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Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Young Freud posted:

Even the Ultimates in Eclipse Phase have been removed as a player option in the new edition because that attitude fosters fascist "will to power" tendencies. Also, you already have Exhumans, which are even more hosed up versions of the Ultimates.

PurpleXVI posted:

What, really? Is that their reasoning for removing them? Then they might as well remove all of the factions as player factions, because almost any of them could be extrapolated into a really horrendous ideology. Besides, the Ultimates are about the most PC faction there is(at least when they're reasonably moderate). "Oughta go challenge myself with some gatecrashing and mercenary ops so I can grow as a person and become better, smarter stronger and more fit to fight the universe! These Firewall missions are about the coolest challenges around, too."

I honestly hope they also cut back on the expectation that the PC's will be Firewall agents. Or at least acknowledge that someone might want to play, say, Oversight auditors instead.

This always gets mentioned in a way that totally flattens the rationale behind removing the Ultimates.

The problem is, as a side effect of making them a PC choice that isn't awful to play and not stepping on other faction's schticks, the Ultimates were right. On the measures that they were arguing, they really had created a superior version of humanity - smarter, faster, more robust, etc. And the downsides to that were a society that... really wasn't that much worse than the poo poo you have to put up elsewhere in the solar system. If the choice is between living in a lovely society or living in a lovely society as an Übermensch, it's pretty hard not to see the latter as the better option.

Making them worse mechanically just creates a system mastery trap option, and if you make the societal downsides of their lovely approach to things more apparent, that just makes them even less reasonable as a player faction choice. The only way to keep them as a player faction is to make them a white-washed palatable version of antagonist factions. Which is a lovely thing to do, hence their removal as a player option.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at 19:23 on Jan 2, 2018

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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:

DnD question: who created these chaotic evil races, or are they just result of some of the non-magical evolution that should still happen in DnDland?
Bear in mind that in OD&D/Chainmail, alignment was just Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, and it basically meant "Will this creature attack me on sight Y/N."

JcDent posted:

Oh, thank you for this gift, I can already hear my girlfriend telling me stop laughing.
talons. I got em.

Night10194 posted:

Ah, the Brotherhood of the Skin. I remember them from a couple spells in the core rulebook.
It never sat right with me that the CoC corebooks had spells that were related to specific adventures and made no sense out of context. Did they clean that up in the 7th edition?

Tasoth posted:

My take away from Chambers' work was the KiY was punishment for upsetting the natural order of things. Having the KiY/Hastur show up because existence deemed Earth was too far gone to salvage would have been neat and terrifying in a starkly different manner.
Well, uh, in the context of Chambers' book, the "natural order of things" would mean stuffy Victorian respectability, with all its prejudices and neuroses.

LatwPIAT posted:

The functional absence of the Dreamlands from CthulhuTech is something I see brought up as a flaw of the writing with some frequency, but I think it's mostly incidental. The Dream Cycle and the Mountains of Madness/Shadow out of Time/over Innsmouth/Whisperer in Darkness combination (the ISO-standard Cthulhu Mythos setting pioneered by Chaosium) are pretty tonaly dissonant and when adapting loosely a work there's nothing really wrong with excising elements that don't fit the tone you're going for.
I believe the Dreamlands are largely absent from Eldritch Skies, but it definitely feels like a dodge in CTech, whereas it doesn't in ES.

FMguru posted:

The canonical use is from the Dragonlance modules, where the cute elf who helps the heroes is actually a polymorphed silver dragon (i.e. DM insurance in case the final encounter goes badly for the PCs) and she runs away with one of the NPCs at the end.
Why does every single thing I hear about Dragonlance make it sound like the lamest kiddie Candyland bullshit ever? Oh, we can't have an actual thief, so here's kender! Oh, the party needs a chaperone! Oh, the Paladin has to join the Lollipop Guild! Is this what happens when fantasy series are written by kids who aren't allowed to watch TV or chew gum?

Thuryl posted:

Mark Twain's estate was involved in a court case in 1917 over the rights to a novel supposedly dictated to its writer by the spirit of Twain via an Ouija board.
Ouija board has got to be the most time-consuming way to transcribe anything. That's slower than tapping Morse code through pipes in your prison cell.

Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011


Comrade Gorbash posted:

This always gets mentioned in a way that totally flattens the rationale behind removing the Ultimates.

The problem is, as a side effect of making them a PC choice that isn't awful to play and not stepping on other faction's schticks, the Ultimates were right. On the measures that they were arguing, they really had created a superior version of humanity - smarter, faster, more robust, etc. And the downsides to that were a society that... really wasn't that much worse than the poo poo you have to put up elsewhere in the solar system. If the choice is between living in a lovely society or living in a lovely society as an Übermensch, it's pretty hard not to see the latter as the better option.

Making them worse mechanically just creates a system mastery trap option, and if you make the societal downsides of their lovely approach to things more apparent, that just makes them even less reasonable as a player faction choice. The only way to keep them as a player faction is to make them a white-washed palatable version of antagonist factions. Which is a lovely thing to do, hence their removal as a player option.

If they talked more about the Ultimates subfactions other than the 'KILL THE WEAK' one Id be more interesting. Cause arent there also subfactions that are isolationist/ascetic, one that is closer to an actual social darwinist where they recognize ecologies have hiearchied and if you kill everyone below you that means you are actually the loser cause you screwed yourself, or how you can advance in the ultimates by just being super smart and being in reasonable shape.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

Bear in mind that in OD&D/Chainmail, alignment was just Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, and it basically meant "Will this creature attack me on sight Y/N."

Beyond that point, Orcs, Goblins, and Gnolls have a pantheon, diety, and Demon lord that made them in D&D's backstory.

In Eberron they're all naturally evolved, and in fact the actual native inhabitants of the continent of Khorvaire before the humans showed up to colonize things. The orcs took it mainly in stride and accepted whatever humans actually wanted to live in their terrible swamp homes. The Gnolls lived in a literal hellmouth but those that were able to escape from there got their poo poo together rather quickly. The goblins are a little pissy that their empire collapsed due to infighting and don't like the uppity newcomers.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


Communist Zombie posted:

If they talked more about the Ultimates subfactions other than the 'KILL THE WEAK' one Id be more interesting. Cause arent there also subfactions that are isolationist/ascetic, one that is closer to an actual social darwinist where they recognize ecologies have hiearchied and if you kill everyone below you that means you are actually the loser cause you screwed yourself, or how you can advance in the ultimates by just being super smart and being in reasonable shape.
The issue is that the first two subfactions, if they are coexisting with the "KILL THE WEAK" faction, are themselves functionally still fascist. In fact they represent policy positions you can find in Mussolini's Italy or the Third Reich or Franco's Spain.

You're right that there are versions of those ideological bents that could work in other contexts. But you'd have to excise the "cleanse the gene pool" subset and some other elements entirely for that, and then you're fundamentally changing their deal, to the point they're a new thing anyways. You can do a player appropriate, "this is ethically complicated" faction that's about self-improvement, sure, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another attempt at it. But they should to do it from the ground up and give it a new name.

Ultimately - pun intended - you can't really do a version of the Ultimates that's a distinct in game faction, sticks to the original concept space, and is player appropriate. It's sandwiched pretty tightly between the Exhumans on one side and the Jovians on the other, so you can only do so much without running up against one or another. If you change them enough to avoid that too, then as I said above why bother keeping the name?

The Ultimates really are just fascists by another name, and the devs had to own up that. I'd rather they get relegated to outright antagonists than continue as a watered down version that plays into exactly the kind of apologia the devs rightly wanted to avoid.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



We doing a new thread this year?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Kurieg posted:

Beyond that point, Orcs, Goblins, and Gnolls have a pantheon, diety, and Demon lord that made them in D&D's backstory.

In Eberron they're all naturally evolved, and in fact the actual native inhabitants of the continent of Khorvaire before the humans showed up to colonize things. The orcs took it mainly in stride and accepted whatever humans actually wanted to live in their terrible swamp homes. The Gnolls lived in a literal hellmouth but those that were able to escape from there got their poo poo together rather quickly. The goblins are a little pissy that their empire collapsed due to infighting and don't like the uppity newcomers.
Okay, this is what I find weird about people trying to do Woke Orcs: they typically go from being inherently evil filthy savages...you know, like stereotypes of colonized peoples...to being simply coded as colonized peoples, typically with a tribal culture and nature worship. (I'm thinking of Eberron and the Elder Scrolls here.) If they belabour the point about them being totally civilized and honorable and humble and peaceful and spiritual, it's a little uncomfortable.

