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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Inescapable Duck posted:

Random dumbasses who struggle at basic tasks sounds like an accidentally awesome concept for a sitcom RPG. The average party is more Always Sunny than A-Team anyway.

Been a while since I hauled out The Duckman RPG.

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DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


I'm interested to find out the phlogiston fire rules. It seems like ship to ship combat is going to get destructive.

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!


Why had I never heard about the Bardic Helms before? And for that matter, WHY WOULD ANYONE USE ANYTHING ELSE? The option is letting the nerd or the preacher pilot... or just blazing it through space at max speed listening to heavy metal. Pretty obvious.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I doubt metal is known in many of the settings, so you get to listen to the bard play his harp and wax lyrical about brave Sir Robin, love, fair maidens, valor, all the fair maidens he hosed, etc..

I wonder if you can isolate the helm from the ship.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JcDent posted:

I doubt metal is known in many of the settings, so you get to listen to the bard play his harp and wax lyrical about brave Sir Robin, love, fair maidens, valor, all the fair maidens he hosed, etc..

I wonder if you can isolate the helm from the ship.

This is Spelljammer. Visit the planet of metal and have at it.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Spell-Jammer plus Brutal Legend.

Conquering space with the power of metal.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

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

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Inescapable Duck posted:

Super Mario Galaxy worlds are valid settings for Spelljammer, I imagine. Hell, that's how I picture the 4e Elemental Chaos.

Both 4e's Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos have a lot of Spelljammer influence. I do want to try running an Epic game someday...

Barudak
May 7, 2007





Last Exodus the Interactive Story Arc of the Third and Last Dance is a roleplaying game from Synister Creative Systems published in 2001 and designed Sean and Joshua Jaffe. It’s a metaplot heavy, playing card deck using, religious themed urban grunge game. Unless I am otherwise notified it appears to be completely out of print with no digital versions available. Should this be incorrect I will update to include where it can be bought to give the original developers income.

Part 13: It Takes 5 Nuclear Bombs to Blow Up a Motorcycle, or Possibly Just One Rock

Two pages of rules down, four to go.

With the resolution system undercooked and the difficulty challenges way too high, it is time to start talking about combat which works even less correctly. There’s honestly so much wrong I’m just going to start this section with a list of things I don’t have time to get bogged down in discussing so we can talk about the really juicy stupid things.
  • Remember how it said we could use magic on Earth if we have the appropriate skill? It flat out says the opposite here so figure out which section of the game is right.
  • You defend against a type of magic in combat with the same skill. A caster according to the rules has to have at minimum six points invested between a stat and skill to cast the most basic spell, which is already tough unless you’re also a caster, but more likely to get the maximum benefit out of casting they invested every point available into it so good luck beating between an eighteen and thirty two point challenge not including the draw the caster gets on the attack.
  • Every single combat action is based on either the Physical stat or the Mental stat. Did you think you’d help the team out by helping pass the insanely high difficulty checks for the Culture stat? TLE hopes you like dying a lot
  • A ranged attack can be blocked by the defenders choice of the melee attack stats, as ranged attack stats can never be used to defend. You may note this means that a melee attacker will always be able defend extremely well against ranged attacks and 1/3rd of all melee attacks while a ranged attacker can defend well from exactly no types of attacks.
  • Does it surprise you there are no movement rules or what ranged means or aggro mechanics, so in the above example the ranged guy is absolutely going to die the second combat starts?
  • The NPCs in the back of the book use a different formula for calculating their health than the rules presented here which means that, officially, every single part of the NPC's stat block disagrees with the rules of the game.
  • There is no time frame for actions in combat. Does it take six seconds to shoot a gun or six hours? Who knows! It may not sound important, but the time between “dying” and “dead” is measured in minutes.
  • There are no rules for doing anything in combat except making attacks/using magic. If you want to say use a miracle, move, use an item, grab something, swap weapons, make a check, investigate, etc. etc. etc. you can’t.
  • All attacks have to be lethal damage unless you use a TASER which can only stun, with stun not being a defined term anywhere in the rules
  • In fact There are no rules for any status conditions. The game has abilities, powers, and attacks that inflict things like stunned, poisoned, and weakened. but not a single one of them means anything so none of those abilities do anything.


