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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Comrade Gorbash posted:

Also, what the hell is that display on the Starfinderís leg for?

It's the future, so you have to put blue neon on everything.

That's how it goes.

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Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


Maybe it's just their phone lighting up through their pants?

I dig the hell knight. But four armed dude with a big laser gun is definitely fourteen year old me's aesthetic.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Feinne posted:

Xenomorphs is the closest they come to touching any of that, and from what I recall sub-Saharan Africa and Australia are sorta Kinori territory and Asia is largely left up to you to figure out what you want to do with it beyond them giving you some things that live there.

Xenomorphs is kinda a cool book tbqh, they set out to come up with takes on a lot of famous mythical creatures and urban legends and such and then give you an idea for a one-off monster of the week adventure using them.

For everyone else, Xenomorphs is the Monster Manual equivalent for Dark*Matter. It separates monsters out by geographic region and then also tackles demons and angels and extradimensional stuff too. One of the coolest things I remember from using it years ago is that there's actually angels and demons for each species of creature - there's the regular Christian-lite angels and red satans with horns for humans, but Greys and Kinori have their own angels and demons that are even weirder.

Barudak posted:

The Grey Beings burden is a great line. At least Dark*Matter produced that.

the most jarring thing from my re-reading of the timeline is that there's no reason given for why the Greys hosed around in Mesoamerica. when they Greys are introduced it's because they're visitors from the stars that are impressed with Atlantean tech and are curious/worried about the Theran Device, but after that whole SNAFU they retreat to the stars . . . and then that gets boring I guess? it's really dumb that the Greys are the in-universe explanation for why Europeans get to murder and rape their way across South America, but there's not actually a reason for the Greys to have been there in the first place.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Comrade Gorbash posted:

Also, what the hell is that display on the Starfinderís leg for?

At first I didnít mind it, because the upper thigh is actually a smart place to put a control panel or diagnostic display on a spacesuit. But theyíre not wearing a spacesuit, itís too far down to reach unless theyíre sitting, and even then itís upside down. The text clearly oriented for someone in front of them to read. And if itís for someone else to look at, thatís a really terrible place to put it.

I donít know why that bothers me so much but it does.

You wouldn't be wrong. Pilot kneeboards have been a thing since the beginning of flight, tend to be integrated into flight suits (which is what that looks like), are designed to be used while sitting, and have recently gone digital with the proliferation of the tablet computer.

But, you're right about the text. I'm guessing that the artist hosed up when putting that together.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Tuxedo Catfish posted:

the name makes it sound amazing though

just make it C:tL instead so it can live up to that incredible potential

Sorry, but Fairy Wire Fu sounds absolutely awesome. Heck, itís even totally appropriate for creatures that can fly and are associated with energy and creativity.

hyphz fucked around with this message at 16:18 on Oct 21, 2017

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


hyphz posted:

Sorry, but Fairy Wire Fu sounds absolutely awesome. Heck, itís even totally appropriate for creatures that can fly and are associated with energy and creativity.

why are you apologizing

that's what i just said, except that i proposed using the Changeling setting that doesn't suck (for unrelated reasons)

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Oct 21, 2017

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Youíre in a flying jungle made of fire? UhÖ letís see if I can find anything appropriate in


The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 5: The Deck of Cats and Centaurs


33: The Lion's Thorn

Takes place in grassland at least 20 miles from civilization. The PCs notice a bunch of dead lions, camel tracks, and human weapons scattered around an oasis. As theyíre taking that in, they notice one of the young male lions ďhobbling around, nuzzling some of the dead [ones].Ē Itís got a few arrows sticking out of it. It growls at the PCs.

Druid or ranger, itís your time to shine! Animal friendship this lion down or whatever you do, heal it, and get 420 experience points and potentially a lion friend. Keep.


34: Hunters and Hunted

ďThe PCs may be hired in any city for this adventure.Ē Uh, I thought this was a random encounter. No? Itís an adventure? OK then...

The PCs are hired by a wizard to go capture a great cat ďfor research purposes.Ē They need to bring it back intact. They reach their brush-filled destination and find the animalís tracks. Itís a smilodon. Soon it pounces on the PCs. Theyíre supposed to have difficulty because of the thick brush and undergrowth that makes movement and shooting difficult. ďThe PCs become the hunted and must escape with their lives.Ē

Unusable as a random encounter, which is what Iím trying to use the deck for. Pass.


35: Catfood

In a deep, beautiful, old growth forest, an elven cat approaches the PCs for food (thereís another one whoís using its tree ability to hang back. If it gets fed something good, the cats will switch places and the other one will come take a turn, too. Then ďthe cats will guide the PCs through the forest to their destination, keeping them away from the danger spots.Ē The PCs can try to catch the cats, but they wonít both be out in the open at once, will try to rescue each other, and ďall the woodland creatures in this forest will ever thereafter react negatively to the PCs.Ē

Straightforward fairy cats. I guess itís a keep.

P.S. XP Awards: ď500 for feeding and befriending the cats, 1,300 for killing them (though this is not encouraged.Ē If you donít want to encourage the PCs to kill the cats, maybe donít give them two and a half times as many experience points for doing so?


