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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



It really is kind of sad that, at the best it will ever be in its line history, Dark Heresy can be described as 'what if WFRP 2e, but at least slightly worse in every respect'

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Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


Kurieg posted:

My question probably could have been better worded as "should I finish pugmire first or come back to it later?"

Just finish Pugmire. Beast will still be here when you're finished.

Night10194 posted:

There's going to be more to talk about in the Dark Heresy review as soon as I get to equipment, combat, fear/corruption, and the setting, but man. The first couple updates really do drive home how much the basic skeleton of it is 'the game we already made, but fiddlier, and finished by another developer'.

Personally, I'm just waiting until it gets to difficulties and how much easier the skill system is despite it's flaws when you go by them, cough cough looking at you premade adventures. Also until we all see how the semi/full-auto rules are kind of busted and remained busted until Black Crusade.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Night10194 posted:

I permit this only so long as no-one tries to fix the stupid thing anymore and we just form a circle and kick it in the ribs.
Ceci n'est pas une empty quote.

I'm not too surprised there isn't too much to Pugmire but I say finish petting a moderately tolerable dog first to give yourself plenty of time to gird your brain for Family Dinner: Third Serving.

Also yeesh look at all that what could have been and hindsight in that Pathfinder preplay thingo.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Hostile V posted:

Ceci n'est pas une empty quote.

I'm not too surprised there isn't too much to Pugmire but I say finish petting a moderately tolerable dog first to give yourself plenty of time to gird your brain for Family Dinner: Third Serving.

I did a quick speed read/skim this morning and it's not.. terrible? The new families and the new hungers are living garbage fires but that's nothing new. And one of the new merits connects your lair to the local internet/tv/cell phone networks, and allows for you to recreate the plot of Persona 4 with Izanami as the Apex of a very large hive, and Adachi as one of her cultists or an attendant Beast. The party, of course, are all Heroes.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





But wait. what would that make Teddy?

edit: It all fits. Marie even has the poochie aura about her and is literally the worst.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Terrible Opinions posted:

But wait. what would that make Teddy?

One of the new end games of beast is researching an anathema to your own Horror and using it to almost-but-not-quite kill them. Turning into a Hero/Beast hybrid so long as a Hero doesn't find where you left your suffering Horror and remove the Anathema.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Dark Heresy, Part 6

I blame the Lascannon. Classic Lascannon

So, for one, equipment matters a hell of a lot more than it did in Warhammer Fantasy, and it already mattered plenty there. Gear costs money, or you find it from killing people, or whatever, and Dark Heresy is the only game in the line that actually tracks your money on a coin-for-coin basis. The currency in Calixis (the sector this takes place in) is Throne Gelt, a sort of sectorial trade script backed against the Imperial tithe. An average PC will start with about 80-120 Thrones. A cleric has 300+5d10 because HAHA Clerics (I've always found the party Cleric bankrolling the others at low level kind of fun, actually).

One thing to note is that there's no abstraction in guns and armor and melee weapons anymore, and there's no such thing as the Ordinary category from WHFRP2e. Remember how everyone could handle a hunting bow, crossbow, or basic hand weapon and shield? How that was enough to get you through a whole campaign and 'better' weapons that cost EXP to know how to use all did something minor and special, like how Two Handers let you trade your free parry for rerolling damage and thus hitting harder/Furying more often? That's all gone. You need a Talent for every weapon type, and you need Pistol, Basic, and Heavy training, separately, for separate weapons. You need a separate talent for Shocky Sticks, Chain Weapons, Power Weapons, and basic knives and swords. You need a separate talent for Laspistols, Lasguns, Solid Projectile Guns, etc. I do not like this change, mostly. There is a good sense of progression in 'tiers' of equipment, at least. You're going to start out with flak armor and using the kinds of weapons flak armor protects against, like Lasguns (terrible) and Autoguns (excellent). You'll go up to boltguns and plasma (though plasma is terrible in WH40kRP DH1e, until the add-on books patch it) and meltaguns and stuff, plus heavy weapons for the Guardsman and heavier, stronger characters of other classes. You can also get Good and Best gear like in WHFRP2e, and Good gear finally actually does something. A Good ranged weapon becomes Reliable (Ranged weapons have pretty significant chances to jam, especially on full auto, unless they're Reliable) while a Best ranged weapon cannot jam, overheat, or fail on you. A Good melee weapon gets +5% to WS. A Best one gets +10 and +1 to damage rolls. Getting Good and Best gear at low levels is a big upgrade.

Guns, as mentioned before, do not gain extra attacks as you level UNLESS you use two-weapon fighting (in which case you get 2 separate attacks for the two pistols or carbines, at a penalty to each) but rely on a Rate of Fire system. This instantly makes guns an easier way to fight, because you don't need to get to level 5 to start hitting multiple times with a gun. When you fire, you can use a half action to fire a single shot, or a full action to fire Semiautomatic or Full Automatic if your weapon has those available. A Semiauto burst gets +10 to hit and gets an extra hit per 2 DoS that you roll, up to the weapon's listed rate of fire. It always uses the ammo listed in its rate of fire. So say the Lasgun is Semiauto 3, you could hit 3 times with 4 DoS on your shot, and getting 6 DoS wouldn't get you an extra hit. You'd use 3 shots from your magazine for firing semiauto, no matter how many hits you rolled. Full Auto gives +20% to-hit, and hits +1 times per DoS. As you can see here, Full Auto is objectively the best way to fire a gun if it can fire full auto. A weapon with full auto will almost always beat out a weapon without it. Full Auto also enables suppression, which we'll get to in the full combat chapter. Suffice to say when a Lasgun and Autogun both do d10+3 damage, the one that can hit up to 10 times in one turn and that has the crazy full auto mode is the better cheap, early-game rifle.

Weapons also have an armor penetration system now. Most early weapons like the Lasgun are Pen0, meaning people get their full Armor as DR against that gun. Autoguns can buy cheap armor piercing ammo that adds Pen3, which is effectively +3 damage against anyone with serious combat armor. Again: The autogun's talents are as easy to get as the lasgun, come at the same levels, and both weapons are cheap early game rifles. Bolters also introduce Tearing: Tearing is just Impact from WHFRP, letting you reroll damage. Bolters also do d10+5 Pen4. Bolters waffle in every book in the line on if they have a full auto mode or not. Bolters are meant to be balanced by their individual bullets costing 16 thrones a shot. Bolters are the classic silly gyrojet rifle, which the book takes the time to remind you 'is nowhere near as awesome as the godlike super-bolters the SPACE MARINES!!!! wield', which is funny because in the TT game Marine and Human boltguns function exactly the same. The AP system will subtract your Pen value from any armor it hits, including armor from cover. This means armor is rarely going to be as useful as it was in WHFRP.

