Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
But how would a fantasy character would know about radiation or nutritional value without OOC knowledge?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

JcDent posted:

But how would a fantasy character would know about radiation or nutritional value without OOC knowledge?

That's the point. They don't. They have to figure out from how everyone in contact with the sword is getting sick that the sword is the cause, even if they can't understand why, and deal with it that way. Or they probably recognize what starvation looks like and can link that to 'the food doesn't seem to be *feeding* people' because even if they don't understand the science level, people are smart enough to make cause and effect determinations.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Night10194 posted:

That's the point. They don't. They have to figure out from how everyone in contact with the sword is getting sick that the sword is the cause, even if they can't understand why, and deal with it that way. Or they probably recognize what starvation looks like and can link that to 'the food doesn't seem to be *feeding* people' because even if they don't understand the science level, people are smart enough to make cause and effect determinations.

The trick was characters recognizing signs of starvation/scurvy/anemia, but being puzzled as it's clear there's plenty of food, before twigging onto the fact the food is causing the problem. Not understanding the underlying causes doesn't mean the characters can't make the logical conclusion - like knowing that drinking salt water is bad doesn't require knowing the exact science behind it.

That's the problem with The Well card, because "New well dug, everyone got sick" should not be a mystery to anyone living in a rural community, but 'we got bountiful harvests but we're getting very sick' is more puzzling.

Robindaybird fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Nov 25, 2017

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



JcDent posted:

But how would a fantasy character would know about radiation or nutritional value without OOC knowledge?
Humans of the past were ignorant of many fine details, but they weren't exactly Pak breeders. I know in Ars Magica there's an entire essay about the medieval conception of the digestion of food; they got a lot wrong, but the idea that food becomes part of your body was clear, and if a major dietary staple abruptly stopped providing digestible calories, someone in a D&D milieu would certainly notice. (What would be more subtle would be introducing anti-nutritional compounds to scavenge out vitamins from the eaters.)

As for the sword, you could probably figure it out once you determined what the actual radioactive output of the sword was. Then you just work that into its presentation, and if it's a key part of the narrative, perhaps have the PCs encounter scraps that went into the enchanted sword, and have no enchantment, but DO share that property of being weirdly warm and blighting animals.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

Luckily, I *did* save your old avatar. Fucked around and found out indeed.

Feinne posted:

It hasn't been gotten to in the main Dark Matter book yet but they totally do give you everything you'd need to do a PC mothman.

yesssss

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Ashes of Middenheim: Paths of the Damned, Part 1

So much city

Middenheim, like most major cities, is independent of the province it exists in. It is certainly the capital of Middenland, and it is ruled by the Middenland Graf who is also elector of Middenland, but technically it is its own entity. Graf Toddbringer is an old man who 'should've' been elected Emperor 20 years ago, but he was outmaneuvered and defeated by Karl Franz, particularly Karl Franz's ability to persuade the Sigmarite church's electors to vote for him. If you want a more recent reason for the tensions between Sigmarite and Ulrican, I'd point to the electoral upset. Toddbringer is very popular, given his active pursuit of the beastmen who plague the province, and Middenland was really expecting the Imperial court to move out of Reikland and back north.

In case you're using Middenheim for other adventures, or for sidequests during the campaign (something the campaign heartily encourages), it's important to know that Boris Toddbringer is currently suffering serious family problems. His one legitimate son died years ago, supposedly poisoned by cultists taking advantage of his sickly constitution. His wife is long dead and he cannot bring himself to remarry. His daughter Katarina is competent and able, and stands to inherit his lands, but while the Empire isn't nearly as insane about it as Bretonnia, there's still considerable obstacles to a woman holding on to her family's titles after marriage, and everyone in the Empire would very much like to have a shot at Katarina's inheritance. He has one other son, a bastard named Heinrich, who is widely recognized as something of a strategic and administrative genius, but despite being recognized and permitted the family name, the nobility draws the line at putting him in line to inherit. Either the intriguing over Katarina's inheritance and her desire to maintain control of her own home and titles, or Heinrich the ingenious but illegitimate heir could both be good ground for adventures.

Middenheim isn't just important to Ulric, though it is the absolute most important city to Ulrich in all of the world. The second largest Sigmarite temple is in Middenheim, built specifically to remind them of their Imperial obligations. The High Capitular of Middenheim, Werner Stolz, is considered a possible candidate for Grand Theogenist some day, and will be figuring in the incoming adventure as a reasonable authority figure and possible ally to PCs. He is one of the most important Sigmarite High Priests in the Empire, charged with balancing the duty to remind Middenheim it is part of the Empire with the duty to keep the peace and diffuse tensions with the wolf-god's followers. The Ar-Ulric never gets a name and is assumed to be gone the whole time. There's also quite a bit on the various sorts of soldier and knight that defend the city, but the pertinent detail is that almost all of them are gone right now and keeping the peace is unusually difficult in the wake of the siege.

Middenheim also has its own smaller school for wizards, an offshoot of not wanting to let the Reiklanders in Altdorf have all of anything. The Guild of Wizards and Alchemists is run by the High Wizard of Middenheim, and it instructs apprentices and journeymen who are off on tasks or who have local business. It is a far cry from the 8 Orders in Altdorf, but like all wizards, the students and instructors there are charged with the duty to defend the Empire from magical threats. Like the rest of Middenheim's forces, only a few wizards remain behind, as all the best are off with the army in hopes of gaining glory by fireballing the Everfailure while he runs. This place is quite helpful if you have a PC who wants to promote out of Apprentice Wizard while far from Altdorf.