36: Drunken Centaur

As the PCs enter a village tavern, the proprietor runs to them and asks them to help with a rowdy, drunken centaur adventurer. Heís shouting for more ale, breaking tables, and generally being a 2,000 pound public nuisance. If the PCs help subdue him they get 350 xp and probably a bunch of free drinks, if they kill him itís just worth 175 xp. Also, the centaur will be extremely chagrined the next morning ďand will apologize profusely to everyone involved.Ē I think thatís cute. Keep.


37: Centaur Vengeance

The PCs hear the sound of galloping hooves. Six centaurs ride up, pissed and with weapons at the ready. They're looking for "the killers of their foals," who came from whatever direction the PCs are going. If the PCs convince them of their innocence, they can send the centaurs on their way or try to join in the hunt.

Um... okay, that's the start of a plot hook, but as a DM, I'm looking for these cards to reduce the amount of entertaining ideas I need to come up with on the spot. Now I've gotta come up with all kinds of stuff. Can't you tell me a little bit about how the foals were killed, so the PCs can go all Phoenix Wright and say "OBJECTION! Our archer uses arrows, not crossbow bolts!" Or a sentence about who killed them and why?

Itís simply lacking too much key info. I think I need to pass.

P.S. I didnít mention it before, but card #32: Raiding Party said at the end: ďIf the DM desires, this card may be linked to the Centaur Vengeance card.Ē I would have preferred if theyíd said that on the Centaur Vengeance card. After this encounter, the PCs may wonder ďso who killed the centaur kids?Ē After the Raiding Party encounter, nobody is going to wonder ďI wonder if these bugbears killed any centaur kids recently?Ē

Dallbun fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Oct 21, 2017

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


hyphz posted:

Sorry, but Fairy Wire Fu sounds absolutely awesome. Heck, it’s even totally appropriate for creatures that can fly and are associated with energy and creativity.

Fairies flying around on wires?

Sorry, I don't see it.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Bugbears and centaurs are natural enemies. Everyone knows that.

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

I've written tons of homebrew campaigns over the years. Superheroes in the Victorian era using first edition Interlock? Sure. Freeing The Wonderful Land of Oz from the Nome King, with a group of Kansas City SWAT officers and using Blue Rose? drat straight! A religious post-apocalyptic game where the players are on an Ark of stone as it motors its way out of hell on the river of fire while demons are constantly attacking also using modified Interlock? Sounds like a campaign to me.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Night10194 posted:

There's really not that much to know. If Warhammer Fantasy is 'fantasy cliches and historical analogues bounce off one another with fun twists', Golarion is '*D&D* cliches and historical analogues bounce off one another, completely straight faced and with no twist.'

There's one neat thing in Golarion - the soul stealing guillotines in Revolutionary-France land.

The Drift in Starfinder is just a rubbish version of The Bleed from the Wildstorm superhero universe though, or maybe the warp.

Angrymog fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Oct 21, 2017

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I just hit something in my write up of TLE that undermines the literal entire setting, conceit, and concept for the game so utterly and thoroughly I now believe the game to be a long con parody piece because the alternative is to accept that 10 of the stupidest human beings possible could work together to publish a 196 page book that contains words which are recognized as being in sentences and forming identifiable thoughts.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




We're all waiting

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


Itís time for another section of WFRP: Children of the Horned Rat

This is the final portion of Chapter 3, focusing on Skaven government and the Clans, detailing how the larger Skaven society works or fails to work.

The first thing to note about Skaven society is that it is divided into Clans. To a Skaven, their clan is their primary source of social identity and the ruler of their clan is their boss, no questions asked. The only way for clans to ďuniteĒ is via one clan conquering and enslaving another. New clans are sometimes formed by dissidents fleeing their home clan or scattered refugees trying to rebuild in new clans wherever they can find a place to do so. Clans essentially act as small nations and tend to develop specializations to eke out survival and to have something they can bribe or threaten other clans with. There will be rules about making clans later.

Clans vary wildly in power, wealth, numbers, and prestige. At the top of this list are what are known as the four Great Clans. Clans Skryre, Eshin, Moulder, and Pestilens are head and shoulders above all other clans in terms of power and their influence is frequent seen in other clans. They can and sometimes do utterly demolish lesser clans, but usually tend to stand above the fray of the lesser clans scheming and competing amongst one another. Theyíre focused on bigger prizes. All other clans are colloquially known as Warlord Clans.

These component pieces of Skaven society are brought together and nominally ruled over by the Council of Thirteen. The Council debates the great plots by the Skaven to corrupt and attempt to take over the world, coming up with the plans and orders to bring about the prophesied Great Ascendancy. The Council consists of 12 Skaven. Each of the Great Clans has one seat, the head of the Order of Grey Seers known as the Seerlord has one seat, and 7 seats are held by the seven most powerful of the Warlord Clans. Individually, these Skaven are called Lords of Decay and make up the mightiest of their kind. Together, they set policy for Skavendom as a whole and vote on policy proposals, each member having one vote. There is one last seat, the thirteenth, which is held by the Horned Rat himself. This seat is left open and none dare to sit. However, in the case of a tie amongst the other Lords of Decay, the Horned Rat breaks the tie. This is done by consulting the Seerlord and asking him what their godís opinion on the matter is. Shockingly, the Horned Rat has yet to vote against the Seerlord.

