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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I think 'everyone is very subtle and manipulative and has a massive network of agents and spies!' is the 'No, really, THESE guys are the most warlike in Warhammer 40k!' of 7th Sea.

As in, goddamn everyone is like that, maybe it doesn't stand out as a character trait anymore. It would almost stand out more to point out the characters who do not, in fact, have a subtle network of spies or who are not 'faking' their flaws to be underestimated.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:23 on Jul 17, 2018

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Barudak
May 7, 2007




Obsidian: The Age of Judgement is a roleplaying game by Apophis Consortium published first in 1999, and this review uses the 2nd Edition from 2001. Written by Micah Skaritka, Dav Harnish, and Frank Nolan. Obsidian is a post-apocalyptic anarchist corporatist literal hell on earth secret knowledge crunchy dice-pool game. It is purchasable online here if you’d like to support the authors of this work.

Part 7: Experience Points as Luck Tokens, Random Rolls, and You

With our Ethos and Socials picked out, aka our character class and skill buffs, we move from a template system to a random roll system for the portion of character creation called “Character Rolls.” These are four random rolls, two are 4d6 and two are 1d6, that determine a few more things about our character. These things are our ability to resist lethal damage, non-lethal damage, our starting money, and our starting Spirit points. You’d think that with template classes and a point buy system we’d not need random rolling for this odd collection of stats but you’d be wrong and you’d better make these rolls in the presence of your Narrator as the book notes.

I’m going to skip ahead slightly in the book rules wise to dive into these in a little more detail because we don’t really have any idea what these stats mean at this point since the game wont define them till next chapter and also these stats are completely broken and poorly thought out.

Things Wrong With the Random Rolled Stats
  • The two HP pools aren’t remotely equal; nearly everything in the game deals lethal damage which bypasses the non-lethal pool entirely and wearing heavy armor of any kind negates all non-lethal damage entirely.
  • The only way to ever increase your HP is by spending points to increase your strength score, which caps out at a measly +2d6. If you don’t boost it at character creation the amount of points required to boost those stats is close to an entire campaigns worth, so if you rolled badly there is no real way to recover.
  • You may note this means a starting character and an endgame character have about the same HP. If you guessed the guns increase linearly in power pretty quickly and that this might be a real issue just wait until we get to the section on how damage in combat works
  • Starting cash is 1d6 x 1000 starting credits. This may not seem like a big deal but 6,000 is enough to buy a suit of mechanized, self-recirculating power armor and a gun that shoots for 4d6+3 damage, or just go all out and buy a gun that does 8d10 damage while 1,000 barely covers a starter pistol.
  • This starting cash divide is extra silly when you remember that several of the socials you could have picked give you several thousand in cash, so why weren’t those the ways you got more starting money instead of rolling? If you picked one of those and rolled well congrats on getting both the power armor and the full auto death-cannon.
  • We’re not done with the money thing either; the cost of a four door sedan is out of a starting characters price range even with maximimum money rolls and background. A motorcycle costs more than a suit of power armor.
  • To be fair, the sedan does have better defense than all but the most expensive suit of power armor
  • Spirit Points are not explained until much later in the book but they’re meaningless unless your characters decide to heavily invest in a half-baked subsystem that is all the fun of Shadowrun hacking for the rest of the group and insanely unbelievably lethal for anyone who participates in it or you just need to get resurrected
  • You can just buy spirit points with xp later so if you roll poorly or well here it really doesnt matter

In addition to those randomly rolled stats you get 20 “Humanity Points”. You’d think these would be used to power occult rituals or be burned up by becoming just as vile as what you hunt but the game actually doesn’t tell you what they do here. It’ll be another 45 pages before they explain that the only way I’ve found so far to lose them* is by willingly getting cybernetically enhanced and another nearly hundred and thirty pages before they explain what the penalties for losing them are. Maybe all of those rules could have gone together in a single section called character creation? Just a thought.


Surely this man is a good guy

With four random rolls and a not rolled at all stat behind us we move onto the point buy part of the character creation process. Each character starts with 20 Generation Points to spend on character development. The book then immediately messes everything up by consistently referring to something called “Starting Points” to the point where I was trying to figure out how you get Starting Points for several pages until I realized they’re supposed to be the same thing.

The important thing about Generation Points is that unlike the Experience Points (XP) we’ll get later they’re way, way, way more useful. It costs a flat 2 Generation Points to raise a skill one level while it costs 2*Current Skill Level XP to raise a skill one level. You cap out at receiving 5 XP per session, so going from Level 5 to 6 through XP costs 2 sessions worth of max rewards.

More importantly, this is the only time you can directly raise attributes at a cost of 6 Generation Points per level raised. This might sound quite steep, but XP can’t do that directly at all. To raise attributes after the character creation process you have to raise every single skill controlled by that attribute to the same level to raise it to that level. There are, for example, 7 skills under the “Knowledge” attribute, so if you don’t boost that at character creation it could be dozens of sessions before that thing ever increases even one point.

None of the information about how many skills per attribute, what skills go with what attributes, or what attributes or skills even do is in this chapter so have fun point buying without any of that information.

If this option paralysis introduced wasn’t bad enough, if you selected a “Mystic” as your Ethos or have 5 Mind or more, you can now blow your Generation points on more spells. Good luck weighing more spells now versus stat boosts, first time player.

With our character now theoretically done, its time to talk about how we improve them with XP. Somewhat sensibly, characters receive XP just by playing the story, with some points like “Survive a Chapter” and “Play upon an Active Motivation” granting what should be free points. Whats unfortunate is the rules state that unless something extraordinary happens, players should only ever receive a maximum of 5 XP a session. This can work fine early on, but as seen the costs of everything skyrockets quickly in Obsidian so sooner or later every session will be people banking XP.

Well they would if there weren’t a pile of very stupid rules the game introduces. The first is suggesting that “The most active player” get a bonus XP versus everyone else which sounds fun for everyone at the table to fight over. Second, the narrator is told they can take away XP if they feel players act against their character or fail to uphold their characters motivations. Third, XP can be used as “Luck Points” which allow you to either re-roll a failed roll or roll an extra die on any check.


Electro-Tree-Birth is the future of music

Then things go completely off the goddamn rails. Tucked away in this section on XP uses is an explanation that at the start of each play session the Narrator is supposed to randomly choose one character to have an “Ominous Fate” and another to be the bearer of “Destiny”. The narrator is encouraged to spend the entire session making things harder for the Ominous Fate player by having guns jamming in combat, be targeted by enemy attacks over other players, and falling while running away. The character with Destiny, conversely should be given extra benefits like bonus info, easier rolls, etc. What’s important to Obsidian though, is players should never feel sure if they have the Ominous Fate or Destiny because that information is hidden from them.

