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RiotGearEpsilon
Jun 26, 2005
SHAVE ME FROM MY SHELF

JcDent posted:

I would take that perk and eat my way to bliss. Cookies and pizza and confectionaries and whatever for days, without getting fat, though I guess vampire bowel movements are pretty nasty.

in that they regurgitate the completely undigested food about 30 minutes later, yeah

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Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Hey what's up I'm Down With People and I never loving post. Nearly four years ago I started an F&F on my personal favourite badgame, Empire Of Satanis. Seeing that little 'abandoned' label next to my username on the inklesspen website was bumming me out, so I'd like to finally finish up my review. It'll only take a few more updates anyway, unless I start covering the supplements.

Empire Of Satanis: is all about reaching out and going beyond.



So in case you're unaware or don't remember, EoS was this game:

quote:

Welcome my bloodied, chaotic, and slimy disciples… you have walked through a door to H. P. Lovecraft’s version of Hell by way of a surreal dreamscape. You are diabolic champions who are destined to be as Godlike as your emperor Satanis. But don’t start to feel all smug and superior because at one time your kind were the feeble, unwanted, unloved, beaten, abused, spit upon, hated, and feared dregs of humanity. Citizens of the human realms who practiced sorcery were banished from the universe. Each time you are reminded of your struggle for power, a blind volatile rage takes hold. A twisted sense of dark purpose hides behind a decadent masque of revenge fantasy.

By this guy:



Where we left off back in 2014, Dishaw had just written something like a conclusion for the book, but had placed it somewhere about two-thirds of the way through. The rest of the book is a grab-bag of extra poo poo Dishaw thought was important to add to the game in no particular order, including more setting lore, short fiction and three whole-rear end pre-written adventures.

So first up, there's more gamemaster advice, and like previous bits of advice this is actually surprisingly good. I mean, it's not well-written, being more of Dishaw's rambling pseudo-mystical poo poo. But I can't actually fault what he's saying here, even if it's just because they're classic GM tips repacked into Satanis format.

quote:

A few suggestions… if you are planning on setting most adventures in K’thana, then begin adventures in the same location or use a few stock locations frequently. This gives the characters the feeling of familiarity, and allows them a place to freely socialize, gather information, and get into character. Someplace like the Deceased Visionary Inn and Tavern, a shady S/M parlor, or the council room of the Insidious Order of the Ninth Angle.

Of course, he gets right back onto his bullshit in case you forgot what you were reading.

quote:

Likewise, the GM may want to explore Fiend civilization and get into the role-playing of what it’s like to be an ancient demon tied to your brothers by blood, God, and a billion souls of opposition from the next universe over. Fiend society and culture is a rich mine of horrible and bizarre intrigue. Their whole reason for being stems from their nonconformist philosophy and spiritual paths. What if our primitive human race all became radical free-thinking individuals and power-hungry madmen at the same time. No thought to conscience, guilt, remorse, regret, or the suffering brought upon others. That is who the Fiends are, except their physical appearance now resembles their blackened soul.

After that he launches into the first real look into the setting of K'Thana and I've got to admit, at this point I'm just a little confused about the setting. Throughout the book, Dishaw seems to use 'Yidathroth' and 'K'Thana' interchangeably, so I'm not sure what the difference is. I think Yidathroth is meant to be sort of the higher universe that K'Thana is attached to, but don't quote me on that. Dishaw compares them by saying that if Yidathroth was the size of the Milky Way, K'Thana would be the size of the United States and Frier the size of Wisconsin. This just goes to show that like many hack writers, Dishaw has no sense of scale.

That's in a paragraph with the heading 'K'Thana'. Immediately afterwards is, of all things, a bestiary. There's less than a dozen entries here with a couple of sentences of description each and nothing like a statblock. Here's the description of the Akturian Heads in its entirety:

quote:

Akturian Heads: Vile green severed heads that float around of their own will using magic to harm or enslave others.

Oh gently caress me running, vile and green? If only it was one or the other.

Following on from that is a description of the big man Satanis himself. The Crimson God is – what else? - an alien eldritch evil hell monster with a truly ancient and all-powerful intellect. He is explicitly referred to as being an Old One along the lines of Cthulhu, conveniently ignoring that Cthulhu got chumped by a boat to the face in his own story. But he's also a really neat guy apparently, since the whole point of his Dark Way is that you too can be a hellgod if you try really hard and believe in yourself. You're not his slave or worshipper, even though it might seem like you are, because you're actually his equal. Don't Tread On Him.

Then after that is, I guess a brief history lesson? Dishaw discusses the Age of Undoing and the Age of Unmaking.

quote:

How would one describe the exodus into the Yidathroth universe? Nothing greater than the death of everything you believe, and the rise of everything you fear. Have you heard of the Revaluation of all values by Nietzsche?

In the Undoing, the people who would one day become the Fiends were exiled to Yidathroth for, uh, some loving reason. The way the book describes it it's because they were really into moral relativism? That doesn't seem to warrant getting sent to hell forever. Anyway in Yidathroth they cracked onto real magic power, which was good, but also onto pointless murder, which was bad.

The exiles killed each other filthy until the Unmaking when Satanis, who had been watching the whole time and saw the potential in the exiles, stepped in and showed everyone the Dark Way. He became Emperor, the coolest and sexiest psychopaths became the Imperial Murderers, and all was well for the Fiends. Because I know that when I think of a free and liberal utopia, I think of taking orders from an evil emperor and his legion of killer cops.

Oh there's also something called the Abyss of Making which is just constantly making GBS threads out new monsters and I guess Satanis is really interested in it. It's guarded by the Spirit Folk who may or may not just be waiting around for it to churn up something that can kill everyone. Whatever.

If this seems really disjointed and abrupt that's because it's like that in the book too. None of the sections I described get more than a page and there's no reason for them to all suddenly be here, in this order. In fact I'm pretty sure these were all added onto to the first copy of EoS by Dishaw after he received his first round of criticism. Also to the signal-to-noise ratio really takes a nosedive in these parts; it's pretty much just all tepid wankery about how loving cool Dishaw thinks his whole setting is.

Next: The City of Frier! Tentacled whores! Flesh-hook girls!

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Dallbun posted:

305: In the Path of Battle

A grassy plain between two gently sloping hills, just before dawn. The PCs start to see lights, as if from cities, from either side of the hill. They’re from army camps, and soon “the whole area is bustling with activity,” though the PCs can’t make out many details without approaching one side or the other. But of course the armies rise the crest and charge each other at the least opportune time.

“The charge begins as soon as the PCs are halfway through the valley. Since the armies are so large, they can spread out all along the crests of the two hills, and there is no doubt that the PCs will be caught by at least some of the fighting. If the PCs continue walking when the bugle sounds, they will have to fight through at least SO soldiers, more if they pause for a time. If they run, they will have to fight only 20. Both sides automatically assume that the PCs are on the other side, and will attack them.”

I’m impressed - this is the absolute least interesting encounter you could possibly have about wandering into the middle of a war. Pass.

As the adventurers make their way across the grassy plain, they're accosted by a patrol from one of the two armies. The patrol accuses them of being spies for the other army, and attempts to take them back to their camp. If the PCs resist, they'll have the fight the ten of them, and then attempt to leave the plain while evading other patrols.

