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By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




In my opinion the only worthwhile update that Paranoia got over the years was the splitting of gameplay styles by seriousness.
And arguably that 'Play as a high programmer' thing.

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gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy


Pathfinder Unchained

Automatic Bonus Progression

D&D 3e, and by extension Pathfinder, has a certain "gear treadmill" of bonuses that you're supposed to get from magic items in order to scale properly with how the monsters/NPCs develop. In no particular order, these are:

- a resistance bonus to saving throws, starting at +1 and capping out at +5
- an enhancement bonus to weapons, starting at +1 and capping out at +5*
- an enhancement bonus to armor, starting at +1 and capping out at +5*
- a deflection bonus to AC, starting at +1 and capping out at +5
- a natural bonus to AC, starting at +1 and capping out at +5
- enhancement bonuses to ability scores, which is generally goes as high as +6 to +12 to a single stat, and then smaller amounts to every other stat

* weapon and armor enhancement bonuses go up to +10, but half of that is "spent" on special item abilities, and only the actual numerical amount is limited to +5

These "Big Six" items were critical to running the game "as intended", and the cost of the acquiring them was tightly tuned against the expected "wealth-by-level" of characters, and by extension the rates of randomly dropped loot, but because it was never (to my knowledge) explicitly revealed that things were supposed to work this way, there was no shortage of people who ran games with a "low magic" setting where they weren't all available, and then the game became janky at higher levels as a result. And that's to say nothing of people who deliberately held back their players from acquiring such items because they thought it would make them "too powerful" or whatnot.

No discussion of an item treadmill would be complete without making mention that D&D 4th Edition also used a similar model, but in that case, later books would introduce an "Inherent Bonuses" system that would award these numerical bonuses at certain character levels. They would let you DMs "low magic" campaigns (especially within the Dark Sun setting) where the players didn't need to have so many magical items in the narrative, and even in regular games DMs could still use it so that they couldn't "go wrong" with how they were awarding loot.

And so we get to Pathfinder Unchained, and these Automatic Bonus Progression rules are intended to do the same thing: simply let the players earn their Big Six bonuses without having to derive them from items.



As you can see, all the Big Six bonuses are here:

- resistance +1 at level 3, getting to +5 by level 14
- enhancement bonus +1 to weapons at level 4, getting to +5 by level 17
- enhancement bonus +1 to armor at level 4, getting to +5 by level 17
- deflection +1 at level 5, getting to +5 by level 18
- toughening (natural armor) +1 at level 8, getting to +5 by level 18
- mental ability score bonus at level 6, and physical ability score bonus at level 7

The table extends through to level 22*, but starting at level 19 and higher, players instead earn "Legendary Gifts" which allow them some customization on getting additional enhancement bonuses on their weapons and armor, or for more ability score bonuses, or for a +5 shield, and so on.

This rule has its heart in the right place, but the devil is in the details. The main issue is that the order of the bonuses tends to be rather biased towards spellcasters (see mental stats getting boosted first), and also because the rules suggest cutting the wealth-by-level of players in half to account for all the bonuses that they're getting "for free".

As a martial class, not only would you be getting your bonuses later than the spellcasters do, but the reduction in wealth means that you're a lot more constrained in customizing yourself for the items that you do need. There's a sidebar that eliminates the extra cost of paying for the enhancement bonus prerequisites for item abilities (so that you don't need to "pay" for a +1 sword to attach the Flaming property to, if you already have a +1 sword as an inherent bonus), but that still means having to make some compromises.

If you're playing with "old hands" at Pathfinder that know their way around the system, it's almost always better to run the game as-is, ensure that they're getting the proper wealth-by-level (or more), and simply let them but the items that they need.

If you/your players aren't that into the game, or you don't want to dive into shopping lists, or you as the DM want to have a "back-up" in case you mess up the wealth-by-level / loot drops, it can be useful to still use these rules, but with an eye towards maintaining normal wealth-by-level anyway, and/or perhaps rejiggering the order of bonuses to be more accommodating to players.

I personally use my own version of Inherent Bonuses as I have, and continue, to run games of 3e, and while Unchained's implementation is flawed, the effort into making these explicit and codified is appreciated.


* in games where you don't want the players to have magical items at all, you're supposed to treat everyone as being two levels higher (i.e. they get resistance +1 at character level 1), which is why the table is extended up to level "22"

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Yeah, playing RIFTS™ for several years the group I ran for/with never set foot in the 'Burbs. Or the Coalition proper, really. The reason is everybody was playing the usual RIFTS™-style freak show PC and none of us wanted to leave our cool stuff behind or hide ourselves to the degree necessary. "I'm playing a ten foot tall Rahu-Man Cyber-Knight! I'll hunch over and wear a cloak."

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Dawgstar posted:

Yeah, playing RIFTS™ for several years the group I ran for/with never set foot in the 'Burbs. Or the Coalition proper, really. The reason is everybody was playing the usual RIFTS™-style freak show PC and none of us wanted to leave our cool stuff behind or hide ourselves to the degree necessary. "I'm playing a ten foot tall Rahu-Man Cyber-Knight! I'll hunch over and wear a cloak."

Our group went in there a grand total of once for a single session and left guns and magic/psionic powers blazing at coalition troops once our goals were done. But these were PCs who were on the CS's most wanted list and just liked screwing with/messing them up in general, because screw the bastards.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:


Pathfinder Unchained

Esoteric Material Components


I feel like players, not being complete idiots, would recognize the importance of wizard spells, readjust loot distribution accordingly, and this would wind up just funneling extra money to the wizard, acting not as a check on the caster, but as a relatively minor net nerf to everyone's gear progression.

Dawgstar posted:

Yeah, playing RIFTS™ for several years the group I ran for/with never set foot in the 'Burbs. Or the Coalition proper, really. The reason is everybody was playing the usual RIFTS™-style freak show PC and none of us wanted to leave our cool stuff behind or hide ourselves to the degree necessary. "I'm playing a ten foot tall Rahu-Man Cyber-Knight! I'll hunch over and wear a cloak."

It didn't help that the average description of any given Coalition force was usually "15 perfect mega-men with unerring abilities to detect magic and psionics, better guns than you, and a radio with which they can summon a thousand armies immediately." It was always easier to just avoid CS territory than to make the DM wrangle with KS's bullshit number game.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




The Rifts setting sounds really fun to play in with a sane system, but I expect it would be easier to something like Rifts in another system than to actually fix Rifts.

