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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Rand Brittain posted:

I don't think just being a replacement is enough to be a heartbreaker. You have to have your One Good Idea for fixing the Great Game of Yore, without ever having seen any of the commentary about the game since then, or being familiar with anything that's happened in the industry since it came out.
Technically speaking, almost nothing is a Heartbreaker because you don't have to commit to an expensive print run to publish a game.

But this is fun: In the last chapter of Circle of Hands, Edwards says that while digital publishing would have precluded any game being a heartbreaker in the financial sense, Kickstarter has made that possible again.


Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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

oriongates posted:

Pretty much, with I suppose Godbound being the more successful one (what's the term for a successful Heartbreaker? RPG I guess).
Spiritual successor.

May 13, 2013

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

I think a Heartbreaker should break a heart through the apparent amount of effort that went into producing it, only to end shittier than the game it's fixing/immitating.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements

I'm really getting tired of Degenesis constantly emphasizing 'Africans are slavers!' and also 'no Europeans make good slaves, they're all freedom-loving feisty nationalists.'
Like, the idea that one or another ethnicity 'makes good slaves' is already a vile trope out of the worse parts of history. The insistence that white people are bad for enslaving (compared to whom?) is out of that same era.

This isn't to say I think the Devs are doing this on purpose, but I think they're unthinkingly recreating tropes from fiction that have some bad roots, like people often do.

Also, is it just me or is this kind of the Asterix the Gaul of post-apocalyptic settings?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

This is a weird trend in fantasy I can't trace, where they make the Swarthy Races the ones who love enslaving people. (For example, The Wilderlands of High Fantasy.)

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013

It traces its roots all the way back to the 1800s scrabble for Africa when European Imperialists tried to recast their conquests as philanthropy to end the slave trade perpetrated by the vile Arabs and Eastern Africans.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Oh, that makes sense. I suppose 20s-30s pulp would have been full of African and Asian people enslaving each other as well as the specter of "white slavery."

Sep 10, 2003

peed on;

It's a big part of Confederate apologia, too. Black Africans enslaved each other and white Americans were just one of their many purchasers, so why are you all hatin' on us?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007


GW now publishes stuff aimed at kids.

A GBS thread to vent in:

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

Feb 13, 2012

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

Warhammer 40k Roleplay: Black Crusade

Hatred: Everyone. Enemy: Everyone. The true essence of Khorne.

Alright, we're going to start out with the actual Rewards of the Gods. If you hit a Corruption breakpoint, you roll d100 vs. your Infamy. If you roll under your Infamy, you get an actual Reward instead of a Mutation. Note this only happens if you're Aligned (I know I've hammered on this a lot, but outside of Psykers going for Exalted powers you get punished hard for staying Undivided). Each God has six Rewards, though for all of them two of them are 'A Daemon Weapon' and 'A Daemonic Name, in preparation for eventual Ascension'. A Daemon Weapon granted by one of the Gods will be a weapon of the player's choice, infested with one of the minor mook daemons like a daemonette or bloodletter. Nothing spectacular, but any daemonic weapon is going to be extremely powerful (if it doesn't possess you) so that's nice. The name is a minor +d5 Infamy bonus, at the cost of giving enemies who learn your name a Fate Point to use against you.

Slaanesh's first unique reward (the book starts with Slaanesh) is the Face of Slaanesh. You gain some of the unnerving, insane perfection of your God and those who look upon you suffer Fear 2 (Or your prior Fear+1, if that would make you scarier) in the face of your beauty. You also gain Peer (Mortal Followers of Slaanesh) for +10 to interaction tests with other Slaaneshi.

The second is Hermaphrodite, and it doesn't mean what you think it means. Rather, anyone looking at you will see the masculine or feminine (or anything else) that they most hope to see emphasized in your features, a subtle illusion of Slaaneshi magic. Whatever you say or do will tend to be interpreted in the way someone most hopes it will be. You are now everything to all people all the time and come to represent their hopes and desires perfectly. In game, this doubles your Degrees of Success on any Interaction tests. Note those are usually opposed tests, where your opponent has to beat your DoS, and that Slaaneshi are already insanely good at diplomacy. This is the sort of power where a Slaaneshi walks into an Inquisitoral Conclave, addresses the gathering for an hour, and leaves elected Inquisitor Lord.

The Mark of Slaanesh does the same thing it does if you earn it by buying 20 Slaaneshi advances and having 5 more Slaaneshi than any other Advance at a Corruption breakpoint. If you already have it the game isn't clear but I believe you simply roll again and take a different Gift. You gain Unnatural Fellowship 2 (So +1 DoS on Fel tests, +2 Fellowship Bonus) and Heightened Senses (All) (So effectively +10 to all Perception tests). Simple, effective, and thematically fitting.

Finally, you can gain One Thousand and One Senses, whereby Slaanesh agrees that your old senses were getting boring and makes up new ones to add to them. With your enormous new array of sensory powers, you can experience the entire universe anew and praise your God in ways that your brain previously couldn't even imagine, which is kind of a cool way of doing that reward. You gain doubled DoS on any Awareness test, which makes you very hard to sneak up on because you have senses people didn't even know they needed to conceal themselves from.

Nurgle starts you off with Corpulent Immensity, where he makes you extremely fat. Nurgle likes things big; you become Size 6 (compared to normal humans being Size 4 and Marines Size 5, this is a size usually used for light armored vehicles, which gives +20 to hit you) and gain +5 Wounds. You also can't Run. Oh good, five hitpoints in return for being more easily hit with a lascannon and even more unable to maneuver. You shouldn't have, Grandfather Nurgle.

The Face of Nurgle mechanically does the exact same thing as the Face of Slaanesh. All the Face talents do. It makes you look more like Nurgle: Rotting and bloated, but always smiling. It puts a spring in your step and brings joy to your life, infectious joy.

The Mark of Nurgle makes you immune to critical hit effects unless they are caused by a psyker or a holy weapon. Anything effect won't kill you outright just bounces off: Stunning, vacuum, bleeding, poison, breathing, all these things can no longer affect you. You also get +1 to your Unnatural Toughness. Being effectively immune to status effects and stuns is actually very helpful, and Unnatural T is always welcome.

Nurgle's Rot lets you spend a full action and roll d100 vs. your Corruption stat. If you succeed, all non-Nurglites within meters equal to your Corruption Bonus (tens digit of your Corruption) take d10+Corruption Bonus damage that ignores non-sealed armor. It's also Toxic (4), so Tough-40 or suffer d10 more unsavable wounds. This is you exuding your aura of horrible corruption and fast-acting flesh-eating diseases.

Nurgling Infestation is a simple trick whereby you pop out Nurglings (extremely minor demons of Nurgle) equal to your Toughness Bonus once per battle to scurry around and give you outnumber bonuses or whatever.

