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Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk


Fossilized Rappy posted:

On the one hand, yes, they missed the opportunity to show a Gray-human hybrid in the art here (there's one in Xenoforms, and I think he literally looks like a regular human being, which is a bit boring). On the other hand, Yeti lama. Yeti lama.

huh! i always just took the character in the bottom center for a really old dude with long white hair, but if i stare at it hard enough it's also possible that the arms are hairy, which would fit your hypothesis.

unless we're both wrong and that was supposed to be this artist's version of the crossbreed.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Rand Brittain posted:

Originally they were the group that didn't care about the Masquerade, but they had to back way the hell away from that stance in order to make it possible for there to be a Masquerade.
Yeah, all it would take is one Tzimisce with Fortitude training sleepwalking through an appearance on Letterman and the Masquerade is cooked.

In general VTM made a lot more sense towards the end of the line, I thought.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
The Masquerade also made a hell of a lot more sense (though still not much) in the 90s. Before we were all carrying cameras at every hour of every day.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Night10194 posted:

The Masquerade also made a hell of a lot more sense (though still not much) in the 90s. Before we were all carrying cameras at every hour of every day.
One explanation I came up with while bullshitting during a long car ride on this topic is that vampire disciplines all look like cheap and lovely CGI from a distance. (Darker possibility: the 'cheap and lovely CGI' concept, as a wide-spread cultural idea, was deliberately engineered by the Camarilla as a pre-emptive whataboutist defense measure.)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
When I wrote my ages ago 'I'm 16 and new to RPGs' Urban Fantasy game it was an explicit plot point that the modern world was killing any attempt at a masquerade and everything was on the verge of splitting wide open and becoming public.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

I've always liked the explanation posited by nHunter, which is that for all they try, any masquerade which relies on just hiding rather than, say, Mage's 'your mind cannot process this and you forget it, no matter what', the masquerade just...has failed, basically. People know weird poo poo is out there. They're just mostly ignoring it because people assume everyone else would think they were crazy, or that no one would believe it, or that if they pretend it's not real, the world will be a sane place where they can raise their kids.

This feels real to me because my family has absolutely done poo poo like that about (entirely non-supernatural) problems. If we all just pretend things are normal, EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

The best Urban Fantasy masquerade is Unknown Armies. Because it works due to the fact that Unknown Armies magic is largely super subtle and has no fancy external effects. A lot of attack spells basically just look like random coincidence and horrible accidents instead of SUPERNATURAL EVENTS. Those events that ARE blatantly supernatural also have the side effect of driving normies insane by breaking their hold on reality. So anyone who does see blatant magick is likely to just freak out and start howling like a monkey.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements



Mors Rattus posted:

I've always liked the explanation posited by nHunter, which is that for all they try, any masquerade which relies on just hiding rather than, say, Mage's 'your mind cannot process this and you forget it, no matter what', the masquerade just...has failed, basically. People know weird poo poo is out there. They're just mostly ignoring it because people assume everyone else would think they were crazy, or that no one would believe it, or that if they pretend it's not real, the world will be a sane place where they can raise their kids.

This feels real to me because my family has absolutely done poo poo like that about (entirely non-supernatural) problems. If we all just pretend things are normal, EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

This honestly seems like the single biggest difference between Old and New WOD to me (as an nWOD player): The grand conspiracies to hide the supernatural only need to achieve deniability, because everyone is going to prefer to pretend they live in a world where the dead don't wake up to drink our blood because maybe that way it won't be *my* blood.
Mage then makes this a metaphysical conceit, the Lie, but that's more of a continuation of the theme that it's something about your average person, not huge supernatural conspiracies, that keeps society from falling apart in screaming monster chaos.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Nessus posted:

One explanation I came up with while bullshitting during a long car ride on this topic is that vampire disciplines all look like cheap and lovely CGI from a distance. (Darker possibility: the 'cheap and lovely CGI' concept, as a wide-spread cultural idea, was deliberately engineered by the Camarilla as a pre-emptive whataboutist defense measure.)

