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Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


DalaranJ posted:

This guy should turn in his satanist membership card.

He doesn't have one! The Church of Satan literally kicked him out for being a whackjob!

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Haystack
Jan 23, 2005







Down With People posted:

He doesn't have one! The Church of Satan literally kicked him out for being a whackjob!

That's beautiful

Battle Mad Ronin
Aug 26, 2017


From what I have read of Venger he seems like a genuinely nice guy, with some very strange ideas. I read his 'Alpha Blue' game out of curiosity and while it is a weird concept (space brothel as a setting!) it never struck me as mean spirited or purposefully vile. It really was not too offensive in any way, just painfully unfunny in that corny 60s 'sex comedy' kind of way.

If that is what some people honestly want to play I can not be mad at them. Puzzled, but not mad.

Rascar Capac
Aug 31, 2016

Surprisingly nice, for an evil Inca mummy.

Battle Mad Ronin posted:

From what I have read of Venger he seems like a genuinely nice guy, with some very strange ideas.

IIRC, he is the reason RPG.net now has a “do not try and cast spells on people via the forums” rule.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Battle Mad Ronin posted:

From what I have read of Venger he seems like a genuinely nice guy, with some very strange ideas. I read his 'Alpha Blue' game out of curiosity and while it is a weird concept (space brothel as a setting!) it never struck me as mean spirited or purposefully vile. It really was not too offensive in any way, just painfully unfunny in that corny 60s 'sex comedy' kind of way.

If that is what some people honestly want to play I can not be mad at them. Puzzled, but not mad.

Ehhh, I'd disagree. I don't think he's committed any mortal sins but once you get past all the tryhard satanism he's just your garden variety grog. The first thing he did when he got back into RPG.net was post a sycophantic review of Carcosa, and he defends dudes like Mentzer on his blogspot.

Also he's definitely a libertarian and a self-described real estate tycoon, which happens to poo poo me off personally.

But he's definitely got passion, I'll give him that.

MuscaDomestica
Apr 27, 2017



Down With People posted:

Ehhh, I'd disagree. I don't think he's committed any mortal sins but once you get past all the tryhard satanism he's just your garden variety grog. The first thing he did when he got back into RPG.net was post a sycophantic review of Carcosa, and he defends dudes like Mentzer on his blogspot.

Also he's definitely a libertarian and a self-described real estate tycoon, which happens to poo poo me off personally.

But he's definitely got passion, I'll give him that.

Its weird living in the city where he lives/(lived?) You could find a copy of Empire of Satanis at local game stores, also remember being surprised to see a picture that he made at the local Goth/Industreal club the Inferno.

Saguaro PI
Mar 11, 2013

Totally legit tree

Battle Mad Ronin posted:

From what I have read of Venger he seems like a genuinely nice guy, with some very strange ideas. I read his 'Alpha Blue' game out of curiosity and while it is a weird concept (space brothel as a setting!) it never struck me as mean spirited or purposefully vile. It really was not too offensive in any way, just painfully unfunny in that corny 60s 'sex comedy' kind of way.

If that is what some people honestly want to play I can not be mad at them. Puzzled, but not mad.

"They did a thing that wasn't bad and dumb" is a pretty low bar. James Desborough also wrote Agents of SWING, a Fate game based on 60s superspy stuff, but that doesn't really excuse the fact that he's an edgy sadsack.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Revised Edition, Part Twelve: "Their intention was to genetically alter a creature that could explore and actually dig for oil."



Lastly, we wrap up the book with what seem to be either sample or playtest characters; there's no introduction or explanation for these characters, but they're not from the comics. The first are a set of three teenage mutant ninja sparrows called the "Sparrow-Eagles" - Chirp Yenko (uses nunchaku), Brown Wing (uses swords or bow), and Gorba Chirp (uses sword or sub-machine gun). Get it? Because communists, ha ha?... well, there was a time anything vaguely Russian was a punchline, and that time was the '80s. Anyway, we don't get any background on these guys other than that they're 3rd level ninjas and some vague personality traits.



Fred Hamster is a mutant hamster created by an oil company to explore and dig for oil. However, when he discovered he might be replaced by a newer model of mutant, he escaped with a truckful of weapons, money, and mining equipment. He's no ninja, but he does have the ability to dig and lots of explosives. I kinda like Fred as a scrappy one-hamster blow against the oil industry. He gets a pass.

Wait, did my gas prices go up?

gently caress you, Fred.