Remember how AV5 was a huge loving deal in WHFRP? Most early combat characters will have Guard Flak armor in WH40kRP. It provides 4 armor. It will only really protect you from early game weapons; note the pen value on a bolter. Armor is extremely inconsistent in how it protects you in DH. Even Power Armor, with AV8, will get dinged pretty hard by any heavy weapon pointed at it. Take the Heavy Bolter, the HMG version of the Boltgun: It inflicts 2d10+0 with a penetration of 5. And also rerolls its lowest damage die once for Tearing. This isn't even an especially powerful heavy weapon (it would get switched to d10+8 Pen5 Tearing in later editions) and it will still do bad stuff to a human in power armor, especially with the potential to hit them a shitload of times with the whole autofire rule. You can also wear Primitive armor like leathers and stuff, but this halves its AV against 'modern' weapons and usually only has like 2 AV anyway, so very few characters will ever use it. For some reason, partial armors like gauntlets or helmets give 1 less AV than the full suit of Flak or Carapace, and putting together a full suit out of these parts will leave you under-armored. Why? gently caress if I know.

But this isn't even getting to the biggest problem, which was hidden in my description of the Heavy Bolter. Weapons are no longer purely d10+Damage Rating. Many weapons now use multiple damage dice. And much higher modifiers. The Lascannon in this update title? It deals 5d10+10 Pen 10. Note that the game doesn't actually have vehicle rules for an anti-vehicle weapon like that to be used against yet. I strongly suspect the damage rating on the Lascannon was because in the TT Game, a character who takes a hit with more than double their Toughness without a special rule to save them will die instantly. Thus, the Strength 9 Lascannon could kill a lot of special characters in one shot if it got a hit in. So I think they were trying to simulate that with a gun that does an average of 40 damage in a game where PCs don't get more than 25 or so Wounds even if they invest heavily. The problem is, the MP Lascannon is the sort of template for heavy weapon in WH40KRP. When you see stuff like Autocannons and Missile Launchers in the later books, they do stuff like 4d10+5 Pen6 damage, while being *automatic*. They eventually get toned down, but once you've got 3d10+8 Pen6 on the field, and PCs have TBs of like 2-6 and armor values of up to 8 or 9 at *best* (Best armor gives +1 AV), well, you just don't survive taking hits. And if you put in the ability to survive those huge top-level weapons, then suddenly lasguns and stuff can't do poo poo to you, and they start having to patch in ways to make '50 dudes with flashlights' able to mechanically damage a PC.

By letting the damage scaling get crazy out of hand, you end up with a system where the most efficient defense is dodging. Hiding behind cover will help (some) as Cover can give you extra AV (and a lot of it) but won't save you if you take a hit to the arm or head while firing back. Toughness and Wounds are very, very useful at lower levels (and remain more useful in DH than in later games, as DH's enemies don't get quite as insane compared to your durability) but won't save you later on. The weirdest thing is, the later games in the line all make buying Wounds excessively expensive and limited. And you still buy wounds 1 point at a time. In DH, an Arbitrator can get up to +15 Wounds over their career. Starting with 13, that'll give you 28 Wounds. That's enough to eat a fair number of basic bolter shots without dying (won't save you from Good Ole' Lascannon, though) and pretty reasonable for a class that's supposed to be tough as hell. Hell, the first 5 of those Wounds will only cost you like 500 EXP. It's very feasible to improve Wounds in DH. Later games? Wounds cost a shitload more, you actually start with *fewer* wounds on average in Rogue Trader, etc. So they never really improve your HP while increasing the liklihood of running into crazy heavy weapons that negate your armor and DR.

Also, let's talk Melee Weapons now. At low levels, you WILL spend 40 thrones to buy a Mono upgrade for your melee weapon, because otherwise all armor that isn't Primitive gets doubled against it (making basic swords that are d10+SB useless) and getting +2 Pen early is really worthwhile. So I assume all melee weapons have at least Mono on them because otherwise they're not worth discussing. Gone is the old Hand Weapon. An axe or hammer gives +1 damage for the penalty of -10 to Parry checks. A Sword is d10+SB AND gets a +10 to Parry checks. A knife is d5+SB and thus will never be worthwhile. Then you get to the real low-tech winner, the Greatsword. Remember how Greatswords in WHFRP just had Impact? These ones are 2d10+SB, instead. And come with a native Pen2. Add Mono, they're Pen4 2d10+SB and will shred early-game enemies. Greatsword Nun killed a Space Marine at low levels in my first campaign. Then you get Chainswords, which are d10+2+SB, pen2, can't be made Mono (and don't need to be), have the Parry bonus, AND give Tearing, letting you reroll damage. Then you get Power Weapons, which do d10+5+SB Pen6 and cleave through normal weapons used to parry them. As you can see, the damage scaling here is going to go crazy, too. Characters' ability to kill poo poo scales up way more than their ability to not be killed by poo poo.

And all this isn't getting into the thousand and one gadgets and tools you can buy for +10 to +30 to various checks, the special ammos that make SP weapons great, the many weapon modifications and scopes that will provide more bonuses, etc. Also, guns and things now give +10 to hit if you're under half their listed range, and can fire out to over 3x listed range. Characters move slower, in general, than in WHFRP2e while weapon ranges have exploded. Meaningfully maneuvering in combat is genuinely difficult and since movement ranges are measured in individual meters, I tell you from experience that making a tactical map (which you're going to want to do) is a loving nightmare. I used this system as the base for my Norwegian Modern Fantasy Mining Town vs. Killer Transhumanist Robots game and my god was making maps big enough to make weapon range meaningful and putting in ways to have characters actually move around compared to those weapon ranges a headache.

I haven't even mentioned grenades yet! Grenades are an Adept's best friend. They require no training or skills to use for some reason, and they are AoE weapons that have a good chance of hitting even if you miss, since they have a 4-meter blast radius and roll d5 for how many meters it deviates off target (meaning you have an 80% chance to still put your target in the blast radius), do 2d10 damage (Pen0), and the average nerd can still *try* to throw one like 27m. Always have your pencil pusher laying down cover fire and throwing explosives like they're going out of style.

In short, gear is where things start going off the rails and they ain't comin' back. And gear porn is going to be a huge component of every add-on book, if I cover them, with a huge amount of it going to 'what if Techpriests were actually just God'.

Next Time: Exploding Space Wizard

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Jesus loving christ I had to write a lot of words for that post and I didn't get across like half the loving gear in this game. Gear seriously is a huge, huge part of the entire WH40KRP milieu in a way it wasn't in Fantasy, and I think it is entirely to the game's detriment.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Considering how Ham Fantasy had "hand weapon" with the properties of "this is whatever you want it to be to attack people with" it was inevitable there would be more but also sheesh.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The other problem is the weapons go well beyond your stats. So like, a Power Sword that is d10+5 Pen6 is effectively SB+11 (or slightly less if they have less armor, but then them having less armor is still good for you) in a game where you can maybe hit SB 6 if everything goes right. Your weapon does a lot more than your character, often.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kurieg posted:

My question probably could have been better worded as "should I finish pugmire first or come back to it later?"