Give me a setting where the Orcs are militaristic, relentless, and tribal because they're like the early Roman Republic or the Heian clans.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Jan 2, 2018

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Bar Crow posted:

Sci-fi writers can't figure out what evolution is so they assume it's like grinding exp.
Hey, mine did. Or at least did better than the average.

Halloween Jack posted:

Okay, this is what I find weird about people trying to do Woke Orcs: they typically go from being inherently evil filthy savages...you know, like stereotypes of colonized peoples...to being simply coded as colonized peoples, typically with a tribal culture and nature worship. (I'm thinking of Eberron and the Elder Scrolls here.) If they belabour the point about them being totally civilized and honorable and humble and peaceful and spiritual, it's a little uncomfortable.

Give me a setting where the Orcs are militaristic and relentless because they're, say, the early Roman Republic.
A friend is mine is doing a situation where orcs are neither inherently good or inherently bad but do live as semi-nomadic herders, like many historical cultures, including, well, the Mongols.

slap me and kiss me
Apr 1, 2008

You best protect ya neck


Orcs as captains of industry. Savages? No, they've just eschewed traditional magic in favour of iron, steel, and coal.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Hostile V posted:

We doing a new thread this year?

I'm pretty sure we are. However, the last thread didn't show up until the 6th, so it might take a few days.

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.

Halloween Jack posted:

Why does every single thing I hear about Dragonlance make it sound like the lamest kiddie Candyland bullshit ever? Oh, we can't have an actual thief, so here's kender! Oh, the party needs a chaperone! Oh, the Paladin has to join the Lollipop Guild! Is this what happens when fantasy series are written by kids who aren't allowed to watch TV or chew gum?

Dragonlance definitely represented a paradigm shift in the way AD&D was marketed post-Satanic Panic, as well as the way players at the time were playing the game. Even in Gygax’s time, popular fantasy was shifting from picaresque tales like Conan to the high fantasy of Tolkien and Lewis and the like. DL was definitely marketed to an adolescent audience of the 80s more interested in heroic power fantasy than dungeon-crawling, with its focus on the overworld, a simplistic good vs. evil narrative, various groups you could join like “secret clubs” (knights of solamnia, wizard orders), and romantic subplots.

The authors were devout Mormons, so you’re not far off about the “no TV or gum” thing. Tracy Hickman, in particular, put in some pretty heavy-handed crypto-Mormonism.

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.

Halloween Jack posted:

Give me a setting where the Orcs are militaristic, relentless, and tribal because they're like the early Roman Republic or the Heian clans.

To be fair to Eberron, that role went to the goblins.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Halloween Jack posted:


Give me a setting where the Orcs are militaristic, relentless, and tribal because they're like the early Roman Republic or the Heian clans.

Thats the Hobgoblins. But they call their tribes Legions and everyone in the legion even the noncombatants, and children have a military rank.

MonsterEnvy fucked around with this message at 21:03 on Jan 2, 2018

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Also to be fair to Eberron, it's not that the Orcs are just naturally Woke, it's that they have more interest in murdering extradimensional abominations than being an empire.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Dallbun posted:


375: The Tomb

A room for a dungeon. It’s large and has eight sarcophagi with stone coffins that “are impossible to move with less than a combined Strength of at least 100.”

I continue to be in love with the weird absolutism that these cards include.

"no, one guy with 99 strength (an outlandish and possibly impossible value to attain) can't move these things, even given a little extra time. they're completely immobile. ah, but if a mouse happens to brush against the sarcophagi while the extremely strong man is also attempting to move them, well now you're in business."

"also, for some completely inexplicable reason, 100 mice can move these multi-ton coffins just as easily as the grotesquely strong guy and 1 mouse"

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Halloween Jack posted:

Why does every single thing I hear about Dragonlance make it sound like the lamest kiddie Candyland bullshit ever? Oh, we can't have an actual thief, so here's kender! Oh, the party needs a chaperone! Oh, the Paladin has to join the Lollipop Guild! Is this what happens when fantasy series are written by kids who aren't allowed to watch TV or chew gum?