As opposed to, say, Nightbane, where CJ Carella's good work just needs to be extracted from the claws of the Palladium system with minimal tearing.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Halloween Jack posted:

The Rifts setting sounds really fun to play in with a sane system, but I expect it would be easier to something like Rifts in another system than to actually fix Rifts.

As opposed to, say, Nightbane, where CJ Carella's good work just needs to be extracted from the claws of the Palladium system with minimal tearing.

Savage Rifts exists and does a noble attempt at mostly working, although it gets weird at the top end of the scale. But yeah... the setting just needs a freaking redaction of the highest order of certain elements and mood to make it work as well. (I like my GM for it thankfully enough in that regard, but boy, jeez.)

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





gourdcaptain posted:

Savage Rifts exists and does a noble attempt at mostly working, although it gets weird at the top end of the scale. But yeah... the setting just needs a freaking redaction of the highest order of certain elements and mood to make it work as well. (I like my GM for it thankfully enough in that regard, but boy, jeez.)

I own SW Rifts but I've never run it. It... looks good? I mean, if you feel like a starting SW character is kinda unimpressive you'll be swimming in Edges and such at the end. It feels like even playing a stock Human Operator maybe scales okay with the Juicers and whatnots running around because you'll probably super useful at the skill side of the equation. And then of course it's up to the GM to make a skill side of the equation, but it looks good.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Rogue Trader

They're coming out of the God-Emperor damned walls!

Abruptly, this will be the second to last update as the attached adventure isn't worth covering, unlike in DH.

The people you can run into in the Expanse are the expected (Eldar, Orks, Chaos Pirates) and then the regional (Rak'Gol, Stryxis, Yu'Vath, none of whom come up outside the RPGs). Orks are one of the most prominent and constant menaces in the region. The poor access for naval patrols means that organized forces for hunting orks are hard to come by and the Freebootas are a severe danger to the fledgling colonies and weak Rogue Trader 'fleets' (Let's be fair: The average RT is lucky if they own the equivalent of a light Navy Patrol, let alone an actual task force or battlefleet) that dot the region. As per usual with Orks, they're less dangerous because they're as busy fighting each other as they are anyone else, but one day a big enough Warboss will rise and get them all together and on that day look out because that's the only actual Ork plot in any Warhammer fiction ever. Other than that, the Orks are mostly predictable and their usual selves, out on a quest for loot (Not because they value the loot, but because if the loot is valuable it can be used as bait for better fights) and fancy hats as they go about and actually have fun in Warhammer 40k. When xeno PCs are introduced in another book, you can play as an Ork who has set out among the humies in search of shinier hats and good fights.

The Eldar are unusual because until the expansion books drop a Craftworld in the region doing usual mysterious craftworld things, the Eldar presence in Koronus is entirely Dark Eldar and Corsairs. Corsairs are Eldar who have fled the careful, mono-mania-and-Slaanesh-restraining 'Path' system of their Craftworld, whereby someone focuses on a single job or art or craft until they have mastered it then leaves it before they get too attached to it, and have instead decided it would be totally rad to go rock out and be swashbuckling space pirates. Which, fair enough, that does sound more exciting than having to get just up to the edge of becoming such a fantastic pastry chef that it consumes your soul, then switching to go become a librarian and never looking at a cupcake again. They're dicks, though, with relatively little regard for anyone else as they swan about the galaxy and get up to antics because they feel like it. The Dark Eldar stand out for probably trying too hard even for Warhammer 40k, being sex-murder-torture elves who constantly seek to inflict horrible suffering on others to feed to Slaanesh in place of their own souls. They are also pirates, but spikier ones who like to dress in lots of blades and black armor and run around cackling about how 'pain is like wine' and other lame as hell bullshit. So you have dickish elf pirates and 13 year old grindhouse splatterpunk elf pirates, who both go around doing what they want without much rhyme or reason because ~mysterious Eldar~. We're not getting to the books but for some insane reason, when they introduce Eldar PCs they're *all Dark Eldar* with a detailed PAIN TOKEN subsystem and rules for torturing crew to death for power. They are so excited about this that they get multiple classes, unlike other alien PCs. This is *baffling*.

I say all this as someone who actually kind of likes the concept of the Eldar, but holy poo poo does 40k never do anything interesting with them.

The Rak'Gol are new. They don't show up anywhere else and they're big, tall, four-legged (and often four-armed) lizard-insect monstermen with primitive technology and a hard-on for evil cybernetics. They *may* be the abandoned, uplifted servitors of a dead alien race of warp worshipers or something but what you need to know is that despite the crudity of their technology (they fly around on nuclear impulse drives and use massive blocks of heavy, conventional autocannons and radiation weaponry) the average Rak'Gol is as tough as a Space Marine and hates you. The average Rak'Gol is also capable of climbing on walls and ceilings, their ships are irradiated hellholes, they have lots of implanted cybernetic armor and mono-blades, some of them wield giant radiation axes, and they all carry .50 caliber machine guns to boot. They even get their own unique navy in the Battlefleet Calixis book, built around assault-ship transports and surprisingly fast but un-maneuverable ships with rapid firing, brutal banks of individually weak guns. The biggest mystery about the Rak'Gol is how the hell they do FTL: They don't seem to have psykers despite *maybe* worshiping the Warp, and they definitely navigate it somehow. They exist to show up and menace your PCs in ships that the PCs can definitely beat, and to be a deeper 'where the hell are these coming from and why' mystery for PCs to solve; no actual definitive answer is given.

The Disciples of Thule are just AdMech explorators. They're out in the Expanse looking for technology. They'll fight you if you try to get to archeotech treasures before they do. Even in the book, they barely merit a full paragraph and it's just a longer version of what I just said.

