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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Wait, There's Only 20 Of Them?

The Knights of Avalon are the sorcerers of Avalon, descended from the legendary knights of King Elilodd. See, way back when, the Sidhe promised King Elilodd that his people would have their blessing for as long as his line sat on the throne. Magic spread through the Isles, as the Graal sought out those most loyal and imbued them with power. The legends of those knights and their successors have been...well, stories, ever since. That is, until Elaine returned in the 1650s. When she took her throne, another pulse of magic spread across Avalon, giving the power to a new generation. Those who heard and answered this call gained power they never thought possible...but they were still beholden to the will of the Isles. The new Knights were bound by a code, the Knight's Gesa, and if they broke it, they would lose their magic. While all of King Elilodd's Knights were loyal to him, not all of the new Knights have sworn to Elaine, and in fact this has become something of a scandal and caused a lot of tension between Avalon Knights and those of the Inish and the Highlanders. (Also of note: Knights need not be traditional knights, and most are not. Modern Knights can come from any walk of life, even criminals.)

The Knights are not reincarnations of the old Knights. Rather, they have inherited their mantles, serving as Embodiments of the spirit of the old knights. When you first take Sorcery (Knight of Avalon), you select one of 20 Knights to be the Embodiment of. Only you are that knight's Embodiment - no one else can be. (I just have to assume the GM can invent new Knights if the base 20 end up not being enough, but frankly in practice 20 people is probably fine for any game.) Each Knight offers access to one Major Trait and one Minor Trait, which you can then learn Glamours for. The first time, you get one Major Glamour and two Minor Glamours tied to the appropriate traits, all of which start at Rank 1. Every time you take Sorcery after that, you may choose either to take a new Major Glamour and two new Minor Glamours at rank 1, or you can increase the rank of one Major Glamour and two Minor Glamours you already have by one. Glamours are directly tied to the five Traits, except for Luck Glamours, which every Knight may take, regardless of which trait they have as Major and which as Minor.

The Knight's Gesa have seven rules, which may not be broken. However, they are open to interpretation. Each PC must, when they gain the Sorcery, define how they interpret the rules to the GM, so the GM can decide what breaks them. These interpretations can't be formed on the fly - you have to know before you start going, basically. When you break a tenet of the Gesa for the first time, your mantle is put in jeopardy. It functions as normal, but you can feel it slipping. To reforge the bond, you must atone by finding a confessor - another Knight who is not in jeopardy or Queen Elaine. You confess your actions that broke the Gesa and why you thought it was justified. They then spend an hour in communion with the Graal and assign you the task the Graal gives. If they agree you were justified, they often will help you in the task. Tasks are often things like aiding a fellow countryman at some task, helping someone learn the value of one of the Gesa tenets even if they aren't a Knight, or getting something of value to someone else and giving it to them freely, no strings attached. If your mantle is not in jeopardy, you can be a confessor, for other PCs or NPC Knights. You work with the GM to determine what an appropriate task is, with the GM being the final word on what the Graal thinks. You can, of course, lie about it - but doing so is certainly breaking the Gesa.

The Seven Tenets posted:

Never raise your sword against a countryman.
Never abandon the fight before it is through.
Never break your word or help someone else break theirs.
Never be idle when there is work to be done.
Never let your passions rule you.
Never take something for yourself that belongs to another.
Always serve the Graal.

The Sidge granted Glamour to the twenty most loyal soldiers of Elilodd, who were with him when he gained the Graal. They were the first generation of Glamour Knights, and while the Sidge have always claimed that they weren't the first to have this power, they are easily the most famous. So who are the Glamour Knights?
Aesc, of the Forests: A man who preferred the forested lands to the king's palace, who would often commune with the natural and supernatural creatures of Avalon and bring their troubles to Elilodd's court. His Major Trait is Resolve, his Minor Trait is Panache.
Beorhtsige, Siegebreaker: The man who broke the line when Elilodd's castle was besieged by enemies. When he himself was besieged, he assaulted an entire army head on with but a handful of soldiers, and won. His Major Trait is Panache, his Minor Trait is Brawn.
Cenhelm, the Keen: A man who earned his name both for a sharp blade and a sharp mind. It is said that no one was faster of wit or blade than Cenhelm, and his tales often begin with his wit getting him into trouble and his blade getting him out of it. His Major Trait is Finesse and his Minor Trait is Wits.
Ceolmund, Knight Protector: Ceolmund made sacrifices. His most famous tale was his death - he stood his ground and took every blow for his friends, yelling at them to stay back. At last, he struck a mortal blow upon the enemy, and then died on the spot. His Major Trait is Resolve, his Minor Trait is Finesse.
Dudda, the Round: The comic relief, though no less a knight. He was a huge, fat man who enjoyed life more than most, and his stories are mostly about celebrations or feasts than combat. His Major Trait is Brawn, his Minor Trait is Resolve.
Dunstan, Outsider: Dunstan is often called on by Inish and Highlander Knights to prove that not all Knights must be Avalon. He came from a land where the sun never sets and the ground is of fire, and he had dark skin and hair, but was ne ver treated as less than a brother. His Major Trait was Brawn, his Minor Trait was Wits.
Eadburg, the Wealthy: It is said that on swearing to Elilodd, Eadburg gave up all worldly goods. He'd been a wealthy merchant, but took a vow of poverty and refused all payment he did not need to survive. His name is said to have reflected his spiritual wealth. His Major Trait is Panache, his Minor Trait is Wits.
Ealdraed, the Oldest Knight: Ealdread had been the sword tutor to Elilodd and first of his father's knights. He is not often in the stories, but when he is, he reminds Elilodd of his roots, encouraging him to find wisdom in the past. His Major Trait is Wits, his Minor Trait is Finesse.
Frideswide, the Knight of Peace: She was a knight who served for years before returning to the castle and throwing her sword at Elilodd's feet, swearing never to draw blood again. Elilodd instead gave her a task unheard of: only she could tally the knights to war. Her Major Trait is Wits, her Minor Trait is Resolve.
Godric, the Pious: Godric was the only voice that cautioned when the Graal was taken, saying that the Sidge were blasphemous and must be renounced. Elilodd was about to cast him out when the Sidge stopped him and told him that Godric was wiseest, for he asked why, and should protect Elilodd from darker deals. Godric's Major Trait is Panache and his Minor Trait is Resolve.
Hereward, Knight Advisor, and Hildraed, Knight Commander: That is two knights, but they need to be told of together. See, they never agreed on anything. When Hereward said to be patient, Hildraed demanded action. When Hildraed was cautious, Hereward would act. Thus, Elilodd was always informed of the best options for either strategy. They were also somehow related - depending on the story, they were bickering siblings, husband and wife, or star-crossed lovers. Hereward's Major Trait is Wits and Minor Trait is Panache, while Hildraed's Major Trait is Finesse and Minor Trait is Brawn.
Leofric, the Beloved: Leofric made the greatest sacrifice for the people. When the Sidhe Courts were overrun by the Unseelie, Leofric stood vigil and protected the people within from the Sidge rampage. His sacrifice turned the tide of the war and allowed the Seelie to regain their throne, saving all of Avalon from the Unseelie destruction.
Mildgyd, the Gentle: He was a giant - eight feet tall, or ten, or twelve, or twenty, depending on the story. However, Mildgyd was always gentle despite his giant blood, and almost all of his tales involve dealing with Sidhe misunderstandings of his nature, usually for comedic results. His Major Trait is Brawn, his Minor Trait is Panache.
Osgar, the Spear Knight: Osgar carried a spear when all others used swords. He was often teased for it, but when the knights had to face a giant boar, it was Osgar and his spear that slew it, and he was never teased again. His Major Trait is Finesse, and his Minor Trait is Resolve.
Paega, Forgotten: There are no tales of Paega or their heroics. No one even knows their gender. The only reason Paega's name is known is that it was carved on a place on table of Elilodd. Some say Paega betrayed Elilodd and was cast out, others that Paega was Elilodd's great spy and chose to be forgotten. Paega's Major Trait is Finesse and their Minor Trait is Panache.
Saewine, the Sailor: She was rarely seen in court, as commander of Elilodd's navy. Her tales are all of strange and foreign lands, of meeting allies and fighting enemy ships. She was the first female Knight, though not the last, and was said to be the match of any man on land or sea. Her Major Trait is Panache and her Minor Trait is Finesse.
Sunngifu, the Generous: When an old man came to town raving one day, the guards turned him away, but Sunngifu aided him. He asked her sword and shield to protect his farm, so she gave them. He asked her armor to protect his daughter. She gave it. When the guards mocked her, the man smiled, and revealed himself: the Wizard, who had come to see if the rumors were true, and so Sunngifu secured the most potent ally of King Elilodd. Her Major Trait is Wits and her Minor Trait is Brawn.
Wilfrith, the Knight of Will: She was captured and imprisoned by enemies for 15 years, but no torture or bribe could turn her. When her enemies grew tired of this, they tried to feed her to a monster, but somehow, she survived and returned to Elilodd, half dead and mad. Still, it took less than a month for her to heal and regain her senses. Her Major Trait is Resolve, her Minor Trait is Brawn.
Wulfnod, the Bold: Wulfnod was the first to fight and the last to retreat, and he was so good at it that the others forgave his rash nature. Stories of Wulfnod always have him breaking formation and pursuing a foe across the field. His daring often caught his foes off guard, allowing victory even in dire circumstances. His Major Trait is Brawn and his Minor Trait is Finesse.