I have nothing but conjecture and personal anecdotes to base this on, but it feels like the Dragonlance setting came about right as D&D was hitting the zenith of it cultural relevance (and more importantly the zenith of its ability to be monetized outside hobby stores) during the mid-late 80s. it makes sense, in that context, that Dragonlance would feel like the Saturday-morning-cartoon of settings, likely because the D&D Saturday morning cartoon was still airing live and it was basically a vehicle to drive kids and their parent's money into TSR's open arms.

also something something Satanic Panic, this is why we have baatezu and tanari instead of devils and demons, etc.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Mr. Maltose posted:

Also to be fair to Eberron, it's not that the Orcs are just naturally Woke, it's that they have more interest in murdering extradimensional abominations than being an empire.

Yeah, they're also naturally sensitive to light so when the afformentioned hobgoblin legions showed up, so long as the extradimenisional seals held, they were more than happy to move back to their dark and murky swamps.

"Yeah just don't gently caress with that forest in there, the trees will literally kill you. Have fun!"

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Mr. Maltose posted:

Also to be fair to Eberron, it's not that the Orcs are just naturally Woke, it's that they have more interest in murdering extradimensional abominations than being an empire.
I don't mean the Orcs are woke, just that like, the writing of the Orcs is kinda performatively woke.

MonsterEnvy posted:

Thats the Hobgoblins. But they call their tribes Legions and everyone in the legion even the noncombatants, and children have a military rank.
I love Hobgoblins for no particular reason. Next time I do a homebrew D&D the playable races will be Kobold Hobgoblin, Elf, Dwarf, and Tiefling.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


And I'm just saying that the orcs in Eberron aren't written from a position of overadjusting from terrible stereotypes, they just have specific priorities that arise from something other than "performative wokeness"

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Mr. Maltose posted:

And I'm just saying that the orcs in Eberron aren't written from a position of overadjusting from terrible stereotypes, they just have specific priorities that arise from something other than "performative wokeness"

And let's not forget that this is a setting where the elves take their cues from your pick of Huns, Scythians, the Golden Horde, and other bloodthirsty mounted raiders from the east.

They have better cavalry forces than their halfling neighbors, and the halflings ride dinosaurs.

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!


Comrade Gorbash posted:

Ultimately - pun intended - you can't really do a version of the Ultimates that's a distinct in game faction, sticks to the original concept space, and is player appropriate. It's sandwiched pretty tightly between the Exhumans on one side and the Jovians on the other, so you can only do so much without running up against one or another. If you change them enough to avoid that too, then as I said above why bother keeping the name?

I can dig the game mechanic/balance reasons that Ultimates might be somewhat inappropriate, because if you're playing a combat-heavy party that solves most things by getting into brawls or in some other relatively direct form, then Ultimates are, yeah, going to be the ultimate choice for in most cases. But I seriously can only disagree with the "oh no players might play something inappropriate"-stance and I really hope that's not the official explanation from the devs, or in any way involved with it. But, ultimately, who cares. I mean, we've got no reason to read, much less play EP when we've got...

Hc Svnt Dracones: Sound and Silence



MEGACORPS(The last two, promise)

So the first of the last two Megacorps in HSD is Spyglass, the corporation that spies on people. Now if that was all, this would be a pretty short paragraph. But no, that is not all. That's never all. There's always more poo poo to dig up. The intro fiction is about someone from one of the Space Cop corporate territories visiting a Spyglass territory and talking to someone that gives him a boner about how wonderful it is to visit Spyglass' territory, because there are no cops and no laws, which, somehow, means you can really trust everyone and there's a great sense of community.

Sound posted:

“But the people here are awake. They think. They think about other people, they think about their actions, they think about what’s right, and why it’s right, and who they feel is right to help regulate those judgments. There’s a community here you don’t get anywhere else. It’s trust. And it’s a genuine trust, because it has very few immutable laws to hide its actions behind.”

...

"... it’s also freeing. It puts a lot of power with the individual and promotes a level of personal responsibility you don’t get other places.”

“Those reports of violence against tourists you’ve heard of? I’d put about 90% of them on tourists drawing weapons in fear when they could’ve apologized or asked for help."