Lately, we get an ad for various supplements for the game, as well as other Palladium RPGs of the time.


This was creepy as hell to end the book with, as a kid.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, at the very least, lives up to its name. A hit with no real imitators, the genre of "modern martial arts anthropomorphics" would hit like wildfire... and pass just as quickly. About the closest thing we'd see again in the genre would be Werewolf, but that would take a be a much more splatterpunk and exaggerated version of a similar notion. Though Palladium would go on to abandon the license, they still publish After the Bomb, an post-apocalyptic RPG centering around mutant animals. However, even After the Bomb essentially got no official support once the license closed, aside from on-and-off "unofficial" articles in The Rifter. Apparently, there was some discussion of a second edition shortly before its cancellation, and they looked into reviving it around the time of 2007's TMNT, but the Turtles never returned to RPGs - by Palladium or anybody else. Granted, the massively increased popularity of the turtles and their acquisition by Nickelodeon has no doubt fired their licensing costs into the stratosphere, making the prospect of a future turtles RPG seems intensely slim unless IDW turns their eye to RPGs.



Palladium blames the "kiddifying" of the turtles, but it's interesting to note that they didn't chase the younger audience at all, either, instead and just trying to promote a potential second edition through giveaways of ten-year-old book and ads in Marvel comics, delaying it over and over in an attempt to build hype. As the turtles became more popular, ironically, the Palladium RPG sales went down, and they cancelled the license in 2000, eight years after the last book published for it in 1992 (the dual-setting Mutants in Orbit, which I've reviewed as Rifts Space). All in all, there were only six total books produced for the main line, with another eight After the Bomb books. It's a game very much of its time, abandoned if not forgotten.

And we're done here.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Reading the original Turtles lore is pretty interesting, having watched various incarnations of them. The 2000s and 2010s cartoons hew closer to the comics in different ways; the 2010s cartoon has the Krang basically be like their comic book counterparts are described, while the 2000s cartoon infamously has Shredder turn out to be the equivalent of a Krang in a robot body posing as a human. The 2000s cartoon also has Splinter be a mutated pet rat, while the 2010s cartoon goes with the probably better streamlining that Splinter is a mutated Hamato Yoshi in hiding, and Shredder was motivated by jealousy over Tang Shen. (and they certainly play up how very personal the rivalry is)

And a lot of licensed RPGs really get weird about the canon characters. The statblocks for them tend to be especially clunky probably because they were the first ones they wrote. Funnily enough, Michelangelo being the most formidable Turtle also has canon backing, where despite being a goofy scatterbrain he's the most talented of them all, and uses the most difficult and complex weapons.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Although they have their own separate languages, all intelligent humanoids are able to communicate with each other by using



The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 54: The Deck of Wights and Wyverns

316: A Draining Experience

The PCs are traveling a cracked road through a hazy moor spotted with… BARROW MOUNDS! roll for initiative wights attack!

Yeah, okay, so hearing the words “barrow mound” will set off every nerd’s spider sense, and you will never ever catch them by surprise, but we do get a little nice flavor text where the wind blows away some mist and reveals two wights crawling from a barrow mound. At this point the PCs freak out because these are level-draining monsters, and alpha strike the two wights with all the long-ranged abilities at their disposal. The PCs can then enter the mound, but there’s a third wight lurking in there. (It was controlling the other two). There’s treasure as well - coinage, some jewelry, and chain mail +2.

Setting aside the question of “are level-draining monsters the absolute worst, yes or yes,” I guess it’s fine. It is D&D - I suppose we need some random monster attacks. And at least there’s some PC decision making in whether to follow up on the mounds or not. Keep.


317: Evil on Ice

The PCs are on a snowy plain, near an icy lake. Their trail skirts the edge of the lake. Four wights rise up out of it and try to pull the PCs in. “The lake is only 3 feet deep here, but any PC pulled into the water will begin losing one point of strength per round, due to the numbing cold. IN addition, the water does 1-3 points of cold damage per round.” Not to mention that you just got hit by a wight, and you lose a level!

The leader wight will try to flee if threatened. Their treasure is about 3500 gold at the bottom of the lake (hard to access), and some stuff on frozen corpses under the water’s surface: two 250 gp opals, a 500 gp ivory torque, a short sword of speed, and a potion of super-heroism.

I don’t know. The flavor is okay, but a surprise attack by level-draining monsters? That’s harsh. I guess I could turn them into another type of undead, but is the combat interesting enough to bother? I guess I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and keep it.


