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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Not Paris, Home Of The Deal

Charouse is a city full of energy, business and passions. It is, in many ways, a nation in itself, with other people from Montaigne looked at Charouse and its people as different, fundamentally, from themselves. Everyone cares about fashion and art, sure, but the Charousiens set the fashions and make the art. They see opportunity everywhere. They move with aggressive purpose, always looking for a chance to do business. They tend to be good at telling where you're from at a glance, to better be able to tell who's got the cash and who's got the tendency to spend it freely. Charouse is for merchants, big and small, always looking for the next big deal or the next big con. Not that everyone's a crook - but everyone needs a living. The Sinueuse River feeds the city with many goods, as it makes it easy to sail up from the sea. Exotic goods sit side by side by with the frontrunners of fashion, and often are those front-runners, brought in from across the world. Servants are sent out to buy novelties for noble salons as status symbols, and no one's usually too focused on if they're faked. The wealthiest nobles are rarely seen in public, however, as they use servants or lesser nobles to represent them at the market, for the truly powerful live in Le Chateau du Soleil.

Le Marche du Pont-Neuf, the New Bridge Market, is the busiest spot in Charouse. It's an immense open air market that covers the entire bridge (and a way beyond each side). The bridge connects the noble districts with the rest of the city, and the goods there are extremely expensive and heavily taxed. Most of them are luxury goods, even the foods. It's easy to get lost, but you can find nearly anything you want, if you have the money to pay for it and the wits to tell a counterfeit from the real thing. It's the largest, most well-known market in the nation, and the counterfeit market is so big that you can find entire stores dealing in (clearly marked) replica goods for people to resell as real, often made by artisans as skilled as the originals. Merchants set up their stalls at dawn, and must get tem down well before sunset, by order of the city Marshal. Anyone that fails to pay the tax and exit the bridge on time is fined, jailed or even banned from selling there. At night, the bridge is home to dancers, jugglers and entertainers working to get a coin or two from strolling nobles. Escorts - either jennys or bodyguards - also work for hire from the bridge, and where the plazas start, the street theatre troupes and magicians compete for attention.

La Chateau de la Vie is an immense building of light stone, once the seat of the nation;s power before l'Empereur moved his court to the Chateau du Soleil. It is still the home of La Caserne Royale des Mousquetaires, where said people train and operate from. This was the castle of Leon Alexandre's father, and is sometimes called Le Chateau du Vieux Roi, the Castle of the Old King. It was, in the Old King's reign, a home for royals, their guests, foreign dignitaries, ambassadors and the top-ranking courtiers. However, activity has largely dwindled now to just the Musketeers and the courts, with only a few noble bureaucrats regretting their assignments there. L'Empereur uses it as a punishment - a title with endless boring duties resolving minor disputes, stamping papers and so on. This often forces them to miss out on all the society galas, where influence and wealth are made. When Louiselle Marie-Francoise de Beaufort was assigned there as chief administrator, her family mocked her, as did the other guests at the party. It was a way to punish her for reprimanding corrupt and immoral courtiers. She's allowed her ambition to make it more than that, though she has learned somewhat more finesse in her speech. She and the old administrator have managed to balance the budget and have a surplus within her first month, and became friends with the Musketeer captains by the second. With each month, she brings new life to the old castle, renovating and remodeling it. That is why it is now known as the Castle of Life, and while the Superior Court remains corrupt, everything else is changing, with hope returned for the first time in ages.

La Chateau du Soleil lies at the edge of Charouse, on the border of the royal Montaigne hunting grounds. It used to be a royal lodge and sprawling estate, but is now the Palace of the Sun. It is several stories tall, massive, and covered in frecoes of excellent design, plus sculptures and gardens. It makes the viewer feel tiny compared to the estate - and therefore its master, l'Empereur. It was, of course, massively expensive, but that's never been an issue. The army of engineers, sculptors and gardeners remain on hand in case things need changing. The interior is even more opulent, full of fine furniture, immense paintings and decor, and immensely detailed. Servants travel via complex passages in the walls, using swiveling panels to remain invisible until needed. There are tons of guests at the daily parties and gatherings, most hoping to impress the king. Things are calmer if he isn't present, and if he likes someone, he will assign them an apartment in the palace to keep them around. There are a limited number of these, and his favor changes on a whim, of course, so you might be moved or even evicted without much warning. The favorites are usually young, wealthy, beautiful and desperate for favor.

The palace has been in use for a decade in the main parts, but new ones are always being built. New pavilions for more guests and ambassadors, new apartments - the work crews have their own barracks outside one of the auxiliary gates. Small barracks at each gate link back to the main garrison via gravel paths, operated by the Lightning Guard. The Lightning Guard, or La Garde Lumineuse, are the hand-picked elite that protect l'Empereur. They have never failed to keep him safe, and their strict schedule and regular reports make it easy for them to find imposters and infiltrators in their ranks. They are ever vigilant for dangers to the king and his court, though most guests barely notice. The court rarely sees any problems, thanks to their work, and when they do happen, the Guard are ruthless in seeing to any punishment l'Empereur demands of them.

Le Grande Cathadrale is home to the tallest tower in Theah and can be seen from most of Charouse. IT was built long ago, though the tower is only 20 years old, built when l'Empereur was on better terms with the Vaticine. Now that the entire nation has been excommunicated and the religion banned, the Cathedral has been refurbished as a museum, home to a guarded collection of architectural models, Syrneth artifacts, ancestral swords and treasures from conquest, along with historical reliquaries. In the depths of the crypts, somewhere below what used to be the altar, there are sarcophagi and reliquaries of saints. It's not secret that they're still there, but they are not open to the public. Beneath the crypt, in the rooms that hold the foundation, the Order of the Rose and Cross meets regularly. Le Grande Cathedrale is the seat of the society in Charouse, and they meet there with authorization from l'Empereur, under pretext of displaying artifacts or discoveries. Leon doesn't really care what they do as long as it's not Mass. The pretexts are excellent excuses for the Rose & Cross, but the place has also drawn the attention of the the Explorer's Society and Invisible College. Territorial disputes aren't likely, but some of the books and artifacts may well get stolen.

Les Catacombes are mostly avoided, except by artifact hunters, the poor, the sewer workers and criminals. The tunnels are of Syrneth origin, but the criminals have developed a huge network there, with a clear hierarchy and charter. La Raine des Catacombes, the Queen of the Underworld, sets the prices and taxes on all illegal goods and services, in much the same way the city officials do above. Her cut's usually more reasonable, however. Eve Lafrisee is the Queen, and she's got plenty of wanted posters up for her capture. She rewards loyalty and respect heavily, rather than just skill at murder, and the fees she sets usually depend on the target's power and what is being done. Rumor has it that she does assassinations herself, which is true, but it's impossible to be sure thanks to her network of cut-outs and false witnesses. She is not hunted by the guards, for fear that getting rid of her would cause a gang war in the power vacuum.