Reminds me of a goofy short story I wrote for a class that some silent movie star got turned by a fanatical vampire fan found a new career from the 50s-70s by being a one man SFX crew for the small time studios. Need a possessed starlet or vase to float? get the guy who can't be seen in film to do it.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS

Rand Brittain posted:

"Inconnu" is basically a catch-all term for various powerful elder vampires who aren't involved in any of the ordinary political games that ancient bloodsuckers play, either because they have their own weird political games that nobody's caught on to, or because they're genuinely trying to stay out of weird vampire politics.

They are probably not an actual single group, except sometimes when they are, but nobody really knows enough about them to say.

I vaguely recall that at least some of the writers of the line preferred to keep the Inconnu as the one faction that was deliberately undefined, so it could be filled in by whatever a particular ST wanted to do. I'm not sure if that was an overarching policy at some point at WW, or just various writers takes, though.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
At this point there's a whole lot of urban fantasy fiction that has vampires or other supernaturals as an accepted part of life, so the WoDs trying to keep up the pretense of secrecy actually manages to set them apart. A little bit. A vampire book that explored the difficulties of maintaining the Masquerade in the current era and different factions/age group responses to that would be an interesting idea, though it might require some degree of metaplot or at least heavy GM suggestion as to 'what would happen if'? I'm usually pretty apathetic towards Vampire but they have the least justification for continuing to exist and the weakest supernatural camouflage and the whole group struggling with being outed and society's response to that would interest me. A lot of the urban fantasy mentioned above generally has the open supernatural elements as an accepted thing, there isn't as much that explores the moment of revelation and its immediate impact.

Also weren't the Sabbat originally just anarchs back in the medieval period who were really sick of eternal domination and blood-bond enslavement by their elders? I don't remember when the Vinculum was developed but aside from being a bit monstrous it was made as a way of breaking supernatural domination, and that isn't so unsympathetic. I was never clear how they went from bourgeoisie revolutionaries to grindhouse murder cult, especially since it's Elder vampires who were always portrayed as having lost their humanity.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

I don't think it would be THAT hard to keep vampires hidden - they're rich, connected, powerful, and deeply dug in.

Tell me, would you REALLY be surprised if there was a murder cult of extremely rich Manhattanites who quietly picked off a sex worker or transient person once a week? Especially if they had a cadre of cops on their side?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Tibalt posted:

I don't think it would be THAT hard to keep vampires hidden - they're rich, connected, powerful, and deeply dug in.

Tell me, would you REALLY be surprised if there was a murder cult of extremely rich Manhattanites who quietly picked off a sex worker or transient person once a week? Especially if they had a cadre of cops on their side?

It's the part where they get into regular superhero fights and also have a supervillain component whose entire thing is 'gently caress HIDING' that makes it strain credulity.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

occamsnailfile posted:

At this point there's a whole lot of urban fantasy fiction that has vampires or other supernaturals as an accepted part of life, so the WoDs trying to keep up the pretense of secrecy actually manages to set them apart. A little bit. A vampire book that explored the difficulties of maintaining the Masquerade in the current era and different factions/age group responses to that would be an interesting idea, though it might require some degree of metaplot or at least heavy GM suggestion as to 'what would happen if'? I'm usually pretty apathetic towards Vampire but they have the least justification for continuing to exist and the weakest supernatural camouflage and the whole group struggling with being outed and society's response to that would interest me. A lot of the urban fantasy mentioned above generally has the open supernatural elements as an accepted thing, there isn't as much that explores the moment of revelation and its immediate impact.

Also weren't the Sabbat originally just anarchs back in the medieval period who were really sick of eternal domination and blood-bond enslavement by their elders? I don't remember when the Vinculum was developed but aside from being a bit monstrous it was made as a way of breaking supernatural domination, and that isn't so unsympathetic. I was never clear how they went from bourgeoisie revolutionaries to grindhouse murder cult, especially since it's Elder vampires who were always portrayed as having lost their humanity.