If they go with the patrol, they're taken before the general of the army. She's skeptical of their claims of innocence, but will hear them out. If they convince her that they're not spies, she'll demand they fight on her behalf, pointing out that they're clearly fit for combat. If they do well, they'll be well-rewarded. Alternately, they can convince her that they are unfit for duty (actually lame, feeble-witted, insane), and she'll have them quickly escorted to the other side of her army to get them out of her hair. If they choose to attack, they'll need to escape from the middle of an army tent and may earn the enmity of the country the army belongs to.

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

RiotGearEpsilon posted:

in that they regurgitate the completely undigested food about 30 minutes later, yeah

I think the description in the book is "ashes and gobbets", or something along those lines.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Half the calories, twice the flavour!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Revised Edition, Part Ten: "He feels the organization is run by Ninjitsu fools who do not understand that true power does not come from weapons or money."

The Leg of the Ninja

I can't... I can't make this up. See, you have the Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a parody of the Hand Ninja from Daredevil. And now you have "The Leg".



For one, why wouldn't you just use the Foot instead? I mean, they have the license, and fans want to fight the Foot, why would you have such an obvious knockoff? If it's intended as a parody, it's not apparent - there's no obvious joke other than the name. There's no apparent connection to the Foot Clan, either. And why wouldn't you go with the arm rather than the leg?

In any case, these are ninja smugglers. No art for any of the characters in this section, for the record.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness posted:

Since the Leg is constantly loading or unloading shipments secretly, in strange neighborhoods, in the middle of the night, it's only a matter of time before the players' group discover them.

Yes, it's taken as an assumption that the PCs go around like Batman rooftop-watching alleyways and the like. Sure. It presumes they go in to disrupt the shipments, even though... it may not be obvious that they're illegal? Well, that's what they have to do for the adventure to work. It says when the players jump in, ninja will leap to its defense! More of a faction description than an adventure, it describes how encounters should escalate between the PCs and The Leg, with the ninja finally calling upon the "Tiger of the East" to eliminate them, and then when the Tiger presumably fails, they'll call out their biggest gun, "The Black One". We're told that their leadership in the US is "corrupt and stupid" - still dangerous, but apparently a far cry from their forebears.

We get rules for ninja thugs and their lieutenants, which are modest, though the lieutenants are surprisingly damaging. Then, we go into Kenu Kametsu's statblock, aka Long Strike. Long Strike is clearly supposed to be the first big boss PCs run into, and though he's one of the leaders, the pressure is too much for him and he's an opium addict, bullying those around him and wheedling when he's overcome. Despite that, he is a pretty tough customer and isn't afraid to use a sub-machinegun, which we're told is part of his "cowardice and lack of respect for tradition", but... guy's a ninja. Shouldn't a lack of respect for tradition be part of their point? The kind of folks who are willing to do anything to get stuff done? Well, no, here they're about honor, which apparently means not using any weapon invented after 1600.

Then we get Iya Ieyama, who is the head of the American branch of The Leg, who is a tougher customer and known as the Tiger of the West. He's actually a less competent combatant than Long Strike, but has a massive bonus to damage that makes any hit from him ridiculously damaging (he has a total of +17 to damage in a system where a +6 is pretty impressive). However, he's cautious and cowardly to a fault and won't enter any fight he doesn't think he can win. He also has a kusari-gama (that's a one-handed sickle with a chain attached) that is apparently of such fine craftsmanship that it gives a bonus to hit and damage. No other such weapon gets a bonus like that in the book, making it odd and its noteworthy in its mechanical ham-handedness. Now, if the plot ended there, other than the really dumb name of "The Leg", this'd be an alright hook, albeit a fairly generic one. But we've got one more poo poo up our sleeve.



Once the PCs get past the bush league bosses, they have to face The Black One (not actually black). The retired head of The Leg (sigh), he lives under a fake name of... can I really type it? Can I? I guess I have to, now. He lives under the fake name of "Sushi Vojimbo". Sushi Vojimbo. It's not like, a joke or a pun. It's just a random collection of Japanese words, and an offensive one at that. But, well, 1985. In any case, he's a stereotype of the catankerous old asian man, who considers Kenu and Iya to be a bunch of fools who lack discipline. He regrets killing a rival when he was young, and so he never kills those he feels have potential for greatness. He works completely unarmed and alone, and that makes some sense you realize he's less of a character and more of a walking cutscene.

He's a "19th level ninja" (any other characters top out at 15th, for the record), but in addition, he has learned the "Lee Kwan Choo" martial art to 8th level, which we're told is a "mystic Chinese form of Kung Fu". This completely fictional fu lets him hit people for stunning blows that render foes helpless for 1d6 rounds, which means each hit can essentially kayo a target for a full minute with no saving throw. This alone would be enough to let him win fights, with his massive bonuses in combat. What's more, he has a Mental Affinity of 28, which is impossible for an ordinary human, which we're told he can use to stun foes outside of combat unless they roll above a 94 on d%. This isn't something you can actually do with Mental Affinity in the rules, but he can. What's more, he has a "+16 to leap away from combat", which has an implied meaning but doesn't have any clear rules application. Presumably that means he can get away really well. In addition, he has a Prowl of 98%, which we're told allows him to vanish at will, which isn't how the rules work, but okay.

Essentially, he's supposed to show up, and decide whether or not the PCs have potential. If he decides they don't, he'll likely trounce and kill them. If he decides they do have potential, he'll likely trounce them and nod sagely and vanish. Granted, he's not unstoppable, because he does have game numbers. But unless the PCs start just like pitching handfuls of grenades of him or set up crossfiring machineguns, they probably don't stand much of a chance. Oh, but if you have psionics, Wujcik didn't think to give him any defense against those, so a little Bio-Manipulation before he can slapstun you and he'll be twitching on the floor.

Whee.

We're told he could be the PC's mentor if you want to set them up in advance, then have a tweest where he turns out to be the retired head of the folks they were fighting all along, which is probably the best use for him if you can scrub out most of the blatant stereotyping and make him into a more interesting character. It notes that he also might show up later to save the PCs from something or other because he sees potential in them, or maybe not! He's asian and mysterious, two terms that may as well be synonomous in this description.

And that's the last of the "adventures", so we can move on the final parts of the book.

Sushi fuckin' Vojimbo, seriously?

Next: T.U.R.T.L.E. Power.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




JcDent posted:

I would take that perk and eat my way to bliss. Cookies and pizza and confectionaries and whatever for days, without getting fat, though I guess vampire bowel movements are pretty nasty.
You have to puke it up. Your digestive system is so withered that nothing is passing all the way through it. In retrospect I'm kind of amazed there was never an edgy Tzimisce obsessed with using their body-warping powers to poop.

quote:

So, vampires staying up during the day... is like me staying up at night. Do they also lose humanity for posting on 4chan?
Like normal humans, yes.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Hit points do not merely represent the amount of physical harm a character can endure before dying, but also their ability to withstand

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 53: The Deck of Wraiths and Behirs

Next up are wights and wyverns, so I have no idea why the behir is here.