If that werent dumb enough, it now gets down-right mean. Before a session starts you can spend 1 XP to cancel the chance of receiving the Ominous Fate. You aren’t told if you would have received it or not; you’re blowing your XP simply to pre-emptively make sure you don’t. This means basically every session starts with every player spending 1 XP to avoid having the narrator make your character be bad for an entire play session. I genuinely think this may be the single worst XP on non-progression use I’ve ever seen in a game so congratulations Obsidian.

Next Time: Being Able to Lift a Car Doesn’t Mean You’re Strong

*Would it surprise you to know the index in this book doesn’t work, and almost every entry has page numbers that don’t actually talk about that subject so I can’t be sure if the rule doesn’t exist or if they just have the wrong page number?

Barudak fucked around with this message at 14:33 on Jul 17, 2018

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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




I feel like this thread could remember this more often.

But on the whole, the whole "content warning" thing is ideal as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't have the "is this too scary for you, babies?" and neither does it feel lame like the X-card guy's spiel.

Still, I thought Unknown Armies was about fighting the unknown, not capitalizing on it? Are the three (from you're snooping at mysteries to you're fighting global cults) levels of play still in?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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To be fair, l’Empereur is still a buffoon, just, if he was actually as buffoonish as he pretends to be, he’d be dead.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Mors Rattus posted:

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - HELL FRANCE
HELL FRANCE might be the best summation of Montaigne. Not entirely sure I needed L'Empereur to be a secret mastermind, though. I guess it's a subversion to roll Richelieu and the foppish, ineffectual king into the same character, but there's something uniquely terrifying about that much power in the hands of a spoiled, petulant man-child that's lacking when it's all part of a grand stratagem.

OTOH, while Mors didn't call it out in the review, I like that someone on the writing team was annoyed enough by people from Montaigne being called "Montaignes" that they retconned in "Montaignois" as a demonym.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Middle Management

Louise Marie-Francoise de Beaufort was made Chief Administrator of the Chateau de la Vie as an insult last year due to her slighting the king. He expected her to retire to the job, cowed, like every administrator before her. In fact, she has brought more change to the place in a year than it's seen in decades. She works closely with the old administrator, Colonel Francois de Chambord, who's been helping her network, and is close friends with the captains and instructors at the Musketeer Academy, so she stays informed of their work. She now has final say in all royal pardons and punishments in all judicial matters, with only l'Empereur able to overrule her. However, she's been trying to avoid attention because of the reforms she wants to instate. She wants to save Montaigne - she's seen the chaos building and thinks she's best placed to stop it. First, she needs to overhaul the corrupt judiciary, and then she has to increase the power, ability and influence of the Musketeers. This means she's going to have to limit the operations that oppress the peasantry and increasing their involvement in actually upholding justice. She intends to outlast the corruption and lay in a foundation for power from nobility of character rather than bloodline. She is a pleasant, polite woman who dresses pretty masculine and, while young, is an excellent judge of character. She rarely calls out lies, but instead works to force people into corners so they must expose their own lies.

Maurice de Thoulieu is the Ministre de la Culture, head of the only (and famously) incorruptible ministry in the Montaignois government. He is a small, witty man with a taste for progressiveness in art. He and the Ministry of Culture, which does have a small squad of armed soldiers, carefully control the art and performances made in Montaigne, both for l'Empereur and his own reputation. Artists must apply for permits to perform or display their works, even street performers, and the ministry does launch sting operations on unlicensed performers. They forbid anything that might insult or harm the Empereur's reputation, and Maurice only ever hires the most loyal officials. Thoulieu is an honest man who is deeply loyal to this king, and he does not take bribes. Ever. The Ministry never falsely accuses an artist, nor do they ever spare someone who does commit what they consider art crimes. Thoulieu is extremely cultured and the height of fashion; he looks down on the masses in disdain and frustration, and while he does not chastise others for fashion faux pases, he does judge them, along with word choice and speech patterns. He is, in fact, so good at this that he can deduce your nation of origin and much about your past just from how you speak. He is a historian and knows quite a lot about Montaigne's past, and he thinks himself superior to all but the royal family.

Yvonne de Gineston, Marquise of Batonnier, has ruled her land since the end of the War of the Cross. Her city is only a little smaller than Buche and was the ancestral capital of Valdoc before that land was given to Buche as a reward for something no one remembers. Gineston has never forgiven l'Empereur for that, but has not been able to get Batonnier made the seat of Valdoc again, as the Council of Marquises blocks her petitions. This has changed the direction of her plans. Raymond de Taulose is the current Duke of Valdoc, but due to an obscure law, the Marquises of the are actually vote in a new duke every five years. L'Empereur can veto, but he allows the tradition because it amuses him. Gineston is now campaigning for the position, primarily by lies and deceit. She knows Taulouse has been promising bribes and trade deals for votes, and she has been undermining him every step of the way, arranging for his promises to fail or fall short. She's approached the others, making her case and promising wealth if they vote for her, and has even made a good impression on the king. She has made sure Taulouse is aware of this, to make him treat her as a threat. She hopes to, eventually, replace him as Marquise of Buche as well, giving her majority control of the council and sealing her power in Valdoc. Taulouse has lost two of his three children, and while there is no evidence of it, Yvonne had a hand in both deaths. She's allowed the youngest son to live because she thinks he's a good husband candidate to further her plans. She considers l'Empereur an idiot and hopes, eventually, to split northern Montaigne from southern Montaigne, with herself ruling the north. She is an austere woman who dresses in the conservative Valdoc fashions, often coming off as uptight in public. In private, she is friendlier and nicer, though that's partially an act, too. She is not well known outside of Valdoc.

Marquise Sidonie du Carre is a cruel, controlling tyrant, an elderly woman given command of the Castillian city of Altamira. She is very upfront about her plans: protect Montaigne's interests in Castille, which at the moment means rescuing troops cut off from supply lines. Beyond her straightforward nature, she is extremely flawed as a ruler. Her cruelty goes far beyond her goals' needs, and she takes pride in making everyone around her miserable. She has her right-hand man, Marechal Pointu, kill anyone that dares defy her. The elderly Grande of Altamira and his children are her prisoners, subject to her petty cruelty whenever she gets bored. However, the Grande's son Gabriel has, unknown to her, been trying to get in contact with the outside, at risk to his own life, to get the help his family sorely needs. He wants to get his father and sisters out, but only if he can make sure they do so safely. Sidonie despises Castille and its people, but she loves Altamira for being a playground for her. It's the first time she's had such complete control, largely thanks to Pointu, who obeys her without question. Without him, her tiny empire would collapse, and she knows it. She is pleasant and polite with Montaignois dignitaries; everyone else is either undesirable or useless. She has no patience for either. She becomes very petty when things go wrong, losing her normal calm demeanor and facade of approachability.