The Yu'Vath are a central mystery/problem for the setting. They were an alien race of warp-worshipers who enslaved human worlds with their powerful sorcery, to say nothing of other minor xeno species in this region and what would become the Calixis sector. They get fleshed out a little more elsewhere, but all we get here is that Drusus of Calixis is famous primarily because he exterminated the Yu'Vath (somehow) and that what they did was so awful that Imperial chroniclers burned every record of what they were up to and why. There isn't even a good description of the creatures, nor do any pictures survive. What's left behind is massive, pulsing stone-and-crystal cyclopean elder god ruins full of strange, valuable warp treasures. They're basically a big blank sign saying 'EVIL ELDER GOD poo poo HAPPENED HERE, DO AS YOU WISH'.

The Stryxis look like horror-ewoks and are a race of wandering stellar nomads. They are hoarders and traders, eager to deal mostly-peacefully with humans from their giant space-hulk like caravans of shattered ship hulls. Their caravans are mostly made up of slaves, vat-grown biological constructs, mercenaries, and hirelings rather than actual Styrxis, and if you can't defend yourself the deal they offer you is likely 'Work for Stryxis, yes?' with an implied 'or die'. They're your usual tricky space nomads who like to steal, but thankfully without any attempt to make them space roma or something; they're just hosed up weirdo genetic engineer ewoks who build soul lasers. Oh yeah, they also have soul lasers.

Naturally we've got Chaos Pirates all over the place, but they're your usual warbands of wandering murderers and aren't anything unusual or interesting, either. You might be noticing a theme: The larger 40k forces in Koronus tend to be sort of dull.

There's also the Halo Artifacts, which are weird evil artifacts that grant great power but are also going to destroy you because it's Warhammer and any ancient artifact that isn't covered in fascist iconography is more chaos/evil sorcery. However, Calixians, being immensely stupid people, will pay immense sums for these and so Rogue Traders, being the kind of people who enable immensely stupid people when there are immense sums on the line, keep bringing the drat things back so that yet another noble can rejoice in being immortal for all of five minutes before he grows a mantis head and eats his children or whatever nonsense these things are going to cause this week.

You've also got kroot in the region! They actually come through the Jericho Warp Gate, traveling into this region from Tau country on the other side of the galaxy in search of work and unique genomes to eat. Kroot are cannibalistic nomadic mercenary bird-lizard-men (well, either gender; humans can't tell the difference between a Kroot man and woman) in giant dyson spheres. They're strong, stealthy, adaptable, and eat people in order to incorporate the best parts of their genetics, which are then directed by a Kroot group's genetics-shaman, the Shaper, to try to shape that group in more powerful and successful directions. They'll work for anyone who promises them exciting new things to eat and shiney baubles. In fact, you can eventually play as a Kroot, and they're melee power-houses who can gain additional power by eating people, and who have the unique ability to use the team's Profit in place of their Willpower for fear saves as they remind themselves that yes, they *are* getting paid enough for this.

Finally, we have some actual Rogue Trader dynasties of the region. There's Aspyce Chorda, who likes forcing her men to dress as space butlers or be whipped to death for mussing their coats and is generally the evil, ruthless one. There's Calligos Winterscale, a petulant bully and jackass who 'hates those who concede in the face of his wrath' and who actually manages to be more interesting here, in a two paragraph description that emphasizes his volatility and desire to get his way by violence, than he will be when he's transformed into THE LEGENDARY CALLIGOS WINTERSCALE: BEST RT in his larger description in another book. There's Jonquin Saul, who is the lone legitimate merchant among all these lunatics and looked down upon for it while he tries to convert the Heathen Worlds because he reasons it's cheaper than shipping labor and colony prefabs to the region. There's Tanak Valcetti, who is *extremely* generic to the point that he'll be replaced in later books with a raving lunatic (He's a noble who likes noble things! What a fantastic concept for a Rogue Trader). And then there's Wrath Umboldt, who exists to be a shipwrecked old man screaming at the players about his treasure map because his fleets always sink and he has terrible luck. Inspiring collection, these lot.

After that, we get a startlingly short bestiary that doesn't even have stats for, say, the Rak'Gol (they come in another book) and that's...pretty much it for the book. The Koronus Expanse will get filled in a bit, but as it stands it's a fairly empty place. It has a better excuse for that than Calixis, at least! I mean, this is a game about exploring the unknown, it's fine to have a lot of the map not filled in. The problem is the bits that are filled in are almost painfully dull; they're all pretty much exactly what you'd expect for the setting. Eldar being mysterious, arrogant dicks? Orks romping around? Chaos Pirates everywhere being loose warbands of murderers and lunatics? You're going to have to make your own fun out there.

Next Time: Wrap Up.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:19 on Apr 23, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Rogue Trader

I hate this game yet respect and like this company.

Rogue Trader is an outright bad game. The setting emphasizes a lot of the worst about 40k (Big and empty, lots of reveling in extermination and looting of races, etc etc) and I want you to stop and think about the mechanics, and ask yourself if ANY of the new mechanics actually sounded good. There's a ton of carefully constructed, complex subsystems in RT that lead to sweet gently caress all in actual decision making or fun gameplay for the PCs, and one of them has an entire class built around 'roll to see if random encounters derail the adventure'. The classes are confused and poorly designed, advancement is glacial if you go Rules As Written (which is what I'm judging here, being a review), gear and damage and durability are out of control, the mercantile and profit system are boring to interact with, and ships are fun to build but using them is problematic for a group. Either you have multiple ships, in which case all the subsystems built in to try to make the whole group feel like 5 players with one playing piece are all making decisions slow the game down a ton compared to the wargame it's emulating, or you have one ship and a bunch of characters saying 'I roll to provide a small bonus to the roll for the character making a roll that actually matters'. Spaceship combat is an overly complex poor-man's Battlefleet Gothic, and if we were going into the rest of the line this means Chaos is full of long-range guns and strike craft, Eldar get to ignore almost all the maneuvering rules you have to play with, etc etc. I hate Rogue Trader and I have tried to run it multiple times only to have it crash each time.

So why cover it? Because its failings are *really interesting*. Rogue Trader represents Fantasy Flight's first 'full' game in the line, since they were handed the (flawed) rules and system and setting of Dark Heresy to publish in the first place. It reflects their desire to take the 40k setting and write more about the Great Men who move and shake and make big splashes in the setting, but it also reflects how they will be consistently weighed down by the system they inherited, which was designed for a very different tone and a very different kind of adventure. FFG's designers are going to consistently fail to bridge the gap between what they want, and what system they have to work with, and it's fascinating because it's like watching someone try to produce a really well made d20 Heartbreaker, but with the full resources of a motivated studio that obviously hates the system it's working with. I don't really blame FFG or think they're a bad company or anything, but it's also really clear they didn't understand the base system they were given especially well. The challenges of working with someone else's system that was, again, designed for a very different tone than they wanted, in a setting that is already surprisingly bad for small-group roleplaying games, just made sure the rest of the line was always going to be a very awkward thing.

