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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

JackMann posted:

the formal axioms of the rules construct in order to simulate the workings of a fantasy universe.

You had me at 'rules as physics' and mother loving keebler elves.

Jesus. It's Lasers and Harnquest.

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Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

That Old Tree posted:

Wait, he claimed to have invented half-elves, while simultaneously referring to LotR, where one of the key expository characters is famously titled Half-elven?!?
The dude's grasp of logic was frankly insane or the kind of "sane" that only exists when, like, you are incredibly focused on One Unified Worldview and trying to make it fit all over everything. He spent a lot of time crowing about how he was hiring the best editors and artists and printing companies that he could afford because he was a Great Man of Great Destiny and he had the Means and etc. etc. I have no idea what he actually did for a living because I don't loving remember but he had enough money to just pay for bulk orders of his books to be shipped out to places with overnight shipping (and he was really proud of being able to afford overnight shipping for all of it). And then came the rants about creditors and debts and parasites stealing his books and defacing them because they were That Good and wanted to stop him because they were jealous parasites. They would just blend together and then sockpuppets would be like "I agree, your stuff is so good, gently caress the haters!". What if the dude who wrote Wild Animus ran that one weird Buffy forum that was just the same account talking to himself over and over? Congrats, that's Oscar Moffett.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
His parents made some wise investments that netted them a considerable nest egg.

OMM... did not.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

Wait, this was an RPG?!

My dad has an old copy of the first edition in his things back at home - I would browse through it as a kid thinking that it was some kind of Choose Your Own Adventure kind of thing, but the guy wrote in such a stream-of-consciousness way and the narration and his opinions and the rules would always flow together in the same paragraph that I never put it together that it was supposed to be played.

Oh geeze, I've got to go back and look for it now.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Feinne posted:

Oh yeah in tabletop they're 100% useless, the question is what about Deathwatch.

It depends. Am I rolling the dodge checks for the Lictor? If so, it will die instantly. I have had nothing but terrible luck using lictors. In theory they are very dangerous ambush minibosses who hunt your players and poo poo but in practice I have the Lictor pop out and then the Marines shoot it 8 times and it explodes, while failing 3 60-70% Dodge chances in a row.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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

Evil Mastermind posted:

The correct choice is "dirt farmer".
Not everyone knows this, but because of how the property & holdings rules are written - those don't come until much later in the book and they are notably disorganized, even for Moffet - farmer really is objectively the correct choice. The first couple of tiers are rough sledding, but once you hit third tier you can start each arc with three times the resources as everyone else AND get significant discounts to purchasing to boot. It starts out just as a cash discount, but since farmers don't have the normal limit on training centers - they can hire people to run them instead of having to act as the operator themselves - their power curve looks like a hockey stick.

You might think they'd be limited because the best holdings require hitting certain prestige prereqs and farmers not only start at the lowest level, their growth in that is the worst. But don't forget most prestige minimums can also be met by hitting wealth thresholds. No one pays attention to those because they're so laughably high that they're basically pointless. For all the other classes, that is. Once you go exponential with your holding income, all but the highest wealth thresholds are quickly rendered trivial. And once you pass a few of those, you can start buying up holdings that increase your prestige anyways.

The main issue is that they're still barred from acquiring cosmic holdings, so there's a whole class of threats they're still absolute garbage against (though by fourth tier your ablative shield of mercenaries helps). But if you have a cosmic marine in the party and you both take the patron/client improvements, they can draw on your holdings for basics and devote all their resources to cosmic, at which point they just melt space threats like they were made out of butter.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Hostile V posted:

The dude's grasp of logic was frankly insane or the kind of "sane" that only exists when, like, you are incredibly focused on One Unified Worldview and trying to make it fit all over everything. He spent a lot of time crowing about how he was hiring the best editors and artists and printing companies that he could afford because he was a Great Man of Great Destiny and he had the Means and etc. etc. I have no idea what he actually did for a living because I don't loving remember but he had enough money to just pay for bulk orders of his books to be shipped out to places with overnight shipping (and he was really proud of being able to afford overnight shipping for all of it). And then came the rants about creditors and debts and parasites stealing his books and defacing them because they were That Good and wanted to stop him because they were jealous parasites. They would just blend together and then sockpuppets would be like "I agree, your stuff is so good, gently caress the haters!". What if the dude who wrote Wild Animus ran that one weird Buffy forum that was just the same account talking to himself over and over? Congrats, that's Oscar Moffett.

Is a man not entitled to the game of his choice?
No says the wizard in Seattle, he must play d20.
No says the wolf in Georgia, he must roleplay dark urban fantasy.
No says the maniac in Michigan, he must play my universal system.
But I chose a different path, I chose.
Eldoru.
(Drowns because he did not randomly gain the ability to swim at birth)

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Seeing Gorbash's explanation, I would like to see you make a dirt farmer / cosmic marine buddy team.