Eve Lafrisse is Charouse's greatest assassin. She began as a 15-year-old jenny, and may have stayed that way if not for her brother, Arnault. He was a sickly child, who needed expensive medicine, and most jenny houses didn't want the kid hanging around, so Eve bounced from house to house to keep him safe. In her final house, a drunk and abusive customer killed Arnault, and in her rage, Eve overpowered him, tortured him and killed him - and quickly realized she had a talent for it. It pays better than being a jenny, too. She quickly built her own crew and reputation, and now runs a lot of the crime in the city. She has more money than many nobles, but she still needs more. She regularly bribes the judges and lawyers to stay safe, and she gathers blackmail on any noble she can. Many owe her a debt and are happy to be her spies in court. She's very good at business and has a tendency to kill traitors. People around her often assume she's less ruthless than she lets on, which is false, and she's got no idea why people keep thinking it. She still does her own wetwork if hired to do so, though the price is very steep. She can be very charming, and usually acts like she knows more than actually she does.

Francois DeGaulle is a favorite at court, first son of a duke and possibly second cousin of l'Empereur. Some even think he will be made heir to the throne, especially given his Porte strength. DeGaulle has no real interest in being king, however. It doesn't help that he had a small affair with Dominique and wants her to inherit the throne, or that his best friend is her husband, Montegue, who he is certain is not, in fact, in Ussura, where l'Empereur claims. He's usually far more interested in cave-diving for ruins and occult artifacts than in romance, and he studies books on Porte and magic in general any chance he can. He keeps most of his knowledge secret, save from Montegue...who has somehow shed the Blood Mark DeGaulle placed on him years ago, which Francois finds very worrying. He is a personable enough man, but often comes off as distracted or disinterested due to his secretive nature and occult studies.

Ragnar Odinsson is a local legend around the Lock-Horn Forest near Pierre-Percee. He has many stories - he was a drachen slayer, killing the last one centuries ago. He died and visited the Great Hall of the Vesten, but his friends brought him back. He drinks from an ever-full silver mead flagon, but shares it only with those he names friend. He has great fortunes that he shares with the worthy. Many assume he is long gone if he ever existed, that his tales are grossly exaggerated. They are wrong. Ragnar is now very, very old, but alive. He is fearless, but deeply sorrowed by a too-long life and seeing his own line largely extinguished. He goes by the name Vieux Gerard, an authority on the Treasure O'Roorke and tales of Ragnar's life. People say they are tall tales, but they are true - even the one where he stole a king's son after bringing the boy back from the dead, or when he sailed to the skies, or when he died fighting a drachen and returned. Every so often, he gives a worthy treasure hunter enough clues to find a piece of his great fortune, one chest at a time. He wants to bring them the same adventurous spirit he had in youth, and eventually to find someone worthy and able to end his life. He's still got a sense of humor about it, but he desperately wants to die. He avoids politics and hates any scheme more complex than a practical joke. It is unclear how this old drat viking managed to survive so long, and his mood shifts easily and quickly.

Next time: Even more people.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



JcDent posted:

Still, I thought Unknown Armies was about fighting the unknown, not capitalizing on it? Are the three (from you're snooping at mysteries to you're fighting global cults) levels of play still in?

Unknown Armies is about using magick to armbar the world into how you want it to be. You don't fight the unknown: you use and abuse it. It's all about wanting something, and seeing how far you'll go and what you'll do to get that thing you desire. You don't fight the unknown because it's everywhere. A big thing is that once you step into the Underground your in for good. You can't unlearn what you know, so it's play the game or get played.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Is Merchant avatar still the only sane and rational choice to make in this edition?

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Wapole Languray posted:

Unknown Armies is about using magick to armbar the world into how you want it to be. You don't fight the unknown: you use and abuse it. It's all about wanting something, and seeing how far you'll go and what you'll do to get that thing you desire. You don't fight the unknown because it's everywhere. A big thing is that once you step into the Underground your in for good. You can't unlearn what you know, so it's play the game or get played.
Yeah, if you're fighting a shadowy global occult organization in Unknown Armies, it's because your goals conflict with theirs. Or you pissed somebody in it off and you don't have a lot of choice, or such reasons.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Zereth posted:

Yeah, if you're fighting a shadowy global occult organization in Unknown Armies, it's because your goals conflict with theirs. Or you pissed somebody in it off and you don't have a lot of choice, or such reasons.

Or you're the New Inquisition and have decided your goals conflict with every other global occult organization.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Question about 7th Sea healing. If you heal a dramatic wound by using a potion or what have you, does that clear the wounds that led to that dramatic wound or any that came after it?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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marshmallow creep posted:

Question about 7th Sea healing. If you heal a dramatic wound by using a potion or what have you, does that clear the wounds that led to that dramatic wound or any that came after it?

Um...I think it clears all Wounds of the tier, but I honestly am not sure.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I like the ancient viking adventurer and all legends about him being true.

Not!Sweden still being viking or the name of the country being super long is still stupid, tho.

E: so in Uknown Armies, you and the other PCs start a conspiracy or what?

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


The Wounds are kind of weird in that you can have Dramatic Wounds without filling all the wounds on the way to them, by my reading of it.

Specific excerpts:

quote:

Anyone shot by a firearm by a Hero or Villain takes 1 Dramatic Wound in addition to all other normal effects from the attack. If you shoot another character with a firearm using 2 Raises, that character takes 2 Wounds and 1 Dramatic Wound.

quote:

When your Hero takes Wounds, fill in a number of bubbles on the Death Spiral equal to the Wounds he took. Thus, if your Hero takes 1 Wound, you fill in one bubble. If your Hero takes 2 Wounds, you fill in two bubbles. Keep going, filling in a bubble for each Wound your Hero takes.
Wounds aren’t too serious, but when filling in bubbles, if you ever fill in one of the stars, your Hero takes a Dramatic Wound. For example, if you take 3 Wounds and the second one is a star, you’ve taken a Dramatic Wound. Keep filling in bubbles and stars until you’ve taken the total number of Wounds from the injury.

quote:

At the end of a Scene, when the Heroes have a few minutes to catch their breath and regroup, all Wounds are healed. Dramatic Wounds remain until the end of the Episode, or until the Heroes manage to deal with them through the course of play.