Glamours can have rank from 1 to 5, and activating one costs a Hero Point. A given Major Glamour can only be used once per session, while a given Minor Glamour can only be used once per scene.
Luck Glamours can be taken for any trait, but Minor Glamours always apply to your Knight's Minor Trait and Major Glamours always apply to your knight's Major Trait.
Petty Luck (Minor): When you activate this, for the rest of the scene, after making a Risk using your Minor Trait, yopu can replace any single die with a die whose value is equal to (1+Rank).
Greater Luck (Minor): You may activate this to add your Rank to the value of any single rolled die. If this brings the die's value to 10 or more, that die explodes.
Heroic (Minor): You may activate this after a Risk using your Minor Trait. You may reroll (Rank) dice, keeping the new values even if they are lower.
Mythic (Major): As Heroic, but for your Major Trait, and you may choose which value to keep - the old or the new.
Mad Luck (Major): You may activate this to roll (Rank) dice. You may give these dice to other PCs, who may keep its result for all rolls for the rest of the scene, on top of the normal dice they'd roll.
Legend (Major): You may activate this to add (Rank) to your Major Trait for the rest of the scene.

Brawn Glamours (Note: You can only take Minor Brawn Glamours if your Minor Trait is Brawn, and the same for Major Glamours and the Major Trait. This applies for all further Glamours.)
Reduce the Brute (Minor): You may activate this to instantly eliminate any Brute Squad in the scene with Strength less than or equal to (Rank).
Stronger Than You (Minor): You may activate this to add (Rank+1) dice to any Brawn Risk.
Reduce the Villain (Major): You may activate this to temporarily reduce a Villain's Strength by (Rank) for the rest of the session.
Strongest There Is (Major): You may activate this to add (Rank) Raises to any roll using Brawn.

Finesse Glamours
Flash (Minor): You may activate this to take actions as if you had (Rank) additional Raises. These Raises are used only to determine when you take actions, and cannot be spent.
Vanish (Minor): You may activate this to become impossible to locate or track by any means for (Rank) hours. This will stop supernatural tracking or even learning your location from others. However, you remain visible, and this has no effect on anyone that can physically see you.
First (Major): You may activate this at the start of a round, before anyone rolls dice, to immediately gain (Rank) Raises. If more than one Knight wants to use this, the one with the most Rank in it goes first.
Sure Strike (Major): You may activate this after determining Raises for a Weaponry Risk. All of your attacks for the round deal (Rank) extra Wounds.

Panache Glamours
Sense Sorcery (Minor): You may activate this to tell if someone or something has Sorcery of any kind within (Rank*10) feet for the rest of the scene.
Mend Ship (Minor): You may touch a ship and activate this to instantly repair (Rank*5) Hits, but cannot repair any Critical Hits this way.
Resist Sorcery (Major): You may activate this when someone targets you directly with Sorcery. They still pay any costs, but the magic automatically fails. You may use this (Rank) times per session.
Subsume Ship (Major): When you are at the helm of a ship, you may activate this. You and the ship are considered one entity. When making any Risk of any kind while aboard, you get (Rank) Bonus Dice. This ends the moment you release the ship's wheel, and whenever you take a Dramatic Wound, the ship takes a Critical Hit, and vice versa.

Resolve Glamours
Pain Is Temporary (Minor): You may activate this to heal (5*Rank) Wounds, though you cannot heal Dramatic Wounds this way.
No Fear (Minor): You may activate this to reduce the effects of a Fear effect by (Rank) for the rest of the scene, for yourself only.
Endless Vigil (Major): You may choose a patch of ground when you activate this, no more than ten feet in diameter. Until (Rank) sunrises and sunsets pass, as long as you stay on your chosen ground, you cannot die, be crippled or become Helpless. You can still suffer Dramatic Wounds, but they have no effect on you until this ends. Leaving the chosen area ends this immediately, and when the effect ends, if you have taken more Dramatic Wounds than you would normally be able to, you die on the spot.
Reborn (Major): You may activate this when you are killed. At dawn the next morning, you return to life with all wounds healed and all harmful substances purgedf from your body. You then lose (5-Ranks) Resolve from the stress. If this would drop your Resolve below 0, instead this Glamour is permanently lost and the next time you die, you're dead for good.

Wits Glamours
Arrow Catch (Minor): You may activate this to automatically catch anything thrown or shot at you except for bullets from a gun. You must have a free hand to do so, and doing so causes you to take (Rank) fewer Wounds from the attack.
Summon Sidhe (Minor): You may activate this to call to the Sidhe for aid. The higher your Rank, the more powerful it can be. Unless the GM spends a Danger Point, a Seelie will answer your call and aid you as best it can...for a price. However, if the GM does spend a Danger Point, an Unseelie answers. The price for its aid is much harsher, assuming it doesn't just try to kill you. However, if you spend a second Hero Point, you can cancel this effect and force a Seelie to appear anyway.
Bullet Catch (Major): You may activate this to automatically catch anything thrown or shot at you, even a bullet. You must have a free hand to do so, but you don't take the automatic Dramatic Wound from being shot by a gun if you do. You may use this (Rank) tumes per session. (I would assume it also works as per Arrow Catch, but it doesn't say.)
Sidhe Circle (Major): Yu may activate this to create a ten-foot-diameter circle centered on yourself. No Sidghe can enter the circle. They are hurled away from you if they are already inside it when you activate this, and they may not use their magic on you or anyone in the circle while it lasts. You may maintain this for up to (Rank) sunsets. If you move from the circle, however, the effect ends, and anyone else that leaves the circle becomes vulnerable when they leave it.

This is much different than the original form of Glamour, which didn't have any ethics requirement in 1e and which mostly gave you a set of effects based on which hero you emulated, with there being several heroes per Trait. You could only have one hero per Trait, however. Overall, I'm pretty fine with the changes, though the ranks thing means that this is a fairly expensive sorcery if you want to be, like, good at stuff.

Next time: Dar Matushki, the Mother's Touch

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Mors Rattus posted:

Yes. As I said, I would be fine with that if there weren't other things that gave you Corruption as part of their systems, because there are. Sanderis and the Not African sorcery that is very similar to it are real cool and I don't mind it giving you Bad Thing Points, but I mind that those Bad Thing Points are tied into the Corruption system where you then have to roll dice to see if your character is gone.

It's also random and arbitrary. You could lose your character upon a single point of Corruption or four, but it's a die that decides. There's also no "danger zone" where you're on good guy probation and you know you're at risk. Either you lose your character entirely - or you don't.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.
That's a pretty small circle you're not allowed to leave. For reference, my couch is 9' long, so I would have to choose one end table or the other but not both. I'd probably houserule it as 10' radius or even 5'+5'per rank, particularly for the one that just blocks sidhe (the undying one is boss).


Also, what does Wits ie cleverness have to do with arrow/bullet catching, or Panache ie swagger have to do with boats?

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Jun 24, 2018

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
What irritates me with 7th Sea (and -World, and just story games in general) is willy nilly renaming gaming concepts to be different. It's not a test, it's a Risk, it's not an adventure, it's retro/character/GM story, it's not a success, it's a Raise...

Rand Brittain
Mar 25, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
I mean, a Story is a separate concept. In fact, they're basically the Quest system from Chuubo stripped down to the point of hardly being a mechanic at all.

(I also won't mind discussing the similarities between the 7th Sea system and Storypath.)

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014

JcDent posted:

What irritates me with 7th Sea (and -World, and just story games in general) is willy nilly renaming gaming concepts to be different. It's not a test, it's a Risk, it's not an adventure, it's retro/character/GM story, it's not a success, it's a Raise...

Nah, Risk and Raise are something held over from when 7th Sea was running in its crunchier 90s 1e version, IIRC. Which is not to say it's not stupid, but don't blame it on storygaming, blame it on 90s RPG design.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case


i generally love the new sorcery but I really miss old Glamour knacks. The ones about having a special house and being able to hide behind twigs like Bugs Bunny were my favorites

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

To say something nice about Skraypers, John Z's pencils are very good.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Grandmother's Gifts

Dar Matushki, the Mother's Touch is a power all in Ussura know of. They come from the old woman of the woods, Matushka. Some seek her out to trick her, others ask for her aid. Always, the stories say, she offers them a bit of her power, touching them and demanding they pay a terrible price. These stories are not just faerie tales, though many think so. There is a truth there: Matushka will give you what you need, will teach you a lesson, but there will always be a price. You can only get Dar Matushki by meeting Matushka, generally because she's sought you out to teach you a Lesson. Maybe you had to learn to be kind to old women, or to be humble, but she taught you - and it came with a gift.

