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DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




Libertad! posted:


METAPLOT: In the jungles of Kush in the Southlands,

Nice

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I like the cyborg goblin kim jong il.

The first illustration is very evocative, except for the cthulhu part. What are those faceless palanquin carries supposed to be?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy


Pathfinder Unchained

Innate Item Bonuses

This is very similar to Automatic Bonus Progression: you can no longer buy items with the basic enhancement bonus numbers, but instead any item that's expensive enough to be the equivalent of having an enhancement bonus, will automatically have it.

So for example, you'd buy some Light Fortification armor, and it would automatically also be a +1 armor.

You'd buy a Courageous longsword, and it would automatically also be a +1 longsword. If you bought a Vorpal longsword, it would also be a +5 longsword.

You'd buy a Circlet of Persuasion, and because it's worth more than 4,000 GP, it would also grant you a +2 bonus to a stat of your choice. If you bought a Helm of Brilliance it would also grant you a +6 bonus to two stats, or +6 to one and +4 to other stats because it's worth 125,000 GP.

You'd buy a Periapt of Proof Against Poison, and because it's worth more than 18,000 HP, it would also grant you a +3 natural armor bonus to AC.

You'd buy Wings of Flying, and because it's worth more than 25,000 GP, it would also grant you a +5 resistance bonus to all saving throws.

You'd buy a Ring of Animal Friendship, and because it's worth more than 8,000 GP, it would also grant you a +2 deflection bonus to AC.

This seems to be address some of the issues of the Automatic Bonus Progression rules in that players can get to choose the order in which they access the inherent bonuses that they want, and it doesn't mandate a reduction in wealth-by-level, but it's still not a "perfect" solution because this rules includes a proportional increase in item costs such that everything is more expensive anyway. It's an improvement, and would be preferable for people who are interested enough in the game to pick through item lists even if they're not savvy enough to "optimize" their item selections.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Black Crusade

No, you cannot be a robot, and we are poorer for it

The first of our Tzeentch chaps is obviously the Thousand Sons Sorcerer, one of the few Thousand Sons Marines not turned into a hollow egyptian robot full of soul-dust. The Thousand Sons Sorcerer is really one of the most dull of the Advanced Classes because it's just the Marine Sorcerer but better, with +1 Psy Rating at the start, +5 Fellowship, and +5 Willpower, plus Unnatural Willpower (2) (So 2 point higher WPB and +1 DoS on WP tests, which is all psychic stuff for the most part) and 15+d5 Wounds. They don't even get anything cool like a Rubric Marine minion or something; they're just more powerful psykers with an added, really useful Unnatural. There is absolutely nothing interesting to say about them except 'Big fighty space wizard in armor, slightly more evil, massively more powerful'. They also get some Perils of the Warp manipulation abilities where they get extra protection from blowing themselves up. They're aligned to Tzeentch, which is really only a benefit for a Psyker. They don't even have any interesting fluff, just lots about how subtle and cunning they are while exploding peoples' heads with space hell power and how they love books.

The Alpha Legion Marine is more interesting. They're like an upgraded Forsaken, mechanically; as befits the tricky Space Marines who like to steal and spy, they're surprisingly good with people and very intelligent. They get +5 Int and Per, and start with only 15+d5 Wounds, but come with Deceive+30 and a bunch of stealth and social abilities compared to the average Marine. Their Talents aren't great for fighting, either, though being a Marine their base talents will take care of that. They start with a bunch of extra stealth gear, but their Specials are what's really interesting. First, for purposes of buying services from others, they can use Deceive, the skill, instead of their actual Infamy stat once per session. This represents the Marine putting on a fake top-knot and pretending to be Abbadon the Despoiler or something; they credibly pretend to be a much more important Chaos Lord and get some lackies moving without realizing they in fact serve the Alpha Legion. This is, as you might imagine, really well combined with them starting with Deceive turbo-maxed for when you wish to steal someone's realm or something. Secondly, the Marine can make a Scrutiny check at +0 to go 'I know a guy' once per session and point out a previously made contact or informant (which the Marine and GM make up on the spot) that can help the party out with something. These abilities are great! You can scam and schmooze your way across power metal hell as a giant eight foot spy. 'Ahah! He was working for me all along!' as a class ability really gets at the core of the tricky Alpha Legion and sounds genuinely fun to play. They are Unaligned.

