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Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




For them to have a metaplot they need to publish something besides two godawful mobile text adventures.

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megane
Jun 20, 2008





Just because RPG writers like making up excuses for sexism doesn't mean they won't have sexism without one.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Hunt11 posted:

Isn't one of the founding principle of the Crab is that it doesn't matter who you are as long as you kick rear end?

Yeah. And one of their big NPCs at the time was every bit the uncouth fighter chick, and she was the daimyo's daughter. While results not typical, the Crab were never ever said to have a problem with women fighting save in that one bit in that one adventure which is why it stands out to me years later.

EverettLO posted:

There was plenty of pointless sexism in first edition L5R. The most notable one that comes to mind is a screed in the GM Survival Guide about the difficulties of playing a samurai-ko. You needed a retainer around to prove/protect your chastity and it was unlikely your lord was gonna let you go travel around with a group of male samurai. No one would take you seriously and your word was constantly suspect.

I didn't notice it as much in second edition and by third edition they were actively going against standard sexism by saying there's no difference in opportunities in Rokugan.

Yeah, you needed a retainer on your travels and you needed to make smaller hand gestures than men and it's just this huge load of nonsense that would make it terrifically unfun to play a female bushi in L5R. What really gets me is that none of the big NPCs - and to its sorta credit L5R 1E had women in all positions of power* - paid any attention to that. Do as I say and not as I do in game design, I suppose. And indeed by third edition it didn't matter your gender. Female emperors, daimyos, whatever you like and no smaller hand motions needed.

*Granted the most powerful was an uber-seductress. So, you know, two steps forward, I guess.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Evil Mastermind posted:

I don't want to give the answer away just yet, but here's a little sneak peek to whet your appetite.

This is Baruk Kaah, High Lord of the Living Land, as he appeared in original Torg.


This is what he looks like in Torg Eternity.


One of these guys looks like a commander who has a lot on his mind and wants to concern himself with the logistics of his magical kingdom.

The other is a wild & crazy warlord who likes to smash poo poo.

I'm not sure which is more appropriate to the canon, but I like the old one better.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



This post got some good conversation, but I was not really happy with it at all. I'm rethinking how I'm going through with the book, so editing this out to be redone.

Wapole Languray fucked around with this message at 23:39 on Feb 27, 2018

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Robindaybird posted:

Adventures like that sure don't help with the reputation of L5R being hilariously lethal, I get there isn't always time to play test adventures and you don't always catch potential outliers but you'd think they have some rough idea of the deadliness of their critters.

I think RPG writers having the slightest idea of how their system works was really rare until recently. Also, die pool systems and other cool dice tricks tended to exacerbate this problem because they make figuring out probabilities really hard.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Ratoslov posted:

I think RPG writers having the slightest idea of how their system works was really rare until recently. Also, die pool systems and other cool dice tricks tended to exacerbate this problem because they make figuring out probabilities really hard.

And I feel like L5R writers felt they were off the hook for the core book stuff where they talk about OH IT'S LETHAL YOU HAVE NO IDEA so everybody should be 'warned.' Or somesuch.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

Which one randomly starts out having Yokuni show up and say 'hey go to the Carpenter Wall because reasons?'

That's Twilight Honor.

Hunt11 posted:

Isn't one of the founding principle of the Crab is that it doesn't matter who you are as long as you kick rear end?

Well, you still have to go through a particular trial / festival to be accepted, but that's not the weird part. The weird part is that the Dragon daimyo is ordering you to what's effectively the latrine duty of the samurai caste, and he doesn't have the technical authority to do that on multiple levels. And... the actual scene is even goofier than that, but that's the core issue.

EverettLO posted:

There was plenty of pointless sexism in first edition L5R. The most notable one that comes to mind is a screed in the GM Survival Guide about the difficulties of playing a samurai-ko. You needed a retainer around to prove/protect your chastity and it was unlikely your lord was gonna let you go travel around with a group of male samurai. No one would take you seriously and your word was constantly suspect.

Yeah, early Crab in particular was hypermasculine as gently caress. Yes, they had Hida O-Ushi (her name means "bull", hilarious...?), but she was supposed to be an anomaly who got away with a lot because of her father being the clan leader, and even then she was considered to be a big embarrassment for him. The fact she wouldn't marry was a particular point of contention in the fiction, to the point Kisada eventually arranged a tournament to award her hand in marriage. She entered the tournament to win her own hand, but was knocked out in a fight, and married while unconscious. No, really.