Every purchase of Sorcery (Dar Matushki) is a Lesson, which has two parts. It has your Gifts, two of them, and your Restriction - what you must do to not lose your power. As long as you maintain your Restriction, you can use the Gifts freely. Gifts cost 1 Hero Point to activate. If you break a Lesson's Restriction, you lose access to that Lesson's Gifts until you complete its Penance. The listed Gifts are examples, but the GM can come up with more in the same general theme.

Gifts
Command: Pick an Ussuran animal when you learn this, like a raven or fox or wolf or turtle. You may activate this to summon one of those creatures and give it any instruction you choose. If there are no animals of that type in travel distance, or if the creature cannot fulfill your command, you get your Hero Point refunded. If the creature would have to make a Risk as part of your command, it rolls 5 dice and you choose how it uses its Raises. It gets +2 dice if the command is particularly well suited to it, such as tracking for a wolf.
Illuminate: You can activate this to make the area around you perfectly illuminated, neither too dark nor too bright, with a magical ambient light. If you use this outdoors, it is centered on you and spreads out dozens of feet. All Undead creatures in the area take 5 Wounds immediately and roll -2 dice for all Risks while this is active.
Purify: You cleanse a room of all toxins, poisons, diseases and dirt. This renders the room perfectly and completely sterile, and affects all surfaces, even inside closed and locked drawers, as well as any food or drink in the room. However, all alcohol in the room loses its potency entirely.
See: Pick an Ussuran animal when you learn this. You may activate this to see through the senses of the nearest animal of that kind. While you use the animal's senses, you use your own stats for any Risks you make related to the perception, though if the animal's senses would be especially helpful, you get +2 dice, such as a cat's eyes at night.
Sew: You can touch an item and activate this to instantly and perfectly restore it to its original form. Any cracks are mended, jams unjammed, faded colors restored. It cannot, however, make an item better than it was originally or fix any defects present at its creation.
Storm: You can activate this to intensify or lessen whatever weather you're currently experiencing. You can make rain into a thunderstorm or a ray of sunlight into a clear sky.
Regeneration: You can activate this to heal from injury very quickly. Any missing or crippled limbs are entirely restored, any cataracts are cured, and broken bones reform. You also heal one Dramatic Wound.
Transformation: Pick an Ussuran animal when you learn this. You may activate this to take on the form of that creature for the rest of the scene. You retain all of your normal stats and knowledge, though some may be harder to use than others in your new form. If the form would be particularly helpful to a Risk you're making, you get +2 dice.

Restrictions are what you have to abide by. If you don't, you lose your Gifts for that Lesson until you do Penance.
Efficacy: You must never change your course of action due to fear. If you do, your Penance is that you must seek out whatever is the most terrifying for you and confront it.
Forgiveness: You must always show mercy to your enemies and may never hold a grudge against those that act against you. If you do, your Penance is that you must seek out the one you wronged and do whatever it takes to make amends.
Honesty: You must never tell a lie or mistruth, or obscure the truth. If you do, your Penance is that you must spend an entire month without lying.
Kindness: You must always offer aid to those in need - friends or strangers - no matter how desperate the situation is. If you don't, your Penance is that you must aid someone who wronged you.
Moderation: You must do all things in moderation and never overindulge yourself. If you do, your Penance is that you must submit to an act of fasting, never indulging in your most favorite activity, for an entire month.

e: In 1e, Ussura just had transformation magic, they could become various animals and partially transform and all that stuff. That is obviously no longer the case.

Next time: Porte

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Dawgstar posted:

To say something nice about Skraypers, John Z's pencils are very good.

I'm pretty sure that everything at fault we're seeing is Siembeida's hand. I would be interested in seeing what Zelenik's draft actually looked like. I'm guessing that the Bhlaze was just a one-off design that Siembedia expanded upon and wasn't supposed to be some different race. Also, I'm getting Ray Winninger's Underground vibes some stuff now that we've been introduced to Seeron. I'd wage to guess his idea was really "cyberpunk superheroes vs. the Covenant".

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013

Wrestlepig posted:



Thereís a sidebar about how to be effective in combat: Use ambushes, wear armor and magic, and pick your battles. Itís not bad advice but I feel like itís trying to counteract issues with the mechanics and doesnít encourage barbaric heroism, just shows the tension between Bronze Age Epic, Maximum Game Fun and Lethal Combat.

I love Glorantha, but I've always had the problem with the various incarnations of Runequest of the disconnect between the heroic playstyle it's selling, and the reality of'Oops, somebody impaled you in the chest with a spear for 20 HP damage in the very first round of the very first fight. Time to roll up a new character. ' that can easily happen.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


Yeah Heroquest seems much more appropriate for playing as great mythical heroes capable of wrecking poo poo. Runequest seems much more grounded in comparison and it feels like it would be better to just sell Runequest as lower levelled stuff.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Mors Rattus posted:

e: In 1e, Ussura just had transformation magic, they could become various animals and partially transform and all that stuff. That is obviously no longer the case.

I really like Mother NotRussia's magic here. It's very thematic. She says, "Oh, look at you, you think you're a lone wolf" and she gives you the ability to turn into said wolf and also, I dunno, regeneration but you've always got to help anybody you see out.

Although one point of order to make sure I'm doing it right - you get two Sorcery Advantages when you pick a Background with Sorcery (at least as far as I've seen) - so that means for example with Dar Matushki you'd start with four Gifts and two Lessons, right?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Correct.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Young Freud posted:

I'm pretty sure that everything at fault we're seeing is Siembeida's hand. I would be interested in seeing what Zelenik's draft actually looked like. I'm guessing that the Bhlaze was just a one-off design that Siembedia expanded upon and wasn't supposed to be some different race. Also, I'm getting Ray Winninger's Underground vibes some stuff now that we've been introduced to Seeron. I'd wage to guess his idea was really "cyberpunk superheroes vs. the Covenant".

It's hard to say. I don't have much reason to think the original core concept was any different than what we're seeing, but at the same time I'm definitely inclined to think Siembieda's writing isn't doing it much in the way of favors. Granted, there are oddities like a creature in the "Bio Freaks" crowd scene looking a lot like a mindless predator from an earlier chapter, so it's hard to truly say.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's hard to say. I don't have much reason to think the original core concept was any different than what we're seeing, but at the same time I'm definitely inclined to think Siembieda's writing isn't doing it much in the way of favors. Granted, there are oddities like a creature in the "Bio Freaks" crowd scene looking a lot like a mindless predator from an earlier chapter, so it's hard to truly say.

All this vivisection talk reminds me a lot of Siembedia's view of villainy from stuff like TMNT And Other Strangeness, After The Bomb, and the Lone Star portions of RIFTS. It's a trope that he's return to again and again.

Also, we've known Siembedia to take images out of context and hash out some new class out of them. RIFTS is loaded with some critter that an artist drew that Kevin fell in love with and expanded the gently caress out of.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

ChaseSP posted:

Yeah Heroquest seems much more appropriate for playing as great mythical heroes capable of wrecking poo poo. Runequest seems much more grounded in comparison and it feels like it would be better to just sell Runequest as lower levelled stuff.

This edition of runequest is better about it than the real old ones. Starting at initiate level with Rune magic helps a lot, and rune/passion augments are very helpful. That said itís a real issue. Iím planning a list of things Iíd do differently for the conclusion and most of them are about reducing lethality. The only guy who should die after hitting himself is Arkat that one time.

E: I like Heroquest but the rules and chargen are fiddly for pickup games which are most of what I get

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 21:18 on Jun 24, 2018

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time


I think Mother's Touch is the first magic I really like so far.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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2014-2018

7th Sea 2: Thinking With Portails

Porte, practiced by the sorciers of Montaigne, is one of the most striking and spectacular magics you might witness. It involves bending reality, allowing you to travel great distances or pull objects to you across those distances. It is, in full, La Magic des Portails, the magic of doorways. It involves cutting bloody holes into the universe, which scream with terrible voices, bleed and chill the room they're in. And, of course, opening them also requires you bleed yourself. This is a magic that is quite literally in the blood. Scholars name the dimension that exists inside the doors 'the walkway' and it is a place as strange and potentially deadly as the Seventh Sea itself. No one is entirely sure what actually lives there, but it is never wise to linger long - you probably won't return if you do.