Next time: Buche

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Tulul
Oct 23, 2013

THAT SOUND WILL FOLLOW ME TO HELL.
To be honest, I think UA 3e is pretty strictly worse than 2e. It's not bad, but it's not what I'd hoped it'd be, either. I admit that there's some nostalgia bias there; UA was the coolest thing ever when I was barely old enough to vote, so it's pretty hard for 3e to wow me in the same way, but ultimately I've come away kind of disappointed.

wiegieman posted:

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

The name has been changed (it's the Salesman now) and it's not in the core book, but nothing else has, so yes, it's still a GM headache and the munchkin's delicacy of choice.

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?

Nope! The change is kind of a mixed bag. It makes the game more streamlined and focused, but one of my complaints is that 3e feels a lot less Unknown, and removing the tiers of play/knowledge is part of that.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

Mors Rattus posted:

Because rules arenít physics, theyíre there to facilitate the genre narrative. You can say the gun stuff doesnít do that, sure, and thatís an arguable position, but then youíve taken this entire thing into new realms of stupidity.

Iím sorry for being stupid, but I honestly donít see how ďguns are non-lethalĒ facilitates the narrative.

I really donít understand how taking the ďarguable positionĒ that the gun stuff doesnít reconcile well with the narrative is ďstupidityĒ, but maybe Iím not used to being insulted this much by you.

Should characters treat foes with guns as lethal threats, or are they aware of the genreís conceits? In pulp movies heroes certainly seem to act like they know they have plot armor ó is that the case here?

Iím not talking about rules as physics, unless by that you mean ďrules as framework for reasoningĒ. I clearly do not understand what the game wants you to think happens when you shoot someone, which seems like it could be a common and on-genre occurrence. I was genuinely surprised that they werenít just treated as non-lethal tools for subduing, given what was written. This isnít deducing the black body radiation of a dragonís scale to power a generator.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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I'm saying that combat isn't lethal, because this is game about high melodrama and people getting captured and death is a narrative event rather than a mechanical one.

The guns being overpowered and bad for the game, that's a position that can be argued. I don't agree, but sure, it's a reasonable position.

What's stupid is then going 'well clearly everyone can survive four gunshots, because the combat system won't let you kill people without it being narratively appropriate per the GM and you talking about what happens.'

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

I didnít fully internalize the difference between a use of a weapon and combat, but I think I get it now. Itís always easier to absorb information when it comes packaged in hostility, so thanks for going the extra mile.

Iím very very sorry I debased your presentation by asking questions that I felt followed from what I read about it. Iíll try to do better in the future.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Night10194 posted:

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.

And if I were running a 7th Sea game, I'd expect most players to at most have one pistol but prefer their swords because that's the kind of game this is.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal
guns should be equivalent to swords and have their own fighting styles. vodacce gunners are the masters of shooting two pistols while diving through the air and shouting aaaaaahhhhhhh

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time


Honestly, just make everything run on TBZ's damage system.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
I remember a guy I played with who was a Porte sorcerer who carried like ten guns. And it was 1st edition, so of course, he was Montaigne and had a ridiculously high Panache, and he was basically undisarmable because Porte anyway and he had blooded guns. Was it effective? Yes. Did it break the game? Sure. Was it insufferable? You have no idea. The key at that point was the GM had to put his foot down and basically go "If you just gun people down all the time, you're a Villain."

If you just go around using guns as your key to narrative locks, whether or not the system punishes you for it directly, you're almost certainly on the fast track to Villaindom. Plugging people with slugs indiscriminately probably isn't Heroic, shockingly!

That being said, there is a dilemma; some historical pirates actually did carry around multiple guns for the obvious reasons you might do that in that era, more than you might expect. (Blackbeard purportedly carried a half-dozen into battle.) That's a stronger argument, I think, for there being an issue if you're emulating that. But thematically speaking, using guns casually should carry consequences that swashbuckling doesn't.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
We had a drunken Inish pirate who only ever missed a musket shot when he was sober the one time it happened. Only shot he missed all campaign.

Dude made a shot with a smoothbore at 500 paces so a monster would stop screaming and let him sleep off a headache. It got to the point that the GM was giving him small bits of fame the longer his hitstreak continued.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I remember a guy I played with who was a Porte sorcerer who carried like ten guns. And it was 1st edition, so of course, he was Montaigne and had a ridiculously high Panache, and he was basically undisarmable because Porte anyway and he had blooded guns. Was it effective? Yes. Did it break the game? Sure. Was it insufferable? You have no idea. The key at that point was the GM had to put his foot down and basically go "If you just gun people down all the time, you're a Villain."

If you just go around using guns as your key to narrative locks, whether or not the system punishes you for it directly, you're almost certainly on the fast track to Villaindom. Plugging people with slugs indiscriminately probably isn't Heroic, shockingly!

That being said, there is a dilemma; some historical pirates actually did carry around multiple guns for the obvious reasons you might do that in that era, more than you might expect. (Blackbeard purportedly carried a half-dozen into battle.) That's a stronger argument, I think, for there being an issue if you're emulating that. But thematically speaking, using guns casually should carry consequences that swashbuckling doesn't.

Attacking people first thing in general should carry consequences, the weapons you use to do it are irrelevant.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth
yea there's zero wrong with a swashbuckler being braced in guns, the issue is if he was just blasting people instantly to solve any problem.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Alien Rope Burn posted:

That being said, there is a dilemma; some historical pirates actually did carry around multiple guns for the obvious reasons you might do that in that era, more than you might expect. (Blackbeard purportedly carried a half-dozen into battle.) That's a stronger argument, I think, for there being an issue if you're emulating that. But thematically speaking, using guns casually should carry consequences that swashbuckling doesn't.

Interestingly Blackbeard was also reputed to never harm anybody whose ship he captured, and seemed much keener on the idea of his reputation preceding him than actually fighting. Even then it could be said to be more of a style thing than a combat thing, which does fit in with 7th Sea 2E as I understand it.

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

Mors Rattus posted:

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.

In the case of L'Emperor I think we can make an exception.

Its why I am surprised there aren't more people going "You know what we should do with this corrupt nobility structure? Burn it to the ground."

Barudak
May 7, 2007

I just spent an hour and a half doing an update for Obsidian that started with me finding something completely broken in character creation and then falling down a rabbit hole to the single most broken starting character that operates entirely within the constructs and rules of the game I think anyone has ever seen.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.

Josef bugman posted:

In the case of L'Emperor I think we can make an exception.

Its why I am surprised there aren't more people going "You know what we should do with this corrupt nobility structure? Burn it to the ground."

Well, y'know...

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!

Josef bugman posted:

In the case of L'Emperor I think we can make an exception.

Its why I am surprised there aren't more people going "You know what we should do with this corrupt nobility structure? Burn it to the ground."

You know, I too think that "Josef Bugman" would be an excellent name for the Robbespierre of 7th Sea...

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Josef bugman posted:

In the case of L'Emperor I think we can make an exception.