There are a number of rules for how a clan might gain a seat on the Council. Typically, seats change hands by one clan destroying the clan that holds one of the seats on the Council. It goes to the conqueror as spoils of war. Rarely, an ambitious Warlord will challenge one of the Lords of Decay to a duel to the death for the seat. A daunting prospect, considering the cowardice of many Skaven and the ability of a powerful Council Clan to pull out all the stops to prop up their lord. Not to mention any Lord of Decay is a born survivor, having weathered many wars and assassination attempts. The third and most unusual way to gain a seat on the Council is to fill a vacant seat. Sometimes, plague, disaster, or destruction by non-Skaven will destroy a Council member. Any other clan may apply for the open position and the remaining Council members draw straws to determine who wins it. They assure everyone this method is entirely fair and never tampered with.

Now we will go over briefly each of the clans that holds a seat on the Council and who are the movers and shakers of Skaven society. We start with Clan Eshin. As noted before, Eshin vanished off into the east early in Skaven history, having returned with mastery of martial arts and ninja training that they picked up in the far east of Warhammer. They supply commandos and spies for the Council and sell these services to other clans for the right price. They also train their famed assassins, who have accumulated an impressive tally to their name, including a few actual tabletop special characters. Shockingly to other powerful Skaven clans, Eshin donít give out false information, donít betray clients, and as far as anyone can tell serve the Councilís plans loyally. Centuries of this have brought them into being the Councilís secret police. They keep the lesser clans in line through fear and never knowing when an Assassin will be sent in to correct a wayward Warlord.

Clan Moulder is the skaven clan of mad biologists. They create monsters big and small through the application of mutating warpstone tonics, radical surgery, and the occasional application of lightning and whips. Theyíre the richest Skaven clan by the commonplace selling and leasing of their warbeasts to any and all other clans in addition to the Councilís plans. From hordes of giant rats to burly rat ogres to the absolutely enormous and terrifying Hellpit Abominations, they have a monster for every situation and for every budget. Which the Master Moulders will gleefully advertise to potential customers. The Master Moulders themselves are notÖ typical Skaven due to their long and gleeful use of their mutating agents and rare bout of self-experimentation. This work though has resulted in another service that other Skaven will pay good money for: Clan Moulder supplies the best medical treatment available and can keep a Skaven living for many centuries.

Clan Pestilens is part skaven clan, part religious movement, part biological warfare lab. They are utterly devoted to the idea of the Horned Rat being a god of plague and disease and believe that the Skaven havenít taken over the world yet due to the Grey Seers. However, as their last civil wars didnít go well, theyíve settled into the position of playing along with the Council and Grey Seers. For now. In the meantime, they will bring the Good News to their fellow skaven, always trying to convert them to their faith without annoying the Grey Seers too much. When working with the Councilís plans, they supply horrific lethal and debilitating plagues to decimate their enemies, followed up by the insanely fervent and violent Plague Monks as shock troops to run over any remaining feeble opposition. They will also, with goading and annoyed sighs, cure plagues.

The final Great Clan is Clan Skryre, the machinists and physicists of Skavendom. They build and Ďmaintainí the Skaven arsenal of high tech weaponry, including their poison gas weapons, rifles, machine guns, lightning cannons, flamethrowers, giant robots, and enormous warpstone powered hamster wheels. The Warlock Engineers are also capable mages, though they do so via creating magitek devices that allow them to see the Winds of Magick and use their machinery to cast spells. Skryre engineers absolutely love their work and absolutely love being on the cutting edge of science. When combined with the lackadaisical Skaven attitude towards the safety of underlings and passerby, this tends to result in a fair number of explosions and machines that donít always work as advertised. They consider this to be the price of progress. Skryre put these weapons at the Councilís disposal, as well as sell them to other Skaven. In addition, Skryre also have built electrical power grids in some Skaven settlements, warpstone powered train routes, and magitek communication devices they call Farsqueakers. While they donít have the sheer volume of wealth that Moulder has, Skryre has the greatest accumulation of power in Skavendom and are considered the greatest of the Great Clans.

The greatest of the Warlord Clans is Clan Mors. Considered by many to almost be a Great Clan itself, it has not yet quite reached that status. It holds strategic positions and cities and possesses a formidable army of clanrats and stormvermin. However, what may be unique about it may be its key to Great Clan status. Clan Mors chieftains are loyal to their superiors and collaborate with one another to pull off previously unthinkable battle tactics. They will actively recruit the most talented Skaven of clans they defeat, train them, and give them a path to leadership. They will use any battle tactic, from poisoning to skaven wave assaults to infiltration by elite teams of Stormvermin. Clan Mors is frighteningly good at getting Skaven to work together and be adaptable and it unnerves many Skaven how happy Clan Mors skaven can be and how often they will praise Warlord Gnawdwell and his lieutenants.