E: The cover just keeps going. That's Papyrus text with a chrome gradient over a lovely leather texture. It even has a loving lens flare. What have we done.

megane fucked around with this message at 06:43 on Apr 1, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

megane posted:

Seeing Gorbash's explanation, I would like to see you make a dirt farmer / cosmic marine buddy team.

One is a dirt farmer. The other is a farmer of blood and stars. Together, they fight...communism, maybe? What's the bad guy here.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Comrade Gorbash posted:

Not everyone knows this, but because of how the property & holdings rules are written - those don't come until much later in the book and they are notably disorganized, even for Moffet - farmer really is objectively the correct choice. The first couple of tiers are rough sledding, but once you hit third tier you can start each arc with three times the resources as everyone else AND get significant discounts to purchasing to boot. It starts out just as a cash discount, but since farmers don't have the normal limit on training centers - they can hire people to run them instead of having to act as the operator themselves - their power curve looks like a hockey stick.

You might think they'd be limited because the best holdings require hitting certain prestige prereqs and farmers not only start at the lowest level, their growth in that is the worst. But don't forget most prestige minimums can also be met by hitting wealth thresholds. No one pays attention to those because they're so laughably high that they're basically pointless. For all the other classes, that is. Once you go exponential with your holding income, all but the highest wealth thresholds are quickly rendered trivial. And once you pass a few of those, you can start buying up holdings that increase your prestige anyways.

The main issue is that they're still barred from acquiring cosmic holdings, so there's a whole class of threats they're still absolute garbage against (though by fourth tier your ablative shield of mercenaries helps). But if you have a cosmic marine in the party and you both take the patron/client improvements, they can draw on your holdings for basics and devote all their resources to cosmic, at which point they just melt space threats like they were made out of butter.
So you're saying being an older property owner makes you the best choice, especially once you create a feudal relationship with warriors?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Nessus posted:

So you're saying being an older property owner makes you the best choice, especially once you create a feudal relationship with warriors?

So is King the Dirt Farmer prestige class?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
I can't adequately explain how much I love the "9.99$" sticker on the cover.

Edit: Much like I kept the 6$ price tag on my copy of Continuum, the jewel of my gaming collection.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

Night10194 posted:

One is a dirt farmer. The other is a farmer of blood and stars. Together, they fight...communism, maybe? What's the bad guy here.
The fact that they don't have all the money, probably. A lot of people kept complaining about what you're supposed to be doing and he would just loving link people to articles on the Hero's Journey and be like "come back to talk to an expert when you're done educating yourself so you can be properly tutored, it's not my job to educate you on stuff you should already know". A few debaters just had to deal with him going in circles like they were using an answering machine but I guess like he legitimately did think that the Hero's Journey was "start your own business, amass wealth, bend the rules until they no longer apply to you but only if you start at level 1 because that's the only fair way to play. It's not emotionally fulfilling if you start off with the resources, you have to come from nothing and pull yourself out of nothing to become something and become a hero".

So like go loving figure a dude who believes that Waagh Mudraker can become a Sovereign of the Realm got the money to print all seven of his books at once and ship them hither and yon from his parents.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Lictors in theory are meant to be Xenomorphs+Predators even moreso than Tyranids usually are, but in practice they're high priority targets. Bit like Dreadnoughts in tabletop last I heard, they tend to attract a small nation's worth of firepower in most games.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
Okay, we get a vote for farmer, and a vote for orc. Orc farmer it is.

Now, normally you couldn't make a hwarruk farmer, since they can only be footmen and thieves. But we'll say Cromuk got a special internship at the Dirt Farming Institute of Absonor.

We also need to roll his geneology. Even though it's last, it's part of what determines what classes are possible. We get a 70, which makes him a Freeman. Or Free Orc. Whatever. The important thing is that you can be a freeman farmer. Really, so long as he wasn't royalty, he could have been some sort of farmer.

Some quick rolling gives us the following stat line:

13 Strength
17 Toughness
8 Dexterity
15 Coordination
3 Appearance
13 Intelligence
9 Wisdom
12 Wits

Hwarruks get some bonuses and penalties, so that turns into:

16 Strength
20 Toughness
8 Dexterity
15 Coordination
0 Appearance
10 Intelligence
9 Wisdom
9 Wits

This leads to some interesting bits on the rules. For one thing, he cannot possibly fail a Toughness check that doesn't have any modifiers on it. The rules don't actually say what happens at 0 in a stat, other than the obvious fact that he can't pass any checks based on it. He's definitely not making friends and influencing people. But happily, he does meet the 13 Toughness and 15 Strength needed to be a farmer, so we're good there.

We'll take four points from his Toughness and one from Coordination to give him kalah of five.