At some point between the dark ages and now it became apparent to the Sabbat that the progenitor vampires were going to just eat everyone and everything once they woke up. The sabbat are trying to stop that and murder and destruction are their poorly chosen tools.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

Night10194 posted:

It's the part where they get into regular superhero fights and also have a supervillain component whose entire thing is 'gently caress HIDING' that makes it strain credulity.
Oh, absolutely - the Sabbat going around on punk murder sprees and getting in fights with Werewolves while a team of MiBs try to kill them with alien techno-magic would, uh...

Well.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk


Wapole Languray posted:

The best Urban Fantasy masquerade is Unknown Armies. Because it works due to the fact that Unknown Armies magic is largely super subtle and has no fancy external effects. A lot of attack spells basically just look like random coincidence and horrible accidents instead of SUPERNATURAL EVENTS. Those events that ARE blatantly supernatural also have the side effect of driving normies insane by breaking their hold on reality. So anyone who does see blatant magick is likely to just freak out and start howling like a monkey.

the other big part is that the entire occult underground is self policing, because it doesn't serve anyone's purposes to have the normals suddenly realize oooohhhhh poo poo magic is real and powerful but it is not my friend. the analogy of the sleeping tiger is beautiful, and it's backed mechanically by the rules for mob violence. essentially, once you get enough people together, one person freaking out is guaranteed to cause a chain of events which leads to widespread violence, and the very first thing the mob targets is anyone even slightly associated with whatever supernatural event caused the meltdown in the first place.

also every wizard in the setting is explicitly insane and can have functional, normal human interactions with a successes rate inversely proportional to how powerful a wizard they are. it's great that you can cast a spell that makes ghosts sing limericks about the future, but if you can't comprehend human interaction well enough to communicate "can i please get cheese on the combo 4" you're not really a danger to anyone but yourself.

hell, the scariest dude in the entire second edition is the guy with no wizard or magic powers, but with more money than god, so he can just afford to keep whatever random weirdo on retainer while still having the mental faculties to execute frighteningly successful schemes.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!

Generally in UA, the most broken build is 'guy that's obsessed with something normal and has decent human connections to other people and a job they don't totally hate.'

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


The most powerful build in Unknown Armies is the Merchant, because you can go around buying 1% in a skill from homeless people.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Rand Brittain posted:

Meanwhile, the thing about the Sabbat is that they started off as the monstrous vampire cult of all the dudes who revel in inhumanity and disdain the Masquerade, but as time went on they got caught in the ever-flowing current that drags all splats in these games towards playability, and so they had to be revised into something that wasn't so obviously unsustainable. (See also the Technocracy becoming more reasonable as Mage went on, and, uh... just about everything, really. Are there any evil factions that didn't eventually become playable? Spectres, maybe?)

:stonklol:

Dark Reflections: Spectres was a Black Dog release that gave rules for playing spectres. (It's hard to find a good shot of the cover, particularly because IIRC it had embossed black details on a flat black cover that simply does not scan.) As might be expected, I'm not sure anybody ever played them, given they were pure nihilists that embodied the negative side of humanity. And, of course, you could play children who died too soon to understand death and morality and went insta-evil as a result. Whee. At the very least, like Fomori before it, playing a long-term game was nearly out of the question, given your power stat would eventually destroy you, IIRC.