Khorne has the Collar of Khorne, where he gives you a 'totally metal' brass collar that he absolutely didn't buy at a garage sale. This gives you a talent that normally lets you make WP tests to negate incoming warp powers, except you don't need to make the WP test. You are, in effect, able to shut down any Psychic power aimed at you with your collar if you spend an hour at some point during the session doing a minor ritual of contempt for all weavers of the black arts and spend 1 Infamy Point.

The Face of Khorne makes your eyes glow with the spookiness of hate and makes you snort out black smoke 'from the endless funeral pyres'. I'm not kidding. This has the same mechanical effect as the other Faces.

A Flesh Fused Weapon picks one of the player's arms, and one of their weapons, and combines the two. You can no longer use that arm or hand, but may use that weapon one handed, and it becomes instantly Best Craftsmanship and will never run out of ammunition or break. This is our first mention of Legacy Weapons, despite them not coming up until the Khorne Book: Any Flesh Fused Weapon can be nominated as a Legacy Weapon automatically.

THE HAND OF KHORNE makes one of your arms and hands super buff and turns it into a 2d10+SB Pen8 punching fist. It also turns red. So you get a shittier power fist. You can still use the hand normally, though, and punching a guy's head off is the essence of Khorne. Or would be if it weren't for...

Purity of Aggression, a Reward that gives you Enemy (-20 to Interaction Tests) (EVERYONE) and Hatred (EVERYONE). You get +10 WS against everyone in the universe because you hate them all, you hate the way they're alive and exist and haven't been punched in their stupid faces yet.

The Mark of Khorne is mechanically very powerful, granting +2 Unnatural Str, a trait that gives a big damage bonus when you Charge, and Resistance to Psy. Khorne only really does melee, but Khorne is really good at melee.

Tzeentch is weird, starting with a simple 'Reroll all your Mutations, take the new ones' as Changer of Ways. This isn't really good or bad, just annoying, most likely. If you don't have any Mutations yet, reroll this Gift.

Ecstatic Duplication is almost totally useless. If you die or Burn Infamy, you split apart into a couple minor Tzeentch demons, who will eventually come back together into you if you Burned Infamy. Yay? It would be better to have things that help you avoid dying than a weak demon summon if you die.

Face of Tzeentch makes your face and features constantly shift, so that you never look alike twice. Same mechanical effect as the other Faces.

FLAMING ARM gives you a magic wizard flamethrower arm, which is cool. It shoots wizard fire whenever you want it to, over a 10m radius like a flamethrower, doing d10+Corruption Bonus+Intelligence Bonus that ignores non-blessed armor. The arm can still be used normally, too!

Massive Intellect was extremely great in Fantasy and extremely lame here. It makes you able to make massive conspiracy walls full of red string and hold them all together in your head, doubling your DoS on Logic skill checks. Kind of a lame skill to have a doubled DoS talent attached to because Logic's effects on success are very nebulous and it isn't usually an Opposed skill like Awareness or interaction stuff. In Fantasy it would've given you an awesome +2d10 Int, but here it's mostly a wasted Gift.

The Mark of Tzeentch gives you +1 Unnatural Willpower and +1 Psy Rating, and if you weren't a Psyker before you are now. Simple, effective, and it is legitimate to worship the annoying bird-god of conspiracy theorists in hopes of being made a wizard.

Warpsmith just straight gives you +2 Psy Rating and makes you a Psyker if you weren't before you got it. Combined with the Mark, this can get you incredible psychic might as a Tzeentch worshiper, though you'll be giving up all the best Powers by aligning to a God.

Next Time: 'Rewards' of Chaos

May 13, 2013

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

panascope hits the homerun in one post

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk

Chapter 7: Places of Interest - Africa

Chapter 7 of Dark Matter is an entire chapter of plot hooks that you can use (or not) in your campaign. None of them are super detailed or fleshed out, but they can serve as either an adventure jumping off point for a DM, quick "facts" you can provide inquisitive players (What does your investigator know about Egypt? Well, they know X, Y and Z) or bare bones plot outlines for when your players run outside the bounds of your planned adventure.

The chapter is sorted by continent and then broken down into smaller sections based on towns, regions, states, etc. There's quite a disparity of content between sections, some like Africa get roughly 2.5 pages of text, while others like North America have 16 or more (out of about 40 total pages in the entire chapter). I guess this could also be a meta commentary about how the US consumes a disproportionate amount of global resources, but I'm probably putting way more thought into that than they did. I'm not sure whether this was an intentional bias on behalf of Wolfgang and Monte or whether it belies a general lack of curiosity for researching areas outside their personal comfort zone, but it isn't a great look. Oh also, each continent is given a descriptive subtitle and some of them are cringe-inducing enough that I'm inclined to think the content disparity was at least partially intentional. Anyway, let's go around the world in 40 pages!

AFRICA: Birthplace of a Species

The Congo
The Hook: The Congo was one of the first locations where the Kinori set up permanent warrens when they completed their pilgrimage to Earth. Fast forward to 199X, and rumors still persist that tribes of savage lizard-men stalk human prey throughout the jungles. Others claim that the reptilian creatures hunting the Congo aren't really Kinori any more; either gruesome Kinori-human crossbreeds, or degenerate Kinori mutants, or perhaps dinosaur-like creatures that guard long abandoned Kinori outposts. The Congolese government doesn't acknowledge any of these rumors, but unlicensed big game hunters are making bank by promising to take tourists on a safari to hunt the mysterious lizard-men.
My Take: Giving the GM an idea to kick around for a potential adventure is decent, but the hook is too sparse on actionable info to do much more than that. It's a decent prompt for the players to explore further, but the GM is going to do a lot of heavy lifting to make anything out of this.

King Leopold's Mines
The Hook: In the 19th century, Belgian King Leopold allowed his colonists to commit atrocities against the native Congolese in the pursuit of opening and maintaining rubber mines; estimates place anywhere from 5 to 10 MILLION Congolese dead from the Belgian occupation. Even though almost a century has passed since Leopold died and the colonial administrators were removed, there's still several million vengeful ghosts trapped in those mines. With global dark matter levels rising, the ghosts are finally able to manifest in our world, and they're thirsty for revenge. They can't be reasoned with, so shamen, witch doctors and other faith agents are making bank putting these unruly ghosts back to rest. However, there's far more spirits trapped in the mines than there are people qualified to deal with them, and it's only a matter of time until the ghosts manage to overwhelm the minimal safeguards that are presently in place. Rumors persist that there's a doorway buried deep in the mine shafts that's allowing most of the spirits to cross over, but so far anyone sent in to try and find it hasn't returned - alive.
My Take: Ghostbusters but in Africa is a decent enough conceit. Again, not enough actionable info to let a GM just throw this down in a pinch, but another fertile bed for a GM with a little time to bang out a memorable adventure.