Later on she got to be the clan leader, and a lot of that interpretation of the clan faded away pretty quickly into the game's history. Wick seemed enamored with the notion of women struggling to buck or undermine a patriarchal society, it's a theme you see heavily used in Kachiko's backstory, and repeated with 7th Sea and Vodacce.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, early Crab in particular was hypermasculine as gently caress. Yes, they had Hida O-Ushi (her name means "bull", hilarious...?), but she was supposed to be an anomaly who got away with a lot because of her father being the clan leader, and even then she was considered to be a big embarrassment for him. The fact she wouldn't marry was a particular point of contention in the fiction, to the point Kisada eventually arranged a tournament to award her hand in marriage. She entered the tournament to win her own hand, but was knocked out in a fight, and married while unconscious. No, really.

Later on she got to be the clan leader, and a lot of that interpretation of the clan faded away pretty quickly into the game's history. Wick seemed enamored with the notion of women struggling to buck or undermine a patriarchal society, it's a theme you see heavily used in Kachiko's backstory, and repeated with 7th Sea and Vodacce.

I'm sure that was the original interpretation, and probably one my group ignored because it was... well, kinda dumb. Especially coming off the previous book Way of the Unicorn which has a matriarchal warrior family in the Otaku/Utaku* so the Crab getting super picky about gender when every day is ostensibly a fight for their life and the life of Rokugan was... again, kinda dumb.

I heard great things about 4E. I should look into it one day.

*God, that name sounded better in the mid 90's.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



I've read and briefly played 4e. It's, setting wise, MILES ahead of earlier editions because they completely cut out any metaplot and all the Wickisms in the game. The various schools are totally imbalanced in every way mind, and it still has the whole settings weird thing of trying to make Japan into China, but it's perfectly playable and can be fun. I'd just suggest trying to diversify player roles as much as possible, as some schools just DOMINATE a particular niche.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Speleothing posted:

I'm not sure which is more appropriate to the canon, but I like the old one better.
Well, for canon, Kaah's battle strategy has always been "throw infinite dinosaurs and lizard dudes at the enemy", so yeah.

(Am I the only one who likes the newer one better? :( )

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Nah the new one looks rad as gently caress.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



I do like the new one too. It's very dynamic.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


The new art perfectly fits new Living Lands, but the old art perfectly captures the look of a guy who is just on the cusp of realizing he's the bottom of every totem pole.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Mr. Maltose posted:

The new art perfectly fits new Living Lands, but the old art perfectly captures the look of a guy who is just on the cusp of realizing he's the bottom of every totem pole.

Fun fact: Most totem poles either put the most important figure at the bottom (where it's holding everything else up) or don't have a specific order of importance.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

When it's all layed out like that, harrek the berserk really looks like an rear end in a top hat

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Mr. Maltose posted:

The new art perfectly fits new Living Lands, but the old art perfectly captures the look of a guy who is just on the cusp of realizing he's the bottom of every totem pole.
If you think oTorg's Kaah had a raw deal with just the stuff I've reported, wait until we get to the end of the game line.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



rumble in the bunghole posted:

When it's all layed out like that, harrek the berserk really looks like an rear end in a top hat

Harrek the Berserk is a TREMENDOUS rear end in a top hat. He's a batshit crazy mass murdering psychopath. Most Heroes in Glorantha are "Heroic" in the ancient Greek sense of the word. Most of them are in some way terrible people.

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!


Wapole Languray posted:

  • Single Matron Woman
    She vowed to take no husbands,

Gunda the Guilty
Chief lieutenant of Harrek the Berserk, and veteran member of the Wolf Pirates. She is cursed to never know love.

You know, again, why does this always end up on female NPC's or characters? Why is it practically never a man who vows to take no wives or is cursed never to know love. It always seems to end up on a woman's head as a way to make her stand out.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Gunda's cursed to never know love because she was the first person to resist the embrace of the Queen of the Kiss, basically a demigoddess of makeouts who she subsequently killed. So basically, she murdered love and may not have been interested in the first place.

Also in Glorantha at least, there's a lot of celibate Yemalion/Elmali and Humakti dudes, because that's one of the standard restrictions in exchange for power you can pick up. But you're right that it's generally not their -only defining trait-.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



PurpleXVI posted:

You know, again, why does this always end up on female NPC's or characters? Why is it practically never a man who vows to take no wives or is cursed never to know love. It always seems to end up on a woman's head as a way to make her stand out.