The Q'Sal Magister Immaterial is a mighty wizard from the wizard planet of Q'Sal, where the world is a beautiful shining paradise of knowledge and crystal spires fed by literal soul-engines and the sacrifice of the poor and/or captives and bought slaves. These are the various shining wizard kings of wizard planet, and their power is mighty. You get +5 Int, WP, and Fel, 8+d5 Wounds, and start out as Psy 4. They're good at dealing with people and sussing out plots, or making their own plots, plus get extra skills based on which wizard country they're from back home. They also know how to use the evil crystal guns and daggers of their homeworld. Their real dickery is in Magus Supremus, their special ability. Unless they cause actual Perils of the Warp, they are immune to all of their own psychic phenomena miscasts and can pick and choose which allies and enemies are affected by them. They can also spend an Infamy point to reroll Phenomena, presumably if they got Perils and did not want to do so. They are a superior breed of crystal spire wizard dick and begin aligned to Tzeentch.

The Idolatrix Magos of Forge Polix represents a hideous melding of two of the most powerful and favored forces in FFG 40k: A Techpriest and a Wizard. If they were also a Space Marine (Find a Flesh Shaper to fix this!) they would probably destroy the universe with their might. Forge Polix is a Dark Mechanicus Forge in eternal war with another evil forge over what kinds of mad science are best. Forge Polix leans towards warp science and magitek. The Idolatrix Magos gets +10 Intelligence, +5 Willpower, 13+d5 Wounds, and are the weakest psyker in the game at Psy 1. However, they ARE a Psyker and thus can buy Psy stuff, use Force weapons, etc. They also have all sorts of knowledge and Mechanicus stuff like other Hereteks. They don't get any unique special abilities, they just have the Heretek one, but are also wizards with higher stats and more occult knowledge. They're also Unaligned; they don't have to go Tzeentch. So yes, a Techpriest who can learn magic without necessarily going Tzeentch is really goddamn powerful on its own.

Next Time: Cannibal Priest Massacre

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Dallbun posted:

I'm surprised that the assassins deal two dice of damage - I thought they just dealt one flat physical. I distinctly remember the heir getting the Armor and completely trivializing the scenario when we played it. Maybe they also had the Medicine Kit or something.

Maybe a 2e change. It definitely says 2 dice in the traitor's tome I have.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Black Crusade, where there is not only a planet of mad scientist wizards, but it's locked in a civil war over the best kind of mad scientist wizardry.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




That's the planet that got blasted to a kind of teardrop shape right?

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


I'm trying to decide if a rubric marine is the most or least reliable possible ally, on one hand it's literally a ghost dust robot thing and theoretically if you've got one around it's because you've got someone who can command it but on the other hand it's a ghost dust robot TZEENTCH thing and that's a perfect recipe for Tzeentch to want it to do something really baffling and pointless that requires it to travel with and assist you for 95% of your journey then gently caress you over at the very end. Like maybe it needs to make the galaxy's best cheese dip in order to show up Khorne during the mid-millennia Chaos God Kegger and one of the ingredients is in the room right before the final encounter, where it will peace out because lol gently caress off idiots TZEENTCH OUT.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

That's the planet that got blasted to a kind of teardrop shape right?

Only part of the planet still spins in orbit. It's slowly being spun out like taffy. The planet was original a dark paradise world claimed by outcast mad scientists from the Imperium, then one of them accidentally turned his entire forge into a demon engine. Like, an entire forge city. Whole city got up and started destroying the planet until it was finally put down, and now everyone fights over the secrets and resources of the shattered world.