The other Warlord clans are discussed in less detail, consisting of just a schtick and many handle the under Empireís logistics. Clan Flem is another clan of plague using rats, but without the religious trappings of Pestilens. They are more dispassionate about plague. Clan Skab are known for breeding the best and most Stormvermin. Clan Skaar is a clan of miners, excelling at tunneling and digging up the precious warpstone that all Skaven want. Clan Sleekit handles the Councilís naval plans and control the underground waterways that link much of the Under Empire together. Clan Verms is really good with bugs. And no one really knows what Clan Skaul does, but they love their drugs. And also tend to birth an unusual number of Grey Seer candidates.

And there, we are finally done with Chapter 3 after all this time. I kinda like the various lesser clans and kinda wish some had a little more written about them. You might get some good hooks by running into one of these lesser known clans.

Next: Skaven Settlements, going down the rat hole

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I kind of enjoy that the ninja rats' schtick is just 'we do our jobs competently and loyally, so that everyone freaks the gently caress out expecting us to betray them because Skaven cannot comprehend this.'

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




One of the ways Mors maintains their loyalty structure is though the simple expedient of the higher echelons actually bothering to check if you had a good reason for killing your superior, and giving you a public and extremely painful execution with mandatory attendance if you didn't. You don't backstab your way to the top in Mors -- unless he had it coming.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors also has Queek Head-Taker, who is known for being batshit insane since he actually enjoys 'honorable' challenges (as honorable as Skaven get anyway) and worthy foes.

He's still a spastic little rat-nazi who blames everyone but Queek when things go wrong, but he's a brave one, which is just unnatural.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Clan Eshin is a very fair and merit-based employer, in that should you find yourself in a combat role you will start at a Night Runner and then you will almost certainly die the first time you are sent out to assist on a real mission. Should you neglect to die a few times proving that either you are exceptionally lucky or maybe actually any good at this, you get to be a Gutter Runner and actually get trusted to do anything at all important. Managing to not die a lot doing THAT in turn means you're ready to be an actual Assassin.

This is also why Clan Eshin doesn't suffer so much from the general Skaven tendency of being a bit half-assed. You don't get to be in a position to do important stuff unless you have a track record of actually being any good at anything because surviving as a Night Runner for any length of time requires you to git gud and fast.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also you gotta kill enough ninjas so that you get down to one ninja, due to the law of conservation of ninjitsu. They know this.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!







Transcript:
Dear Reader,

Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse. Things were largely the same, but when I looked outside to gaze over the familiar, ash-covered, landscape, I felt a strange sense of unease. There were footprints around my house. I canít really go out to get a closer look, but I can see them coming from the surrounding forest and encircling my house like predators circling a wounded animal. I did not see anyone around, which is a small comfort. I had grown to accept my circumstances as a sort of sabbatical but now itís starting to feel like a prison with no chance of escape. Right now reading De Profundis seems to be the only thing that takes my mind off of my situation.
We seem to be approaching the end of the book, with this next section dealing with the integration of technology into the game. While purists might eschew sending messages over electronic mail, or even typing messages out on a typewriter or word processor. But there are times when sending letters becomes too burdensome (I am as incredulous as you are) or their handwriting is simply illegible, no matter how much they have practiced in their copybooks. Rather than abandoning letters entirely the book offers numerous suggestions in integrating technology into your game to varying degrees.
The first is simply using the internet as a method of transmission. One might scan a letter and send it to the recipient who would print it out and read it as if theyíd just received it in the mail. It is a bit convoluted, and might seem unnecessary, but the authors and I both believe that reading a physical copy provides a different experience than reading straight from a screen of some sort. This method is also convenient for those wishing to play with others from around the world. The postage can add up rather quickly and the difference in travel time might leave them feeling out of the loop.
The other is jumping headlong into technology, setting up emails for the characters, utilizing the internet to its fullest. It can be a wealth of information, strange videos and unnerving pictures, a veritable smorgasbord of inspirations awaiting your fingertips. Messages can be sent and received as soon as they are typed. It is a wonder of the modern world, but not without its pitfalls.

Although we advise making maximum use of the copious online material suitable for your campaign, you need to be careful not to put too much effort into the whole process of looking up stuff in the first place, material which is often contaminated with everyday life and ordinariness buttered with the kind of trashy commentary which is really offputting to a reader. You need to be careful about shifting the balance of the game to the process of collating material, and not let it dominate the subject and spoil the story. Donít let it obscure the atmosphere of your plot with a layer of online cynicism, stupidity and pointless posts by bored kids. The ratio between links to online material and written content in the letter should be set and maintained Ė the more cluttered the material we send, the more we need to take care that the clutter doesnít outstrip the story and the mood of the game.

Pacing can also become an issue as you are now moving at a much more erratic clip. You might send and receive several messages over the course of a day, and the idea that you might be conducting research or investigating a scene seem much less convenient given the days such an action might take. Instead it advises you switch to a more action oriented plot. One that relies less on having down time and more moving from one point to the next. All these things would be happening at an incredible pace compared to letters sent through the mail.
The book wraps up with several appendices. The first giving online resources for finding individuals to play with, though they have not been updated in awhile as a few are Yahoo Groups, which I do not believe are still extant. Later appendices describe methods of collaborative storytelling in person as well as possible variations of De Profundis such as fantasy adventuring or science fiction. You might also play with a rotating game master to describe the results of the players actions or have someone act as the people they meet, responding to inquiries and providing information. It ends with this conclusion.