A lot of game designers really love their :biotruths:

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



rumble in the bunghole posted:

When it's all layed out like that, harrek the berserk really looks like an rear end in a top hat

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/introduction-chapter-3/

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




EverettLO posted:

Legend of the Five Rings 1e: Night of a Thousand Screams Part 5
If they let the shugenja live,
You know, I'm not very familiar with the L5R combat system, but I thought that "letting" somebody live once you've pulled out the swords didn't really come up with the way it worked.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats



PurpleXVI posted:

You know, again, why does this always end up on female NPC's or characters? Why is it practically never a man who vows to take no wives or is cursed never to know love. It always seems to end up on a woman's head as a way to make her stand out.

One of the main characters of the Mahabharata, Bishma, takes a vow of celibacy (and renounces his claim to the throne of Hastinapur) to allow his father to marry a new bride, which eventually leads to the birth of the Pandavas and Karuvas.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic, Part Two: "Among the most notable of the 134 requests to have been made that day, was for Lord Dunscon to forbid the summoning or association with so-called demons, dragons, elementals, aliens and supernatural forces."

The Federation of Magic

So, we're told the (re)study of magic in this post-apocalyptic Earth is still in its infancy, partly because magic has often become demonized. This is due to corruption, but also due to the predations of literal demons. However, though magic often seems to turn people to evil, it's emphasized that it's not an evil force, and it's more likely that humanity corrupts magic with negative emotions than magic corrupting humanity.

With that established, the Federation of Magic has a lot of contradictory rumors praising it or demonizing it we don't need to get into, but as we establish what it's about, it'll be clear why people might have contradictory attitudes towards it. Though previously it's been painted as a purely villainous organization, it turns out to be more multifacteted than previously discussed.


"Hugs!"

A Promising Beginning...

So, in the early days of magic, magic-users were often shunned from their communities, and wayward wizards began to form together into the "First Magic Kingdoms" - Lazlo (a democratic magic utopia), Tolkeen (a neutral magic monarchy), and the Federation of Magic (a dictatorial magic confederacy). The latter kingdom will be the focus, of course - Tolkeen was technically part of the Federation of Magic, but they'll eventually break away. Instead, we start with the story of a "Grand City" in the ruins of Chicago, not far from the fledgling Chi-Town, led by a powerful mage named Nostrous Dunscon. This was before the Proseks had taken power and made Chi-Town into a fascist state, and before magic was banned. Chi-Town was very wary of the supernatural and sorcery, but had yet to ban magic entirely.

When the Coalition States were formed with Chi-Town as the leader, Nostrous took offense, presuming it as a slight or a mistake that the Federation of Magic hadn't been invited for membership. The Coalition saw the Federation of Magic's liberal magic policies as extremely concerning, and had never intended to offer them membership. Still, they agreed to a meeting with Dunscon. Chi-Town's leadership offered to open up trade and an embassy if only the Federation of Magic would fulfill a undetailed list of 134 requests, most of them restricting magic and banning association with supernatural powers. The implication is that the Coalition were just going through the motions and had no intention of a proper offer, but it's not really clear if they're being intentionally unreasonable or just bullheaded. Dunscon instantly dismissed the offer vehemently as a joke, gave them a tongue-lashing about the power of magic and his kingdom and various "rue the day" declarations, then teleported away. Though alarmed, the Coalition leadership agreed to leave things be. However, Dunscon stewed, formulating plans to knock over Chi-Town and then take over North America as a whole. The wizard could not let the insult go, and began gathering his army.

Low-intensity conflicts increased tensions, eventually leading up to the Battle of Chi-Town. Dunscon assaulted Chi-Town in force, grossly underestimating the Coalition defenders on multiple levels, expecting them to falter or break through sheer force. Though losses were immense on both sides, Dunscon's army was crushed by the Coaltion's superior numbers and tactics, and retreated. Chi-Town's army pursued, led by Joseph Prosek, the future father of Karl Prosek (the current leader of the Coalition). Joseph led a "Campaign of Blood" in which they exterminated tens of thousands of spellcasters and their "accomplices", blew the hell out of the Grand city, and Prosek finally tracked down and killed Dunscon personally, ending the campaign. Why Dunscon couldn't just teleport in assassins to destroy most of the Coalition leadership is, of course, never answered - people just always fight like ground-pounding infantry in this setting, irregardless of the fact that there are jet fighters and invisible demons involved.