I think Changeling: the Dreaming had the main unplayable antagonists in the form of the Autumn People, though I suppose it wouldn't be hard to reverse-engineer them into something playable if there was anyone in the world that wanted to. I don't think Marauders ever got made playable, for obvious reasons... Nephandi I can't recall. I think they got player-facing material that only GMs were supposed to use, or something? I'm sure Mors knows.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



There was a book on Nephandi and Marauders, yeah. They put 'em in the same one.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk


wiegieman posted:

The most powerful build in Unknown Armies is the Merchant, because you can go around buying 1% in a skill from homeless people.

yeah, sinking all of your starting XP into The Merchant skill and Soul attribute isn't even a "drawback" because at that point you can pretty easily just trade for your missing attributes and skills from desperate people that need help anyway

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Freaking Crumbum posted:

yeah, sinking all of your starting XP into The Merchant skill and Soul attribute isn't even a "drawback" because at that point you can pretty easily just trade for your missing attributes and skills from desperate people that need help anyway

Once you get 150% in everything and have a healthy diversified investment portfolio, you can move on to buying months and years.

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS

Alien Rope Burn posted:

:stonklol:

Dark Reflections: Spectres was a Black Dog release that gave rules for playing spectres. (It's hard to find a good shot of the cover, particularly because IIRC it had embossed black details on a flat black cover that simply does not scan.) As might be expected, I'm not sure anybody ever played them, given they were pure nihilists that embodied the negative side of humanity. And, of course, you could play children who died too soon to understand death and morality and went insta-evil as a result. Whee. At the very least, like Fomori before it, playing a long-term game was nearly out of the question, given your power stat would eventually destroy you, IIRC.

I think Changeling: the Dreaming had the main unplayable antagonists in the form of the Autumn People, though I suppose it wouldn't be hard to reverse-engineer them into something playable if there was anyone in the world that wanted to. I don't think Marauders ever got made playable, for obvious reasons... Nephandi I can't recall. I think they got player-facing material that only GMs were supposed to use, or something? I'm sure Mors knows.

There was a book on autumn people, though I forget if it actually had PC rules or was just like the nephandi with "rules, but supposedly not for players". I know the shadow court and their attendant fae types had PC rules, and over time they got to be more and more central to the metaplot over the dauntain.

Spectres as I recall could actually get redeemed back to wraiths; their "shadowguide" was their better self. Obviously probably not for the weirdo types like dead babies, but for more "regular" spectres there was at least more potential hope than in, say, a fomori game.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Apologies if you've just yet to cover this Maxwell Lord, but I think there are a couple of things I would add to Kayfabe that would elevate it for me:

1. From what I've seen, the reward incentive for every player is to improve their characters, and that's fine if a player controls only one wrestler. But as a fan of wrestling and wrestling history, I find the stories of tragic failures to be just as interesting as the success stories. So if you're controlling multiple stars, then a player ought to be encouraged to stage a Jake Roberts-level meltdown just as much as propelling a star to greatness. A possible incentive could be "you're character does something really dumb, and in return you get to pick something that happens from...

2. ...the rest of the world." An RPG about wrestling as a business needs to be contextualized in the world it exists in, particularly the rest of the pro-wrestling industry. This does not require a lot of details, but can be handled with two narrative tools:

First, a table of poo poo Happens. These are a list of possible (non-wrestling) current events that are going to inform one or more story arcs, either for the short term or the long term "Your sister's tragic death is all over the news and one of the writers thinks talking about it on air will help sell your character." "The owner just got done binge-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm and won't shut up about how our promotion should be more like it." "The U.S. has invaded Greenland. We're changing your gimmick to 'Evil Eskimo'."

Second, I think that a narrative arc should be picked out for the promotion, pinning down where it is in it's life cycle. This is based on my experience doing pbp wrestling feds, because every one seems to default to "brand new venture that's the size of everyone interested", and I'd rather the focus be on points that are more interesting. There are three periods I have in mind:

-'Mania: aka the WWF in the 80's. The promotion has hit on something huge and is about to have more fans, money and talent than it knows what to do with. Play out what it's like when sudden and massive success intersects with carny-level entertainment.