I’m not gonna bother pointing out all the things she has on her that have no rules in game because this update is long enough already
Art By: Rob Liefeld Clayton Graham

So we established earlier that every check, and you’ll be doing a lot of them, requires you to draw at least one, and more than 10% of the time at least two cards. As if taking it as a challenge to bog the game down as much as possible every single attack is actually an opposed check. The attacker has their draw, the defender has their draw. The rules seem to, but don’t always so hell if I know, take for granted an infinitely deep deck for both sides of the draw, so for a combat between four players and four enemies, have fun shuffling the deck a minimum of sixteen times for a single round of combat.

Now, despite every single attack being a contest between the defender and the attacker, the game doesn’t say what happens if a defender gets a higher result than an attacker.

I’ll repeat, the game explains how defending works with regards to what skills you use to do so, but doesn’t tell us what happens if the defender beats the attackers total. Not only that, we can’t assume the attack just misses because the very next section on damage implies that some outcomes of defending are that the defender takes partial damage but there aren’t any rules for that. An extra maddening layer is in the example of play section one player fails to defend and another succeeds but the players agree they’ll figure out the damage later and then the dialog ends with no resolution. It’s like an entire section of the rules isn’t just missing, but purposefully excised like it walked along the riverfront with Stalin.

Fine, if every single round we’re going to get hit by an attack because defending doesn’t work, how does our health work? TLE decided that health had to be as absolutely confusing as possible and you have three separate health tracks that overflow into each other. MAX health is your Physical stat score, MOD health is your MAX*10, and MIN health is your MOD*20. A character with a single point in the Physical stat would therefore have health tiers of 1 MAX, 10 MOD, and 200 MIN. Weapons deal damage in the same tiering, MAX/MIN/MOD, and damage from a higher tier bypasses all lower health tiers and deals it directly to its tier; i.e. a MOD weapon deals no damage to MIN and takes directly from the MOD health track. When a character runs out of health in a tier all subsequent damage of that tier gets bumped up to the next level; i.e. if our example character took 200 MIN damage, and got hit for 10 more MIN damage they would instead take 10 MOD damage.

Of course with these basic rules established, TLE’s health system begins to collapse in on itself like a college communists club. First and foremost, you may notice characters have an obscene amount of MIN health compared to MOD or MAX. Min weapons don’t deal any larger numbers of MIN damage than MOD weapons do MOD damage. The most powerful MIN weapon is “Cue Ball in a Sock” and deals 35 MIN. The weakest MOD weapon is “a pipe” and it deals 10 MOD. One of these takes six turns to knock out our example character with the minimum health they can have and the other one takes only one turn.

Healing of course has the exact same issue as damage on weapons. You heal ½ MAX, 10 MOD, and 20 MIN a day at the peak of health regen while on Eden. It therefore take 10 days for our example character with one point in Physical to get all their MIN back, and Ahura Mazda help them* if they had sixteen total physical and needed to heal the full 3,200 MIN they need to faff about for 160 days. The only healing spell that can restore MIN maxes out at healing 10 MIN.

TLETISAOTTALD


It’s like a dude from accounting wanted to break his spine while posing with nerf guns
Art By: Peter Johnson

We’re not done yet, health gets even stupider when we look at what happens when a health tier depletes. If you run out of MIN health, you’re knocked unconscious and need medical attention. If you run out of MOD health, you’re unconscious, need medical attention and every hour you lose a point of MAX health. If you run out of MAX health you stop breathing after a number of minutes equal to your Physical stat.

That’s right, attacking MIN health is a complete suckers game and provides no benefit whatsoever that targeting the way easier to hurt MOD health wouldn’t and doesn’t put you on the death spiral track that losing your MOD or MAX health would. Your party will be decked out likely in MOD weapons, since MAX weapons are a little rarer as they are almost all universally strapped to vehicles and the two handheld MAX weapons have actual defined drawbacks. Unfortunately for everyone’s survivability the MAX weapons strapped to vehicles start at 30 MAX damage and most are described as hitting multiple people with a single shot so in theory they can kill the entire group of PCs in one attack.

Notice how the previous sentence said “in theory”? There are no definitions for the terms “unconscious” or “stop breathing” or “die” or “dead”. Like all other status effects that do nothing in this game, as far as TLE is concerned losing all your MAX health does nothing, and you can happily keep fighting forever.

Let’s assume now, for the sake of the rest of this stupid game, that the rules work as it seems they’re intended; running out of MIN or MOD health puts you at the complete mercy of other conscious players or enemies as you can no longer take any actions, and being out of MAX means you’re dead and your Soul goes to Eden or, if you died while on Eden, you’re dead forever and you need to make a new character.