Now, we take a look at his skills. Farmers get a modest list of skills to choose from, and he gets a total of... ten. We'll want at least one combat skill, and farmers have access to Combat (Staves) and Combat (Slings). His dexterity's not so great, so we'll go with Staves. We'll also grab Climbing (Natural Surfaces) and Swimming (Freshwater), since he's pretty good at strength. From Toughness, we'll also grab Resist Poison. We'll take Running and Balance from Coordination. Farmers don't get many Appearance skills, which is probably for the best. They don't get any Intelligence-based skills as "Farmers, concerned with simple repetitive tasks, are unsuited to the intellectual pursuits of their betters." They don't even get the Common Knowledge or Racial Knowledge skills, which means Cromuk doesn't know anything about the kingdom he lives in or anything about hwarruks. He does get Listen and Discern Motive from Wisdom. He has to take Profession (Farmer), and we'll round it out with Craft (Blacksmithing). He makes horseshoes on the side, say.

As a Farmer, he gets Salt of the Earth. This lets him make a common knowledge skill in place of a diplomacy check with other farmers. Except that farmers can't take common knowledge, so this is completely useless.

Finally, we can take flaws and blessings. We'll get to this later, but suffice it to say that it's not terribly worthwhile. Since he's not terribly easy on the eyes, we'll go ahead and pile a bit more misfortune on him. Pox gives him scars on his face for two points, flatulence for one, and we'll make him vindictive for three, for a total of six points. We'll go ahead and take Great Steed for four points and Loyal Hound for two. As a Freeman, his mount is a plowhorse and his dog cannot be a hunting hound. But hey, ugly as he is, at least his dog loves him. Dogs are good.

His final stats look something like this:

Cromuk, Farmer (Dirt)

Ability Scores
16 Strength
16 Toughness
8 Dexterity
14 Coordination
0 Appearance
10 Intelligence
9 Wisdom
9 Wits
5 Kalah

Skills
Combat (Staves)
Climbing (Natural Surfaces)
Swimming (Freshwater)
Resist Poison
Running
Balance
Listen
Discern Motives
Profession (Farmer)
Craft (Blacksmithing)

Class Abilities
Salt of the Earth

Race Abilities
Strength of Hwar

Flaws
Flatulence
Pox
Vindictive

Blessings
Great Steed
Loyal Hound

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Can we leverage Flatulence into a rear-arc 1-hex reach flame attack?

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
Not directly related to Eldoru, but once on Usenet, Moffett tried to argue that an octoganal grid system should be used for AD&D. He argued for it for something like eight hours while people tried to explain that octagons do not tesselate, until someone finally posted a picture showing it, and he promptly shut up. He didn't post again for about a week, and never brought up his brilliant grid idea again.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

:psyboom:

e: dammit that was supposed to be for the character sheet but appropriate I guess. God I don't miss the era of "charisma=hot hot you are".

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 07:01 on Apr 1, 2018

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


JackMann posted:

Not directly related to Eldoru, but once on Usenet, Moffett tried to argue that an octoganal grid system should be used for AD&D. He argued for it for something like eight hours while people tried to explain that octagons do not tesselate, until someone finally posted a picture showing it, and he promptly shut up. He didn't post again for about a week, and never brought up his brilliant grid idea again.

Did anyone tell him that eight-directional movement is already possible with a square grid?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
It's been a week you guys, do octagons tessellate yet?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Kurieg posted:

The stuff written by people who aren't Matt ranges from "Passable to Actually good(or is at least giving me ideas for my next session's villain in a way that doens't leave me feeling disgusting inside)", my only real question is after everything that went down with Matt why didn't they go through the entirety of this book with a fine tooth comb, hydrochloric acid, and a roto rooter.

I'm not sure you can cure a snakebite just by covering it up and shooing the snake out the door.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Kurieg posted:

It's been a week you guys, do octagons tessellate yet?

WARNING: This grid may have TOO MANY SIDES for users of Euclidean geometry! Proceed with CAUTION

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Tibalt posted:

I'm enjoying these write ups by the way. Although for a low magic setting, they aren't waiting on having you fight a demon prince in a floating ice castle.

The Northlands is peculiar in this sense. The closest analogy that I can think of is Dragonlance where the Player Characters due to their destiny/occupation/luck just happen to stumble onto the wonders of the world that 99% of the population never sees or interacts with in their lives.

Additionally the adventures are a bit of a roller coaster in the sliding scale of Supernatural Wonder to Game of Throwns grittiness, although the AP has a relatively linear increase in level-based challenges regardless of the magical commonality at the time. Think of Homer's Odyssey: after escaping the clutches of a witch, evading the sirens, and not getting swallowed by the sea monsters Scylla and Caribdus, Odysseus' final fight is killing all those suitors who want to bone his wife. Fortunately the Northlands has a more epic ending than this.