Black Crusade the gameline started out as 'you'll get tough and then go out into the Imperium and fight it' and ended up 'Actually no, let's just stay in the crazy hell-realm and have epic adventures where we can walk between planets and jump between stars, like, physically, while we tear apart legions of demons and become mighty dark lords.'

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Turns out, long range car rides ar amazing for taking notes and producing rough drafts of FnFs.

Expect Degenesis introduction to Franka in the coming weeks. This time, it's gonna be goony.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Bieeanshee posted:

The Dread Walkers remind me of the very slowly encroaching Powers of the Night Land.

Is this referring to Dying Earth? Cuz that's the first thing that comes up on my Google Search.

JcDent posted:

I like the cyborg goblin kim jong il.

The first illustration is very evocative, except for the cthulhu part. What are those faceless palanquin carries supposed to be?

There's actually small accompanying text to the right and below of the artwork for every chapter heading. I haven't felt the need to include it as they're more or less describing what's happening in the picture, but I suppose I can go in and edit them if there's demand. The faceless entities are supposedly one of the many unknown creatures of the wastes:

quote:

The sorcerers and wizards of the West retain stranger servitors, and still command great magical power in a land largely fallen into ruin.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Apr 30, 2018

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

It predates the Dying Earth by some decades, but it's definitely in the same genre. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Land

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Finally reading The Book of the New Sun series and it is truly amazing Dying Earth fantasy. I didn't expect it to be this good.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Alien Rope Burn posted:

In any case, I'm pretty sure recommending The Black Hole is an act of ignorance or cruelty.

Funny, I'm working on one of these lists and I'm unironically putting The Black Hole on the list. This is how you do Appendix N in excerpts from the version I'm working on at the moment:

me posted:

Indiana Jones et al. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a definitive how-to guide for pacing a game session in a PbtA game. It’s also a great source for how to handle 7-9 results.
Blue Thunder. The Saboteur compendium class was written when a buddy suggested re-watching this movie. It also has some good stuff about high-tech surveillance states and how to use a unique, awesome vehicle in a story.
Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/Battle Beyond the Stars. A scratch group comes together to protect a village from bandits. I’ve known a GM to get six months of bi-weekly play out of this premise. You have to be very good with NPCs and pacing to run this sort of game well, and running this kind of game will develop your skills along this line. At the very least, getting players invested in a particular location and running a lot of cool action scenes is within the scope of any GM’s abilities.
The Black Hole. Good use of real astrophysics as inspiration for a scenario, and if you ever need to characterize an evil robot this movie will serve you well.
Space Cadet and The Rolling Stones. These are excellent examples of how to frame adventures in space in a universe where spaceships listen to Newton. The first has characters in a military organization, the second has them all be members of the a family that lives on a trading spaceship. I’ve never heard of a Traveller campaign where the ship is crewed by family. Come to think of it, precious few RPG campaigns at all use that concept.
Citizen of the Galaxy. A rags to riches story with wide scope is always useful as campaign inspiration. The Free Traders section of the story is good inspiration for the sort of trading families that are bound to appear.
Poul Anderson, The Polesotechnic League and Falkenhayn stories. Lots of good stuff about visiting strange new worlds and making vast amounts of cash, or just plain survival, often by using science.


I am about 3 months behind on this thread.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Halloween Jack posted:

Finally reading The Book of the New Sun series and it is truly amazing Dying Earth fantasy. I didn't expect it to be this good.

Honestly it's probably the best science fantasy, possibly the best science fiction of any kind, novel of the 20th century in my opinion - and it's up against some drat strong competition!

Unfortunately the coda novel, Urth of the New Sun, is really not as good as the main quartet. (Book of the Long Sun, a parallel series rather than a true sequel, is not quite New Sun's level but is very good nonetheless)

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





My only real problem with Book of the New Sun is that it's a bit too word dense to listen to the audio book and do anything else at the same time. It demands your full attention.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Terrible Opinions posted:

My only real problem with Book of the New Sun is that it's a bit too word dense to listen to the audio book and do anything else at the same time. It demands your full attention.