310: In the Clutches

Can’t find this one either.


311: Bumping in the Night

There’s some good description, but basically the PCs are in a dank dungeon hallway and two wraiths attack, seeping out of cracks in the walls.. Their corpses are in a bricked-in tomb, and if the PCs break into it, they find two skeletons, about 1100 gp of treasure, a ring of protection +3, and a broad sword +2.

Huh. It has some decent flavor, and I like that the PCs are rewarded if they follow-up on investigating. I wish the combat or the treasure were a little more interesting, though. I suppose it’s a keep, and probably adjust the treasure. (And maybe the mechanics of the wraith, because I’m not a fan of level-drainers, especially sneak-attacking level drainers. But you can just take that as a given for all these wraith encounters.)


312: Awakened Ancestors

Three wraiths are haunting a family chapel or the crypt of a ruined keep. There’s some good description of the decay of the “paintings of handsome, but cruel-looking people.” The wraiths were some of those people, and they still move “slowly and haughtily” even in unlife. The paintings aren’t linked to the wraiths magically, but there are coins and stuff hidden between the canvas and the frame backings, which will spill out if the paintings are slashed. (1,650 coins total! I’m not sure I can mentally picture how this works, but, uh, okay!) There’s also a cloak of protection +3.

Not bad. I’ll keep. Again, I’d probably change the treasure as well.


313: Terror in the Tar

“A large underground cavern riddled with tar pits and pools of sulfurous water.” The bodies of two assassins killed for treason were dumped in the tar pits there’s some un-gameable background info that will never come up in play; the important thing is that there are two wraiths hidden among the steam clouds to murder folks. They’ll try to back PCs into tar pits if they can. They’re bound to the area and won’t pursue. Their treasure is hidden in the tarpits - a ruby and an necklace of adaptation.

It’s a decent set piece combat, even though the card acknowledges that the PCs will need a reason to enter this dark, steamy hellhole. (It suggests making it a shortcut through mountains or whatever.) I might have preferred a monster that could itself be knocked into tarpits, but that’s a quibble. Keep.


314: The Sacred Censer

In the ruins of an ancient cathedral. The card provides decent environmental description. Wraiths pour in out of holes in the stained glass windows, and through the front door to block escape. There are twelve total - quite a few! The PCs might notice that they give the altar in the middle of the chamber a wide berth, though, and they have a round to run towards it if they’re quick. There’s a censer, a blessed holy symbol of a god of peace, on the altar, and the wraiths can’t attack anyone within 20 feet of it. It can, and will, be taken by the PCs.

I appreciate that the censer’s nature and powers are just a little vague. It stops wraiths from attacking, cool. How about shadows? What happens if I chuck it at an archlich? I have no doubt that all these theories and more will be tested once it’s in the hands of the PCs. Keep.


315: The Willing Sacrifice

The PCs are wandering through idyllic farmland, and find a guy tied to a tree by the side of the road, not resisting. There’s a behir terrorizing the countryside, and the peasants have started a lottery system of willing sacrifices to appease it. This guy politely declines to be saved, “saying that he lost fair and square.” Very philosophical. He’ll only accept help if the PCs offer to kill the monster, but will stick around to watch and make sure it’s done. He doesn’t know what a behir is called and can’t really explain what it is, only offer vague description that it’s long and has lots of teeth and so on. In a fight he’ll stand back and offer “belated suggestions and annoying advice.”

Seems like fun. Keep.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Dallbun posted:

The paintings aren’t linked to the wraiths magically, but there are coins and stuff hidden between the canvas and the frame backings, which will spill out if the paintings are slashed. (1,650 coins total! I’m not sure I can mentally picture how this works, but, uh, okay!) There’s also a cloak of protection +3.

Look forward to the PCs destroying art left and right for the rest of the campaign!

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Subjunctive posted:

Look forward to the PCs destroying art left and right for the rest of the campaign!

You say that like they weren't already. Or aren't stealing paintings off the walls if they're in good enough condition to judge the subject's looks

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Halloween Jack posted:

You have to puke it up. Your digestive system is so withered that nothing is passing all the way through it. In retrospect I'm kind of amazed there was never an edgy Tzimisce obsessed with using their body-warping powers to poop.

Laying odds he'd take a shortcut and end up looking like this:
https://i.imgur.com/wWLQkOW.jpg

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

He lives under the fake name of "Sushi Vojimbo". Sushi Vojimbo. It's not like, a joke or a pun. It's just a random collection of Japanese words, and an offensive one at that.

Is it worth mentioning that the V sound does not exist in Japanese?

In any case, earlier in the book, they said that it's not recommended for people to play as the Ninja Turtles. Now, they have a rip-off of the Foot when they could've used the real thing. Maybe Palladium didn't actually realize that they were making a licensed game. Or, more likely, they didn't realize why people play licensed games.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I always wondered if 'the Leg' was the original name of the Foot, after paging through that book.

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!


Dallbun posted:

315: The Willing Sacrifice

The PCs are wandering through idyllic farmland, and find a guy tied to a tree by the side of the road, not resisting. There’s a behir terrorizing the countryside, and the peasants have started a lottery system of willing sacrifices to appease it. This guy politely declines to be saved, “saying that he lost fair and square.” Very philosophical. He’ll only accept help if the PCs offer to kill the monster, but will stick around to watch and make sure it’s done. He doesn’t know what a behir is called and can’t really explain what it is, only offer vague description that it’s long and has lots of teeth and so on. In a fight he’ll stand back and offer “belated suggestions and annoying advice.”

Seems like fun. Keep.

I wouldn't be able to resist making this guy a recurring NPC. Just sort of casually accepting whatever peril he's in this time, and the PC's can justify killing him or abandoning him, so they have to put up with him until they can rescue him or get him home or turn him human again or whatever it is this time.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

PurpleXVI posted:

I wouldn't be able to resist making this guy a recurring NPC. Just sort of casually accepting whatever peril he's in this time, and the PC's can justify killing him or abandoning him, so they have to put up with him until they can rescue him or get him home or turn him human again or whatever it is this time.

A man with both the lucky and unlucky traits for the game system he's in maxed out. keeps ending up in horrible situations, keeps getting out of them both in equally absurd ways.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


PurpleXVI posted:

I wouldn't be able to resist making this guy a recurring NPC. Just sort of casually accepting whatever peril he's in this time, and the PC's can justify killing him or abandoning him, so they have to put up with him until they can rescue him or get him home or turn him human again or whatever it is this time.

It's pretty good stuff. My favorite part is the description of how he tries to be helpful.

(behir breathes lightning at PCs, people make saving throws, mark off damage, etc.)
Man: That looked like some kind of lightning!

(the round after a PC is constricted by the behir and clawed six times)
Man: Try not to let it catch you!

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Obligatum VII posted:

A man with both the lucky and unlucky traits for the game system he's in maxed out. keeps ending up in horrible situations, keeps getting out of them both in equally absurd ways.
Lots of fiction protagonists, when they're statted for RPG systems, have Lucky/Unlucky on their character sheets, and for precisely that reason.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



MightyMatilda posted:

Is it worth mentioning that the V sound does not exist in Japanese?