The adventure after this, NS1, has mostly nonspellcasting human opponents and some mundane (yet vicious) arctic animals and sea creatures. Then in NS3 you're tracking down the half-divine daughters of a Norn to lift an undead viking's death curse. In NS4 you're rounding up village militias to wage war against a rural beast cult comprised of humans and monsters, then in NS6 you're searching for the leaves of a mythical tree beyond the plane of Midgard to save a city from a divinely-inspired plague. NS8 is rather egregious in that it's for levels 12 to 14 where a lot of Pathfinder players can fly and turn invisible for hours, teleport, and eat trolls for breakfast but the main crux of the adventure is hunting down some human assholes who burned down a hall with people inside...and they don't even have a single spellcaster among them! And when NS9 picks up the PCs have to defend the besieged Hall of the Hearthstone from flying dragons among other monsters.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 07:22 on Apr 1, 2018

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



JackMann posted:

Literally; he has art for each king, but they're all the same picture with different facial hair drawn on.
If it was in a slightly less terrible system, I'd expect this to be a hint that something weird is going on with the planet. :psyduck:

JackMann posted:

All-female, yes, though he doesn't mention anything about abducting men to breed. The two races of catgirls are not explicitly all-female, but he never really mentions the males either.
Wait, two races of catgirls? I only saw one in the race list you gave.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib

Zereth posted:

Wait, two races of catgirls? I only saw one in the race list you gave.

JackMann posted:

Next we jump to race. There are Skynight races and Union of Trade races. The skynight races are human, duwaren (dwarves), hwarruks (orcs), minimen (halflings), felinarens (catgirls), ghabnar (goblins) and kęblar (elves). The Union of Trade races are human (with the entire statblock copied and pasted from thirteen pages back), milgrons (klingons), trabnar (vulcans if vulcans were lizardmen), tygons (different catgirls), muktak (wookies, down to not speaking common), sybe (borg), and trikinians (green-skinned amazon women with three... assets).

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!

Kurieg posted:

Is a man not entitled to the game of his choice?
No says the wizard in Seattle, he must play d20.
No says the wolf in Georgia, he must roleplay dark urban fantasy.
No says the maniac in Michigan, he must play my universal system.
But I chose a different path, I chose.
Eldoru.
(Drowns because he did not randomly gain the ability to swim at birth)

I have literally not been able to stop laughing. Please send help.

How the hell have I not heard about Eldooru before?

MonsieurChoc posted:

I can't adequately explain how much I love the "9.99$" sticker on the cover.

Edit: Much like I kept the 6$ price tag on my copy of Continuum, the jewel of my gaming collection.

Don't miss the 50cent sticker right next to it, which is clearly the point where the store owner went "please get this loving cursed item off my property."

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011
Those of you following the 3e posts, don't worry, I've not forgotten them; I just seem to have some technical issues posting a long (30k characters or so) post to finish off the PHB...

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib

Ballads of Eldoru, by Oscar Merlyn Moffett

Chapter 3


Now we get to skills. Like I said, there's a bunch of them. They're all organized under one of the eight non-Kalah ability scores.

Like I said earlier, you can only attempt a skill if you're trained in it. A human noble can have as many as 15 skills. Given that there are over two hundred, there are going to be some notable gaps in your character's abilities. I stole this list from an old yahoo group for the game a few years ago. The actual book has them listed by things like "Healthfulness," "Sociability," and "Consideration," with the ability scores buried in the skill descriptions. I won't subject you to that because I care about your well-being and want you to be happy.

Strength
Bend Bars
Climbing (Constructed surfaces)
Climbing (Natural surfaces)
Combat (Axes [not including poleaxes])
Combat (Beaks, Claws, Talons and Jaws)
Combat (Clubs)
Combat (Exotic Swords)
Combat (Greatswords)
Combat (Knives)
Combat (Maces)
Combat (Polearms)
Combat (Rapiers)
Combat (Spears)
Combat (Staves)
Combat (Swords)
Combat (Whips)
Swimming (Freshwater)
Swimming (Saltwater)


Toughness
Resist Acid
Resist Alcohol
Resist Disease
Resist Fire
Resist Frost
Resist Hangovers
Resist Lightning
Resist Necromancy
Resist Paralysis
Resist Physical Magic
Resist Poison
Resist Transmutation
Take Wounds
Use Shields

Dexterity
Climb Rope
Combat (Beam Weaponry)
Combat (Blowguns)
Combat (Crossbows)
Combat (Ion Blasters)
Combat (Lasers)
Combat (Lonbgows)
Combat (Rayguns)
Combat (Shortbows)
Combat (Slings)
Combat (Thrown Weapons)
Disarm Traps
Dodge
Initiative
Pick Lock
Pickpocket

Coordination
Balance
Contact Juggling
Juggling
Legerdemain
Moving
Running
Throwing

Appearance
Bluffing
Charm
Debate
Diplomacy
Disguise Other
Disguise Self
Incitement
Intimidate
Lying
Misdirection
Perform (Brass Instruments)
Perform (Dance)
Perform (Drama)
Perform (Jokes)
Perform (Keyboard Instruments)
Perform (Oration)
Perform (Percussion Instruments)
Perform (Singing)
Perform (Stringed Instruments)
Perform (Woodwinds)
Public Speaking
Seduction (Opposite Sex)
Seduction (Same Sex)
Small Talk
Threatening