The Hook(s):
1. The Rosicrucians still have a small membership kicking around Cairo. They've all managed to find themselves in positions of influence (either government officers or professors at universities or etc.) and they keep a very keen eye on requests for archaeological digs or requests to explore pyramids/tombs/ruins. The goal is to preemptively deny any requests to investigate sites where they know that Strangers have been active or where Doorways have been closed. Depending on the nature of the request, they have made exceptions to allow certain groups or individuals to conduct a dig or visit ruins, but only w/ extreme supervision. So far this system has allowed them to prevent any major dark matter event from blowing up in Egypt, but it's only a matter of time until someone slips through their net and cracks open a tomb that should have been left sealed.
2. The Pyramids of Giza are super mysterious and people have speculated for centuries as to their actual purpose and construction. The prevailing wisdom is that they were intended to be tombs for royalty, but that's only their secondary function. In actually, all three pyramids were constructed to "seal" the original Doorways that the Kinori used to migrate to Earth. In an unexpected twist, natural processes like tectonic shifts and changes in the Earth's magnetic poles have caused the Doorways to re-align in the open desert, about a half-kilometer away from the stones that were blocking them. So far, the Doorways haven't activated on their own, and it's unknown whether the Rosicrucians stationed in Cairo know that the Doorways are no longer sealed. Anyone able to contact the Kinori could certainly count on their assistance, but their numbers and power have dwindled over the millennia and they wouldn't be able to provide another solution without direct support from another group.
3. The Sphinx is a relic of a civilization that predates human history but it's not hiding anything exciting and there's no valuable relics or treasures inside. The book suggests that players could be fed misinformation about the importance of the Sphinx to throw them off the trail of something that's actually important.
My Take: I'm honestly impressed that Wolfgang and Monte didn't just re-create the plot of "The Mummy" whole cloth. The Rosicrucians are nominally a good guy group, and it's not impossible for the players to have made previous contact with the Kinori, so those hooks could be weaved into a campaign without a ton of side work. Still not enough detail to just throw this setup into play without planning, but I like that this provides an answer to the "But What Do They Do All Day?" question for the Rosicrucians. I also like that the Sphinx doesn't have any mysteries or greater purpose; my suspension of disbelief is ruined when every single thing has to be connected to some greater mystery or have a hidden secret. It's refreshing to have a weird statue exist for its own sake.

Sahara Desert
The Hook(s):
1. The Tuat Oases has a ton of historical significance, and in Dark*Matter it's also the location of the first Doorway used by the Etoile to stage their invasion of Earth. All of the various nomadic tribes that would frequent the oases (Berbers, Arabs and Haratin) have been subsequently turned into Sandmen and are now acting as the Etoile's eyes and ears while the Etoile slowly consolidate a power base. Some Kinori allied with the Rosicrucian sect in Cairo got hip to the Etoile schemes and they've begun a nocturnal guerrilla war against them. Although the Etoile have vastly superior technology, the Kinori still possess a measure of their arcane heritage, and they're also 1000x more familiar with navigating the featureless desert terrain. So far the Kinori have only been able to serve as a distracting nuisance, but they're a big enough thorn that the Etoile have started sending their Sandman agents to Egypt to solicit the government to help them exterminate the Kinori.
2. The Kinori across most of Northern Africa mostly live in a series of complex, underground interconnected warrens that they collectively refer to as the Underworld. These warrens comprise some of the first homes that ancestral Kinori built upon their arrival on Earth, and most of them are buried so far beneath the desert sand that they don't risk accidental discovery. The warrens will tap into human irrigation conduits when possible, which allow them to grow enough food to survive (apparently modified strains of dates, vegetables and cereals). Someone could conceivably navigate the entire breadth of North Africa using only the Underworld, but non-Kinori would very quickly become lost without a guide, and would certainly face territorial and hostile locals if they didn't have a proper invitation.
3. The Tuareg are descendants of the original Homo Sapiens inhabitants of the Nile basin, and they've maintained their mostly nomadic lifestyle for several thousand years. Although they've been "conquered" by Arabic Muslims, the French, and other groups throughout time, they remain resolute in their values and beliefs. At one point in the 15th century they had their own sultanate in what would now be central Niger, but after that collapsed they just returned to their nomadic lifestyle. They're important in Dark*Matter because they are the humans with the best relationships with the local Kinori; they trade supplies that can't be acquired underground and in return the Kinori share their arcane knowledge. Anyone attempting to gain an invitation to the Underworld or otherwise make contact with the Kinori in Africa would be well served by reaching out to the Tuareg.
4. African nations have rocky relationships with the French Foreign Legion (Algeria bans them, but Mali and Niger will host them) and with good reason - they're the African arm of the Knights of Malta. This is kinda inconsistent with their prior characterization as policy nerds that work via established power structures, but whatever. They're currently invested in uncovering the Kinori "stronghold" so that they can exterminate the "demons", but so far none of their patrols have been able to locate an entrance to the Underworld. They'd likely be opposed to the Etoile too if they knew that they existed, but thus far the two groups haven't crossed paths (that the Knights know of).
My Take: I like that this establishes two different alien species as directly opposing each other. In a lot of games all of the aliens/monsters/mutants/etc. constitute some kind of monolithic evil and it always rings hollow to me. Enterprising investigators could potentially use the Knights to antagonize the Etoile while keeping the Kinori out of the mix. The sections themselves are sparse on content, but I like the overall themes they're presenting.

The Hook: In the Cote d'Ivoire lurks the oddest ghost town in Africa: Yamoussoukro. Established as the country's capital, the current town came into being in 1960 when newly elected President for Life Felix Houphouet-Boigny raided the national coffers to turn his native village into (at that time) a modern French metropolis. The barren city includes deserted Parisian-style boulevards, empty 8-lane highways, 10,000 functional street lights and the largest Catholic Church in the world. The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace cost $330 million to build and was a rush job completed in under 3 years; the dome on top is only slightly smaller than the dome on top of St. Peter's cathedral, and only because the Pope (at that time) directly intervened with admonishment. Felix instead added a gigantic cross on top of the dome to make his Church the world's tallest and included a plaza that could hold roughly 300,000 worshipers. In spite of all this, no more than a dozen people ever visit the Basilica in a year, and there's a reason why - Yamoussoukro is a town that's literally inhabited by ghosts. Felix attempted to have very specific holy rituals performed so that his church would constitute the single largest Catholic holy ground in the world, but something went wrong and the rituals instead made the city into a beacon that any ghost or spirit or specter can sense from miles away. As a result, the city actually functions more or less as a normal city, except that you'd have to be dead to know it. Nobody knows what went wrong with the ritual, nor why the city became a magnet for spirits, but almost no local humans willingly inhabit the city. Rumors persist that the botched rituals actually imprisoned a powerful Demon in the bowels of the Basilica and that it's still trapped down there today; the ghosts being summoned are the Demon's vain attempts to try & free itself.
My Take: I don't know how original the "ghost city that's actually inhabited by ghosts" is, but it works for me as a cool adventure prompt. The idea of pre-fab mega cities that get constructed ahead of anyone actually living there but then wind up never being inhabited for one reason or another (a phenomenon recently occurring in China) scratches the "cool eerie itch" for me and having that included in Dark*Matter is cool and good.