The magic follows bloodlines - anyone who has Porte got it from an ancestor who had it. The Montaigne strictly track lineage to try and keep it from ever going too far from noble blood, and while there have been non-noble sorciers, they either keep it secret or never learn to use it properly, because...well, because stories of black carriages showing up to drag off powerful peasant children into the night aren't just folklore. The first thing that a young sorcier learns is the Blood Mark, the power to mark an object's presence with your blood. A sorcier can feel the object's presence when near it and always knows what direction it lies in.

After learning to Mark, a sorcier learns to Pull the item, dragging it through walkway to himself. This requires bloodying your hands, opening a portal and reaching through it toward the Marked object. When you've gotten hold of it, you pull it through the portal to your location. However, an object to be Pulled must be something that can easily fit in your hand. If you can't lift it one-handed, there's no way you can get it through the portal. Having learning to do that, you next learn to Walk. This lets you open a portal and walk to a location or object you've Marked, but that can be very dangerous, as it exposes you to the walkway. However, it is alsp powerful enough to move across entire continents in moments. You just have to keep your eyes closed and not listen to the voices.

There is no physical connection with these portals - if you Mark something and drop it in the ocean, your portals will not shoot water out, though the pin will be wet whe you pull it back through. Similarly, if you try to Walk to an object that is somewhere you can't go, your passage will be blocked. You're going to have to find another Mark to exit at...which is not going to be pleasant. If that pin gets put in a jewelery box, well, you can't fit inside the box. You could definitely pull the pin to you, though. So, if you enter a portal and find you can't exit the other side and have no other objects to walk to? You're trapped. You're stuck until someone finds you and pulls you out, which could be a very long time indeed. This is why most sorciers create and hard Marked objects that can serve them as emergency exits, which they never reveal even to their friends or family.

To make a Mark, you must prick your finger and place a drop of your blood onto whatever or whoever you want to mark, spending a Hero Point. This Marks the thing. Smaller objects, which can be held in one hand, usually receive only a Minor Mark. Minor Marks can only be pulled to you, not used as exits. Major Marks are the only kind usable on anything too large to hold in your hand, like a boat, a chest or a person. You can Walk to a Major Mark and use it as an exit. You could also place a Major Mark on a small object, but that's less common than placing them on stable objects you can trust won't move, like buildings. Direct, single-step blood relations - that is, parents, full siblings or your direct children - always count as having a Major Mark on you at no cost. You may actively maintain only a few Marks at a time, besides the blood relative Marks. For each purchase of Sorcery (Porte), you can have 1 Major Mark and 2 Minor Marks. A Mark remains in place until something explicitly removes it, such as the Mark being discovered and purposefully washed off, or the object is destroyed. Incidental washing will not erase a Mark - it must be done deliberately. If you currently have your maximum Marks made, you may choose to sever the connection to one that already exists. This costs nothing but concentration - and a Raise, during an Action Sequence.

A moment's concentration will tell you the general direction and distance to any of your Marks, though again, this costs a Raise during an Action Sequence. You just pick your Mark, and the GM tells you the rough distance and direction. If you are within 100 feet of one of your Marks, you immediately know it, but cannot pinpoint it any closer than that. To Pull or Walk to a Mark, you must spill your own blood to open the portal. This takes rather more blood than Marking does - you pretty much open a vein, taking a Dramatic Wound. If this would cause you to become Helpless, you do so after you complete the Sorcery. If you want to open a portal during an Action Sequence, you must also spend a Raise. You can then Pull a Minor Mark to you, taking hold of it, or Walk to a Major Mark, exiting via a similar portal that opens within 5 feet of your Mark. If there's not enough space, well, it fails, and you must immediately choose to Walk to another Major Mark or become lost in the Place Between Worlds. At least you don't have to take another Dramatic Wound to pick a new Mark.

You can bring other people with you when you Walk. This costs 1 Hero Point per passenger, and the bigger the group is, the more attention it'll draw from the things in the Place Between worlds. But hey, you ask, what's that whole blessure business? Well, that's a thing Villains can do, not Heroes. Heroes take the pain of opening portals onto themselves, cutting and bleeding for it. They are surgeons, using a scalpel on the universe. Villains tend not to be. They wield the power like an axe, tearing open the world and letting it bleed to pay for it. These are blessures - wounds on the world. These are screaming, bleeding fissures in reality, and some Heroic sorciers see it as a responsibility to close them and to stop those who make them. It's not an easy task - to close a blessure, you have to enter it, and the things that live in the Place Between Worlds don't take kindly to trespassers, even benevolent ones. Opening a blessure is identical to opening a portal, but costs no Wound. Instead, it is an Evil Act, as the world itself pays the cost. No exceptions. It is never justifiable to open a blessure.

E: the main change here is reducing the number of portal tricks and making it costlier to use.

Next time: Sanderis

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Jun 24, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Irresponsible French People cause Things That Should Not Be.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

The first ever portal was made in a kitchen that was preparing andouilette and the things between worlds have never forgiven humanity since.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014
While having closing blessures be the requirement for Porte users to get their Quirk activation is a bit limiting, I do love them existing as a concept because A: it's just really cool to have your villains tear screaming wounds in reality, and B: it's a ready made thing for your magic people to deal with while still giving everyone else something useful to do in the process.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

OvermanXAN posted:

While having closing blessures be the requirement for Porte users to get their Quirk activation is a bit limiting, I do love them existing as a concept because A: it's just really cool to have your villains tear screaming wounds in reality, and B: it's a ready made thing for your magic people to deal with while still giving everyone else something useful to do in the process.

And speaking as a DM, someone wanting to take that background would be an immediate flag that this is something that interests the player and they'd like to deal with. All the background quirks do something similar, from a DM's perspective - they tell you what sorts of things the player wants to do, so give them the opportunity or tell them to pick something else. Don't let someone pick a background that wouldn't come up in the game.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Young Freud posted:

Also, we've known Siembedia to take images out of context and hash out some new class out of them. RIFTS is loaded with some critter that an artist drew that Kevin fell in love with and expanded the gently caress out of.

There are parts where Siembieda says "another savage D-Bee" or "another mad villain" that seem a little pass-aggy. I mean, with another writer I'd suspect it of possibly being self-aware, but...

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Wrestlepig posted:

E: I like Heroquest but the rules and chargen are fiddly for pickup games which are most of what I get

I've had players complain about it being a bit too simple to get into too. Like they don't feel that their rolls have as much of an impact when they are just always rolling the same dice. I can kind of see where they are coming from.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

Josef bugman posted:

I've had players complain about it being a bit too simple to get into too. Like they don't feel that their rolls have as much of an impact when they are just always rolling the same dice. I can kind of see where they are coming from.

It is really abstract and I think the opposed rolls aren't great, since a lot of the time it just comes up as Roll Highest on a d20. Looking back on it after this review the core of it looks like "lets cut back the rules of runequest as much as possible" and there's a few legacy things that are hard to explain because of that. Or maybe the rule section is just poorly explained. I'd probably just use FATE, to be honest. At least it doesn't use the same resource for advancement and roll-fixing.



Runes, Passions and Reputation
Runes and Passions are the mechanical representation of your characterís personality, and are very important for encouraging character behaviours, pushing the fantasy epic side of the narrative and helping with tough encounters. The most important use is as an augment for rolls. These are a little different to your standard augment rolls. Instead of being for a single check, they boost that skill for the entire encounter, or however long it takes to deal with the obstacle. Fumbles on these augments reduces its value by d10% and brings an extra effect depending on what it is. A critical miss with a Rune Augment gives you Psychic Turmoil that stops you from using the rune for a bit, but for a passion it leaves you in Despair, which stops you from doing anything but running and hiding. This is uniquely the only bad mechanic that belongs in Epic narratives, although the skill penalty isnít a big deal since the values start high.

The element runes can only augment specific skills and concepts under their purview, which is a little bit limiting but since theyíre fairly abstract it helps guide their use. Just make sure youíre using the appropriate weapon: Axes for Earth, Swords for Air, Bludgeons for Darkness, Spears and Bows for Sun, Curved Swords for Moon and Nets, Tridents and Whips for Water because water sucks. Other runes can augment anything relevant to their concept, both literally and metaphorically.

Runes and Passions can be rolled on their own for a variety of reasons. When you cast Rune Magic, the chance of it working is based on whatever Rune you share with the spell. This is mostly incidental because itís easy to pump up Rune scores at the start of the game, but if youíve joined multiple cults it could be an issue. Rune checks are often used in Heroquests and other magical challenges to see if youíre embodying the power you represent well enough. Sometimes itís just a threshold though.