So basically: I get shot by a gun! I take 2 damage and one dramatic wound. My Death Spiral (straightened out) looks like this:

xxooXooooOooooOooooO

I get shot again! I take one more damage and another Dramatic Wound.

xxxoXooooXooooOooooO

I get stabbed! I take three damage.

xxxxXxxooXooooOooooO

The fight ends, we rest and heal.

ooooXooooXooooOooooO

Another fight starts! Oh god I've been shot again for 2 damage + dramatic wound!

xxooXooooXooooXooooO

If I don't get shot again, it's still going to take 10 damage before I start moving towards that final Dramatic Wound and helplessness.

Magically I heal a Dramatic Wound, say through Dar Matushki's Regeneration.

xxooXooooXooooOooooO

Does that make sense?

Edit: You can also take Dramatic Wounds from regular damage ticking over. Mors, who's in perfect health, gets hit by a duelist villain for seven points of damage. His health goes:

xxxxXxxooOooooOooooO

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Hail The Musketeers

General Pardie Soussens is tired of war. She doesn't like violence much any more, and were she not a general she'd have deserted a long time ago. It's not that she's afraid of death in battle - she isn't. Indeed, it was her foolish bravery early in the Castillian war that got her her rank. The problem is that the war has eroded her youthful enthusiasm and her willingness to harm others, no matter who they are. Her once red hair has gone white now, and her face is harsh from her bitter sorrow. For the last few months, she's been working hard to rebuild the Montaignois army to better support the supply lines in the retreat from Castille, though the troops remained stressed, underfed and overworked. She works closely with the navy to reassign troops to maritime fighting, and desperately wishes that she, too, could get a new start. However, she has a lot on her plate thanks to l'Empereur's strategic incompetence. The local Duke has asked her to retake Dechaine, and she's learned that there was no plague there - there was a rebellion against the nobles. Now, she's unsure what to do. It breaks her heart to see the soldiers suffering, to see the Montaignois people suffering, and she knows her actions are being watched carefully. She has to mobilize her men, to send them to fight again - against the very people they came from, who have dared to rise up against tyranny. But if she hesitates, she will be called a traitor and killed. She is not ready for this at all, especially since she has no family and, instead, sees her command as her family. She has no interest in schemes or politics except if they'll save lives, and has always favored a direct approach, despite being a master strategist.

The Musketeers are the elites of Montaigne's military, the most loyal, brave and honorable soldiers...yet all of them are nobles, handpicked by nobles, and so their ranks are unintentionally filled to the brim by privilege. They date back to the early years of the War of the Cross, when a group of soldiers held the line against Castille for 30 days, losing tons of men, until at last only two units were left - and won. Their sheer ferocity convinced the Castillians that reinforcements had come, driving them into retreat. When those two units returned, l'Empereur renamed them the Musketeers, giving them leave to recruit the best of the best. He pulled several of them to join la Garde Lumineuse, the Lightning Guard - his personal bodyguards. Three of those original Musketeers are still members. At first, the unit took commoners and nobles alike, but as the years went on, fewer peasant soldiers had the training to keep up with the elite force, and because each year, Musketeers retire and are replaced, only the best trained get in. Those are the nobles now, and so the unit fills with nobles. The young Musketeers claim not to care about noble birth, and always treat the commoners that are their elders in the unit with great respect, at least.

The loyal Musketeers often serve as bodyguards to nobles as well as Lightning Guardsmen, and while the order is capped at a thousand members, they have a saying - once a Musketeer, always a Musketeer. Even if you're retired, you're one of them for life. They are beloved even by the peasantry, despite their bias to nobility, and they are trusted to enforce justice far more than, say, the city guards. They are welcome and trusted everywhere, and usually asked to deal with any local problems, even in the poorest areas, which hate l'Empereur most. Their renowned loyalty has been causing them moral quandaries lately, though. They love their nation and want to defend its people, but they take actions that improve the lot of their corrupt king. Balancing honor and duty isn't easy for them - that much is clear among their leaders. Guillame Houbleton, Lieutenant-Captain of the unit, strictly enforces the law and l'Empereur's policies, but also protects the people from those laws. His second in command, however, former army corporal Julien Reinette, has no trouble with supporting l'Empereur's more abusive powers and often sends Musketeers to protect disliked nobles.

Musketeers follow orders, but cannot be asked to do so unquestioningly. After all, their devotion to honor and justice is part of why they get picked to join. They'd die for their king...but they'd also die for the peasants they defend. They may see l'Empereur as oppressive, but are sworn to protect him, even assist his regime. Musketeers must decide what they will do - and some retire early, while others try to put the people first, justifying their actions as protecting the king from himself. Many Musketeers follow this attitude, often assisting Louiselle Marie-Francoise de Beaufort in her efforts to cleanse Montaigne of corruption. Their main efforts involve keeping Houbleton in charge and getting Reinette to retire. However, several elder Musketeers favor Reinette's philosophy of following the law to the direct letter, and this is leading to some rifts.

Cedric Beadoux was an orphan from Crieux who worked odd jobs and stole to survive. He eventually joined a street gang, learning better thieving skills, and soon took over the gang. He insisted that gang learn to use real weapons, watching the guards train for tips. They were hired to collect on a debt at one point...and when the debtor pulled a knife, Cedric killed him. It changed him. He swore, after that, never to kill again, but he couldn't just abandon his gang that easily. He became distracted and sloppy as the guilt ate him alive. His life changed again when he tried to pick the pocket of a Knight of the Rose and Cross, but rather than getting sent to jail, the knight offered him a chance to be a better person and become his squire. Cedric jumped at the opportunity, and served under Sir Babineaux for ten years, honing his fencing and trying to right the wrong he'd done in youth. Last year, he was sponsored as a full knight, which surprised Cedric, who never thought himself worthy. He's very proud of his new tabard and almost never removes it. He's polite and quick-witted, but wary of strangers unless they seem to need his help.

Sigsvald is a native Vesten and a legend in Altamira as the owner of the only mead hall in the city, the Troll's Beard. Also, he's a master brewer and storyteller, and he built the hall with his own two hands. He was a raider in his youth, and he can tell a story for every scar on his body. He left the raiding to work under Brewmaster Skard, however, when the man offered his entire crew an experimental mead as reward for stealing a shipment of Numanari honey. He began helping out around the brewery, eventually becoming a master despite never being a formal apprentice - which meant the Vendel League couldn't accept him as successor for the Guild of Brewers, as they'd never actually heard of him until he was made a master. He retired to Altamira after spending a few years fighting for it, and he sees the place as his true home. He's very unhappy about the occupation, and uses his mead hall as a safe refuge for Castillians looking to leave. No one bothers him, even the Marquise, though she tried at first. She gave up after he put her and her guards in their place, and is now given a wide berth. The Troll's Beard is home to the finest mead anyway outside Skard's own Vendel brewery, specializing in light and fruity meads, with some sparkling variants that are excellent. One of the tables in the bar is covered in runes, and anything that happens at it seems to be more daring, epic and grand.