So anyway, it's hard to really convey every single way in which Spyglass is poo poo and the writer makes me want to slap them upside the face. But let's try to work our way through it, the short version is that they're not the Space CIA Corporation. They're the Anarchist Samurai Corporation that don't believe in rules because HONOR keeps everyone in line and your social standing is too important to risk and also it works instead of currency in their territories. The writing also seems to sympathize with their view of cops as "a bloated mercenary corporation" that just throw up their hands and go "THOSE ARE THE RULES, WE DIDN'T MAKE 'EM." when they have to pop a couple dozen bullets into some random innocent. It also seems to support Spyglass trials which are basically "lynch mobs" presided over by whoever the mob likes most, but come on, the rules tell us, this couldn't be corrupt, because no one would be really well-liked by the mob and the locals if it wasn't for a really good reason! Like if they were really fair and honest and it was always a good idea to put someone's life in their hands!

Also if the system should ever break down, Spyglass just digs up all the dirty laundry and secrets they can find on the BAD GUY and reveals it, and then the system, whether it's social or business, just sort of balances itself out and it's all cool. I'm glad Spyglass are such great dudes. They're also praised for the fact that civilians with guns blow away criminals on the street, because this is basically the same as a cop doing it, we're told, so we should take it with a pinch of salt if anyone tells us that it's bad and means Spyglass sites are dangerous. Their idea of "urban planning" is also just "throw up a bunch of empty buildings and see what the citizens make of them, and this works out great all the time, forever."

The writers also can't decide if Spyglass reveals all secrets or mostly keeps secrets secret. Since it seems to vary from paragraph to paragraph. Either way, whichever one they do, it's their primary source of revenue. And they've also managed to sabotage literally every piece of surveillance equipment in the solar system, which is how they can be so stealthy, because they secretly own and have compromised basically every company making the gear, and when they haven't managed to do that, they've bribed literally every person operating it. Yeah I'm serious, and the other corporations have yet to decide to just move their security production in-house, I mean they basically own a loving planet or at least a moon each, you'd figure they'd have the spare resources to make cameras on their own.



Lastly, is the Lumen corporation, run entirely by the setting's intolerable cybernetic kender. If you've ever read one of those stories or games where there's someone overpowered that's meant to somehow still be relateable, so the writer gives them a token weakness that isn't actually a weakness? Those are the Cogsune, and the Cogsune, detailed in the last review, are the only species involved in the Lumen corporation. They're all little cybernetic foxes that are, technically, if I remember right, kind of immortal. They're also much smarter than everyone else, and they've invented like fifty different kinds of FTL, all of which are much better than the one they're showing in public, which can "only" get up to twice the speed of light. They've also invented "miniaturization" technology, which I don't think the author quite knows what means, that lets them make, say, assault rifles sized for mice that do as much damage as normal assault rifles. Or that can make battleships the size of SUV's that maintain the same amount of armor and armament.

Now, you might be wondering, what token failing do these intolerable little nerds have? I mean, they're all born as hypergeniuses or super-secret killer operatives, what weakness could they have? Simple, they can't have faith. They're bad at believing in ghosts, magic, gods or transcendent tech wizardry. But apparently they're not so bad at believing in it that they can't understand it exists, so they're still researching it to understand it so they can properly believe in it for... reasons? I don't loving know. The whole thing is a long-winded ramble that suggests the author has a very poor understanding of brains, including their own.

Sound posted:

Though their species is capable of creativity, intuition, abstraction, and even artistic expression, their logic is locked to an extremely solid model of the universe. That model can be tweaked and change as discoveries are made, but it serves as a default “instinct” for the creatures themselves. Cogsunes, for instance, are not taught math. They just know it. All of it. And while it is possible for them to make adjustments to the way they compute math, it is not possible for them to, say, remove “math” as a concept from their minds. They would be unable to reconcile a lack of these principles with the rest of their world, which runs into a serious problem when attempting to work out something that has been becoming a larger and larger factor in their solar system: transcendent phenomena.

The Cogsune transcendent weakness stems from two factors: the first is a lack of information about the properties involved in the initial discovery and leverage of transcendent technology. Cogsunes were “educated” by ASR, who have no real information about how TTI’s science works, and nothing about its origins. The measurable effects of these abilities don’t correspond to the energy or qualities of matter feeding into them by any stretch, which unhinges the Cogsune think-engine something fierce. With access to the right sets of variables, it wouldn’t be so bad, but that leads to problem number two: the variables themselves don’t make sense.