Thereís an interesting section on using Rune checks to determine your characterís behaviour. The book recommends using Rune and Passion checks as a form of dispute resolution: If a character isnít sure about what to do or thereís a conflict of personalities, the game suggests doing opposed checks to see whoís more passionate or motivated. Some of this, especially at high percentages, is called for by the GM, which Iím not sure about. On one hand it matches epic heroes who are under the sway of strong emotions and the cosmic forces of the Gods War, but on the other itís the GM telling you what you do and what your character thinks, gets in the way of all that talk about combat preparation and picking your battles they talked about last chapter, and can gently caress over a PC hard without much input. Maybe Iíve played too much Apocalypse World, but I think outright offering some XP works better. It also says to offer advancement if the player acts accordingly to their runes without prompting, so playing to type isnít penalised by advancement being tied to usage.


this is not going to work out well for you

Thereís an overview of basic passions. Most are self-explanatory, like Hating or loving something. For some reason Honor is penalized by doing dishonorable things, which leaves no room for hypocrisy unless itís supposed to be an extra social stat for some characters, which it doesnít state outright. Community-focused Passions are also used to see how much that community likes the character and if theyíd pay off a ransom or follow the PCs to war.

One big issue with Passions is that they vary in value a lot. You might have Hate: (rival clan) but not really have anything to do with them for good chunks of the game but Hate: Chaos or Lunars is going to be constant. Most importantly, either Loyalty: (Specific Temple) and Devotion: (Deity) are part of advancing to higher tiers of your cult, which give neat benefits and youíll want to do unless youíre a Western Sorcerer or focused entirely on Shamanism (although itís not super hard to be a Shaman and Rune Lord at the same time). More on all that later, but it is very important to remember at character creation.

Reputation is simple but not important. Doing heroic, notorious or celebrated things gives you an increase to your Reputation, with rolls ranging from d3 for defeating enemies of roughly equal power, coming back from the dead or having a notable marriage, to 2d6 for heroic successes, becoming royalty or getting a crazy chaos feature. Thereís also a boost for how local it is. The number is used to see if people recognise you or impressing others, mostly as an augment. Itíll take a while for it to get anywhere Iíd want to roll it for that though, and really shouldnít be random.

These rules are a welcome change from the grittiness of the combat and are very important to keep in mind, so the game feels like an epic and your players can actually succeed at things. A successful augment is +20% which can be a very big deal early on. The GM taking control isn't something I like, and would prefer more Carrot than Stick, but I don't think it would be a big deal most of the time and its all going in the right direction.

Next Time: the start of the magic section, stretching out Rune Magic until I figure out what the hell is going on with shamanism

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 00:28 on Jun 25, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Bad Bargain

Sanderis, literally 'bargain', is the art and magic of Sarmatia, practiced by the losejai. A losejas is someone who has forged a potent and binding contract with an otherworldly dievas. This is not for power, quite. A losejas forms the bargain in order to learn the dievas' full and true name, so that it can be destroyed. The dievas, on the other hand, forms the bargain so it can turn the losejas into a Villain. It's a path of mutual destruction. Because of the dangers involved, the losejai are strictly and rigidly structured, governed over by the Ratas, the Circle. All losejai are members, whether they want to be or not, and so are governed by its rules. Failure to abide by these rules results in being hunted down by the Valytuvas, the Purifiers, who are agents of the Circle whose only job is to eliminate rogue losejai.

Every losejas has their own personal dievas, who hears and sees everything the losejas does - and, in fact, much they don't. The dievas has perfect awareness of the losejas' surroundings, though it has no power to read their thoughts or feel their emotions. Every dievas has the same goal - get the losejas to void the contract and free them, and thus be able to make a new contract with someone dumber, someone they can manupulate and use. Every deal the dievas makes is in pursuit of this goal of either manipulation or freedom, and every price they ask is to further that agenda. For the losejas, the contract is a burden. You aren't partner to a dievas - you are a jailer, and both of you know it. But you don't exist in a vacuum, and you both have other goals. Yes, you want to keep your dievas in check and ensure it doesn't cause suffering and chaos. But they have power, and sometimes...well, sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil. Better the one you know.

Losejai tend to be very direct and clear in their language, aoviding poetics - this muddies things at hand. What matters is exactly what is written. This is known as Tiksli Tiesa, the Exact Truth. It is the letter of the law - not the spirit, the letter. It is not inferred - it is precisely what it says. The losejai are like this because they learned it from the dievai. A dievas is clever, very clever. It is, however, honest - in a way. It will abide by the exact terms of its contracts and agreements. It is also wicked, cruel and greedy. Its power is great, but that power is its only bargaining chip, too. Thus, a dievas always fulfills its promises, but only in the strictest and most literal sense. If it can, it will twist what you ask for. And thus, while the entire rest of the book tells the GM to be generous, here, explicitly, it tells both player and GM that in dealing with dievai - and only in dealing with dievai - the GM is encouraged to twist your words, as long as the agreement remains technically valid. These words cannot be redefined - but any inexactness in meaning can be used. Be clear and explicit when dealing with the dievai so they can't do that.

Every purchase of Sorcery (Sanderis) gives access to one Deal, and two Minor Favors chosen from any Deal you currently have access to. Any Minor Favors you have this way can be invoked with a Hero Point. You need not do anything more than ask for it. These are part of your bargain, included in the base contract. If you wish to invoke a Favor during an Action Sequence, it also costs a Raise. The Dievas cannot refuse these favors, and the price they can ask for it can't be much - stuff like toasting the dievas' name, or thanking them and meaning it, or giving them a friendly handshake with eye contact and a smile. Annoying but harmless. If you want to use a Minor Favor that you don't have purchased through Sorcery, you can still spend a Hero Point (and Raise, if needed) ot ask for it. In most cases, the Dievas will demand a minor thing return, usually to repay a debt to another dievas. Dievas spend a lot of time trading favors and plotting against each other, after all. These are things like 'next time you go to a specific city, find a specific person and give him something specific', or 'go to a specific city, access a specific place, and take what you find there to a specific person.' It isn't obviously dangerous to do, though it may in theory have consequences. And any time you ask for a Major Favor, well...the dievas can deliver. You spend your Hero Point and ask...but it knows you're desperate, to ask for such a thing, and the price will be high. Things like 'go to a specific place, find a specific good person, do something that ruins their lives or kills them' or 'find two specific brothers, convince one brother to betray another for power'. Even if a Major Favor seems like it's not evil, even if you find a way to do it without any Evil Acts, you always gain a point of Corruption from it, due to the power of wielding such long-reaching occult influence. This is on top of any Evil Acts that may be caused by the favor you ask for, or which you have to do to pay the price. If you don't hold up your end of a deal here, however, you cannot invoke any Favors of any kind, until you do. If the cost becomes impossible to achieve, the dievas will offer a new one - almost always one more difficult and more morally compromising.

So what, exactly, is a Deal? It is part of a dievas. When you get it, both you and the dievas become more powerful. Those who are not losejai do not realize why: the Deal is a piece of the dievas' true name. Each Deal is one part of the name, and when you get all of them and put them together correctly, you get the whole. Sanderis works by invoking the name of the dievas and channeling it. No one is entirely certain what happens when you get the seventh Deal and thus the entire name. Some believe that both you and the dievas are destroyed, others that only one of you is. A small number believe that you and the dievas merge, but the Ratas insists this is not the case. One legend says the dievas will finally fully enter the world as a physical entity when the Seventh Deal is made, and that you and they will be able to sense each other when you get close...and, most importantly, while the dievas may now act however it wishes, unbound by any contract, it can now also be destroyed, like any physical entity.

Darkness is the deal that manipulates shadows and dark. A dievas with it can see and hear through shadows, teleport through them, even give them physical form. Note that the Major Favors, for this and all other Deals, are just examples - Major Favors are very freeform. Minor Favors aren't.
Major Favors
Cause an eclipse, plunging an entire city or similar area into utter darkness.
Summon a beast of pure shadow to stalk and kill one creature of your choice.
Minor Favors
Make a room as dark as night.
Observe an area or other character via shadows, hearing and seeing everything as if you were standing in the shadow, with all your senses working normally.
Open a shadowy portal to instantly teleport to another shadow in sight.
Cause a creature to be attacked by its own shadow, suffering 1 Wound each time they take an action this round.
Wrap shadows around yourself and become impossible to detect, with any attempt to locate you by mundane means failing automatically.

Fire is the deal granted by dievas of living flame, whose bodies could melt stone and set wood ablaze. They create and manupulate fire, restored burned objects and summon rains of flame.
Major Favors
Create a firestorm that utterly destroys everything in a 100 foot radius around a central point.
Summon an unstoppable Monster of living flame that will attack and enemy or enemies in accord with a single command, though it will ignore qualifiers like 'without killing anyone' or 'but don't set anything on fire.'
Minor Favors
Create a controlled, contained fire the size of a bonfire or smaller.
Snuff out all open flame in a room.
Set another creature's clothes aflame, doing 2 Wounds each time they take an action this round. They may take an action to put the flames out, ending the effect.
Reconstruct a handheld object that was destroyed be fire, restoring it to the condition it was in before it was exposed to fire.
Wreath a weapon in flame, causing it to deal 1 additional Wound each time it is used to attack for the rest of the scene. The weapon melts or burns to ash at the end of the scene.