NEXT TIME: Chapter 7: Calling the Americas "the new world" is Eurocentric as hell so guess what the subtitle for the Americas is?

Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

I feel like in general Dark*Matter tried to throw out enough cool ideas and hints of things to inspire the GM while being cryptic enough to not get in their way if there's something that would get in the way of their idea. Given that the modules they made for it all have at least one section that is a grim death march (and arguably Web of Evil had maybe TWO) it's probably for the best that they recognized whoever was GMing it knew better than they about what players might enjoy.

I might should pull up The Final Church at some point just to showcase what a cruel shitshow Web of Evil is, generally you don't look at an adventure's final encounter and just NOPE huge aspects of it but geez I don't know what they were thinking with that fight. The premise however is loving hilarious.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 21:18 on May 21, 2018

Mar 17, 2009

Spire part 15

Districts and Factions of Low Society - Part 2
These places aren't just the homes of the poor, they're also where Spire is fed, and clothed, where ore is smelted and machines work endlessly.

The Gardens

Due to the multi-layered nature of Spire, much of the area available for growing food is underground.

The Dark-farmers are traditional Drow farmers, tending huge copper vats of algae and raising swarms of locusts and grubs to be groundinto flour. And above all, the growing of mushrooms. If a family is too poor to provide a funeral for a loved one, the corpse is often sold to the Morticians guild, who will then sell them on to the farmers in the underspire. They're bound up in spider-silk and hung from the roofs of caverns where meaty, carnivorous fungi sprout from the bodies - an affordable source of protein.

The human-run Hydroponic Vaults use prokatakos technology to grow crops under artificial light, permitting the cultivation of vast subterranean fields of wheat and grain. These projects often run afoul of dark-farmer sabotage; they see the use of light as an affront to their traditions.

The Herald Corporation are a recent addition to the Spire; seeking to deliver food to the poor at a price they can afford. As usual this is a front - the head of the corporation is infected with a transdimensional sentient disease called the Vyskant and is trying to spread it through the Spire. Fortunately, it still can't infect without blood contact... (more on this later).

The Works

Counterpoint to the Gardens, the Works take up much of the lower levels of the Spire; a noisy reeking expanse of factories, warehouses and clanking machinery. Working here is a recipie for a short life of black-lung and crushing machines. The substance known as spireblack congeals on the walls here and no-where else; a slightly-flammable soot that when refined can be used as an explosive, as gunpowder, or as a source of cheap black ink, used to print salacious pamphlets and badly-spelled erotica which are consumed by the lower classes of the Spire.

The Machine Heart is a mostly-human cult of inventors and fringe scientists, who believe that the Spire is a broken prokatakos machine. They've cobbled together the titular Heart in an attempt to use it as a catalyst to restart the machine to its original purpose, whatever they believe it to be.

Greymanor Services is situated three flights of stairs above a printing press and is, all appearences to the contrary, the spire's foremost firm of private investigators. They're hirable for any paying job imaginable, and will happily freelance for a deserving, but penniless client.

Greymanor Investigator
Pass an interview with Maxwell Roche, head of Greymanor Services? You're now a hardbitten noir detective! Refresh when you solve a case the bureau assigns you to.

Low Lose a fight, ask the GM three questions about you investigation that connect to the fight. Make the GM tell you two ways an NPC is corrupt, one of which is true. Ask the GM what action would cause the most trouble.
Medium Ask the GM what an NPC's secret is - no hard evidence, but you've got a hunch. If you're drunk, take Reputation stress to ignore fallout.
High Ignore Blood stress that's less than half your current Blood stress - you can take a beating. Also;

The Parliment of Gutterkin is a new thing. Slish is a runt of a thing - it looks like it's made op of at least one crow, but bent into human form - but it does have a certain charisma. It's gathering a band of dirty birdfolk, sump-goblins and other child-sized greasy humanoids into a crude parliment. A war is brewing now in the walls of the Works.

Next: The Occult (probably long)

Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.

Oven Wrangler

I was mostly sold before but noir private eye in a Dickensian fantasy arcology just pushed it over the finish line.

Feb 13, 2012

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

It reminds me a lot of the more interesting parts of Planescape, where it's this weird kind of grotesque that seems totally normal to the people who live it.

Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.

Grimey Drawer

LongDarkNight posted:

I was mostly sold before but noir private eye in a Dickensian fantasy arcology just pushed it over the finish line.

I know, right?

Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

Night10194 posted:

It reminds me a lot of the more interesting parts of Planescape, where it's this weird kind of grotesque that seems totally normal to the people who live it.

Well and even better it's just SOME of the grotesquerie that's 'normal'. We're fighting to preserve our grotesque Drow way of life against the also grotesque and furthermore alien Aelfir way of life (which also happens to be horribly biased against us, giving even more motivation to do that thing).

Apr 23, 2010


does Spire go into more detail about the humans? what the heck is their deal in a world of immortal ice assholes and gross spider freaks?

May 13, 2013

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

Cultures: Hybrispania, pt. 2

Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 2: Cultures


While Madrid and a string of other cities stand, no African will be allowed to set foot on the Castilian plateau. And it's a place worth conquering, as the Hybrispanian jungle gives way to cornfields stretching between chains of hills and rocky outcroppings.

Castile posted:

Almonds smell sweetly, dry-stone walls mark pathways. The alleys are flooded with light, old Guerreros sit on stone benches, surrounded by children, telling stories oftheir battles, of their enemies, their grimaces and masks and that they bleed just like you and me.

Scourgers are loving badass, you can't escape that even in scenes of rustic tranquility. Also, by the time we're finished with Hybrispania, you'll be certain that “old Guerrero” is an oxymoron.

In case you forgot that we're still in Spain, every city and village is stated to have an Arena. But it's not for the bulls: young Guerreros are taking part in a cross between historical reanactment and gladiatorial games, ritually recreating famous battles.