Many of the glyphs and factors of transcendent technology rely as much on input from one side of reality as they do from the other, which means only a portion of the system itself functions in our interpretations of reality. The others are based in sciences that can’t exist here. Cogsunes can conceive of that idea, but actually putting that conception into practice doesn’t work for them. Vectors can disregard incongruity or impossibility and focus solely on perceived results. It’s a key factor in an inherited human condition called “faith.” Cogsunes lack that ability. For them to accept a thing requires that it fit various established models in their mind, resulting in very accurate, analytical thinking, and an utter inability to cope with TTI’s namesake product in action long enough to collect the information they need to solve problem number 1.

Honestly trying to parse it just gives me a headache. Anyway, Lumen's schtick is that they just one day show up with a bunch of FTL junk and start moving things around, shaking up old corporate deals and relationships. Except because they're WACKY LITTLE PRANKSTERS, they don't use their pocket battleships(see what I did there) and FTL tech(which has no problems functioning in-system, inside gravity wells, doesn't only work between certain nodes or any of the other issues that limit FTL in a lot of sci-fi settings to make them more interesting) to conquer the solar system. Instead they're just doing random wacky poo poo with it and haphazardly running their business to collate data for... some reason. Apparently self-improvement?

Anyway, gently caress Lumen and the Cogsune. After that, we get a short section on GROTTOS, which are basically just really big space station. One's abandoned and gone feral, one is a hedonistic paradise, the third is an archive for recording scientific and historical data in case of another cataclysm, and the last is full of robots. Normally these are the sort of short sections that are meant to make you go: "Oh wow! I could think of some ideas for an adventure!" but in this case they're just like the lowest-tier of most generic sci-fi poo poo imaginable that they spark zero ideas whatsoever. Why would I care about a space station full of wild dogs when I'm in a post-scarcity solar system where that station can't possibly have any rare or unique things I can't just 3D print at home? Unless I really want to get tetanus from being bitten, I guess.

But at least that means we're finally done with the Sound section and can move on to the Silence part where all the setting's juicy secrets are. Maybe something in here will totally surprise us and give the setting some much-needed purpose, originality and gravitas! I'm not holding my breath.

SILENCE

Our first lump of the Silence section gives us a comic that makes me glad the authors mostly removed humans from the setting, because their artists clearly couldn't draw them very well, and then we get a following chunk of fluff about one of the setting's core bad guys, the Pale Men, or furry Slendermen. To recap, when furries took a trip back to the non-blood-ghosty parts of Earth to see what was going on, Palemen owned them hardcore. Now we learn that they're humanity's supersoldiers, made in the dying parts of the nations-vs-corporations war to frolic across the irradiated wastelands and gently caress a dude up if he was an anarcho-capitalist retard who wanted to gently caress dogs. Oh and they're also telepaths, but this isn't some wacky supernatural Transcendental thing, it's just perfectly normal science, you see:

Silence posted:

Telepathy was always an ability that made theoretical sense: the brain does interpret electrical signals sent to it by its senses. The problem was the senses themselves. Human brains have no organ associated with broadcasting those signals through the air, and no organ designed to snag those signals out of the sky as it does with sound aimed toward the ears. A transmitter and receiver, as it were.

Perfectly simple and scientifically robust in its explanation, you just jam a loving antenna into the brain and hey presto, you've got telepathy. They also gave them eyes all over, which is apparently an advantage rather than an invitation to have a lot of poorly-protected orifices that enemies can just throw dust at to hugely discomfort them. But what do I know, I'm not a superscientist making killer monsters on a hellworld.



But, you might ask, what's the point of growing baby monsters now, that'll take ten to twenty years of training and growing before they can start killing dudes? Well, simple, you see! The answer is instinct, because scientists just found the instinct for "what is a doorknob" and "how to fire gun" and programmed them with that! poo poo, you guys are gonna suck at the apocalypse if you don't even know basic monster-growing factoids like that, wow. Anyway, to further cement the human scientists as genius monster-makers, they also made Pale Sharks and Pale Birds(i.e. underwater pale men and flying pale men), and ensured that the pale sharks and the pale men could gently caress(and also that they couldn't knock up their own species), you know, just to be on the safe side so they'd always be able to make more of them if their labs got blown up. Totally not because the authors had a fetish in any way shape or form no sir. That's also why we get an entire page about the intricacies of it.