With these sensible rules in place, the game is about to make combat in this game insanely deadly beyond just vehicle weapons exploding the party like a gore pinata. When you hit someone successfully with an Earth weapon regardless of what realm you’re in they have to draw a card, and funnily enough every weapon in the game except two that are buried in the appendix and not with the rest of the weapons in this section are Earth weapons. If the card drawn after dealing damage with an Earth weapon is a king, the recipient of the damage takes damage of one tier lower** than the weapon normally deals. A hand cannon, for example, normally deals 20 MOD would only deal 20 MIN on a drawn king. Conversely, if the drawn card is a joker, which reminder will get drawn a little under 4% of the time, the tier of the damage goes up one level, so our hand cannon would suddenly deal 20 MAX. You may now start to remember that the absolute highest possible Physical Stat is investing all sixteen of your stat points at character creation into Spiritual and Physical, gives you a combined 16 MAX health only while in Eden.


This is going to happen a lot
Art By: Peter Johnson

After watching our scion die instantly every 26 rounds or so in on foot combat, and instantly against a vehicle, maybe we want a little more protection and start eyeing some armor. Congratulations, armor only gives you extra health and only MOD or MIN and not both, so a joker elevating damage will still instantly murder you. To highlight just how badly thought out this game is consider the following: There is a box on the page with combat rules that show all four armors available in the game. You’d think the one that gives you an additional 30 MIN health would be thing they obviously didn’t think through but then you see that two of the armors give you 20 MOD health, but one has a penalty to wearing and the other doesn’t. That’s literally the only difference between them. TLE created two different kinds of trap items on a list of four things

Fine, if armor won’t save us, lets look at vehicles and hope they’ll protect us. Vehicles get one (1) paragraph of rules and you’re about to be blown away by the amount of issues they pack into a paragraph. First, vehicles have a stat Speed which isn’t a fixed or even defined speed, instead it’s just a number relative between a Bicylce at 1 and a Spaceship at 20. The idiocy of this system for speed is compounded when you remember the game has no rules for movement. Second, vehicles have a stat called “Handling” which while it functions logically as a flat bonus to piloting checks, the vehicle list has oddities like a civilian helicopter having handling 1 but a military helicopter having handling 0. Third, last, and most egregious, vehicles have a Body stat which is, and I quote, “how many hits a vehicle can take before being destroyed”.

I’m pretty sure they meant “damage”. We’re all pretty sure they meant “damage”. But that’s not what they wrote so let’s treat this section RAW. A nuclear bomb’s damage is listed on the damage table as “enough” which, again, isn’t defined so it technically does nothing, but I’ll assume it means it deals whatever it hits total amount of health as damage. Vehicles don’t have health though, they have hits. A nuclear bomb isn’t listed as hitting multiple times, just hitting multiple things. Thus, to destroy a motorcycle with its Body score of 5, it would take five nuclear bombs before the motorcycle was no longer operable. Conversely, since the damage of the weapon is irrelevant, you could take it out by throwing a handful of small rocks at it.

I’m sure you’re now yelling at me, “be reasonable, monsieur Barudak, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they meant that sentence to read damage not hits.” Fine, but this doesn’t make our problems with vehicles any less ridiculous. See, the game doesn’t note any resistance to damage inherent to vehicles and remember, damage goes up to the next tier if you don’t have any health left in the tier below. With this interpretation, suddenly hitting a car with a tiny rock wrecks a car with enough leftover to destroy a motorcycle, and one hit from a cue ball in a sock causes the immediate, catastrophic destruction of a commercial airliner.


His sword is literally longer than the paragraph for the vehicle rules
Art By: Clayton Graham

So now that combat between two people is a game of rocket tag and combat between two vehicles is either a long, grinding stalemate between people throwing rocks at each other from their vehicles or a swift, explosive orgy of violence between two people in vehicles throwing rocks at each other, the game provides two narrative examples of combat. These examples provide absolutely no useful information or help interpreting the rules, except making it painfully clear TLE expects combat to take a really, really, really long time to resolve with checks at every opportunity to have checks including “successfully crouching behind a dumpster.” They also contain a plethora of godawful jokes like “He’s down like a White House intern in the late 90’s” and terrible references like “I’m gonna try and trap the spook in a Pokey-Ball”. I did double check and no, Jay Leno*** is not a listed writer for this game.