318: Wight Warren

“This encounter takes place in a corridor, near a series of catacombs running underneath a church or castle.” You want to just say it’s in a dungeon?

It’s basically a room encounter. The PCs walk into a room, hear a crunching from above, and see a small wight gnawing on a giant rat. It hurls the rat at them and then attacks. The next round, a second wight drops down and attacks the smallest PC. It’s trying to create more eights to serve it, and will try to escape if threatened - specifically, into the catacombs, which are made up of tunnels only 3 feet high, and thus difficult for larger PC races. (Only a -2 to hit mechanically, which actually seems like a minor penalty). It’s got a treasure back there of about 1250 gp and “an extremely dirty cloak of the bat.”

Treasure that lets you fly at will is a bit of a game-changer, but the encounter’s not bad for a dungeon setting. I appreciate that the small wight gives them a rat warning shot before letting loose with the level-draining claws, and the fact that one wight dropped from above should make the PCs focus their attention upwards. Keep.


319: Triple Threat

The PCs crest a hill and see a wyvern just sitting on top, giving them the evil eye. If they attack it or are otherwise too hyperfocused on it, that creates an opportunity for two other wyverns to swoop down on them from behind. The wyverns try to fight a swooping air battle, and will retreat if too injured. One is wearing a pricey bracer as a ring.

Nothing fancy, but it’s a slight twist on what would be a normal wandering monster attack. So it’s a keep for me.

Still, though, if I was a wyvern, I wouldn’t be hunting armed humanoids for food. Just a thought. Maybe there are sheep herders around or something? Not trying to be pushy here, wyverns, I’m just looking out for you.


320: Youthful Indiscretion

A young wyvern has made its nest in the top floor of an old stone lookout tower. It’s still practicing stalking, and although it stays downwind of the party and tries not to be noticed, it makes a deep growling sound at the last minute that gives them a bonus on their surprise check. It flees at 50% HP, and is also more likely to be scared away by flashy spells (however, an illusion of another wyvern “will drive the creature into a frenzied fight to the death). If it flees, it flies directly back to its lair (which an experienced wyvern wouldn’t do), and in the tower is like 350 gp, a periapt of proof against poison, and two treasure maps!

So it’s Wyvern: Easy Mode. The card lists the danger level as Medium, but I’d be more willing to throw it at a relatively low-level party with all the nerfs this poor kid is loaded down with. I might bring the treasure down to no magic and one treasure map, if I had some material prepared (which, back in my old AD&D days, I did, in the form of AD&D 2E’s Treasure Maps by Slade Henson. That could also be worth a write-up). Keep.


321: Chained Fury

A wyvern wandered into a wizard’s trap in the forest, and is bound by a chain and platinum manacle on its leg. (The carcass of the bull that baited the trap is still in its mouth.) It’s thrashing around, knocking over small trees and stuff. It was set by a wizard who's a researcher of dragonkind, and wants the wyvern for experimentation. The trap is magic, and if dispelled, the wyvern will be freed but also pissed off.

The chain and manacle are worth 7500 gp. Nice! The obvious thing for a greedy greedypants to do would be to stand back and shoot the wyvern until it dies, then go take the platinum. However, “the PCs will only receive experience for the encounter if they either release the wyvern or fight it straight on.” Because [insert personal interpretation of the AD&D experience point system here].

I’m fine with this set-up. Keep.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Why so many wights? Also, how do you reverse level drain?

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Inescapable Duck posted:

And a lot of licensed RPGs really get weird about the canon characters. The statblocks for them tend to be especially clunky probably because they were the first ones they wrote. Funnily enough, Michelangelo being the most formidable Turtle also has canon backing, where despite being a goofy scatterbrain he's the most talented of them all, and uses the most difficult and complex weapons.

Nunchucks (or a three-section staff if you watched the European edit of the first cartoon series due to their weird laws about depicting ninjas at the time) are deadly in the right hands, but as every other marital art film in the 90s showed - it's extremely easy to slap yourself silly using it if you're not skilled.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


JcDent posted:

Why so many wights? Also, how do you reverse level drain?

In AD&D? Gaining enough experience to regain the levels you lost.

Elfface
Nov 14, 2010

Da-na-na-na-na-na-na
IRON JONAH

Then later either a lesser or greater restoration, depending on if you had Level Damage or Level Drain.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




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.
The Dying Earth has picaresque absurdity built into the rules, so this applies to everyone by default.