Rogue Trader would be a hard game for anyone to design and I don't blame its designers for failing. Writing a game about the officers and owners of a massive mercantile and military consortium in a sprawling space-fascist empire is not easy. Rogue Trader *sounds* like an easier game to make than it is; how do you show off how powerful the characters are? How do you make their massive resources and wealth manifest in gameplay? What objectives and missions and challenges do you present for the Great Man who already has everything? The answer is not '+5 to all starting stats and start with a power sword' but I see how that was the first instinct. This game would have required a lot of work on ways to mechanically simulate your massive social influence and wealth, and instead we get a fairly flat system where your reward for plundering a mighty lost treasure ship is '+3% to get stuff rolls'. Instead of epic heroes, you have characters with confused, ill-designed classes (I'm fairly convinced that even though they used it again in DW in a diminished capacity, RT is the game that sealed the death of the Career system) who can take a surprisingly long time to learn things that feel like they should be very basic. There's an unwillingness to let the PCs start out broadly competent that is at odds with the hyperbolic fluff about how you are the greatest swordsmen, pilots, and diplomats in the universe.

And I will give FFG credit: Deathwatch is a better game, in part by learning from some of the mistakes of Rogue Trader. Black Crusade and Only War will see experimental attempts to break out of the Career system (neither of which works, but the attempt was made) and allow more diverse characters. Later games will show a marked improvement in fluff as they get more and more comfortable writing for the setting. The art and production values of the line only go up and up from here. The chronicle of the 40k RPGs is of a company handed a system it hates trying to do the best it can to make the stories and games it wants to tell with it, anyway. FFG is a professional outfit who did the best they could to make fun games despite Warhammer 40k, and I'm not sorry they tried.

Just don't actually play Rogue Trader. If you want to be cathedral-flying space-pirates use some other system or something. Because this one is terrible.

Next Time: Oh, goddamnit. Yes, Black Crusade is next because I can't escape Warhammer 40k and also because it makes a legitimately interesting contrast to the Tome of Corruption.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012



Dawgstar posted:

I own SW Rifts but I've never run it. It... looks good? I mean, if you feel like a starting SW character is kinda unimpressive you'll be swimming in Edges and such at the end. It feels like even playing a stock Human Operator maybe scales okay with the Juicers and whatnots running around because you'll probably super useful at the skill side of the equation. And then of course it's up to the GM to make a skill side of the equation, but it looks good.

Oh, yeah, certainly. Like, the party I'm currently in for a campaign that's wrapping up at Legendary tier (80+ XP) is a Headhunter (me), Mystic, Burster, Crazy (I hate that name), and a Dragon Hatchling and everyone feels at least very useful in their own field, although it descends into a lot of action economy screwery at middle levels it's at least possible for character types to keep up on that with cybernetics, magic, or psionics. Admittedly, my headhunter is leaning heavily on power armor I branched out into when I respec'd for story reasons from Combat Cyborg and battery operated Techno-Wizard devices to keep up. The real problem is designing meaningful opposition for a party without it grinding to a halt due to all the insanity involved in that.

That said, an operator can be a terror solely for the vehicle weapon rules. Those things are nasty.

gourdcaptain fucked around with this message at 22:20 on Apr 23, 2018

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I think in the end one of Rogue Trader's main problems is that it couldn't decide what kind of scope it should have. Is it mainly about flying a ship? Away team missions? Should you have separate teams for both?

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Cythereal posted:

I think in the end one of Rogue Trader's main problems is that it couldn't decide what kind of scope it should have. Is it mainly about flying a ship? Away team missions? Should you have separate teams for both?
As I recall it had very little in the way of support for how to handle the PCs owning more than one ship. Or acknowledgement that the players might want to do this.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Zereth posted:

As I recall it had very little in the way of support for how to handle the PCs owning more than one ship. Or acknowledgement that the players might want to do this.

It is extremely hard to buy a second ship and the game has no idea what to do if you get one, despite the fluff talking about the 'fleets' of the other Dynasties.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Night10194 posted:

It is extremely hard to buy a second ship and the game has no idea what to do if you get one, despite the fluff talking about the 'fleets' of the other Dynasties.
Yeah, that's why you go steal one or salvage a derelict. Before I gave up on the system I was actually involved in multiple RT games where the PCs immediately tried to get another ship.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Yeah, my players in my last game managed to turn an Orion Star Clipper into an escort carrier to back up their main ship, because two characters were brothers from the same Dynasty and both wanted to be captains.

It was also still a cargo hauler.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

Yeah, playing RIFTS™ for several years the group I ran for/with never set foot in the 'Burbs. Or the Coalition proper, really. The reason is everybody was playing the usual RIFTS™-style freak show PC and none of us wanted to leave our cool stuff behind or hide ourselves to the degree necessary. "I'm playing a ten foot tall Rahu-Man Cyber-Knight! I'll hunch over and wear a cloak."

I'm pretty sure when I was 15 every other Rifts group I saw had a hydra hatchling, because I get so many attacks everyone. Pew pew.

Halloween Jack posted:

As opposed to, say, Nightbane, where CJ Carella's good work just needs to be extracted from the claws of the Palladium system with minimal tearing.

I was looking over articles from a certain magazine to see if it was something I wanted to fit into reviews, and flipping through some of the bonus Morpheus tables (very much not by Carella, for the record), I was torn because "Okay, that's really surreal and weird." and "Okay, I see your fetish." It was at the point where I got to the crossdressing morpheus that gets a bonus to Horror Factor if the morpheus is more gender bender than gender disguise... that I decided I have enough trash to root through.

Dawgstar posted:

I own SW Rifts but I've never run it. It... looks good?

From what I've run of it, it's solid; not amazing, not really that well balanced, but translates the core elements reasonably well into a functional system. It works!