We’re nearly at the end of the six pages of rules but a sever bout of layout whiplash, the next section following the examples of play is a brief summary of how players can create their own religion. This has no bearing on how the game is played and is primarily more setting fluff shoved into two paragraphs which are then chased immediately by how to dole out experience points in game.

TLE, as it turns out, has no fixed XP scheme or rules, and it’s purely up to the Director to determine when they are awarded. The game provides examples of what actions are worthy to get specific benefits, but most of them are fairly in depth character moments like “Gain some form of self-actualization” or “take steps to personal change”. I don’t think things like that are going to happen more than once or twice an entire campaign so I hope you maximized your stat points at character creation. In the truest TLE fashion one of the lists of examples of play to earn benefits is for things you can do reliably like “entertaining people” and “roleplay well” except this is the one list they forgot to include any rewards for

TLETISAOTTALD

Next time: Not One But Two Lists of Influences on This Game

*They won’t do anything, they don’t care
**There are no rules on what happens if you draw a king on a MIN weapon so I dunno, maybe it heals you?
***#thisjokeisitselfjustasdated

Barudak fucked around with this message at 01:49 on Nov 5, 2017

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk






Chapter 5: The History of the World - When You Think About It, Scientists Are The Real Super Heroes




1800 CE - Our ever-expanding universe pushes our solar system through a steadily increasing tide of dark matter. Psychic powers start to manifest more frequently in human beings, more and varied types of Strangers start to emerge from doorways that had long lay dormant, and supernatural conspiracies of all shapes and sizes start to take form as different groups notice something has changed and attempt to capitalize on said change.



IIIIIIITTTTTTT'S MOTHERFUCKING TESLA TIME BITCHES! *sick guitar riff*


1856 to 1943 CE - Nikolai Tesla is born and moves to the United States and becomes the platonic ideal of the Mad Scientist to nerdy science bitches everywhere. He makes friends with Samuel Clemens (although the book says he befriended Mark Twain, so either the writers are boors or they're actually implying he befriended a fictional character) and develops over 700 patents. His mad science experiments are the cause of the Tunguska explosion in Siberia in 1908 [how?] and he's so good at science that several different Strangers (notably, the Greys) start visiting him frequently to study under him because he's such a loving badass scientist that even a species that mastered intergalactic travel 6,000 years before the birth of Christ are still amazed by his inventions. It's strongly implied that he's a time-traveler from the future [citation needed] and that he's on some sort of Terminator-style mission where he's come back to the past to prevent a future tragedy between human beings and the Heavenly Host, but time travel is maybe the single worst premise you can introduce into a work of fiction, so fortunately this plot point goes completely unexplored after the paragraph that mentions it.

Anyway, he also dies alone and penniless and the FBI confiscates 99% of his inventions before anyone else can swipe them (the stuff they don't get was whatever happened to be loaned out to someone else when Tesla died). Despite the fact that it's stated that the FBI acquires technology like gravitic motors, wireless power transfer stations, and weaponized lightning rifles, none of this technology is evidently ever put into use or reverse engineered because (at this point) the Dark*Matter timeline does not significantly diverge from actual Earth history. So, another plot point that could have completely re-defined the 199X U.S. setting gets ignored immediately after it's brought up.


1916 CE - A Grey named Nakami (that had worked as a lab assistant for Tesla) hears about the Battle of the Somme in France and begins to obsessively follow every news dispatch about the conflict. The death toll is significant - it's estimated some 200k French, 420k English, and 500k German soldiers are all slaughtered over the course of a pointless conflict that has no decisive winner. This senseless human butchery indicates to Nakami that human beings still haven't progressed out of our primal hunter/gather phase, complete with pointlessly vicious turf wars. Nakami invokes the Grey Being's Burden and decides that only the Greys are capable of tempering the inherent human violence and hostility with wisdom and reason. His real fear is that, based on the scientific progress achieved by Tesla and others, it won't be the end of the century before human beings are capable of intergalactic spaceflight, and he doesn't want our bloodthirsty wars of conquest to spread like a plague across the universe.



Reinforcing Nakami's preconception about humans being little more than hairless, bloodthirsty apes.