Even in traditional RPGs, you donít play to win. But psychodrama is even less a game than a role-playing game. You donít compete, you donít solve mysteries and problems handed down by a GM, you donít follow the outline of their scenario; you donít learn a story prepared by them. Rather, we learn about the mysteries in ourselves, reach deep into our imaginations, discover our associations, our minds. Itís a little like dreaming, but youíre awake.


This game may not be for everyone but for those who enjoy writing and taking on the persona of someone else it can be an interesting and fulfilling hobby. One that you can participate in alongside all the other activities in your life.

Unfortunately I must be ending this letter rather abruptly. My typewriter is running out of ink and I no longer feel safe here. I have managed to find an old gas mask in the attic, likely belonging to one of my older relatives. I do not know if it still works but it will have to do. I have no other options at this point. I will try to contact you again if I can.

Farewell,


Unzealous



Transcript:
Ive taken shelter in a corner store, a gas station by the look of it. It's deathly quiet outside. Ash is covering everything and looks undisturbed. I haven't seen anyone. Cars seem to be abandoned in the street and covered in a thick layer of powdery ash. I haven't seen foorprints of tire tracks or any indication I'm not alone out here.
Walking is exhausting and while the mask works it leaves me out of breath almost immediately. I've helped myself to some food but it seems like a futile effort at this point. I hesitate in mentioning it but I don't think I'll have another opportunity. I feel like there's something out there, pursuing me. It's breath stirs a breeze and fills the air with the smell of brimstone and death, even through the mask. I can feel its stare boring into my back whenever I'm outside. I know it's coming.
I'm depositing this letter in a mailbox. Hopefully when all this is over, it will be found. Then maybe you, or someone else, will be able to figure out what happened here. Pray for me.

Farewell,
Unzealous

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Feinne posted:

Clan Eshin is a very fair and merit-based employer, in that should you find yourself in a combat role you will start at a Night Runner and then you will almost certainly die the first time you are sent out to assist on a real mission. Should you neglect to die a few times proving that either you are exceptionally lucky or maybe actually any good at this, you get to be a Gutter Runner and actually get trusted to do anything at all important. Managing to not die a lot doing THAT in turn means you're ready to be an actual Assassin.

This is also why Clan Eshin doesn't suffer so much from the general Skaven tendency of being a bit half-assed. You don't get to be in a position to do important stuff unless you have a track record of actually being any good at anything because surviving as a Night Runner for any length of time requires you to git gud and fast.

Alternatively, throw enough poo poo at a wall and eventually some of it will stick. Except in this case instead of poo poo it's skaven. Much the same thing, really.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




So those are two clans very well suited to play serious Paranoia-like and the rest are only good for the goofier style (ZAP!) ?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Moulder and Skyre are actually quite competent, they're just evil hypercapitalists at heart, too. Moulder especially. Planned obsolescence is an actual thing with their monsters, if I recall.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Yeah Moulder's got a bit more than planned obsolescence in mind. For one thing, all of their big mutant beasties are trained to be 100% subservient and loyal...to Clan Moulder. They sell their monsters to other clans and then wait to see if A: the Skaven they sold the monster to is now dead by the hands of the monster and they can recollect the monster or B: the monster was destroyed somehow and if they can just sell them a new one. There's always a demand for new beasts, but sometimes you can scoop up a slightly used Rat Ogre that ended up biting its old owner in half and then resell that Rat Ogre to get double the profit on a single beast.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Hostile V posted:

Yeah Moulder's got a bit more than planned obsolescence in mind. For one thing, all of their big mutant beasties are trained to be 100% subservient and loyal...to Clan Moulder. They sell their monsters to other clans and then wait to see if A: the Skaven they sold the monster to is now dead by the hands of the monster and they can recollect the monster or B: the monster was destroyed somehow and if they can just sell them a new one. There's always a demand for new beasts, but sometimes you can scoop up a slightly used Rat Ogre that ended up biting its old owner in half and then resell that Rat Ogre to get double the profit on a single beast.

And people don't notice the pattern and get incredibly suspicious?

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



MightyMatilda posted:

And people don't notice the pattern and get incredibly suspicious?

What are you going to do, go without giant monsters?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


MightyMatilda posted:

And people don't notice the pattern and get incredibly suspicious?

Everyone is suspicious of everyone at all times in the Under Empire.

At the same time, the Skaven armies need Moulder's weapons and Moulder is a huge megacorporation to the scale that a fight with Moulder would require getting a ton of other clans to work together to try to bring them to task, which is very difficult to do. Most just accept the betrayals as the cost of doing business.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Starfinger Core Rules Part #24: "Lots of considerations went into choosing the gods for [Starfinger]: how many old gods to keep vs. how many new ones to introduce, what kind of stories we wanted to tell, what gods already had a connection to space, how many alien gods vs. Pact Worlds gods, gender balance, alignment balance, an obvious god for every core race, etc."
(Credit: Rob McCreary, Starfinger Design Lead, Starfinger Reddit AMA)

James Sutter, Starfinger Creative Director, Starfinger Reddit AMA posted:

Rob makes this all sound so calm and considered, not even mentioning all the times he probably wanted to throw me out a window.
Faith and Religion