-Wrestle War: The Monday Night Wars of the mid-to-late nineties. There's a new sheriff in town. Maybe it's you, maybe it's someone else, or maybe the two of you showed up at the same time with commissions signed by two different strangers claiming to be governor and I'll stop before I write a western RPG. The point is you play as one side in an all-out Ratings War where everything is permitted. There are a number of ways to represent your hated rival, probably the easiest is to just make a random tabled called "what Those &*#$ers did this month."

-Show Canceled on a Pole: aka the final years of WCW. Your once proud franchise is going into a death spiral. Whether or not it can be saved is up to the play group, but regardless there is a sense that things have gone dreadfully wrong, ratings and PPV buys are in continued decline, and anyone still watching is quick to point out how much you suck.

edit: what are the fomori again?

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 03:58 on Dec 1, 2017

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Fomori in Werewolf the Apocalypse are humans or other 'normal' creatures which have fused with Banes, spirits of the Wyrm. The result is freaky mutant powers. They are primarily intended as foot soldiers or easy ways to have "physical" monsters to cause problems. They are rarely a match for Garou one on one, but can cause problems in the community.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Nessus posted:

Fomori in Werewolf the Apocalypse are humans or other 'normal' creatures which have fused with Banes, spirits of the Wyrm. The result is freaky mutant powers. They are primarily intended as foot soldiers or easy ways to have "physical" monsters to cause problems. They are rarely a match for Garou one on one, but can cause problems in the community.

Okay, that seems reasonable

What does their book do with them?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

SirPhoebos posted:

Okay, that seems reasonable

What does their book do with them?

Gives them spiked tentacle dicks and fanged fire vaginas.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Kurieg posted:

Gives them spiked tentacle dicks and fanged fire vaginas.
In-deed! To be "fair" to Freak Legion, the majority of mutant powers are more traditionally disgusting rather than focused on giving you a doom cock.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Nessus posted:

One explanation I came up with while bullshitting during a long car ride on this topic is that vampire disciplines all look like cheap and lovely CGI from a distance. (Darker possibility: the 'cheap and lovely CGI' concept, as a wide-spread cultural idea, was deliberately engineered by the Camarilla as a pre-emptive whataboutist defense measure.)
My main rationalization is that if you got attacked in a dark alley by a super-fast, super-strong Nosferatu, you'd still probably only be able to say "It was dark, and he was big and ugly, and it happened so fast..." like any other mugging. That doesn't cover everything, but it covers a lot.

Nessus posted:

Yeah, all it would take is one Tzimisce with Fortitude training sleepwalking through an appearance on Letterman and the Masquerade is cooked.
Yeah, but that's a particularly bad example because no Tzimisce would do that. Another rationalization is that vampirism self-selects for survival instincts above all else. Sure, any vampire could say "Hey film me doing magic stuff" but those of the Hold My Blood and Watch This persuasion are likely to get put down soon after their Becoming.

Night10194 posted:

When I wrote my ages ago 'I'm 16 and new to RPGs' Urban Fantasy game it was an explicit plot point that the modern world was killing any attempt at a masquerade and everything was on the verge of splitting wide open and becoming public.

Joe Slowboat posted:

This honestly seems like the single biggest difference between Old and New WOD to me (as an nWOD player): The grand conspiracies to hide the supernatural only need to achieve deniability, because everyone is going to prefer to pretend they live in a world where the dead don't wake up to drink our blood because maybe that way it won't be *my* blood.

Mors Rattus posted:

I've always liked the explanation posited by nHunter, which is that for all they try, any masquerade which relies on just hiding rather than, say, Mage's 'your mind cannot process this and you forget it, no matter what', the masquerade just...has failed, basically. People know weird poo poo is out there.
And this is where it gets really interesting to me!

If I remember right, the "canon" end to the Masquerade, in Gehenna, is when the PCs fight a giant Vicissitude monster in the streets of NYC. After that, the Camarilla has no choice but to "get out in front of it" and send the Ventrue NPC on a talk show to do the True Blood thing and say "Yes vampires are real and we're taxpaying citizens."