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Night10194 posted:

It is extremely hard to buy a second ship and the game has no idea what to do if you get one, despite the fluff talking about the 'fleets' of the other Dynasties.

Sure it does, though mostly you get ships by capturing them in boarding actions. The crew of every ship gets to take up to three actions per round, using their crew rating, as long as a player isn't doing it. The party gets to be split over ships if they want.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

Yeah, my players in my last game managed to turn an Orion Star Clipper into an escort carrier to back up their main ship, because two characters were brothers from the same Dynasty and both wanted to be captains.

It was also still a cargo hauler.

My group on the other hand eventually blasted an Avenger Grand Cruiser free from a Space Hulk after the Space Wolves impounded and conscripted their old ship.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


You actually get crew actions equal to the 10s digit of the crew rating in addition to what the PCs do during a combat round.

A Crack Skill 60 crew will do most jobs better than PCs if you somehow spring for one.

What I meant about this in the review is that if you have a fleet, you end up playing a much slower version of Battlefleet Gothic where each ship is taking a ton of NPC actions a turn and the rules designed to let 5 people control one playing piece end up bogging the game down a ton. Everything is designed around an assumption of 'probably only have one ship' because that's all they can assume you'll have (since it's what you start with), which then makes controlling multiple ships awkward while controlling one ship greatly limits what you can do in combat.

You know what's thrilling gameplay? 3-6 NPC rolls per ship per turn to give minor bonuses to the actual action that kills enemies/moves the ship.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 00:38 on Apr 24, 2018

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Night10194 posted:

You actually get crew actions equal to the 10s digit of the crew rating in addition to what the PCs do during a combat round.

That's one of the options, yes, and as usual giving it hard to the action economy has poor results.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Alien Rope Burn posted:

I was looking over articles from a certain magazine to see if it was something I wanted to fit into reviews, and flipping through some of the bonus Morpheus tables (very much not by Carella, for the record), I was torn because "Okay, that's really surreal and weird." and "Okay, I see your fetish." It was at the point where I got to the crossdressing morpheus that gets a bonus to Horror Factor if the morpheus is more gender bender than gender disguise... that I decided I have enough trash to root through.
Man, when I think of the added Morpheus tables, the only thing I think of is how many of them are animal-based. I think this is purely because Palladium is lazy and variants based on animals and elements is a very easy and lazy way to pad out a supplement.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*



CONTENT WARNING: misogyny, dead children, torture, rape, bleeding from the cock

MAGISTRATE

The Teratic Tome posted:

The final creation of the gnomes of Mecha Zel, the Magistrate is a mechanized horror. Its torso is bright blue, covered in copper wires and steel plates. The skin of its arms and hands is pale blue, and its fingers are pale, white, and corpse-like. In the middle of each palm is the nozzle of a weapon that runs up through the arm into the construct's torso.

Dark red tentacles curl from its brow and shoulders, each tipped with a small black claw. Its body is covered in wires of silver and gold, with flashing lights all over its torso that blink randomly as it clanks towards its prey. Its four unblinking eyes are flat and black. From the waist down, the entity's body is mostly a large fleshy pod of blue and purple tissue that squirts greenish urine and solid waste from several vents and exhausts. Its weight is supported by a dozen legs made from a bright green metal.

Naturally, it has perfect tits.

Take a look at this illustration.

Every part of this thing is a greebly mecha-flesh-pod, but the boobs are perfect and unblemished. I mean... come the gently caress on.

Other than that it's a 4-HD unique monster which hates thieves and anyone who associates with them. While I do like the way the Teratic Tome provides us with unique monsters at lower HD ratings, this thing is really too low-level for its fictional role. It can apparently cast hold person but that's implied rather than stated -- its game mechanics feel extremely undercooked.

Oh, also, the palm-based weapons in the description don't have stats. Instead it has a stomach-mounted radiation laser.

MALCHIOR
Malchior is a mega-level unique monster who was a thief so daring he could steal death itself, which he did, which turned him into a lich. Now he roams around stealing stuff. Which is a neat story but hard to hang a plot on: Oh no! Malchior has stolen something important! Again! The guy's a super-genius with all thief skills at 99% and a complete set of lich immunities so good luck catching him.

That said, he might choose to mentor a promising thief -- and that is a plot with legs for a certain kind of PC. So this isn't a complete lost.

MINOTAUR, DAEDAL
It's a minotaur, but bigger and it builds its own mazes.

MOPPET
It's a demon child which hatches from an egg and eats magic. Lots and lots of magic. It's got a few benefits but rapidly becomes a millstone around your neck. You can get rid of it by escorting it to hell where it incubates and learns to be a demon lord. But if you kill it or abandon it then the biggest baddest demon lord immediately knows who you are, where you are, and what you did.

It's a 'gently caress you' monster, basically: either lose all your magic and magic items, or journey to hell to create a new demon lord, or murder a child-equivalent and spend the rest of your life fighting demons.

NAGA, CRIMSON
Half-snake, half-person, all fiery. It's a D&D salamander.

NEPHROPIC
Another low-HD aquatic humanoid. Good for more low-HD humanoid variations, bad because it's aquatic, just like the rest.

NETHASQ

The Teratic Tome posted:

The nethasq is a humanoid female with a hideously distorted face, massive jaws that reveal several rows of teeth, two slits for a nose, and eyes that are completely black. Its hands end in talon-like fingernails, roughly four inches long.

Where its genitals should be, it sports a glistening mass of foot-long tentacles that end in barbs and hooks.

Naturally, it has perfect tits.

This thing hangs out in places where women have been raped, so you know we're off to a good start. Men who enter its lair start to bleed from mouth, anus, and urethra. Not painfully, but the thing can scent blood so it'll be coming after you. Its crotch-tentacles inject an anticoagulant so it can make you spurt blood from your dick until you die.

The OSR, folks!

NODULE
Nodules are hovering, sticky flesh-blobs. If you stab them you might lose your sword. Sometimes they vomit on you, causing strength damage. Not interesting.

OOZE, GOLDEN
It's an ooze, replete with a semi-random collection of immunities and resistances and weaknesses that are similar to but not the same as any other oozes. It glows gold. It likes to hide under coins.

I've got a soft spot for oozes, so I'd find a place for this one. But I'll be the first to admit that the sheer variety of them is probably overkill and their changing special qualities make them bastard monsters for players to confront.