In any case, earlier in the book, they said that it's not recommended for people to play as the Ninja Turtles. Now, they have a rip-off of the Foot when they could've used the real thing. Maybe Palladium didn't actually realize that they were making a licensed game. Or, more likely, they didn't realize why people play licensed games.

reminds me of all those older Star Wars games where you weren't allowed to be on equal footing with canon characters, and there was another I can't name where you just can't make canon characters RAW

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


FMguru posted:

Lots of fiction protagonists, when they're statted for RPG systems, have Lucky/Unlucky on their character sheets, and for precisely that reason.

I was helping a friend test an urban fantasy game where I got to play a child services social worker with subconscious luck magic involved in changeling shennanigans. He never believed any of the various wizards about his luck, because 'If I was some kind of mythic gambler I wouldn't be spending Halloween stuck in the faerie realm.', until someone pointed out 'Yeah but you keep surviving it.'

Cecil Myron: Social Worker to the Supernatural was an amazing game. I should try to find that old system some day.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Dallbun posted:

It's pretty good stuff. My favorite part is the description of how he tries to be helpful.

(behir breathes lightning at PCs, people make saving throws, mark off damage, etc.)
Man: That looked like some kind of lightning!

(the round after a PC is constricted by the behir and clawed six times)
Man: Try not to let it catch you!

So what I'm getting from this is that he's a Pawn from Dragon's Dogma.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


OvermanXAN posted:

So what I'm getting from this is that he's a Pawn from Dragon's Dogma.

MASTER THEY ILL LIKE FIRE

I loved my doofy idiot buddies.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MightyMatilda posted:

Is it worth mentioning that the V sound does not exist in Japanese?

Yes. It's a pretty obvious misspelling of "Yojimbo", of course.

Maybe the V is part of his cunning disguise.

Bieeardo posted:

I always wondered if 'the Leg' was the original name of the Foot, after paging through that book.

I get the impression they came up with extra Foot characters that weren't approved by Eastman / Laird, and just called it "The Leg" instead. It would also explain why they don't have art by Eastman / Laird like nearly every other character in the book does, or why there aren't any statblocks for Foot goons. I don't really have anything to base that on other than supposition, tho.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Robindaybird posted:

reminds me of all those older Star Wars games where you weren't allowed to be on equal footing with canon characters, and there was another I can't name where you just can't make canon characters RAW

Isn't that "basically everything West End did"? Like, for example, in their DC Universe game, if you were playing at the Batman power level, you couldn't even create a character who was anywhere near as competent as Robin.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The way vampires eating foods works in nWoD: You can assume the blush of life for one scene by spending 1 Vitae. While you have the blush of life, you are capable of anything a living human can do and can pass any and all medical tests.

And then when the scene ends, you stop being capable of all that, and must vomit up the poo poo you ate in a mass of stale blood and bile.

Unless you keep hemorrhaging Vitae until you manage to digest the food and poo poo it out, which is frankly the least likely thing for most vampires. Holding that much vitae and spending it just to do that? Yeah, no.

Except for the Ordo Dracul, who have been making great efforts to overcome the weaknesses of the vampire. This includes the daysleep, which most vampires cannot resist effectively, certainly not for long. They have linked the blush of life to resistance to the sun, and so they have studied how to use it.

Coil of the Ascendant, Dot 1: For as long as you have the Blush of Life, you need not make any rolls to resist daysleep and will not be lethargic while you're awake during the day.
Coil of the Ascendant, Dot 2: The Blush of Life now lasts 24 hours when you activate it, not one scene.

So, for two dots in that coil? You can stay up as long as you want, never need to sleep, and can eat and poop if you want to.

Imagine the research papers and celebration at the first Ordo scholar who rediscovered that they could now digest.

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012



Selachian posted:

Isn't that "basically everything West End did"? Like, for example, in their DC Universe game, if you were playing at the Batman power level, you couldn't even create a character who was anywhere near as competent as Robin.

Well, it gives to remember the only reason Robin exists is because out-of-touch comic editors couldn't ever imagine kids identifying with Batman directly.

A self-identification character whose purpose is to stand next to the real hero going gee willikers... is there a term for an anti-Mary Sue? That's what the comic makers figured the kids wanted, anyway.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Empire Of Satanis: Fiends pray, or should I say prey, by being successful in life.



quote:

Frier, the largest city in the realm of K’thana. Upholding ideals that are cosmopolitan, progressive, liberal, and tolerant in a framework that is nihilistic, decadent, draconian, xenophobic, brutal, and ancient. Ah, Frier. K’thana intensified. Where the rain lightly falls, gently tapping upon the crooked window panes. Above the rest of the world, squatting awkwardly on a mesa like a jeweled dagger about to slip off a velvet pillow. Many tiered, never wholly envisaged or understood. Frier. It is the fashion to habitually wear black cloaks over fanciful, multi-hued, peacock frockcoats. The dual expressions: somber and dramatic. That is the city of life! An overgrown garden of the perverse that blooms by the constant dark droning that no one can identify, much less pinpoint. An obligatory hum as if some generator lived only a few streets away.

Most games of EoS will probably centre on Frier, both because it's the biggest Fiend city and it's pretty much the only location described in any detail in the entire book. Frier is basically Carcosa as written by a dork who really desperately wishes he as good a writer as Chambers or Ligotti. Dishaw tells us to 'think 18th century Paris, France on LSD' and I guarantee that anything you can come up with based on that prompt would be better.

Fiends all sleep in magic-resistant coffins. There's a bunch of S&M clubs and strip clubs, which are individually important enough to merit separate mentions in Dishaw's write-up. There's a popular theatre troupe called the Theater of the Insane which does avant-garde poo poo. There's an asylum, the Asylum of Satanis, containing the rejected elements of Fiend society, but considering that Fiends all supposed to be crrrrazzzzyyy it's not clear why this is an important institution. It's also important to note that magic in general doesn't really work as well as it does in Sha-la, because it's such a magic-saturated universe that there's a level of resistance. This will come up later.

This section gives us the skinny on the oft-referenced tentacled whores, which uh…

quote:

Once there was a prostitute on Blow Street, she refused a very prominent mage her girlish attention. The mage fervently courted her until she acquiesced. The prostitute and the mage began a relationship; however, the wizard demanded that she keep her streetwalking. Things progressed, and the night before their wedding she invited a client back to their abode. She used her succulent hands to massage her client in front of her husband-to-be. Her betrothed decided at that moment the nature of his longstanding revenge for her refusal in those early days. The mage forced her client to saw off her hands while he watched and prepared a spell. Magically replacing her hands with soft green tentacles, he felt satisfied with the way of things. After they had married, the novelty caught on amongst those in the black courts, and from then on all prostitutes were forced to bear tentacles instead of hands. In the last few decades, the cosmetic and magical alteration has included the forearm, as well as, the hands. Tentaclephilia is now one of the largest established fetishes for the Yidathroth.

So this dude harassed a sex worker until she dated him, then got her to keep working the streets to indulge his cuckoldry fetish, then abruptly decided to take revenge on her for the awful crime of eventually returning his affections? Then he loving married her? Also a previous reviewer pointed out that the general concept for the tentacle girls makes it seem like Dishaw had heard about tentacle porn and made some wildly inaccurate assumptions about it.