Its why I am surprised there aren't more people going "You know what we should do with this corrupt nobility structure? Burn it to the ground."
If you mean in-fiction, well, these power structures aren't called "entrenched" because they're on the verge of collapse due to internal contradictions. If you mean in the thread I think we all take the necessity of Pol Pot-esque purges as a given in every single possible or plausible fictional setting at this point

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Mors Rattus posted:

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.

Are they wheellocks/flintlocks or matchlocks? One limiting factor of matchlocks is that you can't carry it around ready-to-go without brandishing it at all and sundry. Either you have it in your hands with the match smouldering and are obviously ready to shoot somebody, or you have it put away (loaded) and it's going to take some time to light the match before you can fire it.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
If your players get in shooting range of the Emperor and put four slugs in him, I think you're at the point where their Rascilliaire cell fights its way to the roof of the palace to plant the tricorner and switch between exhorting the crowds outside the palace to rise up for justice and fighting off Lightning Guard long enough to continue spreading their final revolutionary message before falling heroically in the name of liberty.

Alternately, exciting chase through the palace to move on to their second plan and storm the Not-Bastille. There's got to be a Not-Bastille.

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

Ghost Leviathan posted:

Well, y'know...

I mean it more seems surprising that a lot of the NPC's are nobility doing it. I'd love for an honest to goodness "person of the peasantry" style character to undercut the aristos. I mean even making them a villain would be nice.

Mr.Misfit posted:

You know, I too think that "Josef Bugman" would be an excellent name for the Robbespierre of 7th Sea...

HEY! I resent that. It's Danton or nothing thank you.

Night10194 posted:

If your players get in shooting range of the Emperor and put four slugs in him, I think you're at the point where their Rascilliaire cell fights its way to the roof of the palace to plant the tricorner and switch between exhorting the crowds outside the palace to rise up for justice and fighting off Lightning Guard long enough to continue spreading their final revolutionary message before falling heroically in the name of liberty.

-Empty chairs and empty tables intensifies-

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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#1 Builder
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7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Doc Valdoc

Buche is situated in a low valley full of rivers converging on the sea. It is a sprawling port of red brick, surrounded by farms and orchards. It's easily the biggest tax haven in Theah, as the Marquises of Valdoc have found a way to avoid l'Empereur's opportunism. Like most cities far from Charouse, they have a lot of leeway in how to implement policy. None of the locals are more than a Marquis for very long, but due to obscure law, they have the right to elect one of their own as their Duke every five years, to represent them at court. The Duke has sweeping powers - including the ability to overrule l'Empereur's tax policies. The Marquises deeply value the peace of the region, in spite of attempts to push them to fight Castille and Barcino, which they've worked to maintain more peaceful relations with. However, sabotage from both sides raises tensions.

Les Maches Ouverts, the Open Markets, refer to any popup market in the city. Their name shifts based on location - Le Marche de Saint Saturnin, for example, would be next to the Holy Saturnine Church. The location is rarely relevant. The city's canals and rivers are slow and easy to navigate, letting these places pop up anywhere, hard to regulate but easy to estimate earnings on. The markets would normally be taxed on those estimations, but they often move to avoid them, leaving the neighborhood's nobles to pay. This lets the markets set their own rates, the best in Montaigne, though finding the best bargains means hiring a local guide that knows their ebb and flow. The markets can sell even illicit goods, provided they avoid the estimator, and what would be on the black market elsewhere can often be found for open sale in the right place. Most stalls don't specialize in any one type of goods, hoping to get a customer to buy more in one place, though illegal goods rarely see much market competition in order to maintain a firm price. Instead, these traders rotate their goods, so that they don't sell the same kind of illegal wares week to week, to avoid legal scrutiny. The guard officers are aware of this but tacitly allow it.

The Scholars District is a center of higher learning for the nation, with highly progressive, purely merit-based universities. They hold regular debates and lectures on all kinds of subjects, even those seen as taboo or controversial elsewhere. Yes, l'Empereur's Minister of Culture frequently has people arrested, but that doesnt' stop the lectures and debates at all - indeed, a debater who has not had to defend their ideas before a legal tribunal is often seen as untried and untested, and the arrests are a source of entertainment and spectacle that reinforce the power of ideas. The Invisible College love the area, and have worked to help Castillian scholars integrate into the city as tutors, professors and librarians.

The Holy Saturnine Church is named for the sainted martyr Saturnine, a follower of the First Prophet who proselytized in the area. He founded a temple that, within ten years, was despised by the pagans that lived nearby for attracting their followers. The current church is built on the site where Saturnine was killed, after he refused to participate in a polytheistic ritual and was whipped and dragged by a bull. He was mourned, and the church was founded there in his honor. Since that time, it has grown to the largest in the region. Because of Buche's distance and relative independence, the Church still holds regular Mass, even without the support of the mainstream Vaticine. It is home to exiled bishops and priests from other parts of Montaigne, and its tithes are controlled solely by the local Bishop rather than the Church proper. He uses the funds to protect other clergy, to fund secret pilgrimages and hire guards, or to buy land for exiled monks and nuns to work. It is also the site of many holy relics that got moved to protect them from l'Empereur. The Bishop of Buche knows it's only a matter of time before their defiance gets them in trouble, and he's afraid of what will happen.

The Chateau of the Marquises is currently run by Duke Raymond de Taulouse, Marquis of Buche, and has been for a decade. Eight other Marquises are spread throughout Valdoc, but they regularly meet at the Chateau, which is technically owned by all of them. Each has their own quarters, and the Duke lives there. He also uses his ancestral estate, but spends most of his time in the Chateau, discussing local and foreign affairs. Despite the attempts at balance, the Duke's power and wealth have grown over time, and Raymond wants to keep the job at the next council meeting, when the vote occurs. He needs a two-thirds majority to keep the title, or else it goes to l'Empereur's pick - or worse, someone else who manages to win that majority. l'Empereur would likely pick Raymond again, but would definitely use it as an excuse to enforce his policies more strictly, and the Marquises are all tense, preparing to mobilize troops in case the Council fails. Raymond's biggest rival is Yvonne de Gineston, Marquise of Batonnier, who has spent the last several years building a position in which the Council's failure would benefit her. Whether she is elected Duchess or l'Empereur picks her doesn't matter to her, though she says she'd prefer the Council's support. And that's not to say the other Marquises aren't ambitious, either. The Chateau itself is a stone fort, less refined than newer designs, but easily defensible - though not much good as an offensive base due to the cost of supporting mercenary troops.

Dechaine was once a major port, but is now under quarantine. A small fleet blockades the coast, to intercept incoming ships and warn them off, and news of the quarantine has spread to Vesten and Avalon, who no longer come to the city. It used to be a well-established city in the north, but now all inland trade is also blocked off by the army. The plague, of course, is propaganda - a ploy by Duke Jean-Richard du Lac to distract from the truth: revolution. The locals hit rock bottom about a month ago due to high tariffs, heavy death tolls in the War of the Cross and Castillian war, high prices and religious oppression. A mob formed in the docks, encouraged by local church officials, and was soon joined by respected community leaders and bourgeois merchants, sick of stagnating under noble rule or fond of various freethinker philosophies. They stormed the gates of Marquise Isabeau de Dechaine's estate, demanding reparations, and when her staff went out to appease the mob, it only angered them. The mob attacked. The staff and noble family were captured in a fury of violence, and they were about to savagely beat the elder of the family, Mere de Dechaine, mother of the Marquise, as she held the Marquise' infant daughter, Helene, until a mysterious hero arrived, saved the pair, and vanished into the night while the mob burned the estate to the ground.