1917 CE - Nakami gathers a couple like-minded Greys and forms the Institute for Advancement of Man in New York City. Within six months the Institute is almost completely bankrupt; it turns out that a bunch of Greys-in-human-suits aren't very good at soliciting charitable contributions and funding from the white, Anglo-Saxon upper crust of New York's elite. Just before the Greys all have to gently caress off back to their mother-ship in ignominy, a wealthy war profiteer by the name of Tomas Friedrich Hoffman approaches the Institute and explains that he is aware that Nakami was one of Tesla's proteges and is willing to finance their entire endeavor as long as Nakami and the other Greys agree to add specific types of scientific research to the Institute's stated goals of charitable works and political lobbying. Mr. Hoffman wants the Institute to apply their knowledge learned from Tesla's lab towards applied research in astrophysics, Egyptology, and spiritualism. Basically, Mr. Hoffman is the wealthy benefactor that turns the Hoffman Institute into the X-Files. Out of options, Nakami and the rest of the Greys agree and add Mr. Hoffman to the board of directors, and the Hoffman Institute for Advancement of Humanity is born!



Unconvincingly photoshopped images are my favorite kind of art in 90's TTRPGs.


1930 CE - The Hoffman Institute (HI) faces its first real encounter with other Strangers, and it does not go well. The City of New York notices that a series of natural gas and electrical lines are getting tapped and the flow of service diverted, but the utility department can't pinpoint the exact location of the tap, nor where the flow is being redirected. HI gets hired to investigate because of their supposed expertise in engineering, and the fact that they were the lowest bidder for the contract. Nakami accompanies a group of 19 other scientists and explorers, along with a retired Captain from the U.S. Marine Corps. Deep in the subway tunnels beneath New York, HI is able to locate the source of the line taps, and follows them back to their source - a rather large Kinori warren. The Kinori react defensively - after all, HI just stumbled into their territory with flashlights and shotguns and dynamite - and the HI team responds with overwhelming force. All told, the HI team suffers no casualties and eliminates all 100 adult Kinori at the site. Within the warren is over 1,000 Kinori eggs in various states of incubation; at Nakami's order, only a few are taken for scientific research and study, while the remaining eggs are all destroyed with the dynamite HI brought along for the job. Pretty loving grisly, all things told, because the Kinori had not actually posed any kind of hostile threat to the citizens of New York, and Nakami didn't even bother trying to solve the problem diplomatically. Looks like Nakami still held a several-millennia-long grudge for Atlantis!

Anyway, Nakami is so freaked out about finding a hidden Kinori warren under New York, he redirects a non-trivial portion of HI resources into researching Kinori biology from the sample eggs that were recovered. This also marks a turning point for the type of operations HI actively pursues; going forward, HI takes on a much more paramilitary bent.


1939 to 1945 CE - World War 2 happens. Surprisingly, Dark*Matter doesn't do much to integrate the actions of Strangers with the atrocities committed by all sides. It gives credit to the Thule Society for inspiring the occult wing of the Nazi party, culminating the creation of the Order of the Death's Head, but the book basically glosses over the entirety of World War 2 until the end, with the race between the burgeoning CIA and the KGB to absorb as many Nazi scientists as possible. The book touches on the fabled Odessa plan of Hiter's right-hand-man Martin Bormann, and insinuates that there are likely unaccounted Nazi relics and heirlooms and occult tomes that got secreted away to South America before the U.S. and the Russians could scalp all of them. Supposedly, the surviving members of the Thule Society and their descendants also have attained high-ranking positions within the executive branch of multiple South American countries; however, this is another lead that will never be referenced again.

In one final, parting shot of "the gently caress you say?" it's revealed that the Adolf Hitler that died in the bunker with Ava Braun was just a life model decoy simulacra provided via an occult pact with supernatural forces, and the real Adolf Hitler was secreted away via U-boats to an undisclosed Nazi base in Anartica. There, the Nazis perfected their Saturn V rocket technology to achieve a rocket capable of interplanetary travel, and all of the Nazi old-guard have since vacated Earth to start a nation of Aryan Ubermensch on Mars.

That's right, Adolf Hitler absconded to Antarctica to launch a Nazi colony on Mars. This is peak "metaplot that players will never use" because, surprise surprise, this is another plot thread that goes nowhere!


NEXT TIME: The end of Chapter 5; but let's be honest, nothing is going to top "an ageless Adolf Hitler is the Fuhrer of an interplanetary Nazi regime".