Much of the Federation had never seen eye-to-eye with Dunscon's dreams of conquest, and so many members fled the Coalition counteroffensive, traveling to the Magic Zone and settling down there. Tolkeen broke ties with the Federation of Magic, becoming independent. We get Erin Tarn's take on the whole thing, but most of it is just slight more detail on what we already knew from the initial description. Lastly, we get some handwringing from Tarn about how things might have been different if Dunscon was less arrogant or Prosek was less bloodthirsty, and points the blame largely upon their actions and attitudes in a very "Great Man Theory" view of the aforementioned events.


Depicted here: the Coalition vs. the Fed... er... where's the Coalition?

The Federation of Today

So, nowadays the "Federation" is a very loose-knit group of city-states, organizations, and small communities mostly just connected through their common existence in the Magic Zone (a magic-rich area throughout Ohio and Kentucky) or though their general reliance on magic. Nowadays, there are two forces who at least lead the largest factions of the Federation - Alistair Dunscon (Nostrous' vengeful son) and the Lords of Magic (three mysterious magic-dominating gods). While the Lords of Magic intended to take over the Federation of Magic following Dunscon's fall and shepherd it towards a more peaceful future, it was too broken for them to do so. Lastly, we get a fiction chunk where Alistair discovers his father's body and declares revenge, while the Lords of Magic declare they will taking the Federation of Magic in a less violent direction. Alistair throws a tantrum, but ultimately acquiesces... quietly and unsubtly planning later revenge.

Next: It's a magical place.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




PurpleXVI posted:

You know, again, why does this always end up on female NPC's or characters? Why is it practically never a man who vows to take no wives or is cursed never to know love. It always seems to end up on a woman's head as a way to make her stand out.

It's an extremely important thing for the Radiant Horse Queen, because she's her culture's representative of Ernalda the Earth Mother, who is among many other things the god of Marriage.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Wapole Languray posted:



Map is gigantic, feel free to open in new tab to look over it better.

What do the runes mean? (I mean why are they on the map. Obviously you explained what they mean.)

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I think they refer to people of the relevant culture living there. So, Darkness means "trolls here", Dragonewts likewise, etc.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Like it's just a weird sexist trope, even when they manage to make it work - most famously Red Sonja can't ever have sex unless it's a man who defeated her - and given part of her becoming such a badass warrior was to prevent herself from getting raped again... yeeeeeeah.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



The Feathered Horse Queen not marrying IS a big deal, though it's more of a political statement sorta thing than a "DEFINING CHARACTER TRAIT". She's the living embodiment of sovereignty in the area, literally whoever she marries gets a load of "True King" mojo directed their way. So it's a notable thing that she actively avoided marriage but still sided with the Lunar invaders.

Gunda is a badass who literally became a Wolf Pirate at 12. The Queen of the Kiss was a magical demigod who could mind control people by kissing them, basically turning anyone into her mind-controlled servant. Gunda was the only person to break free of the spell, and subsequently break the Queens back. She was cursed to never know love, but she's essentially a Death worshiping pirate Valkyrie so there's nothing indicating it bothers her much.

And next update I'll go over the map and locations and such. I posted it in this one to help people following the timeline get an idea of WHERE stuff was happening.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




For people who don't know, the Wolf Pirates are a Big Deal. Harrek doesn't like people who aren't badasses on his crew.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Kinda hard to take pirates seriously, tho.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


JcDent posted:

Kinda hard to take pirates seriously, tho.

Only if you're dealing with the pop-culture parrot-and-pegleg rendition. Historical pirates were often so terrifying that people abandoned stretches of coastline and entire islands to avoid their predations. Groups like the Sea Peoples, Barbary pirates, and the Red Flag Fleet were enough to challenge nations. At one point America in its infancy was paying out 20% around of its yearly expenditure as tributes to protect American ships from Barbary attacks.

It's only in about the past two centuries that the world has become able to give piracy the laugh. For most of human history, raiders showing up on your coast or catching you on a boat out of nowhere was objectively terrifying.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Alien Rope Burn posted:

Only if you're dealing with the pop-culture parrot-and-pegleg rendition. Historical pirates were often so terrifying that people abandoned stretches of coastline and entire islands to avoid their predations. Groups like the Sea Peoples, Barbary pirates, and the Red Flag Fleet were enough to challenge nations. At one point America in its infancy was paying out 20% around of its yearly expenditure as tributes to protect American ships from Barbary attacks.