Renee Martin was a rural peasant. Her family did fairly well, for peasants - not a lot of money, but enough to eat. Her elder brother died of a wasting disease when she was a baby, and her two younger siblings died in the Castillian invasion. Renee did not. She and her siblings, all no more than a year apart, joined up together in the second year of the war. The other two were probably too young to fight, but Renee excelled. In her first skirmish, she was the only recruit in her unit to attack rather than freezing up or fleeing. She was moved from unit to unit, often with few other survivors after an assignment. By the end, she was a commander, and had a unit of her own to lead. When she came home, she was a changed woman. She knew the glory of victory and the harshness of war, and she quickly took the test to join the Musketeers, passing with flying colors. She is one of the few non-noble Musketeers, and the only one that's young. She works hard to prove herself to the others, though if they notice the difference, they don't say so to her face. There are a few that bully and mock her, but she weathers it without a word, just pushing herself to be better. She finds them irritating - she just hates showing it. She isn't the strongest fighter, but rather focuses on speed and flexibility, and in dealing with others, she is a down-to-earth, plain-spoken woman. She genuinely believes in the Musketeers and Montaigne.

Next time: Secret societies in Montaigne

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - What If Los Vagabundos...But FRENCH?

The Brotherhood of the Coast are very active south of La Motte, often raiding Vesten merchants trying to avoid the Montaigne luxury tax. Die Kreuzritter do not have many members in Montaigne, but all the ones that are know each other by name and reputation. They trade information when they can, and have finally learned about le Diable du Sommet, the Devil of the Summit. They're likely to organize a hunt in the nearish future, once they can gather more information on the creature and why it seems to return after being beaten. The Explorer's Society have many clubhouses, libraries and collections in Montaigne, funded by the elites. There's a lot of work to do, too, such as getting access to the many churches turned into museums by the nobles, though that's been made more difficult by the clergy smuggling artifacts and reliquaries out of the nation to keep them away from the greedy nobility. The Society has yet to be able to get much access to the restricted parts of La Grande Cathedrale in Charouse, besides a standard polite tour. It has many artifacts they'd love to study and papers they want access to.

Mociutes Skara has recently heard about all kinds of conflict and possible plague in Dechaine, and while the plague rumors may be exaggerated, those people need help. It is unclear whether they will be going to stop a civil war or cure a disease, but either way they're likely to butt heads with the Rilasciare. The Invisible College have been quite busy in Montaigne, as the Inquisition is very weak there. Buche is their central headquarters in the nation, working to find placement for various Vaticine scholars in the universities. They are also active in Charouse's military colleges. They would love access to La Grande Cathedrale's texts, too, which may be a problem if they have to compete with the Explorers for them. Los Vagabundos have a lot to do in Montaigne, given the sheer number of nobles to assess and either protect or defeat. Further, they seek to free Altamira from Montaigne control and rescue the captive Grande and his family, though so far security's been too tight even for an attempt. Helping a worthy noble gain power in Montaigne is worth 5 Favor, and freeing the noble family of Altamira would be worth 12 Favor.

The Rilasciare may or may not have had a hand in the expulsion of the Vaticine from Montaigne; it doesn't really matter if they did. What matters is that the expulsion has emboldened l'Empereur and the nobles, and that l'Empereur is an absolute monarch. The Rilasciare have had to infiltrate the Montaigne government on every level. A few months ago, they pulled agents to the cell in Dechaine. The revolution there may have occurred on its own eventually, but the Rilasciare accelerated it, first by intensifying the negative effects of l'Empereur's rule and then by educating the populace and rousing them to action in the name of Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite. They'll do anything to keep the momentum going from this huge success. Their agents in the courts work to distract the king and spread the idea that a quarantine for plague is all that's needed, and attempt to sway General Soussens to their cause. The leaders of the Montaignois Rilasciare have lowered their moral standards to get things done, however. Most Rilasciare agents struggle to decide what the right way to get rid of the monarchs and religions of the world is, and most don't like murdering spies or sacrificing the few for the many - both things the Montaignois Rilasciare have decided are necessary. These and various disagreements about what the next course of action should be has made a rift. Some say that the time has come, that they will soon take the nation, while others feel they must wait and look for the right opportunities. Either way, starting a peasant revolt in a city in Montaigne is worth 5 Favor.

La Bravoure de l'Epervier, the Sparrow's Bravery, is a small group of men and women who now work towards a common goal. They wear the Mantle of the Sparrow, a red leather hood with a pointed nose and caplet, when they go on missions. They were founded and work on the same principles as Los Vagabundos, who have known for some time that l'Empereur's vast resources were going to make it hard for them to operate. Their greatest threat in Montaigne is the sheer number of spies and allies to the crown, and many Vagabundos were thwarted and slain at the height of the Castillian war. To circumvent this issue, Colette de Lioncourt, Duchesse d'Arcy, has offered to fund and maintain her own sect - la Bravoure. Her reason is simple: her grandson died fighting l'Empereur's agents while wearing the El Vagabundo mask.

She had no idea, at the time, that her grandson belonged to the society at all, even as he held secret meetings in her home. She had her agents and spies (which any Montaignois noble of great rank has, of course) track down her grandson's friends to find out why he was killed, and when she captured them, they thought that Los Vagabundos' efforts in Montaigne were doomed. However, the Duchesse liked what she heard, understanding the importance of their goals and her grandson's sacrifice. She freed them, returning the mask and telling them to bring it back to Castille. She would handle Montaigne. When the members of the cell returned from Castille, they formed the Bravery under her leadership. It's been operating for six years, and it's still not very big, but it's growing. Its goals are simple - protect the good nobles, and thwart the evil ones. This means a lot of work, though, for a small team.

Most of La Bravoure's spies are simply Colette's own, who have no idea they're supporting the society. They have, little by little, worked to undermine l'Empereur's influence, mostly by showing exactly what a terrible job he does as a ruler. They believe that it is in the best interests of Montaigne to depose Leon Alexandre and place his youngest daughter, Dominique, on the throne. They largely operate in and around Charouse, where l'Empereur's power is greatest, but recently their agents have also been sighted in Dechaine, rescuing innocent nobles from the mob. They operate independently from Los Vagabundos in order to protect their parent organization from being further threatened by the crown's agents, but both groups know how to get in contact with the other, gain favor and get what they need done. Favor with La Bravoure and Los Vagabundos are interchangeable and identical.