I have long preferred the idea that the Masquerade is an edifice that's slowly crumbling, not something that would fall all at once. At some point you'd start seeing things that are hard to rationalize away, maybe even impossible. But that doesn't mean that any group of people, let alone the general public, puts the pieces together. You have some YouTube videos out there of something crazy and some credible people who aren't afraid to lose tenure or whatever by coming out and saying it wasn't faked. Okay, but what is it exactly?

I always got the vibe from nWoD that it was very much like Joe Slowboat says: almost everyone you meet has had some supernatural experience. But most never realize it. Most of those who do, find some way to rationalize it. Most who don't disregard it...have their worldview changed by it, but they ever really understand what happened and never investigate it. Those that are left are the extremely tiny minority who are your PCs.

Nessus posted:

Fomori in Werewolf the Apocalypse are humans or other 'normal' creatures which have fused with Banes, spirits of the Wyrm. The result is freaky mutant powers. They are primarily intended as foot soldiers or easy ways to have "physical" monsters to cause problems. They are rarely a match for Garou one on one, but can cause problems in the community.
Don't make my Bane call me a fag! That is very rude!

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 05:38 on Dec 1, 2017

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Kurieg posted:

Gives them spiked tentacle dicks and fanged fire vaginas.

I regret asking :gonk:

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy
Freak Legion was a Black Dog game book, which are always gratuitously over the top in a very special 90's, early 2000's fashion. They were "mature" books that were advertised as being for adults only but the only shrink wrapped WW book from that era that I remember is Clanbook Tzimisce because there's a guy with a vagina face on the back and they had to cover it with paper.

Black Dog games is also the name of the Pentex subsidiary that spoofed White Wolf.

EDIT: There's even a Wikipedia article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Dog_Game_Factory Fun fact, one of these books even has a writing credit from Ken Hite.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 06:00 on Dec 1, 2017

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Freak Legion was a Black Dog game book, which are always gratuitously over the top in a very special 90's, early 2000's fashion. They were "mature" books that were advertised as being for adults only but the only shrink wrapped WW book from that era that I remember is Clanbook Tzimisce because there's a guy with a vagina face on the back and they had to cover it with paper.

Black Dog games is also the name of the Pentex subsidiary that spoofed White Wolf.
Black Dog wasn't like all edgy mature things for matures, at least. They did the Holocaust supplement for Wraith, which defied all expectations and was very good (even if you might still not want to use it). I hear the Giovanni chronicles package was also good?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Nessus posted:

Black Dog wasn't like all edgy mature things for matures, at least. They did the Holocaust supplement for Wraith, which defied all expectations and was very good (even if you might still not want to use it). I hear the Giovanni chronicles package was also good?
My recollection of the GC was that it was...OK? And not especially Black Dog-ish. It was interesting in that it took place across multiple centuries and the conceit of the campaign was that you played the same character from medieval to modern times, dropping into a scenario every century or two (and with rules to cover what you got up to during the down time between adventures). The whole thing was released in four books across five years (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999) and I think one edition change.

Who actually runs these campaigns that have multiple parts and often have year (or years) long gaps between releases? You buy book one, get hyped, make some characters, play through it, get to the end (usually a cliffhanger) and then...put the campaign on the shelf for 18 months until the company deigns to release book two? And then again, and again? That doesn't seem very compatible with the real life constraints of most gaming groups.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Desiden posted:

There was a book on autumn people, though I forget if it actually had PC rules or was just like the nephandi with "rules, but supposedly not for players". I know the shadow court and their attendant fae types had PC rules, and over time they got to be more and more central to the metaplot over the dauntain.

For the Autumn People, it was the latter. The Shadow Court had rules and were playable. They were very bad rules, I mean, even by the standards of the time. For example, you had a type that could turn into monsters. This made everybody have to make a Willpower not to try and kill them. Did they get any monster powers, or anything?