My... third read-through of Shadow of the Torturer was an audiobook someone put up on Youtube while I was falling asleep.
I gave myself insomnia for a week, it was a really dumb move, I kept staying up for just one more chapter.

Also I may be a bit too much of a fan of the New Sun, I'm going into Lit Studies for grad school and I really want to write about it, since it's surprisingly unstudied in academic circles (there's Attending Daedalus and... that's about it).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


mllaneza posted:

Funny, I'm working on one of these lists and I'm unironically putting The Black Hole on the list. This is how you do Appendix N in excerpts from the version I'm working on at the moment:

me posted:

The Black Hole. Good use of real astrophysics as inspiration for a scenario, and if you ever need to characterize an evil robot this movie will serve you well.

I-

wut

I haven't been keeping up with the most recent astrophysics, maybe it's been proven that black holes merge people with robots or that they contain angels, but I'm pretty sure most physicists might protest.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





That's just M-theory. Turns out the only way to make string theory consistent is robot angels. Go figure.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





megane posted:

That's just M-theory. Turns out the only way to make string theory consistent is robot angels. Go figure.
You win this round, Gendo Ikari!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Cultures: Franka



Degenesis: Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 2: Cultures


Franka

Franka is the land named after Frank, the only person to live there



On a more serious note, it's just France. The troubles in the land of smelly cheese and legendary perfume are, coincidentally, smell based!

Breathless

This short bit desecribes Franka in broad strokes. You can see dead bugs everywhere. Pheromones are carried by the wind - aphrodisiac to some, cause of fear and revulsion to others. The only universal constant is that the 'mones becalm everyone.

Descent

One asteroid hit the Central Massif and Paris was instantly hosed. There was also a crash in the sea, which messed things up even more. Ground was churning, rocks were falling, it was worse than Modern Warfare 3. Agriculture died – the wheat either burned or failed under the heavy cloud cover, trees shed their leaves, even turnips and potatoes (R.I.P French fries) failed.

Yet there were worse things to come.

Descent posted:

Above the Central Massif, white gossamer rose in streaks like ink spilled from a well; the largest, whirling streak penetrated the clouds straight into the stratosphere. For months, it hung in the sky until the west wind dissipated the vortex and carried it away.

Where it came down, it sank into the earth and ate through the soil. The ground above heaved. Tenuous little hairs emerged in perfect circles. Fruiting bodies burst and released spores that carried on their seed. It infected insects and gummed up human lungs. The Sepsis had conquered fallen France.

The Plague

“The continental shelf creaked and sighed,” says the book, probably somewhat overstating the impact of an asteroid. You'd think something powerful enough to trouble the continental shelf would end humanity outright, but here we are. Or there the French were, caught in the cataclysm.

Land was wracked by geological ruin, which is annoying all by itself. However, then the bugs came, eating provisions... and doing worse stuff.

The Plague posted:

Strange bugs, attracted by sweat, poured into people’s homes to crawl under armpits or into groins and fly away with a drop of blood.



Naturally, the people of France had had enough of this bullshit, so they retreated to the rivers. Living on houseboats and caking themselves with mud (to keep the groin locusts away), they made expeditions to the shore ashore to destroy bug collonies and poison the swamp that Ile-de-Paris region had become.

Pheromancers

Out the Central Massif came these weird dudes (and dudettes, I guess). They didn't like clothing that much – “at most covering their private parts or wearing boots” - and they looked sickly. The words the book uses are “tubercular lumps,” but I've never heard of tuberculosis causing lumps, so who knows.

What they did was entering the villages (of the populace that wasn't cool enough for houseboats) and “saving” them from all the insects, attracting the little buggers to themselves. At first, the villagers mistrusted them. Then, they started loving the strangers, as pheromones worked their charms on both bug and Frenchman alike.

Enter the Pheromancers, the Frankan breed of Psychonauts.