I'd always suggest finishing an existing one before starting a new one. You can always work on Beast in advance concurrently behind the scenes if you're itching to write about it.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




You didn't even cover power fists and thunder hammers, which do 2d10 + SBx2, as if that was remotely sane.

Power fist nun is the terrifying upgrade to great sword nun.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


wiegieman posted:

You didn't even cover power fists and thunder hammers, which do 2d10 + SBx2, as if that was remotely sane.

Power fist nun is the terrifying upgrade to great sword nun.

That's because they don't show up until another book. I'm only covering main book right now.

That said, during that first campaign, Greatsword Nun just used that greatsword all campaign until putting a power field generator on it and making it a Power Greatsword (We houseruled in +4 Pen and Damage for that at endgame) and cut a dreadnought in half like it was Metal Gear Rising.

There are reasons I have fond memories of the campaigns I ran, for all the ragging I'm going to do on this game and all that it deserves. It isn't an unplayable, terrible mess or whatever. There are some good bits, it's just, as Mors said...it's just Fantasy, but fiddlier and worse designed, in space. And we'll get to the other problems when we get to setting.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 20:00 on Mar 8, 2018

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



I kind of think that the big mistake with Dark Heresy's damage system is that they for some reason decided that the damage values had to be more or less compatible with WHFRP. So a WHFRP sword that does respectable damage does the same amount of damage as a WH40K crappy low-tech sword from a primitive world. Which means that armor needed to make that sword's damage into crap, which means decent guns needed to start out with a bunch of AP, etc. And they were also wedded to PCs having roughly the same amount of wounds as they did in WHFRP.

Basically, the whole damage system is a dog's breakfast.

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.

Finish Pugmire. I just don’t have the stomach for Beast anymore.

There’s an RPG.net thread about the Beast PG. Almost every post is a mod simpering “*please* don’t mention that the developer (and our former coworker) is a probable sex criminal” and expecting everyone to dance around the issue and it’s just pathetic.

White Wolf’s games were a big part of my early adulthood and now that fact just makes me embarassed and ashamed.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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






Chapter 2:Character Creation
So, classes. In our first major divergence from 5e, and d20 as a whole. Other than some baseline starting features. Classes don't give you anything by default as you level up. Every time you level up you can pick one available feat Trick from either your Race Breed or Class list, so you can choose the thing you want to be good at and focus on it, or pick from your varied features. This I like.
Except this isn't entirely true.
When you level up you choose one of the following.
  • Increase an ability score by one and gain proficiency in a new skill
  • Take a new Trick (As a note:increasing the level of spells you have access to is a trick)
  • Improve an existing Trick
Once you reach level 10 you stop progressing because you have become an Old Dog. and Old Dogs Can't Learn New Tricks.

No.
Seriously.


Anyways. This is my major criticism of the system. I hate that you need to pick between mutually exclusive avenues of character advancement. The limited number of levels and the sheer number of race/class features mean that if you want all your fun tools, you're going to be lovely at all of them. Alternately you can be good at a single thing. This also means that at every level you need to make a choice that has a wrong answer, and required system mastery should not extend to character creation. Also the ability to cast max level spells takes 5 of your advancements. Thankfully this is an easy fix, just give everyone an ASI and a Trick at every level.

The other major divergence from 5e is how spells work. Casters have "Spell Slots" equal to 2x their level plus their Constitution Mod. Casting a 1st level spell takes 1 spell slot. Casting a 5th level spell takes 5. A Caster can spend one of their hit dice (or as Pugmire calls them, stamina dice) to instead 'heal' their spell slots rather than their stamina points. In addition, most of the class features that allow you to heal someone (Lay on hands, inspiring word, etc) allow the target to restore spell slots instead. No you can't use Cure Spells to heal spell slots, they thought of that. And this I like. It gives casters an opportunity cost to casting spells, it reigns them in somewhat, but also makes it so that you can either be a powerful caster (boost your casting stat) or a stamina caster. and be able to cast weaker spells for days because of how swole you are. So let's get into the classes.


Artisan
The artisan is somewhere inbetween a Wizard and a Bard. One of their tricks is the Intelligence based spell list (Fireball. elemental ray, etc) but they also have the Bard's fast talk ability(which they can refine into letting them use charisma for weapon attacks so long as they can talk), inspiration dice(that they can turn into healing dice), and bardic knowledge. To cast their spells they need an Artisan Focus, which can be a runic staff, a non-functional iPhone, anything. Foci aren't indestructable, and they can be lost. Without their focus an Artisan can't cast their spells, so be careful with it.


Guardian
Guardians are halfway between a Fighter and a 4e Warlord. When leveling up they can pick between the Cleave tree (Which isn't that good, you could theoretically dump 6 advancements into it which would allow you to make 2 additional tacks with advantage if you kill someone with each attack), Fighting Styles (The 5e fighter fighting styles, more or less), Inspiring Word(Let someone spend their stamina die mid-combat, can be refined to increase the amount of points/slots restored or to do it outside of your turn), or the Lazylord's ability to give up your action to give one to your ally(can be refined to make the actions always have advantage). The specter of 4e design is alive and well and it apparently looks like a heavily armored corgi.


Hunter
It's the archer ranger. They Arch and are in tune with nature. The archery combat style gives them a +2 bonus to attack rolls with ranged weapons, and can be refined to let them make extra attacks, reroll damage, or gain advantage on ammunition saving throws (You carry "ammo" as an abstract, at the end of any combat where you use ammo you need to make a dc10 dex save or you're out of ammo. You can carry multiple "ammos" but they cost money and take up space). They can also gain the ability to speak with animals (refine into an animal companion), favored terrain, and "Quick Draw"(Advantage on initiative, never be surprised, switch weapons without an action) as tricks.


Ratter
Rogues, they're Rogues. They get Sneak Attack(and with it the ability to hide mid combat without actually using the hide skill for some reason?) they can refine it to increase the damage or use it with ranged attacks. They can also trick into the archery combat style (like hunters). They can also trick into Trap/lock Sense, or the ability to spend their stamina dice mid combat.
They're the rogue, What's more to say?


Shepherd
...dear lord that art. Is it smuggling a 2x4 on it's shoulders?
Shepherds are the Clerics/Priests of pugmire. They have the same bardic knowledge ability of Artisans. But they also have Lay on Hands(Spend their stamina dice to heal others, can be refined to increase all their sources of healing and/or cure diseases), 'repel demons' (read: Turn undead except not, also it's int based, it frankly has too many refinements, just like Cleave), and the wisdom based spellcasting of the game. Classic heal/clericy spells. To gain this ability they need to partake of the "elixir of man", "Sacred Blood of the Old Ones", whatever they call it it's probably nanomachines. They also need to touch a symbol of the church of man (That hand thing there). No symbol, no casting, but it's easier to get a replacement than it is for an artisan to replace their focus.