It's only in about the past two centuries that the world has become able to give piracy the laugh. For most of human history, raiders showing up on your coast or catching you on a boat out of nowhere was objectively terrifying.

Even today they are pretty fearsome. Four dudes in a speedboat took over the Maersk Alabama and it took the Navy SEALs to beat them.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

JcDent posted:

Kinda hard to take pirates seriously, tho.

They're more like Norse raiders than age of sail pirates. I could be wrong but that's more how I saw them.

"Look at me. Look at me. I am the Thane now." Like that except with more people getting split in half and Harrek sitting on a throne looking over a pile of dead bodies.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

The key thing about the Wolf Pirates is that they get their name from having living wolve's heads nailed to the prows of their ships which emit terrifying howls as the ships race into combat.

Wolf Pirates don't gently caress around.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The Wolf Pirates often don't even have to board an enemy vessel. Their ship's Wyter (which is like a guardian spirit, but of a group or a place) can literally leap onto it and tear it to pieces with its jaws. Don't let the fact that they have no nation at their feet fool you: the Wolf Pirates and their leaders are true Heroes, movers and shakers of the world. They are more akin to gods than men.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


Robindaybird posted:

Like it's just a weird sexist trope, even when they manage to make it work - most famously Red Sonja can't ever have sex unless it's a man who defeated her - and given part of her becoming such a badass warrior was to prevent herself from getting raped again... yeeeeeeah.

There's an obligatory Oglaf on this (surprisingly SFW).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic, Part Three: "In this sense, he is like an oriental guru who teaches inner peace, focus and control."

The City of Dweomer

Run by the Lords of Magic, Dweomer is the largest city in the Federation, and the 3rd largest "magic city" in America (with only Tolkeen and Lazlo being larger). Located in southern (former) Ohio, magic hides it away from prying eyes. Despite this, it accepts nearly anyone invited, and only exceptions are the undead (including vampires), known cannibals, necromancers, and witches (of the demonic pact sort). Necromancy, bio-wizardry, rune magic, and witchery are banned, but just about every other type of sorcery is practiced. However, psychics are frowned upon for unstated reasons, and occasionally persecuted unfairly. Psi-Stalkers in particular are treated badly due to their reputation for "hunting" sorcerers. Otherwise, any being is accepted - even demons and monsters, as long they don't go around eating people or making human sacrifices. Most major crimes are punished by banishment, but revolutionary activities against magical organizations or the Lords of magic are punished by execution.

Dweomer is magically cloaked away through a series of illusions regularly maintained by the inhabitants, and the region is heavily patrolled for those who might stumble across the city. A fair number of Federation members know about it, and one can be invited, but those who attempt to reveal the secret are banished; those that actively try and spread their secrets widely are assassinated. (Granted, I don't know how they'd keep track on that sort of thing hundreds or thousands of miles from the city, but what's what we're told.) Even if you know where it is, the illusions are supposed to stymie you if you're not cleared for entry. Dweomer Defense Patrols (DDP) mainly try and use illusions to divert those who might stumble across the city or drive them off otherwise, and eliminate them if they have no choice. Remarkably, we're told DDP officers are around a ridiculous 8th - 12th level even they would seem to only have modest experience (given that it's not like they have active military campaigns and are basically Scooby-Dooing people away). Mostly, they just want to avoid open conflict with the Coalition. However, they have a city-doming protective forcefield controlled by a series of towers if it comes to that.

Which makes me wonder - how do they get supplies to keep the city running? Cities generally need a lot of food and other raw materials, which doesn't work if the farmers always get lost on their way to market. And that's to say nothing of having to sell goods manufactured in the city for export. There are a variety of explanations that are possible - maybe they're self-sufficient via magic, maybe they trade with other dimensions, but it's not clear how they stay alive, or indeed what the point of Dweomer is as a city other than a safe haven. It's not a trade center, it's not clearly self-sufficient, etc.


The giant airships and dinosaurs may be tragically apocryphal.

Diplomatic Relations

Dweomer and the Lords of Magic are respected within the Federation of Magic, but are so extremely isolationist that they have little direct impact on the wider region. Alistair Dunscon holds them partially responsible for the death of his father because... uh... they didn't help him fight the Coalition, I guess? In any case, he seeks to destroyyy them! The fools! It's only the fact that he hates the Coalition more that keeps him from revealing Dweomer's location... which doesn't quite follow, wouldn't he want them to fight each other? Well, he is generically nutballs, to use the clinical term. So we shrug and move on. For their part, the Lords of Magic are aware of Alistair's veiled hostility, but sit on their thumbs about it. Indeed, thumb-sitting seems to be their main calling in life.