We start examining the city itself with the Palast District, near the actual palace, in the north of the city. The Middenpalaz is the main law court, the Graf's residence, and the complex also contains the headquarters of the Knights Panther, who you might recognize from Tome of Corruption as the staunch 'We help out the Hunters whenever they need a knight' anti-Chaos knights. Chaos did its best to break through the north wall and damage or destroy the administrative center of the city, but the ancient stone held and the palace was too close to the wall to suffer any plunging fire. There was no serious damage from the siege, here.

The Konigsgarten was the Graf's personal garden, and it has suffered terribly. Not because of Chaos, no; Imperial regiments used the large open space as a staging and mustering ground, and between the digging of latrines, the trampling of boots, and the picking of flowers to give to local girls, the ducal arborist wails that the garden won't be itself for a generation. The garden is usually open to the public at all times, but with the damage and with a damaged section of wall nearby, it's currently closed to let workmen try to restore both.

The Great Square of Martials is a big, cleared, paved area south of the palace that the elite soldiers of the city use for drill, hence the name. Similarly, the large square is used for public executions and trials, and anything else that the Graf wants made clear and open to the public. People like to come and watch the knights spar, march, and drill; it instills a sense of civic pride and martial duty, especially in a city dedicated to Ulric. During festival season, the great square can be sealed off and flooded with water to provide water-shows, and recently they've begun to magically freeze it over and use it as a public ice-skating rink. The Square is open to all of Middenheim's people and is an important meeting point and social crossroads.

The Great Park at the center of the city is so large that it doubles as a small district of its own. The Ducal Arborist and his mighty (heh) force of groundskeepers also watch over the park, protecting the groves and hothouses that grow exotic fruits and herbs for the city. Some are for food, some are for magical researches, and the latter have to be watched constantly to keep the bloody cultists off them. Currently, the Great Park is home to a shanty-town of refugees who are using the open space to construct lean-tos and temporary housing. They've also planted crops, which is enraging the poor Arborist (I need to use this guy as an NPC at some point). The Shallyans warn that the decorative lake in the center of the park was never meant to be used as a major water source, and that if a sanitation solution isn't found soon the city may face a public health crisis in the park.

Within the park stands the Bernabau Stadium, a great amphitheater that can house over 5000 people. Recently, it was doing just that, as the stands were used to rest troops and whole regiments camped in the open space at the center. It suffered no damage in the siege, but took a little bit of scorching due to an argument between a dwarven throng and an elven detachment from Ulthuan. The city has yet to return to the normalcy necessary, but there are already plans to return to the military displays, gladiatorial fights, and theater productions that used the stadium.

The Show Boat used to be the most fashionable place to eat and take in a night's dinner theater under the the stars. A cabaret, theater, and public house that catered to the upper classes, while it didn't suffer any damage it is struggling to stay in business. The club scene has been hurt by the fact that so much of the clientele isn't in Middenheim right now; nobles either fled, died leading troops on the walls, or are off with the army. The Show Boat's business has suffered, but it tries to stay in business as though nothing was wrong, ignoring the huge camp of refugees just off to the left of its delicate decorations. Anyone who can afford the food will be greeted like long lost family, and prices have dropped. The owners would be glad for any news of their regular customers, and PCs might be able to find work defusing tensions between the upper class business and its new, desperate neighbors.

Next Time: More of The City.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

recently they've begun to magically freeze it over and use it as a public ice-skating rink.

This is wonderful. Imagine a PC newly promoted to Full Wizard who pulls ice-rink duty as part of his postgraduate studies (or who works there at night to fund his courses). Yes, you can go off adventuring, but you have to find a way to keep the ice solid all through your shift. To say nothing of the potential for hiring other PCs as rink "lifeguards", especially when some drunken dwarves decide no mere field of magical ice is going to stop their carousing and slam right into the Elven Military Skating Team's practice night.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
One of the best things in all of these setting books is all the places where people go to, you know, go to school, or work, or have fun in the setting. Helps show it isn't all grim and perilous adventure all the time.

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

gradenko_2000 posted:

I was looking through Amazon when I found this thing:



It's almost guaranteed to be d20 shovelware, but I want to ask anyway if anyone's familiar with it and can give me the lowdown, mostly because of the coincidental name with the PBTA Dungeon World.

I think I heard about this one- they went well beyond the bounds of the OGL and used things like beholders and mind flayers and all that WotC IP, so they had to pull the book from shelves.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Nessus posted:

As for the sword, you could probably figure it out once you determined what the actual radioactive output of the sword was. Then you just work that into its presentation, and if it's a key part of the narrative, perhaps have the PCs encounter scraps that went into the enchanted sword, and have no enchantment, but DO share that property of being weirdly warm and blighting animals.

The book the sword appeared in was set in the modern day, and the sword turning out to have been forged from a radioactive meteorite was the twist behind all the seemingly supernatural events in the book - including strange errors with the expedition's computer systems, caused by stray radiation.

The protagonist is a doctor, and has a Geiger counter in his office. Except he never turns it on until near the end, because surely these legends of how the sword is accompanied by pestilence everywhere it spreads are just legends... right? Surely the sword isn't actually magical or cursed. And what kind of archaeological expedition has radiation on its list of things to be worried about? Only towards the end of the book does he finally put all the pieces together, revealing the mundane if remarkable truth behind the seemingly supernatural events of the book and the seemingly supernatural history of the sword.

Once the protagonist actually turns on his Geiger counter the truth is immediately obvious, mystery solved.