Intelligence
Arcane Knowledge (Artifacts)
Arcane Knowledge (Dragons)
Arcane Knowledge (Godly Magic)
Arcane Knowledge (Hedge Magic)
Arcane Knowledge (Magic Armor)
Arcane Knowledge (Magic Blades)
Arcane Knowledge (Relics)
Arcane Knowledge (Staves)
Arcane Knowledge (Unnatural Beasts)
Arcane Knowledge (Wands)
Arcane Knowledge (Wizard Magic)
Common Knowledge (Aarilon)
Common Knowledge (Absonor)
Common Knolwedge (Auzuur)
(Skipping forty-eight other Common Knowledges...)
Common Knowledge (Xerphon Station)
Common Knowledge (Xul)
Common Knowledge (Zinder)
Racial Knowledge (Duwaren)
Racial Knowledge (Felinarens)
Racial Knowledge (Ghabnar)
Racial Knowledge (Humans)
Racial Knowledge (Hwarruks)
Racial Knowledge (Kęblar)
Racial Knowledge (Milgons)
Racial Knowledge (Minimen)
Racial Knowledge (Muktak)
Racial Knowledge (Sybe)
Racial Knowledge (Trabnar)
Racial Knowledge (Trikinians)
Racial Knowledge (Tygons)
Science (Anthropology)
Science (Astrology)
Science (Astrophysics)
Science (Biology)
Science (Ecology)
Science (Engineering)
Science (Geology)
Science (History)
Science (Paleontology)
Science (Physics)
Science (Quantum Mechanics)
Science (Volcanology)
Science (Xenobiology)

Wisdom
Discern Motives
Empathize
Listen
Pray
Read Lips
Resist Mental Magic
Resist Seduction
Scry
Smell
Spot
Taste
Touch
Understand

Wits
Craft (Anti-gravity generators)
Craft (Blacksmithing)
Craft (Boat)
Craft (Bookmaking)
Craft (Bows)
Craft (Carpentry)
Craft (Circuitry)
Craft (Common Clothes)
Craft (Computers)
Craft (Coppersmithing)
Craft (Fine Art)
Craft (Finery)
Craft (Fletching)
Craft (Glasswork)
Craft (Goldsmithing)
Craft (Engines)
Craft (Iron Armor)
Craft (Ironmongering)
Craft (Iron Weapons)
Craft (Leather Armor)
Craft (Leatherworking)
Craft (Locksmithing)
Craft (Pottery)
Craft (Silversmithing)
Craft (Spacecraft)
Craft (Steel Weapons)
Craft (Stonework)
Craft (Land Vehicles)
Craft (Weaving)
Craft (Wiring)
Innuendo
Profession (Apothecary)
Profession (Architect)
Profession (Baker)
Profession (Butcher)
Profession (Clerk)
Profession (Cook)
Profession (Courtesan)
Profession (Driver)
Profession (Engineer)
Profession (Farmer)
Profession (Fisherman)
Profession (Gambler)
Profession (Gardener)
Profession (Lawyer)
Profession (Merchant)
Profession (Midwife)
Profession (Miller)
Profession (Miner)
Profession (Ne'er-do-well)
Profession (Publican)
Profession (Sailor)
Profession (Scribe)
Profession (Shepherd)
Profession (Soldier)
Profession (Stable Boy)
Profession (Tanner)
Profession (Woodsman)
Trapfinding

Being trained in a skill gives a +2 to the roll (which is a problem, we'll see next chapter). You can increase this bonus by selecting the skill again as you level up, or you can pick more skills. You can pick one skill each level (and advancement goes up to twenty-five, with five tiers, making the maximum possible skills for a character forty).

Now, the first problem is that there are way too many goddamned skills. And keep in mind you only start with fifteen, maybe fewer. These are picked from your class list (except for the two random skills humans get), which have some... interesting gaps. No one, for example, has Spot as a skill. Merchants don't have access to Profession (Merchant), which is explicitly used for buying and selling goods. Only the Tourist has access to Small Talk.

There is no skill for stealth, though the sample adventure goes through a number of sections where the party is assumed to sneak around. Presumably, it would be under dexterity or coordination (though I don't think Moffett even understood the difference between the two), but how does it run? Opposed against spot or listen? Or both? It is a mystery.

There are a crap ton of craft skills, but there's no actual system for how they work. How long does it take to craft something? How much do you pay in materials? Who knows? But thank god we have craft (weaving) in case we need a basket.

Rolls for Seduction (Same Sex) subtract three from the roll. I'm pretty sure Moffett intended to make it harder than Seduction (Opposite Sex), but because it's a roll-under system, that means it's actually easier for gay people to pick up dates than straight people. He makes the same mistake pretty near constantly.

And like I mentioned earlier, if you don't have a skill, you can't attempt it. If you don't have the climb skill, you can't go up a ladder. If you don't have lying, you're incapable of telling a falsehood (technically, I guess you can, but you'll always get caught). Since no class has access to the spot skill, no one is able to see what's in front of them.