Raid

So while the French (the Frankch?) were busy either huffing the 'mones or building sandcastles in their pubic areas, the Africans came. North Africa, not hit by any errant asteroids, had maintained a better technology level, so they sailed in with huge metal ships, ready for a proper invasion.

Or for a propper looting.

Raid posted:

They looted the coastal cities, dismantled harbor installations and brought everything to Tripol and Bedain. The Frankans did not try to stop them. What was the old trash to them? The Africans came via Montpellier and devoured city by city. In Surge Tanks as tall as a house, they carried machines from industrial estates in Lyon and Grenoble away, only to reassemble them in Qabis and Tunis.

I think this scale of industrial looting kinda stretches the definition of a “raid.” Maybe it sounded better in German.

Incidentally, I dunno when will we get the description of what a Surge Tank actually is. From what I gather, it's like some Red Alert-sized expeditionary vehicle, an unholy union of an RV and a tank.

Learning from the colonial past, the Africans and Neolybians hired Frankans as guides to the good stuff and as guards against the other Frenchmen. They paid them with spices, fabrics and even African rifles, some of which the game claims can still be found among the older tribes.

This sounds to me like an adventure hook for people who want an African rifle, which I presume is considered to be a good piece of loot in Degenesis.

Anyways, the Frankans didn't care about the looting, and once the Pheromances and termite mounds came in the wake of retreating Africans, they started caring even less. Frankans don't give a poo poo about the past anymore; they only look to the future and the defense against potential enemies (read: player characters out an about to kill their Pheromancer sugar daddies). Pheromones are a hell of a drug.

Next time: Don't phero-shame!


This is the illustration that starts the chapter. I don't think the crossbow is a good weapon against BUGS!

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





So after all this talk up of a primal punk pheromone bug-water mud-dabbin' culture that has been picked clean of legacy machinery by those wily North Africans, the presented picture is THAT? That person doesn't seem like some kind of post-Europe quasi-alien hellscape inhabitant, she looks like some kind of crossbow-sniper Iron Kingdoms solo unit.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Well, it will get deeper into what economical ties and centres exist in Franka later on.

Anyone who doesn't look advanced enough to be an Iron Kingdoms extra is probably a naked Clanner making GBS threads underhimself and ranting how not living in cities is cool.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I find myself at a loss to say much about Degenesis except that it's loving weird, but I'm glad they made it and I'm glad you're reviewing it.

Joe Slowboat posted:

Honestly it's probably the best science fantasy, possibly the best science fiction of any kind, novel of the 20th century in my opinion - and it's up against some drat strong competition!
I'm starting to read what people have to say about it and I'm getting the impression that a lot of people just don't get this kind of fantasy anymore. I quickly found a review praising the book that lamented how difficult it is to understand all the made-up words. You...don't have to keep track of them, there's no point.

After Tolkien's smashing success, people figured out that if you could get people invested in your worldbuilding, you had a gravy train. Enormous amounts of energy are spent in fandom just memorizing all the details of fictional universes. Dying Earth fantasy typically confounds this attempt at immersion via rote memorization, which is part of the charm.

I think a big part of why Vance resonates with me is that I discovered him during a time when it seemed fantasy had become synonymous with either licensed franchises or huge sprawling epics like WoT and ASoIaF. (I believe Martin has said that he greatly admires Vance and read a lot of him growing up, but that he's nothing like him as a stylist.)

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





So, it's an interesting tension: there are at least two ways to read the Book of the New Sun. One is to do what you're doing, and take it as s character-driven picaresque with a fascinating main character in the style of Vance. Another is to obsessively reconstruct the material facts of the setting outside of Severian's perspective, write a complete dictionary of Urth (it's been published by fans) and to treat Severian as a kind of distraction.

I'm inclined to say your way is better, but teasing out the setting casually over time is also rewarding.

Also amusingly, rather than invent words, Wolfe primarily used antique and disused words for similar but not identical things to their original meaning.