ORC, BRINE
Amphibious, swamp-dwelling orcs. They are immune to charm spells and they refuse to eat sentient creatures or engage in torture or slavery (which makes them virtually unique in the OSR). Other than that, they're orcs.

ORPHAN
A unique creature from the outer planes which magically disguises itself as a child in order to prey on people who can't have children or whose children have died. It moves in, acts like a regular kid, then goes all Home Alone on the place until its adoptive family are all dead, makes musical instruments and toys out of their corpses, etc. etc.

Honestly, this is phoning it in even for a 'spooky evil child' monster. Like, I can see the author angling for the edginess... but it doesn't really land. Next.

OWLBEAR
Who doesn't love owlbears!

The Kodiak Hooter and the Tufted Grizzly are just owlbears with some minor changes to maybe make them more like actual bears. I can sort of see what the author's going for, but these are just kind of dull. I think you could do a lot more with owlbear variants.

PANTAGRUEL
Pantagruel is a unique, 200-foot-tall giant who wants to kill everybody because he thinks it's better to kill them himself, now, than let them face whatever's coming.

Mainly, though, Pantagruel exists as an illustration of how D&D's combat focus handles 'puzzle bosses' really, really badly. Like... he has combat stats. And special rules for what happens if he hits you with his sword (which is the size of a large building). You could plausibly just stand by this skyscraper-sized being and hack at his foot until all his hp are gone.

I think you're supposed to go all Shadow of the Colossus on him, but again: D&D handles that kind of thing really badly. You either want a set of special rules to handle this kind of situation (e.g. Fellowship's set piece rules) or you want a more narrative game where climbing giant enemies and attacking their weak points can be handled more fluidly.

Next Time: The art for these monsters doesn't show them wearing fedoras, but it should.

STATS SO FAR
Monsters: 91
Female Monsters: 14 (I'm deliberately skipping unique female NPCs for this count)
Female Monsters With Their Tits Out: 16 (I'm including unique female NPCs in this one though.)
Anti-Theist Monsters: 5
Worm Monsters: 4

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Pantagruel is a weird pick, being the name of a giant from a French set of comedic and satirical novels of the 16th century. Said giant isn’t especially dangerous.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Yeah, the naming in the Teratic Tome is a bit... off. Like, I mentioned that the three kritarchs are all named for genuses of spider despite being a beetle, a spider, and a scorpion.

It's like the author's familiar with the concept of naming things using oblique or obscure references, but doesn't understand how those references are supposed to function.

E: Another example: I just noticed that the 'brine orc' is swamp-dwelling, whereas brine is extremely salty seawater.

potatocubed fucked around with this message at 13:59 on Apr 24, 2018

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




That Magistrate illustration is both stupid and cluttered, you can barely make out the hands.

I'm declaring that only H.R.Geiger* gets to make sexualised horror from now on.

*He died some time ago and therefore we will be spared any new stuff.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Someone needs to remind these people that things which aren't mammals strictly speaking probably shouldn't have breasts.

Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAaaAAAaaAAaAA
AAAAAAAaAAAAAaaAAA
AAAA
AaAAaaA
AAaaAAAAaaaAAAAAAA
AaaAaaAAAaaaaaAA



Feinne posted:

Someone needs to remind these people that things which aren't mammals strictly speaking probably shouldn't have breasts.

Where's the fun in that?

(No really though it is weird to put bomb-rear end titties on zombies and poo poo all th etime)

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




I'm pretty sure when it comes to fantasy artists that is an entirely pointless endeavour.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Black Crusade

Power Metal Album Covers

Black Crusade is a weird as hell game. It's a complete and total mess (what in 40k hasn't been) where you play as one of the worst parts of either Warhammer setting, the forces of Chaos. It is also occasionally totally rad, despite this. You see, the core book is all about how you'll maybe spend a little time in Power Metal Hell gaining fame and fortune but then will go out and gently caress up the Imperium of Man, except that the supplemental material and fan reaction make it clear that most groups just stay in Power Metal Hell, rocking out and kicking other Chaos guys in the teeth. Black Crusade PCs are probably the most powerful PCs in the entire Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay line. It is also the only game in the line where you can play a mixed party of humans and Marines (no aliens, of course). Somehow, this sort of works out, because EVERYONE is crazy in Black Crusade. Everyone.

It is also, weirdly, the most focused game in the line. You have a clear start point, clear character progression milestones, and a very clear end point; your Corruption is going to tick up (and empower and mutate you) as you go, and when it hits 100 you check if you've earned enough Infamy (The game's Profit Factor/influence stat) to become a Chaos Lord or Demon Prince and then if you didn't, it's tentacle town for you, make a new PC. Having a distinct pass-fail point at the end of character progression is an interesting idea clumsily implemented; there isn't a lot of, say, places where you could take on Corruption by choice and it mostly just ticks up automatically, spiking up if you fail at anything and your masters get snippity with you. Also, you lose your PC either way, at least until later books bring in the ability to play a Demon Prince. Still, a campaign has a very set start and end point baked into the system.

Your goal in Black Crusade is to gain personal fame and power in pursuit of your goals as a powerful arch-heretic. You aren't playing as minor hive-cultists; you're renegade generals, fallen Inquisitors, veterans of the Horus Heresy and other mighty, powerful Chaos leaders. From the word go, you are significantly stronger even as a human PC than you would have been in, say, Rogue Trader. Your party is a warband of these powerful agents who have sworn to actually work together in order to gain the might and fame necessary to lead their own Black Crusade, eventually attacking the Imperium of Man with millions of screaming heretics and fallen spacecraft so that the Space Marines can heroically defeat you and then spout some fascist bullshit about duty and honor and death. It is thus unsurprising that most parties never actually bother with the Black Crusade; the bit about losing to the Marines isn't a part of the books but the scale of action of an actual serious attack on the Imperium of Man that threatens whole sectors tends to get past what's easy to represent in an RPG. You usually don't get time, anyway, as the needed Infamy will take a long time to accrue and goes above and beyond what's needed to succeed in your personal apotheosis.