:iiam:

It's real bad. The Dauntain were at least written with some degree of competency, but the Thallain were written with that distinct Changeling 1st edition "janky, even for White Wolf" stumble.

Desiden posted:

Spectres as I recall could actually get redeemed back to wraiths; their "shadowguide" was their better self.

They could but it was immensely difficult and presumably just gets you NPC'ed in a campaign like that, but it was a thing.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy
There's some good stuff in there but some of it is needlessly edgy in terms of minor details and artwork, like Montreal by Night. Some of them are on there like Baali and Cainite Heresy because they have things like pedophile priests and grindhouse level cultists in them.

Giovanni Chronicles is good in a nostalgic sense but it is very much a railroad campaign through Vampire history where you can look but not touch. I think there's incest in it, it is the Giovanni Chronicles after all, and if I'm remembering correctly there's a segment with a monastery of debased kindred where you have to go into full debauchery to break yourself down to get in.

Charnel Houses of Europe is good, as reviewed here. It is surprisingly well written and respectful. I think it's only under that label because they didn't want to be accused of peddling Holocaust: the Game to children.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Revised Edition, Part One: "This book is dedicated to the two greatest game master in the world, Kevin Siembieda and Rene Vega."

So, time for me to do a review of my "first" role-playing game. Not the first I was exposed to - that was Dungeons & Dragons. After seeing the Basic set, I was all set to get the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monster Manual, and Monster Manual II for my birthday. And then a certain episode of 60 Minutes aired. All of a sudden, AD&D was a no-go. Granted, I could still look at my friends' books, and borrow them. I also got to see other RPGs like Traveller or Marvel Super Heroes floating around. But then, when at a convenience store, my parent offered to let me get a comic book. They didn't have my usual Marvel comics, so I picked up this:



It was weird and interesting, so I picked up the first issue as well. It was goofy and had cool ninja stuff, which I already liked, but it's hard to explain why I glommed onto it. It just had enough weird ideas to be like nothing I'd seen before, and I wanted more. Never found the second issue, though. Instead, when stopping by my comic store, I ran across this-



It's hard to describe how exciting this was at the time. It had an RPG?! And because it had a comic insert and didn't have "RPG" on the cover, I was able to slip it under my parent's nose as being a comic collection. And that's how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness became my first RPG. And through it, I was able to find out about the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. I was able to find this one:



Not the best issue to start on, but it was grounded and genuine in a way few comics I had read at the time were, strange as it may be to say. Even at a young age, I had come into the belief that Batman and Superman were for very small kids, based on the cartoons they were in at the time and the comic digests I'd gotten from time to time. And though I'd gotten into some Marvel books due to them having characters that felt more like... characters, with motivations and relationships that roughly resembled those of real people, the turtles were fuckin' street. They stabbed bad ninjas and weren't afraid of nothing, with a casual affectation to them that kept the whole thing relatable. By the time the turtles cartoon came out, I was already a little black and white comics hipster. I mean, the cartoons were alright, but I was always able to recognize it as the kiddified version. And no kid wants the kiddified version when they know the adult thing is out there. I mean, that's why I'd wanted AD&D and not D&D.

And before I get too far into this thing, I want to acknowledge the author, Erick Wujcik, for making a game that drew so many kids into the hobby like myself. At no point was the game sanitized to match the cartoons starting at the time, and it was both edgy for my age and compelling. With fifty-eight different animal types to play and a point-buy system, it excited my little nerd brain, and there were lists of guns and weapons, and all sorts of numbers to jot down. I was hooked. I want to thank him for the Amber DRPG, the first indie RPG I was exposed to, the one that dragged me into an older playing group I've been with to do this day. His contributions to the hobby are fairly major, and I don't want to discount that. But I'm going to take my usual critical eye to things, and this is a Palladium game, It's aged better than Rifts has rules was, but that's a very relative statement to make.

