serf posted:

Literally just replace the name "bow" with "gun" and that solves every problem.

Yeah but thats not realistic, thats just mechanically and narratively sound.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Night10194 posted:

Why does d&d seem to break down way more thoroughly whenever guns show up? Incorporating guns always seems to mess with it especially.
If you just treat guns as reskins of bows and crossbows, it doesn't. But that's unrealistic, and thus bad. Star Wars is good though. :colbert:

Anyways they always try to model a bunch of firearm physics and mechanics in a game built around melee combat, but make it so you can still be effective at melee combat. Also the designers often don't actually know much about how firearms work so they get those physics and mechanics wrong anyways.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Questions to anyone who might know:

* Did the Living Steel and Aliens games from Leading Edge Games attempt to model/include melee combat? Phoenix Command separated the gun rules and the melee rules, and even acknowledged that they'd occur at completely different scales, so I was wondering if they tried to "merge" them for the settings-based games.

* The System Mastery guys mentioned that the Aliens game was only a specific license for the Aliens movie specifically? What's the difference between that and a different (more broad?) license?

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Cant use ant EU material like comic books, the marines manual, etc.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Pathfinder had a bunch of packs of cards you could buy with stuff like crit effects, didn't it?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Barudak posted:

Cant use ant EU material like comic books, the marines manual, etc.

There's an ... Aliens Expanded Universe? Is this a particularly deep rabbit hole?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


gradenko_2000 posted:

There's an ... Aliens Expanded Universe? Is this a particularly deep rabbit hole?
Not really, and the comics are for the most part actually pretty good.

jadarx
May 25, 2012


Leraika posted:

Pathfinder had a bunch of packs of cards you could buy with stuff like crit effects, didn't it?

DnD4 had cards during the tail end of its life (I think they started during the 'Essentials period). I remember having a few when playing in Encounters.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



gradenko_2000 posted:

There's an ... Aliens Expanded Universe? Is this a particularly deep rabbit hole?

Well, if you follow it all the way down you end up in the Predator EU, and that place is a mess.

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