I think it would be easy to use the concept in an actual fantasy setting - even if the protagonists settle for "this fallen star was cursed by the gods," they could probably figure out a way to deal with it.

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Nov 25, 2017

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


Part Five: Tag Teams, Stables, and Feuds, or Wrestling Makes Strange Bedfellows

The Tag Team section begins, “A strong tag team division is a vital part of any wrestling promotion.” Actual promotions often ignore this, but there’s a point to be made. Tag teams in wrestling are not just a variant type of match, but a way to partner wrestlers with contrasting strengths or styles, so that one can hide the weaknesses of the other and vice versa. A common approach is taking a guy who’s really good at talking and putting them with someone who’s strong and intimidating in the ring- another thing is to have one person take most of the opposing team’s offense, and have the other be the person who jumps in to clean house. It’s also a wrestling term that’s pervaded culture well beyond most; people who haven’t watched a minute of Monday Night Raw probably still will understand if you say “we should tag together on this”.

The basic rule for wrestlers becoming a tag team together is that they have to wrestle as said team for 3 shows before starting to enjoy the mechanical benefits of being a tag team. There are plenty of one-off team-ups that never lead to anything, and it takes time for wrestlers to get familiar working with each other in that style.


It is recommended, but not required, that your tag team members be BFFs

One of the bonuses is, for each full series (8 Shows and a PPV) the team has been together, they may roll an additional die (max 5) for Wrestling rolls during a tag match. It’s not a huge bonus but it helps. If a team splits up for more than a year they lose this bonus, and if they get back together they have to start up again. That’s a long time in wrestling so it’s fair.


A Tag Team’s Heat is equal to the average Heat of its members, rounding up. It changes whenever the Heat of its members does. When determining match placement on a show, you use the Tag Team Heat rather than that of the individual members. (Match placement has the match with the highest Heat go last, lowest go first.) Whenever both wrestlers are in a match together- whether they’re a Team, or one is just in the other’s corner- the Match Heat gains a bonus equal to 1/10 of the Tag Team Heat (round up again). Tag Teams can also have Phantom Heat, and if individual members have Phantom Heat, the average of that applies as Phantom Heat to the Tag Team Heat. (Being Phantom Heat it doesn’t affect the Match Heat Bonus.) There’s a paragraph about breaking teams up but basically says it can happen at any time.



Stables are like Tag Teams in that they exist to help get over guys who might have trouble getting over on their own, by having other members cover their weaknesses. As such they’re often used when bringing up talent- The Shield, for example, marked the WWE main roster debut of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. Reigns was the guy who cleared house in the ring, Ambrose was the main promo guy because he had a good crazy persona, and Seth Rollins took bumps. The New Day are also an interesting example- Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were all languishing at various mid-to-low levels in the WWE, E being a big guy who did power moves, Kofi being a flippy guy who almost never talked, and Xavier Woods being a small funny guy who never did much in the ring. Together they’re major merch sellers.


I have also been informed that they rock.

Stables can be any group of 3 or more dudes, and unlike Tag Teams can form in a single moment (they often make a show of declaring they’re now a group). There needs to be a Leader, usually the guy with the highest Mic Skills. Stable Heat is again an average of every member’s Heat, and in all other respects works like Tag Team Heat in terms of Match Heat and so on. Any non-Leader in a stable whose Heat exceeds the Stable Heet by more than half should be written out, but it’s not strictly a requirement. So you can have a main eventer leading a stable of freshly called up talent, and help to get them over, but you shouldn’t have two main-event level people in that stable.

Feuds are also a key thing in wrestling storylines- you can boil the vast majority of wrestling angles down to being a feud of some kind, whether it’s between stables or individual wrestlers. You choose the participants and work out why they’re going to be opposed to each other- one’s gonna be the face side and the other the heel, but there should be more to it than that. Characters can only be involved in one Feud at a time no matter what Vince Russo says. While a Feud is going, any match between the feuding parties gets a Match Heat bonus equal to 1/10th of their average Heat. Feuds also have Longevity, which is equal to the combined Heat of the opponents- for Stables and Tag Teams you use their Heat instead of the individual members. Every time the participants in a Feud have a Match against each other, you reduce the Longevity by the Time Limit of the Match. Conversely, every time a feuding wrestler/stable/team gains Heat from a Feud-related non-match segment (Promos, Interviews, Skits), the Longevity is extended by the amount of Heat gained. Generally this is why you don’t want the participants in a Feud facing each other very often until you’re ready for the payoff (usually a PPV match.)

There are four ways a Feud can end. One is the Longevity reaching 0- when this happens the previously-feuding participants shouldn’t face each other for at least another 8 shows. If you try to extend it, the participants each lose a point of Heat for each match they have together after the Longevity runs out. Face/Heel turns also end a Feud, because if both parties are Heels or Faces the dynamics have changed too much. The Feud also ends if injury or other reasons cause one or more participants to miss more than 6 shows in a row. It does say Tag Team and Stable feuds “rarely” end this way, so presumably as long as some of the members of the team are good the Feud can go on. Finally, if necessary, the Booking Committee can just end a Feud at any time. If they don’t give any explanation, though, the promotion’s Heat goes down by 1.

Feuds can be Rekindled, if ended prematurely- the Rekindled Feud will have Longevity equal to the Longevity that remained when it ended, plus the combined Heat of the wrestlers/stables/teams. In fact you absolutely SHOULD do this if Injury/absence was the reason things ended- once both participants are on the roster again, the audience expects to have some resolution, and if there isn’t, the promotion loses 1 Heat.