Next time: Places

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I really like the sparrows.

LGD
Sep 25, 2004



MollyMetroid posted:

The Wounds are kind of weird in that you can have Dramatic Wounds without filling all the wounds on the way to them, by my reading of it.

Specific excerpts:


honestly the firearms damage rules are probably one of the very worst things about 7th Sea since they break the combat system and require tacit agreement on everyone's part not to play well/intelligently within the game rules if a big lethal fight breaks out, since 4 characters deciding to coordinate their focus is all-but guaranteed to take anybody out of a fight

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I feel like the game rules and setting and mechanics are clear that we're playing a cinematic game and everyone opening fire at once on a single target is not very cinematic. It's playing within the theme and genre of the game not to go "hey let's take Villanova out of the fight immediately shall we?"

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



MollyMetroid posted:

I feel like the game rules and setting and mechanics are clear that we're playing a cinematic game and everyone opening fire at once on a single target is not very cinematic. It's playing within the theme and genre of the game not to go "hey let's take Villanova out of the fight immediately shall we?"

Unless of course it's to dramatically lift the curtains to reveal the company of riflemen and the cannon you snuck in. Fade to black over the sound of firing.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Also it feels very weird to go "okay, this is a game abut swashbuckling and swordfighting where everyone quips at each other as they duel" but then make guns just blatantly superior to swords in every way.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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One thing to keep in mind is that shooting a dude like that raises the stakes massively, and in a way that has some immediate consequences in most places. Guns can't be silenced, are extremely loud, and have essentially one shot in practical terms. And four shots will render a Villain Helpless, but not kill them.

So okay, your party takes out their four pistols, shoots l'Empereur as one. He lies helpless and bloody at your feet, but not dead. The entire palace has heard your shots, and the Lightning Guard are surely on their way. And remember, you're Heroes, and it is not Heroic to kill a helpless man.

What do?

You've raised the stakes.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Interesting take. There's a lot more to 2E than I suspected. These F&Fs have been helpful.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


However if you have a fifth hero all bets are off?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Night10194 posted:

However if you have a fifth hero all bets are off?

Nope! You can't kill someone in combat, per the combat rules. Killing someone is always a narrative act. The only thing you can do by combat rules is render someone Helpless, and a Villain can murder a Helpless person. But if a Hero wants to kill a guy in vengeance in combat? Then that's a narrative thing you work out with the GM. But just unloading on a guy? Yeah no he's Helpless but alive because that's more interesting for the story.

LGD
Sep 25, 2004



ah yes, a very clear difference from the otherwise low stakes scenario of your entire party drawing naked steel and attempting to shank l'Empereur

I'm not saying the firearms rules ruin the game because the entire party is going to be blasting away in scenarios where it would be dramatically appropriate to have one guy throw down with the other suitor of his lady or whatever (where pistols would be raising the stakes in-genre vs. an honorable duel to first blood)

but in scenarios where you've got a deadly group combat (hardly an uncommon scenario in an RPG) it's an option that immediately presents itself to both sides and makes it trivial for a group of PCs or the GM to instantly remove the most daring/dastardly foes from combat

megane hits the nail on the head- the firearm rules ensure that taking out of genre actions are mechanically rewarded

a truly cinematic and genre-emulating game should encourage and reward cinematic play and adhesion to the genre and in this case at least 7th sea does just the opposite, relying on tacit agreement among the participants not to actually follow through on doing what's mechanically effective- it's just bad design, even if it never emerges in actual play

LGD fucked around with this message at 22:40 on Jul 17, 2018

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Every tabletop game has a tacit agreement that the players won't powergame and abuse the rules, though. That's part of the basic reality of playing a tabletop game.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


LGD posted:

deadly group combat

Once again, you *literally cannot kill in combat* and it's loving rare for the stakes of a combat in 7th Sea to be lethal, simply because there are so many limitations on how the GM can do killing.

Specifically:

-a Villain must be on the scene
-a PC must be reduced to Helpless
-the Villain must spend an entire action on trying to kill the Hero
-The Villain must spend a Danger Point, a limited resource
-Nobody else must decide to interfere using their action to prevent it.

You're not playing D&D murderhobos here. If you haven't got that "tacit agreement" down before you start playing, I don't know what to tell you.

Red Metal
Oct 23, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck



Fun Shoe

MollyMetroid posted:

Once again, you *literally cannot kill in combat* and it's loving rare for the stakes of a combat in 7th Sea to be lethal, simply because there are so many limitations on how the GM can do killing.

Specifically:

-a Villain must be on the scene
-a PC must be reduced to Helpless
-the Villain must spend an entire action on trying to kill the Hero
-The Villain must spend a Danger Point, a limited resource
-Nobody else must decide to interfere using their action to prevent it.

You're not playing D&D murderhobos here. If you haven't got that "tacit agreement" down before you start playing, I don't know what to tell you.

i feel like you're overly focusing on an incidental turn of phrase and rambling on about something that's not actually related to lgd's concern with the system

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

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


The thing is, you don't need a tacit agreement to avoid the best tactics in combat. The simple fact is that the every party member gets to draw down on a single target and deal a bunch of dramatic wounds without them having a chance to respond is just not going to come up unless the players have done something to contrive it. Cythereal's example is the one to apply - if you've managed that, don't bother with combat, the party has already won via other dramatic actions.

The actual real world case in a game like this is that pistols are something that either gives you an edge or lets you delete one or two minor combatants per encounter. You aren't realistically going to be reloading in combat except in rare cases, and while occasionally you can come in with a brace of pistols on hand, much more often you may have one or two available. And all this assumes you actually hit with them.

That's why they deal dramatic wounds. Firing a pistol in a fight uses up a pretty significant resource. In D&D 4e parlance, they're encounter powers.

LGD
Sep 25, 2004



MollyMetroid posted:

Once again, you *literally cannot kill in combat* and it's loving rare for the stakes of a combat in 7th Sea to be lethal, simply because there are so many limitations on how the GM can do killing.

Specifically:

-a Villain must be on the scene
-a PC must be reduced to Helpless
-the Villain must spend an entire action on trying to kill the Hero
-The Villain must spend a Danger Point, a limited resource
-Nobody else must decide to interfere using their action to prevent it.

You're not playing D&D murderhobos here. If you haven't got that "tacit agreement" down before you start playing, I don't know what to tell you.