So we have a literal score of gods to cover. This isn't a full list, we're told, but only the most commonly worshipped deities. In space, nobody can hear you scream, but prayers are heard loud and clear. But why does god allow [vehicle rules] to exist?
  • Abadar: Commerce, law, and hard work and pullin' yerself up by the bootstraps. Some day he created civiliztion for us. Also he has a vault with a bunch of platonic ideals of things, which is weird, because he's not really like Plato? May as well give him the Hammer of Thor as long as you're looking for random analogues.
  • Besmara: A nautical goddess that now oversees pirates, strife, and space monsters. She is "brash, fickle, greedy, and lusty" and is generally a patron of pirates and smugglers, and apparently disdains meaningless klling. Apparently she has a ship called the Starwraith that sails around space and would be a really problematic random encounter.
  • Damoritosh: A vesk deity of conquest, obedience, and is worshipped to champion the strong over the weak and honorable surrender. He's just as generic as the vesk themselves are. Well, at least they can be like "by Damoritosh!" or something.
  • Desna: What do luck, stars, dreams, and travel have in common? Desna, I guess. She champions impulsiveness as the manic pixie dream girl of gods, and prefers worshippers avoid conflict. Apparently a lot of ships have a small shrine or idol of her and casual prayers to her are common.
  • Devourer: The Devourer embodies the destruction of the universe and "it largely ignores the pleas and prayers of even its most devout worshipers", which is no doubt why the Mystic class notes it twice as a possible patron. Some think that the Devourer will give birth to a new universe but those who worship it "know" that the Devourer will only leave behind nothingness. Why do they worship it, then? Well, I guess when life hands you lemons, you embrace generic, psychopathic nihilism.
  • Eloritu: A mysterious deity of mysteries, Eloritu's worship has migrated to the Pact Worlds from multiple extrasolar cultures. The god of magic and history, it hails from some mysterious place called Gemmenad and may have had something to do with Gap or Golarion vanishing, but it's not saying.
  • Halax: The god of the Shirrens that apparently predated them becoming the Swarm and has returned to them since then, not being in for the whole all-consuming hive-mind deal. Hylax is a god of friendship and peace, and is mainly followed by bug-people and various diplomatic sorts. Though she mainly oversees hive cultures, she prizes individuality, because... she does, shut up.
  • Ibra: Because Eloritu wasn't enough god of mysteries, let's have another! Well, this is the god of cosmic mysteries, or something. Sure. It has mysterious origins and tries to encourage astronomy and science. It's pretty redundant, basically being the science-flavored Eloritu.
  • Iomedae: A mortal human who ascended to become a god... somehow, and is the goddess of humanity with a paladin's thematics, all about honor and swording and goodery. Oversees the Knights of Golarion, and is really... I can't just keep calling these gods generic, let's see the thesaurus... derivative? We'll go with derivative.
  • Lao Shu Po: A rat who apparently ate part of a dead god, it then became a rat-god of the night!... and then became the rat-god of sneaky, merciless sorts and Han shooting first. She's apparently a patron of the Ysoki, but most just pray to avoid her notice. Her followers are often persecuted for obvious reasons, those reason being "We like to stab." and "Yes, that includes you." Slightly curious that the only obviously Asian organization is criminal and the only obviously Asian-named god is also a patron of criminals. Not that I'm saying anything. Wait, poo poo, I just said it. Also, "Ning", I've got my eye on you.
  • Nyarlathotep: Meh.
  • Oras: A god of evolution in the scientific sense, this is mainly a god for biologists and druids. It doesn't any personality beyond "evolution is good for life". I guess evolution was just a religion all along...
  • Pharasma: A goddess of birth, death, and fate, Pharasma assigns you to your death bin and apparently knows if you've been bad or good. She's fine with resurrection spells, but not so much with undeath. Apparently every culture has some worship of her which I guess makes her the biggest deal, god-wise.
  • Saranae: Generic sun healing god wait no poo poo not generic, I mean iconic.
  • Talavet: God of the kasathas that champions tradition with a storytelling theme on the side. She's about both community and self-reliance which seems kind of contradictory, but whatever. Also she has a feud with Nyarlathotep because apparently the gnarliest of the Hoteps tells evil stories. Sure, whatever.
  • Triune: A fusion of Brigh (goddess of clockwork and invention), Epoch (an AI god created by Aballon), and Casandalee (an android "Iron God"?), Triune oversees computers, robots, and the Drift. Mostly been covered previously.
  • Urgathoa: A god of disease and undeath and breaking taboos. She sounds a lot like the god of teenagers in black t-shirts saying gently caress you, dad or mom which sounds rad but I guess she's evil because undeath and corruption of the natural order and one of these deities was almost interesting for a moment and they they got boring. gently caress you, mom or dad!
  • Weydan: A god of equality and exploration, Weydan often takes mortal form to to explore the universe as avatars, and "believes in every sentient species' right to freedom" which I'm pretty sure was Optimus Prime's line. Apparently this puts him at odds with Abadar who is suddenly oppressive now. Oookay. He's a god of rebels and the Starfinger Society and stuff like that.
  • Yaraesa: A lanshuntan scientist who ascended to a god of knowledge and scienc, and rejects faith - that is, she apparently grants spells in "consistent and predictable ways that can be taught like a science" but does not make clear what that could be. Well, at least she lets you have atheist priests but not atheists actually. Ultimately, though, I'm pretty tired of reading about gods with personalities that are "yep, they like their portfolio".
  • Zon-Kuton: Evil sadistic god of darkness and pain and slavery and torture and more pain and loss and envy and also pain. But it's okay. He has a medical condition, apparently.
Oh, thank gently caress I'm done- wait, no, there are more. gently caress it. Agradd is a dwarf god of dwarf poo poo, Arshea is a gently caress god of gently caress loving, Asmodeus is a ripoff god of gently caress you D&D, Black Butterfly is a nice god of loving darkness, Calistria is a trickster god of loving elves, Eldest are ruler gods of loving faeries, Groetus is a skull god of the loving apocalypse, Lamashtu is a mother god of loving monsters, and Lissala is an Azlanti god of loving tyrants. These are gods 21-29 and I've had enough.