So that's pretty gross, but then there's also the flesh-hook girls:

quote:

Flesh hook girls: Naked girls hanging from flesh hooks attached to chains. These girls randomly pierce parts of their body for the satisfaction of the onlooker in hopes that a few zirkas will be thrown their way.

This extremely questionable business plan can be found in Frier's green light district, which is the red light district but green. Because green is a more evil colour, doncheknow. That's also where the most popular drugs of K'Thana can be purchased including maj – which is just hashish, really – and Starlight, which is like LSD but someone can turn you into something else while you're on it just by thinking real hard.

The soul trade! It's a big deal in K'Thana. Sometimes, when Fiends steamroll a new universe the native residents put up enough of a fight that instead of killing them outright, they just trap their souls in objects. Get a soul, put it in a gem or even Flesh Magic up a new body for it, you got a pet! It's a huge industry. Haven't you always wanted to play a genocidal slaver in an RPG?

New types of magic! There's sigil magic, which much like 'real' sigil magic works by writing down what you want, turning the letters into a funky shape and channelling your will into it to empower the sigil. We've already established that the other magic skills can let you conjure things into existence and fly through hyperspace but go off I guess.

There's the Black Mirror:

quote:

The Black Mirror: This is made from a piece of glass, painted black on one side, once dry it is put into a frame, and ready for gazing into the black reflecting void to see into other universes, or the magician’s inner-universe…

Which honestly seems less like a magic skill and more like One Weird Tip To See Your Inner Universe. That's the full description of the skill, by the way.

Colourless Geometry! Make anti-Colour Sphere zones! Frabjous day, calloo-callay!

Then there's good ol' fashioned Vodoun. Instead of having anything to do with the real-world practice, it's just taking body parts from people so you can torture them from far away.

quote:

Pallid Façade, Chaos Amulet Magic, Tomb Spawn, Inscrutable Enigma… these are to be embellished by player and GM alike.

Lazy motherfucker.

Despite being the most beautiful amazing place in the universe Dishaw has extremely little to actually say about Frier. Anything substantial I mean – he blusters but when it comes time to commit and say something substantial he just recites these lists of random facts. If you want to run EoS, you're gonna have to make up practically every single thing yourself. And you don't want to run EoS because you don't have access to the perfect transcendent vision that only exists in Dishaw's head.

Next: Short fiction! The first premade adventure!

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





anti_strunt posted:

Well, it gives to remember the only reason Robin exists is because out-of-touch comic editors couldn't ever imagine kids identifying with Batman directly.

A self-identification character whose purpose is to stand next to the real hero going gee willikers... is there a term for an anti-Mary Sue? That's what the comic makers figured the kids wanted, anyway.
I know it may be hard to imagine but kid sidekicks actually did massively increase sales, and at the time the highest selling super hero comic was Captain Marvel precisely because he was a little kid in his civilian identity.

Also Robin is cool you fun hater.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



There's also the fact sidekicks often provide a much needed foil - Batman is at it's worst when the writers chase off Robin (and other members of the batfamily) so he can go full on brooding rear end in a top hat batgod without 'some pixie-shoed brat' telling him off for being a dick.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Mors Rattus posted:

Unless you keep hemorrhaging Vitae until you manage to digest the food and poo poo it out, which is frankly the least likely thing for most vampires. Holding that much vitae and spending it just to do that? Yeah, no.

What happens if they spend Vitae long enough for the food to get to the intestines but not long enough to digest it? On second thought, please don't answer that question, because I think I know what the answer is.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Succulent hands.

This is the only thing I can imagine with succulent hands.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 00:02 on Dec 11, 2017

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Bieeardo posted:

Succulent hands.

Girlish attention.

Obviously the descriptions of special hell prostitutes is the only time women are mentioned in the book.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Mors Rattus posted:

Imagine the research papers and celebration at the first Ordo scholar who rediscovered that they could now digest.

: "Gentlemen, behold!"

: "I dare say, that appears to be a turd. Brother Erasamus, what is the meaning of this?"

: "That's not just any turd. That is... my turd!"

Shocked gasps, fainting

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.






Grimey Drawer



The Show, or Let The Truck Monkeys Fix It

Scenes are anything that takes place during a Show that isn’t a Match. The Booker starts off by describing the surroundings, who’s in the scene, and what the purpose of the scene is, whether it’s an interview, promo, or skit. Players roleplay whatever characters they have in the scene, even if the scene was scripted by another player. However, if it might be too confusing to have a player talking to themselves about an upcoming confrontation with themselves and seeking an alliance with themselves, they can let other players take the extras- they just have to be in the scene.

After the scene’s played out, everyone who had a significant part (and the Booker decides that) makes a Mic Skills roll. As we defined way back in character generation, you gain Heat equal to the amount of 6s you rolled, and if you don’t roll any, you lose Heat equal to the amount of 1s. The Booker can award extra dice based on your performance (which is always one of those dodgy things, but YMMV.) Additionally, if this is building to a Match, the Match Heat increases equal to the amount of Heat gained by the wrestlers. (Doesn’t say if decreases come into play, though they likely should.)



There’s also, amusingly, a catchphrase rule. At any point in a game a player can declare that a statement made by another player’s character becomes a catchphrase. You can’t choose this for your own guys. This has the potential to turn into a George Costanza “Big Shooter” situation, and I kinda like that. Anyway, if you work your catchphrase into your scene you get an additional die on your Mic Skills roll.

Commentary comes next, which is a bit weird. Mic Skills rolls for the commentators are required after every match, but there also may be commentary segments booked between matches. Now this part isn’t explained well in itself, only coming together with some information down the line, but commentary is generally targeted. If after a scene it’s clear that the commentary focused on a particular wrestler, match, tag team, or stable, you make a Mic Skills roll for each of the commentators, max 3. For each 6 rolled the target gains a point of Heat, etc. Whether or not a wrestler is being targeted should be noted on the booking sheet.

It’s also possible to bury people on commentary. If the person playing the commentator chooses to bury a wrestler, they can have each 6 rolled take away a point of Heat. On the other hand, failing a roll means the commentator loses 1 Heat for each 1 rolled. Finally, it costs a point of Clout to do this at all, unless they’re directed to do so by the promoter. There’s one good example I can think of this- back when he was more directly the heel commentator, Michael Cole would often single out Daniel Bryan for ridicule, going on and on about him being such a nerd. Whether this was the promotion actively trying to bury Bryan is still a little unclear- Cole WAS supposed to be a heel, after all- but it was stupid and annoying and Cole got a lot more tolerable when he dropped the gimmick. So I would advise against ever trying this.

How the actual commentary is handled is also addressed here- if the players have created the commentators, they should be the ones running them, unless they also have a wrestler in the match in which case they can hand them off. If nobody created any and the Booker throws them in as NPCs, players that aren’t in the match can share control. Or you can just not roleplay the commentary and roll Mic Skills at the end of the match, but where’s the fun in that?