In summary, the skills are a goddamned mess. Next, we learn that being a jerk is worth pretty much all the points.

That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012

nah


I am in love with "Skill: Understand", particularly its presence in this game.

I am unreasonably angry that all the Perform instrument-playing skills are "X instruments" except woodwinds.

This game has a skill list that appears comparable in raw bulk to Rolemaster's, but even Rolemaster doesn't do poo poo like "Climb: Natural surfaces" vs "Climb: Constructed surfaces" vs "Climb Rope". (Technically you could do this if you wanted to in RM, but it's a dumb optional rule with voluntary buy-in and GM approval required, buried in a supplement where they threw absolutely everything at expanding the skill system.)

Rolemaster seems to do a lot of what this guy wanted, but better and published decades before.

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 09:52 on Apr 1, 2018

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



Well I didn't say they weren't there, just that I didn't see them. Thanks.

also that's a lot of skills :prepop:

swimming split up into freshwater and saltwater??

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

JackMann posted:

Rolls for Seduction (Same Sex) subtract three from the roll. I'm pretty sure Moffett intended to make it harder than Seduction (Opposite Sex), but because it's a roll-under system, that means it's actually easier for gay people to pick up dates than straight people. He makes the same mistake pretty near constantly.

he could be homophobic and adjusting for a supposed promiscuity

That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012

nah


Kurieg posted:

So yeah, tempters.

The book is quick to point out that they feed off of transgression, and they enable that transgression. But they don't trick. Fooling someone who keeps halal into eating pork isn't a transgression, it's just being a jerk. They prefer religious victims but the principles they force people to violate must be important to their sense of self. So deacons rather than Christmas/Easter Catholics.

Oh and the lessons they teach are "The truth is in the middle."


Okay, example characters are someone who tests the faithful regardless of their faith(They were empowered by A god, they're not sure who, so why not all of them), someone who runs a Multi Level Marketing scam(?), someone who infiltrates cults and deprograms the faithful, a selkie who demands increasingly high prices for sex, a scene kid who spreads false gossip, a fixer who will do anything so long as you pay his price of debasement, and..uhh..

I wanted to circle back around to this now that I've gotten a chance to mull it over.

What the gently caress is this horseshit? "They don't trick people into transgressions" but then half the example characters' whole gimmick is explicitly trickery. I could kiiiind of maybe possibly conceive of some pyramid scammer as doing moral loop-de-loops to not """trick""" rubes into buying the chance to offload a dozen lovely vacuums. But that false gossip guy? How the neon gently caress is his schtick not fooling people into…well, whatever he thinks they'll do after hearing his lies?

In summary: why beast

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

JackMann posted:

Seduction (Opposite Sex)
Seduction (Same Sex)

PAGING SYSTEM MASTERY

SYSTEM MASTERY PLEASE PICK UP THE WHITE COURTESY PHONE

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


Please tell me that he wrote in langth about the way human sexuality works, I can't get enough of that poo poo.:allears:

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




gradenko_2000 posted:

PAGING SYSTEM MASTERY

SYSTEM MASTERY PLEASE PICK UP THE WHITE COURTESY PHONE

I admit that was the first thing I thought of as well when I saw that.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case


god drat eldoru whips rear end, I love everything from the WARNING sticker to the octagon story to the identical kings.

DAD LOST MY IPOD fucked around with this message at 14:00 on Apr 1, 2018

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


That game reads like a bitter concentrate of grog.txt as read by The most unprepared of GMs.

I wish we all had a BadWrongFunsters gang tag.
Could I contribute to Lowtax's neck fund to make this happen?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

rumble in the bunghole posted:

he could be homophobic and adjusting for a supposed promiscuity

Homophobic or incompetent or both, take your pick.

Always gotta love game makers who are bewildered when would-be players ask "So what are you supposed to do in this game?" Not the first time we've run into a game where this happened in these threads.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Scion: Hero
I Wonder If The Theoi Can Travel To Mars

Theoi realms are pretty closely tied to geographic features. Pretty much any mounta can in theory lead to Olympus, and any cave can, in theory, reach the Underworld. Many Aegean islands also have Terra Incognita counterparts, all of which are surrounded by the Titan River Okeanos. Mount Olympus, of course, is home to most of the Theoi and is largely patterned on the actual physical Mount Olympus, but with palaces set in its many forges, home to the gods. They party and live and oversee prayers and the receipt of sacrifices, handed out by Hestia. They also spend a lot of time sniping at each other, because that's what the Theoi do as a default activity. The Agora of the Gods, the Pantheon, sits at the peak of Olympus, a palace all can use but none own. It is home to the hearth of the gods and their thrones, and is the general home of divine arguments, humiliations and councils of war. Hephaestus' Forge is another major area of Olympus, an immense metalworking complex that lights the entire mountain at night.