Robindaybird posted:

Nunchucks (or a three-section staff if you watched the European edit of the first cartoon series due to their weird laws about depicting ninjas at the time) are deadly in the right hands, but as every other marital art film in the 90s showed - it's extremely easy to slap yourself silly using it if you're not skilled.
I don't think anyone is actually taught how to fight with nunchaku anymore. I've never seen any training that wasn't kata with lots of figure-eight motions and other fancy tricks.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Halloween Jack posted:

I don't think anyone is actually taught how to fight with nunchaku anymore. I've never seen any training that wasn't kata with lots of figure-eight motions and other fancy tricks.

Nunchaku are a orthodontic reconstructive surgeon's best friend. Don't use nunchaku.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Here's a complete list of people who should use nunchaku

1. Bruce Lee

Any questions?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


You left off Jackie Chan.

EDIT: Also Donnie Yen.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at 18:49 on Dec 11, 2017

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


OK, what was Gygax drinking when he came up with "wights drain life force = you lose skills and experience forever?" Like, I'd understand temporal loss that a rest would restore, but what kind of life drain makes you forget how to sword?

Just say wights give you Alzheimer's, then.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




He was thinking that this would really put some fear into those drat players of his.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Inescapable Duck posted:

Reading the original Turtles lore is pretty interesting, having watched various incarnations of them. The 2000s and 2010s cartoons hew closer to the comics in different ways; the 2010s cartoon has the Krang basically be like their comic book counterparts are described, while the 2000s cartoon infamously has Shredder turn out to be the equivalent of a Krang in a robot body posing as a human. The 2000s cartoon also has Splinter be a mutated pet rat, while the 2010s cartoon goes with the probably better streamlining that Splinter is a mutated Hamato Yoshi in hiding, and Shredder was motivated by jealousy over Tang Shen. (and they certainly play up how very personal the rivalry is)

And a lot of licensed RPGs really get weird about the canon characters. The statblocks for them tend to be especially clunky probably because they were the first ones they wrote. Funnily enough, Michelangelo being the most formidable Turtle also has canon backing, where despite being a goofy scatterbrain he's the most talented of them all, and uses the most difficult and complex weapons.

Yeah, it's kind of interesting how they keep going back to the original well but always giving some twist to it. The 2012 cartoon is absolutely a kids cartoon, but occasionally gets surprisingly dark with moments like Splinter and Shredder's origin story. Michaelangelo being fairly formidable feels like it almost comes from the RPG and fanon becoming canon in some continuities. It's hard to say, of course, but it's not like he's ever presented as the most skilled or talented in the original comics or cartoon... well, at fighting, anyway, but it's a possibility that's been played up in things like the 2003 cartoon where he clearly has the most talent but no discipline to hone it with. Which I can't see as anything other than an RPG callback, since it was the first to establish that.

It's not as profound an effect as, say, the West End Star Wars RPG had on the Star Wars franchise, but it's interesting that the Palladium RPG has likely had a subtle influence here and there on the Turtles franchise because it was released so early.

Robindaybird posted:

Nunchucks (or a three-section staff if you watched the European edit of the first cartoon series due to their weird laws about depicting ninjas at the time) are deadly in the right hands, but as every other marital art film in the 90s showed - it's extremely easy to slap yourself silly using it if you're not skilled.

Yeah, there's a reason there are special training versions, because you can actually cause serious self-injury if you don't have sufficient skill. I remember horror stories of detached kidneys and hospital stays from my teacher when I trained with them, not that I ever got actually good with them. (Granted, if you have a turtle shell, that's much less of an issue.) Using two at once definitely takes even more skill, since you don't have a spare hand to control it. There are definitely still schools that teach combat and sport forms, but there are groups that practice pure showmanship as well. However, they're still illegal in a lot of places because Asian sticks are scarier than normal sticks.

Yes, this means there are places in America where guns are legal but nunchaku aren't, because America.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 19:20 on Dec 11, 2017

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I think we just found a way to stop those killing sprees you peeps keep having every other week: give everyone nunchaku!

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

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

JcDent posted:

OK, what was Gygax drinking when he came up with "wights drain life force = you lose skills and experience forever?" Like, I'd understand temporal loss that a rest would restore, but what kind of life drain makes you forget how to sword?

Just say wights give you Alzheimer's, then.