I was using "deadly" as a shorthand way to designate combats where it would be appropriate, in setting, to pull a gun on someone, because once people have pulled swords and daggers and started a street brawl it's definitely a deadly conflict

the fact that characters almost never *actually* die in combat for genre reasons is largely immaterial, as is the fact that a Villain that a party decides to instantly remove from a combat via pistols isn't *actually* dead - they're still not able to participate in the scene anymore

e:

Comrade Gorbash posted:

The thing is, you don't need a tacit agreement to avoid the best tactics in combat. The simple fact is that the every party member gets to draw down on a single target and deal a bunch of dramatic wounds without them having a chance to respond is just not going to come up unless the players have done something to contrive it. Cythereal's example is the one to apply - if you've managed that, don't bother with combat, the party has already won via other dramatic actions.

The actual real world case in a game like this is that pistols are something that either gives you an edge or lets you delete one or two minor combatants per encounter. You aren't realistically going to be reloading in combat except in rare cases, and while occasionally you can come in with a brace of pistols on hand, much more often you may have one or two available. And all this assumes you actually hit with them.

That's why they deal dramatic wounds. Firing a pistol in a fight uses up a pretty significant resource. In D&D 4e parlance, they're encounter powers.

the "something" a party needs to do is invest extremely minimal character resources in knowing how to shoot a gun and deciding to pack one (or more) whenever possible, and then deciding that one of the Villains present at the scene is the most dangerous/detestable swordsman or sorcerer on hand - that might not necessarily be the Big Bad if they're a low Strength/High Influence type but the point is that there is nothing preventing a party (or group of Villains!) just instantly deleting any character they choose from a scene [though Hero points can counter this somewhat] by combining "encounter powers" in units of 4 (and note that everyone can decide how many "encounter" powers they each want to pack, within the limits of reason enforced by the GM)

accuracy does not come into it since there is no way to negate the dramatic wound from being shot at, which is part of what I mean by it only taking extremely minimal character resources- this isn't a rules exploit that requires a party to decide to all be expert gunmen and invest a lot in that, it's something that just requires the party to pick up a handful of small pistols and decide to use them (at which point they will almost certainly be more effective at disabling major foes than if they all decided to use the kickass swashbuckling skills they invested heavily in)


LGD fucked around with this message at 23:23 on Jul 17, 2018

megane
Jun 20, 2008





The bottom line is, if you're going to be in a fight in 7th Sea and you want to win, you should bring guns instead of swords (preferably both, of course, but you want to use the gun first and foremost). And that doesn't strike me as on-theme. It would feel equally weird if we were playing a game where a major them was guns and how cool they are, and it turned out that the most effective form of combat was stabbing people.

The fact that they won't die almost makes it sillier, since it means you should bring guns even if you specifically don't want to kill the guy. On a quest to capture the king's rebellious daughter and bring her home safe? Shoot her four times. It's not only the simplest way, but also the safest for her, since she'll take exactly the amount of harm necessary to render her helpless and no more.

megane fucked around with this message at 23:05 on Jul 17, 2018

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



megane posted:

The bottom line is, if you're going to be in a fight in 7th Sea and you want to win, you should bring guns instead of swords (preferably both, of course, but you want to use the gun first and foremost). And that doesn't strike me as on-theme. It would feel equally weird if we were playing a game where a major them was guns and how cool they are, and it turned out that the most effective form of combat was stabbing people.

The fact that they won't die almost makes it sillier, since it means you should bring guns even if you specifically don't want to kill the guy. On a quest to capture the king's rebellious daughter and bring her home safe? Shoot her four times. It's not only the simplest way, but also the safest for her, since she'll take exactly the amount of harm necessary to render her helpless and no more.

You're conflating out of game knowledge about how mechanics work with in-game knowledge of how characters believe the world works.

Shooting the king's daughter is a pointless example because any DM worth the name would go "You just loving shot the king's daughter!" and to hell with mechanics.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


The king would probably be really pissed that you shot his daughter 4 times when you were supposed to rescue her. Do Not Shoot The Damsel.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

sparkle and shine



Cythereal posted:

You're conflating out of game knowledge about how mechanics work with in-game knowledge of how characters believe the world works.

Why do the mechanics work that way, if keeping them in mind leads people to Incorrect Choices? Surely the characters in the game know by now that shooting someone 4 times doesn’t kill them. It must be widespread knowledge. It sounds very important to know!

(Doesn’t the King know that it’s not fatal? He must be privy to that information.)

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





WHAT YOU DO: ABILITIES

Abilities are Unknown Armies equivalent of Attributes and similar scores from other RPGs. They aren’t the main definer of your characters competence and abilities, but are the general baseline for their abilities. Every character has ten abilities, two paired on each of the stresses. One is based on hardened notches, one on open, with a minimum of 20% and a maximum of 60%. The abilities are split into two categories: Upbeat Abilities based on the open notches, and Downbeat Abilities based on the hardened.



quote:

People who have a lot of hardened notches have waded through so many slings and arrows that the little stuff just bounces off them. “Oh, you slapped me,” thinks the guy with a fstful of hardened notches in Violence, “I wonder if you’re going to strike me in any serious fashion.” The cultural exile with a bunch of Isolation notches may not even notice an insult that would set someone with an open Isolation meter trembling.

But here’s the thing about people with lots of hardened notches: when something does challenge them, it’s more likely to really hurt. Every hardened notch erodes your ability to get more hardened notches in a different meter, and when you face something you can’t ignore and don’t have the innocence left to accept, it breaks you.

Failed notches measure that breakage. You don’t want them. But whether you’re hard but brittle, or soft but resilient, they’re always a risk. In Unknown Armies that risk is the ante you pay to play the game.

CONNECT

quote:

How good are you at earning trust? Can you listen to people and hear what they really mean, instead of what you think they mean? Are you willing to be vulnerable to build respect? Are you open, honest, and forthright with people, and does your carriage and demeanor convey that? The answers to these depend on your ability to connect.

This is the Ability for talking poo poo out. You aren’t trying to be manipulative, or deceive, but just talk with someone. It’s for open, honest, persuasion based on rhetorical skill, persuasiveness, and raw charisma. Connect is based on your open notches in Violence. It’s easier to be friendly, personable, and persuasive, if you don’t think everyone you meet is looking for an excuse to slit your throat. Connect resists shocks to Isolation: When you’re all alone, it helps to know that people generally like you.

KNOWLEDGE

quote:

How much do you trust what you’ve learned? Do you generally think the media is honest and disinterested? Are you a skilled critical thinker who can sniff out bullshit when that’s what your cell phone’s search engine turns up?