We now get into “Building Up to a PPV”. All the Shows you’re gonna run are basically going to be building to your PPV- as I said before, wrestling TV has always basically been advertising for paid events. This section focuses on doing it one match at a time, and breaks it down into four steps. Step one is The Tease, where you hint that there’s something brewing between the participants- something nice and vague, not obviously leading to a match. The book recommends doing this somewhere in the first three shows of the eight show cycle.

Step two is The Spark. This is the flashpoint which says “Okay, these two are definitely going to fight now”- whether it’s a declaration or a sudden brawl. This is also a good place to put a Swerve- that’s when the Tease hints at one thing and the Spark reveals something else. A good Swerve should ideally reveal a better match than the one you were teasing- say, you were setting the champ and his best friend up for a tag team bout against some heel team, but instead the best friend turns on the champ and now wants the belt! Swerves that don’t pay off can lower promotion Heat, but a good Swerve can add 1 to 5 points to the PPV match’s Match Heat.

Step Three is the Build, i.e. everything that happens between the Spark and the match itself. The wrestlers who will fight shouldn’t fight each other here- don’t give away the PPV match for free- but you can have all sorts of segments, and use each segment to try and build things. You can add stipulations, raise doubts about who’s the better wrestler, give them opportunities to antagonize each other, etc.

Step Four, the Climax, is, well, the climax. They note that this is usually done at the end of a Series (i.e. 8 shows and a PPV), but can be stretched longer, but the payoff should be a PPV match. (The build to Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997 lasted most of the year.) Make the match something special. “Whether it’s a title change, blood and gore, nudity, super high flying action, an unexpected turn, or whatever, it should always leave the fans walking away thinking their money was well spent.”

Well, okay, Shawn Michaels was known for having people hook his tights so he’d moon the audience.



I’ll end with one of the simpler examples of this I can think of- the build to the main event of Wrestlemania III in 1987. It all started around January when Hulk Hogan was presented a big gold trophy to celebrate his lengthy run as WWF Heavyweight Champion. Andre the Giant, who was undefeated, was presented with a smaller trophy celebrating his streak. He seemed resentful and left without saying much. This was the Tease. The Spark came when he confronted Hogan, saying he wanted a title match- this was a big deal, because Andre had been a babyface, and Hogan’s close friend. And the Swerve was that he took on a manager, the sleazy Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, fully cementing his heel turn. It was easy to keep them apart for The Build, because back in the day the champ rarely wrestled outside of house shows and PPVs, but there were plenty of promos and segments which emphasized just how freaking huge Andre was, and how he’d never been bodyslammed let alone defeated. For once Hogan seemed at a disadvantage (even more so than when he had fought King Kong Bundy the year previously.) And of course, the Climax, where in front of the biggest live crowd the WWF ever drew, Hogan bodyslammed (sorta) the Giant and dropped the leg to retain the title. Granted it wasn’t the best match of the night (Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage stole the show), but as spectacle it delivered, and Wrestlemania III was by some measures the most successful event in the WWF/WWE's history.

It’s just that easy!

But all that’s on paper. The talent still have to have their say, and they’re a rowdy bunch. So for the next installment, hold your nose and keep Randy Orton away from your gym bag, we’re heading into The Locker Room.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

One of the example character builds for a mothman is the dreamwalker, who's a shaman with an FX skill. Part of how they do their shamanism involves listening to human music, because for mothmen it's trippy as gently caress :3:.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Blue Planet is a Science Fiction roleplaying game with a simulationist system and an incredibly complex publication history going through multiple publishers over the years. While the ruleset itself is nothing special, the game is best remembered for its incredibly in-depth setting, a deep highly realistic and meticulously researched and designed alien world. If you like detailed and interesting science fiction worlds, you’ll probably like this game. While I’ve previously done F&F’s and fell out on previous ones, I’m going to try and condense this down to a more easily digestible form to avoid burnout. With that said, let’s get started!

Welcome to 2199 AD



The setting of Blue Planet is the… well Planet above: Lambda Serpentis II, common name, Poseidon. The relevant part of the story starts in 2078, when astronomers discover an anomalous something or other out beyond the orbit of Pluto. Humanity soon starts to probe and explore the anomaly, and discovers that is a stable, persistent, wormhole, a bridge across space and time. Through the wormhole, humanity discovered Poseidon, an earthlike world, covered in blue seas, habitable to humanity.

This was attractive for many reasons, not least of which that future Earth was your typical polluted cyberpunk hellhole with massive overpopulation and dwindling resources. So, humanity obviously wants to get started colonizing ASAP. A UN organized colonization effort is soon started, known as the Athena Project. The first wave of colonists, numbering 5,000, was sent through the wormhole to begin colonizing the new world!

Then the Blight happened. In 2090 a tailored virus designed by the American Fischer Foods corporation was released. The virus was designed to kill harmful fungal crop infections. The virus, eventually known as the Fischer Blight, proceeded instead to kill nearly every food crop on the planet. This triggered mass starvation, near extinction of the human species, and a lot of wars, revolutions, riots... The Blight ran rampant until its destruction in 2120, leaving a devastated and crippled Earth behind. It took decades for Earth to recover, led by the Global Ecology Organization, a powerful UN body that essentially ruled Earth during the recovery. Nobody looked to the stars, until 2164, when everyone had recovered enough to remember to check up on that colony that had been abandoned for over 75 years.