Undead drain levels because it’s all about verisimilitude and respect for the genre. Remember the part in Dracula where Harker shakes the Count’s hand and forgets all his law school classes?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




JcDent posted:

I think we just found a way to stop those killing sprees you peeps keep having every other week: give everyone nunchaku!

It's an unfortunate combination of the absolute number of crazy people in a sufficiently large population and a culture that view gun ownership as a core component of citizenship. There's no way to stop gun violence in the USA besides strict control that starts with confiscation, and there's no way confiscation ever happens here.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


Empire Of Satanis: “new blood vermin, lick the poo poo off my boots”



Dishaw opens up this adventure by saying that when it takes place, the Colour Sphere of Deep Orange reigns. This may or may not have an effect on any PC Fiends if that's their Colour Sphere. No really, may or may not.

quote:

Those fiends with the color orange sphere of influence are sometimes greeted warmly, sometimes with coldly. Occasionally, they will be immune to the outside deep orangetinged influences, other times they will be the most swept away by them.

Twilight of Paradise takes place during a very special time of the K'Thana Kalendar: it's the Anniversary of Satanis' salvation of humanity. So it's kind of like Fiend Christmas and Easter if you think about it! However, the mood is somewhat soured by the fact that the great overwhelming invasion of Sha-la has not been going according to plan. Magic just doesn't work as well as it does in Yidathroth so

Hang about, that's the exact opposite of what you said before Dishaw! Every mention of Sha-la and humanity before now has been drenched with contempt, it's really a bit late to be changing your tune this late in the game just because you realised that there wasn't enough conflict in your game.

Anyway this happens to coincide with another (related? Separate?) event/festival called The Strangling of the Thousand Lights. Black God Satanis (I thought he was Crimson?) has blessed one very special baby to be born as the Antichrist who will hopefully make the conquering of Sha-la easier. At the start of this adventure, the PCs are at the Deceased Visionary tavern when they overhear that the pregnant woman who will bear the child is being kept by the Society of the Bloody Phoenix.

At that point, apropos of nothing, a bunch of drunk Zirakeans accost the PCs. They're just looking to start a fight for the hell of it. Whatever.

Abruptly the text describes The Spiritual Centre For Endarkenment. It's set up in an abandoned toy factory strewn with old tools, puppets, marionettes and the like. There they meet the abbot Dojen, an elderly Kurur-esh who is helpful and polite in teaching the PCs Dark Ways. That's nice and all and the idea of abandoned toy factories means there must also be active toy factories and Fiendish children to play with them. But uh, there's nothing in the paragraph about the Spiritual Centre explaining what the PCs were meant to be doing here. Whoops!

The combo bold/italics is exactly how all these names appear in the book, by the way.

I guess what was meant to happen was Dojen was supposed to arrange a meeting with The Betrayer, a contact from the Society of the Bloody Phoenix which is actually the Cult of the Bloody Foetus, 'a group that intends to bathe in the greenish ichor of the Strangling of the Thousand Lights baby before it is born'. Apparently related to that is the disappearance of a Zirakean called Valim, who was investigating one of several starships that arrived in K'Thana from Sha-la.

quote:

Valim was a tyrannical lord and an honorary priest of Satanis, rose in the ranks through dedicated soldiery. On a few occasions, Valim acted as a spy. He pretended to have ambitions towards revolting against the current hierarchy. Such schemes are often made in a hive of scum and villainy like K’thana. Valim dispatched the traitors without mercy.

The fact that Valim was basically a cop is meant to be a good and admirable thing I guess?

Investigating Valim's house turns out multiple clues (that the GM will have to invent) linking him to the Cult, including an oil painting of Fiends bathing in green baby blood. I mean, I'm not a doctor but I don't think that's the right colour. Considering Valim's occupation, this could either mean he was a whole-hearted participant in the Cult or he was investigating it. Spoiler: the PCs never find out one way or another.

Surprise! They've been followed. A Schmekblut named Splath is snooping around and trying to find something to incriminate the PCs. He has a pair of magic wooden puppets named Alabaster and Sbim who will run off to grab help. If the PCs grab him, Splath's story is that he was just checking up on his old friend Valim. They have about three minutes to kill him or make him talk before a senior Schmekblut comes in and breaks things up. He arrests the PCs if they kill Splath which begs the question: what the gently caress happened to this being the crazy-rear end chaotic evil universe? Is it because they violated the NAP?