Why is almost every super-spooky monster in this game a creamy white colour?

We also find out why the owls turned into creepy slender-dudes, apparently Hydra, the evil virus that got Earth nuked, sent itself to Mars, where someone just stored the files it was in without looking at them. Then when it came time to make the owls, they just dragged random poo poo out of the archives and decided to involve it, apparently. Yeah that's seriously the loving explanation. No, I'm not loving kidding you, it's in the book! Honest! Look!

Silence posted:

Hydra attached aspects of the programs related to its use and discovery to the transmission so similar conditions could be repeated on Mars. The tag-along files were strange and unsorted, and they were filed away until dredged up during the third Vector expansion and applied to the owls by a pair of scientists that knew not what they were meddling with.

Would I ever lie to you about something being awful? Anyway, much like the exonymphs from the Extended Core, the Palemen canonically clown on the furries pretty easily. In this case by luring them down to Earth, stealing their ships and getting a big lump of themselves to Mars, then planning to rescue the rest of their families from Earth. Which makes them more sympathetic and interesting than the furry main characters. Mind you, how they stay hidden among the furry populace considering that they've apparently got WIRELESS BRAINSCANNERS all over the loving place, is a mystery. This setting doesn't really ask itself a lot of questions and it answers even less.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



yes, yes, we're all very sad you can no longer play a transhumanist space nazi

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The complete and total faith Libertarians have in 'But if you cheat someone people will know you cheated them and refuse to do business with you, even in a world where the corporate power structure is so powerful that we don't even have to explain how any of the poo poo PCs get up to will get covered up' is mind boggling.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Isn't "militaristic orcs that like some technology and aren't evil" what WOW orcs are after their curse is broken?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


theironjef posted:

Isn't "militaristic orcs that like some technology and aren't evil" what WOW orcs are after their curse is broken?

No, turns out they were evil too.

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



slap me and kiss me posted:

Orcs as captains of industry. Savages? No, they've just eschewed traditional magic in favour of iron, steel, and coal.

'Loincloths to loincloths in three generations' - Blackhand the Destroyer.

theironjef posted:

Isn't "militaristic orcs that like some technology and aren't evil" what WOW orcs are after their curse is broken?
WoW orcs post-curse-breaking are (these are the manual's exact words) 'noble savage[s]'. Halfway into WoW's runtime they turbo-industralized and fell in love with Orc Hitler. Then everyone killed him, and then they travelled through time and killed alternate-universe-versions of a lot of other orcs that didn't have demon curses but were huge jerks anyways.
So, WoW orcs, like anything else in WoW, are exactly what the plot wants this week. I.e., whatever the lead designer thinks would look good on a t-shirt next to either two wolves howling or a big demon made of beyblade parts.

EDIT: dangit, offtopic'd for nothing.

Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured.



College Slice

I hope you're not suggesting there's something wrong with a cool orc and some beyblade wolves.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Drakyn posted:

WoW orcs post-curse-breaking are (these are the manual's exact words) 'noble savage[s]'. Halfway into WoW's runtime they turbo-industralized and fell in love with Orc Hitler. Then everyone killed him, and then they travelled through time and killed alternate-universe-versions of a lot of other orcs that didn't have demon curses but were huge jerks anyways.
So, WoW orcs, like anything else in WoW, are exactly what the plot wants this week. I.e., whatever the lead designer thinks would look good on a t-shirt next to either two wolves howling or a big demon made of beyblade parts.

They didn't kill Orc Hitler, AKA Garrosh, the first time, we beat him into submission and then decided "HEY THIS GUY WHO BLEW UP THE WORLD SHOULD PROBABLY BE HELD ON TRIAL!" except he escaped with the help of two insane time-travelling dragons who took him to an alternate universe version of Draenor with future-orc technology with the explicit goal of re-invading azeroth and beating up the alliance for making Garrosh look like a tool.

Because Metzen loving loves orcs and decided to follow up a Patch full of Orcs with an EXPANSION Full of orcs.

Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured.