A science expedition was sent through the wormhole to survey Poseidon in the hopes of a second colonizing attempt. To everyone’s surprise, the first one succeeded. The original 5,000 colonists had grown to a worldwide population of 40,000, spread across the planet. The settlers had reverted to a lower-tech lifestyle, living in scattered fishing and farming villages similar to those of pre-colonial Polynesian cultures. They had in effect become the new natives of the planet.

At first, the natives didn’t really care. Some were bitter about their abandonment, others were happy to hear from the homeworld, but most just wanted to keep living their lives. Earth’s interest in Poseidon was primarily scientific, sending only research teams to visit the planet. Initial discoveries were interesting, even baffling, but not a cause for mass colonization. The planet had a ridiculously complex biosphere, and inconceivably had DNA and compatible biochemistry with Humans but that was really more a curiosity than a major deal. Until Long John.

Xenosilicates, AKA Longevity Ore or colloquially Long John were discovered in a routine mineral survey. These minerals seemed to be naturally occurring biochemical tools of immense complexity and power. Through processing and refinement they could be used to catalyze genetic manipulation and control on an unprecedented level. Genetic engineering, active bio-modification, and most importantly life extension treatments This triggered an interplanetary Gold Rush like the world had never seen. Millions rushed to Poseidon seeking, fame, fortune, and literal immortality.

So, that’s Poseidon in 2199. A world of corporate boomtown and mining facilities, with unhappy natives and a still untamed and largely unexplored planet. It’s the amphibious wild-west. Corporate wars, environmental terrorism, native uprisings, a hostile alien world… and something mysterious in the depths.

The Leasear Effect posted:

It was the third day of the fourth week after the orbiter’s splashdown, and Neilson and the crew had finally checked and rechecked the incoming data long enough to pronounce the atmosphere and water safe for the dive team. I was out of my environmental shell and already pulling off my thermal suit when McLaren came in from sonar to tell us we could all go for a swim. He glared at me; I smiled at him and headed for the topside hatch.
The airlock had only cycled half open when I climbed out on deck and into the alien sunlight and air of Poseidon. I could hear Neilson over the intercom, yelling at me to come back and put on a bio-monitor. I turned around, gave the intercom camera my sweetest “screw you” smile (you’ve probably seen the clip), and jumped over the side.
It’s that first moment I’II never forget. I’m no poet, but by God, I’ll tell you, sliding into that water felt like coming home. No lie. ‘It was as real as I’m sitting here talking to you. A kind of dreamy, half deja-vu It lasted for maybe five minutes, maybe more, while that crystal blue water worked its way into every pore. I just hung there about two meters under, grinning like an idiot (you’ve probably seen that clip, too).
Strangest thing I’ve ever felt. The bioengineers tell me it was some kind of hormone-induced euphoria. All the modies get it on their first dive, apparently. But I don’t buy that crap. It was more than that. It was the Planet.
No, I’m not crazy. It was the Planet. It reached out and took hold of me and held on — as if I’d been gone a long time and had just come back home.
Anyway, I was the first and I’m proud of it. And now you know why they call that “hormoneinduced euphoria” the Lesear Effect.

Nathaniel Lesear, Argos 12 crew member — from Tidal Forces, interviews by Ashri Khenera

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...
Grimey Drawer

Cythereal posted:

The book the sword appeared in was set in the modern day, and the sword turning out to have been forged from a radioactive meteorite was the twist behind all the seemingly supernatural events in the book - including strange errors with the expedition's computer systems, caused by stray radiation.

The protagonist is a doctor, and has a Geiger counter in his office. Except he never turns it on until near the end, because surely these legends of how the sword is accompanied by pestilence everywhere it spreads are just legends... right? Surely the sword isn't actually magical or cursed. And what kind of archaeological expedition has radiation on its list of things to be worried about? Only towards the end of the book does he finally put all the pieces together, revealing the mundane if remarkable truth behind the seemingly supernatural events of the book and the seemingly supernatural history of the sword.

Once the protagonist actually turns on his Geiger counter the truth is immediately obvious, mystery solved.

I think it would be easy to use the concept in an actual fantasy setting - even if the protagonists settle for "this fallen star was cursed by the gods," they could probably figure out a way to deal with it.

That's basically the plot of a book called Riptide by the guy's that wrote Relic. Basically one of those 90s throwaway airport thrillers.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Rhandhali posted:

That's basically the plot of a book called Riptide by the guy's that wrote Relic. Basically one of those 90s throwaway airport thrillers.

That is exactly the book I've been referring to, yes. I enjoyed those authors' early books, and Riptide is my favorite of the lot - the radioactive sword is my favorite seemingly-supernatural-thing-isn't twist those authors were fond of in their early books.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Feinne posted:

One of the example character builds for a mothman is the dreamwalker, who's a shaman with an FX skill. Part of how they do their shamanism involves listening to human music, because for mothmen it's trippy as gently caress :3:.

“Duuude have you every *really* listened to Phil Collins”

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


Wapole Languray posted:

Then the Blight happened. In 2090 a tailored virus designed by the American Fischer Foods corporation was released.

Surprisingly, that's a real company. http://www.fischerfoods.net

And that quote sounds like Metalocalypse meets Final Fantasy VII. This is going to be neat.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



Are the cat people in the core book, or was that a funnovation for the GURPS Blue Planet book? (Don't worry, it's a human gene-mod thing.)

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.

Nessus posted:

Are the cat people in the core book, or was that a funnovation for the GURPS Blue Planet book? (Don't worry, it's a human gene-mod thing.)