The loving daisy-chain of named NPCs we don't care about continues with Lon, a Lurigeatro power broker who hosts an event called the Decadent Masquerade. He's Splath's boss and the jerk's got an invite on his person if the PCs kill him. He also wants to beat up Satanis and take over K'Thana for himself. To that end, he's been working with the Spirit Folk, the very same who guard the Abyss of Making.

The PCs can try and muscle the Spirit Folk but it won't work; they're invulnerable to all physical harm except for weapons 'that punch through the aether'. That said, they'll also freely admit that they've been talking to Lon for some loving reason. A better bet for the PCs is to wait for the Decadent Masquerade when they'll have the chance to break into Lon's house and rifle through his things. The book totally ignores the fact that at this point in the adventure they might have killed Splath and given Lon every reason to have the shits with them.

One way or another, the PCs discover the awful truth: Satanis is himself an exile from another universe, Kar'nahl. So too are the Spirit Folk, who stole 'destructive knowledge' from the outer forces of that universe. Satanis and the Spirit Folk threw down over the knowledge but eventually made an agreement that Dishaw literally refers to as a non-aggression pact. Lon and the rest of the Bloody Phoenix somehow found out about this and want the power. This works for the Spirit Folk, who want to link up with the outer forces again, and are willing to help him defeat Satanis and take his place as God-Emperor.

And that's the end of the adventure.

Here's the big resounding quesiton: who gives a gently caress? Why should the PCs care about any of this? Why should they care about Valim or Lon or the Order or the Cult? What difference does it make if Satanis or Lon are in charge? The book assume that the PCs should just automatically side against Lon, but why not help Lon with plans so that they can be top dog in the remade K'Thana? More importantly, if the Spirit Folk have the 'destructive knowledge' and are down to clown with Lon, how come Lon hasn't just automatically won already?

This poo poo-rear end adventure is a nightmare to read. The feeling you get is that Dishaw really is just making this up as he's going along; he gives you the details as he comes up with them and makes no effort to present them in a user-friendly order. And of course, there's no ending; I guess Lon is supposed to be a recurring antagonist but uh, what if the PCs just loving kill him? He's got a lot of SS and HP but the rest of his stats are nothing to write home about. Make a big circle around him, void sabre salad shredder, you're done.

One last adventure.

Next: Evil Below Us! Conclusion!

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


FATAL & Friends 2016-17: A Schmekblut named Splath

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Dark Matter: Xenoforms




Do Not Fight Any of These Sea Monsters:

Now we’ve got three sea creatures and they’re pretty much the three most powerful things in this book in a fight. The book may even be underestimating how devastating they should be.

Kraken:



The Kraken in this is, as the image suggests, a giant squid. Not a REAL giant squid either, one that is substantially larger than the giant or colossal squids of reality. It’s more than 150 feet long from tip of the whips to the end of the mantle. It’s got the ability to change color as with most squids, and this makes it able to camouflage itself surprisingly well for the fact that it’s absolutely enormous.

It works like you’d expect it to really, its encounter blurb suggests that it’ll try and grab targets with the whips, pull them into the tentacles to improve the hold, then chew you to death with its beak attack. It will chew you to death by the way, its beak is good firepower meaning it can’t fail to do mortal damage to something ordinary toughness. They’re not massively durable I guess, but that requires you to be attacking in ways that matter to something underwater.

The adventure hook starts with some Norwegian whalers capturing a “sea monster” and radioing in that they were going to bring it back to port. When they don’t turn up, search parties only find wreckage covered in sucker marks. Shortly after a Greenpeace monitoring vessel reports it’s under attack by a giant squid and is once again found in wreckage form. Both groups decide the correct choice is to blame the other for everything (terrifying realism really). The heroes are sent to investigate and when it becomes obvious there’s a giant squid the whalers go out to try and get revenge. Absolutely enormous squids being a bit harder targets than whales, they just piss it off and it’s up to the heroes to try and come up with a solution (get the gently caress out would be my personal one).

Verdict: I like giant octopus kraken better than squid. This thing is straight instant death if it ends up in an actual fight with PCs so don’t let that happen.

Megalodon:



This is just a straight up entry for Megalodon carcharias. It’s the biggest shark that ever existed and didn’t really go extinct that long ago in geologic terms so the idea that they might still live somewhere in the ocean comes up in fiction quite a bit. If you’ve somehow never seen a Megalodon tooth, do go look up a picture if you want some idea how large one of these things was.