This ability is used to recall general knowledge, do basic research, and use technology and machines. It doesn’t cover specialized or technical knowledge. Knowledge is defined by your open Self notches because the more sure of who you are, the more sure you are of what you know. You roll Knowledge to protect against Unnatural checks. A flexible and open mind with strong basis of knowledge means you’re better able to integrate the weird without wigging out.

FITNESS

quote:

Do you live right, get plenty of rest, exercise frequently but in moderation, and avoid liquor and fatty foods? Yeah, me neither. But I know some people do, I’ve met them, I swear! Those people — who aren’t exhausted by their inner demons and who aren’t oppressed by a sense of doomed helplessness — take care of themselves and enjoy bodies that are resistant to illness, responsive to physical demands, lithe and limber and strong.

Fitness is used to run, jump, climb, swim, lift, and most other physical activities. It’s also what you use to help resist illness, shake off a hangover, and not die from infection. Helplessness open notches define your Fitness, because it’s easier to take care of yourself if you think you can have some agency in the world. You use fitness to resist Violence stress. Being fit and healthy means you’re less terrified of your impending death as you’re naturally better equipped to do something about it. Or at least you think you are.

NOTICE

quote:

Unknown Armies has a lot of mystery and confusion in its stories, and paying keen attention to the world around you can reveal the little details that show the connection between old widow Kowalski and the ghost cats haunting St. Anne’s church.

Notice is your standard senses and perception. It lets you spot things that are out of place, detect lies, catch someone trying to hide, and search for something you’re looking for in a physical way. Notice is keyed off the open notches in your Unnatural meter, because the more innured you are to the spooky stuff the less you notice as being “suspicious” and the more you keep your head down and don’t stick your nose out. Notice is used when checks challenge your sense of self. Self-doubt is easier to handle when you notice all the hypocrisy and lies from everyone else.

STATUS

quote:

If a cop pulls you over on a dark road at night, that can play out very badly. Or he can tip his hat, give you a warning, and send you on your way. What gets one person impersonally ticketed and another pulled out and roughly searched? It’s a slightly ephemeral quality called Status. The way you dress, talk, hold yourself, and project expectations are all based on where you think you are in the social hierarchy. Those expectations, in turn, influence others, for good or for ill.

Status is your passive weight of Being Someone. It’s your ability to get respect by default, feel the capital P Privilege of your position in society, and have people give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s based on open marks in Isolation. When you’re an outcast and unwanted, it shows, and people pick up those misfit vibes. Status resists stress checks on Helplessness. As the book says:

quote:

You ever see a guy shouting “Do you know who I am?!?” at a flight attendant? That’s someone whose Status is struggling with Helplessness.

DODGE

quote:

If you get hit a lot, or have a lot of plates of spaghetti hurled at your face, or if you work in the monkey house at the zoo, your natural flinch reflex gets tuned up. Dodge is what you roll to get out of the way of a falling piano or to leap aside when a motorcycle’s coming right at you.

Dodge is your Don’t Get Wrecked ability. Often it’s rolled, but it also has special properties when applied to violent conflicts that we’ll cover in the Conflicts chapter.

LIE

It’s exactly what it says on the label. Lie is used to … lie. Tell falsehoods, fibs, mislead, misdirect, and bamboozle. Of note, Lie isn’t like in other RPGS: Success doesn’t mean you’re believed. It means you come off as sincere.

quote:

For example, suppose you tell Fred, “Dude,your wife is sleeping around all over the place, every kind of crazy way, lying down, standing up, bending over… she’s outta control!” Even if Fred blows his Notice and you crit your Lie, he doesn’t automatically believe the accusation. But he thinks you’re sincere, and it’s certainly enough to make him watch her, if only to figure out how you could be so badly mistaken

PURSUIT

quote:

Pursuit means being in tune to both hunter and prey. Are you trying to get away from that rabid dog, angry lover, or unspeakable horror? Roll Pursuit to scale obstacles, run flat out, and avoid tripping on the gnarled tree roots of the forest and the slippery burger wrappers of your polluted downtown. Are you trying to chase down a pickpocket, witness, or lurking voyeur? Roll Pursuit to follow their trail, navigate the obstacles they fling behind them and find that final burst of speed.

Pursuit is also used for car chases and general vehicle handling ability as well. A lot of pursuits uses also ties into the Gridiron, Unknown Armies extended conflict resolution system.

SECRECY

quote:

Sometimes you’ve got to hide yourself away. Or you have to hide something precious and secret that other people wouldn’t understand. Sometimes? You are the hiding place, for knowledge that most people can’t fathom and wouldn’t like if they could.

Secrecy is used for hiding of course, being unobtrusive and unnoticeable. It can also apply to hiding things: not just through sleight of hand or sticking it somewhere secret, but through codes, ciphers, and cryptography. Secrecy can also be used for Gutter Magick, a form of basic improv magick.

STRUGGLE

quote:

Struggle is kick. It’s bite. It’s punch, it’s wildly thrown elbows and thrashing. It’s grabbing the guy around the waist and throwing yourself to the ground, hoping to land on him. Struggle is head butting and shrieking and a willingness — even an eagerness — to get your thumbs in eyes. It is not graceful, studied, expert violence. It is raw and primal and scary as hell.

Struggle is used to make unarmed attacks, and attacks with simple and easy to use weapons. Baseball bats and machetes are fine, shuriken and rope-darts not so much. Struggle can be used for guns, but all you can do is spray n’ pray.

Wapole Languray fucked around with this message at 00:41 on Jul 18, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Subjunctive posted:

Why do the mechanics work that way, if keeping them in mind leads people to Incorrect Choices? Surely the characters in the game know by now that shooting someone 4 times doesn’t kill them. It must be widespread knowledge. It sounds very important to know!

(Doesn’t the King know that it’s not fatal? He must be privy to that information.)

Because rules aren’t physics, they’re there to facilitate the genre narrative. You can say the gun stuff doesn’t do that, sure, and that’s an arguable position, but then you’ve taken this entire thing into new realms of stupidity.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Yeah all I'm getting out of this are names of people I never want to play 7th Sea with.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Cythereal posted:

Every tabletop game has a tacit agreement that the players won't powergame and abuse the rules, though. That's part of the basic reality of playing a tabletop game.

Actually, that's a mark of a flaw in design. Many games will have some of them, many groups will houserule to taste, but in many ways the quality of a game's ruleset can be judged in part by how much this isn't the case.

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senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Yeah, this is reminding me heavily of the "It's not broken if a DM can just houserule to fix it" arguments that happened around 3.X D&D.

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