Genetically modified catpeople are David Pulver's personal fetish insert in everything else so I'd almost guarantee the latter but I'm open to being surprised.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Cats are in the corebook. They aren't fetishistic at all though. Cats were part of an experiment to make supersoldiers by hybriding animal and human DNA. It failed miserably and was a giant PR disaster.



They can only breed with other cats, have a speech impediment due to the fang thing, and only get slightly heightened reflexes and night vision out of it. There's literally no sexualization of them in the book I've found.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

David Pulver's catgirls aren't necessarily fetishistically portrayed, but it's rather noticeable when almost every single RPG book Pulver writes has catgirls in them; GURPS: Mecha, GURPS: Bio-Tech, GURPS: Transhuman Space, GURPS 4e, GURPS: Reign of Steel... Though from Bio-Tech we can learn that Pulver does seem to be somewhat enticed by the idea of cat-girls in heat forcing themselves upon him. >_>

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

LatwPIAT posted:

David Pulver's catgirls aren't necessarily fetishistically portrayed, but it's rather noticeable when almost every single RPG book Pulver writes has catgirls in them; GURPS: Mecha, GURPS: Bio-Tech, GURPS: Transhuman Space, GURPS 4e, GURPS: Reign of Steel... Though from Bio-Tech we can learn that Pulver does seem to be somewhat enticed by the idea of cat-girls in heat forcing themselves upon him. >_>
Pulver did some setting books for BESM, I'm pretty sure they all had catgirls in them, too.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010

Young Freud posted:

On a similar note, I remember that in Buck Rogers XXVc that one of biological weapons the Russo-American Mercantile developed was a type of wheat genetically modified to produce no nutritional benefit and have zero calories, so people would eat it and starve. RAM then donated this as relief supplies to Earth or even sold for profit to various Earth factions as agricultural product, without telling what it really was.

Not just rye-- RAM made oat, rice, rye, and barley in "dry" varieties. Drywheat and the other drygrains actually have a stat block in Earth in the 25th Century and No Humans Allowed that lists their special attack as "Starvation." (They have an AC of 10 and 1 HP, and cannot make attack rolls, in case you're wondering.)

The Skeep
Sep 15, 2007

That Chicken sure loves to drum...sticks

The setting looks interesting, but when I see that cover art all I can think of is SEA PATROL

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

FMguru posted:

Pulver did some setting books for BESM, I'm pretty sure they all had catgirls in them, too.

I swear Pulver worked on that Cyberpunk 2020 Chromebook that had all the Exotic bodysculpts, which ends in a special catgirl "playbeing".

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Young Freud posted:

I swear Pulver worked on that Cyberpunk 2020 Chromebook that had all the Exotic bodysculpts, which ends in a special catgirl "playbeing".

He doesn't show up in the (extensive) credits that I can see, but to be honest, including catgirls was hardly an unusual stretch for Pondsmith and the rest of Cyberpunk's anime-influenced authorship at the time.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Yeah 2020 also let you have Wolverine Claws called Wolvers and you could also turn yourself into a cyborg wolfman or a cyborg Dracula and there was a gang of people who bodymodded themselves into becoming big-footed big-nosed clown gangbangers. 2020 was throwing a lot of stuff at the wall to see what stuck.

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.
2020 also had a gang called "The Dead Presidents who all bodymodded themselves to look like Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe and studied to mimic the Kennedy Accent.

2020 had some amazing loving street gangs.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012

LatwPIAT posted:

David Pulver's catgirls aren't necessarily fetishistically portrayed, but it's rather noticeable when almost every single RPG book Pulver writes has catgirls in them; GURPS: Mecha, GURPS: Bio-Tech, GURPS: Transhuman Space, GURPS 4e, GURPS: Reign of Steel... Though from Bio-Tech we can learn that Pulver does seem to be somewhat enticed by the idea of cat-girls in heat forcing themselves upon him. >_>
And in GURPS Technomancer (not to toot the horn of something I did for the thread before, but hey, it's actually relevant), on top of the catfolk he also had the spiderfolk we're helpfully told still have human genitalia. Pulver's definitely in the "eccentric genius" part of the roleplaying game pile.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

unseenlibrarian posted:

2020 also had a gang called "The Dead Presidents who all bodymodded themselves to look like Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe and studied to mimic the Kennedy Accent.

2020 had some amazing loving street gangs.

They also had some lovely ones like the Gilligans, which was a bodymodded LGBT gang, where the Gilligans and Skippers had a junior-senior relationship and the Mary Anns and Gingers were transwomen or crossdressers.

Fossilized Rappy posted:

And in GURPS Technomancer (not to toot the horn of something I did for the thread before, but hey, it's actually relevant), on top of the catfolk he also had the spiderfolk we're helpfully told still have human genitalia. Pulver's definitely in the "eccentric genius" part of the roleplaying game pile.

Like Henry Darger, but with catgirls.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 05:37 on Nov 26, 2017

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

I favour Skaven not actually breeding at all. They mutate from normal rats due to the tolling of the Bells.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Dark Matter: The Killing Jar



Act Two, Scenes One and Two:

Last time the Point Pleasant Mothman was in this adventure, and the players finally learn of the evil corporation connected to the creepy poo poo that’s been going down. Now for the most grueling scene by FAR, because we’re going to investigate AHD Pharmaceuticals.

The first scene is just more research, discovering that the AHD in question is the “American Home Devices Corporation” with a pharmaceutical division in Shelbyville, KY that some research can confirm Jane Scarborough worked at. There’s not much to this scene and frankly the players best serve themselves by not extending it given how little useful information actually exists and how likely they are to end up attracting the wrong kind of attention if they get too zealous on this.