The next section deals specifically with all the video magic that promotions with TV have access to. Even when a show is mostly broadcast live (like Raw and Smackdown are), a lot of the “backstage” segments and interviews will be pre-taped. If a wrestler doesn’t like how they rolled in an Interview or Skit, they can make a Clout roll; if they succeed, they can call for a reshoot, which involves everyone in the scene rerolling all Mic Skills or Wrestling rolls that were involved. The promoter may also call for a reshoot if they don’t like how things turned out.

Editing can also be used to enhance a backstage segment. The promotion rolls using its Production stat- if successful, for every 6 rolled you add a point of Heat on top of that already gained by the characters or match. Most of the time wrestling promotions do try to make these segments look as “real” as they can- no angle changes or music or whatever- though Lucha Underground is an interesting exception, deliberately making all its non-ring segments look like movie scenes. So if your promotion does things the typical way it may be a bit hard to explain just what’s being done here to make it work better, but maybe something in the lighting or the angle chosen, I dunno.

Entrance Packages can also add to a wrestler’s Heat- here you make a Production roll for each minute the entrance lasts (and having an entrance longer than a minute requires the “Entrance Package” Asset.) Of course this means having a longer entrance can backfire if the roll fails. New wrestlers are often teased on TV with promos leading up to their first in-ring appearance; here, a successful Production roll for the teaser can add to the Match Heat of their debut Match.

Video Recaps are special video packages hyping a specific match, summing up all the story business and prior developments and trying to make the upcoming confrontation look as important as possible. This is something the WWE in particular is great at- no matter how bad the angle they’ve been selling, the “truck monkeys” will make it look like the most important story in wrestling. Anyway, for every minute the package is, you can make a Production roll to add Heat to the match; a given match can only get the benefit of this package once per show.

Tribute packages to a wrestler can work to add to their Heat. In some cases this may not mean anything because the wrestler is, say, dead or retired, but I’ve actually recently watched an old Raw episode where Shawn Michaels was working a very dramatic fake injury angle, and there’s an incredibly sincere tribute to him during his absence that goes on for quite a long time, and the whole point was to get him more over on his return. Again for every minute the package is you can make a Production roll, Heat goes to the wrestler. Finally, advertisements for an upcoming show usually run 1-2 minutes, and every minute means a Production roll that adds to (or subtracts from) the Crowd Heat for that show.

Ah, Crowd Heat! We haven’t actually seen that yet, but it’s key to the next section, determining Match Heat. It’s something the Booker decides based on rules in the Booker’s Section, (the way this is organized makes doing a F&F really tough sometimes, let me tell you), but anyway it’s applied to each match in a show.

Match Heat starts with the average Heat of the participants- including Nostalgia Heat- and adds the Crowd Heat, as well as Heat from stipulations. There’s a list here with plenty of examples- an Ironman Match or Hardcore Match might add +2 Heat, a traditional Steel Cage Match or Ladder Match is +5, and a Cell Match (i.e. a cage with a roof on it), Last Man Standing Match (knock the other person out until they can’t answer a 10-count), or 3-Tiered Cage Match (as seen in Ready 2 Rumble) would be worth +15. A World Title Match gets +5, other Titles get +2. Finally add in any Heat bonuses wrestlers get from being in Tag Teams or Stables.

Match Heat during and after the Match can get moved around by three things. During a match, after every Move Set (and they still haven’t defined this), one of the players makes a Wrestling Roll. Success adds to the Match Heat, failure can subtract. After a match, if the target of the commentary was the match itself (this is the thing the game didn’t define earlier), the Mic Skills rolls of the commentators are applied to the Match Heat. Production can also add to- or more importantly, REALLY subtract from a match. A Production roll is made after the Match, and any 6s rolled add to the Match Heat. If the roll fails, though, every 1 subtracts five points from the Match Heat. This represents the camera missing a key spot and yeah, I can imagine this. I’ve seen a major TNA match where the camera actually missed the pinfall.

And because this next bit is going to be very important, I’ll give it its own post.

Next Time: We Learn How Matches Work

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Ratoslov posted:

: "Gentlemen, behold!"

: "I dare say, that appears to be a turd. Brother Erasamus, what is the meaning of this?"

: "That's not just any turd. That is... my turd!"

Shocked gasps, fainting

The Coil of the Dragon.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Revised Edition, Part Eleven: "In any event, as a young rat he was very intelligent, smart enough to be able to mimic and memorize the ninja techniques of his owner, Hamato Yoshi."

And finally, I get to nerdsplain about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

For those less familiar, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were conceived by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984 as a parody of a number of comic trends at the time - ninjas like in Daredevil, teenagers like in New Mutants, quirky anthropomorphics like in Cerebus, and a number of other books as well. Heavily influenced by Frank Miller and Jack Kirby, the whole thing played off the absurdity of turtle ninjas. The Daredevil parodies are fairly overt - a canister of ooze falls off a truck just like Daredevil (and even bounces off of not-Matt Murdock's head before hitting the turtles). Splinter is a direct parody of Daredevil's mentor, Stick, and The Foot is a direct parody of The Hand. The turtles got named off of painters mainly because the two concluded they couldn't come up with proper Japanese names. (Advice a certain writer probably could have used before coming up with names like "Sushi Vojimbo" or "Lee Kwan Choo".)




The origin in the original comics is slightly different than many of the later versions, and is reprinted in this book, but would be largely reused intact for the 1990 movie. In this one, two ninja named Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Nagi were members of the secretive Foot Clan. However, both were in love with a woman named Tang Shen, and were romantic and professional rivals. When Shen rejected Yoshi, he beat her to death, but Yoshi would discover this and kill Nagi in retribution. Fleeing the Foot, Yoshi and Shen fell in love, and lived in hiding in New York. Splinter was originally the pet rat of his owner, Hamato Yoshi. He learned ninjutsu by mimicking the motions of his master (yes, before becoming a mutant). However, Nagi's brother, Oroku Saki (aka the Shredder), would track Yoshi and Shen down and kill them for revenge. Splinter's cage was broken in the conflict, and he would flee into the sewers.

In the meantime, a young boy was carrying four turtles home from the pet shop, when a toxic canister bounced off a passing truck, shattering the bowl the turtles were in. Both the canister and turtles fell into an open manhole, where the canister shattered. Happening on the turtles, Splinter and the turtles were exposed to the toxic ooze. The ooze would eventually make them humanoid and sentient, and Splinter, retaining the ninja knowledge he had learned from his former owner.

It's pretty hackneyed, but you have to remember the original issue was intended in least in part as a parody, and was purposefully rather ridiculous. But it was successful, and more issues were to follow. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness is odd in that it predates the turtle toy craze by a fair bit, and only has material from the first four issues, plus a Raphael one-shot.