Megalodons are mostly uninterested in things they don’t immediately recognize as food, and as relatives of the great white they’re extremely sensitive to electrical signals which often leaves them being confused and bothered by watercraft. If something happens to provoke them or convince them your boat may in fact harbor food, though, you are now sailing the hosed fjord because these things are 100% death. Their bite does absolutely ABSURD damage and has good firepower, so if you are in the water it basically kills you on anything but a critical failure full stop get the hell out. And again it’s underwater and engaging it with normal weaponry is thus not really an option. Don’t be in a situation where you’re fighting the incarnation of the hungry sea is my advice.

The adventure hook is pretty much Jaws but Hawaii. I mean it’s kind of the obvious way to use one of these. The hook lives or dies on how amped up your party would be to try to solve Jaws from first principles.

Verdict: Another thing to be super careful about using, because this WILL kill players in an instant.

Sea Serpent:



Our smallest entry is the sea serpent, who is literally a zeuglodon except not because this is a reptile. They’re aquatic reptiles that generally avoid humans, and are way less dangerous than the other two sea monsters. Interestingly this leaves only the Kraken as things that never existed in this section (as the Kraken is way larger than any real squid has ever been).

This thing isn’t an unusually large threat in combat compared to the other two, in that it won’t one-shot you instantly. You still shouldn’t try and fight a reptile the size of a goddamn whale without tools specifically for that sort of task.

The adventure hook is actually kind of nice, the heroes are sneaking out of some area they’d prefer not to be caught in on a fishing trawler. Partway through the journey a sea serpent is sighted and then shortly after the engine breaks down. The captain decides to go look for the serpent and manages to wound it, provoking an attack. What the PCs try to do about this situation is pretty much the adventure.

Verdict: Probably the most interesting of the three in spite of there not being much to talk about. Aquatic reptiles are pretty cool. Or you could change this to actually be a primitive whale, who cares.

Next Time: Demons and poo poo

Feinne fucked around with this message at 03:54 on Dec 12, 2017

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




I always encourage everyone I play with to look up extinct animals of all kinds as monster encounter ideas. Some of those get absolutely crazy, others simply fill niches you never knew you needed.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I'm kinda bummed the bestiary being so literal about beasts. Fighting animals doesn't sound that riveting, no matter how big they are. If the megalodon was guarding an underwater Nazi kinori research lab, maaaybe...

Also, oh my God, Satanis is the worst poo poo. Starting with fukken wizards being turned into random assembly of parts as a good thing, then they have a world that functions kinda identically to a world identical to inhabited by humans - they have inns and clubs and whatever - there's really no way that the world seems like it's inhabited with loving screaming trees.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



Robindaybird posted:

Nunchucks (or a three-section staff if you watched the European edit of the first cartoon series due to their weird laws about depicting ninjas at the time) are deadly in the right hands, but as every other marital art film in the 90s showed - it's extremely easy to slap yourself silly using it if you're not skilled.

That was specifically in the UK, and they just cut Michaelangelo's combat bits in the cartoon rather than redraw things. Also it was renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. France at least was quite happy with 'Tortues Ninja'. But France also showed a lot of the shonen shows like Saint Seiya, Dragonball Z, and Fist of the Northstar, with very few cuts, so a bit of sanitised US cartoon violence wasn't going to phase them.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Feinne posted:

It will chew you to death by the way, its beak is good firepower meaning it can’t fail to do mortal damage to something ordinary toughness.

If you're swimming around in diving gear like an idiot.

Hire a cargo helicopter and drop barrel bombs configured as improvised depth charges or something. Do anything except actually get into the water your own frail meat self.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




I don't know what the gently caress kind of game you're playing if wild animals aren't trying to kill the party for poorly explored reasons on a regular basis.

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


The Lone Badger posted:

If you're swimming around in diving gear like an idiot.

Hire a cargo helicopter and drop barrel bombs configured as improvised depth charges or something. Do anything except actually get into the water your own frail meat self.

How low do you have to fly for improvised depth charges, and is that within whipping range?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Cassa posted:

How low do you have to fly for improvised depth charges, and is that within whipping range?

You can fly as high as you like for the depth charges. The fish finder you've got handing from a long cable as a makeshift sonobuoy will limit you more... use a long cable.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





The Lone Badger posted:

You can fly as high as you like for the depth charges. The fish finder you've got handing from a long cable as a makeshift sonobuoy will limit you more... use a long cable.
Ain't no altitude you can fly at that'll keep a mega-shark away. You'd have to go move to a Gundam colony and even then I wouldn't be sure.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Now you're speaking my language. I'd totally work on adventure to liberate a Mi-26TS, load it with depth charges (barrels full of bathtub semtex), get the longest wire we could find to hook a fish finder to and go hunting for a Nazi kinori base guarding megalodon.