Scene two takes them to Shelybville, where there’s actually a wide variety of ways the scene can go. Shortly before they get to town another AHD employee, JD Wiker, will have shot up a grocery store (he was also infected with C. cnidirae and went nuts as a result). There’s some investigating they can do on that, though he wasn’t apprehended and has gone missing since so it can only go so far. Locals do in fact know Jane Scarborough, though by their understanding she’s on sabbatical (and obviously there’s no way to prove she’s dead what with her coming down with an acute case of the jellyfishes). The local library lets them discover where her search began, though this is again not terribly important.

Attempting to team up with the local police proves a tragic mistake, unlike Charleston. The whole lot are in AHD’s pay, and will in fact show up to assist them should an alarm go off in the facility (we’ll hit that in a sec). If the PCs make themselves suspicious, the cops will try to lure them into the drunk tank and get them captured by AHD’s thugs. If THAT doesn’t work, they’re in for a fight in the middle of the police station which doesn’t really have any good outcomes in the short term. Hopefully for their sake the players will consider the local PD of some bumfuck company town in the middle of Kentucky to be of questionable reliability and bypass them, though getting captured is a legitimate way of advancing the adventure.

The facility itself is apparently closed for the moment, ostensibly because of JD Wiker’s actions. If you are thinking there’s a secret lab that’s totally still open, well of course there is. The upper level is currently staffed only by four of the same agents that have been showing up throughout the adventure and setting off an alarm or loving around too much in view of security cameras is a great way of getting into a pretty rough fight with them. It also alerts Agent Balance (who takes a pretty fair amount of time to arrive fortunately) and the local PD (though that might not turn out so well for them, hold on a bit). The agents will try and capture the PCs (they have some pretty slick subdual weapons) and again that’s one way of ending up in the actual facility. If they’ve still got Jane Scaroborough’s magnetic card this part gets a LOT easier, because while it no longer has access to the secret lab it still opens all the doors on the upper level without setting off any alarms.

Getting into the hidden lab either requires you to kill the Sheriff (he’s got a master key) or steal a key hidden in the CEO’s office, which is an obvious enough place for it that you probably don’t need a clue to figure it out.

The basement is where things get interesting, because regardless of how the PCs get in there everything’s gone to loving hell shortly before (the security cameras in the lower level are unreliable, so the agents up above don’t consider it strange that they don’t know what’s going on down there at the moment). The main difference between being captured and sneaking in is that captured PCs need to find their equipment in the nearby lockers and whoops are all now infected with C. cnidirae.

So the encounters down here are mostly wandering. Let’s start with the weirdest, the ROBOT SECURITY DOG.



This little fucker is interesting because it’ll actually ignore heroes if they present a magnetic keycard (there’s even a suggestion if the GM thinks the players will need the help that it’ll assist them as long as nobody outranking them shows up). It’s not super powerful if they have to kill it, for one thing it has a poo poo action check score so they’ll likely get a lot of chance to tear through its health before it even gets to go. And yes it’s got fake foam on its muzzle from biting cnidocytes.

There’s also 24 tertiary cnidocytes total roaming the downstairs, and much more worrying six secondary cnidocytes.



These fuckers are a great solution to ‘what happens if they attract attention down in the lab and the handlers and police show up’ because they’re loving rough and ‘three of them showed up and killed the entire Shelbyville PD’ is not at all an implausible outcome. For one thing they’re actually intelligent, this breakout wasn’t just some random occurrence but the creepy fucker things noticing the power goes out every so often and waiting for their chance. The researchers they encounter down here are all in late infection stages and that’s just going to make the problem so much worse in the near future. There’s a technician who’s managed to evade detection so far that they can rescue, he’s not super helpful though. He is one potential way for the PCs to escape if they’re captured and can’t come up with any other way out of their cells, and I’d imagine that’s the main reason he’s in the plot at all.

There’s a quite rude encounter where you find where they were storing the cnidocytes, and if you are unlucky one of the secondary cnidocytes that hadn’t previously escaped breaks free and joins the fun then. The PCs can get a bunch of their questions answered in the computer room, which also is one source of the information they’ll need to finish the adventure (that this all originated in the Mammoth Caves). They’ll also learn that there are more mothmen present in the facility. One thing the PCs might discover is that the whole fucker place is rigged to blow if need be (and indeed this will happen one way or the other once AHD realizes the place is compromised).

The mothmen are sadly mostly dead by the time the PCs arrived, having been defenseless when the cnidocytes escaped. They’re the reason they could escape at all ironically, as they also have the electromagnetic disruption mutation the Point Pleasant mothman had. With the mask from Point Pleasant they can get some information from the last surviving one, namely that the mothmen and the cnidocytes are enemies and the mothmen possess the means of curing any infected PCs, and would do so if they’ve got the mask (though it’s not 100% mandatory as they’ll be having to do a bit more work than that that makes up for not having it).

It’s possible though difficult to save the mothman and potentially reunite him with his tribe, which would also be a good ‘in’ for PCs seeking the favor of these cool cats.

I summarized this fast and loose but I cannot emphasize how loving grueling this section is. The facility is quite large and the way the encounters are structured causes there to be a lot of small and easy fights that mostly serve to wear down resources and keep the players on edge. In retrospect how I’d probably run this now is to make it nearly foregone that the players slip into the secret facility but then equally nearly foregone that they trigger an alarm once inside, which will cause the agents above and dirty cops to show up and try and ‘assist’ the secret lab. They’ll again be easily defeated by the cnidocytes but give a good excuse for cutting down the total number to ‘whatever lets you feel like the players have gotten the point’.