The locals paraded the Marquise's corpse through the streets to great cheers, singing songs of freedom into the night. Under Rilasciare direction, they used their military training from the Castillian war and quickly chose leaders from among the original assault, to organize a citizen's council, which quickly fortified the city walls and prepared for siege. Within two weeks, the city was capital of a free land, as the farmers and villagers around it heard the news, organizing food camps and trade. They have declared themselves all equal, with all nobility abolished, even if they had to die to do it. The city's had accents added to the name, to change its meaning to 'Unchained.'

Outside, news of the rebellion spread slowly, amidst reports of plague forcing the current embargo and quarantine. The biggest threat to the revolution is 50 miles from it, at the army camp where the troops prepare: Duke Jean-Richard du Lac, duke of the province. He is offering General Pardie Soussens vast wealth and titles to retake the city before l'Empereur learns what's really happened there. In the event l'Empereur does learn of it, the Duke hoeps to show his worth by quashing the revolt before it can spread. Soussens is an old veteran who hates war and fighting now, having won many battles in Castille and learned much from the king's son-in-law, Montegue. Her force was the last to come home from the war, and many deserted once they crossed the border. Those that remained loyal have built up a camp over the past few months, expecting an order to return to Castille. They still wait there, as Soussens tries to decide whether to attack Dechaine. It will be no more than weeks before she has to do something. The Rilasciare want to recruit her, and she is war weary...but she's also loyal. It is unclear what she will do.

Next time: La Motte and Altamira

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

The Lone Badger posted:

Are they wheellocks/flintlocks or matchlocks? One limiting factor of matchlocks is that you can't carry it around ready-to-go without brandishing it at all and sundry. Either you have it in your hands with the match smouldering and are obviously ready to shoot somebody, or you have it put away (loaded) and it's going to take some time to light the match before you can fire it.

Going back to Blackbeard, he ran around with pieces of lit dudes in his beard not just for psychological value, but also to light or relight his brace of matchlocks.

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



Barudak posted:

I just spent an hour and a half doing an update for Obsidian that started with me finding something completely broken in character creation and then falling down a rabbit hole to the single most broken starting character that operates entirely within the constructs and rules of the game I think anyone has ever seen.
More than finding an exploit which gets you more character points to spend on a piece of equipment, to an infinite level? (Which can include offense and defense, no less.)

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.

Josef bugman posted:

In the case of L'Emperor I think we can make an exception.

Its why I am surprised there aren't more people going "You know what we should do with this corrupt nobility structure? Burn it to the ground."

Good, welcome to the Rilasciare. No gods, no masters!

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!

MonsieurChoc posted:

Good, welcome to the Rilasciare. No gods, no masters!

Wait....are the Rilasciare accidentally "Randian Superman"?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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2014-2018

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Cliff Moat

La Motte is an island in the far south of Montaigne, with a number of tall, rocky sea cliffs, which can only be accessed via carved steps or the low-hill port town. The Low-Hill Markets are the port's trading hub, used to resupply before goods go up the river to Charouse. Until recently, you could get just about anything there quite cheaply, but Montaigne has increased the tariffs on luxury goods heavily, and the Vendel League (who use the port extensively) have had to raise their prices to compensate. They correctly believe the taxes are an attempt to reduce their power and undermine the Guilder, and they work hard to get them reduced. L'Empereur recently made a deal with Vodacce Prince Vestini, raising luxury taxes in exchange for Montaigne nobles moving to his city, Five sails. The deal is a closely guarded secret, known in La Motte only to the Port Master, Jean-Luc de la Porte, and the Vendel Leage would pay handsomely for the details.

The increased tariffs have led to a lot of business for Les Falaises, the Cliffs - the local black markets. 'Going cliffside' is local slang for heading to the black market for untaxed goods. Its most famous product is Magie Rouge, the red magic - a plant with euphoric effects when ingested or smoked. It grows along the coast of La Motte and, so far as anyone knows, nowhere else. Its use causes short term memory loss, and the authorities have banned it. Growth or harvest of the plant is punished with a hefty fine. This has not stopped the cliffside markets from selling it, however.

Mont du Flambeau is a small island fortress north of La Motte, dating back to before the Vaticine expulsion. It was once the region's noble seat, and is home to the largest cathedral and monastery in the nation since the 1200s. It was once a major pilgrimage site, and when the Hierophant excommunicated the nation, the monks and pilgrims outnumbered the local nobles and their forces. The monastery's monks stormed the walls by night, capturing the nobles and locking them and the soldiers out of the walled city. Since then, it has become a new kind of pilgrimage site, as pious pilgrims travel with supplies to bring to the believers in the city, to help them survive the slow siege. The local Marquis hates this, and has spent much of his fortune attempting to retake the island and failing. The latest calculations by the monastic quartermaster show that Le Mont has six months before it runs out of food, if they ration well. The pilgrims that come by night can't supply them forever, and so the Bishop is organizing for a supply run to get several years' worth of food for the fortress.

East of La Motte, atop a hill, is L'Auberge del Croix d'Or, the most important inn and way station in Montaigne. It is run by Marie and Claude Bonvalet, and due to its key location, messengers and spies from governments across Theah use it to relay information to agents, exchange letters, pay blackmail and more. The Bonvalets and their seven children know what's going on and like it. You can pay them a lot of money for information, and a lot more to not tell people what you asked. They are masters of information dealing and lies, and have managed to exist for 32 years without pissing anyone off enough to get rid of them. The inn is a rustic place, with room for several horses and carriages and a few horses for rent. The interior is welcoming, friendly and covered in brass and copper household items made by famous and skilled artisans. They have the best food in the area, too. At the back, they have a side building for visitng nobles, with a lovely garden (with many nooks for secret meetings) and lavishly decorated rooms in a more modern style. The Bonvalets typically hold their own private meetings in the large wine cellar.

Northwest of La Motte is a small island, not big enough to be on any map, hard to access, and receiving supply drops every six months. Those who climb its cliffs are never seen again. This is Le Chateau de Nulle Part, the Castle of Nowhere - the place that, for the last eight years, l'Empereur has sent those he never wants to have to think about again. New prisoners are rare, and all prisoners are kept in solitary cells, too small to anything but lie in the dark on the cold stone. The soldiers working there are sworn to total secrecy, and are practically prisoners themselves - an assignment to the island is pretty much permanent. Sometimes a soldier goes mad and deserts, trying to swim to La Motte. These are killed by snipers. It's rare, but always memorable. There are no more than a hundred prisoners on the island in total, and the most notable is probably Montegue, believed by most to be leading a military campaign in Ussura. He is the son-in-law of l'Empereur, beloved by the people and was born a peasant, but promoted heavily after saving l'Empereur's life from the Castillian forces. He was made High General for all of Montaigne, married Dominique and helped ensure a brief surge in l'Empereur's popularity with the common people. If word were to get out that the great hero Montegue was imprisoned on the island, the Rilasciare would surely try to use him to start a popular rebellion.