Freaking Crumbum fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Nov 5, 2017

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

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Spycraft 2.0 and Fantasy Craft use a point-based system where you construct an NPC using points, including special abilities and "grades" instead of traits, and it's completely divorced from PC character generation.

Terratina posted:

So basically, from experience here, you shove the NPC stats into a convertor then print them off only to realise too late that the health calculation is wrong - think it always assumes max threat (read: adventure) level and your poor party is stuck with an OP boss that won't die.

thelazyblank posted:

Will I call it perfect? No. But it's actually pretty good, especially when stacked against the rest of 3.5.

Thank you for the responses! I was faintly familiar of FantasyCraft doing it this way, but didn't realize that Spycraft did it like this also. I do want to sit down and go through the whole book someday.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



The Tunguska Event being related to Nikola Tesla is a pretty common crazy person thing.

See this extremely poorly laid out website where all the font is bold for no reason more details

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth


also used as a plot in Atomic Robo: The Shadow out of Time!

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




theironjef posted:

Been a while since I hauled out The Duckman RPG.

Yet another wonderful game that I'll never play. I'd probably use it for Sam and Max.

The Lemondrop Dandy
Jun 7, 2007

If my memory serves me correctly...




Wedge Regret

TLE's rules are (1) barely a first draft in doneness, and (2) clearly unplaytested.

Carados
Jan 27, 2009

We're a couple, when our bodies double.


The Lemondrop Dandy posted:

TLE's rules are (1) barely a first draft in doneness, and (2) clearly unplaytested.

Uniquely the setting gives you an in-universe way to go and play a better game.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Actually, the Jock class can basically be Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Barudak posted:



Last Exodus the Interactive Story Arc of the Third and Last Dance is a roleplaying game from Synister Creative Systems published in 2001 and designed Sean and Joshua Jaffe. It’s a metaplot heavy, playing card deck using, religious themed urban grunge game. Unless I am otherwise notified it appears to be completely out of print with no digital versions available. Should this be incorrect I will update to include where it can be bought to give the original developers income.

Part 13: It Takes 5 Nuclear Bombs to Blow Up a Motorcycle, or Possibly Just One Rock

Oh man it's always hilarious when combat rules have a "undefined result, crash to desktop" in the attack resolution. :allears:

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Barudak posted:


I’m not gonna bother pointing out all the things she has on her that have no rules in game because this update is long enough already
Art By: Rob Liefeld Clayton Graham

Aw poo poo, is I AM SAD Goblins trying to branch out into sci-fi?

Also, cue ball in sock seems like an example they came up with to be painfully edgy.

ED: So I take a look at the SOTDL and I get a sneaking suspicion just by looking at the cover.

And yep, this page is from that book! Glad to see that it's plainly spelled out to be "magic for the biggest of assholes" in the book, tho.

JcDent fucked around with this message at 07:18 on Nov 5, 2017

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007




All this sad, furious nerdwanking over Tesla and they still can’t get his first name right. :allears:

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Barudak posted:

Conversely, since the damage of the weapon is irrelevant, you could take it [a motorcycle] out by throwing a handful of small rocks at it.
Accurate.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



theironjef posted:

Been a while since I hauled out The Duckman RPG.

When can we expect the Duckjammers supplement?

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Suddenly and with no reason, you are attacked by a swarm of

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 19: The Deck of Hitchcock Movies and Supervillains

112: Birds of a Feather

This can happen anywhere, but ideally when the PCs are out in the open but have access to cover within running distance.
Sometime when the PCs are out in the open…. a swarm of three hundred sparrows! They swoop in to peck them to death, gain altitude, then come back for another go. 1d12 damage (save vs petrification for ½ damage) for three rounds until the PCs reach cover. Or, if they throw themselves flat on the ground and crawl, 1d4 damage for 8 rounds. (For reference, that’s 20 base damage instead of 19.5. It’s a worse deal even if the DM still allows you to roll saving throws on the ground.) Once the PCs reach cover, The Birds lose interest.

“The DM can link this into a campaign or leave as [sic] an unsolved mystery.”

Birds attack, everyone dies. Don’t be this DM. Pass.


113: The Fishing Dispute

Two fishermen are in a feud arising from fishing competitiveness. When the PCs show up, first one, then the other accuses them of being hirelings in the employ of their rival.