As far as write-ups go, most of them are actually very accurate to the black and white interpretations of the characters, which would be later exaggerated for cartoons. Raphael is represented as the strongest and toughest, though given to bouts of extreme anger. Leonardo is the perfectionist leader and is supposed to be all-around stat-wise. Donatello is the mechanically-inclined nerd who's the least martially inclined. And lastly, Michaelangelo is artisically inclined and more flighty, but has the greatest natural agility. Strangely, not all of them have the same level - Leo and Raph are 6th level while Don and Mike are 5th level. While this would presumably be there to represent their relative levels of enthusiasm for ninjutsu, it's still a bit odd. Additionally, the fact that they're of mid-range levels like that is particularly odd given they'd only had - at best - two or so story arcs in the comics. One would have to presume they've been having some prior unwritten adventures to earn the XP to get to that point. Another odd side effect of the Palladium system itself is that despite that, Michaelangelo is perhaps the most effective combatant, because he's got the top Physical Prowess, and Prowess is perhaps the primary determining factor for competency in melee combat. Only Raphael comes anywhere close, just on account of having the highest damage.

The other oddity that comes up is that the turtles cheat at the character creation system. Why this is so isn't clear, but they break the BIO-E point system.

pre:
Turtles start with 95 BIO-E at size level 1. The ninja turtles have:

Size level 8 (35 BIO-E), full hands (10 BIO-E), full biped (10 BIO-E), full speech (10 BIO-E),
hold breath (5 BIO-E), and heavy natural body armor (45 BIO-E).

That's 115 BIO-E spent, folks.

Whups.
Granted, characters in this game don't get enough BIO-E to begin with to pick up awesome animal powers, so giving players an extra 20 seems like something that should probably done in the first place anyway. Maybe even more.

Splinter gets perhaps the most tinkering; for a 12th level ninja, he gets surprisingly low stats and arbitrarily low combat bonuses because he's old, though he usually seems competent enough in the comics. It also implies he was probably a mutant before being exposed to the ooze, which is a way of trying to explain his relatively silly origin story. He also has a wide variety of skills that don't exist in the game, like "Study Japanese Literature" or "Study Oriental Philosophy". Mind, so do some of the turtles - Michaelangelo has "Study, Science Fiction" and "Study, Comic Books", other nonexistent skills.



Though Oroku Saki dies in the first issue, the Shredder still gets a writeup. Granted, he would eventually make a comeback in the comics - only to die again, but both facts are well beyond being known at the game's publication. Instead, it just points out the turtles never looked too hard for a body. He's described as ruthless crime lord and "almost unstoppable" as the Shredder, even though his combat bonuses really just put him only modestly above the turtles themselves. (Considering how they well murder him in the comics, this probably fits, but he's not to be used as a singular antagonist.) The writeup of the Foot itself is partly accurate and partly whole cloth. It points out they're modern ninja who are willing to use weapons and surveillance devices (true), but also says they're ruled by a Council of Eight headed by "The Faceless One" (false). Curiously, it associates them as the secret bosses of the Purple Dragon gang - which wouldn't be true in the comic itself, but would be true in later cartoons that would develop the Purple Dragons into actual characters. Strangely, the Foot ninja themselves get no writeup - though you could probably use The Leg ninja statblocks for them just fine.




In the second issue, we have two mainstays of the franchise that are introduced: April O'Neil and Baxter Stockman. April is a computer programmer who inherited a "junk store" from her father that she runs. (She's not a reporter in the original comics.) She works as an assistant for Stockman, who is an inventor funded by New York City to come up with robots to be used for pest control called "mousers". And though the mousers could certainly catch rats, their primary purpose was to dig and collapse buildings, which Stockman used to try and hold New York sites for ransom - largely out of psychopathic amusement more than greed. April, upon finding out his scheme, fled into the underground sewers where she met the turtles, who helped her stop Stockman's scheme and turned him over to the authorities. However, the mousers would find and attack Splinter due to their programming, and the turtles would only find his bloody, shredded clothes.

April is a "1st level computer programmer" with a ridiculously high skill totals for her level, but is essentially helpless in terms of her combat stats. Baxter Stockman is 3rd level with numerous top-end technical skills, but bizarrely has only 1 attack a round and 0 S.D.C. - he may as well be an invalid, with combat skills that are more what one might expect from literal baby for some reason. In the comics, he actually fights one of the turtles off for a moment, which seems to counter that notion. (For those that remember him as a mutant fly from the cartoons, that never happens in the original comics. He does become a robot later on, however.) The mousers themselves are surprisingly tough combatants - though they don't defend themselves, it'll take about 6-7 swings for a character like Leonardo to take one down, and they do more damage than most armed melee combatants in the game. It's a problematic statblock, given that they can probably overwhelm PCs with numbers thanks to their durability.



Casey Jones is a handyman who moonlights as a everyman vigilante, inspired and informed by cop shows and news shows. With a hockey mask and sports equipment, he goes out and beats criminals ruthlessly. It's this activity that brings him into conflict with Raphael, as the mutant turtles works to curb his more brutal tendencies, but the two quickly become best bros in the interest of beating up baddies. His actual statblock is strangely anemic, with no physical skills (!) despite his description and background of constant bodybuilding. His high physical stats make him a competent combatant, but not nearly near the turtles themselves - which is definitely lowballing him, but it's understandable given he had only one appearance at the time of this printing.



Lastly, from the comics, we get the T.C.R.I. Aliens. See, the canister of ooze that created the turtles had the acronym "T.C.R.I." printed on it. When exploring the city, the turtles would happen across a building with the same logo. Investigating it, they would find strange researchers and a stranger science facility, and then would come across Splinter's body in a tube. Freaking out, they would get into a fight with T.C.R.I. (the "Techno-Cosmic Research Institute") who turned out to be brain-like aliens who dress in robotic exoskeletons to disguise themselves as humans. We'll have more on them in a later supplement, but the interesting thing to note here is that they're not hostile - they're just trying to find a way off of Earth and back home. This stands in contrast to Krang, the villain they'd inspire in the cartoon, who's more of a cookie cutter baddie. We're told the that the ooze is a "microbial agent" created as a "by-product" from "producing organic circuitry". Not sure that has any basis, but it's a decent an explanation as any.

And that's that - essentially all the characters from the five issues of the comic that spawned this game. We'll really only get two more supplements inspired by the comic - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Guide to the Universe and Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - and the rest will come from Palladium spinning whole cloth.

Next: Original TMNT OCs, do not steal.


Well, it was the eighties.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 01:02 on Dec 11, 2017

PoontifexMacksimus
Feb 14, 2012



Terrible Opinions posted:

I know it may be hard to imagine but kid sidekicks actually did massively increase sales, and at the time the highest selling super hero comic was Captain Marvel precisely because he was a little kid in his civilian identity.

Also Robin is cool you fun hater.

I know about Captain Marvel, but that's very different. He's the main character of his comic, and successfully amalgamates wish-fulfilment scenarios with an audacity rarely seen before the invention of animes. My idea was that the RPG writers might have had a similar idea of players wanting to play "themselves" inserted into the universe (I think one of the earliest superhero RPGs made this an explicit requirement in character creation).

Or, it was the eighties, and the idea of giving the players undue narrative agency was anathema.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Yeah the latter is probably right. The 80s hated player agency.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Ratoslov posted:

: "Gentlemen, behold!"

: "I dare say, that appears to be a turd. Brother Erasamus, what is the meaning of this?"

: "That's not just any turd. That is... my turd!"