Altamira was once a Castillian port-city and trading hub for Montaigne, Eisen and Castille. Now, it is occupied by Montaigne forces, one of the first places to be conquered in the invasion. It was the center of all Montaigne military operations in Castille, and its noble family is kept alive largely to confuse the Grandes of Castille and keep them off-balance. Despite several attempts by Los Vagabundos to save them, they remain under house arrest by Sidonie du Carre, who runs her administration out of their estate. They are kept under constant surveillence in a single wing and generally forced to stay with the people in the household that most annoy them, under strict curfew. The rest of the estate has been taken over and rearranged by Marquise du Carre, who enjoys the Castillian decor. She has one of the best surgeons in Montaigne on staff - Jacques Ferrand, whose job is now to treat the nobles injured in battle and little else.

Marquise du Carre runs the Administration as if they were still at war, and works to keep abreast of all troop movements. Many believe she helped plan the initial invasion, and she's certainly a skilled commander with a heavy focus on detail, with a council of wealthy soldiers aiding her, mostly nobles promised lands (still unconquered) in Eisen and Castille. They are largely bitter about lack of support from home and the stalling of the invasion. The Marquise's primary orders are to extract troops safely and return them to Montaigne, however. There are many troops trapped in Castille, with few supply lines, stuck in pockets of resisting locals or just without resources to do much of anything but live off the land. About half of the local soldiers serve du Carre and her forces, while the other half are just passing through and give no shits about her and her orders. It is unclear what, exactly, the troops are doing or preparing for as they fall back to Montaigne and the government ignores all need for supplies. This has caused stife between the soldiers under the Marquise and those passing through, and she's shown she has no hesitation in executing officers that cross lines with her.

Left without leadership, the Altamiran people have turned to the clergy for help. However, the local church has been closed by the Marquise, so the clergy have had to go into hiding among their flock, passing themselves off as mere scholars and workers. Bishop Alejandro Lucio Pereida is actually thankful for that chance to get closer to his flock, though, and works with them to plan out how to free the Grandes of Altamira and send coded messages to clergy outside the city. He feels more involved now, at the age of 55, than he has ever been, and that it is just that he help the people fight the Marquise. For now, he's been listening to the advice of the priests and merchants that prefer the status quo to his open resistance and getting executed, but he has been sending out priests to nearby cities in hopes of finding heroes to help get the Grandes out. Until that happens, retaking the city is unlikely to happen, for fear of the family's execution.

Next time: The Three Kings of Lock-Horn Forest

Barudak
May 7, 2007

Zereth posted:

More than finding an exploit which gets you more character points to spend on a piece of equipment, to an infinite level? (Which can include offense and defense, no less.)

Yes, because it negates the need for offense or defense.

I was building a character and made a starting super shooter character fully capable of unavoidably dealing 398 damage to someones head which has at maximum 8 HP while the person is in the strongest suit of power armor inside the strongest tank driving 60 miles an hour and the shooter is 700 feet away (if we allow random chance to determine how our shooter kills the victim instead of requiring the headshot the driver can be going 200 mph, be the size of a mouse, and dodging around inside the tank) and this other person I built literally cannot lose the encounter with this super shooter if they were to go head to head unless they chose to.

Barudak fucked around with this message at 15:08 on Jul 18, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - The Magic Forest In The Middle Of HELL FRANCE

Lock-Horn Forest has a long, complex and highly magical history. At one point the area was owned by Avalonian lords, then Eisen mercenaries, then Vesten raiders. Now, it is Montaigne's. The official language is still Montaignoise, but the commoners speak a variety of dialects and creoles combining it with Avalonian and Eisen tongues, which often makes for surreal and difficult communication. The further you go from the main roads, the weirder things get, with rumors of Sidhe and Syrneth ruins lurking in the forest. The locals often say the place has three kings.

First is the King of the Tower - the local ruler, Baron Philippe du Niord. He is renowned as a hunter, and his dogs are said to be able to beat even the most fearful creatures of the wood. He lives in the Tower of Niord, an old keep predating the unification of Montaigne, with the path leading to it nearly overgrown. Philippe is an old man but a gracious host to any traveler that wanders into his estate, though the staff are small enough that the keep is barely kept from falling apart. He loves his lands and people, and also theater and books. He is often lost in reveries of adventure and romance. The people mean him whenever they speak of their king, le Roi de la Tour.

Second is the King of the Forest, a Sidhe lord said to live in the woods southeast of Pierre-Percee. He is the Horned King, Jalan, a powerful Seelie lord who has lived in the forest longer than the idea of Montaigne has existed. He was cast out by the Avalon Sidhe for reasons unknown, and he and his court consider the forest to be their own, guarding it against encroaching civilization and hunting down troublemakers. The only place that the Horned King and his deer-riders avoid entirely are the Syrne ruins in the area. It is custom to leave an offering to Jalan before leaving the forest if you've been hunting.

The third is the Straw King. Legend tells of someone who will become the King or Queen when the people of Pierre-Percee desperately need help. The title is both serious and a joke. The first Straw King was a Glamour Knight, Lanvaus de Pierre-Percee, a friend to Paega du Lac. King Jalan gave the title as a mockery for Theah's adoration of titles, for he is called King of the Forest largely because the branches and leaves that stick in his horns resemble a crown. Lanvaus took the title, and with it the duty to rally the people against clear-cutting Montaignois tyrants. The title is now long forgotten by those not familiar with the history of the region, but were a Glamour Knight worthy of it to arrive in Pierre-Percee and the need for a heroic King arose, Jalan would surely keep his promise to Lanvaus and grant the title once more.

Pierre-Percee is the deepest part of the forest, full of remote villages, brigands and forested roads. Most of the rustic villages are very different than the normal culture of Montaigne, primitive and typically surviving by hunting and foraging rather than farming. While they are isolated from l'Empereur's cruelties by the wood, they have plenty of their own issues, in the form of giant beasts, evil druidic orders, ancient Vesten treasures and other legends. Fortunately, heroes seem to arrive fairly often to help out. Part of this is because of the Treasure O'Roorke, said to have been brought to the region by a pair of Vesten raiders after they attacked Ifri and the Crescents. Folklore claims they originally planned to go back to Vesten and share their treasure, but a witch made a storm that caught them and forced them inland, where they settled near the Lake of Pierre-Percee, hiding their riches in the forest. The name is said to come from the first major treasure hunter, Fin O'Roorke, who is said to have died hunting for it. He never did find it, but did find many mysteries that revealed new meanings to local folktales and songs. Others say the name is from the initials of the two raiders, Ragnar Odinson and Oden Ragnarsson - R.O.O.R. The tales about them are usually more about their deeds than their treasure, and the locals don't think there even is a treasure, and make a hobby out of spreading rumors and lies to treasure hunters, though always with tiny bits of truth thrown in. These treasure hunters are referred to, sometimes in mockery and sometimes with fondness, as Rouqueurs. The legend endures because, around once every 20 years or so, someone gets lucky and manages to actually find a small fortune in hidden treasure somewhere.