Ultimately, they're extremely paranoid about being uncovered by the Coalition, but it seems inevitable the Coalition will eventually figure out there's a blank spot their scouts never seem to cover. We're told it may take decades for them to do so, however.

Dweomer's leadership is more immediately concerned about the Cult of Dragonwright (fanatical dragon worshippers from the Palladium Fantasy RPG setting, backed by Atlantis on Earth) and the Grim Reapers (the Death-worshipping Juicer cult from Juicer Uprising) and actively stomp them out). Otherwise, the Lords of Magic generally carry neutrality in their hearts.


"Now with their hit EP: Neutral Is An Alignment!"

The Lords of Magic

Four-armed golden gods with glowing eyes, the Lords of Magic look like human masculine ideals, or at least the Siembiedan interpretation thereof. They refuse to reveal their origins, but I'm just going to bust up the order of things and discuss here even though it's discussed in Alistair's section, confusingly enough. There are some that think they're related to Rahu-Men (the race of four-armed golden giants from Conversion Book), but it turns out not to be the case... but some Rahu-Men worship them anyway. Most of the residents of Dweomer trust in them having some "grand plan", but if they have a plan other than thumb-sitting, it's not readily apparent.

They get some special mechanics, like the fact that they lose power the further they are away from one another. As such, they have self-confidence issues when apart, and are unlikely to commit to important decisions on their own (as if they commit to much of anything). They also have a weakness to psionic attacks due to a mental instability we'll cover, but are immune to mind control. They're also the only ones with the ability to give life to new Automatons (magic mecha we'll see much more of later). They all have high-level deific statblocks individually, along with access to top-level magic even for deities, living up to their name. There's also references to specific powers they have from Dragons & Gods... a book for Palladium Fantasy, but I draw the line at having to reference other game lines, thanks, so I'm not going to worry about those. Each of them oversees a different type of "magi", which are new O.C.C.s we'll see in just a bit. The three of them are:
  • Brethan Dízir, "High Lord Magus, First Among Equals": A benevolent leader most directly involved with ruling the city. he's mainly determined to make sure Dweomer City is a haven for magic and "exploration of the humanoid spirit". He prefers to avoid conflict if possible, but will stand fast in defending the city. He's involved with sponsoring the High Magi.
  • Coran Dízir, "High Lord Battler": As you may guess from the subtitle, Coran serves as the warrior and aggressor of the three. The others often have to hold him back, and yet we're told he's a "being of conviction and peace", and to top off the bizarre characterization cherry, he's given an Aberrant (evil) alignment. He's the leader of the Battle Magi of Dweomer, and has a special four-fist punch that expends four attacks to use, but is actively worse than four separate punches.
  • Leizak Dízir, "High Lord Creator": The brainiest and wizardiest of the three, we're told he's like an "oriental guru" (please stop using that phrase, Palladium) and teaches the High Magi, as well as overseeing the creation of the Automatons. He's the most obsessed with maintaining Dweomer's security. Though he's a calm "guru" sort, he's becoming more obsessed with anger and retribution against the evil often surrounding them.
Lastly, let's get into their secret backstory. Supposedly they were originally an alien intelligence called DízirbrethnnKíranlyzak (which apparently translates to Life's Breath) who oversaw hundreds of worlds with benevolence and care. Since this is an RPG setting, that's gotta get hosed up by baddies, of course. And true to that, an unknown force annihilated his worlds, leaving him in a catatonic state of shock at his failure. However, when the energy of the rifts opening on Earth rippled across the the universe, he woke up, but split into three personas unaware of their previous self due to his previous trauma. The magic on Earth attracted the trio, and here they are. Though this is presented as an unreliable narrative through a narrative chunk told by Alistair Dunscon, another section says he's uncovered their secret. So there's no real indication that Alistair's narrative might be wrong, and so I feel comfortable just taking it as written. But speaking of Alistair...

Next: Welcome to the City of Brass, Kentucky.

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OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


I'm guessing that Coran's alignment is because Siembieda's insistence that there can be no neutral means there's nowhere he fits into, and violence is 'evil', so he just gets tagged with that? I mean, it's partly an example of how alignment in general is so wonky because it completely ignores any nuance in motives and reasoning, but Palladium's version of it seems completely bizarre.

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