Castile posted:

La Campeadora is said to have killed an African Simba with nine hits, so those who manage to knock out their opponent with exactly nine blows in the arena are named El Astado, the bull, and celebrated as the village’s strongest fighter for one day.

A Simba is a Scourger class/level, I thing. Who is La Compeadora? Lol, that's next subsection, silly. Now we need to talk about the Jehammedans. They're are getting along with the Hybris just fine. The lay people buy their goats, listen to their sermons (including the ones on “sublimity of
the war against the Africans”) and take their sons to fight along with them.

Since Jehemmedans get to fight with Guerreros, the veterans get a lot of street cred. Which means that Iconides are the closest thing Hybrispania has to holy warriors. This makes them super influential in the war effort – and motivating people to fight.

Castile posted:

If there were days of leisure once, the Iconides’ droning drives the Guerreros back to the jungle’s inferno with their wounds barely healed.

La Compeadora

La Compeadora posted:

Cordoba took her left eye. At Cartagena, a 9mm round punched two smoking craters into her cheeks and turned her teeth into a galaxy of calcium shards. At Barcelona, the exploding Abubakar’s shrapnel tore her nose and forehead. Scourger welts on the back at Malaga, another gunshot wound at Cartagena, in the leg this time. Little sacrifices to a big war and her painful, but victorious part in it.

La Compeadora is the Guerrera. She was known as 'The Beautiful Flower” at a Neolybian's court in Cordoba twenty years ago. Things have changed since then. La Compeadora – The Fighting Woman – is all about kicking rear end.

La Compeadora posted:

The Hybrispaniards’ war bred great Guerreros. They came and went: torn by bullets, run over, chained between Scourger buggies and ripped apart. Their death inspired the survivors from whose ranks the next conqueror soon rose.

Emphasis mine

So, Guerreros are great at fighting. But La Compeadora is also good at talking to people, working the crowd. She's a leader, someone the book calls the closest thing the Hybrispaniards ever had to a warlord. However, the book contradicts that immediately by dedicating a long paragraph to all the practical stuff La Compeadora does. Her hands-on approach means that shechecks weapon chaches, teaches people to set traps, raises morale of broken Guerreros, recruits children and trains them up as junior Guerreros... The woman does everything.

Next time: Our SIGINT picks ups tachyons

Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

thatbastardken posted:

does Spire go into more detail about the humans? what the heck is their deal in a world of immortal ice assholes and gross spider freaks?

the humans are techies, they do a bunch of steampunk stuff and weird science.

Mar 17, 2009

thatbastardken posted:

does Spire go into more detail about the humans? what the heck is their deal in a world of immortal ice assholes and gross spider freaks?

Basically, the humans are from out west, and spend most of their time delving into ancient Prokatakos archologies under the leadership of their Wandering Kings. Generally the engineers of the setting, with an emphasis on real-world steam power and decidedly fantastical galvanic/lightning tech. Spire doesn't delve into them too much except where they touch on the drow way of life, but one of the appendices is a list of their archologies.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.

Clapping Larry

Also with Spire, the Kickstarter just released a four-part Director's Commentary for backers and I cannot wait to listen to it.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk

Chapter 7: Places of Interest - The Americas part 1

The section on the Americas is the single biggest section, but my previous hyperbole aside, it does combine both North and South America, so it's basically two continents in one section. I'm pretty sure that South America doesn't get the same amount of space devoted to it that North America does, but there's no point in continuing to beat a dead horse. Since it does take up a bunch of pages, I'll likely split this over a few updates.

AMERICAS: A New World uuggghhhh

The Hook(s):
1. Denali National Forest was recently the site of a mysterious experiment conducted by the CDC. Nobody knows what they did or why they did it, but when the Hoffman Institute sent agents up to poke around after the CDC left, they found portions of the forest contaminated with dangerously high radiation levels, as well as the complete skeletal remains of three hikers that had been reported missing only days before the CDC showed up. The strangest thing is that each skeleton was found in the middle of a radioactive hot zone, but none of them contained any radioactive isotopes.
2. The Order of St. Gregory has a presence established all across Alaska; they have agents planted within every Catholic Church in the state. A classified report by the US Coast Guard indicates an object of unknown origin recently fell from space and crash landed near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. According to the report, agents of St. Gregory commandeered a cutter from the US Coast Guard, incapacitated the crew, and managed to beat everyone else to the crash site. By the time the CG was able to scramble another crew out to the crash site, it had been cleared of everything but natural debris, and the agents of St. Gregory were nowhere to be found. Hoffman Institute friendlies within the CG leak the story to HI hoping that the players can recover whatever the agents of St. Gregory stole.
3. Juneau seems to have a larger than average number of Sasquatch sightings, especially for being such a remote location that's often only accessible by boat or plane. There's speculation that the remoteness is the exact reason that a group of Sasquatch have set up a commune somewhere nearby, but so far unfounded speculation is the only thing that anyone can provide.
My Take: The mysterious skeletons and the unidentified object are both great adventure prompts. The Sasquatch commune is less exciting unless they're already a feature in your campaign, although in that case it could serve as a convenient base of operations for a Sasquatch squad (which is an alternate type of player party that gets mentioned in the GM section).

The Hook: The legendary prison was decommissioned in 1963 after having housed some of the most violent and dangerous criminals in the US for almost 30 years. In 1969 a group of Sioux Indians managed to acquire ownership of the island from the US government via an obscure provision in a century old peace treaty, and they retained ownership until 1972 when the city of San Francisco purchased it from them and turned it into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Why were the Sioux willing to sell the island after only 3 years? The place is lousy with ghosts! The island contains some type of Stranger relic that pre-dates human history, and one function of the relic is that it prevents the soul of anyone that dies on or near the island from ever leaving. Essentially, Alcatraz is still an escape-proof prison, it's just now a prison for the afterlife. In 199X a group of diabolists calling themselves the Children of Satan caught wise to Alcatraz's new function as a prison for the dead, and while they don't have all of the details worked out yet (like what the Stranger relic is, or where it's actually located in the island) they've begun to worship the relic as "The Warden". They convene on the island twice a year (at the solstice and equinox) to perform occult rituals and attempt to uncover anything else they can about the Warden.
My Take: Ghostbusters but in San Francisco would be a decent enough conceit, except that this is like the third time this chapter that SPOOKY GHOSTS have been used and I'm already kind of bored with it. Now I'm just curious to see how many times total G-G-G-GHOSTS gets used as the primary plot hook.