We start out with a bunch of fluff about Chaos but it's all stuff we already know from the previous books and Fantasy. It's surprising how little difference there is in the description of the Gods between the two different settings. The game is also very quick to remind us that the Gods don't care about you at all, except for how they're personally scrutinizing your every move and will mechanically punish you RAW if you step outside your rigid role as a follower of X by dumping extra Corruption on you. Chaos's whole weird 'We don't care! Do as you please, mortal, you are nothing to- HEY WAIT NO DO WHAT I SAID AND ONLY WHAT I SAID!' streak is something I wish the authors of Warhammer (both) would acknowledge because it could be turned into a weird compulsion or contradiction of the Gods rather than just being incongruous. There is an important change compared to Fantasy, though: Slaanesh is the newest God because Slaanesh was created by the Eldar and reflects the worst of them. Slaanesh also actually owns all Eldar souls and many of their schemes are their attempts to stay out of her clutches. Knowing that a species turning to darkness can actually create a new God does open some interesting possibilities for truly insanely ambitious heretics, after all.

We also get a more interesting description of the Imperium, because it's the Imperium as renegades and rebels see it. A crumbling, hateful edifice that clings to power. An entire galactic empire nailed to the rotting corpse of its would-be universal tyrant. Living on oppression, fear, and despair to ensure its people never question their station or look for something better. It would rather blow up a planet and kill billions of people than risk the possibility that any human community could thrive without it, for fear that it might let others realize they don't need to pay the tithes or live in terror all the time. A world is only protected from such things by being too economically or strategically vital; no mercy stays the sword of the Inquisition. You can just feel the authors' relief at getting to finally trash the giant loving fascist space nazi empire they've had to breathlessly praise for the last three games. All the great edifices of the Imperium get to be described as monolithic, inhuman instruments of tyranny and the uncaring gears of galactic tyranny crush its citizens. Marines are described as the jackbooted stormtroopers of an oppressive regime, murderous man-children who glory in their power and who rely on terror to quell the Imperium's enemies. It's all good stuff to start the book off with. They even point out how insane it is that an Inquisitor has absolutely no oversight and pretty much unlimited formal authority!

Because it all has the benefit of being true. It is legitimately pretty great to see the FFG authors get to talk about the Imperium of Man without having to hold it up as the good guys that you're playing as. Chaos is absolutely no better, obviously; they're every bit as oppressive, normative, and murderous. But if you want to give players good ideas for why they're playing as people who said 'gently caress this' to the Imperium, this is a great start to the book.

Next Time: The Servants of Chaos, who never actually question why they're always defined by servitude despite constantly insisting they're agents of freedom.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Out of curiosity how much will you talk about the expansion books when it comes to Black Crusade?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I don't know. On one hand, they're genuinely critical to it because they moved the game in a totally different (and better) direction than the core implied, but I also don't want to spend months on The Chaos Game.

It is a conundrum because the expansion books are mechanical messes like all of BC but they're also a big part of its charm as a game. And yes, BC is a surprisingly fun game. Both major campaigns I ran in it were great fun to GM.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Night10194 posted:

I don't know. On one hand, they're genuinely critical to it because they moved the game in a totally different (and better) direction than the core implied, but I also don't want to spend months on The Chaos Game.

It is a conundrum because the expansion books are mechanical messes like all of BC but they're also a big part of its charm as a game. And yes, BC is a surprisingly fun game. Both major campaigns I ran in it were great fun to GM.

I don't know if this would be practical, but maybe talk about them in brief in the relevant sections. For example when it comes to the gear section talk about anything in particular that stands out in terms of what has changed and then spend the rest of the post focusing on what Khorne's book brings to the table.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I'll probably end up doing the stuff on the Screaming Vortex itself, at least, because fleshing out the crazy Power Metal Hell was a big part of directing the game to being set there instead of bothering to go to Realspace much.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

I'll probably end up doing the stuff on the Screaming Vortex itself, at least, because fleshing out the crazy Power Metal Hell was a big part of directing the game to being set there instead of bothering to go to Realspace much.

I enjoyed the Vortex fluff but was ultimately disappointed by what they did with the Frozen Heart. That's the big finale (well...not very big at all, that's the problem, despite mysterious hints through several books and even in RT and DH), so I'll save my full comments for when we get there.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I don't remember anything about the Frozen Heart.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Night10194 posted:

I don't remember anything about the Frozen Heart.
It's at the end of the Nurgle book whose name I forget, and is mostly noncommittal. Only "mostly" because there's also an endless horde of respawning daemons down there who will eventually kill you if you stick around long enough.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Black Crusade

Legions of the Damned

We all know where the Imperium came from. Empy shows up and united earth, makes his space babies, Chaos portal steals his space babies, Empy goes to find the space babies and generally beats all of them at their color-coded amazing trait or resolves their plot (except Angron, who he totally hosed over then expected to follow him like a dog because the Emperor can't imagine someone not doing as he says), then sends them out to go commit genocide and make fancy speeches and take over the galaxy for him. We do get a twist: Before going looking for them Empy first looked into 'Could I just make new ones and declare that lot dead? That would be simpler. Dang, I don't have enough plot juice to do this again.' Instead he took a bunch of young boys to implant geneseed into and make into the actual-Marines to replace the original proto-marines he'd used to take over the earth. All of the 'Thunder Warriors', the original first-run genetically enhanced soldiers of the Emperor, were intentionally hunted and killed, mostly because he was done with them. The Chaos Book is happy to point this uncomfortable plot point out as justification for plenty of the Traitor Marines, who will cite that they turned on the Emperor in his moment of victory during the Horus Heresy out of a sense of pattern recognition.

One thing I do legitimately like is that absolutely none of the stuff Chaos is saying about the Imperium in this book is actually wrong. This is all taking and emphasizing uncomfortable but existent plot points from the other books in the line; Empy slaughtered everyone who handed him the earth and may well have planned to do the same to his own sons. Chaos didn't really need to lie to Horus when it showed him a galaxy of endless tyranny ruled over by his father; that's what his father was going for. Empy was always a piece of poo poo. Similarly, the book points out a lot of the hostility alien species feel for humankind really does come from the Great Crusade, when the humans were ascendant and their official policy was 'Exterminate'. Why shouldn't most aliens hate and fear humanity when the human policy hasn't changed at all? The only thing that keeps the Imperium from killing you is being too powerful for them to manage. The Imperium implanted its own traditions and agents in place of any local tradition on the worlds it conquered; your judges replaced by Arbites, your scientists killed and replaced with the sanctioned Techpriests of Mars.