Shocked gasps, fainting

A 'Yo, check this poo poo out' would also probably work here.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Empire Of Satanis: doused with blood, puke, raw animal parts,



First we have a very important rules clarification:

quote:

You don't add all the numbers together. Instead, you are looking for the single highest result. Let's say you have to roll three dice because you have a 1 in the Cunning attribute and a 2 in the Stealth skill. You roll a 3, 5, and 4. your final result is a 5. If you had rolled a 1, 2, and 6, then re-roll a die - you roll a 5, ( 6 + 5 = 11 ). If you roll a 6, 6, and 6, then you can re-roll 3 dice, let's say you get a 1, 1, and a 6. re-roll that guy again. Finally, you rolled a 3. ( 6 + 6 + 3 = 15) your result is a 15. Match that to the difficulty chart right on the character sheet and see how awesomely you crept past that human guard!

Well, less a clarification and more just restating the rules. I'm guessing someone very understandably got confused by the book's lovely layout and Dishaw decided to just staple this on instead of trying to make it more readable.

Then we have two pieces of short fiction. Extremely short fiction. Both 'stories' however around 500 words and are titled 'Story One' and 'Story Two' respectively. They're boring, pointless and clumsily written. In Story One, the narrator is taking his sceptre to be jewelled with a human soul by Sson the Warlock, and the story of how he got the sceptre in the first place is supposed to be a good one.

quote:

I have taken my scepter to be jeweled with a soul by the ill-respected Vodoun Warlock called Sson. He gently holds the elaborate rod in his gloved hands, nodding as I tell him the impractical tale of how it came into my possession. I told Sson how the thing was owned by a creature in a black cloak and mask, how this creature took it from a place where nothing is familiar and everything is strange. I even divulged the nature of the deal I made with the black cloaked and masked individual. The sight of this scepter nearly made me dance with joy, so much so, that I promised him a room in the Abraxas Festhall. A place where unlikely wanderers are known to frequent. Abraxas Festhall, where the dark red mist hangs low in the sky as if the inn and the mist were exchanging dark secrets.

And it's easy as that. In Story Two, the narrator (same narrator?) is smoking up with his crew around a bunch of dead bodies for some reason. They visit a 'candy coloured storefront' which is actually a kind of magic school. The Lurigeatro proprietor (you remember what those are, right?) takes them inside where he's keeping a bunch of sleeping humans. He explains that they use their dreams in some nebulous way and shows the narrator how to do it.

quote:

At this point, the harlequin touched one of the sleeping human’s on the forehead and motioned for me to do the same. Slowly, a euphoria began building in my brain. I was transported to another place in moments. A dimension that was so unlike our own, so singularly unexpected, that it made me cry out.

“You’ve seen enough.” The harlequin said as he slowly took his hand away from the dreamer. “Meditate on this premise: what you know isn’t even a fraction of what you don’t.” That last word made his voice trail off into nothingness while he watched, not me, but the fanciful pastel walls that kept the outside from getting in, and the inside from getting out.

Yes Mr. Dishaw, that's how walls work.

We're on the home stretch now! The last section of the book is a set of three introductory adventures, all of which are written in the same gushing stream-of-thought style as the rest of the book. They get steadily more complex and involved as they go on, so you can almost see Dishaw getting more confident as he wrote them. Writing adventures is easy when you don't have to edit them!

For my money, the first into (sic) adventure Friday Night Horror Show is the best and funniest. The PCs are summoned to a meeting with the Fiend/Human Hybrid sorcerer Kla-lack, who sends a slave to them with a very important message:

quote:

The old, yellowed parchment reads, “Brothers, I have found temporary passage into earth, but not earth as it is now… our former world in it’s past. Just before our people ascended to the Dark Way, explored their magical craft, and were exiled. The year you arrived on earth would be 2006. Come at once, if you are interested… signed Kla-lack”

Kla-lack warns the PCs to be careful in the past to avoid any Sound Of Thunder-type shenanigans, but otherwise is super keen for them to go through the portal and gently caress poo poo up in ancient Sha-la. Stepping through the portal takes the PCs to a cinema where a slasher flick is playing. No one notices them, but as soon as they leave the cinema the bear mask-wearing serial killer jumps out of the movie and starts swinging at the audience. The book notes that the PCs have a chance of noticing him as they are leaving, because I guess the screams and ensuing stampede would be easily-missed?

There's no directions for what happens next but 'eventually, it doesn't really matter in what order', the PCs meet a creepy weird human in all-black with a pentagram amulet and combat boots. His name is Derrick Maurice, and has real-rear end magic skills and even some ability in Hideous Paradise. The GM is supposed to drop hints that Maurice is one of their ancestors who will eventually be exiled to Yidathroth and as such killing him would be a bad idea, though apparently torturing him or driving him insane is acceptable. Why you would even care enough to do either is not explained.

The other significant but unnamed human NPC is 'an rear end kicker but he's a good guy too'. He's totally a normie but has a gun and some pretty decent combat stats. The PCs are supposed to feel a little threatened by him but honestly rolling five dice to shoot a gun shouldn't stop them from pureeing him if they feel like it. The book suggests maybe they'll make him the leader of a gang but uh, why?

'A little bit later' the bear mask killer goes for the PCs. He's no slouch and has access to Candy Land and Nightmare Technology, but he doesn't actually want to fight. If the PCs try to reason with him, he'll be able to explain that he was summoned and bound by something and just wants to break free, presumably to return to his proper place in the movie.

quote:

Unfortunately for the PC’s, the bear mask killer is being possessed by some weird force, a dark deity from this universe. Clues and hints should be sprinkled liberally so the PC’s start to track the evil force that was controlling bear mask guy.

What clues? What hints? Sprinkled liberally how and where? Anyway, the PCs will eventually track the possessing force to a 'small to medium venue' where – I poo poo you not – there is a loving GWAR concert playing. It's a good rowdy time and the costumes are immediately recognisable as being crude parodies of the Fiendish form (RIP Oderus). But it's not the band that the PCs are looking for but their manager backstage, who is actually a minor god who has been controlling the I'm sorry this is killing me are you telling me the big boss for this adventure is Sleazy P. Martini?



Godmode Sleazy is actually pretty strong thanks to his solid stats and points in literally every skill mentioned in the book. That said, his weapon of choice is a magic spiked chain and I don't see him standing up for long if the party takes turns stabbing him with void sabres. If they kill him that fixes things somehow and the party can enjoy a nice bump to their Social Standing for a couple of weeks. Alternatively, they can negotiate some kind of truce with him – and why not, considering that there's no real conflict of interests here?

After that, the party can return home or stay in Sha-la and absolutely gently caress the timeline. At no point in the adventure does Dishaw give any kind of advice on how to run the regular people meeting and interacting with Fiends.

This is the best of the three adventures because it's funny as poo poo; it's bad in the fun way and not in the boring way unlike the rest of the book. Also I can't get over how relentlessly dorky things like the self-insert NPC and the GWAR cameo make Dishaw look. GWAR, play us out.

Next: Twilight Of Paradise! Deep setting revelations!

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DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Down With People posted:

First we have a very important rules clarification:

Let me get this straight. He seems to have invented a game system where it is impossible to roll a result that is any multiple of the number 6.

This guy should turn in his satanist membership card.

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