College Slice

Kurieg posted:

They didn't kill Orc Hitler, AKA Garrosh, the first time, we beat him into submission and then decided "HEY THIS GUY WHO BLEW UP THE WORLD SHOULD PROBABLY BE HELD ON TRIAL!"
I think the idea was less, should we find out if Garrosh genocided basically everybody on either side who looked at him funny, and more, let's find out just who was involved and if we need to respond by genociding the orcs.

As it turns out, you SHOULD genocide the orc's heroic ancestors, and the orcs helped with that a lot.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Mystic Mongol posted:

I think the idea was less, should we find out if Garrosh genocided basically everybody on either side who looked at him funny, and more, let's find out just who was involved and if we need to respond by genociding the orcs.

As it turns out, you SHOULD genocide the orc's heroic ancestors, and the orcs helped with that a lot.

https://wow.gamepedia.com/War_Crimes

Nope, He was taken to a sentencing hearing before the Celestials, to determine whether or not he should die. Except after he escaped the Celestials were like "oh we were never going to actually let you kill him. Life is precious."

Then thrall killed him in an honor duel in the alternate future past

Skellybones
May 31, 2011






Fun Shoe

The reveal that orcs are inherently bloodthirsty fascists and being turned into demonic puppets didn't actually change anything about them is my favourite thing.

Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured.



College Slice

Kurieg posted:

Nope, He was taken to a sentencing hearing before the Celestials, to determine whether or not he should die. Except after he escaped the Celestials were like "oh we were never going to actually let you kill him. Life is precious."

The gently caress.

Did the celestials intervene with any of the thousands of horde or alliance soldiers who died, or any of the trolls or goblins driven out of their homes by their insane warlord, or how about the Pandarians killed when Garrosh intentionally became an avatar of hatred and tried to destroy several continents with that power?

Skellybones posted:

The reveal that orcs are inherently bloodthirsty fascists and being turned into demonic puppets didn't actually change anything about them is my favourite thing.

It turned them green.

Skellybones
May 31, 2011






Fun Shoe

Humans being the inbred manlet children of Norse Giants who were kicked out onto a different continent for being deeply uncool is my #3 reveal.

#2 is that gnomes evolved from robots.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I take it back, Eberron is eleventy trillion times smarter than whatever the gently caress y'all are talking about.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Mystic Mongol posted:

The gently caress.

Did the celestials intervene with any of the thousands of horde or alliance soldiers who died, or any of the trolls or goblins driven out of their homes by their insane warlord, or how about the Pandarians killed when Garrosh intentionally became an avatar of hatred and tried to destroy several continents with that power?

Of course not, they weren't Metzen's 2nd favorite character.

In Legion they finally had Thrall get some kind of comeuppance for claiming neutrality but only actually being neutral when it benefited him.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Halloween Jack posted:

I take it back, Eberron is eleventy trillion times smarter than whatever the gently caress y'all are talking about.

WoW lore is a long, dark rabbit hole filled with dragon rape, genocide apologia, and eighty different kinds of elves.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Seriously, didn't they make 3 new kinds of elves just recently?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



wiegieman posted:

Seriously, didn't they make 3 new kinds of elves just recently?

Just one. Nightborne were introduced in the current standing expansion, but are only being made playable in the next expansion.

You've got original elves (who no longer exist), night elves, high elves, blood elves, felblood elves, san'layn (vampire elves), highborne, nightborne, and void elves. Satyrs and nagas are mutations of elves by demonic and Void power respectively, and the elves themselves are mutated from trolls exposed to Titanic energy.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


And everyone would just accept that "The Horde Has Changed" if they didn't keep putting the absolute evilest assholes they can find on their throne and having them murder civilians right on camera.

When they put an actual good person on the throne he didn't DO anything for an expansion except die and get replaced.

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marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Cythereal posted:

Just one. Nightborne were introduced in the current standing expansion, but are only being made playable in the next expansion.

You've got original elves (who no longer exist), night elves, high elves, blood elves, felblood elves, san'layn (vampire elves), highborne, nightborne, and void elves. Satyrs and nagas are mutations of elves by demonic and Void power respectively, and the elves themselves are mutated from trolls exposed to Titanic energy.

And all of them are basically descended from mutant trolls if I remember one bit of lore from a decade ago.

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