The Underworld is the Kingdom of Hades. The fastest way to get there is to die, of course, but once you do, there's not a lot of ways out, as Kerberos, the three-headed dog, guards the gates and allows no passage. Many caves lead in, most notably the one that Orpheus used so long ago, and sailors speak of the River Okeanos being able to reach it. It's a dark place, and most of the shades are just echoes of their former selves, regaining vigor only with a gift of blood. Five rivers cross the Underworld, most famously the Styx, which serves as the boundary. Any who drink of it lose their voice for nine years. The other four are Phlegethon, the river of flame, Cocytus, the river of lamentation, Acheron, where those two mix and purge souls of evil, and Lethe, the river of oblivion, which destroys the memories of any who drink of it. The Underworld is also home to Elysium, where the virtuous dead dwell as reward for their merit or heroism in life. Scions often end up there, if they die. It's a lot nicer than most of the Underworld, a place of ease, but even those that live there would prefer to be alive. Some say that those who go to Elysium may choose to be reborn, and if they live three virtuous lives in a row, they can go to the Isles of the Blessed, but few have ever managed that particular trick.

Tartarus is not the Underworld. It is said that an anvil dropped from Olympus would fall nine days before striking the world, and it would have to fall another nine days from the Underworld to reach Tartarus. It is guarded by the three Hundred-Handed, Briareos, Kottos and Gyges, who oversee the gates in the name of Zeus. Only they have the power to keep the Titans trapped inside. However, it is not only the Titans that are imprisoned. Tartarus has served as a prison for some gods as well, and even particularly wicked mortal souls. Sisyphus is here, still trying to push that boulder up the hill, as is Tantalus, mad with hunger and thirst yet unable to reach food and water.

Delphi is a fairly notable location as well. When Apollo slew Python, the serpent's body fell into the chasm at Delphi, with fumes rising from the body. The Pythia, the local priestess who is always chosen from the local population, inhales these fumes to enter a trance and allow Apollo to speak through her ravings, which the other priestesses would interpret. The Oracle at Delphi is renowned for accuracy, and the TErra Incognita of Delphi has had an unbrken line of priestesses since ancient times, their prophecies still completely inerrant if properly interpreted.

The Theoi and their Titans are family, and so their relationship is complicated. There isn't really a clear line between god, Titan and titanspawn, and some Titans have acted more like gods or Primordials, while some gods resemble Titans. Some roam free and unbound, but all know that the gods could change that if they pleased. Zeus has had kids with several Titans, and those kids are mostly gods now. Cronus lies imprisoned in Tartarus, and he is very angry over it. He ruled in a golden age and he believes he will again, if he can but escape and get his bloody vengeance upon the Theoi. His Purview is Fertility, and his Virtues are Rapacity and Dominance. Phoebe is the mother of Leto, who bore Apollo and Artemis. She was the first and greatest of oracles, whose memory of events to come was a potent weapon for the Titans against the gods, but even her foresight could not match Zeus' plans. She still grants her visions of the future to some of the Titans, but even she cannot foresee her own future. Her Purview is Fortune, and her Virtues are Foresight and Dominance. No, Foresight is not actually a Virtue. Rhea is the mother of Zeus and five other gods. Hers was the will that broke the Titans' rule, freeing Zeus and his siblings. She doesn't regret it. Like Demeter, she nearly destroyed the world for the sake of her children. Her Purview is Earth, and her Virtues are Patience and Endurance, neither of which are Virtues. Typhon is halfway between a Titan and a weakened Primordial, a great beast that nearly destroyed the Theoi by itself. Typhon has a hundred snake heads emerging from its shoulders, makes every sound there is, and calls forth a firestorm that destroys all it touches. Even broken and burned by thunderbolts, Typhon's flames still rise from the earth, melting stone and making volcanos. Its Purview is Fire, and its Virtues are Destruction and Fecundity.

The primary faith of the Theoi is called the Hellenismos. In ancient times, they were worshipped in hundreds of different ways that differed by city. In Athens, Poseidon and Athena competed for worship, and they chose Athena's olive grove over Poseidon's salty spring. The city is named for her as a result, and her Incarnations can often be found there. The Spartans called on Artemis at the start of any war, and at Ortheia, where the youth allowed themselves to be flogged in her name. Sacrifice of animals was common, with their bones and fat burned for the gods and their meat cooked for the community. Typically, in the modern era, many Greeks still keep shrines to the Theoi, but there are few full temples. However, the Dionysian Mysteries and the Eleusinian Mysteries remain extremely popular. The Cult of Dionysus is an ecstatic faith that uses drugs and alcohol. The initiated know that this is to seek a higher consciousness in the loss of self-control. Self-flagellation and ecstatic sex are not uncommon, and a lot of their orgies have little enough to do with seeking the god. Rome tried to eradicate the cult, but only drove it undergrand. It remains to this day, popping up in many places almost overnight, and vanishing quickly when persecuted for its excess. The Eleusinian Mysteries are a different kind of cult. They began as an agricultural faith, and they are centered on the story of Hades, Demeter and Persephone, particularly in reverence of Demeter and Persephone (whom they know as Kore, the Maiden). While the story is well known outside the cult, the inner Mysteries have been kept secret for centuries. It is said that they promise life after death, free of the Underworld's suffering, but only the hierophants know for sure. They have millions of worshippers across the world, but they concentrate mostly in Greece or areas with heavy Greek populations. There are smaller temples in these enclaves, like the Temple of Astorian Demeter in Queens, but the temple site at Eleusis is home to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year.