Stray
Strayyaayyaayaaaaayyyyyyyyy
er.. sorry.
These are the "Free Dogs", which means they're Barbarians. They can get Unarmored defense, Cleave, Rage(With another frankly obscene number of refinements), and Indomitable Will(which is just a large bonus against compulsion effects). Honestly I would have also given them the ability to pick up Fighting Styles like Guardians as well. Cause as it stands they don't have nearly as many fun things to do compared to the other classes and some very deep feat trees to chew through.

Breeds
Breeds are the races of this game, each breed gives you a +2 bonus to one ability score and a starting trick.


Companions
(Chokes on vomit) Oh god that's terrible art.
(Example family names, Affenpinscher, chihuahua, Papillon, Pomeranian, Pug, Shitzu)
Ugh.. okay, companions are cute so they get +2 to charisma. Their breed tricks involve puppy dog eyes(Advantage on checks to make friends or be polite), they can also smell the unseen(Which is apparently why chihuahuas bark at literally anything), charm people into being their friend unless they make an int save, or do a funny trick which makes a target incapacitated for a turn..


Fettles
(Family Names: Bernese, Bulldog, Dalmatian, Doberman, Mastiff, Pyrenees)
Fettles get +2 to Con, and they're robust, tough, and stalwart.
Fettle tricks include basically anything you could imagine a 'hardy' race having. Burst of Energy gives them advantage on attack rolls and con saving throws for a round. Hardy Constitution gives them +1d4 on constitution saving throws, Iron Resolve gives them advantage on any saving throw against something they don't want to do, and Thick Coat gives them +2 defense against one attack.


Herders
(Family Names; Briard, Canaan, Collie, Corgi, German, Sheepdog)
Herders get +2 to Wisdom, and are known for their wisdom and deep insight. They're confidants and advisors.
Herder tricks involve "Wise" things. Animal Friends lets them charm animals like Druids. Keen Observer gives them advantage on wisdom checks involving senses. Quick Suggestion gives someone a floating +1d4 to a roll of their choice, and they can also Smell the Unseen like Companions.


Pointers
(Family Names: Bloodhound, Dachshund, Labrador, Rat-Terrier, Saffordshire, Weimaraner)
Pointers get +2 to Intelligence. Because they are smart. And thus gravitate towards magic careers.
Deductive Strike lets them observe a target as a bonus action and then make an attack in the next round using Intelligence instead of Str or Dex, and add Int tot he damage. Masterwork Knowledge is "Identify magic Item", Smell Magic is what it says on the tin. and Voracious Learner gives a pointer advantage on intelligence checks involving anything the pointer may have heard or read about in the past.


Runners
(Family Names: Afghan, Borzoi, Greyhound, Shibainu, Whippit, Wolfhound)
Runners are Fast, +2 dex.
Inherent Grace gives them +1d4 to all dex saving throws. Instinctive Dodge is +2 defense just like the Fettle trick. Speedy Runner gives them +5 land speed and advantage on all dexterity checks, and Lightning Speed lets them increase their land speed by 30.. yes you heard that right. They can also run for (DEX) hours before needing to sleep.


Workers
(Family names: Akita, Chow, Husky, Laika, Malamute, Salish)
Workers are strong, +2 Strength.
Brute Strength gives them advantage on Strength checks when lifting or pulling. Frightening Countenance lets them intimidate people by being big and strong. Huge Paws gives them +1d4 damage when unarmed. and Mighty Thews gives them advantage on all attack and strength checks for a round.



Mutts
Mutts aren't so much a Breed as much as an absence of one. Some mutts live inside the established families, most of them are outcasts who reject or were rejected by the established family lines.

Mutts get +1 to any two ability scores and can pick any breed's starting trick. They can choose additional breed tricks from that breed.


So yeah, let me get this out there. The breeds are incredibly dumb. I've been pithily summarizing these but only just barely. There are apparently entire noble family lines of Dockworkers who are strong and lift things. And entire family lines of "SMART PEOPLE" who are smart and know things. Each Breed save the Fettle's have one, maybe two classes that they functionally slot into, and that's it. And that's allowing for Strays existing as a class separate from the vastly superior Guardians which is two functional classes stapled together. And then you have Mutts that just break the system over their knee by being able to cherrypick from up to 3 different Breeds, meaning that you can thankfully ignore it entirely.

Next time: Worldbuilding

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Kurieg posted:

It's not that I'm not feeling it. There are probably only two or three more updates out of pugmire, as the combat, task resolution, and spell lists are taken from 5e with some minor canine theming (magic paw, bark instead of shout).

So there's character creation, the worldbuilding chapter, and the monsters/sample adventure.

My question probably could have been better worded as "should I finish pugmire first or come back to it later?"
Pugmire is at least novel compared to the inevitable crap about Beast, so I'd finish that first if I were you.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Simian_Prime posted:

Finish Pugmire. I just don't have the stomach for Beast anymore.

Nessus posted:

Pugmire is at least novel compared to the inevitable crap about Beast, so I'd finish that first if I were you.


You're both in luck. Though you seem to be one post early/late.

Also I, unfortunately, do have the stomach for Beast. And I consider it a public service getting the information about this crap pile out there. So, yeah, i guess this just means I need to put out pugmire faster .

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.

My wife would love the concept of PugMire (D&D for people who luv doggos), but with the lack of innovation I would be better off just running DW (or fantasy RPG of choice) and just scratch off “elf” and replace it with “your favorite pet.”

The art is some of the most ragged Photoshop I’ve ever seen. Someone show this guy the Burn tool!

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





I was re-reading the magic items chapter for the next bit and I discovered that improving magic items past their baseline state also takes your level up advancement.



I like the setting but I have no idea how one expects a game of pugmire to go without heavy houseruling.

I mean if you do put 3 advancements into a magic weapon it turns into something obscene, but that costs you 3 class features. Or 3 points of strength.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




And you're still limited to 10 total level advancements, even if you divert some into a magic item?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





That Old Tree posted:

And you're still limited to 10 total level advancements, even if you divert some into a magic item?

9 technically. Your level 1 choice is between two class features. Though it states that if you hand off a magic item you advanced to someone else, it keeps it's advancements. So i guess maybe you have some kind of generational game where you spend a few goes around the character creation wheel making magic item mules?

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Pugmire's level up system is so dumb. Not every game needs to be a min-max spec-a-thon or a 'master of everything and then some', but you have to be more than 'do some things poorly-to-okay or do ONE thing really good and nothing else'.