Some of you may realize this isn't the first time this game has been on FATAL & Friends, but Forkbanger's review focused almost solely on the mutant animal creation rules, and there's a lot to cover besides just those. Though they're the star of the show, there's a lot more to bring up I feel was skimmed the first time around. Also, just as a note, sometimes I'll be using Turtles comics material that isn't in the book itself, and when I do, it'll have a green border like this:


Why, yes, it was the eighties. Also, why is he wearing a towel? Hm.

Next: Some slightly more relevant digressions.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Dark Matter: Xenoforms



Shockingly We Avoid an Ethnic Slur In Africa Edition:

The intro paragraph for Africa mentions that the relatively large areas of the continent that are either uninhabited or sparsely inhabited lend themselves to plenty of potential for weird poo poo the outside world would discount, and also that as far as proper Strangers Africa is solidly kinori territory (the Gateway that they originally used to travel to our dimension was in Egypt as I recall). We get two creatures this time around (some other things that would be appropriate are in other sections that arenít continent specific of course). And neither of them is a questionable attempt to appropriate mythology the authors barely understood to begin with so hooray.

Congoraptor:



Congoraptors are pretty much literally the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. They were Cretaceous holdovers on the verge of extinction when the kinori discovered their existence and decided they might be useful. They captured a bunch of them and started breeding them while also juicing them up with magic. Congoraptors are essentially extinct in the wild as of the turn of the 21st century.

So one interesting thing to note, while they are listed with two claws and a bite, their encounter section specifically disallows them using those attacks unless theyíve succeeded an overpower attempt on a player. This is actually a common feature of animal-type creatures in this, as I look through. Their listed attacks only come into play if youíre getting mauled, which you definitely donít want to have happen because holy gently caress could they pile on damage fast that way. Theyíre incredibly glassy though, so if you can get them out in the open theyíll drop like flies.

Each xenoform has a few paragraphs of an adventure hook you could reasonably flesh out into something more. This oneís is Predator-style pursuit through the jungle as a kinori hunting pack pursues the PCs using congoraptors (which in turn suggests a prequel adventure that leads them to this position).

Verdict: Super niche but could be interesting properly used. They make a nice compensation for the fact that kinori are generally poorly armed.

Flying Snake:



Lol okay so this thing is a huge python that glides like Rocky the loving Flying Squirrel. Itís intensely silly and the book doesnít even try to explain how it works beyond Ďeh iunno maybe itís some bullshit kinori magic donít overthink this.í Which is sound advice because this thing might as well be a drop bear or something.

Itís a constrictor and operates pretty much how you would expect a huge constrictor snake to work, except it also has a special plummet attack that comes from its ability to glide down from a tree right onto something. As would be expected of such a snake it wonít really fight unless cornered, and even then will try to run away if given the opportunity.

The adventure hook suggests the party, which happens to be in the region, hear rumors about a giant flying snake sighted by shepherds nearby. While searching for it, they also encounter a group of kinori doing the same. Itís left open-ended as to whatís really going on and what objectives the players might want to achieve at this point. Hell this could in fact prove a workable hook for the pre-adventure that leads to the above one, or even one that leads to that pre-adventure. If you havenít noticed Iím kind of a fan of the adventure hooks for the most part because I feel like they do a good job of giving a skeleton of an adventure while giving you a lot of room to elaborate on the situation and make it your own.

Verdict: Charmingly goofy.

Next time weíll see some North American monsters. I hope you like appropriated native culture!

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time


Kinda looks like the real-life flying snake.

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Also, just as a note, sometimes I'll be using Turtles comics material that isn't in the book itself, and when I do, it'll have a green border like this:


Why, yes, it was the eighties. Also, why is he wearing a towel? Hm.
... Do you mean a red border?

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JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib

Zereth posted:

... Do you mean a red border?

The boards put a red border around any image in timg tags. If you look closely, you can see the green border just inside the red.

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