The Black Hills
The Hook(s):
1. This region of the Dakotas rests on top of a network of caves, tunnels and subterranean chambers, and humans have only thoroughly explored and mapped maybe 10% of the cavern network. There's ample room for deranged cultists or inhuman Strangers to lair, and that's before anybody notices that the deepest of the caves actually have exits at the bottom - they just don't exit to anywhere on Earth.
2. The Devil's Tower is a site of religious significance to the Native American tribes of the Norther Plains, and in modern times it's been frequently associated with UFO sightings and extraterrestrial activity. In Dark*Matter, this site is another red herring - there's nothing explicitly supernatural or paranormal going on and there's no Illuminati group that has any plans for it. Of course your GM can switch that up, but by default it's another Sphinx (a famous location with no special in-setting significance).
3. The Sturgis Class Motorcycle Rally happens every year in South Dakota and there's rumors that a bunch of other seedy groups use it as a cover to conduct their own dark machinations. Occult rituals, sex slavery, and all manner of other unsavory acts are alleged to happen parallel to the main event. There's not really a specific hook here, more of a general suggestion that the trail of an investigation could lead the players to Sturgis if the GM wants.
4. The site of the Wounded Knee massacre is still haunted by SPOOKY GHOSTS! That's it, there's no other information.
My Take: An investigation based around exploring the extensive natural cave network in the Black Hills could be cool as hell, but obviously would require a lot more fleshing out on the behalf of the GM. Devil's Tower being another Sphinx is fine, but if I see this trend continue I'm going to wonder what's even the point of including a location just to say "nothing important happens here". The section on Sturgis seems like a missed opportunity to involve the Knights of Unity in the setting, since they're otherwise never mentioned outside of Chapter 6. And of course, we're up to the 4th low/no effort "hook" about G-G-G-GHOSTS.

The Hook: From roughly 700 to 1400 CE most of the central US/Mississippi River Valley region was home to a thriving civilization we've since labeled the Mound Builders. The cause of the collapse of the Mound Builder culture isn't well understood, but the archaeological record from Mound Builder sites seems to indicate that they experienced a bizarre change in ritual and practice some time around 1200 CE - all of the art and pottery and mosaics from that time forward heavily feature human sacrifice, stylized skulls and weeping eyes. Legends told by the Chickasaws, Creeks and Cherokees speak of an even older tribe, the Natchez (which became extinct some time around 1729 CE) and how they were an offshoot of the Mound Builders that splintered away when the original civilization fell under the sway of a powerful sorcerer that drove the Mound Builders to practice human sacrifice. The wildest part of the story is that there's still supposedly a single Natchez left alive, a half-French half-Native man that turned against the rest of the tribe in favor of French colonialism. Details are sparse, but supposedly he recovered whatever occult rituals led to the collapse of the Mound Builders and has been using them to artificially extend his life for well over two centuries now. The man's last known alias (in 1729 CE) was Bernard Lemercier and if he really exists he's likely one of the most powerful sorcerers alive today.
My Take: I'm having a hard time caring about this hook because it strikes me as existing only to introduce another Comte de St. Gemaine GMPC that is wildly more powerful than the players could ever hope to be, and that's boring as hell. I guess you could try and find this dude to pit him against the Comte if for some reason you needed to, but otherwise this hook is pretty underwhelming.

Cape Hatteras
The Hook(s):
1. Famous for being a site oft raided by the pirate Blackbeard, for being the final resting place of his prize vessel, the Queen Anne's Revenge, and for being the "Graveyard of the Atlantic". Blackbeard stole the Queen Anne's Revenge from the French in 1717 and turned it into the flagship of his pirate armada, but he held it for less than a year before it was scuttled while trying to enter the harbor at Beaumont Inlet. The Queen Anne's Revenge is the most famous ship to be lost in the cape, but hundreds or thousands of other ships have likewise met their end in the cape's shifting sandbars. Now-a-days the hurricane season washes all manner of wrack and wreckage ashore along the Carolina coast, and the most bizarre are the pieces that seem to have come from ships with no terrestrial origin. It's been postulated that the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" actually contains, in its depths, one or more Doorways that link it to the same geographic location on multiple alternate Earths, and that the bizarre wreckage that washes ashore gives glimpses into the history of a parallel reality.
2. The residents of Queenshead, SC are all the inbred descendants of a cannibal cult of ship-wreckers. Their ancestors would light misleading bonfires on the shore to lure ships into the rocky shoals, and when the ships beached themselves they would then board them, murder and consume the crew, and then pawn whatever valuables were left. In modern times they can't sustain themselves on ambushing wayward ships, so instead they have a Deliverance thing going on where they lure tourists into their town and then kill them and eat them.
3. For the last several years, small and medium sized ships have been disappearing in the waters of the cape, even during days of open skies and calm seas. The Coast Guard thinks that there might be modern-day pirates at work, but locals tell tales of a giant sea serpent that lurks below the waves and surfaces every couple decades to eat its fill of sailors and their ships, before sinking back to the depths to sleep off the meal. So far, nobody has been able to provide any conclusive proof that a large aquatic creature is sinking the ships, but there's not been any proof to support any of the other explanations either. Friendlies in the CG reach out to the Hoffman Institute and ask them to investigate after a CG cutter disappears from its patrol route without apparent cause.
My Take: The Doorways to a parallel Earth are interesting, but the Innsmouth-inspired town of cannibals is pretty pedestrian and hunting Jaws-but-an-alien doesn't really grab me either. My main issue is that TTRPGs are notorious for providing horrible, unfun rules for underwater encounters, so including plot hooks that would conceivably include underwater encounters is a non-starter.


NEXT TIME: More stories about America!

May 13, 2013

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

How much of that Mound Builder history is true?

Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.

JcDent posted:

How much of that Mound Builder history is true?

The first one and a half sentences are true.

e: ending with “understood,”

DalaranJ fucked around with this message at 19:47 on May 22, 2018

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk

DalaranJ posted:

The first one and a half sentences are true.

e: ending with “understood,”

yeah, there's some legit real world mysteries about their civilization. IIRC we've excavated large quantities of human skeletons that look like they were violently murdered (missing skulls and hands, for example) and we've found mass graves that indicate they may have purposely buried people alive for sacrificial purposes, but the Comte-style GMPC and evil sorcerers is obviously made up.

edit: current speculation about why the civilization died out has to do more with the apparent lack of adequate urban planning (no good way to dispose of human waste led to widespread infection and disease) than because a demon turned them into cannibals or whatever.

Jan 10, 2013

The time for
has come!

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Also with Spire, the Kickstarter just released a four-part Director's Commentary for backers and I cannot wait to listen to it.

Are they planning to make it buy-able for non-backers? I´d love to hear their reasoning behind some of the game´s decisions...

May 13, 2013

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

Cultures: Hybrispania, pt. 3

Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 2: Cultures


When Scourgers joined the fight in Spain, they expected a fast victory. Their morale was excelled, they were well armed, and unparralled in combat. They only needed to do a Surge Tank push on Madrid, hit the city with rockets and incediaries, and use the buggies cut off the communications in the plateau. This would leave the Guerreros still in the forests cut off from supplies. Most of them would give up in time.