Also gently caress you, Azathoth, gently caress you, Shub-Niggurath, and gently caress you, Yog-Sothoth, I know you work for the loving exposure and I'm stick of your loving public domain asses, get out of my loving sight. This is all I can think of when I see you.

And that- wait, that's not all? We also have "philosophies", gently caress. Faiths 33-38. Fuuuuck. The Cycle are fortune cookie Jedis, the Green Faith is generi- er, fortune cookie nature worship, the Prophecies of Kalistrade are a wealth through ritual purity cult, Sangpotshi is... fortune cookie Buddhism, Singularitism is belief in a technological Singularity, and the Song of Silence is "becoming a lich is rad, let's do that."

In case you were wondering what the Solarians' faith is, herrre it is.

Starfinger Core Rules posted:

Introduced to the Pact Worlds by the kasathas, the philosophy of the solarians teaches that existence is an endless cycle. Stars are born, die, and are born again, alternately bringing life to the universe and destroying it. The balance of the cosmos rests on the Cycle, and it connects everything in the universe.

Did those words actually mean anything? I can't even loving tell anymore.

Yeah, I know, I know. Most of the Golarion gods weren't made to be special snowflakes. They were made to be typical fantasy fill-ins and just be comfortable little slots for your Clerics or Mystics to swear by while casting spells, but boy, does it make for a boring read. It's also not actually that useful compared to factions or locations unless you're doing a tour of the religious practices of the setting, and even then 38 faiths is too loving much. Granted, I may be worn a bit thin. Book's almost done. Let's, uh, finish the loving book.



Threats

Villain stuff. Do we get useable statblocks to go with the descriptions? Haha! Not in this loving book!
  • The Aspis Constortium: Remember the Weyland-Yutani Corporation from Aliens? Let's get it out of the way: these guys are aspholes. There, done. So, this is basically the rival to the Starfinger Society that goes around being imperialist dicks, exploiting or exterminating native cultures, and hanging around with criminals but never quite getting arrested. They're like the bad guys from Avatar, too. The one with the aliens, not the benders? I'm pretty sure like that one. I've never seen it. They're pretty much every bad space corporation ever.
  • Azlanti Star Empire: Remember the Empire from Star Wars? This is made up of eeevil humans who gun down Pact World representatives because they bad and conquer stuff but haven't conquered the Pact Worlds even though they're several times its size because... um... also they're human supremacists (specifically, Azlanti supremacists) and they're space Nazis, or the First Order, or the Empire.
  • Cult of the Devourer: Remember the Reavers from Serenity? Starfinger does too, so they throw them in, but forgot to give them an origin story. "Let's worship the apocalypse and take the bad drugs and drive spikes into our skulls because it's Sunday and there's nothing else to do!"
  • Dominion of the Black: Remember the Shadows from Babylon 5? Yeah, these are mystery biologically-themed, ancient, evil monsters who have names like "The-Whispers-of-the-Void-Have-Eyes". I guess we're are actually supposed to take them seriously and not conclude they're just space fourteen-year old teens who just discovered L'Oreal's Feria in Blue Black.
  • The Swarm: Remember the bugs from Starship Troopers? These are evil conquering interstellar bugs that expand and devour because they tried it once and got hooked. The shirren are a "freak mutation" that broke off from them.
  • The Hidden: Remember the colonists from The X-Files? These are evil greys and shapeshifters that may be hiding amongst people and they've been visiting since even before the Gap and the government censors stuff about them because shut up they do.



Next: A path back home.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 16:51 on Oct 22, 2017

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



MightyMatilda posted:

And people don't notice the pattern and get incredibly suspicious?

Oh like you donít just scroll to the bottom of the EULA and click accept.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Goddamn do I hate D&D Gods.

If they're going to be that incredibly dull, just make them a genuine blank slate of 'insert whatevs'.

Also do they still do the thing where despite living in a polytheistic society where all the Gods are pretty obviously real and grant powers for sacrifice and worship people all pick one God and then are super devoted to that one God as if all the other Gods were their enemies, exactly the way polytheism never, ever worked?

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:17 on Oct 22, 2017

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Chomsky Boi

My friend have you heard the good news of Glorantha!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Josef bugman posted:

My friend have you heard the good news of Glorantha!