Also anyone who has an older dog will call bullshit on them being incapable of learning new tricks (my first dog Holly has learned almost every synonym for 'walk' and the spelling for Walk, Jaunt, Jog, Run, and Constituional)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Kurieg posted:

9 technically. Your level 1 choice is between two class features. Though it states that if you hand off a magic item you advanced to someone else, it keeps it's advancements. So i guess maybe you have some kind of generational game where you spend a few goes around the character creation wheel making magic item mules?

Yes this is exactly what he expected to happen.

quote:

Playing Beyond Level 10
Sometimes, you just don’t want the game to
end. All of the player characters have reached level
10, but the players want to keep playing and,
more specifically, keep improving their characters.
On the surface, there’s nothing stopping
this — it’s easy enough to allow players to keep
taking improvements for their characters, and to
keep increasing their proficiency bonus every two
levels. However, in my experience the game tends
to break down after level 10
(emphasis mine): Enemies become
easier and easier to defeat, and characters end up
with so many different tricks and abilities that
it can be hard to keep track of them all. But if
your group is eager to play a group of old, grizzled
veterans ready to take on the most dangerous and
powerful things in the world, enjoy!
Dynastic Play
An alternative to continuing to play after
level 10 is to have interconnected chronicles.
In dynastic play, once the player characters have
reached level 10 and played through a story or
two, they settle down and have or train puppies.
The players create new characters that are the
puppies related to or mentored by their original
party. If the original character had a masterwork,
that could be passed down to the new character
as an inheritance or gift, and any improvements
to the artifacts are kept by the new characters — a
clever way to “power up” your new puppy characters!

Also to clarify my earlier point on 3 advancement weapons being obscene? Default magic weapon is a +1 sword. One advancement makes it +2, 2nd advancement makes it +3. Third advancement gives it a number of extra damage dice equal to your proficiency bonus. at levels 9 and 10 that makes your greatsword deal 7d12 damage. That's more than level 5 spells.

Also Pugmire doesn't have iterative attacks(unless you're a hunter making ranged attacks, but they're also the only class who can actually use exotic weapons effectively if they dump the feats into doing so), so this is the only way to increase the amount of damage you deal with weapon attacks.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 05:21 on Mar 9, 2018

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 12: Psyscape, Part 2: "Not only does this make all Harvesters evil villains, but it also makes most of them sadistic insane monsters."


"What, no, we just walk around dark forests patrolling, that makes sense."

Dark Harvest
By Christopher R. Kornmann & Kevin Siembieda


Rifts World Book 12: Psyscape posted:

Note: The following section deals with the supernatural, horrific blood rituals, and that intangible "quality" or "essence" humans call the Soul. We do not wish to offend the sensitivities or beliefs of any of our players. If the G.M. or any of his or her players feel uncomfortable with any of the material in this section involving stealing Souls, either don't play it or modify the material as you deem appropriate. None of the magic, people, monsters or concepts presented in this section are real. This is a work of fiction.

My eyes are like, in the tightest squint. Hasn't this kind of thing been in numerous previous books? Hell, they had humans being used as human cattle in the first world book, and soul-eating weapons and body horror in the second world book, the third world book had blood sacrifice by blood druids... and now you're getting skittish, Palladium? Now?

Sure... okay...

So, we start out with a fiction bit about "Specter Company", a group of Coalition scouts who are the "best of the best" wandering around a forest. And if that's true, the Coalition is hosed, because most of them are turned into zombies, one commits suicide to avoid the same fate, and a surviving Coalition psychic uses his ESP and finds out they were claimed by "Nxla, the Harvester of Souls".

That's "nicks-law", we're told later.

Harvesters of Souls
Soulharvest


So, it turns out the Kingdom of Dunscon has an eeevil neighbor known as Soulharvest. Subtle name, that. It's run by necromancers who raise the dead as slaves or draft animals, and generally exult in being bad people. Also, they predictably drain souls of the living they seek to use those souls to bring Nxla over, like you do. Somehow, Dunscon & Co. haven't noticed despite the community radiating a psychic aura of evil for a a radius of 200 miles. We're told they'd try and stop it otherwise, but I'm not 100% sure that's on-brand for Dunscon?


"Look, you can't just go out without facepaint and just harvest souls, that's just posing."

In any case, we get a Harvester O.C.C. that are "evil villains", "sadistic insane monsters", "very dangerous villain", etc. They're largely just NPC wizards, and have very "soft" undefined abilities to look into people's souls, communicate with souls and energy beings, but mainly their big thing is stealing souls through long rituals. Doing so mainly gives them useless hit point and strength bonuses, very minor skill bonuses (2% per soul, whee), and the only great benefit for soul-taking is getting some spells if the captured soul was a spellcaster The harvesters are servants of Nxla, whatever that is, and get the ability to command his "Soulless Zombies" or "Xombies". However, they're weak against psychic powers and can't steal the souls of psychics because that's what it says in the script.

If players were allowed to play them - and they're not - they'd only have a 9% chance of qualifying to be one. And so I ask "If an NPC fails to qualify for an attribute requirement in the GM folder, do they make a sound?" If anybody's enlightened by that, let me know.


"Hey! I was a zombie before it was cool."

Next, we get the Soulless Xombies because Nxla is big on branding. If enough harvesters do a huge ritual, they can bridge the gap between Nxla and our world, and he sends some black energy tentacles through to nom on souls of victims put before him, replacing the soul with a piece of himself (I guess the big evil energy pillar is gendered). They're pretty drat tough (about two or three times as tough as a mega-damage armored human) but only have high strength, punches, and a variety of immunities backing them up otherwise. They're weak against psionics because... this is a book featuring psionics, okay?


The cheerily waving tower of flesh.

Lastly we get stats for Nxla himself, and I was going to pick on the use of the word "he", given he's a 200 story pillar covered with tentacles and limbs, he seems sufficiently phallic to justify a "he". A supernatural intelligence like the Splugorth or the "vampire, it's rumored he's the weakest of the "Old Ones". Now, the "Old Ones" are actually a plot point from Palladium Fantasy RPG, and are supposedly creatures so ancient and powerful they put even the diet-Lovecraft supernatural intelligences to shame. Sometimes a Rifts book will bring them up, because they presume you read this whole other game line. Whether or not Nxla is or isn't an Old One isn't terribly relevant, but given he has 200K to potentially over a half million M.D.C., he may as well be one of the toughest cookies in the game (no doubt with evil raisins of the soul).