...to bring this back to RPGs, Degenesis seems to use some of that language alienation, referencing things we don't yet know about often and vaguely. Does that work in an RPG? Can one have a setting book with implications rather than direct statements about immediate physical reality?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Joe Slowboat posted:

So, it's an interesting tension: there are at least two ways to read the Book of the New Sun. One is to do what you're doing, and take it as s character-driven picaresque with a fascinating main character in the style of Vance. Another is to obsessively reconstruct the material facts of the setting outside of Severian's perspective, write a complete dictionary of Urth (it's been published by fans) and to treat Severian as a kind of distraction.
The guy who wrote that concordance also wrote the GURPS New Sun setting adaptation

quote:

Also amusingly, rather than invent words, Wolfe primarily used antique and disused words for similar but not identical things to their original meaning.
Yeah, almost all the weird language in New Sun are real words, just archaic and obscure.

e: And to add to your first point - the Dying Earth RPG shows the interesting tension between RPG publishing and the sort of picaresque storytelling you describe. The Robin Laws-authored core book is full of advice about not giving two shits about drawing a map, going with the flow, not worrying too much about conforming with the specifics of Vance's text, and having monsters be collections of rumored abilities that the GM decides the truth of when they're encountered. The supplements (largely not written by Laws) are full of gridded and indexed maps drawn from careful textual analysis, detailed monster descriptions, and adventures that tie in very specifically to the Vance stories.

FMguru fucked around with this message at 14:59 on May 1, 2018

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





FMguru posted:

The guy who wrote that concordance also wrote the GURPS New Sun setting adaptation
Yeah, almost all the weird language in New Sun are real words, just archaic and obscure.

Really, the Lexicon Urthus author wrote GURPS BotNS? That should not be a surprise I guess! They have similar overall ideological underpinnings I think, GURPS is an extremely technically minded system afaik.

Edit: one of the great failings in Wolfe fan scholarship is simulationism as ideology.

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!


Joe Slowboat posted:

...to bring this back to RPGs, Degenesis seems to use some of that language alienation, referencing things we don't yet know about often and vaguely. Does that work in an RPG? Can one have a setting book with implications rather than direct statements about immediate physical reality?

Sure, you can do it, if you want your readers to loving hate you.

The problem is that in a novel, Joe Alienman can go: "Beware of the Bobs! They're really dangerous and live over that ridge! Their howls are hypnotic and they have three heads!" And you can imagine how spooky they look as Joe Alienman and his team sneaks along the ridge, trying not to attract the attention of the Bobs. And it can be strange and alien and etc. and then the Bobs never pop up again. Because in a novel you get to decide what the characters actually have to interact with and what's just local colour.

But in an RPG, you have to assume that the players and GM will want to make use of every part of the setting. So when their guide Jane Alienman goes: "Beware of the Bobs!" one of the players might want to peek over the ridge, so the GM is gonna need a description of what a Bob looks like. Or one of the players might flub their stealth roll, or just decide that they want to bring back a skinned Bob as a trophy, and then the GM is gonna need stats for them. Like, at most you can reference extremely setting-peripheral stuff, to give the GM some space to invent their own stuff. But if you reference something in an RPG, you should describe it and, ideally, stat it out, even if it's only in a supplement of some sort.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Joe Slowboat posted:

...to bring this back to RPGs, Degenesis seems to use some of that language alienation, referencing things we don't yet know about often and vaguely. Does that work in an RPG? Can one have a setting book with implications rather than direct statements about immediate physical reality?
I think that characterizing your setting in such a way is a skill to teach to GMs, rather than something you can do directly in a book.

Apocalypse World does this: it's concerned with teaching you how to GM a post-apocalyptic world that is desperate, violent, wracked with scarcity and disease. It's not concerned with exactly what kind of post-apocalypse it is, which is up to you to invent. But it gives you some material conceits to go on: the rules make it clear that permanent settlements, guns, cars, and psychic powers are assumed to exist.