Cold is the deal granted by dievas of frost and mist. They can freeze water easily, freeze even an entire man and shatter him, or cut down armies with claws of ice.
Major Favors
Plunge a region into sudden, violent winter, killing all plant life, freezing lakes and streams, and causing torrential snowfall in an area of a half-mile radius around a center point.
Cause an avalanche, with all the destruction that would entail, large enough to completely destroy a moderate-size village.
Minor Favors
Cause a person or object you touch to be frozen solid in a thin layer of ice. While encased, the object or person cannot be harmed or destroyed directly.
Reform or reshape existing ice to a shape of your choice, as precise and detailed as you require. (For example, the key to a door, even if you've never seen the key to that specific door before.)
Cause still or slowly moving water to freeze solid enough to walk on in an area of approximately a hundred square feet.
Create a handheld object of solid ice, like a sword, which functions normally for one scene and then melts harmlessly.
Shatter a block of ice with a touch. You may choose to free anything within it harmlessly or have that shatter too.

Storm is the power of wind and air, granted by floating, unpredictable dievai. They can make tornados with their breath and lightning from their fingers.
Major Favors
Cause a storm, hurricane or tornado from calm weather, ravaging an area around one mile in radius from its center point.
Call down a lightning bolt during a storm to instantly strike and kill a creature of your choice.
Minor Favors
Create a steady wind that blows in a direction of your choosing for a scene.
Calm an existing storm, reducing it to a gentle rain, or empower an existing storm, turning a gentle rain into a torrential downpour.
Cause lightning or thunder for a scene as a distracting. You may cause a lightning strike or roll of thunder by spending a Raise during any Risk.
Summon a powerful updraft, allowing you to leap distances or heights normally impossible or to cushion otherwise deadly falls.
Throw a bolt of lightning to knock back a creature or squad up to ten feet directly away from you. If they hit something solid, they take 3 Wounds. Either way, they fall to the ground, stunned, and must spend their next Action getting back up.

Sea is the power of water and wave, goberned by dievai that look like water or sea creatures or other such things. They can drown you anywhere, call down tidal waves or command beasts of the deep.
Major Favors
Create a tidal wave capable of wiping out an entire coastal city.
Summon a Monster from the deeps to drag down an entire ship. It will not obey you, but will not directly attack you or the ship you are on unless provoked.
Minor Favors
Know the exact location of any ship within 10 nautical miles of you.
Calm raging waters to make them swimmable or navigable, or cause calm waters to rage and froth.
Become able to breathe water and see through it like air for a scene.
Cause the level of an existing body of water to rise or fall up to five feet, taking one minut per foot of change.
Remove any toxins, poisons or other harmful substances from a container of water up to five gallons, which becomes perfectly pure, clean and clear. This does not, however, desalinate seawater.

Knowledge is the power of dievai that resemble humans, but often hiding their faces. They can tap into the knowledge of all creatures, or even sever the mind and the body from each other, turning the body into a prison.
Major Favors
Sever a creature's mind from its body, rendering it alive but unable to move or speak.
Alter a specific memory in a large number of people, such as making everyone who saw you in the past 24 hours to forget your presence entirely.
Minor Favors
Answer a single factual question about past events with a yes or no. (Dievai cannot, whatever they may claim, predict the future.)
Find the precise location of any object you wish, with complete accuracy about the location and the description of the object itself.
Discover a single scrap of knowledge, even if it's otherwise lost, such as an ancient alchemical formula or a map to a hidden treasure.
Remove a specific memory from a single person's mind, such as making someone forget your face entirely. This can have grave effects on the victim's psyche, especially if they have reason to scrutinize the removed memory.
Temporarily restore an addled mind to full function for a single scene.

Love is power of the heart, and its dievai tend to be enticing and desirable, though also clearly inhuman.
Major Favors
Cause a person to fall madly, obsessively, completely in love with someone, to the exclusion of all else.
Cause every creature within 500 feet of you to go into a berserk fury, attacking anyone and anything around. They cannot be calmed, and must be knocked out or killed.
Minor Favors
Know the answer to a single question regarding the emotional connection between any two people, just by looking. The GM must answer the question honestly, but usually in five or less words.
Manipulate the passions of another creature, heightening them into a state of fight-or-flight or forcing them into a calm, docile state.
Know someone's single greatest fear, or the thing they love or desire more than anything else.
Discover if someone is lying to you, though this only applies to what they believe is true, rather than actual objective truth.
Push another person to give in to their base instincts, even if they otherwise would not.

Next time: Sorte

Rand Brittain
Mar 25, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
Sanderis is cool, although in some ways it seems kind of weird and vague (there's a whole college for this, but they still don't know what happens when you get the Seventh Deal?).

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!

Rand Brittain posted:

Sanderis is cool, although in some ways it seems kind of weird and vague (there's a whole college for this, but they still don't know what happens when you get the Seventh Deal?).

"Well, we think getting all seven deals may be a good thing, so we should probably do it. Minor chance that it'll end the world or destroy you, but eh, we'll take that risk."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

PurpleXVI posted:

"Well, we think getting all seven deals may be a good thing, so we should probably do it. Minor chance that it'll end the world or destroy you, but eh, we'll take that risk."

Ideally it leads to swordfighting the devil.

Preferably on top of a moving coach.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014

Night10194 posted:

Ideally it leads to swordfighting the devil.

Preferably on top of a moving coach.

I mean really that should just be the endgame for your games anyway.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

Night10194 posted:

Ideally it leads to swordfighting the devil.

Preferably on top of a moving coach.

The combat rules should be balanced around a default case of 'on top of a moving coach'. You should get bonuses for standing on solid ground with no chance of a random branch or tavern sign going through your head.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
That is one thing I will say for the new 7th Sea: Unlike the first one, it seems much more content to concern itself with things that can be solved with a dramatic swordfight.

That was the key flaw of Giant Evil Alien Space Locusts: You could not have a back-and-forth swordfight with them.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
Cults: Spitalians, pt. 4



Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 3: Cults


Blood and Sweat

Blood and Sweat posted:

There is hard work in the Appendix. Daring experiments with unknown pathogens and feld work create incalculable risks Ė risks that the Consultants consider necessary but that create long death lists in the lower echelons. To fll up the ranks, the Spitalians therefore need a permanent supply of young, intelligent people.

When you show up to join the Spitalians (because you have a neoprene suit fetish), you first get to talk to a low-ranking Orderly. They are good at describing just how hard being a Spitalian is. However, they also outline the benefits: your life will have meaning because you will be fighting for humanity. If that isn't enough, you'll also get "praise, gratitude, daily rations of drugs, and a powerful community on top."

This is meant to weed out the, well, weedy, much like recruiters in "Starship Troopers" (the book) do. Being a Spitalian is hard work for hard men and women.

Blood and Sweat posted:

Wimps in the Appendix would frst wither, then break and fnally die from one of the countless plagues. Ah, and shortly thereafter rise skywards from one of the many crematories. Those who carry a Spitalian suit must live up to that symbol.

Live up to the symbol of chimney smoke? Or did they mean the insignia of the Spitalians? Boook! :argh:

Career

Once you become a Recruit and get your leather apron (fashionable!), you're sent to work in the Appendix. This happens no matter how high your station was in previous life. Your father might have been a high-ranking Spitalian, a gambling man down in New Orleans or some Clanner savage bashing rocks together and ranting about stupid city folk and their houses with four walls; it doesn't matter.

After you've done your time being elbow-deep in blood, sweat and other bodily effluent, you rise to be an Orderly. They get more responsibilities and more formalized schooling. An Orderly is to evolve into a more medically-adept Famulancer. These guys have some pretty universal applications. They might get swept up by a Consultant forming a platoon for defense of some important position. They help clean up after the work of Surgeons and man the Hygienist gates. These tasks a relatively simple, but they serve to determine the further career based on the aptitudes a Famulancer displays. When the time comes, these dudes and dudettes begin their training as Surgeons, Epigeneticists, Pharmacists, Hygienists, Anaesthesiologists and Hippocrats.



It takes years of training, exams and general proof of worthyness before a Famulancer becomes one of these actually important people. This is the peak of their career for most Spitalians. Not anyone can become the department representative (book points out that they can be male or female), a post that holds great power over a certain grouping of Spitalians and only answers to Consultants.

Consultants are top dogs, shaping the goals and values of the Spital. The Registrar is their voice and they're in a position to become the next Consultant. And if a doctor survives 60 years of service (in this hellhole?), they are granted the honorific title of Elder. This allows the older farts to criticize Consultants as well as delegating tasks to other, less aged people.

Preservists are a caste apart from other Spitalians. If a Spitalian turns out to be some hardcore type that the chief would order to leave the gun and the badge on his desk, he or she is called to Arnsberg by Representative Kranzler. What follows are years of training during which ďmind is shattered and rebuilt as a mosaic according to Kranzlerís wishes.Ē Apparently, this is a necessary step for making Preservists, the commandos that do wetwork that might be outside the scope of the regular Spitalian work.