But that didn't happen.

Surge Tanks got stuck in well-prepared ditches and other Ewok bullshit. Buggies ran into pits that opened into nest of future wasps. Whatever the Scourgers did, the Guerreros had a plan for.

“They had made a pact,” says the book.


Mystic forests high on the southern slopes of the plateau (so, close to the front?) are not for regular mortals. Every tree is marked by mystic etchings.

Destiny posted:

They are coordinates in space and time forming a humans destiny only in a Pregnoctic’s mind. They can tell his past and future much more exactly than this genes; they draw a line from birth to death and into the afterlife.

They say that there is a cave in the forest; any Guerrero wealthy and strong enough to shoot bullets at its entrance for a day would be rewarded with purple artifa- wait, no, that some other Destiny.

Pregnotics are the Psychomancers of Hybrispania, and if I'm getting it right, many of them are just nodes for a hivemind that can see into different times and even worlds.

Destiny posted:

Attributes, deeds, and the manner of death – all of this is written down at the day of birth by a Node, a Pregnoctic whose body can only hold one facet of her mind. She is everywhere at all times. She sees through thousands of eyes into a dozen worlds and countless eras. The trees are her anchor and point of orientation in this world and time. She already knows (has just experienced) that in twenty courses of the sun, a young warrior will come to her (was here) to ask for a glimpse of his future. Like a spider weaving its web, her fingers wander across the bark, cutting time, place and events into it with her fingernails.

Biokinetics look like chumps when compared to the power to see through the veil of time and space. That and having nails sharp enough to etch bark.

The book crammed this picture of what presumably is a Guerrero camp in here, and I will too

Woman of the Mountain

The story of the previously-mentioned warrior continues. The big Scourger push was about to happen and mere oracles were not enouch (why?). A warrior was lead to the mountain by a vision. Crossing the forest of etched trees, he found the Woman of the Mountain.

Woman of the Mountain posted:

Then he sees her: a naked woman by the lake, her back to him. Shadows sway at her feet, climbing her legs and flitting across her back up to her head. Her silhouette blurs as if she was a reflection on the lake’s surface. She giggles with a creaking voice that speaks of age and has nothing in common with the naked beauty in front of the warrior.

I don't know how a giggle can be creaking, but such is the profane magic of the Primer.

Woman of the Mountain posted:

He walks towards her, reaching out to the woman of the mountain. She turns around, takes his hand. Belatedly he lowers his gaze. He has seen the eyes sewn shut and the thing on her forehead that gazes at him like a hungry animal from the depths of nothingness.

She lead him on a tripping vision quest, and he saw the Surge Tanks advancing on Madrid - “enough time to ready the traps.”

No Price Too High

Of course, not everyone is so lucky: some warriors never return from visiting the Nodes. Young girls, however, always return. La Compeadora recruits them from villages for vague Guerrera business, and sends them up the mountain.

These girls return as crones with mussel necklaces, “without a past or present life,” but full of visions/knowledge of the future. That's how Guerreros level the playing field against the Africans.

By the way, the two sides of this conflict are sometimes called the Lion and the Crow. No idea why the Crow is supposed to represent Hybrispania – or why the symbol of Hybrispania is the wheel.

Next time: Lorenso Lamas is... the filthy loving traitor

Aug 31, 2012

Mr.Misfit posted:

Are they planning to make it buy-able for non-backers? I´d love to hear their reasoning behind some of the game´s decisions...

They're going to release it as a series of hourish podcast episodes, starting on Friday. Don't know where the feed will be - best bet is probably to keep an eye on gshowitt on Twitter

Illessa fucked around with this message at 16:29 on May 23, 2018

Oct 2, 2013

LOST Part 1 - The LOST World

Well now that it's translated and playable, I suppose it's time to sit down and talk about LOST. Hopefully I can expand on and clarify some stuff so you all can have a different experience than just straight reading the text. However, if you want to follow along/read ahead/play the game yourself you can find the full rules in English for free at:

Let's start our journey with the setting for the game.

LOST posted:

The Destruction of Japan

5 years ago, a meteorite fell into Mt. Fuji, causing it to erupt. 3 days later, an unknown epidemic spread through all of Japan. Onset of symptoms would begin immediately after infection. First the infected would present a high fever, after which they would lose consciousness. The mortality rate climbed exponentially depending on the age of the person infected, with 100% mortality rates in those 20 or older. Of those who lost consciousness, it was only the children who opened their eyes later. With all working adults dead, the infrastructure immediately collapsed. Massive fires broke out in places across the country.

This set-up is interesting in that it is cribbed almost whole-sale from a Japanese teen drama called 'Miman (Minor) City'. The drama had the same thing with an unknown virus wiping out everyone over 20, leaving groups of angsty, brooding teenagers behind to try to rebuild society. It was apparently really popular, and Hibo (the creator of LOST) wasn't the only one to reference it. Three of the main characters in Miman City were named Takeru, Taichi and Yamato. Two years after Miman City aired, the anime Digimon Adventure ran and it, too, had three main characters named Takeru, Taichi and Yamato, with a survival theme.
(The creator also cites Digimon Adventure as one of the inspirations for this game. It's all connected.)

Anyway, thanks to the disaster a bunch of changes have happened in Japan. Rapidly-growing forests have completely consumed the cities and strange, mutated animals now roam freely. Humans have begun to change as well, with some of the younger population undergoing strange transformations such as rapid-aging, mutant powers and anime hair colors.

The survivors gather together in Camps. The RPG is based around Camp-building, with one of the main focuses being gathering materials as rewards for missions and using them to build improvements to your Camp. The stronger your Camp, the stronger your characters. We'll get more into Camps in the next chapter.

LOST posted:

In the forest there are dangerous areas known as Fields, each ruled over by a powerful Boss. During the 5 years since the fall of society, most of the resources available in the relatively safe areas have been used up. In order to gather resources, the remaining humans need to conquer the Fields. Also, sometimes Fields may form between two Camps, cutting off their ability to communicate and trade. In order to re-establish a connection with the other Camp, the Boss must be defeated and the Field cleared.

Those that challenge the Bosses to clear the Fields, fully aware of the danger involved, are known as Adventurers.

The Boss/Field mechanic provides the basic structure of gameplay: each session your characters are given an excuse to go out into a Field and hunt the Boss. This sort of set-up is great for single-session games and convention play which is what a lot of Japanese TRPGs are based around. It's rare to have a good group for doing a long campaign in Japan, so most of their RPGs focus on keeping things bite-sized. Of course, there are always rules for how to keep things going in the long run if you want to as well.