“The PCs can try to talk to the two combatants, but there is little chance that they will see reason.” Okay. Any suggestions about how the PCs might get involved, then? Or any reasons why they’d want to? No? Then Pass.


114: The Highwayman

On a twisting road between rocky mounds and wooded hills, a good twenty arrows strike around the PCs, and a Robin-Hood-looking highwayman demands that they throw down their valuables. They’ll fire another warning volley if the PCs start to draw weapons or anything.

Actually it’s all an illusion. The guy is an illusionist (level 3). He’s got a scroll of [invisibility[/i] if he needs to make an escape.

Conceptually, this is exactly the same as #23: The Goblin and the Ogre. It’s less memorable, but it’s also not handing the PCs a free ring of spell storing. So keep? I dunno. Maybe I should have just kept the earlier one and declared that the goblin was an illusionist?


115: The Speedster

Okay, brace yourself.

The PCs are in an uncrowded street when something streaks by and they’re hit with a sonic boom (2d6 damage, save for half). It is, I poo poo you not, an elven thief (level 10) under the effects of boots of speed, a potion of speed, and a haste spell, all of which explicitly stack according to this encounter card. (As an elf, he just sucks up the two years of aging from haste whenever he does this. The question of who is creating the potions of speed and casting haste is not addressed.) Per the text: “the combination of these items gives him a movement rate of 96; when he runs, his movement rate increases to 480.” Which is faster than the speed of sound, apparently?

Guards come running after him. They’ll let the PCs know that this guy is wanted - there’s a 10,000 gp reward (!) on his head. Well, that’s motivating! And the text assures us that not only will the city pay, they’ll give the PCs a medal. “If interested, the party must discover how to capture the thief.”

So suddenly this AD&D game is going to be a Batman comic for a little while. This is incredibly dumb, but hey, I’m amused. If this didn’t set a precedent that you can break the sound barrier using magic items straight from the DMG (the rarer of which you can loot from this very encounter), I might keep it. Should I just go full superhero comic and say “yeah, this elf is Hermes’s grandkid, only he can move this fast” or something? Jury?

P.S.: The elf’s name is Benjath Yoansen, but I think he needs a better supervillain name. Thoughts?


116: On the Wings of Eagles

In the jewelers’ and moneylenders’ section of a city, which has lots of guards and magical alarms. The PCs are there for whatever reason, and get to make Wisdom checks to notice someone stop outside a jeweler’s shop, surreptitiously chug a flask, and go in. Then in a couple minutes alarms go off, guards run towards the shop, and the thief flies out carrying a bag of jewels. The PCs will get a 5,000 gp reward if they catch him. The thief is 9th level and carries six potions of flying, a ring of feather falling, and a ring of jumping. (Are the rings really necessary?)

Back-to-back with the last encounter, it’s another comic book supervillain in our AD&D game! But I find this one less fun than the last. “Benjath Yoansen” moves at absurd speeds, which means the PCs would have to lay a trap for him. This guy is just flying at a speed of 18, which means a mage on the ground should have time to cast a hold spell on him or whatever and call it a day. But if I’m not willing to indulge myself with the previous encounter, I suppose I might keep this one as a consolation prize.

P.S.: The thief’s name this time is Fliegen. That’s an appropriately comic book-y given name for a guy who flies, but we need a supervillain name for him, too.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Dallbun posted:

P.S.: The elf’s name is Benjath Yoansen.

Ben Johnson?

Surprised they didn't make him a drow. The doping fits, at least.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Oh my god.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


JcDent posted:

Aw poo poo, is I AM SAD Goblins trying to branch out into sci-fi?

No, but his animated series has almost half of Futurama's voice cast. So....

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I do not fundamentally understand the rules issues in TLE. Not only are there 5 people credited with writing this game, 4 people providing additional concepts, and 1 editor; there are 17 credited playtesters. How did they play anything???

For Deck of Many Things: I think the runner has a good pun name so flying guy should be Jed Stream or Frank Falcon

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Barudak posted:

I do not fundamentally understand the rules issues in TLE. Not only are there 5 people credited with writing this game, 4 people providing additional concepts, and 1 editor; there are 17 credited playtesters. How did they play anything???

For Deck of Many Things: I think the runner has a good pun name so flying guy should be Jed Stream or Frank Falcon

I suspect the 17 playtesters were basically people who got asked questions about a rule, but not actually play.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Go with his potions thing and call him The Catalyzer.