Le Ballade de Ragnar is a common tale and song of the region. Ragnar is generally the subject of the tales, though lyrics usually mention Oden as well, and describe the pair as inseparable. Historians have managed to verify the details of their raids on the Ifrian coast and the Crescent ports, and Ragnar and Oden both did live in the area. Their descendants are prominent in the region, coming from the marriage of Ragnar's son to Oden's daughter. To this day, many believe Ragnar to be alive, hunting for a way to Valhalla, perhaps willing to part with his treasure's location to heroes that can lead him to that one last battle. (This is, of course, correct.)

Les Feuilles Blanches, the White Leaves, is a place unlike any other. Some say it is the birthplace of Porte sorcery, where the first sorcier learned to bind with blood, and where he finally died. Others say that it was the site of a major Sidhe oath, and the Glamour left behind by this vow got into the land. Others claim its strangeness is due to nearby Syrneth ruins. Whatever the case, finding your way there without already knowing it is shockingly difficult. When you do get there, the forest goes quiet. The leaves slowly grow silvery and white, and as you go further in, the forest gets whiter and more serene, until at least even the tree bark and the fallen leaves are white as snow. This leads to a grove of six pure white trees, too bright to look upon directly. If you go forward once you reach that, you will be transported away by an intangible wind in the trees, taken to your deepest desire, whether you consciously realize what that is or not. Your trail - a glowing bunch of white leaves - remains for several minutes before being blown away on that same intangible wind. Because of the magic of the place, most locals avoid it, though some enjoy the feeling and happily guide travelers to it. The real danger is in trusting the Leaves to take you home.

Next time: The True Secrets of Hell Dimension

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Realms of Sorcery

Build your own insane relics of power

Runesmithing is weird. I talked about all the drawbacks and awkwardness last time, but now we're going to get into why it can be frankly overpowered if your GM lets you make plenty of items. Remember that damage modifiers and damage reduction are normally pretty tightly controlled in WHFRP2e. A magic Hand or Great Weapon with +1 Damage and +10% to hit (and Parry, and it's still Best, so +5% for Best) isn't going to destroy the game, but it's effectively 3-4 advances of power that can stack on top of capping out your combat advances.

Our first rune is the Master Rune of Adamant, a CN 25 Master Rune that will, at minimum, take 7 months of effort to inscribe on a suit of armor, permanently. I'll mostly be describing times in terms of permanent inscription since for the most part a Temporary inscription is always going to be a matter of a few hours. It gives a flat +10% to the Toughness stat (including all Toughness saves, and Toughness Bonus) of the armor's bearer. Like most buff runes, the Temporary version sticks around until the user activates it, at which point it lasts for 1 minute, then fades. This is a good bonus, though when we get to other Master Runes it actually seems a little less powerful than most of them. +1 DR and +10% to one of the more common save stats is never a bad prize on a suit of armor.

The Master Rune of Alaric the Mad is a CN 27 Master Weapon Rune that also takes 7 months at minimum, but makes the weapon it's inscribed on ignore all AV, from any source. Note this is effectively +AV Damage to a weapon. Say you're fighting a DR 9 (4 TB, 5 AV) Chaos Warrior, you're going to do an average of 5 more damage to him with this weapon, which is a big deal when he has 12 hit points. Very, very few things ignore or reduce armor in WHFRP2e outside of very powerful magic. This is the magic used in the Imperial Runefangs (And as someone pointed out, one reason Alaric is called Alaric the Mad is because he was willing to make 12 identical Runefangs. The other is because he experimented with Runing up Warpstone). You'll have to be 3rd tier (probably 4th) to make this but it makes an incredibly powerful magic weapon in a game where high-end foes rely a lot on DR and 3-5 Armor DR is very significant.

The Master Rune of Balance is a CN 25 Talismanic Rune that can only be used by the Runesmiths themselves. Takes 8 months to make, and allows the Runesmith to spend a half action and target a spellcaster, reducing their Mag by 1 for rounds equal to the Runesmith's Mag. The Temporary version only works once. From what I gather from the TT game, counterspelling and dispelling were the main uses of TT Runesmiths, and this is a pretty cool trick to have.

The Master Rune of Breaking is a CN 25 Weapon Rune that takes 6 months minimum, and when inscribed on a weapon, if you Parry another magical weapon with the Runed item and win an opposed Strength test, you shatter the enemy's magic item, permanently. Now, in a D&D esque setting this would be insanely powerful, but how often do you fight people with magic weapons in Warhammer? Still, potentially very useful for destroying Chaos Weapons, Daemon Weapons, or the fancy rapier of that smug vampire lord.

The Master Rune of Dismay is a CN 28 Talismanic Rune that has to be inscribed on a mighty war horn, taking 9 months minimum. If the user spends an action blowing the horn, all enemies within 48 yards have to make a WP save or become dismayed, reduced to only being able to use a half action next turn. Action economy fuckery is always extremely powerful, and one character being able to use a half action to take many enemies' actions away is the kind of thing that never works out well. It's curious that this doesn't have any limitations on when and how often it can be used. Temp version works once.

The Master Rune of Flight is a CN 21 Weapon Rune that exists solely so you can toss Mjolnir at peoples' heads, which is a pretty good reason to exist. It must be inscribed on a hammer, and takes 5 months to make. It grants the wielder Specialist Weapons (Throwing) and lets them throw the hammer at 24 yards at +30% BS, after which the hammer returns to their hand. Given it returns at the end of your turn, you'll only ever be able to throw it once, so no Swift Attacking with Mjolnir tosses, which will end up making this a bit underwhelming. Especially as they don't clarify if you still use the normal Hand Weapon stats for the hammer when thrown, or the lovely SB-2 Throwing Hammer stats that explain why no-one ever uses the Throwing proficiency. Temp version works only once.

The Master Rune of Gromril is a CN 30 (!) Armor Rune that takes 8 months to make because it's insanely powerful. It grants a suit of armor +2 AV, and allows it to break the 5 AV cap. Now, it's not clear if you have to Rune every piece of armor individually or if you Rune the entire suit; I'd generally say the latter. This lets you get DR 7 armor. Remember that very few things ignore armor. As this is only going to be made by a Runelord (generally) assume party-mates are of similar power levels, and throw this on a Grail Knight, Champion, or Knight of the Inner Circle: You've now got a DR 12 or 13 (on average, it could be higher) fighter. That's on par with a Chaos Lord. Breaking the armor cap starts to get PCs into a realm where an average Damage 3 attack can no longer hurt them.