Of course this rigid, railroad-y structure may not appeal as much to Western gamers so I can imagine for English-speaking GMs it might be necessary to mix things up somehow and house rule in some freedom. Still, the simple structure makes the game a breeze to run, so it does have its perks.

Well that's all for part 1. Next time we'll discuss Camp creation and go more in-depth on the base-building mechanics.

If this game tickles your fancy, please feel free to join in on the first English playtest, which is currently recruiting!

Feb 13, 2012

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

Alright I'm gonna be real with you. I was going to go through mutations in detail but the fact that there's often 5 different varieties of each mutation (depending on your God or Unaligned) and that there are a ton of the drat things means I'm not going to bother after all. Mutation isn't quite as wild as the d1000 chart in Tome of Corruption. There is no chance you accidentally make a living crystal sculpture that feeds on light. Mutation is actually pretty restrained compared to Fantasy. Some of it is helpful, some of it isn't, and every PC is likely to mutate with time. A lot of it is just checking the expected boxes: Oh no, extra eyes! Oh no, your head was devoured by your chest and your brain lives next to your heart now! Oh no, tentacles! I might just skip it and get to the setting stuff.

Chaos mutation really doesn't feel exciting enough. It's all just random oogy bits and stuff. The only really cool mutation is the one that hides all your mutations and makes people think a Space Marine is a totally ordinary human. Nothing else has enough coherence to be anything but a collection of extra organs and orifices with minor game mechanics that don't really matter because every PC is overpowered as hell and the actual game mechanics took a back seat long, long ago in the 40kRP series.

E: Honestly the mechanics in the 40k RP games just get loving exhausting to go through because they simply don't matter. No-one gives a poo poo if a talent gives you +2 to damage because you're using a gun that does 11-38 base to someone who has 10-15 hit points. It doesn't matter that something gives you +1 DR, because again, 11-38 damage through your 10-15 HP, hope you loaded up on dodge. There's so much mechanical stuff to go through and so little of it is actually meaningful. I'm going to be really glad to finish up Black Crusade and get back to Fantasy.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:51 on May 23, 2018

Mar 17, 2009

Spire part 16
Have started listening to the director's commentary and it's really very comprehensive - probably more so than my run through to be honest. Still, I'm most of the way through now. Grant also mentions that there'll be more setting splatbooks coming over the next few months.

Districts and Factions of the Occult - Part 1
Another long chapter this one, as the presence of the Occult in Spire is strong. Which is probably only to be expected given that it's a miles-high vertical city of unknown provenance.

The Vermissian
Had it been successful, the Vermissian would have been a wonder of modern engineering - a mass transit system linking every part of the Spire. Unfortunately, the combination of over-ambitious human engineering, corner-cutting on the art of the work crews and the fact that they were boring a network through a wierd, occult structure mean that things went a bit wrong. The energies of the Heart now spread through the tunnels, reaching throughout the city.

Polaris Station would have been the crown jewel of the Vermission, but it's now a vast black market - and notably, one where the Azurite priests are barred from entry (on pain of being nailed to the station clock).

The Last Train is said to still run on the rails of the Vermissian, its car and engine now an altar with which those who ride it bargain with, and sometimes steer it.

The Shrine to Our Lady of Vengeance in the ruins of a deep station is the one true temple of Lekole - last of the three Danmou, whose worship has been driven deep, deep underground. Her worshipers, the Crimson Vigil, or Vigilities are bunch of violent anarchists and terrorists, who even the Ministry is loath to have dealings with.

Join the Vigil. Destroy that which oppresses you. Refresh when you destroy someone or something important to your oppressors.

Low Start a fire with a word, adorn yourself with runes that are anathema to the Aelfir. Once per situation, choose an NPC. The GM will tell you what would make them angry.
Medium Inflict more stress when you're hurting. Heal (or harm yourself, it's a 50-50 chance) in flame.

The Heart
There are those that claim the Spire is a creature, dead or alive, or living on geological time. Whether that's true or not, it has a Heart; an otherworldly pulsing infection deep in the core of the Spire which renders rational time and space a long lost memory. Blood witches have their origin here - the power of the heart manifest as an infection in the blood, and other, stranger things are caused by its proximety.

The Sightless Bees live in the Deep Hives in the Heart, blind builders who work ceaselessly at reinforcing the boundries of the world, against its malign influence. A sect of devoted apiarists guard their hives as they seek to bring a perfect order to otherworldly chaos.

Deep Apiarist

These are friends of the sightless hives; humans, drow and aelfir who attempt to maintain the wards that keep the Heart in check. To join them is simple - have some of your organs replaced with wax doubles, and become a living hive of bees. Refresh when you destroy an occult magician or an agent or artifact of the Heart. This is very close to being a full class in its own right actually - it only have one core ability (being a living hive of bees), and no resistance mods, but it has alot of advances.

Low Have the bees heal you slowly or release them to scare and confuse your enemies. Ask the GM about what chaotic things are about to occur near you and sense the power of the Heart (through jet-black compound eyes).

Medium Have your bees project a zone of stability, quelling occult magic. Have the queen grant you knowledge, or re-wind time to the point before your rolled - you were just extrapolating the results of your actions.
High Encase a creature in perfect crystal. Spread your mind out across all characters nearby, diving Mind stress across them.

Carter's Expiditionary Force came to the Spire when the humans first started to delve into ancient places. Excalibur Carter led his expedition into the heart of the Spire and haven't left since. They're decent guides if you want to get around spire - their minds aren't as good as they used to be, but they can't die, so there's that.

Vanishing Point is a street where perspective breaks down; all lines stretch parallel into the distance. If you walk down the street (staying in the middle, of course), you'll eventually end up in a warped mirror-Spire, grotesque and chaotic.

Next: More Occult!

Feb 13, 2012

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

Cosmic guardian healing bees.

I wonder how they get along with the spiders.

Jul 19, 2012

Are "mystic reality maintaining bees" a thing? Cause The Secret World has them too.

Feb 13, 2012

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

I mean how the hell is 40khaos's whole 'Oh look how scary, a tentacle and you're fat' supposed to compete with mystical reality guardian bees that live in magic wax organs in an order of gentle beekeeper wizards.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine

Kurieg posted:

Are "mystic reality maintaining bees" a thing? Cause The Secret World has them too.

I don’t think it’s drawing from like, a single specific source, but bees have been symbolic of order for a long rear end time so it’s not the biggest leap to make.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Chomsky Boi

Plus they and ants are usually spectres of Communism.


Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Josef bugman posted:

Plus they and ants are usually spectres of Communism.

Bees and beekeeping are also staples of Mormonism. They're part of the state flag of Utah.

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