THE SPITAL

The Outer Ring: The Appendix

When spring comes and stuff thaws, the diseases also spring up, too. The Spitalians work to disinfect septic tanks and clean open bodies of water, as well as vaccinate the citizens of Justitian. However, the illnesses still strike.

The Outer Ring: The Appendix posted:

Every year, a stream of diseases pushes through the Black Lungsí city canyons towards the Spital. The access roads have been freed from wreckage and old cars by healed people as a means to give thanks. Stone altars along the way speak of the healed peopleís thankfulness. Colorful ribbons flutter on poles, wreaths made of weeds and animal sacrifices lie half-buried in the dust.

The ruins transition into sick wards almost imperceptibly. You might be walking down the street and you find yourself ďamidst wheezing, rag-clad figures, passes tents and smells vomit and Sepsis...Ē which is probably what a Clanner settlement smells like, but in this case, it is the Appendix!

Once a new patient is brought it, he is registered, a price is put on the treatment, and he is set up at an appropriate sick bay: ďthe cholera quarter, the plague alley, the dysentery avenue.Ē Cheerful names, those. The Appendix a lively place when times are good, and a stinking necropolis when they're bad. Some buildings in the Appendix are painted red to make them go fastah and pasted with warning signs (I guess they're full of virulent corpses) while others had been burnt by Spitalians to prevent the spread of some disease (maybe this happened at the times when Spitalians didn't have enough red paint?).

There is a kind of life in the Appendix. You don't leave your designated area, so families stay together, with the healthy ones doing menial labour. There are beggars, well, begging for food and water. Some crazier merchants sell overpriced food :thatscapitalism: while covering their faces with wet regs (I wonder if they're urine-soaked!). The Appendix is better than nothing for the sick folks, but not by much. The Spitalians can't really provide full, long term care in there: for one, there are more sick people than doctors.

The Outer Ring: The Appendix posted:

There are nights when the wind comes from the southeast and one swears that the crying and moaning of the dying ones can be heard as far as the Tech Central in the distance, but there, you hear at most an anxious sigh.

But if you have goods or drafts (money? Blueprints? Sons and daughters to be formed into future Spitalians?) you might get treated in the Corpus!

The Inner Ring: Corpus

In the middle of Appendix rises a wall of concrete blocks and unfinished bunkers. Spitalians patrol the top, armed with Fungicide Rifles (proper nouns, whee), doing their best impression of a medieval fortress.

Beyond the wall lies the Corpus. It was supposed to be the area where Spital's logistical services were to expand into. However, it was never finished.

The Inner Ring: Corpus posted:

Now, bunker foundations jut from the ground like dental necks. Pillars form concrete forests, steel trusses hint at roofs. The roads are channels cutting through this bunker world, their billabongs leading into the research groupsí labs and storage rooms via ramps.

They sure love those unfinished bunkers, don't they? Anyway, the area has no markings; the Spitalians still manage to orient themselves ďas an ant follows its queen's pheromone trail,Ē which doesn't make any sense. The strangers don't get to walk around there. Anyone who managed to buy their way into the Corpus for advanced healing is kept at the hospitals near the gates and under house arrest.

Because the role of priviledged people hospital is secondary to the CDC center-level shenaginans:

The Inner Ring: Corpus posted:

The Corpus is a dangerous place. In the high-security labs, the results of plague tests on animals are researched, and next to them, ramps lead down in the subterranean storage facilities for spore and plague victims. Almost no other place in the wasteland has the same potential to end mankind.

Keeping rando pubbies next to your horrible virus labs? Seems like a great idea! :v:

The Echein Spiders

SUB-SECTION TIME! The Echein ("to have, to hold" in Greek, apparently) Spiders are a purpose-bred species of blood-red, palm-sized (including legs) spiders. Found in some cavern in the Corpus, the spiders produce webs rich in a compound so similar to Vitamin C it can be used to cure deficiency.

So the spiders have killed eaten almost all of the bugs to enter the Spital. More importantly, their coccons are used to store corpses of plague victims and fun research subjects. Apparently, the power requirements for the cold storage of such an amount of corpses is imposible in the post-Echaton age, so the spider webs have to do. I don't think that Vitamin C-webs are an adequate replacement for freezing, but what do I know.


The Spital

The Spital itself is strange fortress-like building, with upper floors overhanging the lower ones. A five-meter wide trench surrounds it.

The Spital posted:

A Spitalian who descends and stomps through the red dust encounters a hated part of Spital history. A lanternís light falls upon iron plates and walled-off windows; scars mar the walls that are fire-blackened over many meters. Someone tried in vain to break through here.

So I guess the Spital is actually rising out of the trench?

Well, who cares. If you want to cross the bridge and enter, you need to get your pee tested for Sepsis and ďa complete purification in the disinfection bath completes the check-up, cleanses the body and caresses the soul Ė we are pure, the outside dangers stay outside.Ē A Spitalian then gets shrink-wrapped clothing for his stay inside while his gear is sent for cleaning.

The inside of the Spital is, unsurprisingly, white and brightly lit. There are libraries, reading rooms, labs, factories, fermenters and generators. If you join a department, you go to work in its wing.

Spital posted:

The Surgeons have several operating theatres, an auditorium and the Panopticon where they exhibit medical curios for their colleagues. Presumably not just to shock new arrivals.

Anaesthesiologists take care of the, ugh, intense care wards next to the surgery threather. Pharmacists use an entire building block for their digs. It houses the Community Pharmacy (ďwhere drugs are handed outĒ), fermenters and reading rooms. Epigenetics enjoy the most modern equipment and their wing is fully electrified. The Hippocrats ďhave taken over the second floor,Ē which is confusing when you consider that Pharmacists are supposed to have a full building block.

Spital posted:

From here, they can descend into every department without going through the lobby. They like it that way. The rest of the doctors donít.

The second floor also holds the records of rogue doctors and the printing press.

The Spital posted:

The Hygienists feel at home everywhere, but of course they also have their own wing with de-sporeing chambers as well as bodysuit maintenance. The sign above the entrance says ďSouth Wing IIĒ. Those who enter here will get to feel what Hygienists think of hygienics.

There's also a registry, a public library, garages and a prosthetics workshop. The arsenal is hidden behind ďGate 6Ē (the book itself uses quotation marks). If you have a warrant, you can get a gun. Pharmaceutics wing is actually responsible for constructing phosphor grenades and gas cartridges. The rule is not to keep biochem munitions in the arsenal for more than 24 hours. Which implies that pharmacists are cooking those weapons up all the time, which feels neither safe nor efficient.

Some doors are marked with the ďHIVEĒ stencil. Nobody goes inside; way back when, Hive patients actually managed to break into the cellars (so much for the whole too-weak-to-siege thing) and died there. Nobody knows if Hive managed to survive all that time (possibly in the bones) and nobody wants to find out.

At The Center: Cor

Cor blimey, guvna! :v:

This thing looks like a side section, but it isn't!

At the Center: Cor posted:

The Cor is considered the Spitalís heart, complete with forecourts (the disinfection gates), cardiac valves (Preservists guard the doors), ventricles (labs and dorms) and sometimes ventricular fibrillation (the meetings of the board of Consultants).

The book then states that it's more like two hearts: the consultant chambers at the Ziggurat (some molithic structure that shares the name with Pheromancer pimp shacks) and the block with labs, private chambers, power plant and the fancy equipment that it feeds. In any case, you really can't get in unless you're spore-free and the Consultants put you on the guest list.

Next time: what are you, some kind of Spitalian?

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Ratoslov posted:

The combat rules should be balanced around a default case of 'on top of a moving coach'. You should get bonuses penalties for standing on solid ground with no chance of a random branch or tavern sign going through your head.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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

So I can start with Cat Summoning, Cat Sight, Cat Transformation and Regeneration?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
So, Lithuanian time:
Losejas - actually "lošėjas," you'll be mispronouncing that one all the time - means "gambler," which is OK
Ratas - means "wheel," but also "circle," which is OK for a circle of druids.
Valytuvas - ahahahahaha lol rofl lmao, that's basically ever used for windscreen wipers, and the ending of the word denotes an item. "Valytojas" is proper for a person, but that's only ever used for office cleaning ladies and such.