The Master Rune of Kingship is probably in here because it's a powerful item on Tabletop, and it's a CN 33 Rune that cannot be temporarily inscribed and takes a full 15 months at minimum. When inscribed on a crown, it renders allies equal to the wearer's Fel immune to Fear and Terror. Which is helpful, don't get me wrong, but this is the most difficult rune in the book. It's the kind of thing that would be insanely good for the leader of an army but it isn't quite suited to an adventuring party the same way.

The Master Rune of Skalf Blackhammer is a simple and very powerful CN 31 Weapon Rune that takes 9 months to make. It gives a weapon +3 damage (wow) and Impact. Note this can be inscribed on, say, a Crossbow (or even a longbow, technically, but that would mean you might be giving a Master Runic item to an elf or something and I'm pretty sure that's a grudgin') to make a Damage 7 Impact ranged weapon (Damage 8 Armor Piercing Impact in the hands of someone good at the ranged talents) which is about on par with the given stats for a light ballista. Similarly, put it on a hand weapon and now you've got SB+3 damage (which is insane as is), the free parry for a shield, and the main benefit of a two-hander (Impact) on a one-handed weapon. Once again, you have to be a 4th Tier Runelord to make one of these, but they're powerful to a degree that they can break the game's normal scaling once you do. These are superior to most of the Chaos and Daemon weapons.

The Master Rune of Snorri Spanglehelm is a similar simple, big weapon buff, though a little less useful. It's CN 29 and takes 8 months, and simply gives +30% WS when attacking with the runed weapon. This is a huge buff, don't get me wrong, but the buff the Rune of Skalf Blackhammer gives is applicable at all levels with no cap. A 3rd tier fighter given a Snorri Spanglehelm special by their buddy probably already has an 75-80% WS, and now you're giving them a Best weapon with +30 to hit on top of it. Effectively, they're only getting 20-25 of that bonus, when a simpler Rune of Striking (we'll get to it) would've given an effective +15 with more room for other buffs.

The Master Rune of Spellbinding is a CN 26 Talismanic rune that takes 9 months to make. It makes magic harder, reducing all spellcasting by 1 per d10 spent on the spell within 48 yards of the bearer. Combine this with an item with the Rune of Balance and a Runesmith can really gently caress with enemy wizards.

The Master Rune of Spite is ridiculously powerful for a CN 24 Talismanic Rune that only takes 8 months to make. It reduces the Damage of any incoming attack, including those that ignore armor, by 2. It's Talismanic and operates on reducing damage instead of adding to AV, so it effectively could stack with the Rune of Gromril. Toss this on the guy with Gromril to get DR 14-15. Now, I've played a character in that DR range (Exalted Lord of Chaos with 90% Toughness and 5 AV) and trust me, it starts to get tough on your GM to introduce threats that can seriously hurt you. Now admittedly, this is something that'd take two Master Runes, and a character only ever learns 2 Master Runes, and one of them would clearly demand the Smith be Tier 4. But this gets at the problem with Runesmiths: Depending on how much leeway you get to make things, you have the potential to be mostly unable to use your special abilities. Alternately, you could be the happy medium where you make a few masterworks but mostly provide a source of awkward but impressive temporary buffs after various dwarfen crafting monstages. But there's also the potential for the one who outfits their party like a D&D group and snaps the game in half.

The Master Rune of Steel is a CN 28 Armor Rune that takes 8 months, and provides a useful and interesting benefit: With it, you force enemies to reroll damage and take the worse result. This only works if your armor points would work against their attack. Fair enough, and definitely reduces the damage you'll be taking without necessarily putting in an overly-high DR cap.

The Master Rune of Swiftness is a CN 23 rune that takes 5 months to make and is also the saddest rune. It provides +30% to your Agility for purposes of Initiative. Sure, you'll go first, but compared to the other Master Weapon Runes, and remembering you can only have a single rune on a Master Rune item? I'll take Skalf Blackhammer, Alaric the Mad, or Snorri Spanglehelm any day.

Next Up: The Normal Runes

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


The ideal solution seems to me is to make smithing a master rune on something a big thing on a runesmiths progression/make a quest into itself to actually figure it out in the first place and to limit it to a couple uses at best.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
The time is supposed to do that.

Runesmiths were always going to be an awkward PC type, because 'makes magic items' is an awkward archetype in Warhams, where magic items are very rare and it's reasonably likely an entire campaign might not see any.

What I ended up doing when I had a Runesmith PC in my group was having him check for progress after storyline milestones instead of measuring it by months and years. He seemed pretty happy with the compromise and we'd always say he was just hammering away in the background during his downtime.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements



Would a decent houserule in 7th Sea be 'no character can take more than one dramatic wound from guns per round'?
In setting that would just be a cinematic way of rendering the weapons of the day and bullets passing harmlessly through hats and so on; personally is even be inclined to 'Heroes and Villains can only take one wound from guns per combat, period' and let pistols be finishing blows/anti minion tech.

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



Barudak posted:

Yes, because it negates the need for offense or defense.

I was building a character and made a starting super shooter character fully capable of unavoidably dealing 398 damage to someones head which has at maximum 8 HP while the person is in the strongest suit of power armor inside the strongest tank driving 60 miles an hour and the shooter is 700 feet away (if we allow random chance to determine how our shooter kills the victim instead of requiring the headshot the driver can be going 200 mph, be the size of a mouse, and dodging around inside the tank) and this other person I built literally cannot lose the encounter with this super shooter if they were to go head to head unless they chose to.
I'm not sure that quite beats "capable of destroying the entire planet with one hit of an autofire weapon you can fire dozens of bursts per combat round with" but yeah, that's up there. :staredog:

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


I thought a villain for single fight was supposed to have an increased amount of wounds purely to make it more climatic. Also guns can still miss unless you have a whole party dedicated purely to them iirc.

Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAaaAAAaaAAaAA
AAAAAAAaAAAAAaaAAA
AAAA
AaAAaaA
AAaaAAAAaaaAAAAAAA
AaaAaaAAAaaaaaAA

At a certain point there's a social contract on not being an rear end in a top hat at a tabletop game. If your players are so committed to not playing the game that they all conspire to make it such that they no longer have any drama or stakes in any conflict because they just shoot everything, then maybe find a different game. It's like, everyone COULD play pun-pun, or whatever nonsense thing from D&D, and being an unstoppable god that can do anything is clearly optimal but no one does that because what the gently caress dude? I mean you can make a point about guns being too good but I feel like "5 people all shoot the bad guy simultaneously" is a bad faith argument.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


The moral of the story is if your players are being powergaming grogs and won't accept they're missing the point either you A. gently caress with them ingame with a group of gun wielding henchmen which probably just pisses them off or B. Find new players/a different game to play.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

Starting with a salvo of gunfire before switching to swords in a pirate game is not frickin' Pun Pun.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Welcome To The Blood Dimension

So, Porte. Use of Porte involves tearing a screaming hole in the universe with your own blood. The space between spaces is called the walkway, and every sorcier knows, you never, ever open your eyes on the walkway, no matter what voices you hear. Very little else is known about the place, though scholars have various largely unsupported theories. Every sorcier claims they know someone who knows someone who opened their eyes inside and lived, but the details are never straight. Doing it is extremely rare, and those who manage it come back changed by what lies between. Sometimes, they gain strange powers, but they always lose something in exchange.