Granted, here we finally get a justification why anybody might follow Nxla, and that's the fact that Harvesters will be gifted with agelessness upon his arrival in this dimension. Mind, he then proceeds to devour a world's souls at an exponential rate, so you'd best get along with your soul-taking coworkers, because you've got an eternity with him and them and nobody else. In any case, once he gets a foothold in the dimension, it's going to take a lot to kick him out, and it doesn't seem like PCs are intended to fight this skyscraper-sized psuedopenis. If you do, he can float around slowly, has a ridiculous number of immunities, has access to nearly all magic, necromancy, psionics, can raise hundreds of dead and summon dozens of demons, etc. While he's massively vulnerable to psionic attack, getting to do ten times damage is academic given A) the low values of damage from psionic attacks and B) his massive M.D.C. number. Even if you're doing 350 average damage with your psi-sword (presuming a high-level psionic), it's still going to take 1,037 swings to defeat his average M.D.C. value of 363,000. Also he has "10 physical attacks per 200 foot section of his body", which means he gets 40 attacks, in case you want a villain that takes a literal half-hour to resolve a single combat round with.

Ultimately, all that aside, the Harvesters and Nxla have to be the dullest, one-note major villains the setting has produced, and that's saying something. They're just a bunch of evil cultists promised immortality, and there's no personality or depth to them. Worse yet, there's only a handful of stories to tell - one is where they steal somebody's soul (hopefully not a PC, since it wouldn't be very fun to be a spiritual invalid) and the PCs have to rescue that soul back from Nxla. That's about the most interesting thing, because the only real alternative is Destroy All Harvesters, which is the logical thing to do. The even more logical thing would be to inform the Coalition or "True Federation" and just let them wipe out the Harvesters, since they both have the capability and the motivation... but I guess Psyscape is supposed to do it because... this is a book about Psyscape?

It's metaplot time!

Enter Psyscape™

Speaking of which, apparently Nxla is the reason for Psyscape reemerging from a self-imposed exile. They seek to annihilate the Harvesters, even though they know it'll likely bring them into conflict with Alistair Dunscon and his faction of the Federation. I mean, they could try and discuss things with Alistair and his flunkies instead of just going ham on the Harvesters and causing a misunderstanding, but, you know...



I mean, it even says later on they'll accept the help of evildoers (in case the PCs are evil, presumably) in their crusade, which makes their willingness to just bluntly anger the Federation doubly puzzling. I guess this is just because Siembieda wants Psyscape to be the good guys of the Magic Zone and the Federation of Magic to be the bad guys and to just mash his action figures together irregardless of the actual situation. It's essentially presumed that Psyscape will enlist the PCs and together they'll delay Nxla's ressurrection and free trapped souls, but it turns out he Harvesters have backup cults elsewhere that will try and rebuild. However, the Coalition will hear about this situation automatically and step up their plans for war against Tolkeen and the Federation of Magic because the metaplot demands it. Naturally, the Coalition will be no more tolerant of Psyscape than other supernatural forces, as if you had to ask. Well, Rifts World Book 12: Psyscape had to ask.

Next: Xanadu, your neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 07:07 on Mar 9, 2018

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Pathfinder (1st Edition) Alpha Playtest Release 1



The Cleric

* The playtest section begins with a short sidebar, explaining that the 3.5 spell Cure Minor Wounds (level 0 spell, heals 1 HP) has been removed, since level 0 spells are now "Orisons" in Pathfinder, and they can be cast at-will, and keeping Cure Minor Wounds as an Orison would be an unlimited source of healing. Instead, it was replaced with Stabilize, which simply ends the Dying condition and stabilizes the target.

* The level 1 Air Domain power is a Lightning Arc, which lets the Cleric zap a target for a bit of electricity damage as a standard action. It is by implication an at-will power in the playtest, but Core caps its use to 3+Wis mod times per day

* ... and the rest of the Domain powers basically end up getting the same treatment. The Artifice Domain's Mending-at-will becomes day-limited, the Chaos Domain's cause-a-roll-with-Disadvantage-at-will becomes day-limited, the Charm Domain's Dazing Touch-at-will becomes day limited, and so on.

The Wizard

* We get another short sidebar, explaining that the Wizard has been upgraded from a d4 hit die in 3.5, to a d6 hit dice in Pathfinder. This is not only a deliberate change to make them hardier, but also to tie hit dice to BAB progression: everyone with full BAB gets a d10, everyone with three-quarters-BAB gets a d8, and everyone with half-BAB gets a d6 (with the exception of a Barbarian, which is a full BAB class with a d12 hit die).

* School Powers used to be a lot more powerful - the Wizard got a new one every 2 levels, although most of them were generally "you can cast this specific spell from this school once a day".

Let's take a close look at Conjuration:

Level 1: gain a +2 armor bonus to AC, increasing every 5 caster levels, to a maximum of +6
Level 1: cast Acid Dart at will
Level 2: cast Summon Monster once per day per 2 caster levels
Level 4: cast Web once per day
Level 6: cast Stinking Cloud once per day
Level 8: cast Dimensional Step as many times per day as it takes to consume an allotment of [30 feet per caster level]
Level 10: cast Major Creation once per day
Level 12: cast Wall of Iron once per day
Level 14: cast Plane Shift once per day
Level 16: cast Maze once per day
Level 18: cast Gate once per day
Level 20: once per day, your Summon Monster spell's duration is extended to 1 day, and the creature has full HP and a +2 bonus to all rolls

When we get to Core:

Level 1: the duration of any summoning spell is increased by half your Wizard level in rounds
Level 1: cast Acid Dart a number of times per day equal to 3 + Int mod
Level 8: cast Dimensional Step as many times per day as it takes to consume an allotment of [30 feet per caster level]
Level 20: All Summon Monster spells have a duration of Permanent, but only one at a time


Or how about Evocation:

Level 1: All of your evocation spells that deal damage deal an additional +1 damage, increasing every 5 caster levels, to a maximum of +5
Level 1: cast Fire Ray at will
Level 2: cast Magic Missile once per day per 2 caster levels
Level 4: cast Scorching Ray once per day
Level 6: cast Lightning Bolt once per day
Level 8: can cast Elemental Wall as many times per day as it takes to consume an allotment of [1 round per caster level]
Level 10: cast Wall of Force once per day
Level 12: cast Chain Lightning once per day
Level 14: cast Prismatic Spray once per day
Level 16: cast Polar Ray once per day
Level 18: cast Meteor Swarm once per day
Level 20: targets of your spells only get half energy resistance against your spells, and targets with energy immunity are counted as having resistance 20

When we get to Core:

Level 1: All of your evocation spells that deal damage deal additional damage equal to half your Wizard level, minimum 1.
Level 1: cast Magic Missile a number of times per day equal to 3 + Int mod
Level 8: can cast Elemental Wall as many times per day as it takes to consume an allotment of [1 round per caster level]
Level 20: When you cast an evocation spell and roll against a target's spell resistance, you roll twice and take the better result


There's more schools, of course, but it bears noting that the Wizard was even more powerful in the playtest. And I mentioned the Cleric's domain powers also being nerfed coming from the playtest, but in most cases it was only the level 1 power that was affected, since the rest were "can cast this Domain spell" that the Core book still matched, just with a different format. In the case of Wizards, they would get on average an extra bespoke spell slot of their highest level spell as they gained it. It's a rather fascinating comparison because as much as we all like to point at how Pathfinder largely kept the excesses of 3.5, this first release was going to pile-on even more of that stuff.