Naturally Chaos blows all this by claiming it was a noble force for trying to undo all of this by getting Horus to turn on daddy due to his desire to do whatever someone tells him would make him a hero. I sort of don't blame the first run heretics; they didn't know how awful Chaos was because Empy had made sure none of them knew a drat thing about it because the stupid bastard thought he could kill it by not talking about it. So suddenly Horus, the Emperor's favored son, is already sulking because his father has returned from the war to go experiment with new FTL methods and cut the Warp out of everything. For some reason, he never explained this to his extremely-in-need-of-constant-validation son, which led him to think the Legions of Marines were being abandoned. Which led him to being receptive to Chaos showing him visions of how he could be the hero of the universe if he turned on Empy.

So, just as he was going to be hero of the universe by exterminating everything for his father, he immediately turned around and went whole hog on being the champion of Chaos. Also, as he was Warmaster and overall supreme commander of allied forces, a lot of them followed him. To this day, the Imperium is terrified of giving anyone such authority or self-sufficient forces because *that* could happen again. Empy also refused to believe the betrayal had happened, even when he was directly warned of it. This, uh, made things a lot worse, especially because the civil war was originally seen as a political struggle rather than Return of the Space Devil. Empy finally ordered his soldiers to go and kill Horus at Istvaan, which you might remember from the lunatic Istvannian faction of the Inquisition. Of the seven Legions he sent, four turned out to be on Horus' side and killed much of the other three. The war would turn on the Emperor and he would only be stopped by the defeat of Horus (and himself) in the battle of Terra, as Chaos panicked with its chosen champion dead and ran off into the shadows, like Chaos usually does when it gets punched in the mouth.

We get a bit on the Traitor Legions, because of course even in Chaos the Space Marines are the main characters.

The World Eaters are the warriors of Angron, who is angry. We don't get anything on their Primarch here, but let's just say he had good reasons to turn on his father after his father left all the fellow slaves he'd convinced to rebel for their freedom to die since he only wanted his son. World Eaters are the stereotypical Khornate: They hate everyone and they want to hit everyone with an axe while screaming "LET THE GALAXY BURN".

The Death Guard are the Nurglite Legion, following their Primarch Mortarion over the Emperor. When his men were afflicted with a terrible plague none could cure, Mortarion begged Chaos for aid rather than let his men die, and now they're Nurglites. It's the usual Nurgle bait and switch; you get 'em with the plague, then you give them 'mercy' and tell them they just gotta pass it on.

The Thousand Sons were originally all space wizards, until the Emperor banned space wizardry. Their space wizard Primarch Magnus tried to warn Empy of the betrayal and was ignored, and Empy also sent the Space Wolves to kill him for trying to use space wizardry to do it. He was then surprised they betrayed him. They are all dust and robots serving Tzeentch now, except a few favored wizards.

The Emperor's Children were highly vain artists following their spoiled, prissy lord Fulgrim and oh just guess which God they ended up with. Now they're spoiled, prissy Marines with lots of Hellraiser poo poo implanted into their armor who serve Slaanesh. Hilarious moment: The Eldar tried to pick a Primarch to warn about what was coming. They picked Fulgrim, after he'd already decided to turn. Nice prophesying there, space elves.

The Night Lords are edgelord Marines who try to out Dark Eldar the Dark Eldar. They like terror tactics and stealth and wearing stupid looking helmets with bat wings on them. Their Primarch, KONRAD CRUZE THE NIGHT HAUNTER, probably let himself be assassinated after the Heresy while claiming that meant he was right and death and terror were the only forces in the universe.

The Alpha Legion are space spies despite being 8 foot tall power armored potato men. No, I don't know how they do it either (official fluff says they recruit a lot of human agents). They might secretly be loyalists or something, everything about them is a mystery. They had two Primarchs and no-one is sure which was which.

The Iron Warriors are brutal siege troops and engineers who were given the worst jobs and most dangerous work at every step of the Crusade. They turned because their primarch, Peturbo, was loving sick of being told to get shot at while digging ditches so that Ultramarines could look good for the pict-cameras. This is a surprisingly down to earth reason to betray your former generals. Chaos likes to get them shot at while digging ditches so that the Black Legion and other flashier warbands can look good for the pict-cameras. Oh dear.

The Word Bearers actually believe in Chaos sincerely. They aren't in it for the power or some petty betrayal; their primarch, Lorgar is actually probably more an architect of the Heresy than Horus. Lorgar wanted a religion, and began to worship the Emperor. Empy didn't like this and so had his cathedral-worlds burned while admonishing him for wasting time with religious ceremony. Lorgar fell into deep depression and then Chaos was like "Hey, so, we really like being worshiped and we're totally real gods." at which point he was 100% on board. He would then start introducing these ideas to Horus and oh dear.

The Black Legion are what's left of Horus' guys, and the most powerful remaining legion. In all the talk about how mighty they are they forget to actually give them a personality or hook besides being Undivided in their loyalty to Chaos (they don't worship individual Gods, but Chaos itself, or so they say). They keep trying to beat the Imperium as an institution because they believe it will prove Horus could have won.

Next Time: The Human Servants of Chaos, because unlike most of GW's material this game remembers they have those.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Fun Word Bearers trivia: Lorgar wrote the central holy books of both Chaos Undivided and the Ecclesiarchy.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Other fun Horus Heresy Facts: Originally, when Empy and Horus Have A Punch Up is happening, Empy is losing because he can't believe his idiot son would ever defy him or turn on him, even as his idiot son is right there, killing him. Into this steps Ollanius Pious, a completely ordinary human soldier, who tries to defend the Emperor with just a lasgun. This doesn't work, but it does give the Emperor just enough time to get back up and obliterate Horus. Good bit of story, right? Ordinary human's courage makes the difference in a divine battle of Gods and galactic forces, just like your PCs/wargaming units could!

Later on, GW would change that into one of the Emperor's super-Marines, the Custodes, who are giant magic golden people. Then into an Imperial Fist Space Marine. Then Dan Abnett would go and turn it back to Pious but make him a magic man who was immortal.

Let it never be said anyone could let a good plot point be.

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