Thoi Birthrights can include Creatures such as the Kerberoi, the divine Scions of Kerberos, whom Persephone will sometimes adopt out to worthy homes, though it is advised to new owners that one of the heads is usually bad-tempered, or Pegasi, the foals of Bellerophon's steed, which can fly as well as their parent...though catching and taming one is not easy. Amazon tribes often join up with Theoi scions as followers, especially if they get a chance to fight, but rarely follow male Scions unless they can prove themselves worthy. Centaurs are known to be rowdy, but they are endlessly loyal once you've earned their faith. They don't carry riders, ever. Athena herself can serve as a Guide, as the patron of heroes, but she is also known for being a bit of a micromanager and manipulator. Satyrs make a decent guide for anyone that appreciates a good party and some chaos, for Dionysus grants them wisdom as well as madness. Relics of the Theoi include the Golden Fleece 2000, a jacket lined with the wool of the ram of Colchis, which marks its wearer as favored by the gods, the Helmet of Shadow, made by the Cyclopes for Hades, who loans it out to those who need to be invisible, the Icarian Wings, a refinement of the original Daedalan design by Hephaestus, which no longer melt at the touch of seafoam or sunlight, and the Thunderbolts, lesser versions of Zeus' own weapons, which may be cast into the clouds for safekeeping when not in use and which always return to hand.

Theoi Scions are, if not officially, always at least unofficial leaders in their communities. Many tend to know of their parentage before their Visitation, as the Theoi are quite tight knit, and some are even raised by avatars of their divine parents. The Titans are rattling their cages more now than ever, and the Theoi are not taking it lightly. The Cyclopes are busy making weapons, and Hephaestus has set his clockwork servants to watch for any signs of Titanic activity. One of their big unstated problems is that the Theoi know most other pantheons don't like them much. But when the family is threatened, they come together and watch each other's backs, regardless of their own rivalries. The Netjer are probably their closest allies, as they offered hospitality for the Theoi while Typhon ravaged Greece. However, the Theoi are eager for the chance to turn the tables on the Netjer, less because they want to repay the debt and more because they want to be the ones lording it over the Netjer for millenia. Hermes and Thoth are pretty good friends, if also rivals, though. Alexander's conquest spread the Theoi influence widely, as did Rome...and so the Deva, Tuatha and Aesir remember the Theoi by the mortals that came to conquer. The Devas have been exceptionally patronizing ever since their people halted Alexander's advance. Others still hold grudges.

The great weakness of the Theoi is their internal rivalries. They work well together against external threats, but even then, their immense egos can get in the way. A canny foe can exploit the divisions and hatreds within the family, turning them against each other...but only if they were very careful to not reveal their own actions in the matter. A trick revealed would cost them greatly, as the entire family would band together to crush the interloper.

The Virtues of the Theoi are Egotism and Kinship. They are a literal family, a lying, backstabbing family. They all have their own desires, but they can never leave. Family is family. Egotism drives them to greatness, but also to do terrible things to fulfill their own desires. Hubris is the nature of gods, and the Theoi are some of the pettiest and most selfish beings in existence, thanks to the immense egos that drive them. However, they are also family, and bound by the laws of family. While they have a knack for abusing each other and fighting, they also love each other. (Sometimes this love is balanced by hatred; this is the nature of the Theoi.) They will never abandon family. They've been together, despite everything, for millenia. The bonds of family are strong, and the Theoi know: sometimes, you have to choose them over your own desires, as they will choose you, when push comes to shove. Just...don't trust them when you don't need them desperately. The gods are patriarchs and matriarchs, and Scions of the Theoi grow up as part of this vast familial web. Some leave to join other pantheons or do things so unforgivable that even the Theoi won't accept them...but if they do, they earn the entire family's hatred. Family matters, just as much as your own desires do.

The signature Purview of the Theoi is Metamorphosis. The Theoi, mopre than any other gods, are masters of shapeshifting, both themselves and others. Many of their myths involve disguises or transformations. While their Scions are not quite so fluid in form, they are much moreso than most mortals, and can both change their shape and the shapes of others. Not that this great power frees them from the petty nature of the gods. The Theoi are some of the most human of gods, intervening in mortal affairs more than many others but also being exceptionally petty and unwilling to put up with prayers that they find waste their time. Their Scions can invoke them far more easily...but the Theoi are rarely good parents and can be quite moody and unpredictable, even so.

Next time: The Tuatha de Danann

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megane
Jun 20, 2008



I'm trained in Science(Paleontology) and Craft(Anti-gravity generators), but sadly not in Resist Hangovers or Empathize.

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