This first alpha release only has the four core classes: Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard. The other classes would follow later, but in this particular document I still have to go through Races, Skills, Feats, Combat, and general DM rules.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


gradenko_2000 posted:

The Cleric
* The level 1 Air Domain power is a Lightning Arc, which lets the Cleric zap a target for a bit of electricity damage as a standard action. It is by implication an at-will power in the playtest, but Core caps its use to 3+Wis mod times per day

* ... and the rest of the Domain powers basically end up getting the same treatment. The Artifice Domain's Mending-at-will becomes day-limited, the Chaos Domain's cause-a-roll-with-Disadvantage-at-will becomes day-limited, the Charm Domain's Dazing Touch-at-will becomes day limited, and so on.

The weird thing about this and the wizard x/day abilities they get from school specialisation is that because you add your core ability mod to the uses-per-day, they're effectively unlimited anyway. Like okay, sure, I can only zap 7/day -- but I'm going to run out of spells and need a long rest way, way before I run out of class ability uses.

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


Well, it has been a long time since I did one of these, and the last two kinda fell by the wayside due to mental health problems, but gently caress it; third time's the charm?

D&D 3rd Edition - The Core Books

Part 1: Introduction and Abilities

D&D 3rd Edition was not, funnily enough, my true introduction to RPGs - that honour goes to Advanced Fighting Fantasy. It was, however, my first introduction to Dungeons and Dragons. I was a 14-year old, undiagnosed autistic kid at the time, so naturally the first thing I did with this was run a loving awful game for my mum, where I would pit a CR1 skeleton against her by herself, thinking that was how CR worked, and rescued her with my own DMPC. Ultimately, I didn't really understand the d20 system at the time - much like other folks on the internet at the time, I thought level 1 was someone with barely any training, and level 20 was where the folks we see in most fiction was. Strider? Level 20 Ranger. Conan? Level 20 Barbarian.

Ultimately, D&D 3rd Edition is not by any stretch my favourite RPG, my favourite edition of D&D, or even my favourite iteration of the D20 system. It was, however, the game that introduced the d20 system (for better or worse), and it is now old enough that there are probably folks reading this now who have never read or played by these rules, and short of piracy never will (3.5 has been put on drivethruRPG, but this is specifically 3.0, which has not). It was also the system (as I understand it) to introduce the concept of the OGL, which in turn led to the RPG market being what it is today - many RPG publishers started out on third party stuff for D&D 3rd edition (or on games that used the same rules, modified for a different setting). Without 3rd Edition, we wouldn't have the likes of Mongoose, Green Ronin or Paizo. There are awesome games that exist today that would never have existed without this iteration of D&D. Therefore, I consider it a historically important RPG (which, incidentally, I would still be more than happy to play or run at low level; just maybe not at high level).

With all that bullshit out of the way, let's move onto the first of the Core Rulebooks: the Players Handbook (or PHB). My copy of this is the second printing, from November 2000. If any readers have a different printing, please feel free to point out any changes. The book begins with a two-page spread, explaining how to create a character and giving page references for more detailed information. It then has a page of introduction, which at no point ever asks the question "What is a Roleplaying Game". It begins with this:

Introduction posted:

Welcome to the game that defined the fantastic imagination for over a quarter of a century.

When you play the Dungeons & Dragons game, you create a unique fictional character that lives in your imagination and the imaginations of your friends. One person in the game, the Dungeon Master (DM), controls the monsters and the people that live in the fantasy world. You and your friends face the dangers and explore the mysteries your Dungeon Master sets before you.

Each character's imaginary life is different. Your character might:

  • explore ancient ruins guarded by devious traps
  • put loathsome monsters to the sword
  • loot the tomb of a long-forgotten wizard
  • cast mighty spells to burn and blast your foes
  • solve diabolical mysteries
  • find magic weapons, rings, and other items
  • make peace between warring tribes
  • get brought back from the dead
  • face undead creatures that can drain life away with a touch
  • sneak into a castle to spy on the enemy
  • travel to other plains of experience
  • wrestle a carnivorous ape
  • forge a magic wand
  • get turned to stone
  • get turned into a toad
  • turn someone else into a toad
  • become king or queen
  • discover unique and powerful artifacts of amazing magical power

That's... actually one of the better "What is an RPG?" sections I've ever come across in an RPG rulebook. It tells you right here what the game is, and what it involves doing. This is followed by an explanation of what you need to play, a list of what is included in the various chapters of the game, and how the dice notation works. All of this takes up just one page.

After this, we get the chapter on ability scores. By default, you roll 4d6, drop the lowest, to get six scores. You keep them to one side for the time being; if you don't have a single score above 13, or if your modifiers add up to +0 or less, you get to reroll. 10-11 is human average in every stat (being the most likely result on a straight 3d6), with modifiers starting at -5 at 1 and increasing by 1 on every even numbered score. If you've played or read any edition of D&D since 3e, then you're familiar with how this works; if not, then the 5e basic rules are available for free. Each ability comes with list of creatures, with some idea as to where they lie on the scale where 10 is human average.

Just as a fun fact, the most likely array of results when rolling 3d6 is 13, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8; for 4d6 drop the lowest, it's 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 (rounding fractions down in all cases). I mention this because it means that on average, the strongest person you know probably has the equivalent of a 13 in strength. If you happen to know a lot of boxers, soldiers or generally strong people, then they might have it as high as 15. The strongest person in a country might have it around 18-19. No real human being on the planet has the equivalent of a 20+.

Strength is used to modify your melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls (as well as ranged damage rolls with specific weapons). There are rules that allow you to use Dexterity for attack rolls on some weapons, but melee damage is always strength based. Strength is also used for stuff like jumping, swimming, climbing, lifting stuff, breaking stuff and to determine how much poo poo you can carry. Kobolds have strength 6, goblins have strength 8, half orcs have strength 12, fire giants have strength 30 and great gold wyrms have strength 46.

Dexterity is used to modify your ranged attack rolls (or some melee weapons; I'll explain this under feats), but not damage rolls. It is also used for acrobatics, sneaking around, picking locks, riding horses and escaping if tied up. Finally, it represents reaction speed, meaning that it influences how early in a combat round you get to act, how hard you are to hit and how good you are at moving out of the way of things. A gelatinous cube has this at a 1, an ogre has it at an 8, an elf at a 12 and an elder air elemental at a 32.

Constitution modifies your hit points every level (to a minimum of 1 hp gained each level). It is also used to measure how long you can keep doing strenous tasks such as travelling long distance, as well as how good you are at maintaining your concentration. Finally, it represents sheer toughness, and your ability to avoid danger by virtue of being simply too tough for it to affect you. Elves have this at an 8, dwarves at a 12 and the Tarrasque has it at a 35.