Circle of Hands is similar. I was going to put this in the opening chapter, but it got too wordy: in a typical fantasy setting book, the chapter on religion would immediately get into a list of gods, with notes on their depictions, symbols, spheres of influence, and their worshippers. It's up to you to see the forest for the trees and reckon that Eberron and the Forgotten Realms have a sort-of-Roman ecumenical paganism. CoH doesn't do this; it's much more concerned with explaining the general principles of the regional religion and its role in society. It's entirely up to you to decide that the people in this village worship some guy who died a century ago as a saint, and they honor him by burning something in an altar stone, which makes them prey for Amboriyon wizards who are big on rituals involving purification by fire...

Anyway. The only game I can think of that does almost or exactly what you're talking about is the Dying Earth Roleplaying Game itself, which is big on teaching players to just make up setting details while going about their picaresque misadventures. Because in accordance with what I was talking about, if two PCs have a rambling argument about what the Anti-Theocrats of the 3rd Aeon of the Lunar Era were doing, it has absolutely zero impact on things that are the GM's purview.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 16:03 on May 1, 2018

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I had no idea there was a Dying Earth RPG! That sounds good, I should check it out.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




It's a great game. Make sure to get the Revivification Folio, which is basically the second edition. That and the Gaean Reach game both use the updated, streamlined version of the rules that were introduced in Skulduggery.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




PurpleXVI posted:

But in an RPG, you have to assume that the players and GM will want to make use of every part of the setting. So when their guide Jane Alienman goes: "Beware of the Bobs!" one of the players might want to peek over the ridge, so the GM is gonna need a description of what a Bob looks like. Or one of the players might flub their stealth roll, or just decide that they want to bring back a skinned Bob as a trophy, and then the GM is gonna need stats for them. Like, at most you can reference extremely setting-peripheral stuff, to give the GM some space to invent their own stuff. But if you reference something in an RPG, you should describe it and, ideally, stat it out, even if it's only in a supplement of some sort.
This is a point in favour of simple rules systems, whether they're indie narrative things or just old-school D&D: it's very easy to leave the details of the monster up to the GM when its stats are going to be simple and easy to deal with regardless.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I don't thing that Degenesis does that purposefully; it's bad editing and bad understanding of arranging things.

Remember that we did get a brief overviews of what cults and Sepsis are; they just weren't that instructive.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


FMguru posted:

having monsters be collections of rumored abilities that the GM decides the truth of when they're encountered.

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

White Coke posted:

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.
Don't think so. The monsters are just a name and a series of suggested/rumored abilities and ranges of suggested statistics; the GM is encouraged to pick and choose whatever he think is best suited to the scenario he's spinning out and the party's strength, which is in keeping with books (which never actually describe what an asp or tasm looks like or does, just that they're bad news) and prevents the players from doing the old D&D trick of memorizing the monster manual so you're never really surprised or afraid of what a monster might do.

The abilities are given in terms of the players' party's strength, so a deodand will have different stats if it encounters a pair of PCs or a party of six - there's no "objective" measurement of a pelgrane or a twk-mans strength - which is a very Robin Laws touch.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS


White Coke posted:

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.
I'd think most crime games would allow that. I know Blades in the Dark does; players can take a little bit of harm, then explain that they bribed this guard a week ago or whatever.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


White Coke posted:

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.

Sounds like Blades in the Dark to me. A similar mechanic for a game specifically about hunting monsters could be a really good fit. You're about to get roasted by fire breath, so "fortunately" you got that cold charm cast on your armor for just such an occasion.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.






Grimey Drawer

I believe that's also a thing in the Leverage RPG (as the show does the "flashback showing that we planned for this all along" thing a bunch.)

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Some Gumshoe games do this in various ways, particularly Night's Black Agents.

There are also plenty of narrative games where this sort of thing is just implicit in the way player abilities are used.

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






White Coke posted:

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.

Well, I mean, you can do that in Continuum, but you have to travel back into the past to create that coincidence otherwise you implode.

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