Ultiville
Jan 14, 2005

The law protects no one unless it binds everyone, binds no one unless it protects everyone.



Barudak posted:

I do not fundamentally understand the rules issues in TLE. Not only are there 5 people credited with writing this game, 4 people providing additional concepts, and 1 editor; there are 17 credited playtesters. How did they play anything???

I suspect the playtesters all played with the designers and didn't have to sort out the system from the rulebook. Even post-2010 or so I've encountered some gaming projects that don't make playtesters sort out stuff themselves from print-ready materials, small projects back in the early 2000's seem very unlikely to have done that. Presumably all those playtesters played with designers or people who'd learned from the designers, and they just didn't engage with the systems as written.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Dallbun posted:

115: The Speedster

Okay, brace yourself.

The PCs are in an uncrowded street when something streaks by and they’re hit with a sonic boom (2d6 damage, save for half). It is, I poo poo you not, an elven thief (level 10) under the effects of boots of speed, a potion of speed, and a haste spell, all of which explicitly stack according to this encounter card. (As an elf, he just sucks up the two years of aging from haste whenever he does this. The question of who is creating the potions of speed and casting haste is not addressed.) Per the text: “the combination of these items gives him a movement rate of 96; when he runs, his movement rate increases to 480.” Which is faster than the speed of sound, apparently?

One, this elf is amazing.

Two, a speed of 480 outdoors is 4800 yards/minute (indoors it is measured in feet instead of yards, presumably so you don't slip and bash your head or something).

Let's use the outdoors value since they're outside, and not even on a crowded street that might have obstacles, so he gets a straight run. That's 14400 feet per minute, which is 240 feet per second. This, sadly, does not break the sound barrier (the speed of sound is 1125.3 feet per second). But points for trying.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I'd keep Elven McGofast because when faced with a situation like that you're gonna end up getting some good creativity out of the players trying to figure out a solution to catching him.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Hostile V posted:

I'd keep Elven McGofast because when faced with a situation like that you're gonna end up getting some good creativity out of the players trying to figure out a solution to catching him.

a cleverly placed immovable rod seems the obvious solution.

Edit: Provided you're ok with him not surviving his encounter with said rod

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Hostile V posted:

I'd keep Elven McGofast because when faced with a situation like that you're gonna end up getting some good creativity out of the players trying to figure out a solution to catching him.

Oh, I agree as far as that goes. It's just unacceptable for his speed to be due to the reasons listed - if it is, the rest of the campaign is going to be about the DM finding excuses why the PCs can't possibly find or create any potions of speed, or get a copy of the spell haste.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Dallbun posted:

Oh, I agree as far as that goes. It's just unacceptable for his speed to be due to the reasons listed - if it is, the rest of the campaign is going to be about the DM finding excuses why the PCs can't possibly find or create any potions of speed, or get a copy of the spell haste.

Yeah, I'd give a substitute reason, as I can't imagine the game's going to be able to handle the players having that kind of movement rate all the time.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

He's a mutant elf with a higher base movement speed and a higher sensitivity to speed-boosting effects. His friends call him Quix, Quix the Alfar.

Alternately, I'd have it be some sort of custom potion or item with a hefty drawback so the players wouldn't want to use it very often. Maybe it does ten times the age drain. Maybe going that fast on the prime material causes rifts in the astral plane letting monsters through. I'd probably find something that would be annoying and difficult to deal with, but potentially something they could abuse in niche situations for later shenanigans. But that would take some thinking, and that's not the point of the quick encounters.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Obligatum VII posted:

a cleverly placed immovable rod seems the obvious solution.

Edit: Provided you're ok with him not surviving his encounter with said rod

I’d just chuck some grease down, as long as you don’t care about looting the body

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



These quick encounter cards feel more like they're plot generators, which isn't a bad thing especially if you're short a player or two, but not what it's intended for.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

rumble in the bunghole posted:

I’d just chuck some grease down, as long as you don’t care about looting the body

Oil of slipperiness.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


As long as you're willing to pay to clean the stains off the wall.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





I think one of the factors that balances out Sonic the Elfhog here is that this combo stacker can only be done on a single person - by necessity! So I'm not sure it would be quite as necessary to nerf it, although you might could owl it down a notch or two by saying this particular elf was a trained long distance runner or a mutant or part-wind sylph or something.

Maybe he can only make the sonic boom because he's wearing some stupid jacket.

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