Yes, I have. It is one of my favorite parts about Glorantha. Part of why Glorantha's gods are so much better is because it's written by an anthropologist. You know, someone with training in how religion and society interact and how myth structures itself.

It's also sort of conflicted in Hams. The Tome of Salvation and Core Book 'get' it. The priests of an individual god are portrayed as specialists in the rites of that specific God, which require a great deal of training to do properly. These thus provide that God's blessings and favor to the community, to the benefit of all. At the same time, a Priestess of Shallya will still show respect to a shrine of Morr (and not just because he's her dad) or Sigmar, because those are still Gods (and not enemy Gods/evil spirits).

Then sometimes they forget that and we get the 1000th Sigmar-Ulric slapfight. Some degree of this is fine, mind you. The cults are very politically powerful, very large, and the Gods are not nearly as hands-on as D&D Gods. There's going to be friction. But it gets a little much in some of the non-Core, non-ToS books.

E: I mean gently caress, I'm mad about religion on the internet because real religion is so much more interesting. Let's take the religious traditions I studied for years: The Gospels are 4 different versions of the same foundational story told by different writers to different audiences with a different theological meaning at different times. And those were all made canon to the faith by its own council centuries later. Or the Book of Genesis and how it has two different accounts of the Creation right after one another because they both got at different aspects of what was important about the story. Real myth/religion is really open to being messy and it is way better for it!

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:39 on Oct 22, 2017

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Night10194 posted:

Everyone is suspicious of everyone at all times in the Under Empire.

At the same time, the Skaven armies need Moulder's weapons and Moulder is a huge megacorporation to the scale that a fight with Moulder would require getting a ton of other clans to work together to try to bring them to task, which is very difficult to do. Most just accept the betrayals as the cost of doing business.
That and it's not like the Skaven who is high up enough in ranks to have the money and sway to buy a pet monster is going to be the one taking care of said monster. Rat Ogres and other abominations have handlers because they're generally too dense to do anything but stare at the wall and drool or fly into a berserker rage. Handlers poke the monsters to get them to do what the armies or bosses want them to do. A lot of Handlers die when the monster is fed up with getting poked by a non-Moulder. It's common Skaven practices to assign the Skaven you hate and might be the most likely to betray you to handler duty and just let nature take its course.

So yeah they know about that glaring oversight in the monster education process and they need monsters. In true Skaven fashion, the solution for the issue is "okay so how do I set this up so I'm not the one in eminent danger of this problem?"

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Night10194 posted:

Goddamn do I hate D&D Gods.

If they're going to be that incredibly dull, just make them a genuine blank slate of 'insert whatevs'.

Also do they still do the thing where despite living in a polytheistic society where all the Gods are pretty obviously real and grant powers for sacrifice and worship people all pick one God and then are super devoted to that one God as if all the other Gods were their enemies, exactly the way polytheism never, ever worked?

On the other hand, the major sects of Hinduism are based on which god worshipers should focus most of their devotion to. Granted, Hindus believe that all gods are simply manifestations of the one Godhead, something which does not seem to be the case in Dungeons and Dragons, sooo...

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


MightyMatilda posted:

On the other hand, the major sects of Hinduism are based on which god worshipers should focus most of their devotion to. Granted, Hindus believe that all gods are simply manifestations of the one Godhead, something which does not seem to be the case in Dungeons and Dragons, sooo...

But they're still based on acknowledging the other Gods exist and are Gods, if I understand correctly (my experience with Hinduism is much more limited than Judaism or Christianity, I admit). D&D's polytheism always feels like polytheism written by a lapsed catholic who imagines polytheistic religions as multiple angry Christian sects shooting at each other.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Night10194 posted:

Goddamn do I hate D&D Gods.

4e got rid of the gods of farming or basketweaving or whatever because who cares in a D&D, and people got pissy about that

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Hostile V posted:

That and it's not like the Skaven who is high up enough in ranks to have the money and sway to buy a pet monster is going to be the one taking care of said monster. Rat Ogres and other abominations have handlers because they're generally too dense to do anything but stare at the wall and drool or fly into a berserker rage. Handlers poke the monsters to get them to do what the armies or bosses want them to do. A lot of Handlers die when the monster is fed up with getting poked by a non-Moulder. It's common Skaven practices to assign the Skaven you hate and might be the most likely to betray you to handler duty and just let nature take its course.

So yeah they know about that glaring oversight in the monster education process and they need monsters. In true Skaven fashion, the solution for the issue is "okay so how do I set this up so I'm not the one in eminent danger of this problem?"

It should also be said that taking stupid risks that will pay off insanely or end horribly is the Skaven way.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I forgot faiths #33-#38 so I edited them in. I don't think anybody can really blame for losing track when a game effectively has nearly 40 religions, tho.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

The lich cult being called "The Song of Silence" just makes me think more liches should be bards and skalds and I am honestly okay with heavy metal viking liches.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Part of my problem with Pathfinder in general, and Starfinder *especially*, is...what ideas is it trying to communicate? It feels so utterly joyless, like no-one involved was doing anything but trying to produce something that would keep a supplement treadmill going in a new direction.

Which it is. That's it, that's the point.

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