The next part is way cooler, stay tuned next time for the climax of the adventure and some exciting new crazy poo poo.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



Fossilized Rappy posted:

And in GURPS Technomancer (not to toot the horn of something I did for the thread before, but hey, it's actually relevant), on top of the catfolk he also had the spiderfolk we're helpfully told still have human genitalia. Pulver's definitely in the "eccentric genius" part of the roleplaying game pile.
I remember something in Bio-Tech about testicle mounts. (Not worth many character points.)

The catgirl thing is like, whatever, but it is weirdly universal. At least it is usually more like "incidentally, cats are playable" rather than "the destiny of Eorzea is rooted in the true and ineffable reality of horny catgirls."

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012

unseenlibrarian posted:

2020 also had a gang called "The Dead Presidents who all bodymodded themselves to look like Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe and studied to mimic the Kennedy Accent.

2020 had some amazing loving street gangs.

Well, that's what happens when you learn about gang culture from repeated viewings of The Warriors.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010
There exists an entire species of spelljamming merchants who live only to buy, sell, and trade cards from

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 39: The Deck of Neogi and Nightmares

235: Escaped Slave

A neogi spelljammer ship has set down for supplies, and one of their umber hulk slaves has escaped. It finds the PCs and pleads with them nonverbally for help; six neogi come after it to retrieve it. The neogi will attack if the PCs try to protect the umber hulk, or if they just look like weak, enslavable folks. The umber hulk will gladly fight with the PCs, but will become erratic and dangerous afterwards.

If I’m willing to introduce spelljamming to the game (or already have), then this works fine for me. I appreciate that the PCs can easily avoid trouble if they want by handing over the umber hulk, not that I’d expect them to do so. Keep.


236: Sinking Ship

A horrible neogi ship is floating atop a lake. (Optionally, the PCs may see it fall from the sky in flames and crash there.) It was boarded by another ship, looted, and pushed into the atmosphere of the PCs’ world. Most of the neogi inside are dead, but the captain and a few others hid during the fighting, and are now checking to see if the ship is secure. The card says they’ll try to take off in 1d10 rounds, and that it has a 30% chance of working if no more damage is done to the ship (otherwise it sinks).

That seems weird, though. Surely if an enemy boarded the ship and killed all opposition, they would have taken the helm? Even if they don’t want to use a lifejammer, you can sell that poo poo! And if they’re ideologically opposed to it, surely they would have destroyed it rather than send it down to crash on a random Prime world.

Whatever. I would just say the death helm was stolen or destroyed, and the ship will inevitably sink. We can keep it, again assuming I’m willing to introduce spelljamming to the game.


237: Spiders and Flies

A neogi ship is planning to engage another spelljammer in space around the PCs’ world - it descends on the town or hamlet they’re into conscript slaves to fight. It’s a town defense type scenario, albeit with few details. What I like is that “If the PCs make the whole situation too difficult, the neogi will fly somewhere else and try there.” And if they kill the raiders, the ship will fly off rather than be captured. Fair enough - keep.


238: A Nightmare on Four Feet

After some ominous flavor text involving the sound of hooves in the night, two wraiths riding nightmares attack! “They accept no quarter, and they will give no quarter. They are emissaries of the Lower Planes, come to claim the lives of the PCs for their intrusions in the workings of evil.”

Things attack! You must kill them... or they will kill you. Boring. Pass.


239: Tiger by the Tail

An evil wizard has summoned a nightmare and bound it with a magic bridle! And now it’s… stabled next to the PCs’ horses at an inn while the evil wizard has a drink. The PCs will probably notice it and understand what it is right away. (Of course, I’m not sure why they’d necessarily see it at all, because wouldn’t a servant stable their horses? Whatever.)

If the PCs free it, it will flee and come back in the night to murder the wizard. If the PCs attack it, it’ll fight back and scream for help from its hated master. (Not suggested as an option by the card: if they go find the evil wizard and buy him a drink, I’m sure it’ll be a memorable night.)

I like that it’s open-ended. Keep.

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!
That last one is amazing. I love the idea that Darklord Grimdeath the Negasorcerer just bellies up in some random tavern for a pint. In fact I like to imagine he shows up on purpose to wow everyone with his new Nightmare and show off.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Oh, yes, like one of those MMO players who decks their characters out in vantablack dyes, rare and gaudy particle effects, and some highly unlikely-looking staff.

Bar Crow
Oct 10, 2012
The nightmare should beg the adventurers to keep the magic bridle keys away from the wizard for the night so he doesn't drunkenly gallop into a tree again.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Bieeardo posted:

Oh, yes, like one of those MMO players who decks their characters out in vantablack dyes, rare and gaudy particle effects, and some highly unlikely-looking staff.

So you're saying that the evil wizard is dancing naked on a mailbox.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010

Bieeardo posted:

Oh, yes, like one of those MMO players who decks their characters out in vantablack dyes, rare and gaudy particle effects, and some highly unlikely-looking staff.

Uh, this isn't just a plain old nightmare. See how its eyes are glowing with yellow fire? Only 200 of these nightmares were born when the pit fiend Deshalys ascended to the position of Archduke. I camped out on Phlegethos for two months waiting for one to come by while other lame wizards were binding normal blue-fire-eyed nightmares and conquering kingdoms or whatever, but they totally missed their chance to get one. So yeah, totally worth it.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5