What lies beyond the portails may seem like another world, surreal and mirage-like, with shimmering colors in peripheral vision and voices speaking without source. You can find mirrors of places you know and places that never existed anywhere. You can find your own home, yet subtly altered in unsettling ways. All the doors open the wrong way, perhaps, or there is an extra room that shouldn't be there. You find impossible fortresses read of in books, inhabited by those long dead. But they're not real. There is no world between spaces. Nothing in the walkway is real. In the beginning, before any sorciers came, there was nothing here. A vast, vast span of nothing. Over the millenia, the dreams and memories of those trapped in the space between forever have built a warped echo to live in, a projection made from their desperate desire to return. As they went more and more mad from the loneliness and the fear, their imaginations spawned ever-stranger places, out of stories and nightmares. Today, you open your eyes in the walkway and you see reflections of places long gone, fantasized into being by the sorciers before you, lingering on indefinitely in a space that is nothing.

So if there was nothing in the space between to begin with, if it had no native beings, what are the walkway entities that speak to travelers? They were humans. Once. They were humans corrupted by the madness of the Place Between Worlds. Trusting them is foolishness itself, for their desires are all warped into monstrous yearnings. They want to trade lives with you, to take on your destiny or ride you back into reality like a horse or kill you and take your power or trick you into staying with them forever. Even if you could find the true human spirit of someone you lost in the walkway, they would be forever changed, ruined by the solitude. They would probably be a Monster or Villain, still distantly recalling their old life, but too corrupted by the experience. Walkway entities can be statted up as either Monsters or Villains, typically having acquired Monstrous Qualities by exposure to the Walkway's madness, but it is possible that a foe who wasn't trapped long or who is redeemable might not have any. The Influence of a walkway entity Villain likely reflects authority over other entities, or how much the walkway terrain reflects their inner self.

An optional rule is presented if you want to do walkway adventures that aren't just 'the sorcier does poo poo while everyone else sits around' - a sorcier may choose to spill extra blood on behalf of others to bring them through. In addition to the Dramatic Wound to open a portail, they may take normal Wounds instead of paying Hero Points to bring eithers with them 1 for 1, and can freely mix the two costs.

So, what happens if you go into the walkway with your eyes open? Your soul grows corrupted and corroded, even if you do nothing evil there. Every story Step you complete within the Walkway grants Corruption as if it was an Evil Act, except that there is no roll to lose your character. Instead, if you hit 10 Corruption in the Walkway, you become trapped, even if you still had Marks to Walk to. All connections to your Marks are severed, even the permanent ones from direct blood relatives. You do not become a Villain unless you perform an actual Evil Act, though. If you can escape before you do that, you can still redeem yourself before you turn into a walkway entity. You may escape the walkway with a story modeled after a Redemption Story, and the Steps of such a story do not gain Corruption.

One other reason to keep your eyes closed: walkway entities can't hurt you directly until you see them. They can speak to you and apply Pressure, but they can't harm you. Once they can harm you, though, if they deal a Dramatic Wound to you, they can consume your blood to steal your Marks and power. After all, each one of them was once a sorcier. Once you've had your blood stolen by a walkway entity, any time a portail opens near you, the entity can escape to the real world - and they also usurp all your established Marks. Now, sometimes you might trap yourself inside the walkway to close a blessure made by a Villain, and may not have the luxury of shutting your eyes when you do. Closing a blessure requires you to navigate the dream logic of the walkway's 'world' and perform a symbolic act of healing or soothing, such as curing an ailing dream-king, rebuilding a wall or ending a child's nightmares, all while keeping walkway entities from getting out into the world. This may take one or more Sequences to do and carries all the danger of getting trapped.

So how would you get out once trapped, possibly with your blood stolen? You can make deals with other walkway entities or passing sorciers, but doing so is always part of a Redemption Story, and always involves paying a price. You might wander through the memories of the dead, visit places that never were or pass through the fears and dreams of sorciers - even your own nightmares. Entities may try to possess you or trick you into leading them to a blessure, or try to get you to forget your life. Death inside the walkway is no release, either - death causes your soul to become a walkway entity. Getting someone trapped in the walkway out as a sorcier, incidentally, has the same cost as bringing them in.

Once you get out, any Corruption gained from just being in the walkway fades at 1 point per scene, as you overcome the darkness you experienced. Time has no meaning in the walkway, so it doesn't matter how long your internal experience of the walkway was - you might get out seconds later, or centuries, or even in the past. The walkway's loving weird. And no matter what, you pay a price. You might give up a treasured memory, a prized possession, even a loved one. You may have had to bring something terrible out with you, or traded one skill for another, or made a Villainous rival from your fears, or gained permanent Corruption, or had a shift in how your magic works. No matter what, you and the GM need to sit down and work what, exactly, you had to pay to get out.

Lastly, we get some new variants on Porte, if you want Porte that works slightly differently:
  • You can't make Blood Marks. Instead, you choose another form of anchor, which you can sense as if it were a Blood Mark. This could be a specific type of object or person, or it could be tied to an emotion - something you desire, fear or want to destroy, say. Examples of new anchors include orphaned children in need of help (hi, Mother!), valuable relics with contested ownership or people near death with desperate final wishes.
  • You treat your ability to place Blood Marks as if you had one more instance of Sorcery than you actually do. Whenever you place a Mark during an Action Sequence, you must spend 2 Raises to prevent the Mark from being usable by any sorcier as if they had placed it.
  • You may not Walk through portails. Instead, you may open portails to spy on your Major Marks, perceiving their surroundings with all five senses. Those in the location spied on may notice you watching them and from where, if you fail a Risk to go unnoticed.
  • You may place Superior Marks that let you Walk more efficiently, allowing you to open a portail to them with a Hero Point rather than a Dramatic Wound. You may only have one Superior Mark placed at any time, above and beyond your other Marks, and to place a new one you must sever your tie to the old one. Placing a Superior Mark takes a lot of blood, costing a Dramatic Wound and a Hero Point, and they can only be placed on a fixed location, not a person or object. (No, there does not appear to be a tradeoff or downside.)
  • You cannot place Blood Marks. Instead, you can Pull or Walk to anything you can see. You spend a Hero Point instead of a Dramatic Wound to do so. You may activate this once per session per purchase of Sorcery. You cannot take others with you at all when Walking, and if something blocks your line of sight, you can't use this power.

Next time: Fencing.

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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


If the players want to solve their villain problems with a hail of gunfire that's fine, just go play that game and not the game about magical witty repartee swordfighting.

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