Intelligence modifies how many skill points you get each level, as well as being used for searching (because of knowing where to search) and for knowing stuff generally. It is also used for crafting, lip reading, disarming traps and scrying. Finally, it determines how many additional languages you speak at first level. Animals have this at a 1 or a 2, trolls have it at a 6, Beholders at a 16, and great gold wyrms at a 32.

Wisdom is a combination of perception, willpower and common sense. As such, your sense of direction, your ability to notice things and your ability to survive in the wild are related to it. It also relates to your ability to resist certain effects through sheer willpower. An orc has this at 8, while a unicorn has it at a 20.

Charisma is primarily force of personality - while it may play some part in looks, it doesn't necessarily. It is also your ability to influence people and animals, and even to fool magical items into working when they really shouldn't. A dwarf has this at an 8, while a storm giant has it at a 14.

Well, this has been a rather long post, so I'll leave it here. Next up: races, maybe classes, and how they differ (or don't) from 3.5.

Edit: missed out a bit from Intelligence.

hectorgrey fucked around with this message at 11:39 on Mar 9, 2018

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





I vaguely recall that CJ Carella, before he said nuts to Kevin, was supposed to do Psyscape.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

Pathfinder (1st Edition) Alpha Playtest Release 1



Races

I won't get into the 3.5-to-Pathfinder changes in detail, but the big overall shift was that all non-human races moved to a model where they'd always have two +2's to an ability score, and one -2. Most of these were unchanged from the playtest to Core.

* Dwarven Stonecunning would let Dwarf characters treat all stone-related Craft and Profession skills as class skills. This was removed from Core.
* Dwarves also had a Keen Senses ability that gave them a +2 bonus to taste- and touch-based Perception checks. This was removed from Core.

* Elven Keen Senses used to specify that the +2 bonus to Perception checks was only for sight- and sound-based checks. As well, Elves could always make a Perception check against a secret or concealed door, even if they weren't looking (which is a very "traditional" D&D thing for Elves to have). Core dropped this second clause, and made the +2 Perception bonus apply generally
* Elves had an Unnatural Beauty ability that improved the starting attitude of NPCs towards them, as long as the starting attitude was at least "Indifferent" (according to the Diplomacy skill). This was removed from Core.

* Gnomes had a Keen Senses ability that gave them a +2 bonus to taste- and touch-based Perception checks. Core made the bonus apply generally.

* Half-Elves had the same Keen Senses ability as Elves, with the same changes going into Core.
* Half-Elves had the Adaptability ability, which let them designate a single skill as a class skill. It also let them become proficient at any one weapon of their choice. Core changed the first clause into getting the Skill Focus feat for free, which is arguably a buff, and then dropped the weapon proficiency clause altogether.

* Half-Orcs in the playtest would get +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence. Core changed this to +2 to any one ability score.. I assume that Core was trying to be consistent across all human-affiliated races because it uses the phrase "to represent their varied nature" across all three races.

* Halflings in the playtest had +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength. Core changed the +2 Intelligence into +2 Charisma.
* Halflings had a Keen Senses ability that gave them a +2 bonus to sound- and taste-based Perception checks. Core made the bonus apply generally.

* Humans had a Skilled ability that let them designate one skill as being a class skill, regardless of class. Core changed this to an additional skill rank at every level (which is more consistent with 3.5, as the playtest version was arguably a nerf)

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

I vaguely recall that CJ Carella, before he said nuts to Kevin, was supposed to do Psyscape.

Yeah. I've noted in previous reviews there are ads in earlier books that not only cite Carella as the upcoming author for Psyscape, but that hint at entirely different contents - like, at least a completely different set of O.C.C.s than the book ended up with, for example. Him quitting clearly threw the book into development hell for a good while, and the book we got is a mess because of it, IMO. It really feels like Siembieda ran out of steam or time to write this one, and had other contributors help out with a bunch of filler so they could round out a 160 page softcover and kick this one out the door.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah. I've noted in previous reviews there are ads in earlier books that not only cite Carella as the upcoming author for Psyscape, but that hint at entirely different contents - like, at least a completely different set of O.C.C.s than the book ended up with, for example. Him quitting clearly threw the book into development hell for a good while, and the book we got is a mess because of it, IMO. It really feels like Siembieda ran out of steam or time to write this one, and had other contributors help out with a bunch of filler so they could round out a 160 page softcover and kick this one out the door.

I have trouble thinking of Psyscape as anything but the repository for Ramon Perez art that would end up in Heroes Unlimited 2nd edition later.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Even the friend I have who's super-into Rifts that I borrow some of the books off of to read thinks Psyscape is incredibly boring and ignorable. Well, other than Psi-Cola, which is so goofy it's amazing, but the review will get to that brief bit.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:

I have trouble thinking of Psyscape as anything but the repository for Ramon Perez art that would end up in Heroes Unlimited 2nd edition later.

Well, now I have to find a place to include the edgy burster looking over his sunglasses. Everything's on fire and he just doesn't care, mannn.

gourdcaptain posted:

Even the friend I have who's super-into Rifts that I borrow some of the books off of to read thinks Psyscape is incredibly boring and ignorable. Well, other than Psi-Cola, which is so goofy it's amazing, but the review will get to that brief bit.

It's surprisingly not brief!

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, now I have to find a place to include the edgy burster looking over his sunglasses. Everything's on fire and he just doesn't care, mannn.

All carrying a wicked knife because ... fuckin' knife.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:

All carrying a wicked knife because ... fuckin' knife.

"I got the inked fire just so you know I'm the hot one around here. This fire is me."

Lucas Archer
Dec 1, 2007
Falling...

The FATAL & Friends has brought me much joy. Earlier this week I was helping my mom clear some stuff out of her basement, and I came across a couple of old AD&D modules that my brother must have bought back in the day and successfully hid from my parents (I was not allowed to D&D because of SATAN).

However, I have these two modules and I figured I'd give them a write up! I'll take suggestions on which to do first, or if no one cares, I'll probably do the shorter one first. Unluckily I have no scanning equipment so I won't have any pretty pictures unless I find them somewhere online.

The two options are:

Dungeon Module T1 - The Village of Hommlet. Never played it, all I know is that it's the intro to Temple of Elemental Evil. I do NOT have that one, unfortunately.

Dungeon Module S3 - Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. I know nothing about this one. According to the blurb on the front, it was the tournament scenario at Origins II.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Barrier Peaks is interesting and very different from what you'd expect of an old-school D&D thing.

Well, partially.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Hommlet is a surprising module in its way too, for being just, hey here's a fully fleshed out village you can use as a base. If I recall correctly.

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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Hey, just wanted to say that for those who were interested, Torg Eternity is finally out for non-backers. Unfortunately, the decks aren't yet.

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