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!


JcDent posted:

Now you're speaking my language. I'd totally work on adventure to liberate a Mi-26TS, load it with depth charges (barrels full of bathtub semtex), get the longest wire we could find to hook a fish finder to and go hunting for a Nazi kinori base guarding megalodon.

Wouldn't it be easier just to give it belly rubs? Honestly the impression I get is that the Megalodon and the Sea Serpent mostly want to be left alone, with only the Kraken being actively on the hunt for humans except on accident or if you piss it off. I'd rather have a pet sea serpent than mount its head over my mantlepiece.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


The most valuable Art Object on the treasure tables is

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 55: The Deck of Xorns and Yeti

322: The Unwelcome Guest

On their way to a big city, on a “well-traveled road near an underground complex,” the PCs encounter a poorly-guarded caravan led by an understandably jumpy merchant transporting jewelry. Soon after they begin speaking with (and/or robbing) him, a xorn bursts out of the ground and starts eating the merchandise. It’ll defend itself if attacked. The merchant will reward them each with a piece of jewelry or gem worth 500 to 1000 gp.

A little random, but… sure? If I have a well-traveled road near Castle Greyhawk or whatever, I suppose it scans. Keep.


323: Full Metal Dinner

The party spots a small cave close to the road they’re traveling on, just as night is falling! Whattaya know! It’s small and “bisected by a single rock wall that creates two rooms out of the single chamber.” I would definitely make this my Secret Base in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire.

Anyway, a there’s a xorn temporarily lairing here; they’ll hear burrowing sounds from around the rocky corner and then the xorn will burst out and attack, if they investigate. If they camp outside the cave, it’ll attack during the night, rushing to the “largest mass of precious metals and gems” and chowing down, then fleeing once sated or hurt badly.

Hmm. I like that the monster’s aim isn’t to kill, but this is a little thin. I probably wouldn’t actually use it. Pass.


324: A Dangerous Game

There’s a colony of miners in the mountains. Five yeti are preying on them out of hunger, because the miners “have depleted a large portion of the yeti’s native food source.” (Which is what, just to be clear?) So people have been disappearing mysteriously. The miners will hire adventures to protect against their unidentified assailants. Investigating a latest death will find shredded equipment and frozen blood, but no bodies.

This is really a job for a ranger, because not only will someone with “skills or experience in the wilds of this climate” notice that there’s not much game life around, but also they’ll be able to track the yetis back to their lair, where they’ve been chowing down on miners. Failing that, they’ll have to set a trap or whatever.

The card suggests that they could kill the yeti, or find them a “replacement food source.” Find… the carnivores… a different food source… than wild animals? I’m drawing a blank, but maybe the players will be more creative than me. Keep.


325: The Freak Show

Takes place in a big city. There’s a traveling freak show; they have a yeti; it breaks loose and starts tearing off peoples’ arms and such. If the PCs kill it, the show owner will demand recompense, and set thugs on the PCs later if they don’t agree. But obviously, everybody else in the city will be quite happy with them, including the mayor.

Fair enough. Ke… Wait a minute, this is the same as #218: Circus Trouble, except with a yeti instead of a manticore. The fact that the show owner is still alive to take revenge maybe puts this ahead of the other one, but I’m saying pass anyway as protest for the repetition.

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'm kinda bummed the bestiary being so literal about beasts. Fighting animals doesn't sound that riveting, no matter how big they are. If the megalodon was guarding an underwater Nazi kinori research lab, maaaybe...

Also, oh my God, Satanis is the worst poo poo. Starting with fukken wizards being turned into random assembly of parts as a good thing, then they have a world that functions kinda identically to a world identical to inhabited by humans - they have inns and clubs and whatever - there's really no way that the world seems like it's inhabited with loving screaming trees.
It reminds me of Gargoyle's Quest, except it wants a world full of macabre monsters to be super edgy and, uh, libertarian, instead of cute and fun.

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ZorajitZorajit
Sep 15, 2013

No static at all...

Hey, I'm guessing the answer is but is there any review moratorium for writing up a system? I've got a copy of FFG's Genesys and was thinking about writing it up to help myself learn it. Wanted to ask since it's both new and generic, didn't want to run up to the line of outright piracy.

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