Can't really fault the creators too much, tho: if you're dead set on Purifiers, there's really no easy word for that in Lithuanian.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal



The art in this book is generally very good, but everything around the magic section knocks it out of the park
Magic got one of the biggest mechanical overhauls from the previous edition. I have no idea what they were before, but this iteration is very solid. It gives a short overview of how magic in Glorantha and breaks down magic into 3 categories: Rune Magic where people commit themselves to the gods and get their powers in return, Spirit Magic from direct and indirect interaction with the Spirit World, and Sorcery that manipulates the Runes as abstract laws defining the universe. Each character gets an allotment of Magic Points equal to their POW, which are used to fuel Sorcery and Spirit Magic and recover in a day. Initiates into a Cult get a different resource called Rune Points for each God they worship that comes from permanently sacrificing POW. POW is used for checks and resistance rolls for offensive spells, so thereís a balancing act between lots of Rune Points and Spells and all your Spirit Magic capability and defence. Rune Points are harder to recover, requiring a successful Worship roll after a whole day worshiping at a holy place. They give a short overview of some augments that help with Magic-related rolls, like Singing, Dancing or meditating, as well as just taking a longer time doing Rituals. Half an hour of preparation gives you a +30% bonus to a magic check, which is a massive deal for Worship checks or spells you donít want to fail. Using skills to augment magic takes a little more time and stops you from defending, so you canít shoot lightning better by dancing unless youíve got some great bodyguards.

Thereís an overview of spell syntax, but most of it is self-explanatory. The only things to keep a note of are Runic associations of each Rune Magic spell, which tell you what affinities you roll with. You can also add more points to the cast, which makes some spells more effective and helps you get past counter-magics. Enchantments also get discussed, which not many players will use since it requires a lot of POW sacrificing: 1 point per stat the spirit you bind has. You also need a Control Spell if itís in an object, although if itís in an Animal it just obeys your orders. Thereís some basic enchantments that get outlines, like a magic point storage crystal and armor that defends against spirits. Iím not sure what the other ones actually do, so if someone knows tell me.

The book goes over Spirit Magic first, since itís the simplest. You learn spirit magic from your cult from a list of associated spells and the fundamentals everyone should know, or a shaman can teach you any. Your range of known spells are capped at 1 magic point per point of Charisma, so a big spell might take up 3. It also requires a Focus like a rune tattoo or a bit of jewellery, although thatís just a flavor thing. Each spellís strike rank is your DEX modifier plus how many magic points went into it.

I donít want to go over every single spell. Most of these are utilitarian, with a few buffs and debuffs that can really help, and some shaman-focused spells for dealing with spirits. It hits the fundamentals: Every player is close to having the magical abilities of a level 1 mage and cleric and can mitigate bad odds easily. Some spells are holdovers from dungeon crawls, like Detect Traps, but itís a good baseline that lets you take the cool poo poo in Rune Magic without worrying about effectiveness as much.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
Can I do Spirit Magic by just simply suing ghosts?

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Pulling Strings

Sorte, the fate magic of Vodacce, is exceptionally rare. It is found only in Vodacce, only among the properly sorcerous bloodlines, and only in women. Those who have it can see the connections of the web of fate, and with enough skill, even manipulate those strands. Vodacce men are famously lucky - for good and for ill. Vodacce women are even more famous for their curses and blessings, forcing the hand of fate. The cost is high, of course. But Vodacce women, on their deathbeds, often call for one last blessing for their children, and new mothers frequently bless their newborns. Likewise, enemies of the Vodacce try not to meet the eyes of their women, just in case. The wrath of the strega should never be underestimated, and many of Theah's greatest tragedies began with a Vodacce curse. Vodacce women that want to pass on a blessing or curse risk their own fates, of course, but the ritual is simple - look into the eyes of the target, speak their name three times, then kiss them. If someone interrupts that, well, there goes the blessing or curse.

Sorte contains a number of effects, each called a Tessere - a Weave. Each Tessere has both Minor and Major versions, and to get the Major, you need to know the Minor first. The first purchase of Sorcery (Sorte) gives access to Read, then two Minor Weaves and one Major Weave. Each purchase after that gives 1 Minor Weave and 1 Major Weave...except the fourth, final purchase, which gives only a Major Weave, there being only four Tesse. Whenever a strega uses Sorte, she spends a Hero Point to activate the Tessere she wants and gains at least one Lash, sometimes more. The more Lashes you have, the stronger your magic, but the higher the price you will need to pay. Fate takes its toll on meddlers. Having more Lashes will empower the effects of your magic, but it also has negative effects.

Whenever a strega with Lashes makes a Risk, the GM may spend a Danger Point. Any dice with value less than her total Lashes is unusable. By spending two Danger Points, the GM can instead have this affect a Hero other than the strega - Fate will have its due. So if you have 4 Lashes, any 1s, 2s or 3s rolled would be unable to be used to make Raises at all. There are two ways to get rid of a Lash. First, you can pay in blood. You take Wounds equal to your total number of Lashes, then reduce that number by 1. Second, you can choose to pay in luck. You add Danger Points to the pool equal to your total number of Lashes, then reduce that number by 1.

Using a Tessere in an Action Sequence costs a Raise, on top of any other costs in Hero Points or Lashes, and you can never target yourself with any Tessere. The Tessere are:
Read: This costs no Hero Points or Lashes, and has no Major version. You must use it before using any other Tessere in a scene. If you are unable to see for any reason, you cannot use it. Once you have used it, you can perceive all strands of fate present, as well as the Arcana of any Hero or Villain present, for the rest of the scene.
Arcana (Minor): You may spend a Hero Point and take a Lash to activate your target's Hubris or Virtue. If you choose Virtue, they immediately get their Virtue's benefits. If you choose Hubris, your target gets double the benefit of their Hubris if they activate it on their next action. You may use this even if the target has already activated their Virtue or Hubris this session, and they can activate it normally even after you use this. You cannot affect any character with this more than once per session.
Arcana (Major): You may spend a Hero Point and take a Lash to select a card from your Sorte deck and replace your target's Virtue or Hubris with the selected card for the rest of the scene. All other rules for Virtue and Hubris still apply - if they've used either, they can't activate the new one again. You may only use this once per session.
Blessing (Minor): You may kiss someone (chaste or otherwise) and take one or more Lashes to give them Bonus Dice equal to your Lashes. These Bonus Dice are kept until the end of the scene, when they go away if they haven't been used. All of them must be used on the same Risk.
Blessing (Major): You may kiss someone (chaste or otherwise), spend a Hero Point and take one or more Lashes to give them Bonus Dice equal to your Lashes. Unlike the Minor Blessing, these dice can be used one for one on any Risk at all until you run out, rather than all on the same Risk. Otherwise, they function identically.
Curse (Minor): You may kiss someone (chaste or otherwise) and take one or more Lashes to place a Minor Curse on them, rank equal to your current Lashes. The Curse remains inactive until you choose to activate it, which must be when they gather dice for a Risk but before they roll. When you activate the Curse, they lose (Curse Rank) dice from their pool.
Curse (Major): You may kiss someone (chaste or otherwise), spend a Hero Point and take one or more Lashes to place a Major Curse on them, rank equal to your current Lashes. The Curse remains inactive until you choose to activate it, which must be after they have rolled for a Risk. When you activate the Curse, they lose (Curse Rank) Raises from their roll.
Pull (Minor): You may take a Lash to grab one of the strands of fate attached to a target you can see and pull them toward you. Non-stationary objects, such as tables or chairs, will move out of their way. The target loses a Raise due to stumbling headlong at you, and those on balconies or bannisters may fall. If the target is on the other side of a movable obstruction, such as a table, or a breakable one, such as a window, they take 1 Wound.
Pull (Major): You may spend a Hero Point and take one or more Lashes to pull multiple targets. The targets each take 1 Wound due to the force of the pull, regardless of any obstructions, which do not cause a second Wound. You may target a number of Brutes equal to the Lashes you have, and if you target at least half the Brutes in a Brute Squad, the Squad loses its ability to act at the end of the round as they struggle back to their feet. Otherwise, this functions identically to the Minor version save that you can target two Heroes or Villains at once, and must take at least one Lash per Hero or Villain targeted this way. If they are on the other side of an immovable obstruction, such as a jail cell or a door, they slam into it and take 2 Wounds. On each of your actions, you may spend a Raise and take a Lash to hold such a target pinned in place, but only as long as you can do so by pulling them directly towards you.

The Arcana, as a note, are visualized as the Greater Cards of the Sorte deck. Unlike Tarot, these have no numbers. The Lesser Cards - the coins, cups, staves and swords - are used to visualize the relationships between people along the fate strands, with each suit corresponding to a type of relationship. The Greater Cards are used to identify Arcana, and each strega's deck is different, as tradition mandates that you may only use 20 Greater Cards in your deck, though far more than 20 exist. The colors of the Greater Cards appear as auras around people to show their Arcana - upright for Virtue, reversed for Hubris, usually.

The main changes here are that the Lesser Cards are not mechanically relevant any more, but strega can now physically pull people. Also, the mechanics behind longer-term blessings and curses are not present, but fluffwise they can still happen. I would just assume the lack of mechanics is because mechanically it's not very relevant to know that someone has story events turned against them because of fate witches.

Next time: Dueling

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